Lifestyle, Yvette

Countdown Cookies


It is a strange time to be alive. Each morning I wake up and I take a few moments to remember what’s going on. There are many things that we are in need of right now and I don’t pretend to have the ability to provide any where near all of them. The contents of this blog, however, can help with distraction, kindness and sugar.


A few weeks ago, one of my friends had her tour cancelled and found herself on a flight back home to Australia facing unemployment, an empty pantry and 14 days of mandatory quarantine. To ease this blow somewhat, we organized a care package for her arrival back in the country which included these Quarantine Countdown Cookies.


The cookies are made from gingerbread, based on a recipe I initially found for a gingerbread TARDIS from The Doctor Who Official Cookbook.


And they are iced with royal icing, which I have been experimenting with over time (see slightly lumpy Totoroes below) and I think I’ve almost nailed it following the recommendations of SweetAmbs using meringue powder rather than fresh egg whites.



For the cookies:

  • 350g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 100g slightly salted butter, cut into cubes
  • 150g dark brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp black treacle
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk


For the icing:

  • 180g icing sugar
  • 2 tbsp meringue powder
  • potentially more icing sugar and meringue powder at the same ratio depending on colours and decorations of icing that you choose
  • Water as required
  • Food colouring
  • Edible decorations



  • Preheat the oven to 200ºC
  • Mix the flour, baking powder and cinnamon using a stand mixer or electric beater
  • Add the butter and mix until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs
  • Add the sugar, treacle, egg and egg yolk and mix to a paste
  • Line a baking tray with non-stick baking paper
  • Roll out the dough onto the baking tray and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes (you might need some extra flour to help stop the dough sticking to your rolling pin)
  • If you have a cookie cutter for your shape use it to cut out the cookies. If you don’t, make your desired shape out of baking paper and use it to cut the shape of your cookies with a knife
  • Bake for approximately 10 minutes
  • It’s best to let the cookies cool over night before icing


  • To make the icing, sift the icing sugar and meringue powder together in a bowl
  • Slowly add water, one tablespoon at a time until the consistency is such that a spoon full of the icing takes about 12 seconds to fall from the spoon if raised above the bowl (sorry this is not very scientific at all)
  • Divide the icing into multiple bowls if you are using multiple colours and add food colouring as desired
  • Use a piping bag (or a snap lock bag with a corner cut out) to ice the cookies, making an outline first and then filling in the rest of the cookie
  • Add decorations


  • Wait for the base icing to dry, then use a contrasting colour of icing to write the countdown numbers
  • Enjoy yourself or share with loved ones in a way that does not violate your own local social isolation public health directives!


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