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Christmas shortbread

24 Dec

I decided to make shortbread as Christmas gifts, but am pretty fussy about shortbread and was hesitant to try a random recipe from the interwebs.

I found one on taste.com.au that not too many people had whinged about, and gave it a whirl.

It was very easy to make (this was my first time making shortbread, too), and the end result was awesome – it had a light, buttery, very crumbly texture.  It was perfect and I won’t even bother trying any other recipes – this one’s a keeper.

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Before baking)

Excuse the shitty camera phone pics…

I cut them in various Christmassy shapes and dusted some with icing sugar, and let the kids drizzle some melted chocolate over others.  Packaged them up in cellophane cake pop bags, put homemade Christmas stickers on them and palmed them off to the relos as pressies.

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Finished product)

Being Christmas Eve, I was in too much of a rush to get photos of them all packaged up.  Just deal, ok?  (Good excuse to make them another day and get some decent pics, though).

Recipe from taste.com.au:

  • Melted butter, to grease
  • 225g (1 1/2 cups) plain flour
  • 120g (2/3 cup) McKenzie’s Rice Flour
  • 100g (1/2 cup) caster sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 225g cold butter, coarsely chopped
  • Plain flour, extra, to dust
  • Melted white chocolate, to decorate
  1. Preheat oven to 150°C.  Brush 2 large baking trays with melted butter to lightly grease.
  2. Combine the flour, rice flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Use your fingertips to rub in the butter until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth.
  3. Roll dough out until 1cm thick. Use a 5cm-diameter star-shaped pastry cutter to cut shapes from dough. Place on prepared trays. Bake in oven for 45 minutes, swapping trays halfway through cooking, or until shortbread starts to change colour. Cool on trays for 1 hour. Drizzle with chocolate to decorate.

(I only cooked them for about 20-25 minutes and it was long enough – do the recommended 45 minutes and they would be crap).

Christmas cupcakes

11 Dec

P1160702 (800x599)

 

These are the Christmas cupcakes I made for my daughter’s class.  Vanilla sponge, vanilla frosting and Wilton’s Candy Melts piped decorations.

VERY easy.  And of course I made the cupcakes in the Sunbeam Pattie Cupcake Maker and used my shiny new Kenwood Chef Premier to mix everything.  Try not to be jelly.

Cupcakes:

  • 1 cheapo sponge cake mix
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 3 tbsp margarine

Mock cream frosting:

  • 100g Solite
  • 75g caster sugar
  • 45ml water
  • Vanilla, to taste

Decorations:

  • Wilton’s Candy Melts – green and red
  • Choc-filled sprinkles

No directions (it’s pretty obvious!).

The sponge cake mix (yes, a mix – I’m a very important and busy person!) was from Aldi and cost 75c(!).  Because the cupcakes were for kids* and I had run out of patty pans, I used regular cupcake papers but only used 25g of mix in each one (usually I would put in 40g).  I got 26 cupcakes out of it, which is pretty good.  There were exactly enough for the kids and teachers, so we didn’t get to try them out – hope they don’t taste like crap…

Because I was sending these to school in a cupcake carrier, I had to keep the height down so they’d fit inside.  So that’s why the frosting is low and the decorations aren’t standing upright.  If these had been going to sit on a table and were for adults, I would have used more cake mix in each case, put lots more frosting on top and made them a bit more special-looking. (The ones with a full swirl of frosting are for the teachers).

You might want to sit down for this part – the Wilton Candy Melts actually melted this time!!  Maybe I did have a dodgy bag last time.  I melted these ones in a snap-lock bag and piped straight from it.  I just used a yellow sprinkle for the star on each tree, and red ones for holly berries.  I was in a rush so the decorations are pretty crap, but I’d like to see the kids try to complain about it to my face… yeah, that’s what I thought.

* I usually make patty pan sized cupcakes for the kids, because most of them only lick the icing off, anyway, and they don’t need big, huge ones.  Plus, there’s a saying in my house – “You get what you get, and you don’t get upset”.  

Christmas cupcakes
(Decorations piped using Wilton’s Candy Melts)

P1160700 (800x601)
(Kids’ cupcakes, with less frosting)