I looked in my diary and realised that from now until Christmas we are busy doing something almost every weekend. Now this is not necessarily a bad thing as it will no doubt involve seeing lots of family and friends and lots of festive food and drink!
However, it does mean that I probably won’t have a lazy ‘day off’ for a little while, so I was very happy to be able to do just that this weekend.
After a long lie in, bacon sandwiches and tea, we headed into Bath for a wander around. We started with a very festive eggnog latte from Starbucks to get in the Christmas spirit, then visited the ‘It’s Darling!’ Christmas Fair in the Guildhall. This was a collection of gorgeous vintage and homemade items, including jewellery, tableware, bunting and even a bath-bomb making class.
After a bit more wandering (and fighting through the Christmas shoppers!) we decided to head home and I happily spent the afternoon baking, cooking and pottering away in my kitchen…heaven!
I wasn’t sure whether to include the word ‘Christmas’ in the title of this recipe as I am aware it is only November and for some people too soon to start thinking about it but I did a bit of festive baking and wanted to share it. I am getting more and more people tell me that they have tried one of the recipes on this blog (which I love!) and I thought that it may be useful to post a few Christmas recipes now rather than nearer the big day so that if you wanted to make these in the next few weeks for a present, Christmas Fair or just to treat yourself then you can!
At the moment, this recipe is for very simple vanilla biscuits but you can play around with them and try adding different flavours in the biscuits and the icing for variety – I added a few drops of lemon flavouring to my icing.
100g of butter or margarine
100g of caster sugar
1 egg yolk, beaten
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
200g of plain flour
A pinch of salt
180g of icing sugar
Sprinkles and decorations ( I used edible glitter, angelica, sugar flowers, silver balls and a Christmas sprinkles pack from Whittards which included gorgeous miniature snowflakes, candy canes, gingerbread men and Christmas trees)
How to make it
- Begin by beating together the butter and sugar in a bowl until light and fluffy
- Add the beaten egg, vanilla extract, flour, salt and 2 teaspoons of cold water
- Mix with a wooden spoon until it begins to form a dough then finish kneading it with your hands until it is smooth
- Wrap in clingfilm or foil and chill for at least half an hour
- Preheat the oven to 170°C, Gas Mark 4
- Ensure you have enough surface space and sprinkle on a light layer of plain flour so the dough won’t stick to the surface
- Roll out the dough until it is about half a centimetre thick then press in your cookie cutters and cut out your lovely shapes (I bought a Christmas-themed pack which included a bell, star, gingerbread man and a Christmas tree. I also couldn’t resist a tiny holly leaf cutter!)
- Place these shapes on a non-stick baking tray and bake for about 8-10 minutes until lightly browned
- Leave to cool
- For the icing, sift the icing sugar into a bowl and add cold water, one teaspoon at a time until the icing is smooth and has the correct consistency. Add a few drops of any flavouring or colouring you may want to use
- Now comes the fun part…spread some icing sugar on each cookie then decorate while the icing is still wet
Here are some of the creations I came up with…