Saturday, 9 June 2007

Christmas Decorations

Of all the Christmas rituals up for adoption, making these is probably the most satisfying - Nigella Lawson

These are very satisfying biscuits to make. I spent a happy Friday afternoon off work making these for our Christmas in June celebrations. They were great fun.

The Verdict

Unusual or substituted ingredients - As Nigella often does, she uses Dark Muscovado sugar. I remember when I first started cooking her recipes about 6 years ago, Muscovado sugar was something you only found in speciality shops. Now, you can get it any supermarket. As RoseRed does, I often substitute it with regular brown sugar, but this was a special event so I went the whole hog and got some. It's so dense and sticky. I love it.

Also, as per Nigella's advice at the front of the recipe, I cut down on the 1-2 tsp of ground pepper. She advises that if children will be eating these, you can leave it out, which I did. I might try them some time with the pepper, but given a 3 year old was supposed to be eating them, I thought it best not to include it.

Special Utensils or Cookware - It just so happened that I had some Christmas shaped cookie cutters that a friend gave me last Christmas. So I didn't have to buy anything special for these.
Repeatability - For sure. I would like to make these every Christmas and probably will. I'll also make the holes in them bigger next time. They're designed to be Christmas tree decorations, but the holes I put in them closed up a bit during baking so they wouldn't really be big enough for the kind of string you'd want to use for hanging them on a tree.

Sauciness - They're delightfully satisfying, as Nigella promises. They deliver completely. There's nothing like a tray full of these pretty little things with their silver balls and crisp, snow white icing.

Even lined up for baking they look perfectly adorable.

Overall pleasure level - Like I said, I'll be adding these to my Christmas repertoire. They're wonderful. I'm giving them a 9.5 out of 10.

I'll leave you with this one photo. I spent the afternoon trying to figure what on earth this was? A penguin? Nope. It's Santa. Now I can see it, it's obvious. But for at least a couple of hours, I just wasn't sure.