Cardamom, orange and white chocolate shortbread // Hazelnut, milk chocolate and salt cookies // **VOTE FOR ME IN THE RIVER COTTAGE RISING STAR 2014 COMPETITION!**

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I wanted to say a big THANK YOU to everyone who has already voted for me to go through to the next stage of the River Cottage Rising Star of 2014 competition! I also wanted to encourage those of you who haven’t voted for me yet to do so, so I thought I’d treat you to a little something extra on this lovely Saturday morning: a DOUBLE bumper post! You’ve got two delicious yummy recipes to keep you going this weekend, you lucky things. The first recipe is these amazing chunky chocolate and hazelnut cookies, your classic cookie. The second is a fragrant orange, cardamom and white chocolate shortbread, which is just so light and delicate but still massively flavoursome. And so pretty too!
So why don’t you quickly follow the link below and vote for me, Chloe Ride, to go through to the next round of Rising Star 2014 and then scroll down for the recipes? Check out my entry video for Wild Plum semifeddo with a ginger nut crumb while you’re there! Go on!!
http://www.rivercottage.net/risingstar/vote/

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So now you’ve voted, we can get down to the fun bit. Everyone likes cookies, huh? What? You don’t? Get outta here, of course you do!
The chocolate ones- well. A classic combination. We all love chocolate and nuts, right? But with extra melty chocolate? And sea salt, too? Mouthwateringly delicious. I’ve worked out that I probably want and need to eat these about 100% of the time. And the smell they make when they’re baking, oh the smell. Enough to sell 1000 houses and maybe even make Father Christmas drool (and he’s eaten a whole lot of cookies).
Now we need to talk about the cardamom, orange and white chocolate shortbread. This is a combination I’ve been dying to try for so long, but I’ve been a bad foodie and I just haven’t got round to it. Today was the perfect day to try them. I sat in the sun with a big mug of black coffee, and savoured it. What a lovely way to spend a Saturday morning. The balance between the citrus and warm spice was perfect: neither overpowering, and both very subtle – perfectly complimented by the sweet vanilla flecked white chocolate. This might be up there as my new favourite biscuit.
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For 12 Chocolate and hazelnut biscuits, you will need:

260g plain flour
1/2 tsp bicarbinate of soda
30g cocoa powder
1/2 tsp salt
85g unsalted butter
190g granulated sugar
80g soft light brown sugar
2 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
80g milk chocolate chips or chopped up chunks of milk chocolate
70g chopped hazlenuts
Sprinkle of Maldon saly

Start by preheating your oven to 180 degrees C and lining two baking trays with parchment paper.
In a small bowl, combine the flour, bicarb of soda, cocoa powder and salt, and whisk until combined. Set aside.
In a separate bowl, beat the butter and sugar until fluffy, then add the eggs one at a time, stirring in between. Add the vanilla extract and beat until everything is well incorporated. Slowly add in the flour mixture bit by bit, then stir in the chocolate and hazelnuts.
At this stage you should be able to roll the dough into a log shape – if its a bit too sticky place it in the fridge for about ten mins. Cut the log in half, then each half in half again, and repeat until you have 12 equal discs. Place onto your prepared baking tray, about 2 inches apart, adding an extra sprinkle of Maldon sea salt if desired. Bake for about 12 mins. Leave to cool on your baking tray before transferring to a wire rack.

 

For 12 Cardamom, orange and white chocolate shortbreads, you will need:

115g unsalted butter
55g granulated sugar
Zest of 1 large orange, finely chopped
1tsp orange blossom extract
170g plain flour
A pinch of salt
10 the seeds of cardamom pods – bash open the pods using a pestle and mortar and pour out the seeds. Grind into a fine powder.

To decorate

75g white chocolate
Zest of 2 large oranges- try and keep in long ribbons
12 dried rose petals
Hand full of finely chopped pistachios

Line a large tray with baking parchment.
Start by creaming together your butter and sugar until nice and fluffy. Add in your orange zest and orange blossom extract and mix.
Mix in the flour, salt and cardamom powder and tip out onto a floured surface. Bring together with your hands then use a floured rolling pin to roll out to your desired thickness – I like mine quite thin, but go thicker if you like.
Cut out 12 circular biscuits, and place them onto your prepared tray using a palette knife. Place them into the fridge for 30 minutes to firm up. Halfway through this time, preheat your oven to 180 degrees.
Place the biscuits into the oven for 12-15 minutes until the edges turn golden. Remove and cool on a wire rack.
When the shortbreads are completely cool, melt the white chocolate in a glass bowl over a pan of boiling water. Leave it to cool slightly, then take about a tsp of the chocolate at a time and place in the centre of the shortbread  (it’s best to do this one at a time). Use a small palette knife to spread the chocolate in a circle. Add a little more if needed. Place back on the wire rack, add a rose petal and some of the orange zest ribbons, and sprinkle over the pistachio. Leave to set before enjoying.

 

**DON’T FORGET TO VOTE FOR ME IN THE RIVER COTTAGE RISING STAR 2014 COMPETITION!! **
http://www.rivercottage.net/risingstar/vote/

 

 

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