Tag Archives: Christmas Baking

But That’s Not How You Make Shortbread!!!

When it comes to baking with kids, you know to expect the unexpected.

Yesterday, while Geoff was out with the kids, I managed to whiz up the Christmas Shortbread in the food processor and get it into the fridge to rest. Ideally, it was supposed to rest for 30 mins but you know how it is with good intentions, especially at this time of year. The shortbread must have been exhausted like the rest of us after a full-on year or it had indulged in way too much Christmas “cheer” because it not only slept through the night but all through today and when we finally woke it up about 9.30 PM after arriving home from Christmas Eve Church and driving round looking at the Christmas Lights and visiting friends, the shortbread Geoff told me that it was “very well rested”. It was solid. So solid indeed, that if if had landed on my good foot, I would have been wearing two boots this Christmas. I hope you’re not laughing because you could just imagine me getting around with both feet in custody? You’d have to lock the rest of me up for my own protection!!

Just in case that joke has flown overhead, I broke my right foot last Sunday night just before playing my violin at the school Christmas carols…hence the boot!

Anyway, after making the dough in the food processor instead of the mix master as stated in the recipe, I also ended up having to thaw the dough out a little in the microwave so Miss could cut out her shapes and still get to bed before midnight. Moreover, we still had a lot of wrapping ahead!

Shortbread Miss and Mister complete with hair and shiny buttons

Shortbread Miss and Mister complete with hair and shiny buttons

Anyway, you know what it’s like with kids and promises. Miss was really looking forward to making the shortbread and cutting out the shapes. It gave her so much pleasure and was so creatively stimulating that we’ll have to do it more often.

She started out simply cutting out the shapes and sticking on a few of these baubley decorative things to jazz it up a bit. She was intent on using the gingerbread man cutter, which isn’t great with shortbread and his head kept getting stuck. We managed to get one good one but the second one is somewhat warped. I must have been cooking dinner while the first batch of biscuits were cooking and when I turned around, she’d made a Christmas tree with presents underneath it as wel as a snowman on skis. Our family loves skiing but I was quite impressed with how she put all this together and so quickly. She went on to tell me that the snowman’s name was Bob. I don’t know why she called him Bob.

Oh Christmas Tree! Oh Christmas Tree! Your branches taste so lovely!

Oh Christmas Tree! Oh Christmas Tree! Your branches taste so lovely!

By this stage, the shortbread dough had been put through considerable handling and if you know anything at all about making shortbread, you’ll know that it’s fussy. Doesn’t like to be touched. Hands off.  So all this molding and playing around with the shortbread and treating it like Playdoh, is NOT how you make shortbread!

But it is how you have fun!

No doubt you’ve heard of the fish John West Reject. Well, we’d certainly be thrown out of the Royal Easter Show Cake Pavilion…a disgrace!

Well, maybe just maybe one of her creations might just end up at the Art Gallery where they no doubt have more appreciation of artistic license.!

Merry Christmas!

xx Rowena

That might not be how you handle shortbread but no one's needing any cajoling to eat it!

That might not be how you handle shortbread but no one’s needing any cajoling to eat it!

White Chocolate Rocky Road

Last Christmas, my aunt made this irresistible White Chocolate Rocky Road. She also made this thing called Reindeer Bark where she recycles all those dreaded Christmas candy canes crushing them up and sprinkling the coloured gems over the top of the melted milk chocolate “bark”. She’s like the Christmas Lolly Fairy… a dazzling Pied Piper attracting anyone with a sweet tooth. Don’t tell her this but I’m pretty sure this is why she’s so popular with the wee folk!!

Anyway, last Christmas along with the delectable treats my cousin “the chef” brought from work, I was completely lead astray by the Christmas Lolly Fairy and her platter of White Chocolate Rocky Road, especially when she whispered: “I only use the good Turkish Delight, you know!” Ah! If you have tried the real thing you never forget it. It’s that gooey rose-scented stuff which still sticks to your fingers and everything it touches despite a dusting of “snow”.

Of course, in the great tradition of family recipes, my aunt had thrown the ingredients together and gave me a list of ingredients bt then I was on my own. Potentially facing an absolute disaster using ingredients you don’t want to waste, it’s times this when you yearn for The Australian Women’s Weekly Cookbooks with their legendary Test Kitchen where everything is tried three times before getting their expert seal of approval to go into print. This means they’re convinced that recipe is absolutely fail proof and just like The Titanic…unsinkable!!

Only use this authentic, fresh, rose-scented Turkish Delight!

Only use this authentic, fresh, rose-scented Turkish Delight!

After two goes, I was happy with the results. I must stress that you must use the gooey fresh rose-scented Turkish Delight as that is the key feature of this White Chocolate Rocky Road. While this recipe hasn’t been tried and tested in the Australian Women’s Weekly Test Kitchen, it has certainly passed muster here more than 3 times…especially with my husband who loves white chocolate!

It might be getting too late to make this for Christmas Day, although judging by the crowds at the supermarket Geoff encountered today and the greeting from the guy at the checkout: “Welcome to Hell”, I’m not the only one doing some last minute baking. My excuse is that I like everything to be fresh. Anyway, even if you don’t get it made before Christmas, it’s will make a wonderful treat for the Holidays.

By the way, not that I mean to pick on our puppy the inimitable Lady, but I caught her eating the fresh Turkish Delight the other day. That’s right. The greedy pup had eaten an entire try of Turkish Delight. I’m pretty sure she had accidently or very cleverly knocked the Turkish Delight out of the pantry while wagging her tail. She wags her tail a lot and is a very happy little dog but she’s also an accomplished food thief. I no longer give her the benefit of the doubt. She is usually guilty as charged.

Ingredients

600g melted good quality white chocolate

1.5 cups rice bubbles

1.5 cups roasted Macadamia Nuts

1 cup desiccated coconut

1.5 cups white marshmallows

Fresh rose-flavoured Turkish Delight (use your discretion)

Directions

  1. Line a lamington tin with baking paper.
  2. Snip the marshmallows in half with a clean pair of scissors and put to one side.
  3. Break white chocolate up into pieces. Place in a large microwave-proof bowl and melt on high for 1 minute and stir. It may need extra time. Check the chocolate for further instructions.
  4. Cool a little.
  5. Add rice bubbles, macadamia nuts, marshmallows and coconut to melted chocolate. You might want to chop the macadamias but personally, I like the large chunks of nut.
  6. Chop the chunks of Turkish Delight roughly into four and carefully fold through the white chocolate mix. The Turkish Delight is quite gooey and you want it to spread a little throughout the mix but not get lost.
  7. Refrigerate and cut into squares using a warm knife (pour boiling water into a mug and dip the knife in after each use and wipe dry.
  8. Keep refrigerated. It tastes best when it is served at room temperature and has been left out of the fridge for about 15 minutes before serving. In Australia, our summers can get incredibly hot, so it also depend on your conditions.

Enjoy! Wishing you love and Blessing this Christmas and throughout the New Year!!

Xx Rowena

Christmas 2014.

This is my piece!

This is my piece!