Working in a school sometimes has its advantages. I have received that many Christmas cards, treats, and gift baskets this year it isnt funny. That said, you have to give back to this viscious circle and I am really not a Christmas card kinda girl.
So I thought I would bake some cookies. At first I was going to do gingerbreads, but then I decided to try something else. I am not a great cookie baker and the thought of trying something so iconic was just a little bit nerve wracking!
That said, they looked just like gingerbread men anyway. I couldn’t find a Christmas tree cookie cutter anywhere! I didnt make the recipe with the icing below, but I included it because I think that it might actually add to the flavour even more.
Honey and cinnamon biscuit dough
- 200g butter, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup (80g) icing sugar mixture
- 1/3 cup (80ml) honey
- 2 cups (300g) plain flour, sifted
- 1/4 cup (40g) self-raising flour, sifted
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 2 eggwhites, lightly whisked
- 3 1/4 cups (500g) pure icing sugar
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 cup desiccated coconut
- Line 2 baking trays with baking paper. Using an electric mixer, beat butter and icing sugar mixture in a bowl until pale and creamy. Add honey. Beat until well combined.
- Place flours, cinnamon and milk in a bowl. Add butter mixture. Mix until dough begins to form. Turn onto a well floured surface. Knead gently until smooth. Divide dough in half and wrap each portion in plastic wrap. Place in the fridge for 15 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 160°C. Using a well floured rolling pin, roll one portion of dough out on a well floured surface until 5mm-thick.
- Using an 8.5cm Christmas tree cutter, cut out biscuits. Place on prepared trays. Bake,swapping trays halfway during cooking, for 10 to 12 minutes or until crisp and golden. Cool on tray for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with remaining dough.
- Make glace icing: Using a wooden spoon, lightly beat eggwhites. Sift icing sugar over eggwhite. Stir until smooth. Add lemon juice and stir until well combined.
- Spread biscuits with icing, leaving a 2mm border. Sprinkle with coconut. Set aside for 1 hour to set. Serve or gift wrap.
I made the icing by beating egg whites, adding 1 cup of icing sugar per egg white, and then some vanilla and food colouring. It wasnt as stiff as I would have liked and took forever to dry but it still turned out ok!
Just a note on the dough – the comments on Taste all said that it needed a bit of extra flour to work, and it really did, I kept having to add more and more just so that my cookies would hold their shape! But that may also be me being an inexperienced cookie baker.
I also learnt that despite my best intentions, I am just not meant to be a great decorator! The smiles I attempted to draw on turned out like blobby frowns. So I simply dipped the cookies in the icing, added some baubles on and left it at that!
They arent the prettiest cookies out there, but for my first attempt I think they look alright. Everyone at work was very impressed and it saved me writing 40 cards!
Bens comment though? “Why isnt the icing really hard?” I had to ask him what he meant! “Most gingerbread men have rock hard icing that you can bash against a table and it still wont come off…” I think I am kind of glad my icing didnt become rock hard!!