Happy new week folks!
I simply can't believe how quickly December has come. It really feels like only yesterday I was going crazy for all things pumpkin... and now... well, it's ALL about COOKIES!
As the fact that we are in December wasn't crazy enough, the thought of Christmas in 3 weeks gives me panic attacks. Why? Well, because believe it or not, I've got nothing ready! My parents are coming over to stay with us over Christmas, and I think I will wait with preparing everything until they are here (Dad, if you are reading this, I'm just kidding, EVERYTHING will be ready for your arrival!).
The only thing that I do, and will have ready, are cookies. Because I've been baking them like crazy over the last few weeks (have you noticed?). And who can blame me, when they taste utterly delicious and make your house smell like heaven! Plus, it's a little tradition of mine, to bake festive cookies as soon as December is here, and start giving them away to my friends. I'd like to think it puts them into a festive spirit, and generally cheers everyone up. Who doesn't feel happy, when presented with a giant bag of homemade cookies?
And today's recipe, for these melt-in-your-mouth cinnamon & maple snowflake cookies is one of my latest additions to these goody bags I give away. Because you do need a good selection of cookies in your goody bag, and one type of cookie is simply not enough. This year, I'm planning on including the following selection:
And naturally, these cinnamon cookies with hints of maple.
I absolutely LOVE cinnamon cookies. Any kind of cinnamon cookie is good for me. The smell and the taste are just THE BEST, and I've never met anyone, who doesn't adore cinnamon cookies.
Plus, just like my gingerbread men cookies, these will double up as Christmas tree decorations. And you don't really need a fancy cutters to make them. Any cookie cutters will do!
The only reason why I'm calling them 'snowflake' cookies, is simply because of the cutters I've used. And like with most cut-out cookies, the secret to sharp and neat edges is in chilled dough. Do not skip this part, because it's crucial. Especially if using intricate cookie cutters, like I did. They do have a bit of bad reputation, for being difficult to work with, time consuming, and fiddly. However, having a super chilled dough will be much easier to work with, and cutting the shapes will go much smoother, trust me!
That's why, with this recipe for cinnamon & maple snowflake cookies, the dough is rolled before being chilled. Once it's chilled and out of the fridge, cutting out even the fanciest of shapes will be a piece of cake (or a cookie). Also, because of these intricate cookie cutters I've used, I'm not adding any raising agents to the ingredients. However, if you are using classic, traditional cookie cutters, you can add ½ tsp of baking powder to the flour mix. Also, this recipe worked with buckwheat flour, which means you can make it gluten-free if needed to be.
Cinnamon & Maple Snowflake Cookies
- 300 g all-purpose flour
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 180 g dairy free butter or spread (softened)
- 150 g soft brown sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 ½ tsp maple extract
Icing sugar to decorate (optional)
- In a medium bowl, combine flour, salt and cinnamon.
- Using an electric mixer, beat together butter/ spread and sugar until creamy and smooth. Add vanilla extract and maple extract, and beat for about 2 minutes.
- Add flour mixture and beat on low speed until just combined. If the mixture feels too soft, add 1 tbsp of flour, if it feels too dry, add 1 tbsp of dairy free milk.
- Divide the dough into two equal parts. Roll out each part of the dough onto the baking parchment to about ¼ inch thickness. Transfer the rolled out dough onto baking trays and chill for at least 2 hours. You can also chill the dough overnight, just remember to cover the dough with cling film so it won't dry out in the fridge.
- When the dough is chilled, preheat the oven to 170 C. Prepare your baking trays, and line them up with baking parchment. Take one of the dough pieces out of the fridge and using your cookie cutter, cut into desired shapes. Transfer to prepared baking trays and bake for 8 minutes, rotating cookies half way through to ensure more even bake.
- Re-roll any leftover dough (chill again if necessary) and repeat until you have used up all of the dough.