I have finished up all my work commitments, and finally can turn my entire attention to our family’s Christmas preparations. Hooray! Later on tonight I’ll be wrapping presents but for now I am in the kitchen with my baking buddy Paddy. Cooking with my boys is always a pleasure, especially now that they get the concept of trying to clean up as they go. It’s also a beautiful part of the ritual leadup to the big day.
Today we’re making some macadamia shortbread, macadamia and white choc chip cookies, gingerbread candy canes and white Christmas. These will be out on plates for visitors, and also distributed as little gifts to people around us.
If he’s lucky, Santa might get a couple left out for him along with his can of beer. That is, of course, if I can keep the ravenous teenagers out of them for long enough.
250 g unsalted butter
¾ cup (110 g) icing sugar mixture
1 tsp vanilla essence
½ cup (70 g) cornflour
2 cups (300 g) self-raising flour
good pinch of salt
250g salted macadamias, roughly chopped
extra caster sugar for dipping
Preheat the oven to 180°C and line 2 large baking trays with Glad bake. Using electric beaters, beat the butter and icing sugar until light and creamy. Beat in the vanilla essence.
Sift the cornflour, self-raising flour and salt together. Stir the macadamias through the flour. Add to the butter mixture and use a butter knife to mix together thoroughly.
Roll the dough into small balls about the size of a walnut. Dip the tops in the sugar and put onto the prepared tray, about 5 cm apart. Flatten slightly with a fork.
Bake for about 8–10 minutes, or until just starting to colour underneath (the biscuits will still be soft, and pale on top). Leave on the trays for 10 minutes to become firm, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.