brown butter, oatmeal and chocolate cookies.

These are amazing.

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I’ve never made cookies with brown butter before, but I suspect I may adjust all of my cookie recipes to use it from now on. It is DELICIOUS.

I’m not going to write out the recipe here, I’ll just link to it on this super yummy blog.

This one is DEFINITELY going in my go-to cookbook.

Ooh, and here’s a cool picture of the butter browning.

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cheesy relish soup dippers.

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When I eat soup – and I eat soup a lot – it’s really about what I’ve got to dip in the soup. Usually, it’s regular toast soldiers, sometimes it’s a nice artisan type bread that I’ve made myself, and every now and then it is something extremely awesome like this.

We’ve been making an obscene amount of relish recently, and so I’ve introduced my boyfriend to the wonders of relish toasts (essentially, smother a piece of toast with relish, dump cheese on top and fling it in the oven until it’s crispy).

So one night I figured, why wouldn’t that work with toast soldiers?

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how to make the perfect crepe.

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Annabel Langbein’s crepe mixture is the ideal place to start here: it has the exact correct consistency, and it tastes great as well.

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brandy snaps.

I didn’t make the casings for these: I just whipped the cream and filled them with an icing gun. But, they’re amazing.

I will try and make my own casings soon – I’ve got a recipe. So watch out for that in the nearish future.

Anyway, I referred to these on my list of top five Christmas foods and now those of you who haven’t experienced these glorious culinary critters can see how amazing they are. I wish I could communicate taste through the internet. I really do.

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chocolate dipped popcorn.

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Got my dipping swirl out again yesterday and tried it out on some kettle corn. Yes, it’s amazing. Glad you asked.

Anyway, I suppose I ought to put some semblance of a recipe on here, so:

 

6oz (170g) of cooking chocolate

1T kremelta (vegetable shortening)

 

Melt In 30 second intervals in the microwave at 50% power, stirring in between. Once the mixture is fully melted, dip your [pre-popped] popcorn in it. Make sure you drain each piece well, or you’ll wind up with big chocolate puddles. Leave to cool on baking paper (chuck it in the fridge if it’s just not going fast enough for you).

 

You will also probably note some ginormous chocolate stars in there. Those are chocolate covered ginger stars, and they’re gorgeous. Just use the gingerbread recipe from last post, bake for 10 minutes, cool and dip. They are so extremely yummy! I may do a whole post in their honour sometime. For now, they were just something to do with leftover gingerbread dough.

 

Enjoy!

coming soon …

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Currently making: NINJA BREAD MEN. Stay tuned.

‘easy’ christmas mince pies.

I put easy in quote marks up there because I believe it’s what you’re supposed to do when writing recipes – anything that you use pre-made things for is called ‘easy’. It drives me crazy. It’s not easy – it usually requires a trip to the supermarket. Because that annoys me so much, I’m going to track down some recipes for the things that are pre-made.

I found a great website, actually, that gives recipes for both short pastry and fruit mince. Success! Recipes and links will be included at the bottom.

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You ready for this?

Cut out 65mm round shapes from a rolled block of sweet short pastry. Put them into mini-muffin cups. There is a certain degree of care needed here as the pastry is delicate and can tear.

Then, put about a half teaspoon of fruit mince in each one. I know this doesn’t seem like much, but the mixture expands to almost double. Be wary of putting in too much. As this batch reminded me, too much mixture results in overflowing, stars sinking, and tears. Well … maybe not the tears.

Cut out little star shapes if you’ve got such a cookie cutter and stick those on top.

Bake at 180 degrees Celsius for 10-15 minutes – mine definitely leaned to the 15 minute end of that – and let cool for 2-3 minutes before removing from the muffin pan.

DO NOT LET THEM COOL IN THE MUFFIN PAN! You will never get them out whole if you do this.

Dust with icing sugar. They keep really well for several weeks.

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Fruit mince (note that this recipe is amazing for not having suet in it – I made fruit mince with suet once and the experience was so disgusting I simply couldn’t eat it, though everyone said it was lovely):

1.5 cups chopped raisins

1 cup chopped sultanas

1/4 cup chopped dried apricots

2T chopped glace cherries

2T chopped almonds [I would toast these but that’s just me]

1/2 cup mixed glazed peel

1/3 cup currants

1 apple, peeled and grated

1tsp grated lemon rind

1tsp grated orange rind

1T lemon juice

1 cup brown sugar

1tsp mixed spice

1/4tsp nutmeg

1/4 cup brandy

60g melted butter

Combine all of the ingredients and stir well. [At this point I would also heat them up pretty well on the stove, while stirring, to get that sugar all melted in and the liquid thickening up into a sauce.] Then pour into jars and seal [perhaps use a canning method? I must try this recipe myself].

Sweet short pastry

1 cup flour

60g butter

1T caster sugar

1tsp cornflour

1 egg

water

 

Process the flour, butter, sugar, cornflour in a whizz until it’s crumbly. Add the egg and process for another 20 seconds or so. If you need to, add a little bit of water until the mixture comes together. Turn out and knead until smooth, then cover with gladwrap and put in the fridge for at least 15 minutes.

 

Both these recipes came from rainbowcooking.co.nz, a site that makes me really want to try South African recipes!

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