Christmas is in the air. Sometimes, I wonder about this expression “in the air”. How does a festival be “in the air”? But if you delve deeper, it really is. For us, in Delhi, the haze, the chilled atmosphere, airing of woolens on terraces and lawns, advent of peanuts and ruby red carrots, shops laced with baubles and bells – all indicate the arrival of Christmas.
It wont be wrong to say, that warmth seeps into the hearts of people during this season. So its truly something “in the air”.
Christmas time is a time to nudge the hibernating cook. If you are one, then all the food shows, all the delicacies in the bakeries might just poke you enough to take out apron and switch on your oven. I say it out of experience – really.
However much I do not want to cook or bake during Christmas, I eventually end up doing something new. I have to, absolutely, have to try something that I have never done before in my oven every year. The cook shows are so contagious that I am almost ashamed of myself if I am not in the kitchen trying out a new cookie.
So this year, I had a reason. Viha’s first school Christmas party required them to bring some snacks to share with the kids. I had very conveniently thought of store brought cookies on the list, but one of my good friend Sonal in Nairobi was baking up quite a Christmassy storm in her kitchen – ginger bread cookies, butter cookies and what not. She inspired me enough to just not be lazy and rustle up a few cookies for the children myself.
Before I knew, there I was kneading the dough and even making the icing. I realized I had to do it this year. I have been dreaming of sugar icing since last Christmas, but ended up making stained glass cookies last Christmas, so this year, I decided I will not give them a miss.
Pretty simple – honestly!
Prep Time – 30 minutes
Baking Time – 12 minutes
Icing Time – as long as you want
Cooling Time – 30 minutes at least
Makes about 30 medium sized cookies
Ingredients for the cookies
2 cups – APF
1 cup – butter
a big pinch salt
1 tspn baking powder
a pinch baking soda
3/4 cup – sugar
Ingredients for the icing
5 tbspn icing sugar
1 tspn – milk
a few drops of red and green colour
Enough water to make a paste
Seive the flour, salt, baking soda and powder together
Beat the butter sugar and egg till light and fluffy
Add this into the flour mixture and knead into a dough. Don’t overknead, just bring together with little kneading.
In a preheated oven make cookies for just 10-12 minutes at about 160 deg. Do not brown or they will be very hard.
Let them cool completely.
Meanwhile just mix the icing sugar and milk with little water to make a thick spreadable paste.
Divide it into two or three containers (as much colours you are using) and add colour.
Once the cookies have cooled using a spoon spread the icing over the cookies
When they are just about setting sprinkle some icing sugar
If you put the icing sugar just when the icing is spread it will be absorbed
If you put the icing sugar after the icing has cooled completely, it wont stick. So just don’t loose track of the icing.