Before you get started…
- This recipe makes 24 yum cookies
- You’ll need 5 mins prep time, plus 15 mins cooking time/chilling time
- Finally, you might need to look beyond your nearest Tesco Metro for xylitol – but it’s totally worth a trip to a superstore!
What you’ll need
- 200g plain flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- Pinch of salt
- Zest of 1/4 orange or 1/2 satsuma, optional
- 1/2 tsp ground mixed spice, optional
- 100g unsalted butter, softened
- 50g xylitol
- Milk, just a little to bring the dough together
For the icing:
- 100g xylitol
- 1 tsp sugar free vanilla extract
- A little milk, to get the consistency right
How to make them
1. Mix the flour, baking powder, salt, orange zest and mixed spice in a bowl.
2. Cream butter and xylitol in a separate bowl until pale and fluffy (an electric hand beater or stand mixer will do this in 3-5 mins but a standard wooden spoon and some elbow grease will take a few mins more).
3. Add the dry ingredient mixture to the creamed butter and xylitol, mixing as little as possible with a spatula until combined with no visible flecks of flour. Use a little milk, just a tablespoon at a time, if needed to bring the dough together.
4. Roll the dough until a ball, flatten to a disc, wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge for 30 mins – 1 hour.
5. Preheat oven to 180C/gas 4. Roll out the dough to 1/4 inch (1/2 cm) thick, cut out shapes using cookie cutters (I used a 2in/5cm circular cookie cutter) and space them out on a baking tray lined with baking paper (you may need to do 2 trays or cook in batches). Chill in the fridge again for 15 mins.
6. Bake for 15-20 mins until starting to get golden around the edges, then allow to cool completely.
7. Meanwhile, make the icing “sugar” by grinding the xylitol in a coffee grinder or high powered blender until powdered.
8. Mix in a bowl with the vanilla and just enough milk to make a paste (it needs to be thin enough to spread or pipe but not so thin it’s runny – if it gets to that point just add more powdered xylitol or up to 2 tsp of cornflour to thicken it up again).
9. Pipe or spread the icing onto the cooled cookies. If you want to make the clock design, use an edible black pen or some melted dark chocolate in a piping bag with a tiny hole to draw the arrows. This will have sugar in it, but it’s such a tiny amount!
Alternatively, you can use food dye pastes (or use defrosted frozen berries mashed through a sieve like I did) to colour batches of the icing and decorate the cookies the way you or your kids want to! If you run out of icing simply make up another batch to keep going (or eat the cookies without, they are still delicious).
Enjoy… and Happy New Year!
Images: Clare Wright