Dark Chocolate Sugar Cookies with Gingerbread Buttercream

I have seen a couple of fellow bloggers make these super-cute cookies lately, and I have really wanted to try making them myself too, especially since the recipe is from the wonderful Sweetapolita! These cookies most definitely lived up to my expectation. Not only were they soooooo yummy, but they were really easy to make and even with halving the recipe, I still had 40 sandwiched cookies!
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Another thing I love about these cookies is that you can do anything with them. You can leave them plain, just decorate them or fill them. I decided on the previous two. My blogging buddy Sugabuttacream filled hers with espresso buttercream, which would be great to try as well. Gingerbread buttercream is definitely one of my favourites around Christmas time, it is so yummy and easy to make, plus it keeps really well and the flavour tends to develop over a couple of days.
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Dark Chocolate Sugar Cookies: (recipe adapted from Sweetapolita – makes 40 sandwiched cookies, 80 single cookies)
  • 3 cups plain flour
  • 3/4 cup good quality cocoa
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 225g butter, chopped and softened – not melted
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste/vanilla extract
Sift flour, salt and cocoa into a bowl and set aside. Place butter and sugars in bowl, and beat until pale and creamy. Add egg and vanilla, and beat well until combined. Stir in dry ingredients until mixure forms a dough.
On a floured surface, knead half of the dough until it becomes smooth. Shape into a ball. If you want to use dough straight away, refrigerate for 30 minutes. If you are using it in a few days time, freeze the dough. Remove from freezer 2-3 before use and leave it to thaw at room temperature. Repeat kneading with other half of mixture.
Preheat oven to 160c, and line 4-5 oven trays with baking paper. Place one ball of dough between 2 sheets of baking paper. With a rolling pin, roll dough out until it is about 1cm thick. With a cookie cutter, cut shapes out from the dough and carefully place them on baking paper. When tray is filled place in the oven for 10 minutes, or until the cookies are just slightly soft. Let them cool on trays, then place on a wire rack.
Choc Sugar Cookies
Sugar Icing (for decorating):
  • Icing sugar, about 1 1/2 cups
  • Water
  • Wilton’s colouring gel, green
As per the icing I used for the Melted Snowmen, I didn’t really use exact measurements. I combined icing sugar and water until it became a thick paste, then added the green colouring. With a piping bag fitted with a very thin round nozzle, I piped around the edges of the trees, and added a few gold and silver cachous as the decorations. The icing dries really quickly, so add the cachous as you go.
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Gingerbread Buttercream:
  • 350g salted butter, chopped and softened – not melted
  • 1 1/2-2 cups icing sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
Beat butter until pale and creamy. Gradually add the icing sugar and other spices. If you only want a hint of the spices, you could add bit less, and if you want a strong hit of ginger, you can add more. You can just keep tasting, but these quantities, for me, are just the right balance 🙂 If you are not using the buttercream until the following the day or after, refrigerate, then take out of the fridge an hour before use. As mentioned earlier, I personally like to make it a couple of days in advance because the flavour of the spices tend to develop. Place the buttercream in a piping bag fitted with a round nozzle. Pipe 2 lines of buttercream down the middle of the tree biscuit, then sandwich with another. You can either refrigerate the cookies, or leave them in a cool, dry place.
Piping...
I hope you all had a lovely Christmas, I can’t believe it’s all over for another year! It’s sad but also kind of a relief at the same time. Here are some of the yummy things my family had on Christmas Day (minus the oysters – ew!!).
Christmas Day
January the 1st also marks whiskitforabiscuit’s first birthday – so thank you to everybody who has supported my baking endeavours throughout the past year by coming to visit my site! It is slowly growing in terms of views and followers, which is really exciting to see, so please feel free to comment, like and follow – it would be greatly appreciated! So thank you all so much, and I sincerely hope you come back to say hi in the new year 🙂 Xx
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Melted Snowmen Shortbread

Wow. What a crazy busy few weeks it has been! I cannot believe I haven’t baked anything Christmassy until now, I had so much planned to do in the last couple of weeks, but I always seem to be way too ambitious when Christmas baking is concerned. So, here we are – shortbread on the 13th of December! They are certianly no culinary masterpieces, but it is great shortbread though, even if I say so myself. And they are quite cute. And this is exactly what would happen if we could make snowmen at Christmas in Australia.

