Nigella inspired us to bake cookies. She’s really good like that. In the lead up to Christmas, the kids and I watched a lot of cooking shows on Food Network (Ch 118 for those with Foxtel).
Even with so many new chefs on new cooking shows, Nigella is still my ABSOLUTE favourite. It’s not so much the recipes, though they all look delicious - it’s the way she describes her ingredients and the processes. Everything sounds sensual. She can be cooking up sardines with sauerkraut (Urgh…) and it all sounds seductive and makes the viewer want to get up and go and eat sardines with sauerkraut (even if we don’t like them).
So anyways, we watched the Nigella Christmas specials and were inspired to make some yumminess and gift them to our new neighbours.
Before we moved to the Village, we lived in a great street. An awesome street. A street where kids would ride bikes at the end of the cul-de-sac (where our house was) until the street lights came on. A street where we’d have impromptu drinks and meals with the neighbours. A street where we could call on each other to collect kids from bus stops or drop kids off at school. Parenting was done by all of the parents, whether it was our child or our neighbours child. Okay, I’d better stop now or the water works will start, again.
We see our new neighbours almost everyday, but only say hello to them when we’re out collecting the mail or walking out to our cars. They’re busy doing their own thing and not used to having kids around.
So, the kids and I decided to take Nigella’s advice at make a Christmassy neighbourly gesture, in a way which we know how. We baked cookies. Lot’s and lot’s of Star Cookies to gift.
We iced them with white icing sugar and tiny silver balls. Once the icing was set, we placed them in noodles boxes with a Christmas tag tied up with bakers twine (I love this stuff) and took great pleasure in handing them out.
They were unexpected gifts and we think those are the best kind.
It’s a big recipe and so there were a lot of cookies left over… which we’ve almost eaten… almost…
Star Cookie Recipe
250g butter (at room temperature)
1 cup icing sugar mixture
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
4 cups plain flour
1 cup pure Icing Sugar and silver 100’s & 1000’s (for decorating)
Preheat oven to 190°C.
Beat the butter and icing sugar mixture with an electric mixer, in a large bowl until it is pale and creamy.
Add the vanilla essence and beat until well combined. Add the eggs, 1 at a time.
Sift the flour over the butter mixture. If your mixer has a dough hook, use this until the mixture comes together, otherwise use a round-bladed knife to mix until the mixture starts to come together.
Now using your hands, bring the dough together in the bowl and divide into 4 equal portions.
Take the first portion of dough and roll out between 2 sheets of baking paper to approximately 1/8” thickness.
Cut out the star shapes and place on lined baking trays.
Bake for approximately 10 minutes or until the cookies appear slightly golden on the edges.
Repeat for the remaining portions of dough.
Cool on a wire rack.
Follow directions on the icing sugar packet to make the icing. Ice. Decorate and let the icing get hard and set before eating.