Friday, 12 October 2012

Rose & cranberry cookies, and a little about my 2012 so far

Oh dear, is anyone still reading this blog? =P  Seems like ages since I last posted... I apologize to anyone that has been visiting for how quiet it has been here.

(clockwise from top left: rose & cranberry cookies, coffee & dulce de leche macarons, blackberry mouse on biscuits à la cuillère, with peach mouse insert and biscuit joconde base and earl grey chocolate macarons)
With the first 9 months of 2012 behind us, yesterday I heard a friend ponder out loud - where did 2012 go?  It got me thinking that the first 3 quarters of this year, and in particular the summer, did go by rather quickly for me, which tends to happen when there is a lot going on.  I started the year with a couple of months working from home, then it was adjusting to a new office and role at work in central Hong Kong as opposed to being at ICC in Kowloon, then it was planning for our beautiful wedding which took place in Bali, Indonesia, in August (and I know I haven't mentioned the wedding at all till now), then we also got ourselves a new home which we basically tore everything out and started the design and renovation works from bare walls and flooring.  2012 has been good so far and I'm very thankful.

Right now I'm looking forward to moving into our new place by early next month.  I'll have a new kitchen to work in, including a new oven which always takes some time getting used to.  The last quarter of any year tends to be my favorite for a number of reasons - the weather cools down considerably; i really enjoy Christmas and the feasting that comes with the holiday season; both Herr Scherrer and I have our birthdays in October; work at the office tends to slow down; we usually start planning for next year's holiday trips which gets me happy and excited.

I've accumulated quite a backlog of recipes and pictures of bakes that I want to share here, but as I was composing this post I couldn't decide what to share first.  Do I go by chronological order? Alphabetical?  I eventually decided on posting up a collection of photos taken the last few months and will endeavor to share recipes and/or sources of these in the next few posts.  Please leave a comment if you have preference for any to be posted first. 

(clockwise from top left: banana mousse cake with rum chocolate joconde base and mango & kirsch biscuit joconde, opera, free-form berry open tart, banana caramel roll)
As for today, I thought I'll tell you about these wonderful rose and cranberry cookies, which I came across while looking for something I could make as wedding favours.  I'm not awfully big into rose flavor, but the idea of these cookies sounded so romantic and sweet.  The original recipe can be found here and I adapted it a little by adding in 1/4 tsp of rose essence.

What I love about these cookies is that the rose flavor is not overpowering.  In fact, you don't really smell the rose flavor until you bite into the cookies.  The cranberries add a chewy munch to the cookies.  It was perfect with a cup of coffee or tea.

Promise I'll be back soon!

Recipe below makes about 20 cookies

50g icing sugar
100g butter
1/4 tsp salt
180g all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 cup dried rose petals
1/4 tsp rose essence
1/3 cup dried cranberries
approximately 1 tbsp cold water

Sift flour and baking soda together.  Soak rose petals in cold water to soften.  Cream together icing sugar, butter and salt.  Drain rose petals, keeping the water aside.  Add flour mixture, rose petals and essence into butter mixture.  Mix in the added ingredients, adding cold water a little at a time till dough starts to cling together to form a ball (you don't have to finish using the entire 1 tbsp of cold water.  Add cranberries towards the end when dough starts to come together. Roll dough between baking paper till its 0.5cm thick.  Chill for 20 minutes before cutting into rectangular or square pieces.  Bake in 165C preheated oven for 20 minutes, followed by 155C for another 10 minutes, till cookies are brown.



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