Category Archives: Sweet Treats

Chocolate Candy Cane Cookies

I have experimented this afternoon with Donna Hay’s recipe for Chocolate Candy Cane Cookies.

I will say up front that these cookies really, really delicious. Light, crispy chocolate cookies with choc chips and a hint of peppermint from the chopped candy canes. Very Christmassy and very yummy.

I adapted parts of the recipe for thermomix usage which I will share below, along with a link for Donna’s original recipe. I found it in the Christmas Dec/Jan 2009 issue of the Donna Hay magazine and it is also on her website.

I have had a long love affair with Donna Hay’s cookbooks and magazines. I drool over the gorgeous pictures and love the simplicity of her ingredients and methods. Mostly, I am just drawn in by her food styling. She is a master. I even met her once and had my cookbook autographed (minor claim to fame – I was excited!)
I love that most of the time I can replicate the recipes just like my idol, convincing myself that I too am a Donna Hay-like domestic goddess.

I was sure of it….until today. I am at the pointy end of my Christmas preparations. Doing all I can in advance, but not so soon that things go stale. My plans possess military precision and everything must go to plan with so much to do in such little time.
So here is Donna’s photo of the cookies.

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Before we cross to my finished product, let me reiterate to you that they really are delicious.
Here are my cookies. All four trays of them.

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What happened to my lovely chopped candy cane rounds adorning each little cookie? They melted, that’s what. How did Donna achieve such perfection? I too could wrap my little cookies in white paper and put a red ribbon around them, but nothing gets past the fact that my cookies are vastly inferior in appearance. Too embarrassing for gifts and I am running out of time. I suspect Donna has added her candy cane pieces to the cookies immediately after they come out of the oven, before they harden. My Christmas baking bliss has turned into Christmas stress.
On the upside, they do taste jolly good. The kids will still love them.

Chocolate Candy Cane Cookies Thermomix Style<strong

Ingredients

110g butter, chopped
175g brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla essence
120g dark chocolate, melted
280g dark chocolate, chopped
150g plain flour
25g cocoa
1/2 tsp bicarb soda
120g chopped candy canes

Method

Preheat oven to 160 degrees Celcius.
Place butter and sugar in TM bowl. Mix for 1 minute at speed 4.
Add egg and vanilla and mix for 10-15 secs on speed 3. Set aside in large mixing bowl.
Add dark chocolate for melting into clean TM bowl. Grate for 5 secs on speed 9. Melt for 1 minute at 50 degrees on speed 3.
Add melted chocolate, flour, cocoa and bicarb to butter mixture and stir until just combined.
Spoon onto trays lined with baking paper and top with chopped candy cane pieces. Keep your cookies small and well spaced as they will flatten and spread. Bake for 12-15 mins or until cookies are firm at edges. Cool on trays.

Here is Donna Hay’s Chocolate Candy Cane Cookie recipe.
If anyone has greater success with cookie appearance, please let me know what you did differently. In the meantime, cheers to everyone with more Christmas Cheer than Christmas perfection!

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Fruity Pear Mince Tarts

It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas so some Christmas baking was in order. I’m trying out the Fruity Pear Mince Tarts from the Festive Flavour booklet by Thermomix.

I’m blogging as I bake so we shall see how they turn out.

I began by making the almond pastry from the EDC book. A few minutes and its done! Such a breeze! Into the fridge for 15 mins and then I pressed it into greased muffin tins. Voila! The recipe asks for an egg yolk, but save your egg white for the marzipan stars.

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On to the Fruit Mince.
There is nothing that says Christmas more than the smell of fruit mince, especially home made! The delectable concoction comprises of orange zest, pears, sugar, craisins, currants, glacé ginger, flaked almonds, orange and lemon juice, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, nutmeg and brandy. Is your mouth watering yet? Let me tell you, I wish you had smellavision to get a whiff of this while its bubbling away!

