This past weekend I participated in my first ever “Cookie Swap”. It turns out that we aren’t the only people who have never participated in a cookie swap, as people had to be herded away from the cookie tables as they tried to eat all the cookies instead of taking them home.
Anyhow, for my contribution to the tables I decided to go for two types, just in case one lot were inedible 😉
Type one were the same base recipe I used for my Sausage Dogs, cut using fluted circle cutters in two sizes, and iced (using this icing) to create “Wreaths”.
For my other type I went for a double batch of this recipe from Biscuit by Miranda Gore Browne.
Mini Christmas Puddings Biscuits Recipe
25g mixed peel
2 tsp brandy – I used juice
100g unsalted butter, softened
65g light soft brown sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp finely grated orange zest – 1 orange-worth
1 tbsp finely grated lemon zest – 1 lemon-worth
2 tsp treacle
1 tsp ground cinnamon
pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
25g flaked almonds, toasted
200g self-raising flour
25g ground almonds
100g white chocolate
holly sprigs made from icing or chopped glace cherries – I piped mine using royal icing
Put the currants, mixed peel, raisins, and brandy (juice) in a small bowl. Stir, cover, then place in the fridge to steep for 1 hour to 1 week. Strain off the remaining liquid, then finely chop the fruit or whizz in a food processor.
Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas mark 6, and line two trays with non-stick paper.
Cream the butter, sugar, vanilla, and zests. Warm the treacle and add to the butter mixture along with the spices. Mix well to combine.
Roughy crush the toasted almonds, and add to the butter mixture along with the flour, ground almonds and chopped fruit. Mix well to combine.
Roll the mixture into walnut sized balls, the roll in the demerara sugar and place on the prepared baking trays, at least 2cm apart. Bake for 10-15 minutes, until the biscuits look dry and cracked on the surface. Allow to cool on the trays for around 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack.
Melt the white chocolate and spoon on to the top of each cooled biscuit, allowing it to drip a little down the sides. Allow to set slightly, then press the decorations in to the top.
NB. I didn’t have any fondant icing or gumpaste to make decorations, so I used my leftover icing from the wreath cookies to pipe holly on to the top of the biscuits.
I finally used my Christmas plates to serve them at the cookies swap, and they looked great!
I think I am starting to feel that festive spirit!….. and dare I say it… the return of my baking mojo?