Now, as I have moved out from my family home, I can't imagine Christmas without those lovely little treats, the smell of those cookies being baked announces to me that yes, Christmas is truly on its way. Now it's my time to pass those Christmas traditions and in a way create some new ones with my two little sous chefs :) so the tradition (and the recipe) can live on.
I know that the quantities are quite "generous", but with giving away good few of them and the fact that they keep well for so long, I always make a big batch. You can easily divide the recipe by half (then use 2 egg yolks + 1 whole egg), but who would want to do that? Enjoy!
- 1 kg self-raising flour
- 1/2 kg unsalted butter
- 5 egg yolks + 1 whole egg
- 1 1/2 cup of sugar
- 2 tablespoons cream, you might not need it at all
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1 egg, beaten for glazing (I usually use the whites that I have left from the yolks that went into the dough, less waste!)
- caster sugar, sprinkles etc. for coating
In a free standing electric mixer, mix the eggs with the sugar till pale in colour, almost white. Still mixing, on a lower speed add the butter, bit by bit. When everything is smooth and well mixed together, gradually add the flour with a pinch of salt. If you feel that the dough is too 'dry', add a little bit of cream (you may not need all of it, or nothing at all). Cover the ready dough into a cling film and put into the fridge for minimum 1 hour.
Take the dough out of the fridge (work here with small pieces of dough, keeping the rest in the fridge) and roll to about 0,5 cm thick. Working quite quickly (so the dough doesn't get warm again, as it will be hard to work with it) cut out the stars or any other shapes you like. Glaze cut cookies with egg wash and sprinkle with some sugar to get a nice 'frosty' finish, or sprinkle with sprinkles (imitating baubles on the Christmas tree) or leave the cookies plain and decorate after the baking. Bake in the preheated to 180 C oven, till golden brown (it's hard for me to give you exact time, as I always work here by the look of the cookies and also ovens vary between them a lot, but you'll probably need minimum 5-7 minutes). Leave the cookies on a wire rack to cool completely and hardening before handling/decorating/eating!