Dear Santa, I made you cookies this year…

…so does that mean I’ll make it to your ‘nice’ list?

I’ve lost track of time, dates, days of the week. Again. Only yesterday did I realise that today was in fact Christmas Eve. Too much going on for me to register.

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“What are you doing for Christmas?” Recurring question. Recurring answer – not much. Or even, nothing at all. Just recharging. Gathering thoughts. Catching up on The Good Wife. Spending time doing things I really like doing. Trying to push the thought of work amongst others out of my mind for a while.

I spent my whole evening last night baking; just simple Sugar Cookies. When I grow older, I refuse to move into a place where a proper kitchen oven is present. That’s all.

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My attempt at making Stained Glass Cookie Decorations.

It was a lot of trial and error, with commentary by my lovely father each time a fresh batch came out of our tiny oven at home. “Why do they look deformed?” “Are you trying to embed diamonds onto cookies?” “Haha this one’s sunburnt.” Love you too dad.

My mum just walked into my room. “Darling you’re so amusing. Why are you guarding the cookies with your dear life? They’re not gold bars you know.” Explanation: I’d just finished photographing these precious shapes, had carefully counted them – 45 ‘windows’, 26 stars and 24 men – and sorted them into Tupperware which were surrounding me. Yes I do realise I’m occasionally ridiculous.

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And I’ll end with one of my favourite Christmas carols…

“Fall on your knees! Oh, hear the angel voices!
O night divine, the night when Christ was born”

Have a Merry Christmas everyone as we anticipate the end of Advent and remember the birth of Jesus Christ.

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Stained Glass Sugar Cookies

For the Sugar Cookies
Ingredients:
375g flour (plus extra for dusting)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
200g unsalted butter, softened
150g sugar
2 eggs

Method:
1.   Cream together the butter, sugar and eggs.
2.   Whisk together the flour and baking powder.
3.   Combine the flour with the butter mixture 1/3 at a time.
4.   Split the dough (it may be fairly sticky). Refrigerate for 2 hours until firm.

To make the “stained glass”
1.   Bash a handful or more of hard rock candy to bits.
2.   Preheat oven to 160 degreesC.
3.   Roll out the dough and press a cookie cutter through to get your shapes. Line a baking tray with baking paper, and place your cookie shapes onto it. Then you can poke holes into it with a straw, or a smaller cookie cutter etc. If the dough gets too soft, put it in the freezer for ten minutes.
5.   Bake for 3 minutes, then take them out, fill the holes with the rock candy bits and put it back into the oven for 2 minutes. Don’t let the candy overboil or it will spit everywhere!
6.   Let the cookie thins cool and the candy to set before lifting them from the baking paper.

But the key to these beauties is…keep them thin. Very thin. And that gingerbread men shapes aren’t the best to work with.

willow outside my window

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