Wow, I can’t believe how long it’s been since my last blog post…yikes, time surely does fly.
It’s been a busy ol’ time, buying a house, selling our apartment, all that goes with that (paperwork, paperwork and more paperwork followed by appointments, cleaning, sorting, more paperwork, finding a new school…) and also (almost) completing my yoga teacher training course…and last week our lovely boy turned 7, I’ve posted a few pics of his birthday treats over on my Instagram account and been asked if I’d share the recipe so here we go…I tried a few different recipes and this one is really good, the cookies keep their shape, don’t spread in the oven and taste good too. *don’t even think about using a shortbread recipe…what a waste of time THAT was!
I used a Fox cookie cutter by Emporte-Piéces at MeriMeri and then I made a little cardboard stencil out of the packaging to use for dusting on the cacao powder.
Ingredients: (makes around 35 cookies when you keep rolling out the off cuts and cutting more)
- 1 cup (8 ounces) of unsalted butter, softened (room temp)
- 1 1/2 cups of castor sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 tsp of Pure Vanilla Extract
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 4 cups (17 ounces) of All-Purpose Flour (use white flour to get the pale colour of the cookie)
- Cacao powder for dusting (optional)
- wooden cocktail stick to make the indents for the eyes.
- Preheat the oven to 375f / 190c degrees.
- Sift the flour into a bowl and set aside.
- Place butter in a bowl and beat until smooth. I used my KitchenAid to do this but you can do it by hand.
- Add the sugar and mix until combined.
- Add eggs one at a time mixing well in between each addition.
- Add the vanilla, salt and baking powder and mix well.
- Mix in the flour one cup at a time and mix just until the ingredients are combined. Do not over mix.
- Divide the dough into 3 balls and place in the fridge for about 10 mins, this helps the gluten to develop so you can roll it out without it breaking up.
- Roll each one out on a mat (I rolled out onto baking paper then layered them up on to a baking tray), roll them out to about 3mm deep, any thinner and you risk the cookies breaking too easily. Then pop them into the freezer for 10-15 minutes and cut out your cookie shapes and bake 7-9 minutes. It is important to freeze them first as this really helps them keep their firm shape.
- Once I had cut them out I placed them onto baking paper on an oven tray, then used the stencil I’d made and dusted them carefully with the cacao powder using a soft brush (I have a craft brush I keep for this job), made the little indents for the eyes with the cocktail stick and popped them in the oven, I did one tray at a time for around 8 mins each, place them on a wire rack too cool and then stop the kids from wanting to eat them all 🙂
The paper bags in the image above are simply stitched rectangles of baking paper filled with dried fruit (I used cranberries and raisins) and some chocolate covered pepernoten and raisins, I wanted a simple non-plastic treat for the kids to enjoy. #uselessplastic