aboveThis year I was invited to sign up for the Foodie Secret Santa. It’s run by Claire of Claire K Creations (she has a round-up here) and the timing could not have been better. If you’re not familiar with the concept, bloggers sign up to partake and are assigned three bloggers to mail goodies to. You receive a different gift from three bloggers in return. I made these little choc-mint dipped Christmas biscuits and sent them off to Melissa from House of Powell, Caroline of Shrinking Single and Clare from Life of Clare.

I received salted caramel fudge sauce from Melissa (we both got assigned one another!), porcini and garlic salt from an unnamed blogger and delicious, crumbly biscotti from another unnamed blogger. (I’ll update you with names when I know who the bloggers are.) I instagrammed the biscotti and caramel sauce here.

The presents arrived just before and just after the Sydney siege, an event which has shaken the whole of Australia. Food is my solution to most problems, and receiving these little gifts in the mail made me realise the difference that little acts of kindness can make to a person’s day.

In the lead up to Christmas we devote our time and thoughts to friends and family, but the Foodie Secret Santa reminded me that we should save some of that love for strangers too. Comment below if you’ve been on the giving or receiving end of kindness from a stranger recently.

Vanilla Christmas biscuits

  • 100g buttergingerbread man
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp corn flour
  • 2 cups plain flour
  • ½ tsp baking soda

Chocolate mint dip:

  • 80g dark chocolate
  • ¼ cup pouring cream
  • 1 tsp peppermint extract
  • Cachous and sprinkles, to decorate

Get your butter down to room temperature so that it’s easier to work with. Beat the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy. Add in the vanilla, followed by the egg. Mix well.  Switch to your dough hook.

Add in the corn flour, flour and bicarb and mix until a cohesive ball of dough is formed.

Shape the dough into a disk and wrap in cling film. Place in the fridge for 15-20 minutes. Line two baking trays with baking paper.

cut out

Preheat your oven to 180°C.

Roll your dough out onto a floured surface about 1/2 cm thick and cut out your shapes, lining them up on your baking tray as you go. Pop them back into the fridge for 15 minutes. Try not to skip this part, as the second lot of refrigerating helps the biccies to keep their shape.

Pop the biscuits in there for 10-12 minutes, until they’ve browned nicely. Set aside to cool.

While the biscuits are in the oven melt your chocolate in a bowl over a pan of gently boiling water. Pour in the cream and stir until well-combined. Allow it to come to a simmer and remove from the heat. Add the peppermint extract in. Set to one side to cool.

fourWhen the biscuits have cooled and the chocolate has lost some of its heat, dip one half of each of the biscuits in it and return them to the tray lined with baking paper. Decorate, if desired. Pop them in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to set.

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