Homemade for the holidays

29Peace on earth, family, friends, food and presents is the mantra for December. Although the holiday season segues for us from the idea of giving thanks and sharing at Thanksgiving, to giving gifts, I have opted to share a component of the last holiday and metamorphose it into a seasonal cookie. It not only keeps pace with other segments of this issue, but adds some cookie glam for those who are not faint of heart and wish to make a homemade gift that indicates some effort.

by Sandra Cranston-Corradini

Turkey Cookie CutterWhen I was presented with the original concept to create a decorative cookie, my inner muse envisioned a mermaid with flowing hair (thank you garlic press full of sweet dough), a polite bosom, and pumpkin seeds for the nether region scales.

But after some discussion, the peacock theme featured in the decorating portion of this issue was too enticing not to prevail. So I picked up the gauntlet and, in a true recycling frame of mind, developed a decorated peacock cookie that begins with the humble turkey cookie cutter.

The first peafowl that hatched from this idea was adorable. However I felt that the elongated upper tail feathers should be both more representative of a male Indian peacock on display, as well as relatively easy to reproduce.

22To facilitate this, I decided to concentrate on decorating the eyes of the feathers within the fan. Using a looser consistency of royal icing, piping three layers of coloured dots, and then running a pin through them before the icing set provided the results I was hoping for.

Any cookie dough that can be rolled out and has a flat surface when baked is suitable for this recipe and, although I used a vanilla sugar cookie dough, a chocolate dough would be not only exotic looking, but would contrast well with the hues of a peacock’s ornamentation. The paste food colourings are: Lemon Yellow, Sky Blue, Royal Blue, Leaf Green, and a tiny bit of brown was added to some of the white base to obtain a soft taupe.

Hot ChocolateIn milk and cookies fashion, what would a delicious cookie be on a winter’s eve without something warm and rich to dip it into? To satisfy even Santa after a long haul, why not try a truly grown-up version of hot chocolate. Anyone wishing for a little more decadence this season could also top this brew with handcrafted marshmallows.

Santa would approve.

Pg 2: Sugar Cookie        Pg 3: Royal Icing       Pg 4: Hot Chocolate       Pg 5: Marshmallows