Friday, December 24, 2010

'Tis the season to get baking!

I've been baking for a few days now, in preparation for the festive season, which has come around again so quickly. So I thought I would post one of my favorite Christmas recipes... simple to make and oh so tasty, Chocolate Shortbread! Enjoy!

Chocolate Short Bread Stars
• makes about 45
• Prep time is 15 minutes + 1hr chilling time and 10 minutes cooling time
• 25 minutes cooking time
• Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks

200 g butter, cubed at room temperature
150g (1cup) icing sugar, sifted
1 egg, at room temperature
1tsp vanilla essence
350g (2, 1/2 cups) plain flour
50g (1/2 cup) cocoa powder
1 egg white, lightly whisked
2tbs sugar

Time to cook:
1. Use electric beaters to beat butter and icing sugar in a medium bowl for 2-3 minutes or until pale and creamy. Add egg and vanilla essence and beat for a further 10 minutes or until well combined.
2. Sift together the flour and cocoa and add to the butter mixture gradually. Use the slowest speed on the electric beaters to mix the sifted ingredients into the butter mixture, until the mixture starts to come together (don't allow to form a ball). Bring the mixture together with your hands and shape into a disc. Cut the disc in half, wrap each portion in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 1 hour to chill.
3. Preheat oven to 180c. Line 2 large baking trays with non-stick baking paper.
4. Roll out one portion of dough on a lightly floured surface, using a pressing movement with the rolling pin, until 1.5cm thick. Use a biscuit cutter to cut the dough into shapes. Place the shapes on the lined trays about 1cm apart. gather the dough scraps together and repeat the process.
5. Brush the surface of the cookies with egg white and sprinkle evenly with sugar.
6. Bake in preheated oven for 12-13 minutes or until the shortbread is firm to touch. remove from the oven and cool on trays for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Repeat steps 4 to 6 with the second portion of dough.

Here are some pics of the process and the yummy yummy finished cookies....

Cookies about to go into the oven...

Cookies cooling...

Mmmmm... Cookies!

Make sure you make them thick, like this.

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