Perhaps the most delicious decorations you’ll bake all season, these gluten-free Christmas ornament cookies look as good as they taste. In fact, you won’t want to eat them they’re so gorgeous, you’ll want to hang them on the Christmas tree – and you can if you wish! While a bit more of a challenge than the simple sugar snap cookie, they’re the perfect festive treat to pop in a gift box and the kids will have a merry ol’ time helping you bake them.
For the cookies:
1. Stir together the plain flour mix, ground almonds, xanthan gum, baking powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl.
2. Cream together butter and sugar in a separate mixing bowl until pale and creamy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the egg, lemon zest, and milk until thoroughly incorporated.
3. Gradually beat in the flour mixture until a dough comes together in the bowl; it should pull away easily from the sides of the bowl.
4. Turn out and divide into two. Shape into discs and wrap in parchment paper. Chill for 2 hours.
5. After chilling, preheat the oven to 190°C (170° fan) | 375F | gas 5. Grease and line two large baking trays with parchment paper.
6. Roll out the doughs on a lightly floured surface to about 1/2 cm | 1/4" thickness. Use assorted bauble-shaped cookie cutters to cut out assorted bauble shapes; you can also do this step freehand with a stencil and the tip of a paring knife. Arrange the cut-out dough shapes between the two lined trays, spacing them apart. Use a skewer to bore holes in their tops, large enough to thread string through them.
7. Bake for 10-12 minutes until set and just starting to brown at the edges. Remove the trays from the oven and let the biscuits cool on them for 10 minutes before transferring to wire racks to finish cooling.
For the icings:
8. Combine the icing sugar, meringue powder, and 2 tbsp warm water in a large mixing bowl. Beat with an electric mixer until the icing is thick and glossy, about 6-8 minutes.
9. Gradually thin out the icing to a runny, flooding consistency by beating in a little water at a time until the right consistency is achieved.
10. Cover and let rest for 30 minutes until most of the air bubbles have dispersed.
11. After resting, divide the icing between four or five bowls. Colour each with a different food colouring, mixing thoroughly to ensure uniformity for each colour. Spoon the icings into separate piping bags fitted with a thin, round nozzle.
12. Working carefully, flood the biscuits with the different icings by piping from the outside inwards to the centre of the cookies; stop just short of the border all the way around.
13. Once all the cookies have been flooded with the icings, let them set and dry overnight at room temperature, set on a wire rack.
Prep and cook time: 2 hours | Chilling & resting time: 2 hours 30 minutes | Setting time: 9 hours
- For the cookies:
- 250 g | 9 oz | 2 cups gluten-free plain flour mix, plus extra for dusting, see Tips
- 150 g | 5 oz | 1 1/2 cups ground almonds
- 1 tsp xanthan gum
- 1/2 tsp gluten-free baking powder
- 1 pinch salt
- 240 g | 8 oz | 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 240 g | 8 oz | 1 cup caster sugar
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 2 tsp lemon zest, finely grated
- 2 tbsp milk
- For the icings:
- 500 g | 18 oz | 4 cups icing sugar, plus extra as needed
- 3 tbsp meringue powder
- 2 - 3 tbsp warm water assorted food colourings, green, red, blue, orange, purple, etc.
- white icing pen
- decorative sugar letters, see Tips gold lustre dust
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