These are a great way to keep the kids entertained during the run up to Christmas. You’ll have to be quick to get the Christmas cookie garland put up before the kids start eating it though!
Christmas Cookie GarlandPreparation time 11/2 hour plus chilling Baking time 8-10mins per batch Makes approx 30 (depending on letters/shapes) For the cookies:
- 125g butter, softened
- 125g golden caster sugar
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- ¼ tsp vanilla extract
- 250g plain flour, sifted plus extra for dusting
- ½ tsp baking powder
- 50g white chocolate, grated
- White ready to roll icing
- Icing sugar for dusting
- Christmas shaped sugar sprinkles
- Ready made fondant stars
- Tubes of red, green and white squeezy writing icing
- Preheat the oven to 170°C/150°C fan/gas mark 3 and line two baking trays with baking paper.
- For the cookie dough, cream the butter and sugar together in a large bowl until light and fluffy (ask an adult if you can use an electric whisk for this). Beat in the eggs and vanilla extract. If the mixture looks a little curdled add a spoonful of the flour.
- Stir in the flour, baking powder and grated chocolate then use your hands, lightly dusted with flour, to bring the mixture together to form a dough. Dust your work top with a little flour then place the dough on top and knead into a ball – the dough will be quite wet. Divide the dough into two, wrap each piece in cling film then chill in the fridge for 1 hour.
- Remove one batch of dough from the fridge and roll out onto a floured work surface to the thickness of about 3mm. Cut out letters or shapes using cookie cutters. Gather up the trimmings, re-roll and cut out as before until all the dough from this batch is used.
- Place the shapes spaced slightly apart on the prepared baking trays. Using a skewer, make a hole in the centre top of each letter or shape. On some letters such as ‘H’ it is best to put a hole in the top of each upright stem. Cook for 8-10 mins or until lightly coloured then allow to cool on a cooling rack. Repeat steps 4 and 5 with the second batch of dough.
- To decorate, lightly dust your work surface with icing sugar then roll out the icing to a thickness of about 3mm. Using the same cookie cutters as used for the cookies, cut out shapes from the icing. Lightly brush the surface of the cookies with cooled boiled water and top with the matching icing shape. Press very gently to stick together. Decorate with sugar sprinkles and fondant stars held in place with a blob of squeezy writing icing. Add more decoration by drawing patterns on using the writing icing. Allow to dry.
- To thread the cookies together, attach wire Christmas ornament hangers, spaced a few centimetres apart depending on the size of your cookies, to a piece of string or tinsel – you may need an adult to help you wind the top of the wire around the string a couple of times so the hangers stay in place and can’t move along it. Attach the cookies to the string by hooking the bottom of the wire hangers through the holes in the cookies from the back through to the front. Hang the garland on your Christmas tree or in your window.
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