Christmas baking is a fabulous way to take some time out and enjoy the festive season.
Grab your apron, put on your favourite Christmas music, and gather your ingredients as you prepare to bake some delightful holiday cookies.
Home-baked biscuits make perfect Christmas food gift ideas to give to friends and family.
Keep your Christmas eco-friendly by placing them in reusable containers and recyclable packaging for a heartfelt homemade gift, or take them on a plate to share at a Christmas party.
Here are three festive biscuit recipes to inspire your Christmas baking:
Great-grandma’s Christmas shortbread
½ cup castor sugar, plus ¼ cup for dusting
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups self-raising flour
¾ cup rice flour
Preheat the oven to 150°C.
Cream the butter and sugar together, then add the vanilla. Then sift the flours over the butter mixture and gently combine into a soft, smooth dough.
Once the dough has formed, divide into four portions.
Sprinkle some self-raising flour onto a clean bench. Place a portion of dough on top of the sprinkled flour and roll it out until it is approximately 1cm thick. Repeat for the remaining dough portions until all pieces are rolled out.
Using a sharp knife, score each rolled out piece of dough into even pieces of any shape – e.g. squares, triangles, rectangles.
Place the pieces on a tray lined with baking paper, dust with castor sugar and prick gently with a fork. Then, bake them in the oven at 150°C for 30-40 minutes until the edges are just golden.
Remove the shortbread from the oven and allow to cool before storing them in an airtight container.
Christmas spice gingerbread biscuits
250g butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup golden syrup
5 cups plain flour
4 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
Preheat the oven to 160°C.
Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until pale and smooth. Then add the golden syrup and ground ginger until the ingredients are well combined.
Gradually mix in the flour and bicarbonate of soda until a smooth dough forms.
Sprinkle some flour on a clean surface before rolling out the dough to 1cm thick. Use a cookie cutter to cut out individual biscuits.
Place the biscuits on a baking tray and bake in the oven at 160°C for 8-10 minutes.
Remove the biscuits from the oven and allow to cool.
Decorate the biscuits with a dusting of icing sugar or with royal icing. Or simply enjoy them plain.
Note: this recipe makes a large quantity (approximately 50 biscuits). Simply halve the recipe to make less.
Festive chocolate chip cookies
125 g butter, melted
¾ cup packed light brown sugar
¼ cup white sugar
2 tablespoons golden syrup
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 ½ cups plain flour
¼ teaspoon baking soda
⅓ teaspoon salt
1 cup chocolate chips, plus ¼ cup extra for topping
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Sit the butter out at room temperature until it softens.
Cream the butter and sugars until pale and the sugar has dissolved. Add the egg, golden syrup and vanilla, and combine until just mixed through.
Then add the flour, baking soda, and salt, and mix well. If needed, add a little extra flour so the mixture is smooth but not sticky. Fold in the chocolate chips.
Take a tablespoon of the mixture and roll into a ball. Repeat for the entire mixture until all the dough has been made into balls.
Arrange the balls of dough on a tray lined with baking paper, allowing space for the cookies to spread. Press down gently on each ball to partially flatten. Press the remaining chocolate chips onto the top of each cookie.
Place the cookies in the oven and bake for 10-12 minutes.
The cookies should be baked until just golden around the edges. Tip: Do not overbake the cookies as they will set hard once they have cooled.
Once the cookies have cooled, store them in an airtight container.