Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Somehow I must have sent out a telepathic invitation to the only two insects I don't mind, as the last time I posted, two white butterflies came to cheer me up, and today, hidden underneath my kettle of all places was perhaps the only insect that everyone likes, the shiny scarlet ladybug/ladybird.
I was a little perplexed as to how a ladybird came to be crawling along my kettle; carefully I offered my finger and as it crawled along, tickling me, I took it outside and placed it on my bonsai. After I came inside I thought I'd look up what a visit from a ladybird might mean, the most common folklore was that if a ladybird visited you at home, you should count the number of spots on its shell as that would be the amount of money you would unexpectedly receive. Immediately after reading that good omen I raced outside to count spots, but it had already flown off, perhaps to some better-informed person's house. Even though it's just a goodluck superstition thought I'd buy a lottery ticket anyway, who knows, maybe I'll have some ladybird-luck.
I have been busy working and trying to fit as many things in before Christmas and therefore haven't baked much. But today I was really craving something warm from the oven. This recipe was quick, easy and simple - and it filled the house with that wonderful hug of a cookie smell.
Vanilla Snap Biscuits
from Marie Claire Flavours by Donna Hay
185g butter, chopped
1 cup caster sugar
2 1/2cups plain flour
2tsp vanilla extract (or use vanilla seed paste)
Place butter, sugar and vanilla in a food processor and process until smooth. Add the flour and egg and process until combined. Remove mixture and wrap in cling-wrap. Refrigerate the dough for 30mins. Preheat the oven to 180C. Roll out the dough on baking paper or lightly floured surface until 5mm thick. Cut the dough, using 7cm round cookie cutter and place the biscuits on the trays lined with baking paper. Bake for 10-13mins until the cookies are golden on the bases. Cool on trays. Makes 24.
prep time: 38mins.
cooking time: 10 mins per tray - I had to do two lots.
total: 58mins to make 32 cookies.
taste: 4/5. This is like a shortbread with it's butteryness, however it is moister with a finer crumb and a softness of fragrant vanilla. I added a touch of vanilla seed paste, I would recommend using that rather than extract so that you get the wonderful flecks of black seeds. Also, a light dusting of sugar before going into the oven would make them prettier also.
would I make it again: No - but that's because I'm not really a fan of shortbread.