I know a few of you grinches will scoff at anything Christmas-themed before December 1 (which is tomorrow, if I may remind you), or whenever you believe the Christmas season really begins. But, surprise, surprise, I love Christmas. And I love making the most of Christmas! Now, that doesn’t mean you’re at risk of random explosions of tinsel if you’re at my house, or that I’ll be obnoxiously singing Christmas carols non-stop in public (I like to think I have a bit of restraint and self-awareness…), but it does mean that Christmas sometimes starts before December! And for those of you who are especially observant, you will have noticed that I’ve sneakily been wearing a Christmas jumper throughout the year – thank you sister who lives in the UK (no one does Christmas like the UK!), just because it’s super comfortable, but still, that’s commitment to Christmas!
Needless to say, Christmas involves food. Lots and lots of food. That’s where I come in (I say that, but let’s be real – I’m the only one in the house who does anything Christmassy before the day). But I think the food may be my strong suit, and it’s certainly key to the season. So this will not be the last Christmas-themed blog post I do this year (take that, grinches).
If you’re a grinch, this will sound absurd, but it’s true: I never know what to make at Christmas. There are way too many options – I mean really: mince pies (obviously), gingerbread, (but then there are gingerbread houses and they honestly take a whole day…), but you also need a pudding, and then there’s white Christmas, and fudge (all the types of fudge – there are literally 50 different flavours you could make!), all the different types of sweet bread, cookies, and then there are just general peppermint-flavoured things, and I haven’t even started on the drinks yet (or the craft)!! And perhaps this is why I embrace the Christmas season so much – simply because it gives you much more time to bake all the things! And believe me, I need it! This pantry will be stocked full of Christmas food if I have anything to do with it!
So here’s the first blog post of the Christmas season, there will be more…
225g soft unsalted butter
1 cup caster sugar
1 large egg
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups plain flour
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 tsp salt
- Cream butter and sugar together in the bowl of an electric mixer on a medium speed for about a minute.
- Add egg and vanilla and beat to combine.
- Gradually add flour, cocoa and salt and beat on low speed until combined. Stop beating as soon as the mixture is combined, otherwise you will over beat it.
- Turn out the dough and roll out to a width of about 4mm between 2 large pieces of baking paper to prevent it sticking to the bench. Leave in the fridge for an hour to cool.
- Remove the dough from the fridge and cut out cookie shapes. Place the cookies on a lined baking tray. Chill again in the fridge for about 10 minutes, this will prevent them from spreading too much in the oven.
- Preheat your oven to 180C fan forced and bake cookies for 8-12 minutes keeping an eye on them, or until the center of the cookie longer looks dry.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before decorating.
Happy Christmas Baking!