Sunday, December 12, 2010

Twelve Weeks of Christmas Cookies: Week Eleven

Another recipe with coffee this week.  I have few words this week so I'm going to get pretty much straight into the recipe. I did want to add that this is the first time I've used an electric beater for years!  I must say it was so much easier and required much less effort.  Before this is was just my wooden spoon and my arm muscles. I think I creamed the butter and sugar a bit better too because it was so easy.  Thanks to my mother for giving me her electric beater!

Warning: This cookie is super sweet with the frosting, so if you do not like super sweet then I would advise using either a cranberry glaze or a thin coating of the frosting.  I'm in a sugar coma after tasting the frosting then eating a cookie.

Espresso Cookies with Cranberry Frosting

175g unsalted butter
1 heaped cup of caster (fine) sugar
1 egg
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1/4 cup cocoa
1 tsp baking powder
3 heaped Tbsp ground coffee
3 Tbsp espresso coffee (or very very strong brewed coffee)

Sift flour, cocoa and baking powder into a bowl and set aside.  Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy then add egg, ground coffee and vanilla extract and beat into butter and sugar.  Add dry ingredients to wet and mix with a spoon, then add espresso and mix well.  Roll dough into golf ball sized balls and slightly flatten on baking sheet.  Bake for 15 minutes at 300F then  remove from oven and let cool before frosting.

1/2 cup frozen or fresh cranberries
1 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 cup confectioners sugar

In a saucepan, simmer the cranberries, water and 1/2 cup sugar until it reaches the thick syrupy stage (about 15-20 minutes simmering) and then let cool.  Beat confectioners sugar and butter until light and fluffy then add cooled cranberry sauce.  Beat again for several minutes then spread on cooled cookies.

Week 11 Twelve Weeks of Christmas:

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Twelve Weeks of Christmas Cookies: Week Ten

I made this last year as a Christmas gift for a workmate.  I placed it in a clear box with a pretty ribbon and she was thrilled at the gift; mainly at how it was presented because she said it looked so professional but also the taste.  I personally love almonds and coffee.  There isn't much I don't like really when it comes to food and flavours but almonds and coffee are definitely one of my many favourite flavours.  This isn't a cookie per se but something you could include in a gift or a cookie tray as an alternative.  This recipe comes from the Australian magazine "Super Food Ideas" which is packed with fantastic recipes each month.  I particularly love the Christmas issues because they always have great ideas.

Almond and Coffee Bean Brittle

1 1/2 cups caster sugar (fine white sugar)
1/2 cup glucose syrup
2 cups blanched almonds
1/2 cup almond kernels
2 tablespoons coffee beans, crushed
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

Grease a 20cm x 30cm pan.  Place sugar, syrup, 1/4 cup cold water and a pinch of salt in a pan.  Cook, stirring for 5 minutes or until sugar dissolves.  Increase heat to high and bring to the boil.  Cook, without stirring for 3 to 5 minutes.  Add blanched almonds.  Cook for 10-12 minutes on low to medium heat, swirling pan occasionally or until sugar turns golden.  Remove from heat.  Meanwhile, combine almond kernels, coffee beans, vanilla and bicarbonate of soda in a bowl.  Carefully add to sugar mixture.  Stir to combine.  Pour mixture evenly over base of pan.  I used 2 x round pans because I didn't have a rectangular pan.  Set aside for 2 hours or until cooled completely.  using the end of a rolling pin, break into pieces.

Week 10 Twelve Weeks of Christmas:

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Motivation Diary: 2nd December

No chance of that walk this morning; I didn't even hear my alarm go off (I turned it off and immediately went back to sleep).  I had to get Matt to pull me out of bed this morning.  SO TIRED.
Two more days of work to go this week!

I didn't post my training from yesterday so I will try and get to that tomorrow.