Cream together 200gm butter with 150gms caster sugar, until pale and creamy. Mix in an egg and 2 tsps of vanilla extract. Mix in 300 gm of plain flour until it makes a soft dough. Wrap in cling film and leave in the fridge.
Pick child 3 up from school, return home and then with child 3 roll out the dough to 1/2 cm thick and using cookie cutters cut out as many cookies as you can. Today we used elephants, penguins, owls, butterflies, flowers, stegosaurus, diplodocus and Tyrannosaurus rex ones.
Bake no 4 for 10-12 mins (until the edges are just turning golden brown)
Cool on a cooling rack
With child 2 mix 500gm of royal icing with lemon juice, split into different bowls and colour as desired. Ice the cookies and decorate with edible glitter, sprinkles etc etc.
Then enjoy with all the children and husband.
The recipe is a spell, the mixing an incantation of calm, gradually as I roll out the dough the tension in my shoulders dissipate. Sharing cutters with a 7 year old spills into laughter and chatter about the important things in the life of 7 year old. The sun breaks through the clouds warming the kitchen. The cookies now baking fill the air with the scent of sweet warm vanilla. A magical experience. Five ingredients mixed together to concoct a sugary biscuit that has been created with the sole purpose of delighting our senses. I leave them to cool in between dropping off, picking up, dropping off and picking up, child 1 and then cooking tea for the family. Once tea is done I chat with child 2 whilest mixing up the icing and then icing each cookie. The slow measured dripping of icing, leisurely smoothing it to cover the cookie then adding decorations leaves me calm, thoughtful and content.
I love feeding people, to feed is to nourish, maintain, support, encourage, nuture, cultivate, let grow, supply, delight, feast, and gratify.
I love mixing ingredients, to mix is to combine, unite, mingle, marry and to integrate.
Best of all I love it when all I hear is "can I have one of those biscuits please?"
(I even secretly like it when the fight over them)