Cookies are always special in any which way you make them. A freshly baked cookie jar kept on the table will always get you smiles. Christmas Cookies are an absolutely joyful treat for everyone. And these ones (I am sharing the recipe today) are fantastically easy to prepare. This recipe of Christmas Cookies is more about the aroma of Christmas in the air; the ginger, the cinnamon, the cloves, along with amber luscious honey; I mean it’s gorgeously relishing.
The main Hero amongst all the flavors in the cookie is Ginger; the recipe is more like ginger snap cookies, but I have changed few parts, in the making. That makes it more interesting and easy for the moms and ladies and even for men ( who might like to bake at times). I made my batch of Christmas Cookies with the ingredients which are always present in the kitchen. There lies our comfort zone; when we don’t have the time to rush to the market to prepare something special for some special occasion.
As far as the flavor is concerned; it has depth. When all those aromatic ingredients mingle gorgeously in the cookie mix, you will be able to smell that. The aroma in the air when the oven door opens, after baking, is heady. It seems as if there is some happy Christmas-y pixie dust in the air.
Yati was really willing to decorate the cookies; so I made some royal icing and decorated a few cookies for her. But these are really delicious without any icing. So keep it the way you want.
Few points I would like you to read before you bake:
1. Measure all the ingredients accurately, as I always say. Baking differs to cooking where you can adjust the seasoning. In baking all goes at once and then there is no looking back.
2. I have used Honey; if you find Molasses you are free to go ahead with that. Or try with some maple syrup. Create your own recipe as per your likes.
3. Same goes with the amount and choice of spices; cinnamon, cloves, ginger or all spice. I used fresh grated ginger (using a micro plane) in the making. You can go for ground ginger. Even candied ginger cut into vert tiny bits will be awesome. Adjust the spice to suit your own taste.
4. After preparing the cookie dough, it will get soft so it is a good idea to chill the dough or the cookies will spread too much and will loose the shape. I suggest prepare ahead of time so the dough can chill at least for 2 hours.
5. The amount of time given to the baking will effect the texture of the cookie. It’s more like somewhere in between 10 to 12 minutes. The longer the cookies will bake; the crisp they will be. But remember to pull out the cookies at the right time as they will appear soft and may will look undone when baked for 10 minutes. Allow them to cool for few minutes on the baking tray and they will be good to go.
6. The recipe requires 1/2 cup of sugar. I split that into 1/4th cup of light brown sugar and 1/4th cup of regular white sugar. Using brown sugar will add the color as well as flavor. But again its totally optional.
7. The dough can be refrigerated for up to 5 days and can be kept frozen for 3 months. Once baked the cookies can be kept in an airtight container for couple of days. But these Christmas Cookies are at their best on the day they are baked. So try baking in small batches as per the requirement.
[recipe title=”Christmas cookies” Time=30 minutes” difficulty=”Easy “]
1. 100 gm of unsalted butter ( room temperature)
2. 1/4th cup of light brown sugar
3. 1/4th cup of granulated white sugar
4. 2 tablespoon of honey
5. 1 large egg
6. 1 +1/4th cup of all purpose flour
7. 1/4th teaspoon of salt
8. 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
9. 1 teaspoon of grated fresh ginger
10. 1/4th teaspoon of ground cloves
11. 1/4th teaspoon of baking soda
12. 1/4th teaspoon of vanilla extract
13. 1/2 cup of granulated white sugar for coating the dough ball
In a bowl beat the butter and the sugar till fluffy and soft. You can use an electric hand blender or this can be easily done by hand using a wire whisk if the butter is soft. Add the grated ginger, vanilla, egg and honey and beat until incorporated.
In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and spices. Add the butter mixture and mix until combined. Cover and chill the batter for about 2 to 3 hours or until firm.
Preheat the oven at 180*C (350*F) and line a baking tray with parchment paper. Place 1/2 cup of granulated white sugar on to a plate. When the dough is chilled sufficiently, roll into 1 inch balls. Then roll each ball of the dough on the sugar coating it thoroughly. Place it on the baking tray about 2 inch apart, leaving the space between each ball. Then with the flat bottom of a glass flatten the cookies slightly. Bake for 10 minutes, when done let the cookies cool in the baking tray for sometime and then on the wire wrack.
If you want to decorate the cookies with royal icing, wait for them to cool completely. Royal icing is a white icing made from softly beaten egg white and icing sugar (powdered sugar), and sometimes lemon or lime juice.
Enjoy with kids and friends !