Vanocni Cukrovi (Christmas Sugar)
Czech Christmas Cookies
1 2/3 cups, 250g,1 0oz butter (softened)
3/4 cup, 111g, 4 1/2oz sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 cups, 600g, 24oz, Plain flour
Decorations: jar of jam, Nutella, melted chocolate, nuts, confectioner's sugar and colours not forgetting a little spritz of glitter
Preheat the oven to 350 F/180 C/Gas 4.
In a large bowl or stand mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla and mix until completely incorporated.
Add the flour and mix into a smooth dough. (It shouldn't need to be refrigerated before rolling unless your kitchen is very hot). Separate dough into 3 pieces then roll dough onto floured paper with flour on top to reduce sticking, to approximately 4mm thickness.
Cut dough into various shapes and arrange on baking tray 1/2" apart. If at any time the dough is getting too soft, refrigerate it for a few minutes and then continue. If making sandwiched cookies, cut an even number of plain cookies and an even number of cookies of the same shape that have had a small "window" cut out with a thimble or piping tip so the jam or filling will peek through.
Bake 8 to 10 minutes. Do not let the cookies brown, they should remain light but still be baked through. Cool completely. Repeat with remainder of dough. Excess dough can be wrapped and refrigerated.
Decorate by dipping into melted chocolate and nuts and/or sprinkle decorations on top.
If sandwiching cookies together, sprinkle confectioner's sugar over cookies with the "window." Spread jam or filling on "window-less" cookies. Place confectioners' sugar cookie on top of the jammed cookie.
A hedgehog can be made by rolling a small bit of dough into a ball. Place a hazelnut inside each ball, form a pointy nose and bake until golden. Dip the rear into melted chocolate then grated coconut. With a skewer dipped into melted chocolate draw the eyes and nose.