Thursday, December 16, 2010
When I came across these in the December issue of Good Taste magazine, I knew I had to make them, but that I won't like them. Yes, that's right. My name is Adele and I hate Fruit Mince. OK, maybe hate is too strong a word, because if I have to choose between tofu (which I really hate) and fruit mince, I'll take the fruit mince every time. Let's say I strongly dislike fruit mince, and anything made with it: fruit mince pies, fruit cake, Christmas puddings, etc. etc. (Not like my Baby Brother, who always ate all us children's share of the fruit cake when we went to weddings).
This choice for the 2010 Christmas Cookie List is there for the members of our family with traditional tastes, in our case mostly the grandmothers and uncles and so forth. The ones who didn't grow up with chocolate and didn't know any better. You have to cater for everybody. I also think no Christmas Cookie List is complete without shortbread (I do actually like shortbread), and I really like the idea of this recipe. It's like a fruit mince pie and a shortbread cookie in one.
As you can see from the recipe, it's not exactly traditional fruit mince, and if you don't feel like this slightly tropical one, substitute your own. I can also suggest some orange zest mixed in with the dough. Not that the cookies turned out bad. In fact, even I liked them. The biscuit is very buttery and crumbly, like a proper shortbread should be. The small bit of filling is just enough to make this cookie interesting, and doesn't overpower with it's fruit minciness (I'm sure I've seen this word before). Next time I might try an alternative fruit mince filling, something like dried pears with chocolate and Frangelico. I also think they will taste great with just a bit of chocolate sandwiched in-between. Not sure what the traditionalists will make of that.
According to Good Taste this recipe makes about 3 dozen cookies, but I have no idea how they came to that conclusion. I only just got 2 dozen. If you want more, double the biscuit recipe. The filling is more than enough for 4 dozen.
Fruit Mince Shortbread Stars
Makes about 2 dozen, but it depends on who you talk to
125g butter, chopped
80g (1/2 cup) pure icing sugar
150g (1 cup) plain flour
2 tablespoons rice flour
2 tablespoons cornflour
2 tablespoons self-rasing flour
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons milk
icing sugar, to dust
50g dried pineapple
50g soft dried apricots
50g glace ginger
25g red glace cherries
1 tablespoon Grand Marnier
Preheat oven to 180°C.
Process the butter, icing sugar and combined flours in a food processor until the mixture looks like fine breadcrumbs. Add the egg yolk and process until just combined. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead lightly until the dough comes together. Shape into a disc, cover and rest in the fridge for 10 minutes.
For the filling, process the pineapple, apricots, ginger and cherries in a food processor until finely chopped. Stir in the Grand Marnier.
Roll out the dough between 2 sheets of baking paper until 3mm thick. Use a 5.5cm star pastry cutter to cut stars from the dough. Arrange half of the stars on the baking sheets. Place about 1/2 teaspoon of filling in the centre of each star.
Brush the remaining stars with milk, and place milk-side down over the stars with the filling, pressing gently to seal. Brush the tops of the stars with remaining milk. Bake for 10min or until just golden. Transfer the stars to wire racks to cool completely. Dust with icing sugar.