Wednesday, 20 August 2008

4 years in the baking

My husband thinks I'm a geek for making these biscuits. Like he can talk. Mr Magical Cardboards.

I've had these earmarked in my recipe folder since - well possibly Barcelona. The last time I actually watched the Olympics. Before I became "too cool" and uber intellectual for major sporting events and "national pride". To be Aussie equaled Ocker and thus the cultural cringe seeped into my everyday life.

Fortunately I eventually realised that being so exclusive cut you off from what was going on and the reality was that while you were busy poo-poohing something, you were actually missing out on all the fun.

Besides (appalling channel 7 coverage aside) it's rare to have such an abundance of "good news" on the TV. (Good meaning celebration of human sporting achievements not the glossing over of human rights abuses/pollution/poverty etc in China). If you step back and analyse the "news" you could reasonably assume that we, as a nation, seem to be thoroughly addicted to the trauma and appalling in this world. It is as though only the shocking can rouse our interest. That only the painful can be real. I vehemently disagree.

Happiness is NOT superficial.

It doesn't have to be all sunshine and lollipops, to quote the great (?) Leslie Gore. We just need a little more balance.

Perhaps some Very Silly biscuits.

Fiddly, silly biscuits at that.

With stupid amounts of artificial colouring.

Biscuits, that despite the fiddle and the inexplicably blotchy icing, were perfect and delicious. Worth doing again regardless of sporting events.

So, its almost over for another 4 years. We can go back to our regular programming. We can stop sooking about our position on the medal tally, the "they spend more than us" keeping up with the Jones' type behaviour and remember that we are actually, in the scheme of things, a very small nation. That our achievements are fabulous regardless of what happened last time or who did better this time. That participation is the reward not the precious metals. I'm sure the athletes would agree.

And that perhaps the Arts deserves a piece of the funding pie too.

Mmmm. Pie.

Olympic Rings Biscuits
(recipe from Cadbury newsletter "A Taste of Chocolate" circa 1992)

125g, butter softened
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1/2 cup grated dark chocolate
1 cup plain flour
1 cup S.R. flour

Icing sugar and food dye (use Cocoa for black)

Pre-heat oven to 160 degrees Celsius. Cream butter and sugar, add egg and vanilla and beat well. Then mix in chocolate and finally the (sifted) flours.

Mix will be quite tacky and crumbly. Form a ball with hands and either refrigerate before rolling out on a well floured surface or place between two sheets of baking paper.

Roll out to about 6mm thick. Refrigerate again till firm. Cut out circles using a large circle biscuit cutter. Then cut out centers with a smaller cutter (these can be cooked as small biscuits or added to dough to make more rings).

*I forgot till this step that I didn't actually own round cookie cutters so I used a well floured upturned Whisky glass and a narrow shot glass. These were fine and actually made really nice large biscuits*

Place rings on a lined baking tray. Cook for 12 - 15 minutes or until lightly golden brown at the edges.

When cold, ice with icing that has been coloured with blue, red, yellow and green food dye . Add cocoa to the icing mix and make as dark as possible for the black rings (tho' bear in mind it may not set rock hard if you add heaps as I discovered). You could just use melted dark chocolate instead.

Makes 20 large biscuits.

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