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 šŸ™‚ 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 šŸ™‚ Xx
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Our Date with Adriano Zumbo at Fenix Restaurant

I was lucky enough to receive a ticket to ‘High Tea with Adriano Zumbo’ for my birthday from a close friend, and whatĀ a great day it was! This event was held as part of the 2012 Melbourne Food and Wine Festival, at Fenix Restaurant and Events, which is owned by Masterchef Australia’s Gary Mehigan.

The highlight of the afternoon was of course the delectable treats we got to sample from Adriano Zumbo, and meeting the King of the Macaron himself. There were many options on offer, including ‘Zumbarons’, Decorated Chocolate Fondant, Citrus Tarts, Chocolate Marshmallow Tart and an array of savoury pies and sausage rolls. I think I tried all of these things :O

My favourite Zumbaron was definitely the Cola one! It was really buttery but still tasted of Cola – so weird, yet so good. The Salted Butter Caramel was also amazing, but who doesn’t love Salted Caramel?!

Zumbo also did a demonstration making vanilla custard macarons, thenĀ he deep friedĀ them! So weird. He isĀ a very shy person, but he was really happy to answer anyone’s questions, and talked us all through the processes ofĀ creating the humbleĀ Macaron. One thing I learnt was that whilst the Italian meringue method is best used for making sweet macaron flavours, when attempting to make a less sweet version or even a savoury flavour, the Swiss meringue method is the best to use. His reason for this is that there is simply less sugarĀ in Swiss meringue. I have never tried making Swiss meringue before, andĀ it sounds a bit tricky. YouĀ apparently need to heat the egg whites in a waterbath until they reach a certain temp, then beat them back down to room temperature to create the meringue. Sounds complicated…

We had a great day at Fenix, and tasted some amazing sweets! It was awesome to meet Zumbo, he was happy to have a conversation with everyone thereĀ and to pose for photos…AND…contain your excitement fellow Melbournians…!!! We should expect an Adriano Zumbo store, possibly in Fitzroy or South Yarra, by the end of the year!!! Yessssssssssssssss šŸ˜€