Daring Bakers November Challenge 2012: Twelve Days of Cookies

Holiday season is the time for sharing and Peta of Peta Eats is sharing a dozen cookies, some classics and some of her own, from all over the world with us.

The challenge recipe I chose to make was the chocolate sables, recipe here.  I left out the egg yolk as I had read some other recipes on the internet that did not use it, so I thought I’d see how it went.  The cookies were delicious, crumbly with big chunks of chocolate and not too sweet.  They even seemed to get better with time!  Try them crumbled up in vanilla ice cream for an excellent version of cookies and cream.



As my second cookie, I made Alfajores, which are South American corn starch based cookies, filled with dulce de leche.  I used the recipe from familyfoodie.com, which have a little lemon zest as well as vanilla for flavour.  Dulce de Leche, whilst readily available in Spain is quite expensive, so I made my own using the oven method, which seems a lot safer than boiling sweet and condensed milk in a pan and is also much faster.  Simply pour a can of sweetened condensed milk with a sprinkle of salt into a pyrex tray and bake at about 180 degrees until golden brown (time varies with your oven-mine took about an hour but my oven is terrible).  When it is golden whisk it up to get rid of any lumps and leave to cool and set a little before using.

The cookies were lovely and crumbly, although very sweet and with a tendency to stick your mouth together!


 This was an excellent challenge, Ill probably make a few more cookies before Christmas hits!!


Run rabbit, run rabbit, run, run, run

Our dear friend peter came to stay and we ate him! If you want a cheap delicious meal I suggest you do the same. It does involve some fairly full on butchery but i found it errrr fun,no not the right word, “interesting” .  Now I sound like a serial killer. If, like me, you enjoy doing the things most cookery books tell you to get your butcher to do then go for it.  If not , get your butcher to do it. Think they might tell you to stick it in Tescos though. I didn’t even ask in Carrefour, as it came sealed in a bag. Anyway where were we.

Here! What you must  do to the rabbit: cut it’s legs off and the head, cut out the liver and kidney, then remove the saddle from the backbone and rib cage, keeping it in one piece. What is the saddle? The bit where you would strap your saddle were you to attempt to ride your rabbit. The two loins that run down the backbone.

With the two loins in one piece but without bones, take the liver and kidney and lay them along the centre of the meat, season, roll up and tie with string at 3cm lengths, (I used the devilishly technical granny knot), you should end up with a weird sausage saddle thing, season it, wrap it in cling film and pop it in the fridge. Now you can eat that with some mash and something green.

To cook your sausage, take it out of the fridge 30mins before you are going to cook, brown it in a frying pan with some butter and oil, then pop it in the oven at 170 for 10-15mins.  Then rest it for at least 5mins in tin foil, before destringing.  Serve with mash, greens and any juices you managed to get from resting. That is phase one. Completed.

Phase two as seen in the photo is all the above, plus you make a cottage pie with the rabbit legs


Rabbit cottage pie

Rest of rabbit including head and backbones.

1 large carrot diced

1 celery stalk diced

1 onion diced

4 garlic cloves peeled and split in half

100ml white wine vinegar

300ml white wine

1.25 litres of chicken stock

1 large tin of whole tomatoes drained then squished by hand.(i prefer to chopped but you can use chopped)

1 bay leaf

sprig rosemary

1 tablespoon chopped tarragon (I used half quantity of dried)

1 tablespoon chopped parsley

  1. In a casserole pan colour the rabbit pieces in a knob of butter with a splash of oil until golden. Remove and set aside.
  2. Colour the veg adding more butter and oil if needed.
  3. Return the rabbit to pan add the vinegar and reduce to almost nothing.
  4. Add the wine and reduce by 2/3
  5. Add the chicken stock, tomatoes, bay and rosemary.
  6. Bring to the boil skim and simmer gently for 2 hrs.
  7. Heat oven 170c
  8. Lift rabbit out and set aside, reduce stock to light sauce consistency.
  9. Strain the sauce reserving the veggies.
  10. Pick the meat from the bones and combine with the veggie,s  tarragon and parsley and a few tablespoons of the sauce in a lasagne dish.Taste and adjust the seasoning, drizzle with a little olive oil and cover with mash.
  11. Bake in the oven for 40 mins, enjoy.

This recipe is adapted from Antony Demetre’s excellent book “Today’s Special” recipes from Arbutus and Wild Honey.