Christmas cookies

Makes – 2 1/2 dozen

4 eggs
1 cup (230g) raw sugar
250g butter, softened
vanilla essence, to taste
1 teaspoon finely grated orange rind
3 ½ cups (420g) flour
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt

Beat butter and whisk in slightly beaten eggs and sugar.
Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt.

Fold into mixture and work to form a firm dough.
Knead to a ball shape and wrap it in plastic food wrap.
Refrigerate for some hours.

Turn the dough onto a floured surface and roll out until it is 3cm thick.
Cut out different Christmas shapes with floured cutters.

( You can also trace shapes on a piece of cardboard and cut them with a sharp knife or rolling wheel cutter).

Place them on ungreased baking sheets and bake for about 10 minutes or until cooked. They can be stored in hermetic containers and served plain or decorated with glazes of different colours.