You know what this means? This means that after four months of having to covertly make omelettes with weird French cheese and not being allowed to use a kitchen between the hours of 21h and 8h due to my living with a host family, I FINALLY can cook again! At least for the next week-ish, after which I move to London and God knows what culinary surprises await me there. Probably Haggis. Pray for me.
These are my absolute favourite cookies to make, so although they are traditionally for Christmas, I end up making them (or my mother does, and I end up eating them) year round. You can shape them into squares and suddenly they’re “tea cookies” (because I so often find myself in a high-tea situation…) or you can use orange jam and suddenly they’re Halloween-themed! Bam.
- 2 cups flour
- 1 cup butter (If you’re confused, that’s two sticks. If you’re European, use Google converter.)
- 3/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. give or take of vanilla extract
- jam/jelly/marmalade/why are there so many names for the exact same food
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Blend the sugar and the butter until fluffy, then set aside. As someone who grew up creaming butter and sugar with a fork instead of a mixer because it “built character”, I can tell you firsthand that it is not a pleasant experience and would highly recommend using either a hand mixer or a stand mixer. It helps if you soften the butter in the microwave beforehand.
In another bowl, combine the flour, salt, and baking powder. The original recipe calls for a sifter, but since there is literally no taste difference between sifted flour and non-sifted flour, I’ve gone rogue and chosen to omit the sifter.
Slowly add the dry ingredients into the butter mixture, then incorporate the vanilla until your dough looks like… well, dough.
Wash your hands. (This isn’t in the original recipe, but I find hygiene is often overlooked so I’m including it here.) Form the dough into tiny balls and flatten them slightly, then place each flat ball onto an ungreased cookie sheet about 4 cm apart since they will spread. Next, take either a thimble or your finger (see, aren’t you glad I told you to wash your hands?) and make an indentation in the centre of each cookie. Spoon a bit of jam into that hole, then pop the sheet into the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes or until the cookies are golden and stunning and you want to eat them.
After they’ve cooled on a rack, you can either give into temptation and eat the whole batch then and there, or you can pull a Martha and sprinkle powdered sugar on them. Don’t put too much on them, though, or it will look like your cookies have gone mouldy and your Instagram will be ruined.
Enjoy and happy holidays!!