Here’s Tips & Tricks for Christmas No.10 – Cookies with Love.
It’s difficult to make something for someone as a gift and not feel the love – when it’s made by a child, it’s difficult not to feel the immense pride also!
At a time of year when it’s all about giving and not receiving (but both is nice). Take time to wonder that giving a bit of yourself is ‘worth much more’ than the ring of cash registers and branded packaging.
Not only will these cookies taste divine (so melt in the mouth), the packaging is all up to you! Box them, bag them, pretty tins complete them. You will get a worthy smile from the recipient and although you will have saved a pretty penny – I’ll bet you will have earned much talk in your efforts to produce something ‘just a little bit different’.
This cookie recipe is easy enough for children to make, but good enough for everyone to eat.
My advice for the packaging is to use cellophane to line your boxes and tins for a really effective look (it also stops the cookies marking the bag/box as they contain butter). This is available from craft shops, florists and you might even get some down at popular supermarkets.
You could also put a few cookies in cellophane bags – these are most definitely available in supermarkets (I saw them in Morrisons this week) and also in craft shops in various sizes. Finish with curly ribbons and a home-made tag for a personal touch.
- 6oz (150g) plain flour
- 4oz (100g) unsalted butter
- 2oz (50g) caster sugar
**To make the cookies more personal and fun to make, look at and eat you could add any one of the following to the mix after all of the above have been added and mixed. If you are experimenting and combining flavours, remember to reduce the amounts:
- Chocolate chips 2oz (50g)
- Coconut 2oz (50g)
- Raisins 2oz (50g)
- Chopped nuts 2oz (50g)
- Sugar strands 1oz (25g)
- Cocoa powder 1oz (25g)
- Peanut butter 1 tablespoon
- Cinnamon 1 teaspoon
- Sweeties (press into cookies before baking)
- Almond essence (add a few drops & stick whole almond on top before baking)
- Fork to press cookies
- Bowl to mix
- 2 x baking sheets, lined with greaseproof paper
- Cooling rack
- Fingers for mixing :o)
- Set the oven 170 C/325 F/Gas mk 3.
- Put all of the main ingredients (flour, butter, sugar) into the bowl and mix, rubbing between your thumbs and fingertips to blend.
- **Add the additional flavours (if using) now.
- When mix looks a bit like breadcrumbs, squeeze together to make a ball of dough.
- Divide the ball into two (one for each large baking tray) and then pinch off smaller balls of dough and roll them into the size of a ping pong ball.
- Place the balls onto the baking sheet, leaving room for them to spread and press down each one with the back of a fork (about 5mm high).
- Bake for 15-20 mins (I do it for 17 mins) and then remove from oven, leave for 10 mins and then transfer to a rack to cool.
If you want to make shapes instead of simple rounds:
- Flour the surface you are working on
- Place the ball of dough on surface
- Roll out using rolling pin (about 5mm thick)
- Use cutters to make shapes
- Reform the dough into a ball and repeat
To make iced cookies:
There are lots of designs available – google ‘iced Christmas cookies’. The basic way of preparing the icing is still the same though.
- Mix 3 tablespoons of sieved icing sugar with 3 teaspoons of water and mix to a smooth paste.
- If adding colour, use a cocktail stick and apply a little at a time mixing thoroughly.
- Apply icing mix to cooked and cooled cookies and allow mix to spread over cookie.
- Add sprinkles (optional) and allow to set before eating.
For ideas to help get you to prepare for Christmas saving time and money, take a look at all of the other Parenting Tips & Tricks:
Tips and Tricks No. 1 – Cadbury’s White Chocolate Fingers (intro to Tips & Tricks)
Tips and Tricks No. 2 – Advent Treats in Organza Bags
Tips & Tricks No. 3 – Recycling Christmas Cards into Gift Tags
Tips & Tricks No. 4 – Hand Painted Christmas Wreaths
Tips & Tricks No. 5 – Clear the Clutter
Tips & Tricks No. 6 – Recycling the Cost of Christmas
Tips & Tricks No. 7 – Saving Money on Kids Toys (and Big Boys Toys)
Tips & Tricks No. 8 – Gift Bag it!
Tips & Trick No. 9 – Christmas Fairy Cup Cakes
Tips & Tricks No. 10 – Cookies with Love
Tips & Tricks No. 11 – Children’s Christmas Parties (and Tea Parties)
Tips & Tricks No. 12 – Lets Swop Toys!