The perfect Christmas cookie gift
My good friend Kathryn is popping over today with gifts for the girls. She is one of my oldest friends and always buys them a gift for Christmas. She’s so generous. We always buy her a birthday present (her birthday is in January – it’s one of those funny set ups) but I thought it would be lovely to give her some home made Christmas cookies as a little treat when she comes for lunch today. I know she loves chocolate. I mean who doesn’t? I decided to make extra chocolatey cookies and give them a Christmas touch. These cookies are pretty quick and easy to make, but they do need to be left over night to harden.
Makes around 30 biscuits (enough to give and to ‘test’)
- 200g unsalted butter- at room temperature
- 200g caster sugar
- 50g cocoa powder
- 350g plain flour
- 1 egg – at room temperature
- 1 tbsp cold water
- 100g white chocolate
- 200g dark chocolate
- Green and red sugar paste for the holly
To make the biscuits
- Heat your oven to 160° and line a baking sheet with baking paper.
- Place all the ingredients into a bowl in one go and mix until just blended, then use your hands to form a soft dough.
- This mixture is quite sticky so it needs to chill in the fridge for at least an hour or you’ll end up with a sticky mess! Wrap the dough in cling film first so it doesn’t dry out.
- When you are ready to roll out the dough, take a little out of the fridge at a time so it doesn’t get too warm and handle it as little as possible. Also, try not to use too much flour when rolling out as it will remain on the baked biscuits. I used a 2 ½ inch circle cutter to create the round cookies and used spacers to ensure each cookie was the same size. Pop them in the oven for 12 minutes or when the edges start to go darker.
- Leave to cool completely on a wire rack once baked.
To decorate the chocolate cookies
- Roll out a small amount of green icing and use a holly leaf cutter (available at or hobbycraft shops) to cut out 1, 2 or 3 leaves for each cookie. Set aside to dry a little, then roll out tiny balls of red sugarpaste. When you have enough press the bottom of the leaves together to secure. Add the berries to the base. If they don’t stick use a tiny amount of water or edible glue to position them.
- Set aside to dry for 10 minutes or so, so you‘ll be able to handle them when you want to put them on the cookies. It’s a good idea to place some baking paper on the plate so the sugarpaste doesn’t get stuck.
- For the top of the Christmas pudding melt the white chocolate in the microwave in a non metallic bowl. I blast it for 30 seconds at a time so it doesn’t burn. Stir between each session till there are no lumps. I have a new toy (more on that next week) it’s a Lekue decopen which is a silicon icing tool. It’s perfect for holding hot melted chocolate without burning your hands and allows me to control where I ‘ice’. You can easily use a plastic icing bag with a nozzle though. If you don’t have either you could use a small spoon but it might take a bit of patience to do it that way! Create an outline of the dribbling icing at the top of each pudding then fill in the space with the chocolate.
- You can simply add the holly at this stage as the cookies look really cute. But for a ‘death by chocolate cookie’ melt the dark chocolate and create the bottom half of the pudding in the same way as the top. Then add the holly and leave to dry overnight
Top tip: When adding the melted chocolate remember that it has a tendency to run so don’t ‘ice’ too close to the edge of the cookie or it will dribble off the side of the cookie and you won’t want to give it as a gift – you’ll have to eat it yourself!!!