Gettin’ baked.

There’s no easy way to put this, so I’m just going to come out and say it.

I hate Christmas. It’s all a major hassle that I can’t say I see the point of.

But.
What I do love, is Christmas food. What’s not to love? Roast meats, cold seafood, crisp stone fruits, candy canes, chocolate… Sorry, I’ve just drooled all over my keyboard.

When I heard about a charity event involving The Smith Family, I had to get on board.
A party for disadvantaged kids, featuring caroling by some of Perth’s hottest local music acts, presents donated by local businesses. Oh, and cookies by me. To all, a good night.

So, for the kids, I made these.
One batch of sugary chocolatey madness, a batch of christmas scented, buttery goodness. The shortbread smells like heaven while baking, and the cookies have the best tasting batter I’ve ever had. Resisting the urge to eat the lot with a spoon takes some serious willpower.
Good luck with that.

Chewy Chocolate Chip Snickers Cookies

Adapted from Bakers Royale

Ingredients:

2 cups plain flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
16 tablespoons unsalted butter
¾ cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
¾ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 ½ cup sliced Snickers, (roughly one bag of mini size Snickers)
1 cup chocolate chips

Instructions:

Heat oven to 190 degrees C. Line bake sheet with parchment paper.

Place flour and baking soda together in a bowl and whisk to combine; set aside.

Place 10 tablespoons butter in a pan over medium-high heat until melted, about 2 minutes. Continue cooking and using the handle of pan to swirl the butter around in the skillet. Swirl butter constantly until it becomes a dark golden brown in color and gives off a nutty aroma, 1 to 3 minutes. Remove pan from heat and transfer browned butter to large heatproof bowl. Stir remaining 6 tablespoons of butter into hot butter until completely melted.

(Before and after)

Add both sugars, salt, and vanilla to brown butter mixture and whisk until fully incorporated. Add eggs and whisk until mixture is smooth with no sugar lumps remaining, about 30 seconds. Rest mixture for 3 minutes, then whisk for another 30 seconds. Repeat process of resting and whisking 2 more times until mixture is thick, smooth, and shiny. Using sturdy rubber spatula or wooden spoon, stir in flour mixture until just combined, about 1 minute. Stir in chocolate chips, giving dough final stir to ensure no flour pockets remain.

Spoon out approximately two heaping tablespoons of dough and flatten it into a round disc. Place a Snickers slice on top. Fold edges over Snickers to seal it in. Place cookies 2 inches apart on baking paper lined trays.

Bake cookies 1 sheet at a time until cookies are golden brown and still puffy, and edges have begun to set but centers are still soft, about 10 to 14 minutes. Transfer baking sheet to wire rack to cool cookies.

I also made:

Brown Sugar Shortbread
Adapted from BHG

Ingredients

1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon apple pie spice (see note)
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 cups plain flour

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 175 degrees C. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper; set aside. In a large bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add brown sugar, apple pie spice, and salt. Beat until combined, scraping side of bowl occasionally. Gradually beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Using a wooden spoon, stir in any remaining flour.

2. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Place balls 2 inches apart on prepared cookie sheet. (I used a cookie cutter).
Sprinkle with a little sugar, if you like.

3. Bake in the preheated oven for 12 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Transfer cookies to a wire rack; let cool.

Note: You can buy apple pie spice, or you can make your own really easily with 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp nutmeg, 1/8 tsp allspice, 1/8 tsp cardamom (makes a teaspoon worth of spice mix).

The boys from Tame Impala ate my cookies, and liked them. May have squealed like a little girl. And the kids, well, they loved them too. Career highlight? I think so!

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