Nigella Lawson Recipe | Confessions of a Stay-At-Home Mom

December 16, 2009

Nigella Lawson Recipe

As the Nigella Giveaway is in progress (have you entered yet?!?), here is a fun Nigella Recipe straight from her book to whet your whistle in the meantime! As you'd imagine, it is PERFECT for the Holidays!

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Edible Christmas Tree Decoration

From NIGELLA CHRISTMAS by Nigella Lawson.

Copyright © 2009. Published by Hyperion. Available wherever books are sold. All Rights Reserved.

I couldn’t have Christmas without these, or at least, not happily. Rituals are essential to give us meaning, a sense of ceremony, and making these peppery gingerbready edible decorations is how I have always marked with my children that Christmas had begun.

Makes approx. 35-40


2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

Pinch of salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon ground cloves

1-2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

1 stick (8 tablespoons) soft butter

½ cup packed dark brown sugar

2 large eggs, beaten with ¼ cup runny honey


2 cups confectioners’ sugar

2 table spoons meringue powder

Edible gold or silver sprinkles

Florists’ ribbon for hanging

-Combine the flour, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves and pepper in a food processor and, with the motor on, add the butter and sugar, then, slowly, the beaten eggs and honey, through the feed tube, though don’t use all of this liquid if the pastry has come together before it’s used up.

-Form two fat discs and put one, covered in plastic wrap or in a resealable bag, in the refrigerator while you get started on the other.

-Preheat the oven to 350F and line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper. Then dust a work surface with flour, roll out the disc, also floured, to about ¼ inch, and cut out your Christmas decoration with cutters of your choice, which could include fir-tree shapes, angels, stars, snowflakes, and so on.

-Re-roll and cut out some more, setting aside the dough scraps from this first disc, well covered, while you get on with rolling out the second. When you’ve got both sets of leftover clumps of dough, roll out and cut out again, and keep doing so till all the dough’s used up.

-Now take a small piping nozzle and use the pointy end to cut out a hole just below the top of each cookie (through which ribbon can later be threaded).

-Arrange the pastry shapes on the lined cookie sheets and bake for about 20 minutes: it’s hard to see when they’re baked, but you can feel; if the underside is no longer doughy, they’re ready. Transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool.

-Mix together the confectioners’ sugar with the meringue powder and 3 tablespoons water, beating it until it’s thick enough to be able to cover the cookies with a just-dripping blanket of white.

-Carefully ice the cold decorations, using a teaspoon (the tip for dripping, the back for smoothing), and scatter sparkles or sprinkles as you like. When the icing is set, thread ribbon through the holes and hang on you tree.

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So fun! Keep entering the Giveaway, and check back for a review of Nigella's new book, Nigella Christmas!

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