Tuesday, November 27, 2012

THE DARING BAKERS NOVEMBER CHALLENGE: TWELVE DAYS OF COOKIES





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.





So, after a couple of months break Marcellina in Cucina is back baking with the Daring Bakers in their monthly challenges. This month Peta of Peta Eats dared us to bake celebration cookies, bars, squares or any celebration sweet. The baking and sharing of cookies at Christmas is not a tradition followed in Australia (though I love the idea!) as it is in the States. Interestingly Peta Eats is Australian based blog but she provided us with some fantastic recipe ideas.

Peta asked that we make at least one of her recipes and then another of our own choice. The piped shortbread looked to good to pass up and it did not dissappoint - melt-in-the-mouth delicious!


 
My own choice was the nutty and moreish Hazelnut Rosettes which are a regular in my household and they look so sweet! Don't you think?
 
Here is the recipes.
 
 
Hazelnut Rosettes (Australia Women's Weekly Beautiful Biscuits)
 
250g butter
1/3 cup castor sugar
60g ground hazelnuts
1 2/3 cups plain flour
choc bits to decorate
 
Heat oven to 180C
Beat butter and sugar well. Mix in hazelnuts and beat again. Stir in the flour. Mix until well combined. Fill a piping bag that has been fitted with a star tube and pipe into small paper or foil cases. Top each with a choc bit and bake for about 15 minutes.

 
 Piped Shortbread
Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time:8-10 minutes
When piped to about 2.5 cm/1 inch this recipe makes approximately 120 cookies.
for golden rings it makes about 60 I didn't got no where near this many
 
Ingredients
1 cup (240 ml) (225 gm) (8 oz) softened butter
1¼ cups (175 gm) (6 oz) all-purpose (plain) flour
½ cup (65 gm) (2- 2/3 oz) confectioners' sugar
¼ cup (45 gm) (1½ oz) cornflour
2 teaspoons (10 ml) vanilla essence
Nuts, chocolate chips, maraschino cherries
Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to moderate 300°F/ 150°C/gas mark 2
2. Combine butter, flours, vanilla and confectioner's sugar in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle beater. Mix on low speed until combined and then change to the whisk beater.
3. Beat for 10 minutes.
4. Pipe into rings.
5. Decorate with maraschino cherry pieces to look like little wreaths or leave plain.
6. Bake in preheated moderate oven for 15 to 18 minutes, or until bottoms are lightly browned.
7. Cool completely and drizzle with melted chocolate or icing (frosting) if you want to.

 
 To pipe shortbread beat for 10 minutes NO MORE – if you overbeat the mixture it won’t hold when it cooks.
A cool oven is important. If your oven is too hot the butter and sugar boils and you end up with lacy cookies that fall apart as soon as you try to do anything with them.
Between piping put the bowl and the piping bag away from your oven so it doesn’t get hot but don’t put it in the refrigerator because it gets too cold and you can’t pipe it.


How many cookies will you bake for Christmas gift giving?