Sunday, December 18, 2011

Christmas Cookies

It is getting scarily close to Christmas and this is when my gifts in jar series really comes into its own. They are the perfect last minute gift fix. Most of the ingredients you should already have, jars are easy to come by and they are so quick to assemble while still looking as though you have put hours of thought and effort into the gift.

Last week over at Rosendahl's Karen Blixens Jul blog I featured a very festive Christmas Cookies in a Jar recipe. 

Behind the scenes - Photographer Hanne arranging the Christmas table

The finished product

Christmas Cookies - Cranberry, oatmeal and white chocolate

Jar ingredients (0.75L jar)
3/4 cup (110g) plain flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup (75g) firmly packed brown sugar
1/3 cup (75g) white sugar
3/4 cup (65g) rolled oats
100 g (or one small pack) dried cranberries
100g (or one small pack) white chocolate chips

Extra ingredients for making cookies - to go on tag (download the Noel Cookie Tag here)
125g butter, melted and cooled
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Sift flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt in a bowl. Spoon the flour mixture into jar.

Top with brown sugar, then white sugar, oats, cranberries, white chocolate chips. Seel jar

To Make Cookies
Pre-heat the oven to 190 degrees Celsius and line 2 baking trays with baking paper.

Empty jar contents into a large bowl. Add butter, egg and vanilla and stir until combined.

Shape tablespoons of mixture into balls and place on baking trays approximately 5cm apart. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, swapping trays halfway during cooking, or until edges are lightly browned. Turn biscuits onto a wire rack to cool.

All things lemon

I eat lemons like fruit, rind and all and I love cooking with them, making sweet and savoury dishes. Although J often tells me I add too much lemon to the things I make, this lemon and coconut slice made with homemade lemon butter is one of his all time favorite treats.

So here are two recipes I featured over at Rosendahl's Karen Blixen's Jul Blog for all those citrus loving people out there. I hope you enjoy them as much as we do.

Lemon Butter or Lemon Curd

Download the Lemon Butter Tag here

1 1/2 cups

2 eggs, plus 2 egg yolks
3/4 cup (165g) caster sugar
1/3 cup (80g) chilled unsalted butter
Zest and juice of 2 lemons

Whisk whole eggs, yolks and sugar in a saucepan until smooth, then place pan over a low heat. Add the butter, juice and zest and whisk continuously until thickened. Strain through a sieve into a sterilised jar.

NOTE: Because it is made with fresh eggs, Lemon butter keeps, covered, in the fridge for 2 weeks.

If you don't want to make the slice (although I think you are crazy not to give it a try) you can use lemon butter in the way you would use jam. Here are some ideas:
  • Spread it on - on toast, scones, pancakes and waffles
  • Fill up little pre-made pastry shells for a quick desert - top with icing sugar and fresh fruit
  • Make a lemon pie
  • Dribble it over meringues 

Lemon Coconut Slice

125g unsalted butter, melted, cooled
3/4 cup caster sugar
1 1/2 cups self-raising flour, sifted
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/3 cup lemon butter/curd (see related recipe)

Coconut topping
1 eggwhite, lightly beaten
3/4 cup caster sugar
1 1/2 cups desiccated coconut


Preheat oven to 180°C/160°C fan-forced. Grease a 3cm-deep, 18cm x 28cm (base) slice pan. Line base and sides with baking paper, allowing a 2cm overhang.

Place butter, sugar, flour and egg in a bowl. Stir to combine. Press into prepared pan. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes or until light golden.

Meanwhile, make coconut topping Place eggwhite, sugar and coconut in a bowl. Stir to combine.

Spread lemon butter evenly over slice base. Sprinkle with topping. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until coconut is golden brown. Cool in pan. Cut into squares. Serve.