The 12 Days of Christmas. Day three: Christmas baking

Cookies1Christmas cookie recipe:

  • 140g icing sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 250g butter, cubed
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 375g plain flour, sifted

  1. Make spontaneous decision that baking Christmas cookies will be fun, festive activity, promoting mother/daughter bonding and creating magical memories. Find simple recipe on BBC website. Realise have none of the required ingredients. Drive to Morrisons.
  2. Purchase ingredients, drive home.
  3. Wash and dry hands. Put on aprons.
  4. Find Christmas play-list on iPod for optimal seasonal soundtrack to magical cookie baking experience.
  5. Pre-heat oven to 170 degrees. Find large mixing bowl, and lay out ingredients.
  6. Say, “Oh, ICING sugar? That’s not the same as regular sugar, right?
  7. Put child into car, while saying, “Just keep the apron on, nobody’s going to see you. I don't care which coat you wear, just put a coat on.” Fight with garage door lock, which seems to have frozen shut, muttering, “Holy FUCK, it’s cold” through chattering teeth, while random man walking dog gives you dirty looks.
  8. Drive to Co-op. Park on double yellow lines. Run into Co-Op, find icing sugar, pay, run back out to car.
  9. Say, “Was it icing sugar or caster sugar? I bet we need caster sugar, too.” 
  10. Rush back into Co-Op. Look for caster sugar. Ignore sneering expression of teenage shop assistant. Buy caster sugar. Drive back home. Park in garage too close to wall, requiring highly undignified clambering out of the car door, which will only open 8 inches. 
  11. Sift icing sugar (not caster sugar) into mixing bowl, with egg yolk, cubed butter, vanilla essence and flour.
  12. Read instructions, realise you’re actually supposed to mix together all the ingredients EXCEPT the flour first. Cookies4
  13. Consider starting again. Check, and realise spare butter in the fridge went out of date in June. Decide to work with what you’ve got.
  14. Mix together ingredients to resemble a light dough using electric mixer. Remember electric mixer doesn't have a fuse since you borrowed it to try and fix a lamp about six months ago.
  15. Pause baking to look for screwdriver to remove fuse from microwave for electric mixer. Switch fuses, and mix ingredients into dough.
  16. Realise ingredients resemble dough in the same way a cat resembles a tree. Decide to add milk. It’s not in the recipe, but it makes it turn into dough, so how can it be wrong?
  17. Roll out the dough to a thickness of approximately half an inch.
  18. Use cutters to cut out festive shapes from the dough.
  19. Realise you don’t have any festive shapes. Decide that, actually, elephants and giraffes are an often overlooked element of the Christmas story, and go with those. Also, tell child that in the stable with Mary and Joseph and baby Jesus, everyone knows there was a Christmas crocodile.
  20. Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes. Unless you have made freakishly large Christmas giraffes and gingerbread men, in which case probably 14 minutes. 
  21. Don’t pick up the cookies until they’re cool. Cause, like, their heads fall off. This tends not to go down well among any four year olds who might be watching.
  22. Allow to cool on a wire rack, then decorate tastefully with icing and sprinkles. Less is more, remember.


Sally is a full-time blogger and founder of the Tots100, Trips100, Foodies100 and HIBS100 communities, along with the MAD Blog Awards. She spends a bit too much time on the Internet. She’s also a very happy Mum to Flea, the world’s coolest ten year old.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. 19th December 2009 / 8:38 am

    I am laughing out loud in recognition. And L is pointing delightedly at the screen going “giraffe! gingerbread man! elephant!”
    So a resounding success I say.

  2. Liz (LivingwithKids)
    19th December 2009 / 10:38 am

    Sally, did you not get the mummy handbook – the one that tells you you must have a fully stocked kitchen at all times? No? Me either. Hilarious. I have to say they look rather delicious after all that effort!

  3. 19th December 2009 / 11:17 am

    How on earth did they taste??!!
    THIS is what Christmas is all about. Doing festive things because, well, that’s what you do innit? But then realising you’re not Mary Poppins or Nigella or Rachel whatsaface and doing a botch job of it like the rest of us.
    Those giraffes totally look like camels if you screw your eyes up a bit.
    Fab. Save me one x

  4. 19th December 2009 / 11:19 am

    I have many, many expereinces like that one. Except I tend to just substitute random things in the cupboard instead of going to the store. But I bet she had a great time!

  5. 19th December 2009 / 11:48 am

    BRILLIANT ! Thank you – have been in tears all day and now am smiling 🙂 Thank you – that is so my life.
    That is lovely.
    I intend to attempt stollen.
    HA! 😀

  6. 19th December 2009 / 12:23 pm

    So fab – and so very scarily, happily familiar (and I’m with Josie – giraffes definitely look like camels if you squint a bit).
    I’ve made you our last Blog Love for 2009 – thank you so much for this. And I bet said 4yr old had a complete blast. Except for the heads-falling-off bit….

  7. 19th December 2009 / 6:06 pm

    Wonderful! bet you have created those magic memories too.

  8. Sally
    19th December 2009 / 10:38 pm

    Thanks everyone. Yes, a good time was had by all, and they tasted – well, okay, considering.
    Camels. How did I not think of that???

  9. 20th December 2009 / 9:45 am

    Utterly brilliant. Must remember the Christmas Crocodile for next year!

  10. 20th December 2009 / 5:54 pm

    Think you should write the ‘realistic cook book’ – bloody Nigella and Delia never cover these angles.

  11. 21st December 2009 / 2:49 pm

    Fabulous. Just like baking at our house, also an annual event and just a chaotic! I thought about making mince pies, but instead sent Andy out to the shops for some – it’s for the best 🙂
    I hope you and Flea have a wonderful Christmas x

  12. 22nd December 2009 / 8:53 am

    LOL – Christmas giraffes would be a step up in our house. For biscuits we have a choice of my circle cutters or a pack of weird abstract shapes from IKEA.