The weather here in the UK at the moment is frightfully cold . . . the coldest I've experienced in my ten years over here. It's been dipping down to minus 11 nights . . . brrr . . .
I was in a real festive mood this morning . . . perhaps it was the pretty dusting of white which covers every branch, hedgerow, and other flat surface around the outside of the house . . . but I put on some Christmas music and decided to bake some Christmas cookies for Todd to take around and deliver to our local friends, along with our cards.
So there I was ho ho ho-ing away in the kitchen as I bounced about to Jingle Bell Rock and all of a sudden I heard the sound of water hitting the floor . . . it was just pouring out all over the place from somewhere behind our washing machine.
Apparently it is so cold here that the pipe which drains the water outside was frozen solid. Several kettles of hot water, a dozen towels and quite some time later, the problem was sorted.
Whew!! (Todd = My Hero)
Todd is now out travelling about the town armed with plates of cookies and Christmas Cards. He's a right jolly old Elf. I think I'll keep him. It's beginning to look and feel a lot like Christmas! I've got my Christmas mojo going strong!
I hope they like their cookies. Tasty little Nutmeg logs, all buttery and nutmeggy scrummy and covered with a layer of butter cream and dusted with, what else but more nutmeg. Hmmm . . . hope they like nutmeg!
Fa la la la la . . . la la . . . la . . . la!
Makes about 3 1/2 dozen
Buttery little nutmeg flavoured logs, slathered in a tasty buttercream and dusted with what else but more nutmeg!
for the logs:
8 ounces butter, softened (1 cup)
5.25 ounces caster sugar (3/4 cup)
1 1/4 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
(I love my fine sided microplane grater!)
1 large free range egg
2 tsp pure vanilla
1 tsp rum extract
12.75 ounces plain flour (3 cups)
For the buttercream:
2 ounces butter, softened (1/4 cup)
12 ounces icing sugar, divided (3 cups)
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp rum extract
1 TBS cream
1 TBS milk
freshly grated nutmeg
Preheat the oven to 180*C/350*F/ gas mark 4. Get out two large baking sheets. Set aside.
Cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in the egg, nutmeg and flavourings. Mix in well. Stir in the flour to make a stiff dough. Shape handfulls of the dough into long ropes, 1/2 inch in diameter. Cut into 3 inch sticks and place at least one inch apart on the baking sheets, repeating until you have used up all the dough,. Bake for 15 minutes, until lightly browned on the bottoms. Remove from the oven and alow to cool on wire racks.
To make the butter cream, beat together the butter and 8 ounces (2 cups) of the icing sugar, along with the vanilla and rum extract. When it starts to come together, beat in the milk, cream and remaining icing sugar, beating until light and fluffy.
Using a flat knife spread a portion of icing on the top of each log. Rough up with the tines of a fork. Set aside to dry. Dust with freshly grated nutmeg. Store in an airtight container. These also freeze well, tightly covered. Place into a freezer container, placing parchment paper between the layers.