THE WEATHER REPORT
If you have been reading the last few posts, you will have noticed that I have been chronicling this saga that we in Sydney have come to know as the weather. We’ve seen it all; being at the mercy of some sort of meteorological cataclysm, we’ve seen everything from rain to cyclones, to furious winds and even snowfall. After all the beating we endured in the last two weeks, it’s nice to see that rain clouds have finally been benched in favour of some sunshine. Although we’ve been told that this genial weather will be short-lived, it’s safe to say that sunshine is finally back in the game.
COOKIE COMES FULL CIRCLE
During all this bad weather, I started a so–called series of cookies from The Australian Women’s Weekly cookbook that I have been baking from while stuck indoors. So to cap-off this cookie trilogy of sorts, here is a recipe for cookies that comes full circle. Although these cookies are actually square, I use the same type of dried cranberries as I did in these first ones, but this time paired with chocolate.
These Chocolate and Craisin Checkerboard cookies are more of a novelty than a necessity I must say. It’s the kind of cookie you probably make more for the frivolity of its appearance than its taste. Not that there is anything terrible about the way they taste, the contrary in fact, although they are quite fiddly and time consuming and are probably the kind of cookie you make when you have exorbitant amount of hours to lazily spend baking at home. Something I did have lots of in the last week.
Chocolate goes surprisingly well with cranberries. I was quite skeptical at first, I don’t know why because the combination is without doubt mouth-watering. Although the time it takes to construct your checkerboards and get through the two rounds of refrigeration, then you will probably be happy to be eating anything, whatever it tastes like.
Aside from the time it takes to make these cookies, the rewards for this charming is fairly obvious. Just make sure you have some time on your hands to work with the dough.
Chocolate and Craisin Checkerboards
Recipe from The Australian Women's Weekly: Cookies
makes 30 checkerboards
200g unsalted butter
¾ cup caster sugar
½ tsp vanilla extract
2 cups plain all-purpose flour, sifted
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1 tsp orange zest
¼ cup finely chopped craisins
1 egg white beaten lightly
Beat butter, sugar, vanilla extract and egg in a bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
Stir in sifted flour in two additions.
Divide the dough equally in half and in one half mix in sifted cocoa and in the other half knead in lemon zest and craisins. Using a ruler, shape each batch of dough into 4.5cm x 4.5cm x 15cm rectangular bars.
Wrap each bar in baking paper and refrigerate for 30 minutes to an hour.
Remove bars from fridge and cut each bar lengthways equally into three slices, then cut each slice lengthways equally into three; you will have nine 1.5 x 1.5 x 1.5 slices of each dough.
Brush each slice of dough with egg white and stack alternate flavours together to recreate the log.
Repeat with second log. Refrigerate logs for another 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 180°C. Prepare a baking tray with parchment paper.
Using a sharp knife cut each log into 1cm-thick slices.
Place cut-side up on baking trays about 5cm apart.
Bake cookies for about 15-18 minutes.
Stand for 5 minutes before lifting the cookies from the tray.
Cool on wire racks.