My essential Christmas cookies recipes

I love baking any time of the year, but I really get into it at Christmas. I always made the classic gingerbread cookie, but over the years I’ve tried out a few new festive cookie recipes that have become staples in my Christmas baking.

I have three main cookies that I love making this time of year, two are spiced and one is just super festive looking. Baking cookies is such a great way to bring the family together, whether to bake or just to help out with decorating, so hopefully these recipes will inspire you to get baking this Christmas!

GINGERBREAD COOKIES

Traditional, spicy and great on their own or loaded with icing and decorations.

You will need:

  • 300g self-raising flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom
  • a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 50g butter
  • 3 tbsp golden syrup
  • 4 tbsp milk

How to make:

  1. Preheat the oven to 160ºC and line your baking trays with greaseproof paper (you should need two).
  2. Place flour, salt and spices into a bowl and mix well.
  3. In a separate bowl, add the sugar, butter and syrup and allow to melt in the microwave for around 30 secs. Add this to the dry mixture and mix until fully combined.
  4. Add milk and mix to a firm consistency. If your dough looks too dry, and small splashes of milk at a time until it forms a smooth dough.
  5. Roll out the dough and cut into shapes of your choosing, you should get around 40 gingerbread cookies from this mixture.
  6. Place the cookies onto your baking tray and bake for 10-15 minutes, turning halfway through.
  7. Leave to cool on a wire rack. Once cooled, decorate however you like! I love using edible glitter and icing to get really creative.

SPICED SUGAR COOKIES

Buttery and super spiced, these cookies should melt in your mouth and leave you feeling warm and festive.

You will need:

FOR COOKIES:

  • 110g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 125ml sunflower oil
  • 100g granulated sugar, plus extra for sprinkling on top
  • 100g icing sugar
  • large egg
  • 2 tsp vanilla paste
  • 260g self-raising flour
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves

FOR ICING:

  • 200g icing sugar
  • 2tbsp milk (add more or less depending on how thick you want your icing)
  • 1/2tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2tsp ginger
  • a whole nutmeg for grating on top

How to make:

  1. Preheat the oven to 170ºC and line a baking tray (or two, if you’re making smaller cookies) with greaseproof paper.
  2. Using an electric whisk, beat the butter in a large bowl on medium speed for about a minute, or until it’s light and fluffy.
  3. Add the sunflower oil and mix on medium speed until somewhat combined – it may not fully incorporate and look slightly curdled but that’s totally okay.
  4. Next, add the granulated sugar, icing sugar, egg and vanilla and beat on medium speed until fully combined.
  5. Stir in the flour, salt and spices with a wooden spoon. I like to add the flour in sections so that it’s easier to mix in and creates a smoother dough.
  6. The dough will be incredibly soft, so freeze it for 15 minutes to make it easier to handle.
  7. Once your cookie dough is done in the freezer, you can start to place them onto the baking tray. I like to do this with an ice cream scoop to get a rounder, more even cookie – use half a scoop for a smaller cookie and a full scoop for a larger cookie. Press the dough evenly with your fingers to flatten them just a little, and generously sprinkle the tops with granulated sugar.
  8. Bake for 8-10 minutes for smaller cookies, or 12-14 minutes for larger cookies.
  9. Whilst the cookies are baking, you can start on the icing! Add the icing sugar, cinnamon and ginger to a bowl and stir to ensure that all the ingredients are evenly distributed. Mix in the milk (I like to do it a tablespoon at a time so I can control the thickness of the icing better) until you have a smooth, glossy icing.
  10. Let the cookies cool on a wire rack for about 15-20 minutes before icing.
  11. Add as much or as little icing as you want to the tops of these cookies, and then finish with a grating of fresh nutmeg.

FESTIVE CONFETTI SUGAR COOKIES

Inspired by the the sprinkle-filled Birthday Cake, this is a classic vanilla cookie with a little festive twist.

You will need:

  • 375g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 225g softened butter
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla paste
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • green, red and white sprinkles – I don’t put a limit on these, sprinkle to your heart’s desire

How to make:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC and line your baking sheet with greaseproof paper.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt.
  3. In another bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg, vanilla and milk and mix until combined.
  4. Gradually add the dry mixture to the wet, mixing until fully combined.
  5. Separate the two mixtures and mix in sprinkles to only one dough, reserving sprinkles for decoration.
  6. Shape the two mixtures into a patty-like shape and wrap in cling film. Leave to sit in the freezer for about 15 minutes.
  7. Once the dough is well chilled, begin rolling on a floured surface until 1/8″ thick. Cut out circles from each dough, and roll the edges of the non-sprinkled cut outs into the remaining sprinkles. If they are having difficulty sticking, use a little water or milk first and then roll into the sprinkles. Feel free to decorate the sprinkled mixture with extra sprinkles as well – you can never have too many sprinkles at Christmas (how many times can I say sprinkles?)!
  8. Transfer the cookies to your baking sheet and place back into the freezer for a further 10 minutes.
  9. Bake the cookies for around 8-10 minutes, then leave to cool on a wire rack. Once cooled, they’re ready to serve!

So those are my three essential Christmas cookie recipes! I hope you guys enjoyed this post, let me know if you try any of these recipes and which one was your favourite. See you next time,

A x

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