Monnie is another castaway we knew before her appearances on One World and Blood vs. Water. You see, Brad used to play football with Annelie and as we were running a scam that required her to have a WAG, I became her wife Lara Vandenboobin.
While Brad and Annelie came firm friends on the field, Monnie and I became firm friends and then staunch enemies…and then friends again on the sideline.
Due to our oft-tumultuous relationship (we last fell out after I sold stories about her to People magazine during One World. We are friends now though), we mutually decided afternoon tea with spiced Monica Culpepper Cookies was the perfect way to celebrate Christmas together.
The cookies (another Nigella variation) turned out perfectly, with a hint of heat and spices without being overpowering like a Gingerbread. I sometimes find that the dough can be a bit wet, so just add a bit more flour until it is at your desired consistency.
Enjoy, we did! Better yet, we didn’t even get into a fight or end up covered in third-degree burns from thrown coffee.
Monica Culpepper Cookies
Makes roughly 24
300g plain flour (plus more for dusting)
pinch of salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground cloves
2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
100g soft butter
100g muscovado sugar
2 large eggs (beaten)
4 tbsp maple syrup
Royal Icing, lollies, edible glitter and anything else you would want to make them festive as fuck
Line 2 baking sheets with baking paper and preheat the oven to 170C.
Combine the flour, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves and pepper in a large bowl.
Cream the the butter and sugar in an electric mixer with paddle attachment, then slowly add the beaten eggs and maple syrup in three parts alternating with the dry ingredients, and mix until combined.
Form 2 fat discs and put one wrapped in cling-wrap in the fridge while you get started on the other.
Dust a work surface with flour, roll out the disc (also floured), to about 5mm and cut out cookies with the cutters of your choice.
Re-roll and cut out some more, setting aside the residue from this first disc and cover, 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.
When you can no longer be bothered, roll the dough into a ball and flatten on the tray.
Arrange the pastry shapes on the lined baking sheets and cook for about 20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool.
Ice the cold decorations with reckless abandon until they are jacked-up on sugar and festive.