Tag Archives: Christmas cookies

white chocolate chip gingerbread cookies

white chocolate chip gingerbread cookies

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Christmas just is’nt Christmas without gingerbread cookies! This no-fuss recipe is all thanks to that wonderful Australian foodie, Donna Hay. All that you need to do with this dough is roll it into little balls, pop them onto a baking tray, flatten them slightly with your fingers and zip them into the oven! Simple and easy.

I added some delicious white chocolate chips and this make these treats so irresistible that you will find it difficult not to eat them all up yourself. The reason for this is that the white chocolate turns into a kind of silky caramel. But be warned, the cookies are rather hard when you bite into them…so have it with a glass of milk or a refreshing cuppa tea.

Donna’s styling was so gorgeous … so I did about the same. I love it!

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white chocolate chip gingerbread cookies
 
Author:
Serves: 30
Ingredients
  • Makes 24
  • 125g unsalted butter, soften
  • 90g brown sugar
  • 230g golden syrup
  • 375g plain flour
  • 5 ml bicarbonate of soda
  • 10 ml ground ginger
  • 100g white chocolate, chopped
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 170°C. Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat for 6–8 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl, until the ingredients are pale and creamy. Add the golden syrup, flour, bicarbonate of soda and ginger and beat until the mixture comes together to form a smooth dough. Fold the chocolate through the mixture. Roll tablespoons of the mixture into balls and place on large, lightly-greased baking tray lined with non-stick baking paper. Flatten slightly and bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden. Allow to cool slightly before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

 

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christmas baking frenzy

christmas baking frenzy

Let me be totally honest, I am not the best of a bakers however when December finally comes around I invariably find myself caught up in a pre-Christmas baking frenzy. There are baking tins everywhere with me measuring, beating, whisking and tasting. I do not think I am alone in this festive baking bedlam. Whether your preference is for ‘soetkoekies’, ginger biscuits, “ystervarkies” (lamingtons), Hertzoggies or just your regular oats biscuit – for better or for worse we are all participants in the annual, global cookie bake bonanza.

Dine's "Pon's ystervarkies"

Dine’s “Pon’s ystervarkies”

I chatted to Dine van Zyl, SA’s very own “boerekos” queen. Her favourite cookies at this time of year are “ystervarkies”. But these are not your traditional chocolate and coconut ‘ystervarkies” (lamingtons)but a delicious mix of dates and nuts rolled in cornflakes. Once prepped and baked, these enticing nibbles look like small porcupines (ystervarkies) that have just rolled in dried leaves and crept out from under a tree. To cute and such a treat…

It was her father’s favourite, and hence the name, “Pon ‘s ystervarkies”. These are utterly delicious and adorable! Thank you Dine.

“Pon’s Ystervarkies”
250g soft butter
½ cup sugar
1 egg
2 cup flour
1 t baking powder
1½ cup walnuts , chopped
½ cup dates, chopped
2 ½ cups cornflakes

Beat the butter and sugar and mix in the egg. Sift the flour and baking powder and fold it into the butter mixture. Add the nuts and dates and mix well. Take teaspoons full of the dough, roll these in corn flakes and place the cookies carefully on a baking tray – be cautious not to crush or break the cornflakes. Bake in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes at 180ºC .

For the soetkoekies recipe click here.

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love + hetta’s soetkoekies + the engagement #gift

love + hetta’s soetkoekies + the engagement #gift

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{love is a strange thing}
Love is a strange and wonderful thing. Within the cycle of life, love usually takes the following course… you first want to rip the other persons’ clothes off, then you fall in love, get engaged, get married, settle down and live happily ever after … or not so happily ever after. In this day and age it seems more and more the latter – those bonds that are too often broken by not so happy divorces.

{hetta’s soetkoekies}
So you will understand my excitement and surprise when I got an invitation to an engagement! But my dilemma was what to give to this fabulous couple for an engagement #gift? I then remembered Hetta van Deventer-Terblanche’s Soetkoekies at the recent #cookieswop. When I bit into Hetta’s cookies it took me way back to my Tannie Miena op die plaas just outside Harrismith in the Free State. Tannie Miena supplied the tuisnywerheid op die dorp with baked goods. One of her most irresistible creations was these spicy cookie surprises. Every time we arrived on the farm she would hug me and gently press a few cookies in my hand – with her warm, soft bakers hands… these were Soetkoekies, made with the only ingredient she knew…love.

{the engagement #gift}
So I decided to bake these nostalgic Soetkoekies for Steve and Rebecca’s engagement. It was perhaps a small token by the measure of things these days but it was my gift for them both … made with love and tied together with the ribbons of friendship.

{the couple}
To Steve and Rebecca: May your love and life together be forever eternal, spiced with passion, fun and that special kind of love that lasts forever. Love me.

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hetta’s soetkoekies
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 60 small cookies
Ingredients
  • 4 cups (4 x 250ml) cake flour
  • 1 ½ cup (375ml) sugar (I used castor sugar)
  • 1 tsp (5ml) ground cinnamon
  • 1tsp (5ml) ground ginger
  • 1tsp (5ml) ground cloves
  • ½ tsp (2.5ml) salt
  • 1 cup (250ml) butter
  • ¼ cup (60ml) cooking fat (I replaced this with butter)
  • 1 tsp (5ml) bicarbonate soda
  • 2 Tbsp (30ml) luke warm water (I used 4 Tbsp water)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • My addition: cinnamon sugar for dusting after baking
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C. {Hetta’s recipe says that you have to make the dough the day before and let it stand overnight, I did not have time to do that so I baked mine immediately}*
  2. Sift the flour, salt and spices together. Add the sugar.
  3. Rub in the butter and fat until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
  4. Dissolve the bicarbonate soda in the water and add to the beaten egg.
  5. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture to make a dough. Knead until thoroughly mixed. {Leave to stand overnight}*
  6. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to a thickness of 5 mm.
  7. Cut out rounds with cookie cutter and stamp a message on with cookie stamp.
  8. Place on a greased baking tray and bake for 10 minutes.
  9. Place biscuits on a wire rack, sprinkle immediately with some cinnamon sugar and cool.

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