I can’t believe it’s almost the end of the year already. Is it just me or has time flown by us very quickly? Only a few more sleeps until Christmas. Who else is excited?
With Christmas lurking around the corner, I’ve managed to avoid the horrid shopping centres for the sake of my sanity. However I still find there’s still a sense of urgency within me. This year I’ve decided to bake something for Christmas Day at Ant’s. Seeing as I kind of had to bake something gluten-free and didn’t really want to bake a cake, I chose to make macarons. I haven’t had that much success in the past making them, so you’d think I’d be crazy to push myself to make them for Christmas. Oh well… I’m up for a challenge. Within a week, I’m up to testing my 4th batch! I’ll have one last go this Friday with the French method as it appears to be somewhat “working” for me, otherwise I’ll just have to bake a gluten-free tart of some sort. Wish me luck or give me advice!!!
Macarons aside, I’ve been trying to bake other things for Christmas and thought of making something I could give as a gift. The idea of freezing the cookie dough log and giving it as a gift came about when I was looking through the cookbook Baked – New Frontiers in Baking and made a mental note to do it sometime. So for those who need a last minute gift and want to avoid the crazy crowds; give these a go!
These cookies are quick and easy to whip up. Feel free to substitute the toasted almonds for anything you fancy or whatever you have on hand.
Now here comes the fun part. The gift wrapping! As of late, I’ve been getting addicted to Japanese washi tape to decorate gifts and packaging. Washi tape is a transparent paper tape that comes in many beautiful colours and patterns. I’ve been ordering my tapes online but have managed to find them in Typo as well. I love how these tapes can turn ordinary packaging into something a bit more special.
Just incase I don’t get another chance to blog before the end of the year… Wishing all of you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Indulge with good food, wine and company. All the best!
Recipe from Okashi by Keiko Ishida
Makes about 40 cookies
40g almond flakes or slivers
120g unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup (70g) icing sugar
Pinch of salt
1 egg yolk
3 tbsp (20g) cocoa powder
White sugar, for coating
- Preheat oven to 160C (320F). Place almonds on a baking tray and bake for 15mins, until golden brown.
- Beat butter, icing sugar and salt until combined.
- Add egg yolk and mix well.
- Incorporate flour and cocoa powder into the butter mixture.
- Fold toasted almonds through.
- Divide dough in half, place each portion on cling wrap and shape into a 4-5cm (~2inch) diameter log. Refrigerate for about 30mins. [I found that rolling the log within the cling wrap shapes it better and that the cookie cuts easier if the log is chilled longer]
- Line 2 baking trays with baking paper.
- Roll log in white sugar and cut dough into 1cm (1/2 inch) thick pieces.
- Bake cookies for 20mins. Remove from tray and cool on wire rack.
- Cookies can be stored in air-tight container at room temperature for up to 10 days.