I here by open up the festivities: Vanilla cookies to start the Christmas madness I usually fall into at this time
It's finally December so I am now allowing a full on Christmas mood to hit the blog and my household as well. I intend to make it all about this season, which is undoubtedly one of my favourites. Again, I stress we are not religious so we do not live Christmas time in the traditional sense, for us it is not about some saviour being born, but about warmth and light, about togetherness and family, about homeliness, joy, good cheer and the sharing. It's about magic and imagination, too, and these are things so dear to my heart, as you must have already figured.
It's about decorating the house to make it look that little bit extra special, filled with cheer and joy, filled with magic too, beauty always and meaning. Christmas will not mean the same thing to all people. Some don't even like this time of the year. I adore it so much I tend to go overboard. And decorating the house with props that are specific to this time of year, is always the first step, and my most favourite. Then it's all about the gifts, I love planning Christmas gifts and taking the time to put together small tokens of our love and appreciation for friends and family. I always try to give books and cookies, because I associate these with Christmas.
One of the biggest pleasures in life, for me, is sitting down with a book, a wooly throw, a steaming cup of tea and a couple of biscuits to go along. Even if it's only for twenty minutes, half an hour, this to me is joy - nearly as much as writing is. I remember always getting books for Christmas when I was a kid. Not many toys, not like nowadays, but there was always one book. I think that's why I wanted to be a writer all my life, books brought me so much pleasure growing up and still do, I believe them to be the best thing on earth. Books and cookies, that is.
So if you're stocking up on Christmas presents already, and if you, like me, enjoy the gifting of homemade goods, cookies and biscuits are always a great idea. Vanilla cookies fill the house with a heavenly scent, so while you're baking them, you're actually immersing yourself on good old Christmas cheer as well - have some carrols playing along while you cook and indulge in a bit of sherry, you'll be living the life, I tell ya! Want to try your hand at these? Here's how you go about it:
- 250 gr cold butter
- 350 gr flour
- 175 gr dark muscovado sugar
- 1 vanilla pod, seeds scraped - use the husk to make vanilla extract or sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp baking pwder
Mix the baking powder and flour together, and add the vanilla seeds. Pour over a clean, cold surface and prise a hole in the middle. Now, start adding the sugar, butter, and egg. Combine all ingredients into a dough. Knead it very softly, and wrap in cling film, refrigerating it for half an hour at least. Then bring the dough out and roll it quickly over a floured surface, cutting it into the shapes you want. Transfer cookies to a baking tray lined with baking parchement and bake in the oven for about 12 minutes at 170º. Keep them in a mason jar, scatter them around your Christmas table, enjoy them after a meal with a cup of coffee, or spread the love around and give them to your friends and family.