Christmas is almost upon us and it has all come so quickly!
I’ve been working on so many exciting Christmas recipes to share with you this year, and this past weekend was full of baking and shooting and baking and shooting and serving and eating and eating more and packing up all the excess as gifts. Phew.
I’m planning a really special Christmas cake to serve at my family Christmases this year (it’s coming to the blog later this week!!) and a key element of the cake is Christmas cookies as decoration!
I’ve shared many a christmas cookie with you before (there’s been Gingerbread, Christmas Shortbreads and the Polish Christmas Cookies of my childhood, just to name a few!) and really wanted to bake a different recipe with you this year.
This one is actually based off one of my favourite almond shortcrust doughs that I make pie with! I decided to add vanilla to the dough, bake it up into Christmas shapes and decorate it with royal icing, so it all looks super festive.
I love them, they’re crisp like a classic sugar cookie but crumblier in your mouth with the almond meal. And most of the sweetness comes from the royal icing, so they’re nicely balanced, keep well and look so cute!
These are a gorgeous Christmas cookie or Christmas gift on their own, but just wait till you see what I’m doing with them later this week (if you haven’t already spied them in my Insta stories)! X
- ALMOND AND VANILLA SHORTBREAD
- 350g plain flour
- 55g caster sugar (1/4 cup)
- 60g almond meal
- A pinch of salt
- 200g unsalted butter, cubed
- 2 egg yolks
- ½ tsp vanilla paste
- 40ml water, chilled (2 tbsp or so)
- ROYAL ICING
- 250g icing sugar (2 cups, 9 oz)
- 1 egg white
- ½ tsp lemon juice
- Put the flour, sugar, salt, almond meal and butter into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or in a food processor) and mix on a low speed until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs.
- Add the egg yolks, vanilla and the cold water while the mixer is still running. Continue to mix until a dough forms. Divide the dough in half and shape each half into a disc. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 2 hours.
- When you are ready to bake, preheat the oven to 180 C (350 F) and line several trays with baking paper. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and allow it to soften slightly.
- Roll out each disc between two sheets of baking paper until it is about 3mm (1/8 inch) thick. Cut out the shapes of your choice with a cookie cutter. Gather the leftover dough together and repeat the process until you have used all the dough. The dough it quite sticky so work fast.
- Place the cookies on the lined baking trays and bake, in batches, for 15-20 minutes, until puffed and golden. Allow the cookies to cool on the trays.
- To make the icing, sift the icing sugar into a bowl. Place the egg white in a separate large bowl and add 1 tablespoon of the icing sugar. Using a wooden spoon, beat to form a smooth paste. Keep adding the icing sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, combining well after each addition. Stir in the lemon juice.
- Place the icing in a piping bag fitted with a fine nozzle and pipe your desired decorations onto your cookies.
- They can be stored in an airtight container for up to two weeks. Makes 50+ cookies.
- Happy baking!
Shortbread dapted from toasty biscuit, whose recipe comes from Taste.