I know it has been a while since we last spoke. I’m sorry about that. I should have given you some warning. Truth is, I had not actually planned on being gone so long. You know how sometimes life just gets on top of you and one day turns into several? Kind of the same as my never-ending washing pile that seems to multiply on my 2-seater sofa, greeting me with (perhaps justified) smarminess each time I enter the front door, having come home from a playdate, or a trip to the mall, or an outing that simply could-not-wait. That folding of the laundry: oh there’ll be time for that later! I’m pleased to announce that finally, that washing pile has been folded and returned to the relevant set of drawers in each family members room. That being said, there is still some on the airer in front of the heat-pump, another load waiting to be retrieved from the dryer and yet another freshly washed batch of delicates and woollens waiting for me in the machine. And do not ask me where my ironing pile is hiding. Ahhhh, it truly is the never ending story!
We took the kids to the snow a couple of weeks ago, the day after I gave you my Bacon, Barley & Vegetable Soup to be precise. I spent a whole day before we left preparing meals to take so that I would have more time to “play” and less time stuck in the kitchen whilst we were enjoying family time. I will definitely be sharing some of those recipes over the coming weeks. All hearty Winter suitable fare, perfect for post-snow tummy filling. Think: Pumpkin Soup, Beef Lasagne, Steak & Cheese Pies. Mmmmm
I realise I am totally off track and none of the above segues into the recipe for this post very well, but trust me… this is going somewhere. We stayed at a cosy house in Turangi, fully equipped with all the necessaries in a home including electric blankets & gas heaters and a TV & DVD player. Those four important ingredients kept us cosy and in our happy place when the cold got a bit overwhelming and we were ready to head inside after our tobogganing expedition and ‘bear hunt’ down to the river. To thank the beautiful friends whose holiday home we were lucky enough to borrow, I made these cookies. My friend has recently had to go gluten-free due to health issues and being that I am not much of a dietary-restricted aficionado, I thought I’d start out basic. Of course the addition of chocolate may deem these non-gluten-free afterall (unless you use certified gluten-free chocolate), but I left some undipped for that reason.
You can make these with standard flour of course and they will be equally as delicious. I enjoyed my first foray into baking with a non-conventional flour and will be looking for new and delicious other recipes with which to use up the remainder of my bag of rice flour.
- 140 grams unsalted butter, softened
- 1/3 c icing sugar, sifted
- 1 t vanilla extract
- 1 and 1/2 c rice flour, sifted
- 2 T cornflour, sifted
- 150 grams dark chocolate, roughly chopped
- 2 T kremelta (vegetable shortening), roughly chopped
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, place the butter, sugar and vanilla and beat for 8 to 10 minutes, until pale and creamy.
- Add the rice flour and cornflour and beat until a smooth dough forms.
- Roll the dough between two sheets of baking paper to approximately 5 mm thick and place on a tray, in the fridge until firm, approximately 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 180°C (non fan-forced). Line baking trays with baking paper or silicon mats.
- Use a cookie cutter and cut as many rounds as you can, rolling scraps and recutting until all dough has been used. If it softens too much in between cuttings, re-refrigerate to set again. The number of rounds you get will of course be determined by the size of cutter you use.
- Place carefully onto prepared baking trays, allowing room to spread.
- Bake for 10 – 12 minutes or until light golden. Watch the oven closely as they will turn from perfectly golden to brown quickly.
- Transfer to wire racks to cool.
- In a medium sized heat proof bowl, placed over a pot of simmering water, melt the chocolate & kremelta together, stirring frequently until a smooth consistency has been reached.
- Taking one cookie at a time, dip carefully into the chocolate mix and allow the excess to drip off before placing onto baking paper lined trays until set.
- The rice flour creates a very crumbly texture, and gives an unusually slightly crunchy bite to these cookies.
- You can make with regular flour if you prefer.