Chanukah cut-out cookies

 
Chanukah cut-out cookies
Date Uploaded: 
Monday 19th December 2016

Decorated with royal icing

I guess it’s a misnomer to call these Chanukah cookies when, in fact, they are my favourite cut-out sugar cookie recipe that have received the Chanukah treatment with cute Chanukah cookie cutters and some royal icing. These are just as good as dinosaur cookies, or the number-shaped cookies my kids used to love getting for their birthdays.

The recipe here makes a huge amount, so feel free to freeze half of the dough mixture for the next occasion.

Ingredients:

  • 470 grams plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon slat
  • 225 grams unslated butter
  • 330 grams granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Method:

  1. In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.
  2. In a large bowl or, in the bowl of a stand mixer using the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, stopping once or twice to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  3. Add the eggs one at a time, beating thoroughly after each addition.
  4. Add the vanilla and mix again.
  5. Slowly add the flour mixture, one-third at a time, and mix just until all the flour has been absorbed.
  6. Turn the dough out onto the counter and knead it until it just comes together.
  7. Divide the dough into three even parts.
  8. Flatten each dough mass into a 1cm-thick disk and wrap well in cling film.
  9. Chill until firm at least 2 hours or up to 3 days, or freeze for up to a month.
  10. Preheat the oven to 180 C and let the chilled dough come room temperature for about 20 minutes.
  11. On a lightly-floured surface or between two sheets of baking parchment, roll out the dough to the thickness of slightly less than a £1 coin.
  12. Cut out shapes with cookie cutters.
  13. Use a palette knife to transfer the cut-out shapes to a parchment-lined baking tray, placing the cookies about an inch apart.
  14. Repeat with remaining dough. (I only gather the scraps together for the third cutting, and then discard the rest, as I find that by that by the fourth time the scraps are brought together to cut out more cookies, the baked cookie isn’t as tender as the previous batches.)
  15. Bake the cookies for about 12-15 minutes until the edges begin to turn golden.

When I’m feeling lazy, or I don’t have the time or inclination to decorate the baked cookies, I will dip the unbaked, cut-out cookie in caster sugar and bake caster sugar side up. The caster sugar-dipped baked cookie takes on a sparkly finish – no piping bags required.

Royal Icing:

Royal icing dries hard and opaque and is ideal for cookies that can be stacked and transported. I didn’t bother with food colouring here, but you should know that royal icing takes on colour beautifully and will help reinforce any theme you are after. Royal icing is easy to make and easy to decorate with – no superior skills required.

Ingredients:

  • 3 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • 500 grams icing sugar

Method:

  1. Before starting, make sure that the beaters and bowl are free of any grease, and that the egg whites have no trace of yolk in them.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a bowl with a hand held mixer, begin to beat the egg whites and sugar on low speed. After about 30 seconds, increase speed and beat until mixture thickens and stiffens: about 3 minutes.
  3. If you want to colour the mixture, divide the icing into as many cups or bowls as you have colours. Leave some icing uncoloured – it is always good to have some white on hand.
  4. Now is the time, using a palette knife or piping bag, to decorate the cookies.