I haven’t been baking this month! At all! Usually during the pre-Christmas period my oven never gets a rest and the flat is filled with tins and tins of cookies, cakes and experimental festive baked goods. But this year’s been pretty bad.
This December my life suddenly got caught up in a snow storm – not a pretty one with nice big flakes, but a real bad-ass storm. Not fun. So, I had and still have to deal with that first. On top of it all I had to move flat again – for the 10th time in 8 years! I can tell you, I’ve had enough!
So, I haven’t been baking. At all. Thankfully I’d made these cookies at the end of November, full of optimism and looking forward to the festive period… So here you go, enjoy them. I’ll try and be good in the new year and be again the fabulous baking queen you’re used to! ★
Makes about 40
2 tbsp golden syrup
1 egg yolk
280g flour, plus extra for dusting
3 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 tsp powdered cloves
1 tsp powdered ginger
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp powdered walnuts
1-2 tbsp tepid water
1 tsp merri white (powdered egg white)
200g icing sugar
For the cookie dough, mix the butter, golden syrup and sugar in a big bowl. Add the egg and beat until you have a smooth mixture.
In a separate bowl, mix the flour, spices, salt and walnuts. Gradually add to the butter mixture and mix until you get a nice smooth dough.
Roll the dough into a ball, cover in cling film and let it rest in the fridge for 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 190° celsius.
Take the dough out of the fridge and roll out on a floured surface to the thickness of a pound coin. Cut out with star-shaped cookie cutters and put onto a baking sheet.
Bake in the preheated oven for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer onto a wire rack and let cool completely.
For the royal icing, slowly mix the water and the merri white, until you have a smooth mixture without too many bubbles.
In batches, sieve the icing sugar into the merri white mixture and mix with a handmixer set on the lowest level. You should get a nice stiff royal icing, add water if it’s too stiff. You can cover the surface of the royal icing with cling film and keep it in the fridge for 3 days.
Put the royal icing into a piping bag and decorate the cookies in various nice patterns.