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Homemade shortbread has always been one of my favourites around Christmas time, and this is actually the first time I have properly made it myself (you can probably tell – they are far from consistent!). I used a Taste.com recipe, surprise, surprise, and it was awesome – really buttery and melted in your mouth. One of the things I love about shortbread is that it is sooo easy to make. It has 5 ingredients that would usually be in your pantry anyway. The dough is pretty tasty, too. Tasty enough that we probably lost a snowman or two due to my severe lack of self-control when it comes to dough.

Yummy

Shortbread: (recipe adapted from Taste.com) Makes 18 large snowmen.

  • 250g butter, chopped and softened
  • 1 cup icing sugar
  • 1/2 vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 1/2 cup cornflour

Preheat oven to 160c. Line 3 oven trays with baking paper. Beat butter, icing sugar and vanilla until pale and creamy. Add the flours and stir to combine. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface, and knead until smooth. If you find the dough too sticky, just add a bit more flour when kneading. Wrap the dough tightly in cling wrap, and refrigerate for 20 minutes.

Cut dough in half, and roll out with a rolling pin between two sheets of baking paper, until the dough is about 1-1/2cm thick. With a ring mould, or a round cookie cutter, cut circles out from the dough and place them on the baking trays. Cook for 20-25 minutes. The shortbread should not be too ‘blonde’ as they would say on Masterchef! I tried to take mine out just as they were beginning to go a tiny bit golden. Let cool on trays for 15-20 minutes.

Shortbread!

Turning the shortbread into Melted Snowmen:

  • 18 white marshmallows
  • Silver cachous
  • Orange sprinkles
  • Icing sugar
  • Lemon juice
  • Water
  • Vanilla bean paste
  • Edible black pen (these are fantastic, I bought mine from Baking Pleasures)

To be honest, I didn’t measure out the ingredients in the icing. I used a small-medium bowl, and started off with approx. 1/2 cup icing sugar, and probably 2 tsp of water. Mix the sugar and water together, then add the vanilla and lemon juice. It needs to be fairly thick, but still spreadable enough to move around on the shortbread. It should be this consistency. and should be well balanced with vanilla and lemon 🙂 This icing dries really quickly, so keep giving a stir every now and then.

Like this...

Draw faces on the marshmallows, I made them sad and confused, as they had just endured a serious heatwave!

 

Place a wire rack on top of some paper towel. Pour a teaspoon of icing onto the shortbread, and spread out to make it look as though the icing is dripping off the sides. Place a marshmallow on the shortbread, and 2 or 3 silver cachous in front if the marshmallow. Push an orange sprinkle into the marshmallow for the nose. Yum!

Heatwave...

These cute, sad little snowmen are great for the kids to make. They are really easy and fun to decorate 🙂 Plus, the shortbread tastes really good, too. Enjoy, and stay tuned for some more Christmas baking goodness 🙂 X

 

 

M&M Cookie Dough Macarons

Ever since I’d laid eyes on this cookie dough buttercream recipe from Raspberri Cupcakes and Annie’s Eats, I’ve wanted to make something a little out of the ordinary with it and I’ve had quite a few ideas. Due to of the colour of the buttercream, I really wanted to make something super bright. I thought a bright blue macaron shell and M&M’s would do the trick. So, here we are.

Often when I make bright macaron shells, the colour can bake out a little, but these babies stayed nice and blue, albeit a slight green tinge. It worked really well though, because of all the different colours of the M&Ms.

