Keep Calm, It’s Almost Christmas

Christmas tree topped with snow

As I’m typing, the green royal icing on my 3D Christmas tree is drying and resting. I am terribly excited for Christmas and my upcoming holiday to Singapore and Malaysia!! Christmas smells and lights, carols, music, decors and just the whole Christmas-sy feel! I’m ashamed to admit that I’ve even started playing my Christmas playlist all day long, especially when I’m baking. Also, if you haven’t heard Vince Guaraldi’s Christmas songs, you are missing out. I especially love the song “Christmas Time Is Here”.

A Charlie Brown Christmas

Last Friday, Dan’s mom Jan suggested that I make a 3D Christmas tree like she had seen at a coffee shop before. I thought it was such a cool idea and couldn’t believe that I had never once thought of that before! So of course, right after I had left the bookshop, I went to Stevens at the mall and bought some cookie cutters and got baking the next day.

First few layers

It was a very fun project to make! Everyone peered at it and ooh-ed and ahh-ed while I was making the many layers, then icing and decorating them. They also made comments like “I would never have the patience to do all that”. It was all worth it because the result of my hard work was a pretty Christmas tree that “gave out” Christmas-sy smells. Also, my Christmas spirit level was level 99 by the time I was done!


All done!

Spiced Christmas Cookies

Adapted from Cupcake Jemma

Ingredients:

  • 300 grams plain flour
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground clove
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 100 grams brown sugar
  • 100 grams cold butter, diced
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 tbsp golden syrup

Method:

  1. Dump the flour, spices, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt and brown sugar into a food processor and whiz it all up to get rid of lumps and to combine.
  2. Add the cold butter and whiz up for a few more seconds.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs and golden syrup together.
  4. Slowly add in some of the wet mix into the dry mix while the food processor is still on. Only add enough to make it clump together. You may not need to add all the wet mix in.
  5. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and roll into a ball.
  6. Refrigerate the dough for about an hour or two as it is quite a soft and sticky dough and it will make rolling and cutting quite hard.
  7. Roll out dough onto a floured surface into about 0.5 cm thick and cut out whatever shape you want*.
  8. Bake at 170 °C for 20 minutes or till dark brown.

Notes:

* Double this recipe if making the 3D cookie Christmas tree.

Royal Icing

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups icing sugar
  • 2 egg whites (at room temperature)
  • 1/2 tsp cream of tartar (optional)
  • 1-2 tbsp water
  • Food coloring (gel or paste is better)

Method:

  1. Add icing sugar, egg whites and cream of tartar, if using, into a bowl.
  2. Beat on high till for 3 minutes till white and thick.
  3. For flooding consistency, add in 1/2 tbsp water at a time till you get desired consistency.
  4. If icing is too watery, add more icing sugar.
  5. Mix in food coloring, if using.

Additional Materials For Decorating Christmas Tree

  • Toothpicks
  • Sprinkles
  • Cake board
  • White modeling chocolate or fondant
  • Icing sugar
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