Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Chunky Toblerone Shortbread and Reliable Favourites

If you're a Canadian and it's Christmastime, it's almost sacrilege to admit that you don't like shortbread.  Really, it is - if you don't live in a country with a very Anglo history, you wouldn't understand why this would be true.  Until I tried this particular recipe, I was convinced my reaction to eating shortbread would never change.  Why bother with these really bars or rounds that were more dry than anything else?  Well, I'm happy to not only eat my words, but these cookies now. ;)

There are a lot of versions of Toblerone shortbread.  I tried an Anna Olsen recipe two years ago that my co-workers enjoyed but I didn't.  Since both Meg and Duncan, along with my co-workers, are fans of shortbread I thought I'd try another recipe version.  I found this on Kraftcanada.com and it couldn't be any simpler than this!  The Toblerone works so well because it's a nougat and will not turn into a runny chocolate mess when baked.  Don't be horrified at the amount of butter in the recipe - it yields four dozen cookies, so it's not like you're eating an entire stick in each cookie. ;)

2 cups butter (that's four sticks), softened
1 cup sugar
3-1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
2 bars Toblerone Swiss Milk Chocolate, chopped (that's two 100 gram bars if you're in Canada)
icing sugar to decorate

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Prepare cookie sheets by lining with parchment paper.  I prepped four at once and was able to fit one dozen on each pan.

Beat butter and sugar in mixing bowl  until fluffy.  If possible use a stand mixer since it's easier with this quantity of flour.  In a separate bowl combine flour and cornstarch.  Add gradually to the butter mixture, beating well after each addition.

Using either a tablespoon or a 1 inch scoop, drop on baking sheet at least one inch apart.  I used a scoop because I like getting evenly sized cooiked.

The recipe suggested baking them for 20 minutes, which I did for the first batch, but they browned a teenie bit too much for liking.  For the second batch, I only gave them 18 minutes and they were perfect.

Remove to wire racks, allow to cool completely and dust with icing sugar.

I also made four dozen Triple Chocolate Cookies and five dozen Raspberry Walnut Thumbprints -

Gotta do some more baking though...

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Some of my favourite things...

Well, they're not "bright copper kettles", but copper cookie cutters *are* some of my favourite things!

Which brings me to my amazing luck on Thursday.  I wasn't working at my usual office, which meant I got to visit Mecca, aka Williams Sonoma, at lunchtime.  As I stated before, when they have sales, they are fantastic sales and I couldn't believe what I found at the back of the store.  Of course most of the products right now are Christmas themed, but what I bought won't be used until next year and that's perfectly alright with me!

These are my pretties:

Copper utensils, bowls and cookie cutter are normally quite expensive - especially when the cutters are as large as these.  We're talking 5-6 inches across for the maple leaf!  I'm quite happy because I got them for this price:

After paying just $6.75 for three (that includes the tax), I can wait for next fall to roll around again. :)

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Time to get to work...

It's December 1st and time to seriously think about baking for the holidays.  I have five pounds of butter in my freezer - cut into sticks and individually wrapped - lots of sugar, flour, parchment paper and more jars of jam than I can possibly use, so I better get baking!

I know what I'll be making for sure - Chocolate Marshmallow Bars, Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies, Sugar Cookies decorated with Royal Icing (going to give them the old college try again!), Toblerone Chunk Shortbreads (for Megan and Duncan), Dark and Delicious Triple Chocolate Cookies and at least one more type of cookie...or maybe a chocolate bundt cake?  Sounds like a lot, and like I'm crazy, but I bake so much because I enjoy giving these treats as gifts.

The pretty tins are just waiting to be filled...