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Christmas Cookies

Over time society, traditions and customs do change.  Nowadays you cannot go along the average Scottish street without seeing houses bedecked, in many cases both within and out, with Christmas decorations.  A big change from some fifty years ago when the 25th of December was just a normal working day in Scotland and the main celebrations and holiday was held at Hogmany and the welcoming of the New Year.

From Christmas Day being just another working day, indeed in many areas of Scotland Santa Claus visited the bairns at Hogmany, in 2004 many Scots are on holiday over the whole of the festive period.  Children have, of course, long enjoyed a break from their studies at this time, and this week's recipe, Christmas Cookies, is aimed at filling some of that holiday time.  Bairns, of all ages, will enjoy eating Christmas Cookies, but they can also be used as festive decorations.  By threading a colourful ribbon through the biscuits they can be hung as a decoration on the family tree.

Christmas Cookies

Ingredients:  425g (15oz) plain flour; 1 tsp baking powder; 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda; 1 tsp mixed spice; 1/2 tsp ground ginger; 125g (4oz) soft butter; 175g (7oz) soft dark sugar; 4 tbsp golden syrup; 1 egg, beaten

Pre-heat the oven to 180C, 350F, gas mark 4

Method:  Place flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, spice and ginger in a bowl.  Melt butter, sugar and syrup together, and pour into dry ingredients.  Add egg and mix to combine.  Tip dough on to a floured surface and bring together into a ball.  Roll out to 1/2 cm (1/4 in) thickness.  Cut out circles and star shapes and place on a non-stick baking tray.  Remember to make holes in the biscuits if you are making them to hang up.  Cook in the oven for 10 minutes until slightly risen and golden.  Cool on a wire tray before decorating as desired.

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