P086

Christmas Cookies

‘Christmas cookies’ has a certain ring to it, right? The alliteration of it entices you in, then the cuteness makes you stay for a moment longer and then that first bite makes you want to stay forever!

Makes 30

Ingredients

  • 90g (6 tbsp) coconut oil, at room temperature so it’s soft and scoopable (you can use refined coconut oil if you don’t want any coconut taste)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 130g (4.5 oz) soft light brown sugar
  • 85g (3 oz) caster or granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 160ml (5.4 fl oz) coconut milk
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 250g (8.8 oz) plain (all-purpose) flour (or use gluten-free flour plus 1 tsp xanthan gum)
  • 1 tbsp cornflour (cornstarch)
  • 400g (14 oz) vegan chocolate, roughly chopped (half white and half dark, or experiment with what chocolate you add!
  • 150g (5.2 oz) walnuts, toasted and roughly chopped (although you can use any nuts you like, or a combination of different nuts)

For the Royal Icing:

  • 80ml (2.7 fl oz) aquafaba
  • 400g (14.1 oz) icing sugar
  • Extra icing sugar and aquafaba to adjust consistency

Variations and decorations:

  • Add 20g (4 tsp) unsweetened cocoa powder to half the dough to create darker chocolate dough (optional)
  • Vegan-friendly food dyes of choice
  • Sweets (candies)
  • Edible eyes

Method

  1. Place the coconut oil, salt and both sugars in a stand mixer fitted with a balloon whisk attachment (or use a handheld electric whisk) and whisk on high speed until light in colour. Add the vanilla and whisk again. Add the coconut milk and whisk until combined.
  2. Add the baking powder and both flours. Stir by hand until mostly mixed in but some flour is still visible (this is to avoid overmixing and overworking the gluten).
  3. Optional: At this point, you can weigh your dough and divide it equally into 2 bowls, adding cocoa powder to one of the bowls to make a darker dough.
  4. Add the roughly chopped chocolate and nuts (if you have divided the dough as in step 2, then just divide the chocolate and nuts evenly between the 2 bowls. You can also add different types of chocolate and nut to each mixture for 2 very different types of cookies!). Mix until evenly combined. Use an ice-cream scoop to scoop the batter into balls. Don’t smooth them out, just leave them rough. You can either scoop large cookies (about 80g/3 oz each), or smaller scoops (about 40g/1.5 oz) for smaller cookies. Place the balls of dough onto the lined baking sheet, ensuring that there’s a cookie-sized space around each ball of dough as they will spread out.
  5. Chill for 1 hour in the fridge. Just before they have finished their chilling time, preheat the oven to 210°C/400°F/Gas 6½.
  6. Once chilled, bake for 7-9 minutes for smaller cookies or 10-12 minutes for larger cookies. They should be brown on the edges and still soft in the centre. They will look underdone once baked, but they will firm up and continue to cook while they cool, so be careful not to overbake them! Leave them to cool on the baking sheets until they are firm enough to transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.
  7. Make the Royal Icing. Place the aquafaba and icing sugar in a large bowl and whisk until you get a smooth consistency. Add tiny amounts of aquafaba and/or icing sugar to get a good piping consistency.
  8. Once the cookies are cool, colour the Royal Icing with food dyes, then transfer to piping (pastry) bags. Cut the tips of the bags or use a piping tip, then decorate the cookies with various festive faces. You can copy the examples here or create your own!

Recipe from Celebrate with Kim-Joy by Kim-Joy (Quadrille, £20) Photography ©Ellis Perrinder.