Sunday, December 14, 2008

Cookies for Christmas - Shortbread and Chocolate Snowballs

Its baking Sunday again and I attempeted three cookie recipes to take to work with me tomorrow. Only two made it to the end and they turned out pretty good. The disaster recipe was honey ginger buttons. The honey/golden syrup mixture over boiled and spilt all over the oven, and seeing as a finished off the honey to make it that was the end of that recipe. 

The messy disaster!

I carried on and made some lovely shortbread and chocolate snowballs with not very much snow. Very fitting for the climate I think. I little un-imaginative packaging and its ready for work. Well half of it anyway, kept some for home too!

Basic Shortbread

Not sure where I got this recipe but shortbread is a classic

250g butter, softened
1 cup icing sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups plain flour
1/2 cup cornflour

Basic topping
1 eggwhite, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons white sugar

1. Line a baking tray with baking paper. 
2. Using an electric mixer, cream butter, sugar and vanilla until pale. Add flour and cornflour. Stir to combine. Turn onto a floured surface. Knead gently until smooth. 
3. Gently press dough into the desired shape (I made a rectangle) until about 1.5cm thick.
4. Use a knife ti mark into individual biscuits. Do not cut all the way through. Refrigerate for 20 minutes or until firm. Preheat oven to 160oC. 
5. Make topping. Brush each shortbread with egg white. Sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until light golden and firm to the touch. Allow to cool completely on tray. Use a Sharp knife to cut right through markings. Serve. 

Chocolate Snowballs
Recipe from delicious magazine (link)

This recipe is very very rich. One cookie is more then enough for even the serious chocoholic!

200g dark chocolate, chopped
100g unsalted butter, chopped
3/4 cup caster sugar
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups plain flour
2 tbs cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 cup icing sugar

1. Line 2 baking trays with baking paper. 
2. Place the dark chocolate and chopped butter in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water over low heat. Stir mixture until melted and smooth, then remove the bowl from the heat and stand for 5 minutes to cool. 
3. Using a wooden spoon, stir caster sugar into chocolate until dissolved. Gradually add eggs, stirring until well combined. Add vanilla, flour, cocoa and baking powder and mix until a smooth dough. Cover and chill for no more than 30 minutes to firm. 
4. Use hands to roll heaped teaspoons (2 tablespoons as in original recipe makes HUGE cookies) of the dough into a ball. Sift the icing sugar into a dish, then dip each ball into the dish and dust heavily in icing sugar (I wasn't heavy enough) and place on prepared trays about 2cm apart. Bake the snowballs for 10-12 minutes until firm to the couch. Cool on the trays. 

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