Sunday, 23 December 2007

Season's Greetings from the southern hemisphere!

Christmas is always the best excuse to do some serious baking.

Unfortunately its usually stinkingly hot in Melbourne at this time of year - so sweating it out over a hot stove on top of the usual Christmas time over achieving is a little more arduous than fun.

But with plentiful rain being the bestest-ever possible early Christmas present for our drought ridden land, I am seriously enjoying some quality time with my oven.

The last month I have barely stepped foot in the kitchen (except to sneak past the gargantuan pile of dishes and quickly grab the stash of home delivery menus). We have eaten so much pizza lately I'm ashamed to call myself a foodie. However this has been nicely juxtaposed with quite a few "nice" restaurant visits including the work Christmas party at Rockpool - encrusted with enough lobster and wagyu beef to fund a small military operation.

Nice as it was, my heart yearned for the simple pleasure of rubbing butter into flour, adding a bit of this, a touch of that and a few minutes in the oven followed by the heady sweet smell of baked goodness wafting throughout the house. And best of all - I am officially on holiday and can indulge in the fiddly biscuit department to my heart's content.

Now I can't claim any of the credit for these cuties. Instead all kudos goes to an unnamed and probably completely under valued staff chef at Nestle.

To be completely honest, they aren't the best biscuit flavour wise - but they are so much fun to make and the squeals and ahs a plate of these will generate is definitely worth it. They truly do look amazing and are remarkably good at restoring one's Christmas spirit. I am also tickled by the ironic use of a "Star of David" style cutter too.

Christmas Star Biscuits

Preparation time: 50 mins (including chilling time)

Makes approx 20

250g butter
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup caster sugar
2 cups plain flour
1/2 cup rice flour
1/4 cup cocoa
1/2 cup clear boiled lollies, chopped

Cream butter, vanilla and sugar in a mixing bowl. Sift flours and cocoa together. Combine with butter mixture, mixing well.

Turn out to a clean surface and knead until dough comes together. Cut in half. Place each half between two sheets of baking paper and roll out to approx 8mm thickness. Refrigerate until firm.

Pre-heat oven to 150 degrees Celsius.

Remove top sheet of paper, cut out shapes using a 7cm star cutter. Place onto a tray lined with paper. Cut out inner star with a 3 1/2 cm cutter and remove. (Collect the "waste" re-roll, chill and repeat for more biscuits)

Bake for 8 minutes, remove from the oven and fill the center with a few chunks of the chopped lollies. Turn up the oven to 180 degrees and bake for a further 8-10 minutes or until the lollies have melted and the biscuits have cooked. Allow to cool on trays.

Boiled lollies are often hard to find. Don't use the milky ones because they won't melt properly or give the glass effect. This year the only "boiled style" lollies I could find were Starburst lollipops. They worked fine but were pretty strongly flavoured. Also, don't overfill the middles - otherwise you will break your teeth trying to eat them!

1 comment:

Isa said...

wow! the biscuits are really nice! they must taste wonderful!! thanks for the recipe :)