I remember being a kid at my Grandma’s house at Christmas and eating so many ooey gooey toffees and caramels that made my teeth stick together and left my insides all warm and happy! Tooth pulling sweets are *definitely* a Christmastime only kind of treat ~ that’s why they’re so special.
But finding a “sticky” recipe for today’s challenge had me… well quite stuck! Sticky toffee pudding and cinnamon rolls are mega yummy, but I needed something that I could eat a bit of and then throw into the freezer until I can give away!
And then I saw them! A cookie stuffed with melty caramel chunks, peanut butter AND chocolate?! What could be tastier and stickier?! They’re called ‘sumbitches’ – no actually! The recipe is from Will Cook for Smiles. That’s not particularly Christmassy sounding, but they ARE tasty!
They’re soft cookies and the caramel chunks melt and ooze out, and the peanut butter makes them smooth and a bit salty. The flavours give off such a warm comforting smell and childhood me would have eaten them all in one go (and adult me probably will ;))
This December is the most festive I have felt since I was a kid. All of this sugar and spice is really helping to bring out that extra bit of holiday magic!
Continuing with my Christmas Baking Challenge, I spent all of today in my little kitchen baking the ultimate Christmas cookie – the sugar cookie! Although cookie decorating seems so intimidating when you stare at all of the beautiful cookie art on Pinterest, I promise it’s so easy to create your own decorated sugar cookies! Here’s my favourite sugar cookie and royal icing recipe.
What You Need
1 cup sugar
1 3/4 sticks (200 grams) of unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups all purpose flour
pinch of salt
6 egg whites
4 cups (1 pound) icing sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice
food colouring (I use gel based)
yields 24 cookies using a large cookie cutter / 48 cookies using a small cookie cutter
Cream the sugar and butter together until smooth. Mix in the egg and vanilla until combined.
Add in the flour and salt until fully incorporated, and the cookie dough will come together in a big dough ball.
Turn out the dough onto a floured surface and flatten into your hands into a flat disk. Wrap it up in plastic wrap and put in fridge for 20 minutes (this makes it much easier to work with).
Preheat oven to 350°F and line your baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
Roll out your dough on a floured surface. Using a floured cookie cutter, cut out your shapes (1/4 inch thick) and carefully transfer them to the baking sheet.
Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until golden brown and then let them completely cool.
To make the icing, add in the icing sugar, and then add in the egg whites and lemon juice and then blend with a hand or stand mixer on high until light and fluffy (5-10 minutes). Cover with a wet cloth or in an air tight container until ready to use (or it will harden!)
When ready to decorate, separate your icing into separate bowls and colour as appropriate for your design.
You will need to further separate some of your coloured icing to do the flooding – that is the thinner icing used to fill in the areas! To do this just add a teaspoon of water at a time into the mixture.
Put your thicker icing into piping bags and your thinner icing into squeeze bottles and go forth to decorate!
With a thin piping tip, pipe your outlines using the thicker icing.
Then with the squeeze bottle, pipe the thinner flood icing. Use a flat knife or toothpick to smooth it out up to those thick icing borders that you made. Add on any sprinkles or decorations at this point.
Let the icing completely dry (may take a few hours). Then you can add your final top piping if your design calls for it! If you add royal icing on top of royal icing it will spread slightly.
Just be aware that cookie decorating is labour intensive! From the start with baking the cookies, to the final detail of the cookies it took me OVER eight hours of baking (not counting the cleaning)! So if you’re a beginner like me, this is definitely not a quick evening project! But every single minute was enjoyable.
I’m so full of sugar now that I’m definitely going to dream of sugarplums dancing!!
Yesterday was my work Christmas party, so it was the first day in weeks that I hadn’t been able to bake a single thing! That was tough! But instead I got to schmooze with coworkers and talked about my baking, so I guess that almost made up for it!! Was so happy to be back at the counter today though – and Sugar was thrilled for more crumbs to steal off the counter. ^_^
Speaking of non-stop baking, Christmas time is pretty much the exact opposite of healthy – that’s just an unwritten rule! So after nearly two weeks of endless sugary treat making, I thought I’d challenge myself today to try and make one slightly healthier bake to somewhat rest my sweet teeth!
Jam thumbprint cookies are gorgeous little bites of shortbread cookie plus the real fruit of jam. They’re buttery and refreshing but not so ridiculously sugary that you’ll be running around in circles. I used this recipe for Easy Jam Thumbprint Cookies from Delish.
You can pick whatever kind of jam you want, but I used raspberry (yum!) and my Dad really loves orange marmalade so I gave that a go. I think they look very colourful and festive!
Happy weekend everyone! Hope you all have sweet dreams! xox