One Christmas when I was little my cousin let me in on a little secret. He is 6 years older than me so much wiser and we were chatting about Santa. He said to me ‘if you ever hear Santa on Christmas Eve, keep your eyes shut and don’t try to catch a peek of him. If you look, he won’t visit you again.’
From that day on I never once opened my eyes if I heard Santa at the bottom of my bed. Even since I moved out of home four years ago I have returned to mum and dad’s house to stay on Christmas Eve so that Santa knows where to find me. Yes we’re even staying there next week despite the fact that I’m now 27 and a married woman. In my eyes you’re never too old for Santa!
I feel terribly guilty to admit it but while I’ve been hanging my stocking on Christmas Eve every year, it has been a long time since I’ve left a little treat for Santa to thank him for his gifts. Oh how he used to enjoy his milk and cookies (I think we even left him a beer one year which he liked even more than the milk!).
When I saw this month’s Sweet Adventures Blog Hop theme was ‘sweets for Santa’ I knew this was my year to make up for years of neglect. Seeing as Santa has to visit so very many houses and I’m sure he receives treats from nearly everyone, I thought teeny tiny biscuits might be more his style with a little sip of milk.
He can pop one chocolate spiced shortbread star in his mouth then take the jar filled with the rest home to share with Mrs Claus and all the elves. They do deserve a reward for all their hard work after all.
I’m sure they’ll appreciate the buttery biscuit. They’ll love the way it crumbles in their mouths with just a tender bite and the way the spices burst in every mouthful, that is if they make it home with Santa. He mightn’t be able to resist eating them all himself.
It’s a bit of a strange recipe this one with the only ‘wet’ ingredient being the butter. Try as I might just just couldn’t get the dough to come together so I added a little bit of yoghurt. That seemed to do the trick and it came together nicely.
Now all my American readers I mean you no offense (you know I love you) but boy you guys do things big over there. This recipe says that it makes 20-24 cookies.
Admittedly I made baby stars but just less than half the dough made 70 cookies. I froze the other half of the dough for later. Their stars must be enormous!
You can decorate these however you like. I topped them with a chocolate and royal icing drizzle but the rest of the dough I made into Christmas trees and decorated like this. Just make sure you put a sheet of baking paper underneath to catch all the drips.
I probably should have mentioned in the note that they were for him to share but I’m sure he’ll realise they’re not all for him because there’s not nearly enough milk to wash them all down. Enjoy Santa!
What about you? What are you leaving for Santa this year?
- 1¼ cups plain flour
- ⅓ cup caster sugar
- ¼ cup cocoa powder
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- ½ tsp ground cardamom
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
- ⅛ tsp ground cloves
- 125g butter, cubed and softened
- 2 tbsp Greek yoghurt
- melted chocolate and white chocolate for decoration
- Pre-heat the oven to 150C fan-forced and line two baking trays with baking paper.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, salt, nutmeg and cloves.
- Add the chopped up butter and beat until the mixture resembles fine bread crumbs and starts to stick together.
- If the dough doesn't come together, add the yoghurt and mix it through.
- Use your hands to bring it all together and knead the dough until it's nice and smooth (this can be done in the bowl or on a floured surface).
- Turn it out onto a lightly-floured work surface and roll the dough out to 1cm thickness.
- Use a floured cookie cutter to cut out stars and transfer them onto the lined baking tray.
- They don't really spread so you can put them pretty close together.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes or until they are just firm in the middle.
- Leave them to cool for a couple of minutes on the trays then transfer them to wire racks to cool completely.
- Place a big sheet of baking paper under the wire racks and drizzle the cookies with melted chocolate to decorate.
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