BAKING COOKIES + WRAPPING GIFTS
I am a hopeless romantic and not just when it comes to my husband but with all things that gives you a warm and fussy feeling. Christmas is no exception. I think it might have something to do with the memories that comes with it but each year our whole family, (consisting of 9 people, unfortunately not very big) would come together. My grandmother busy with something in the kitchen humming to Frank Sinatra or one of her favourites playing in the background, twirling me around teaching me to dance and bake at the same time. My grandfather and uncle sitting in front of the TV watching sport. The smell of freshly baked goods and roasted lamb filling the air while the lights twinkle on the tree and the mountain of presents awaiting to be opened on Christmas Eve.
As time went on, instead of watching from a stool next to her I started helping out more often. That was around the same time I was assigned to gift wrapping duty. Oddly enough I almost enjoy wrapping the gifts more than opening it. (I said ALMOST!) Finding a box for each gift, wrapping it in beautiful paper, tying a bow around it and adding a some extra trimmings.
Opening a beautifully wrapped gift is as exciting as a treasure hunt. The gift is the prize but the actual fun lies in peeling away each layer of the wrapping, bringing you closer to the actual prize.
I decided to combine my two favourite things this year and used the cookies we baked as ornaments on the tree, tags on the gifts and eating. You can decorate them with your favourite colours and pattern. I've added the recipe below, they rolled out perfectly and kept their shape while baking.
CINNAMON TAG COOKIE RECIPE
Makes | about 16 different shaped cookies
Prep time | 30 minutes + 15 minutes chill time
Bake time | 8 minutes
For the cookies
120g soft butter
1/2 cup (125 ml) icing sugar
1 tsp (5 ml) vanilla paste
1 tsp (5 ml) ground cinnamon
2 egg yolks
2 cups (500 ml) flour
1 tsp (5 ml) baking powder
pinch of salt
For the royal icing
2 egg whites
500-800g icing sugar
- Preheat the oven to 180°C and line 3 baking trays with baking paper.
- Whisk the butter, sugar, vanilla and cinnamon until pale and creamy. Add the yolks and beat until well incorporated.
- Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together and add it to the butter mixture. Whisk until it starts to come together and forms a dough.
- Place between 2 pieces of baking paper and roll out to a 5mm thickness. Place in the fridge to rest for 15 minutes.
- Cut out the shapes you want, place on the prepared trays and make a small hole in the top where your string can go through. You can refill the excess dough.
- Bake for 7-8 minutes or until golden, careful as they brown easily. Leave to cool completely.
- For the royal icing, whisk the egg whites and about half the icing sugar together until smooth.
- For flooding the cookies the icing needs to be a slightly runny consistency but piping it needs to be thicker so add icing sugar as needed. If the icing is to thick just add a drop of lemon juice of water.
- Click here to see how to fold a piping bag out of baking paper. After piping, set aside to dry for a few hours or overnight.
- When icing has dried, put a string through the holes and either use it as edible tree ornaments or gift tags.