This is an important time of year to focus on our nearest and dearest rather than those things that tend to preoccupy us for the rest of the year. This is especially key in a society increasingly dominated by machines that take human contact out of our day-to-day lives, and Christmas is full of ways of reconnecting with those around us- from caroling to watching films to having a delicious glass of mulled wine.
One of the best ways of festive socialising is food- whether it be making it, giving it or enjoying it together. Why not make these biscuits in the run-up to Christmas? You could either ask everyone in your family to decorate one and hang it on the tree, or give them as home made presents. You can have a lot of fun decorating your biscuits but if it goes wrong, just comfort yourself that your efforts can’t turn out much worse than some of Flossanna’s attempts last year :
Have a happy Christmas, one and all! x
Recipe: Edible Christmas Baubles
You will need:
110g (4 oz) butter at room temperature
55g (2 oz) caster sugar
A few drops vanilla extract
1 egg, beaten
170g (6 oz) flour
1 1/2 tsp festive spices: nutmeg, ginger, cloves, cinnamon, mixed spice (these can easily be omitted for a plain biscuit)
1 tsp baking powder
Things to decorate your biscuits with (icing sugar, writing icing, sprinkles, food colouring, silver balls)
(1) Beat the butter on its own until it is nice and smooth (if it’s hard and cold, you can put it in the microwave on a low temperature to soften it up). Add the sugar, and cream until it looks sandy. Mix in the salt and vanilla extract.
(2) Beat in the egg (don’t worry if the mixture looks a little split, it will sort itself out when you add the flour).
(3) Gradually add the flour, spices and baking powder and mix until all combined.
(4) Scoop your dough into a ball using a spatula, and wrap in cling film. Leave in the fridge for 20-30 minutes- this will make it easier to roll and cut.
(5) Preheat the oven to 175 degrees C. Flour your surface and your rolling pin liberally, and roll out your dough to about 3 mm thick.
(6) Cut out some Christmassy shapes from your dough (you can go freestyle with a knife if you don’t have any cutters). Gather the remaining dough into another ball, roll it out, and cut out more shapes. Repeat until all the dough is gone.
(7) Make sure you put a hole in each one for the ribbon. You can do this with any sharp object, but I used the lid of a biro (after washing it up carefully!).
(7) Put your shapes onto a baking sheet that has been dusted with flour, and bake in the preheated oven for around 12 minutes, until the biscuits are starting to brown nicely. Don’t worry if they’re a little soft, they’ll harden up as they dry.
(8) Once they’re nice and cold, decorate them how you will! I mixed some clementine juice and zest into icing sugar to make a nice citrus icing. Word of warning- if you’re using writing icing, spend the extra 29p and buy Dr Oetker rather than own brand. I bought Sainsbury’s and it had a terrible consistency- my resultant biscuits looked a little like a child had decorated them.
(9) Once the icing has dried, loop a ribbon through the hole (you may need to open up the hole a little with a safety pin or needle) and hang it on your Christmas tree.