Tag Archives: Chocolate

Spice & Chocolate Christmas Cookies

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These are amazing cookies. They are crunchy and full of flavour, and if you take some time to decorate them, you can even hung them from your Christmas tree as little ornaments.

The list of spices is rather long but if all you have is cocoa powder, cinnamon and ginger, you’ll still manage to make pretty decent cookies with this recipe. I’ll recommend you try to gather as many of the spices in the recipe though, because it really makes a difference to the final product.

Ingredients (makes 18-25 depending on size of cutters):

2 cups of flour

2 fat tablespoons of  cocoa powder (I use Bournville, which has no added sugar and is very good)

3/4 cup of honey

80 g coconut oil (or you can replace it with 100g butter)

1 egg.

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground  ginger

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon cardamom

(and if you manage to get your hands on some: 1/2 a tonka  bean, grated.)

Zest of 1 lemon

pinch of salt

To decorate: 

250 g icing sugar

1 egg white

1/2 teaspoon lemon juice.

Sprinkles, m&ms, edible glitter etc.

How to:

1.- In a bowl mix the flour, baking powder, spices, salt and grated tonka bean.

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2.- In another bowl beat the honey with the coconut oil (or butter) at room temperature until the mixture becomes creamy,  light and pale.

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3.- Add the egg and lemon zest to the mixture of honey and coconut oil. Whisk until the mixture is smooth (it will look as if it were curdling at first, but keep whisking until everything comes together).

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4.- Add the dry ingredients and using  wooden spoon mix everything until you have a pliable, soft dough. If the mixture is too dry (this happened to me because my egg was too small), add either 1 egg yolk and keep the egg whites for the royal icing, or slowly add some milk (a bit at a time, remember you don’t want you dough to be too wet).

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5.- Place in the fridge, wrapped in cling film for 1 hour. If you want, you can keep this dough in the freezer for up to 1 month; then take it out the night before you want to use it and place in the fridge. In the morning it will be ready to be rolled and cut out.

6.- After an hour, roll the dough out in between two sheets of baking paper. Roll to a 3mm thickness. Then cut your cookies and place them in the fridge, again, for 1 hour (or freezer for 15 minutes) before baking.

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7.- Bake for 7 minutes in a preheated oven at 180. They should be dry and only slightly browned. Place in a rack to cool…

DSC08520While the cookies cool down, you can prepare the icing by whisking together the egg white with the icing sugar and a few drops of lemon juice…

DSC08522Whisk for 5 minutes, until you get a soft, creamy texture. Your icing should be runny enough that you can pipe it easily, but not so runny that it dribbles down the cookie.

To decorate, you can pipe different designs, add some sparkles for colour or simply follow the edges of each cookie with a bit of white icing.

Make sure you have everything you need before you start decorating, as that will keep mess to a minimum.

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Enjoy Christmas better with some home-made treats!

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Namaste,

Paula

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Easy Pops! Like cake-pops but easier.

DSC07933These are great to make with children. They are a cross between truffles and cake-pops. There is really no cake in them, so they can’t be cake-pops…maybe truffle-pops? Pretty much Nutella and oats truffles in a stick 🙂

DSC07929The only tricky part is covering them in chocolate, because they are a bit more fragile than cake-pops and the melted chocolate is less runny than Candy Melts, which is the traditional coating for cake pops. However, placing them in the freezer before hand, makes the job a lot easier.

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Ingredients (for 20 easy-pops):

For the easy cake-pops:

1 cup Nutella (Dulce de Leche works great too)

1/2 cup porridge oats (maybe a bit more, if the mixture looks too wet)

1/4 cup grated coconut

180 g dark chocolate for coating.

Cake-pop sticks.

For decorating:

Orange m&m

Sprinkles

Dried coconut

How to:

1.- Mix the Nutella, oats and coconut together. Put the mixture in the fridge for 1/2 an hour. It should look like this.

DSC079102.- Take 1 teaspoon of mixture at a time and roll it between your palms to make little balls.

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DSC079133.- Place them in the freezer for 15 minutes, while you chop and melt the chocolate. You can melt it in the microwave or in a bain marie. Just make sure no water falls into the chocolate or it will go grainy and solid.

DSC079154.- Once you take the truffles out of the freezer, dip a stick in the melted chocolate and put it through one of the little balls. Repeat with all the truffles. Then place in the freezer for 20 minutes. This will make it easier to handle them.

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DSC079245.- After 20 minutes, take them out of the freezer and dip them one at a time in the chocolate. You can use the cake pop technique explained by Bakerella on minute 1:58 in this video or you can help yourself with a small knife or spatula.

DSC079226.- Before the chocolate hardens add the decorations: you can sprinkle dried coconut, sprinkles or crunched m&ms.

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DSC079257.- Keep them in the fridge.

They are great with a bitter coffee, to cut through the sweetness.

Another tasty variation is to add chopped candied orange peel. It gives the mixture a lovely citrus flavour that goes really well with the chocolate.

DSC07934This is my last post of Halloween food. I need to go back to my usual sugar-free, minimal-butter life, because my body has been complaining recently, and I better pay attention 🙂

 So expect a lot of green juices, spelt breads and healthy cooking for next week!!

Have a great Tuesday!

Paula