1 cup (200g) McKinney's granulated sugar
125g unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tsp almond essence
1 tsp vanilla essence
2 tsp lemon zest
2 cups (250g) plain flour, plus extra for rolling
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 bag boiled sweets in assorted colours, individually wrapped
Using an electric mixture, cream together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.
Remember to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the egg, scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix again. Pour in the almond and vanilla essence and the lemon zest and mix again. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt and gradually add to the butter mixture. Continue to mix until the mixture forms stiff dough around the whisk.
Using a spatula, divide the dough in two evenly sized balls. Flatten into neat discs, cover with cling film and refrigerate for at least an hour.
Preheat the oven to 150°C. Line two baking trays with silicone sheets. Lightly flour a sheet of parchment paper and a rolling pin. Roll out the cookie dough out to 5mm thickness.
Use large Christmas cookie cutters and cut into shapes.Transfer these using a spatula onto a lined baking tray. Take a smaller cutter of the same shape and cut the centre out of each cookie. Lift these out and place them onto the baking tray.
Using a rolling pin, bash each boiled sweet until slightly broken and sprinkle into the centre of each cookie.
If you wish to use the cookies as Christmas decorations, make a small hole in each one using a straw. Once baked and cooled, you can thread a ribbon through.
Bake the cookies for 15 minutes, the boiled sweets will bubble up and melt. Allow the cookies to cool completely on the baking tray before lifting off.
Use as Christmas tree decorations and gifts.
Festive Foodie recipe supplied by Rozanne Stevens
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