Pepernoot / Christmas Tree Cookies
(from Holland )

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Ingredients

Metric

  • 250g plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • 165g caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon rind
  • 165g unsalted butter
  • approx. 1 tablespoon milk
  • To decorate:
  • 1 egg white, beaten
  • 4-5 tablespoons of coffee sugar crystals

Imperial / American

  • 9oz plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • 5 1/2oz caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon rind
  • 5 1/2oz unsalted butter
  • approx. 1 tablespoon milk
  • To decorate:
  • 1 egg white, beaten
  • 4-5 tablespoons of coffee sugar crystals

Method:

Sift the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt into a mixing bowl. Mix in the sugar and grated lemon rind. Cut the fat into the flour then rub in to a breadcrumb consistency and knead into a soft dough, adding a little milk if needed. Shape into a ball and put in a cool place for at least 1 hour before rolling out.

Turn the dough on to a floured board and roll out to 3 mm or an 1/8 inch thick. Using biscuit (or cookie) cutters, cut out a variety of shapes Christmas trees, stars, rings and animals. Put together and re-roll the dough trimmings to make more cookies. With a thick skewer, pierce a hole in the top of each one. Leaving the other shapes plain, brush one side of the Christmas trees and stars sparingly with egg white, then dip into the coffee sugar before baking. Bake all the shapes in a preheated moderate oven at 180°C / 350°F / Gas Mark 4 for 15 to 20 minutes or until set and golden. Cool on a wire tray. You can use icing to stick other decorations onto the cookies. When set, thread a narrow red or green ribbon or a tinsel cord through the hole in each cookie and hang on the Christmas tree or fir boughs.

Makes about 30-36