Well well well, it's all over and done with for another year. Two month worth of heart attack inducing stress leading up to the big day then poof, it's finished. Exhausted and a few pounds heavier we ask ourselves, is it really worth all the hassle? Deep down, we all know the answer.....of course it is!!
For those of us in our mid twenties Christmas never really offers much of a problem, at least, it doesn't for me. I'm a firm believer that my mothers Christmas lunch is the best in the world and all gatherings should be held around her tree rather than my own. Here mother, take my share of the burden as well as your own, I insist. So really, the most stressful part of my day turns out to be drying my hair in an overly warm house. But this year I felt jealous. I sat by and watched my mother dive around the kitchen like a woman possessed in total envy. I wanted those to be my carrots, my sprouts, my damn turkey! Next year, I'll claim the whole damned holiday and mum can be the one to sit back an relax. It's only fair. But, pushing my green eyed monster aside, it really was a wonderful Christmas. I couldn't have wished it any better. Family, friends and good food; what more can a girl ask for? One thing, that's for sure...
And I got it! The thing I've been lusting over since I was old enough to venture into a department store unsupervised, a lime green Kitchenaid mixer. Swoon! It's my new favorite toy in the world, and to make things even better, I got a free accessory pack worth £140. Thank you Santa (or dad, whichever you prefer).
I love you Kitchenaid! Next on the list, a Smeg fridge :D
I was itching to take it out on a test drive that very day but alas, it wasn't to be. The days following Christmas were hectic. Family to visit, friends to enjoy and a lot of wine to drink. But today, life calmed and I could get my fingers stuck straight in, hurray! Kris' mum bought me a darling book called Easy Baking (my love of all things kitchen is well documented among my peers) full of really easy sweet treats for a fast paced life. And since during this festive season my life has been far from the chilled affair it usually is, I thought it perfect for my first Kitchenaid adventure. Chocolate chunk cookies, yum!
Now, as much as I love the city of Newcastle, it's not a great night out destination, especially on New Years Eve. I've had nothing but bad experiences and I vowed this year would be different. No parties full of people I hardly know with the promise of sleeping on a lumpy couch looming over my celebrations and no over priced, over filled club pumping out music I despise. This year will be spent way ooop north in Edinburgh with some dear friends and a nice bottle of gin. That's my kind of night. You'll probably be wondering why I've started waffling on about NYE, well I'm getting to that. I have two cats, Marmalade and Muffin whom I love like children....probably a little bit more than children if I'm honest. And, as much as I adore my little terrors, they kind of hinder any out of town plans, so I've had to lure my little brother into cat sitting with the promise of vodka and home baked goodies. Which is where my cookies come in.
I do hope they'll do. I've yet to try one as the very thought of anything chocolaty has me running for the cheese counter of my local supermarket. Keep your smarties away from me, thank you very much...for the time being. The recipe called for 100g of white chocolate and 50g of Brazil nuts but my younger sibling would vomit at the very taste of a nut continuing cookie so I changed it to fit what I had in the cupboard, 50g of white chocolate chunks, 50g of plain chocolate chips and 50g of dried cranberries. Kris tells me it works very well, I certainly hope so.
One thing, my cookies never seem to spread much during baking but stay as quite chubby rounds. I'm not sure why this is, maybe I'm not flattening them enough before baking, or maybe the oven isn't hot enough. I just don't understand.....
The recipe, should you like to recreate....
115g unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
115g soft light brown sugar
1 egg, beaten
250g self raising flour
pinch of salt
125g white chocolate, chopped
50g brazil nuts, chopped
(substitute the filling, I did)
Preheat the oven to 190C, reduce for fan, and grease several baking sheets.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Gradually add the egg to the creamed mixture (I remembered this time, haha), beating well after each addition.
Sift the flour and salt into the creamed mixture and blend well. Stir in the chopped chocolate and nuts.
Place heaped teaspoons of the mixture on the prepared baking sheets, spacing well to allow for spreading during cooking. Bake in the preheated oven for 10-12 minutes or until just golden brown.
Transfer the cookies to a wire rack and leave to cool.