This month in the Daring Baker's challenge, we got a little bit festive. Holiday season is the time for sharing and Peta of Peta Eats is sharing a dozen cookies, some classics and some of her own, from all over the world with us. She gave us 12 cookie recipe to choose from and challenged us to bake at least one of the 12 cookies, as well as our own celebration cookies.
Here's the two I baked for the challenge.
First up was my choice from the 12 recipes provided: Chocolate Coconut Cookies from Baking Glory. Not only did they sound delicious, but they used two ingredients I was keen to use up: coconut and cream cheese.
In my laziness, I altered the method a little. Rather than flattening balls of dough in my hand, I rolled out all the dough between two sheets of baking paper, then used a fluted circular cutter to cut rounds from them.
Some of the bakers on the Daring Bakers problem reported problems with the recipe flattening and not holding shape. I was really lazy with conversion and just used Aus cups cup-for-cup, meaning I had slightly larger portion of dry ingredients. so I probably ended up with a slightly stiffer dough. That perhaps aided the whole keeping shape deal. Some came out fine. But in others, where minor cracks had formed during the shaping of the dough, the cracks expanded and the filling began to spill out along with it.
I opted instead to grease a mini muffin tray and bake the biscuits inside them to help them hold their shape a bit better.
These biscuits were such a hit, wherever they went. I got about 40 biscuits out of the recipe and gave packages of them to different family members. Everyone adored them and went back for multiple helpings. When I bake, I'm usually keen to pass the results over to everyone else to try, but even I wanted to grab a second of these. Yum!
For my next trick, I'd had thoughts of attempting something a bit fancy for the daring bakers. But really, how could I go past shortbread? No Christmas in my household is complete without them. That is, if the biscuits survive until Christmas.
I couldn't help but give the shortbread a little festive twist.
I used Christmas sprinkles and poppy seeds to adorn the shortbread pre-baking. Some of them got holly…
… whilst Rudolf became trapped inside the others.
The shortbread recipe I used was a quick and easy version. A cheaters version, if you will. Since I don't have a food processor, and my pseudo-food processor died, the words "rub butter into the flour" strikes dread in my heart every time I read it in a recipe. It's exacerbated by the fact that I have long nails, which so get in the way when using this method. There are days I have a bit more patience and can deal with the rubbing method, but that was not this day. So I used a melt 'n' mix method. I'd avoided it in the past as I thought it would not yield great shortbread. While you can't beat the original method, this shortbread is almost as good. Add to the fact that it is super quick and easy and any minute differences in the texture are erased from your mind. These were delicious, short and crumbly. everything that shortbread should be.
To check out the 12 recipes we were given for the challenge, head over to Daring Kitchen. Meantime, here's my recipe for the shortbread.
Melt 'n' Mix Festive Shortbread
125g (4oz) butter
2 tbsp icing sugar
1 tbsp cornflour
1/8 cup caster sugar
¼ tsp vanilla essence
150g plain flour
festive sprinkles, for decorating
You'll find the printable version of this recipe here.