Christmas Cookies

In the spirit of Christmas, I made some Spiced Christmas Cookies as a gift to some friends. Dusted with some snow (icing sugar) and packaged in some cellophane gift bags ($2 for 25) with a homemade gift tag turned this simple small gift into something slightly special.
I found a nice simple Spiced Christmas Cookie recipe from Coles, which I was even able to use to make a small gluten free batch by substituting the flour for a gluten free flour mix. I picked the heart shape as I didn’t want to burn the edges like a star shape might, and also used a smaller heart shape and lightly pressed it onto the cookie to create a border. I was pretty happy with the end result and had fun making the chalkboard style tags for the top. There were two different sides, one with a Christmas Bible verse and the other with our own message. I printed it onto one card then folded it over and stapled them together. This is such an easy yet effective way to dress up any biscuits. I love Christmas!

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Sweet Treats

Why is it that this time of year is full of unhealthy food? It’s all those yummy sweet treats leading up to Christmas. I have always thought to myself that the downside of having a summer Christmas in New Zealand is that your body needs to be ready for the beach, not for hibernation in winter! Last night my family celebrated an early Christmas as it was the last time that we would all be together before Christmas. I have four gorgeous nephews and one niece, all belonging to my sister. These kids are very blessed and have a giant room overflowing with toys. I decided to give them some cold hard cash to use over the long summer break for activities or something they would enjoy. Alongside the cash was a little sweet treat for them. I made Annabel Langbein’s Swedish Chocolate Balls, coating some in Hundreds and Thousands, and some in coconut. If you wanted to theme this properly to Christmas then you could colour some coconut with food colouring and do white, red and green coated balls. I also have another recipe (handed down from my Mum) for Chocolate Snowballs which I would usually use. I am quite fond of adding the peppermint flavour instead of vanilla for variety, particularly at Christmas time. After making them both, I think I prefer the Chocolate Snowballs to the Swedish Chocolate Balls, both for taste and texture. Let’s forget all the sugar and butter inside them!

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Swedish Chocolate Balls
Ingredients

200g butter, room temperature
1 cup caster sugar
4T cocoa
3 cups of rolled oats
2t vanilla essence
4T cold strong coffee, or water
Hundred and thousands, to coat (you may need two bottles if using only these)
Method
Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the cocoa, rolled oats, vanilla essence and coffee or water. Make into small balls then coat in Hundreds and Thousands (or coconut) then put in the fridge to set. They can be kept for up to a week in the fridge.

Recipe by Annabel Langbein, A Free Range Life

Chocolate Snowballs
Ingredients

75g butter
4T cocoa
3T milk
250g icing sugar
1 cup coconut
1 cup sultanas
1t vanilla or peppermint essence
Method
Melt butter and then add the rest of the ingredients, mixing well. If the mixture is too wet for rolling then add more icing sugar. Roll into balls, coat in coconut and put in fridge to set.

Recipe author unknown.