Xmas cookies!

chickeee, Nov 30, 7:20am
whats a good recipe for xmas cookies open to any favours. Thanks in advance.

elliehen, Nov 30, 7:30am
Christmas Tree Biscuits
Source: Alison Holst

Shape and decorate these biscuits so they can be hung on a Christmas Tree as ornaments, or pack them in airtight glass containers for gifts.

For 20-30 biscuits:
Cost (per batch): $3.50
Time to prepare: 30-40 minutes

150g butter
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp each ground cloves and mixed spice
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 egg, separated
2 Tbsp milk
about 2 cups standard (plain) flour

Heat oven to 150degC (140degC fanbake), with oven rack just below the middle. Line a baking tray with baking paper or a Teflon liner.

Beat the softened (but not melted) butter, essence, spices and sugar together until light coloured and fluffy. Add the egg yolk and milk and beat again, then add enough flour to make a dough that is firm enough to roll out and cut in shapes.

Cut into festive shapes with suitable cutters. If you don't have any special cutters, cut out large circles with a glass, then cut smaller circles from the centres of these using the tops of small bottles. For biscuits to hang up, cut a small circular hole with a straw before baking.

Bake for about 15 minutes, or until very lightly browned. Cool on a rack.

Make white icing by whisking the remaining egg white until foamy, then adding sifted icing sugar 1/2 cup at a time until the mixture is firm enough to pipe through a fine nozzle, then use to decorate the biscuits. (If you dont have a forcer bag and nozzle, snip a tiny small corner off a sturdy plastic bag and use this instead.) Alternatively, use a softer icing spread on the biscuits and decorate with slices of cherries, silver cachoux, etc., before the icing hardens.

Attach biscuits to the tree with silver or gold thread, fine ribbon or even twist ties. (After several days the biscuits will soften and are not nice to eat.) To keep biscuits crisp, store in airtight containers.

willyow, Nov 30, 6:03pm
Make Eccles cakes and add a teaspoon or two of real vanilla extract ( not used in thetraditional English ones - but gives them a huge taste lift)- and sprinkle with a little icing sugar.

They are really easy .

The version we make uses
1 cup currants
1 large orange - rind finely grated plus a tablespoon of orange juice
40g butter
quarter cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon mixed spices or allspice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 sheets ready rolled puff pastry
1-2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 egg
icing sugar for dusting

Preheat the overto 200 C.
Linea baking tray with paper.
Put all the ingredients ( except the pastry, egg and icing sugar) ina small pot over a low-medium heat for four to five minutes and stir a few times. If it's too dry add a little more orange juice or even a little brandy(needs to be quite wet).
Cut the pastry into 100 ml circles.
Placea tablespoon of the mixture into the centre of each pastry round and bring edges up and seal, Place upside down ona lifhtly floured surface androll gently with a rolling pin so that the currants start to show signs of popping through the pastry.

Beat the egg andcoat theeccles cakes with egg wash.

Make threeslits in the top of each and bakefor 10-15 minutes till golden brown.
Cool and sprinkle with a little icing sugar - very Christmasy and taste fabulous ( much nicer then those little supermarket Xmas tarts).

elliehen, Nov 30, 9:06pm
willyow, as an Eccles fan, I've saved your recipe to try.mini-Eccles would be a good alternative to mince pies.

(I don't use brown sugar in my Eccles, instead adding a grated apple and lemon zest and juice, without heating.)

elliehen, Nov 30, 9:09pm
A good one from 245sam.

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