These little cookies are a great idea for Christmas, but they are also lovely for any celebration at any time and always popular with just about everyone, littlies and oldies.
They are fairly simple to make, although they need to be cooked a few at a time (see below) so the baking takes a while. However, they keep happily for at least a week, in an airtight tin with a silica gel sachet (available from Amazon), so they can be made ahead.
Coming up with original little messages in the cookies can be fun, but if you get writer's block, there are lots of websites dedicated to just this cause, so there is really no excuse.
Ingredients - makes approximately 30
2 large Egg whites
3 tbsp Sunflower oil
1/4 tsp Vanilla bean extract
1 tsp Almond essence
100 gms Plain flour
100 gms Caster sugar
2 tsp Cornflour
Pinch of salt
Using a hand held electric whisk, beat the eggs, oil, vanilla and almond essence with 2 tsp cold water until frothy. This will only take about 30 seconds.
Sift in the remaining 4 dry ingredients and whisk until smooth.
Cover and chill in the fridge for an hour.
Whilst the chilling is taking place, mark out 4/5 circles, approximately 8cm in diameter on a large plain piece of paper. Make sure they are well spaced out. This will be a template for the cookies.
Cover a baking sheet with baking parchment and slide the template under the parchment.
Cut out small strips of paper, shorter than the diameter of your circles and write your messages.
As the hour of chilling comes to an end, preheat the oven to 180ºC. (160ºC fan)
Put a teaspoonful of the cookie mix on one circle on the prepared parchment and spread it out as thinly as possible and neatly to the edges. Repeat with the others.
Cook in the centre of the oven for about 5 - 6 minutes. Keep an eye on them, the cookies need to be turning golden, not dark brown (very easily done).
Quickly take one off the baking sheet with a palate knife, put your message across the cookie and fold the cookie in half and then in half again. Pop the cookie in a muffin tin to keep its shape as it cools.
If you haven't been quick enough and the cookies have started to crisp, pop them back in the oven for a minute.
Using all the dough should give 30 or so cookies.
Store in an airtight container (a silica gel pouch helps keep moisture from softening them, but keep it covered with a lining of parchment).
A few hints to help: try cooking one or two first of all, until you speed up the folding process. They won’t fold if they are too cool.
To really speed things up, invest in some cotton gloves so you can easily handle the hot cookies.