Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Christmas Biscuit Swap

I love Christmas! And I love all the crazy preparation that leads up to it. And this year will be no different. I've had a head start in the baking department though, and I thought I'd share it with you.
I've been going to my friend Norma Bakker's once a month sewing group since we moved down to the farm. Each year the group has a Kris Kringle (present swap). This year however, Norma has come up with a brilliant idea. Instead of swapping crafty gifts, we're swapping biscuits. We each bake our favourite biscuit recipe. Make up nine packets (that's how many of us sew together) and pop four biscuits into each pack. Then we swap them around and go home with a huge variety of home baked biscuits that we'd probably not make ourselves.
So being the Anzac biscuit queen in our house, I thought I'd make these with a little Christmas twist. I added a few handfuls of cranberries into the mix and then dipped the edges of the biscuits in melted chocolate.
I placed each set of biscuits into a clear plastic bag and tied it with bakers twine. Then I dragged out the box of saved Christmas cards that we received last year and started cutting! I use the front of the cards and make tags. It doesn't cost anything, and I'm recycling something that would otherwise be thrown out. 
I'm not fussy about the size or shapes of the tags. As long as I can fit a message on the back that's fine. 
And Viola! Don't they look pretty? I tell you what... it was a challenge keeping Frans' fingers off the choc dipped biscuits before they made it into the packets!
I suggested to Sara that she could do this with her friends. She said to me "no Mum, that's for old ladies". What a cheek!
Here's my recipe:
Anzac Biscuits
Courtesy of Hunter Magazine. (If you double it, you'll 40 reasonably sized biscuits)
1 Cup plain flour
1 Cup sugar
1 Cup rolled oats
1 Cup coconut
125g butter or margarine
1 tablespoon golden syrup or treacle
2 tablespoons boiling water
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
Mix the first four ingredients in a bowl. Melt butter and golden syrup in a saucepan, add water, then bicarbonate of soda (it will go all frothy) and pour over dry ingredients. Mix well. Roll into small balls (about walnut size) and flatten on oven trays. Leave some room around each biscuit as they will spread a little. Bake at 150deg for 20 mins. Cool on the trays for a few minutes, then remove onto wire racks to cool further.
Tip: If you want crunchy biscuits, then let them cool completely before storing in an airtight container. If you like your biscuits chewy, then place them in an airtight container before they are totally cooled down or add a little more water to the mix. Frans likes his biscuits chewy, so I usually double the water.
A half a cup to a cup of 'extras' is usually enough. eg:
choc chips (use the small buttons, they're easier to work with)
chopped nuts
Enjoy with a cup of tea!

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