Break away from your traditional array of Christmas cookies and try something different this year. These festive treats have a soft vanilla base, with a hidden chewy marshmallow centre covered in a hard royal icing.
- Preheat oven to 180oC/350oF/gas 4. Cover two baking trays with baking parchment.
- Beat together the butter and sugar until pale and creamy. Then mix in the vanilla and egg. Stir in the flour until incorporated, but don’t overmix.
- Using two teaspoons, spoon the mixture onto the baking trays into mounds. Make sure you leave room for the cookies to spread.
- Bake for 8-10 mins, until the cookies are slightly brown at the edges and the middles have puffed up. Take them out of the oven, leave on the baking sheets for 3 mins, and then transfer to rack to cool completely.
- Make 12 carrot noses out of the orange fondant icing, and 12 sets of eyes from the black icing. The carrots should be little fingernail size, and the eyes half the size of a pea.
- Make the royal icing: Whisk the egg whites in a large bowl until they become frothy – this will take less than a minute with an electric hand whisk. Sift the icing sugar into the eggs one spoonful at a time, folding in the sugar between each spoonful. Once all the sugar has been added, stir in the lemon juice and glycerine. Add a little more lemon juice if necessary – you want the icing to be thin enough to run, but not so thin that it will run off the edges of the cookie sides. It should creepy slowly.
- Stick one marshmallow half onto the top of each cookie. Using two teaspoons pour the royal icing over the marshmallows. While the icing is still soft, stick on the eyes and carrot noses and Rolo hats. Leave icing to set.