by Sharon Wee

This year Claire from Claire K Creations invited me to be part of the Foodie Secret Santa. A lot of the time, when I get asked to do these things I just don’t have the time (or I’m overseas) but this year I was lucky enough to be able to take part.

In case you don’t know, the idea is that we get sent three names and we send some recipes to them. It’s actually not so secret, because we need to put the sender address on the box, but oh well!

This year I made three different items: a royal iced fox cookie, choc-chip cookies, and an earl grey tea infused salted caramel sauce. I sent all three items to everyone on my list so they all got a chance to try everything. Read on for the recipes (and a quick look at what I got sent!).

Royal Iced Chocolate Fox Cookie

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Usually when making iced cookies, I turn to fondant because that’s what I know. But I’ve wanted to try making a royal iced cookie for a while (after watching all those You Tube videos) and this was the perfect opportunity.

Since I only made a handful of cookies, I decided to cut the cookies by hand. The fox design was based on some fabric that I found at the craft store. I’ve put some progress pictures below but of course you can make your own design!

Chocolate Cookie Recipe

Ingredients

  • 55g softened butter
  • 25g brown sugar
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 25g glucose
  • 1 egg
  • 150g plain flour
  • 40g cocoa powder
  • pinch salt

Steps

1. Place all ingredients in a mixing bowl. Mix until well combined and allow the dough to rest in the fridge for about half an hour.

2. Preheat oven to 170 °C.

3. Roll cookie dough to be approximately 5mm thick and cut to shape as desired. Transfer to a baking tray.

4. Cook for 12-15 minutes or until firm.

5. Remove from oven, allow to cool, and decorate as you wish! You can see what I did below.

Trace the pattern you want and then cut it out of thicker card board. Then use that as a template to cut the cookie dough. To transfer the image onto the cookie, trace the pattern again.
Trace the pattern you want and then cut it out of thicker card board. Then use that as a template to cut the cookie dough. To transfer the image onto the cookie, trace the pattern again.
Turn the traced pattern over and use run out consistency of royal icing to trace the pattern and the details.
Turn the traced pattern over and use run out consistency of royal icing to trace the pattern and the details.
Place the cookie over the royal icing and press to transfer the pattern.
Place the cookie over the royal icing and press to transfer the pattern.
This is what you should end up with. Mix the colours you need and put them into piping bags.
This is what you should end up with. Mix the colours you need and put them into piping bags.
Start filling out the cookie with royal icing. Remember to let each section dry slightly before filling in an adjoining section.
Start filling out the cookie with royal icing. Remember to let each section dry slightly before filling in an adjoining section.
To add the fur texture and the ears, pipe it in while the orange royal icing is still wet, this will cause the white hair lines to blend in.
To add the fur texture and the ears, pipe it in while the orange royal icing is still wet, this will cause the white hair lines to blend in.
Continue filling out the sections...
Continue filling out the sections…
I have found the best way to get an even covering of royal icing is to wiggle the piping bag back and forth like you would with a colouring pencil.
I have found the best way to get an even covering of royal icing is to wiggle the piping bag back and forth like you would with a colouring pencil.
I used an edible marker once the royal icing was completely dry to mark the eyes and nose.
I used an edible marker once the royal icing was completely dry to mark the eyes and nose.
Then I piped over the area with black royal icing and then used a pin to guide the royal icing downwards to mark the mouth area.
Then I piped over the area with black royal icing and then used a pin to guide the royal icing downwards to mark the mouth area.

 

Chocolate Chip Cookies

This is my favourite chocolate chip cookie, it’s easy to make and tastes great. If you want to you can even make the batter early and freeze it for some fresh cookies later.

Since I’ve already written up the recipe before I’ll just give you a link to it: Chocolate Chip Cookies

I prefer my cookies a little chewy and this is the perfect recipe for it!

Dipped in sprinkles or plain... what you you prefer?
I used my share of cookies for chocolate chip ice cream sandwiches 🙂

Earl Grey Tea Infused Salted Caramel Sauce

I love early grey infused ganache and decided to do the same for some salted caramels. It didn’t quite go exactly to plan so at the last minute I turned the unset caramels into a sauce 🙂

Earl grey tea is a favourite of mine but feel free to try any other tea that you can find.

Salted Caramel Recipe – adapted from ‘Fleur de Sel Caramels’ in the Miette cookbook

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups thickened cream
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 generous tablespoon earl grey tea leaves
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 3 tablespoons water

Steps

1. Place milk and cream into a saucepan. Add earl grey tea leaves. Bring to the boil and then remove from heat and cover, allowing tea to steep for 10-15 minutes. Strain into another container to remove the tea leaves (it’s fine if a few tiny pieces get through).

2. Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat until thickened (may take at least 30-40 minutes). Remove from heat.

3. You may let the mixture cool in a pan or containers but cover loosely so a skin does not form and there is slight airflow. Once ready and stored properly, it would be best to keep the sauce in the fridge.

I could eat this with a spoon!
I could eat this with a spoon!

My gifts

And here’s a quick look at the gifts I got. Follow the links below to find their recipes 🙂

Macadamia Dukkah, Claire K Creations

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Shared at a BBQ last weekend, went great with olive oil and a baguette.

Salted Caramel Fudge, by The Baking Dentist

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Also shared at the BBQ last weekend, all gone already! Has a very nice brown sugar flavour.

Christmas sauces – Cranberry, and Cherry Chutney, by Hotly Spiced

Christmas sauces
We’re saving these for Christmas 🙂

Some of Sharon's favourite tools

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