Oatmeal cookie pocket pies

(Oatmeal cookie pocket pie)

We are kicking off the new year with a little road trip this morning. It’s only a couple of hours drive but I’m incredibly excited about leaving the city behind to spend a few days in a rented cabin. The first thing I plan to do when we get there is inhale deeply and hopefully not smell or hear civilization.

For the car ride, we have chocolate dipped lebkuchen and a wedge of fruitcake, which I’ve resisted brushing liberally with extra sherry for the sake of the driver. (Certain concessions need to be made, seeing as he is the sole car owner and iPod wrangler in this relationship.)

These pocket pies would have also made for the perfect car snack, if only there were any left. To make them, cut squares or circles of your favourite flaky pastry, stuff with cookie dough and bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown on the outside. Serve warm, dusted with cinnamon sugar and you may never go back to making fruit-filled versions ever again.

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Gingertown population explosion

(Gingerbread Men)

Latest figures reveal increased population density in Gingertown!
Dec 12th – 12:33pm

Every year around December, the spotlight is cast on Gingertown as it becomes the centre of an unprecedented population explosion. Experts are at a loss to explain this phenomenon but scientists believe it is due largely in part to a greater influx of imports from nearby Spicetown and immigration via the Sea of Molasses. Last week a press conference was held by the Mayor of Gingertown. In response to the question of whether the town would be able to cope with the recent boom in demand for real estate and public icing facilities, he was been quoted as saying, “Well, that’s the way the cookie crumbles”. A festival celebrating this annual event is slated for the 25th of this month. Stay tuned for details.

Gingerbread Men :
(from Rose’s Christmas Cookies by Rose Levy Beranbaum)

425g (15 oz) plain flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
180g (6.25 oz) dark brown sugar
170g (6 oz) unsalted butter
160g (5.5 oz) unsulfured molasses
1 large egg

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, salt, baking soda, and spices, then whisk together to mix evenly.

In a food processor with the metal blade, process the brown sugar until fine. Cut the butter into a few pieces and add it with the motor running. Process until smooth and creamy. Add the molasses and egg and process until incorporated, scraping the sides of the bowl. Add the flour mixture and pulse in just until the dough begins to clump together. Wrap the dough well and chill for at least 2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 175’C (350 F).

Roll the dough to about 1/8-inch thickness. Use gingerbread cutters to cut out the dough. If desired, make holes for hanging, either at the tops or hands, using the blunt edge of a wooden skewer. Bake the cookies on greaseproof lined trays for 10-12 minutes or until firm to the touch and just beginning to colour around the edges. Cool the cookies completely before icing.

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Vegan double chocolate cookies

(Vegan double chocolate cookies)

You heard it here first. I’ve actually completed my Christmas shopping ahead of time. It’s the first ever documented occurance of its kind, in all the many odd years that I’ve been enduring December gift buying through gritted teeth. The Christmas cards were even mailed out two weeks ago. Someone actually sent a reply exclaiming surprise at how organised I was.

Next year, I’ll probably revert back to spending the dying shopping hours of Christmas Eve frantically looking for necessary presents. But for now, I get to sit back and bask (and bake) in the glory of readiness.

Because most of my shopping was done online this year, I came across some lovely things during my travels, which I’m bookmarking for future reference. Call it a head start for Christmas 2012 if you like.

-this takoyaki grill pan

-the Lebkuchen spice blend from Gewurzhaus

-this journal to accompany the Keepsake Box I sent my niece

-vintage treasures from emerald + ella and Cake Vintage

-a subscription to Gastronomica

-Tasmanian apple brandy

-or maybe next year I’ll just settle for sending some very special cards

In the meantime, if you happened to make the gingerbread cake from a previous post, and still find yourself in possession of a bit of leftover apple sauce, you may want to make these chocolate cookies as well. Use a suitable alternative to the recommended flours below if you want to want them to also be gluten free.

[Note : 12/09/2016 I have deleted the recipe as it needs a few tweaks and I haven’t yet had time to test it out! The recipe will be republished in the future!]

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