I love that Christmas in Australia means so many different things to each and every Australian. For me it is all about family, sun, BBQ’s, beaches, traditions and – oh yes – a few wines!
Christmas Day for me is always spent with extended family, all of whom come from the the Northern Hemisphere. To keep some traditions alive regardless of temperature we all sit down in the middle of the day and consume, roast turkey, roast pork, and array of roast veges and to top it all off pudding and custard. Digestion is spent lolling around in a backyard pool with a glass of wine in hand.
What I truly love and treasure is that some things don’t change and never should…every Christmas lunch we put on our comedy antlers, remember those who have shared our table; raise our glasses to the year that has been and the year to come.
Christmas Cookies are also part of our traditions. I know that Santa loves this recipe and I hope you do too! They wash down with a lovely Botrytis Semillon sitting by the tree on Christmas Eve after the kids have gone to bed, or as a wind down on Christmas night.
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup caster sugar
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1 large egg
- 2 cups flour
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground fresh ginger
- 1 tsp ground cloves
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 450 grams icing sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla paste
- 3 tablespoons double cream
- 1 to 2 tablespoons Irish whiskey, optional
- Heat oven to 200 degrees. Line several baking sheets with parchment paper or nonstick liners.
- Using an electric mixer, beat butter butter with the sugar, molasses and egg until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Slowly beat in flour, baking soda, spices and salt. Really make sure that the spices are well distributed throughout the mixture
- Shape dough into walnut-size balls and place 2 inches apart on baking sheets. Bake until firm, about 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool on wire racks. Keep an eye on the cookies – never leave them alone as they are so easy to burn!
- To make the spreadable icing, beat 4 tablespoons butter and icing sugar until smooth. Add vanilla paste and cream (and whiskey if using).
- Ice the cookies after they’ve cooled.
This will make approx 3 dozen cookies.