It’s hard to give the num­ber of cook­ies this recipe will make, as it de­pends on what size cut­ters you use. Mine were as­sorted and I stamped out 40 by re-rolling all the scraps and do­ing a sec­ond cut.

175 grams but­ter

¾ cup packed brown sugar

¾ cup golden syrup

1 tea­spoon sea salt

2 tea­spoons each ground cin­na­mon and gin­ger

½ tea­spoon ground all­spice

1 large egg, size 7

3½ cups plain flour

1 tea­spoon bak­ing pow­der

½ tea­spoon bak­ing soda

TO FIN­ISH pur­chased royal ic­ing gel food colour­ing

Put the but­ter, brown sugar, golden syrup, salt and the spices in a saucepan over a medium heat. Stir un­til the sugar is dis­solved then take off the heat.

Tip into a large bowl and cool. Beat in the egg. Com­bine the flour, bak­ing pow­der and soda to­gether. Stir into the but­ter mix­ture to make a thick, smooth dough.

Di­vide the dough into 4 pieces and pat each piece into a thick rec­tan­gle. Wrap well and re­frig­er­ate for at least 2 hours or longer. The dough will be sticky and hard to roll if not thor­oughly chilled.

Pre­heat the oven to 180°C. Grease flat bak­ing trays and line with bak­ing pa­per.

Work­ing with one piece of chilled dough at a time, dust both sides with flour and roll out be­tween 2 large pieces of bak­ing pa­per to ½ cm thick. Re­move the top sheet of pa­per and stamp out shapes, cut­ting them close to­gether.

Re­move the ex­cess dough from around each shape and care­fully trans­fer to the bak­ing trays, leav­ing a lit­tle space be­tween each one. If the dough is soft, place the tray in the fridge un­til firm oth­er­wise they will lose their shape when baked.

Bake for about 12 min­utes un­til a good golden colour, turn­ing the tray for even brown­ing. Leave for 5 min­utes then care­fully lift off and place on a cool­ing rack.

Re­peat with re­main­ing dough. Form all the scraps into a rec­tan­gle then chill be­fore rolling and cut­ting out more cook­ies.

TO DEC­O­RATE: I have used pur­chased pack­ets of royal ic­ing which just re­quire you to add the ex­act amount of wa­ter to get it to the per­fect con­sis­tency. For 40 cook­ies, I used 3 bags of royal ic­ing.

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