For your Xmas cookie jar

Christmas is all about melt-in-your-mouth cookies...

Ginger cookies

Christmas is here and bringing cheer amongst your near and dear ones is the cornerstone of the celebrations. It is the best time to gift them the best of goodies and sweets. How about treating them with some home-made cookies in a cookie jar this time? Believe me, when your cookie dough has the perfect balance of butter, sugar, salt and flour, you can make a variety of your favourites rather than making one boring batch of the same flavour. The combinations are endless for those who want to experiment with different cookie flavours. All you need is a little time and a penchant for flavours. I’m sure you will satisfy the cookie cravings of one and all. So, go ahead and give it a try!!

For the basic cookie dough

Ingredients: 115 gm of unsalted butter, 200 gm of confectioner’s sugar/icing sugar, 175 gm of all-purpose flour(sieved and measured), ½ tsp of baking powder, ¼ tsp of powdered salt, ½ tsp of pure vanilla extract, 1 egg beaten (optional). (You could substitute egg with milk as required)

Method:

• Prep your baking trays with parchment paper. Preheat your oven to 180 degree Celsius. Sieve the flour with salt and baking powder.

• Cream the butter and sugar till it turns pale white and forms soft peaks. Add vanilla essence.

• Now fold in the flour, drizzle a little of the beaten egg/milk as needed to make a slightly hard but pliable dough.

• Make lemon-sized balls, flatten them slightly. Place them on the tray at least an inch apart.

• Bake for 15-22 minutes or until you see the edges of the cookies are crisp and turn light golden brown.

• Let cool for about five minutes. Place the cookies on a wire rack till they cool completely. These cookies stay fresh for a fortnight if stored in air-tight cookie jars.

Nutty cookies

To the prepared dough, add about 25 gm of either cashew, almonds, pistachios or walnuts or a mix of all. Crushed peanuts could be an alternative if you don’t have other nuts. If you don’t like too many nuts, just press in a couple of almond slivers on the cookies before baking. Brush the cookies with a little egg wash for a shiny top.

Coconut cookies

Add 50 gm of coconut powder and a pinch of cardamom powder. Sprinkle1 tbsp of granulated sugar to the dough. Make roundels, press in half a glazed cherry on top before baking. If you are using freshly grated coconut, use equal quantities of confectioner’s sugar, butter and fresh coconut.

Fruit ‘n’ nut cookies

Add about 25 gm of roasted crushed peanut/ cashew/almond and 25 gm of tutti frutti to the dough along with 1 ml each of cardamom and kewra essence and a few strands of saffron to make crunchy, flavourful cookies.

Double chocolate cookies

Sieve flour along with a 3 tbsp of cocoa powder. Tip in 3 heaped spoons of dark chocolate chunks and little bits of walnuts for a scrumptious chocolaty treat. If you like your cookie a little gooey, remove them from the oven a couple of minutes earlier. If you love to experiment, try a combination of sweet/bitter-sweet/white chocolate.

Ginger cookies

Sieve flour along with 5 gm of ginger powder. To enhance the ginger flavour, add ½ tsp of fresh ginger gratings to the dough. Adding a tbsp of honey/golden syrup and 10 gm of granulated sugar make a nice winter treat.

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For your Xmas cookie jar

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