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As a child, time stood still as we neared Christmas. Mamma and I would drift off into a magical world of our own. Christmas Carols by Boney M would be on repeat and the smell of caramel, vanilla and butter would gently waft through our little apartment as mamma turned out goody after goody with me as her little helper. “Life is not measured in bank balances but rather in memories,” Mamma would say.
I’m now a mum myself and I take her wisdom very much to heart as my kids and I gather around our kitchen bench top to make memories each year. I marvel at both their ability to bicker and their ability to wolf down treats as soon as they leave the oven! Butter Cookies are by far my children’s favourite Christmas treat – allowing them to get creative by cutting out shapes of their choice. Contrary to my son’s belief, dirty hands don’t enhance the flavour.
The ideal Butter Cookie is one that holds its shape during the baking process to emerge as a golden piece of flaky, buttery, vanilla goodness. I’d like to get all fancy and recommend exclusive ingredients but really, this is just a humble treat that tastes wonderful with any brand of ingredients.
- 170gm butter (softened just enough to hold a fingerprint)
- 150gm powdered sugar
- 1 large egg
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp almond extract
- 280gm flour
- 1/2n tsp baking powder
- Using an electric hand mixer, beat butter until creamy.
- Add sugar and continue beating until fluffy.
- Add egg, vanilla and almond extract and beat till well combined.
- Combine baking powder and flour in a bowl.
- Sift the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients little by little and keep beating at a low speed until the dough is just combined. DO NOT overbeat.
- Add 1 or 2 tbsp extra flour if needed to adjust the dough to rollable consistency.
- Divide dough into two equal parts. Roll into ¼ inch thick discs, cling wrap and refrigerate for an hour.
- Once chilled, roll out and cut shapes with cookie cutters of choice.
Bake in preheated oven at 175 deg C for around 8-10 minutes or until the edges of the cookies just start to become golden.
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