Syllabub cookies

Syllabub cookies

Every Christmas we have a special drink/dessert called syllabub. It’s from an old recipe – hundreds of years old! As with most old recipes, there are many variations, but at its simplest, syllabub combines cream and spirits. Our version combines sweetened red wine with whipped cream mixed with orange & lemon zest and juice and sherry.

These little butter cookies are based on this premise. The cookies themselves are made with orange & lemon curd and a little sherry. They’re iced with a red wine glaze. Their taste is unusual, but very good! A nice cookie to have in the afternoon with a glass of sherry, or after dinner with red wine. I should admit that when I made the curd, it didn’t quite solidify. I’m such a coward about cooking things with egg yolks in them on top of the stove. So I panicked and took it off the heat too early. But it didn’t matter! It worked in the cookies anyway. In fact, this is a good recipe to use for any sort of failed citrus curd experiment you might encounter.

Here’s Clash City Rockers, because they sing about oranges and lemons, of course!

For the lemon curd (you’ll make more than you need for the cookies, but it’s nice to have some left over.)

3 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
4 T butter, cut into pieces
1/3 cup juice – 1/2 orange, 1/2 lemon
zest of one lemon and one orange
1 T sherry.

Whisk everything together and put it in the top of a double boiler (or in a small saucepan over a larger saucepan with water in it). Turn the heat to medium and stir and stir until everything is melted and blended. It should take about 15 minutes for the curd to thicken. Be careful not to let it boil or the eggs will cook and it will curdle. It will continue to thicken when it’s off the heat.

For the cookies…
1 stick softened unsalted butter (1/2 cup)
1 cup icing sugar
1 T sherry
2 cups flour
1/2 t salt
1 cup lemon & orange curd
2 T heavy cream (this isn’t necessary, but it does add a nice richness)

Cream the butter. Add the icing sugar and the sherry. Add the flour and salt and mix well. Pour in the curd and cream and mix even more well. You should have a nice stiff dough. Soft, but workable. It’s quite sticky, but you should be able to roll it into little one inch balls.

Place these on a baking sheet, and cook them in a 350 degree preheated oven for about 15 minutes till they’re set and they’re starting to brown on the bottom. Put them on a drying rack to cool.

Mix 3/4 cup icing sugar with 2 T of red wine. You should have a glaze the consistency of elmer’s glue. Drizzle a spoonful on each cooled cookie.


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