Spice & Chocolate Christmas Cookies

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These are amazing cookies. They are crunchy and full of flavour, and if you take some time to decorate them, you can even hung them from your Christmas tree as little ornaments.

The list of spices is rather long but if all you have is cocoa powder, cinnamon and ginger, you’ll still manage to make pretty decent cookies with this recipe. I’ll recommend you try to gather as many of the spices in the recipe though, because it really makes a difference to the final product.

Ingredients (makes 18-25 depending on size of cutters):

2 cups of flour

2 fat tablespoons of  cocoa powder (I use Bournville, which has no added sugar and is very good)

3/4 cup of honey

80 g coconut oil (or you can replace it with 100g butter)

1 egg.

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground  ginger

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon cardamom

(and if you manage to get your hands on some: 1/2 a tonka  bean, grated.)

Zest of 1 lemon

pinch of salt

To decorate: 

250 g icing sugar

1 egg white

1/2 teaspoon lemon juice.

Sprinkles, m&ms, edible glitter etc.

How to:

1.- In a bowl mix the flour, baking powder, spices, salt and grated tonka bean.

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2.- In another bowl beat the honey with the coconut oil (or butter) at room temperature until the mixture becomes creamy,  light and pale.

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3.- Add the egg and lemon zest to the mixture of honey and coconut oil. Whisk until the mixture is smooth (it will look as if it were curdling at first, but keep whisking until everything comes together).

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4.- Add the dry ingredients and using  wooden spoon mix everything until you have a pliable, soft dough. If the mixture is too dry (this happened to me because my egg was too small), add either 1 egg yolk and keep the egg whites for the royal icing, or slowly add some milk (a bit at a time, remember you don’t want you dough to be too wet).

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5.- Place in the fridge, wrapped in cling film for 1 hour. If you want, you can keep this dough in the freezer for up to 1 month; then take it out the night before you want to use it and place in the fridge. In the morning it will be ready to be rolled and cut out.

6.- After an hour, roll the dough out in between two sheets of baking paper. Roll to a 3mm thickness. Then cut your cookies and place them in the fridge, again, for 1 hour (or freezer for 15 minutes) before baking.

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7.- Bake for 7 minutes in a preheated oven at 180. They should be dry and only slightly browned. Place in a rack to cool…

DSC08520While the cookies cool down, you can prepare the icing by whisking together the egg white with the icing sugar and a few drops of lemon juice…

DSC08522Whisk for 5 minutes, until you get a soft, creamy texture. Your icing should be runny enough that you can pipe it easily, but not so runny that it dribbles down the cookie.

To decorate, you can pipe different designs, add some sparkles for colour or simply follow the edges of each cookie with a bit of white icing.

Make sure you have everything you need before you start decorating, as that will keep mess to a minimum.

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Enjoy Christmas better with some home-made treats!

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Namaste,

Paula

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