I used my usual macaron shell recipe, and added about half a teaspoon of Wilton’s colouring gel. I was careful not to go too crazy with the colouring – I wanted to avoid what happened with the Salt and Vinegar Macarons. As the blue gel is so concentrated, it was perfect 🙂

I lovvvvvvvvvvved the cookie dough buttercream! It is really easy to make, is so versatile (can’t wait to make cookie dough cupcakes!), and it doesn’t have scary raw egg (which is a bonus for me because I’m allergic!).

I totally recommend making this buttercream, because it is sooo easy! The list is endless with what you can make (think filled cupcakes, cookie sandwiches, layer cakes or even ice cream – or just eat it out of the bowl?), and you can a million types of chocolate and/or lollies 🙂 Yum!

Excuse the small post, but stay tuned for a nice big one for next week! 🙂

Raspberry and White Chocolate Ice Cream Sandwiches

I apologise for the lack of posts lately, the end of the Uni semester has approached and is rapidly taking over my life! So, I thought I would post something simple, yet so good. Cue…the most AMAZING cookie recipe, ever.

I have been making this recipe for years and years now, and it is always a winner. Crunchy around the edges and amazingly gooey chocolately incredibleness in the middle. I stumbled across it in my early teens from a school cookbook where each student contributes their favourite recipe, and what a gem this recipe is. You can mix it up however you like and it will remain insanely awesome! This is the first time I have included raspberries, or any berries, for that matter, in the mix. It is safe to say it will not be the last time I add raspberries! I love the tangy freshness they give amongst the richness of the white chocolate and the crunchy/gooey combination of the cookie.

Previous additions to this cookie have included simple choc-chip (I always double the amount of chocolate in the recipe so that they’re super chunky), choc-chip and peanut butter, Reeses pieces, M&M’s, Peppermint Aero, Peppermint Crisp and Cherry Ripe and White Choc and Macadamia. The possibilities are endless!

I also love Ice Cream. Who doesn’t? For these Ice Cream Sandwiches I actually used Wildberry frozen yoghurt (because it was all we had in the freezer, and I am kind of, sort of, trying really hard to be healthy).

The Most Amazing Cookie Recipe Of All Time: (if you are just making these with choc-chips, or anything similar, the recipe says to add 1 cup but that’s a bit too boring for me. I add 1 1/2-2 cups :D)

  • 125g butter, softened, not melted
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup castor (white) sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence OR 1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 1 3/4 cups self-raising flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/3 cups white chocolate chips OR white chocolate, chopped
  • 1 1/3 cups raspberries, fresh OR frozen (personally, I prefer frozen as I am a poor Uni student and they are so much cheaper and the quality really is just as good)

Preheat the oven to 200c, 190c fan forced. Line 3 baking trays with non-stick baking paper. In a bowl, combine the butter and both sugars, and using an electric beater or a stand mixer, beat until light and fluffy, usually about 2-3 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla and beat well. Combine flour and salt, and add to the butter and sugar mixture. Mix until well combined, then add the chocolate and raspberries/whatever you like! Don’t worry if the dough doesn’t come together immediately, it will take a few minutes. If the mixture is really chunky and bits of chocolate are falling off the dough, just try to press them back in! Roll teaspoon sized balls of mixture and place on the tray – make sure you space them well because they do spread out a lot. I had a few siamese triplets in this batch. Gently press a fork down on each ball to slightly flatten if you can (I struggled with this one because there is too much choc and raspberries to make a mark)- you don’t have to do this but I think the fork mark is a stamp of a true homemade treat 🙂 Bake cookies for 12-15 minutes, and allow to cool on trays for 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack.

When ready to serve, place a scoop of ice cream/frozen yoghurt on a cookie, and sandwich with another. Yum! (if you wanted to jazz it up, you could drizzle some melted chocolate or raspberry coulis around the plate, and garnish with fresh raspberries and mint leaves! OR even make your own Ice Cream ;D, or make a chocolate, cheesecake or maybe even citrus version etc, etc, etc…I could go on all night). This is a great easy dessert for the time poor or for beginner bakers – you can’t go wrong with these cookies!