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"We didn’t want the rest of NZ to miss out on so many delicious opportunities for gifting and sharing with loved ones so here are our three favourite recipes."

Give the gift of deliciousness with our top 3 Christmas cookie recipes from our very own Great Bakers!

With Christmas well and truly upon us, this month we challenged our wonderful Great Bakers to share their favourite Christmas recipes in our Inaugural Westgold Great Christmas Cookie Swap. From chocolate gingerbread, jaffa cookies and other kiwi classics, to gorgeous ornamental stained glass windows, to traditional recipes from around the world they really pulled out all the stops to share and add joy to each other’s holidays!

 

We didn’t want the rest of NZ to miss out on so many delicious opportunities for gifting and sharing with loved ones so here are our three favourite recipes - we know they’ll become firm family favourites in no time!

For more of their recipes and a whole lot of support and laughs join the fun in the Westgold Great Bakers Facebook group.

Neelu’s Nankhatai

Gorgeous golden morsels full of heady cardamom and pistachio

Neelu Cookies2

Ingredients:
115 grams melted and cooled ghee or Westgold salted butter
1/2 cup (100 grams) fine semolina
1/2 cup (70 grams) plain flour
1/2 cup (60 grams) chickpea flour
3/4 cup (150 grams) caster sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon ground cardamom
½ cup chopped pistachio kernels

 

Instructions:
Heat the oven to 170 degrees celsius.
Melt the butter and set it aside to cool.
Sift together the semolina, flours, baking soda and cardamom. Add the sugar and mix well .
Add butter a little at a time and mix with your hand to make a dough. It needs to be soft and a bit crumbly but will hold together without sticking to your hands - you may not need all the butter depending on how generously you scoop the cups and what brands of flours you are using.
Make the dough into balls using about 2 teaspoons of dough per ball. If the dough is not holding together in balls add a little more melted butter but be sparing - the dough should just hold together and too much will make the cookies spread.
Dip each ball into a small bowl of chopped pistachios so they have a patch of pistachios on one side.
Put the balls onto a baking paper lined cookie sheet pistachio side up. Don’t flatten the balls.
Bake for 15 to 18 minutes until browning lightly at the edges. You will need to watch them closely.
Make sure you use fresh chickpea flour for the best flavour.

 

Avis’s Classic Shortbread

Beautifully buttery and perfect for gifting!

Avis Shortbread3

Ingredients:
225 grams Westgold salted butter
¾ cup (150 grams) caster sugar
½ cup (70 grams) wheaten cornflour
2 cups (280 grams) plain flour plus a little extra in case

 

Instructions:
Heat the oven to 150 degrees celsius.
Cream the butter and sugar until very fluffy and pale.
Add the cornflour and plain flour and mix on low speed until combined. If the dough doesn’t come away from the sides of the bowl and together in a ball add more flour a tablespoon at a time until it does.
Tip the dough out and give it a gentle knead to bring it together.
Roll the dough into a log. You can make it whatever diameter suits the size of shortbread you like. Cut 1 centimetre thick slices and place them on cookie sheets lined with baking paper. Leave some room between them.
Bake the shortbread until just firm on top. You don’t want them to colour at all. How long they take depends on how big they are, but start checking after 10 minutes and watch them carefully.

 

Heather’s Stained Glass Cookies

Almost too pretty to eat..almost!

Heather Cookies2

Ingredients:
For cookies:
350 grams Westgold unsalted butter
2 cups (400 grams) of sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
5 cups (700 grams) of plain flour (or substitute Edmonds Gluten Free blend)
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
Stain glass windows:
1 and ½ cups (300 grams) sugar
1 and ¼ cups (300ml) water
Colouring as needed
Other decorations as desired.

 

Instructions:
For the Cookies
Cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Add eggs one at a time and beat well in between.
Stir in flour, baking powder and salt. Mix with a spoon, then with hands until it all comes together. The dough is quite a soft dough, it should come together easily bit shouldn't be sticky. Don't be tempted to add more flour, once it chills it is easy to work with.
Separate the dough into 3 or 4 sections and wrap in glad wrap. Chill in the fridge for at least an hour - it’s important not to skip this step!
When dough is chilled, turn oven to 190 degrees celsius.
Use a section of dough at a time and roll in between 2 sheets of baking paper until about 5mm thick. Cut out shapes as desired and trim excess dough. You can reroll the dough as needed. Because we're making window cookies, use any shape to cut out the centre of your cookies where your windows will go.
Use baking paper to line the cookie sheets so when you add the windows they don’t stick.
Bake for 7 minutes or just starting to brown around the edges. While the cookies are cooling, make the 'glass windows'.

For the Windows
Put the sugar and water in a saucepan and bring to the boil. You don’t need to stir the syrup. Have your cookies ready still on their cookie sheets and any colour or flavour you want to add to the windows ready so you can focus on what you’re doing.
Boil until sugar temperature reaches hard crack stage. I always use a thermometer - it needs to be 150 degrees celsius. Once it is getting close, add your desired colour.
Then spoon into the middle of your cookies.
Allow to cool completely, don't touch or let kids near until they’re cold!
Then add your decorations as you wish!

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