Tomorrow, Friday 18th December is Christmas Jumper day and up and down the country people are embracing the relatively new campaign by Save the Children and after huge success last year its back this time they have teamed up with Macmillan and make a wish to make it even bigger!
The campaign asks that you donate £2 and wear a Christmas jumper but many are going all out and packaging boxes full of baked goodies up for bake sales, goodies such as these Dr. Oetker Christmas jumper cookies .
For the cookies
50g unsalted butter (5oz, very soft)
150g caster sugar (5oz)
10 ml Dr. Oetker Madagascan vanilla extract (2 tsp)
250 g plain flour (9oz)
12½ ml ground ginger (2½ tsp)
12½ g mixed spice (2 ½ tsp)
Dr. Oetker bicarbonate of soda sachets (1 3/4 tsp)
10g icing sugar (To dust)
Dr. Oetker coloured ready to roll Regal-Ice 100g green, blue and red)
20ml honey (4 tsp, clear runny honey)
40g Dr. Oetker fine cooks’ milk chocolate (1½ oz)
15g Dr. Oetker ready rolled marzipan (½ oz)
Dr. Oetker white designer icing
Dr. Oetker bright writing icing
1. Preheat the oven to 180 ̊C (160 ̊C fan oven, 350 ̊F, Gas 4). Line two large baking trays with baking parchment.
2. Put the butter and caster sugar in a bowl and beat until well blended and creamy. Stir in the vanilla extract.
3. Sieve the flour, bicarbonate of soda and spices on top. Carefully combine to make a mixture that resembles a crumble topping and using your hands, bring the mixture together to form a firm dough.
4. Turn on to a lightly floured surface and knead gently until smooth and pliable.
5. Roll out the dough to a thickness of ½ cm (¼ inch). Using an approx. 10cm (4inch) wide jumper shaped cookie cutter, cut out nine shapes, re-rolling the dough as necessary.
6. Arrange on the trays and prick with a fork. Chill for 30 minutes.
7. Bake the cookies for about 20 minutes until firm and lightly golden round the edges. Cool for five minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
8.To decorate, dust the work surface lightly with icing sugar and knead each Regal Ice colour in turn until smooth and pliable. Roll out each coloured icing thinly.
9. Using the same cutter, cut out three jumpers from each colour, re-rolling as necessary. Reserve the red icing trimmings.
10.Gently roll each icing jumper a little more to make it slightly larger to better fit the top of the cookies. Brush the cookie tops with honey and stick the icing jumpers on top. Set aside.
11.Put the milk chocolate in a small heatproof bowl and place on top of a saucepan of barely simmering water. Leave to melt, then remove from the water and leave to cool for 10 minutes.
12. Spoon all but a teaspoonful of the chocolate into a small uncut piping bag. Keep the remaining chocolate over hot water to keep it melted.
13. Working on one jumper at a time, snip a thin piece from the point of the piping bag using scissors and pipe a reindeer head-shaped pool of chocolate in the middle of each cookie. Leave in a cool place to set for about 15 minutes.
14. Meanwhile, cut the marzipan into nine equal small portions. Roll each into a thin sausage approx. 4cm (1 ¾ inch) long.
Cut off two tiny portions from each to make eyes and then cut the marzipan lengths in half. Cut small slashes in each of the lengths using a small sharp knife, opening out the slashes to make spikey antlers.
15. Once the chocolate heads have set, secure the marzipan antlers on the cookies using a little water. Secure the reserved marzipan “eyes” in the same way.
16. Form the reserved red ready to roll icing into nine small noses and secure in place as above. Use the remaining melted chocolate to paint or pipe the eye detail on the icing.
17. Using the star nozzle on the designer icing tube, pipe the jumper trim on the neck, cuffs and hem, and pipe small stars to resemble snowflakes. Use the writing icing colours to add a contrasting coloured trim to the jumpers.
As a finishing touch, pipe small dots using the plain nozzle on the designer icing tube to give a snowy effect. Leave your cookies for a few minutes to dry, and then your cookies will be ready to serve and enjoy or carefully added to your packaging boxes and taken off to your charity event.