Makes about 12-15 cookies
A tin of milkmaid and a stand mixer are all you need to belt out a batch of these cookies that really pack a punch when it comes to spice. I’ve made it so because Royal icing can be quite sweet and if you’re going to be dip-glazing rather than piping it out with a pen nozzle, you’ll need something to cut through all that sweetness.
1 – Butter 115g, softened at room temperature, not melted
2 – Sugar 50g
3 – Condensed milk 200g
4 – Vanilla extract 1 tsp
5 – All-purpose flour 150g
6 – Cornflour 30g
7 – Salt a large pinch
8 – Nutmeg 1/4 tsp, freshly grated
9 – Cinnamon powder 1/2 tsp
10 – Black pepper 1/4 tsp, powdered
11 – Cloves 1/4 tsp, powdered
For The Royal Icing
1 – Icing sugar 1 cup
2 – Water 2-3 tsp
3 – Corn syrup 2 tsp
4 – Lime juice 1/2 tsp
Red colour 1 drop (I used a concentrated gel. You may have to adjust according to the colour you have on hand, but if you find yourself adding a lot of liquid, add a bit more confectioners sugar to adjust the consistency later)
– In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the butter and sugar and cream for 4-5 minutes on a medium-high speedier until light and fluffy.
– Add the condensed milk and the vanilla and continue to run the mixer for a minute more to combine well.
– Whisk together the all-purpose flour, cornflour, salt and spices and add them to the bowl of the stand mixer. Turn the speed to a medium-low and run the stand mixer just until the dough is smooth and there aren’t any lumps in sight. Transfer the dough to a piece of cling film and transfer to the refrigerator to chill for at least two hours, or if you’re in a hurry, divide the dough in half and freeze each ball for 30 minutes at least. If you’re working in a slightly hotter temperature, you may have to chill and re-roll a few times, but be patient.
– Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius and a line a cookie sheet with baking paper.
– Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface, keeping in mind that the cookies should be a bit thick as these cookies don’t have a raising agent. Cut out shapes using a cookie cutter and transfer to the cookie sheet leaving at least an inch of space between the cookies.
– Bake the cookies for 10 minutes, turning them halfway and pull them out when the edges are just starting to brown. Let them cool on the cookie sheet and only once they are completely cool should you handle them for the icing.
– For the royal icing, whisk together the icing sugar and the water till you have eliminated any lumps. Next, add the corn syrup and lime juice and whisk again. Divide the mixture into two and in one of the two mixtures, add the red food colour and whisk again to distribute. Now you can either dip the top side of the cookies in the icing and let them spread as they sit on the cookie sheet, poking and prodding with your finger till they look clean and presentable, or if you have a. piping bag fitted with the smallest piping nozzle, you can make shapes or draw designs and decorate it as you wish.