While these cookies can’t be eaten, booooo, you might be pleasantly surprised (and therefore forgiving) that they make the most amazing decorations. The possabilities are endless when it comes to the shapes, colours, designs and uses you can apply to this recipe. Here I’ve used three colours and marbled them for a fun effect. Obviously for this time of year I just had to go festive on the shapes but, using stampers or free-hand with a knife, these can be made to suit any occasion or just because. This is a great activity to do with the kids as they can use their imagination, get creative and it will keep them occupied for ages! You can omit the gel colours and paint the pieces once baked dry if preferred. Once thoroughly dried out they will last for years in a cool, dry place.
Makes about 40
300g plain flour
325g fine table salt
175ml warm water
selection of 3 gel food colours
YOU WILL NEED:
selection of cookie cutters
A firm straw
A wooden skewer (or similar), optional
1. Preheat the oven to 110C (fan 80C), 225F, Gas Mark 1/4 . Line 3 large baking sheets with parchment paper or non-stick mats.
2. Mix the flour and salt together in a large bowl. Add the wine and mix until it comes together in a dough ball.
3. Divide the dough into three equal sized pieces. Return one piece to the bowl, add a small squirt of one gel colour and mix in until well blended. Add more gel if necessary to reach your desired colour tone. Repeat with the remaining two pieces of dough, giving you three different colours in the end.
4. Knead the three doughs together to marble a little. Then, on a large sheet of parchment paper, roll the dough ball out until about 3mm thick.
5. Next, use the cookie cutters to stamp out the shapes and arrange them spaced a little apart on the baking sheets.
6. Use an end of the straw to stamp out a holes in each piece which will be where to ribbon gets threaded through for hanging once cooked. Stamp one hole if the shape will be a single hanging piece or two holes side by side if for a garland.
7. Bake in the oven for 2.5 – 3 hours, turning half way through, until completely dried out, crisp and set firm. Remove and leave to cool.
8. Then thread ribbon through the holes of each shape, using the flat end of a wooden skewer to help push it through if necessary.
9. Then hang your salt dough cookie decorations that will look good enough to eat! but don’t….