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For the tart tops I need to make marzipan stars…well, circles in my case because I’ve lost my star cutter. Circles will suffice! Blanched almonds are required for the marzipan, however if like me, you only have raw almonds, have no fear – you can blanch your own!
Just throw your almonds in the Thermie, cover with water and put on for 4 mins, Varoma temperature on reverse, speed 1. Drain and throw your blanched nuts into a clean tea towel, give them a rub and like magic, those little nuts just slip out of their skins. Another Thermomix money saving trick!

Once again the marzipan is super fast to make and rolls out really easily. Ensure your board is sprinkled with cornflour before rolling out because the marzipan is sticky. I think I’m ready to put these tarts together!
Fruit mince into tart cases.

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Top with marzipan circles… Or stars if you must!

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And into the oven until golden.

Using the given recipe, I would make double the almond pastry as I have plenty of fruit mince and marzipan left for a second batch.

A few minutes to go and they are beginning to smell delicious…

I guarantee you will never buy store bought fruit mince or mince tarts once you have made these. I used to avoid recipes where you had to make pastry. Not any more!

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Here is the link for the Almond Pastry The EDC cookbook adds in half a teaspoon of mixed spice as well.

Here is the Fruity Pear Mince Tart</a
recipe

Here is the Marzipan Stars recipe

I can’t wait to adorn my Christmas table with these!

$250 Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Here is a delicious cookie recipe.

Based on the infamous Neiman Marcus cookie recipe story, (legend or truth I do not know), where a woman asked how much it cost for the recipe of the cookies at the Neiman Marcus Department store. Told “two-fifty”, she paid with her credit card. Only later she checked her statement and realised the store had actually charged her $250 instead of the $2.50 she thought it was. In disgust she sent the recipe out for free to everyone she could think of.

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The recipe makes a LOT of cookies. I divided the mixture into three lots and froze two for freshly baked cookies another day.
The traditional recipe is below and I have also included a link to the Thermomix version.

$250 Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Ingredients

250g butter, softened
150g brown sugar
220g white sugar
1 tbsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
250g plain flour
1tsp bicarbonate soda
1tsp baking powder
Pinch sea salt
300g rolled oats
150g toasted almonds, finely chopped
150g roasted and salted macadamias (or pecans, walnuts etc), finely chopped
250g milk chocolate, grated or finely chopped
250g chocolate chips

Method

Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius. Line several baking trays with baking paper and set aside.
Place butter and sugars in bowl and cream with a hand held mixer until light and fluffy.
Add eggs and mix well.
Add flour, bicarb, baking powder, salt and oats and mix well.
Mix in nuts, grated chocolate and choc chips.
Roll mixture into 3 x 6cm diameter logs in baking paper. Cut into 1.5 cm thick slices to bake and place on prepared baking sheets. Freeze any extra rolls and defrost slightly before cooking as desired.
Bake 8-10 minutes. Cool on wire racks and store in an airtight container.

Thermomix Recipe for $250 Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Addicted to Fruit Balls

I have found a new love and I’m addicted. Apricot Fruit Balls.

It all began when I tried the Vitality Truffles recipe from the Thermomix Everyday Cookbook. What a great little recipe! Blitz some dried fruit and nuts, roll into balls, coat in coconut and Bob’s your Uncle! The beauty of this recipe is that you don’t even have to have the exact ingredients. Just substitute what you don’t have for something similar.

Dried apricots, apples, pear or peach, craisins, sultanas, raisins, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, dates, cashews, almonds, hazelnuts,choc bits, coconut… you catch my drift. Add in some honey, condensed milk (don’t even get me started on condensed milk – I eat it straight from the can!). Roll them in coconut, cocoa, sesame seeds. Use your imagination!

I found this recipe for Apricot Balls which I think is even yummier than the Vitality Truffles recipe.

Apricot Balls

Here are a few other versions to try:

Apricot and Ginger Bliss Balls

Date and Nut Balls

Cranberry Balls

Chocolate Nut Balls

Do yourself a favour and try these out. It makes a decent amount of them and I keep them in the fridge. I snack on them at work rather than going for the biscuit tin when I have a cuppa. They are healthy and filling. Now I just need to convince fruit-phobic Kid 1 to try them. In the meantime, all the more for me!

 

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