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Homemade Jammie Dodgers

Soft, buttery shortbread sandwiched with homemade strawberry jam! A homemade version of the classic British snack, beloved by many – including the Eleventh Doctor! These are Britain’s answer to the Linzer Cookie

Homemade Jammie Dodgers by Giraffes Can Bake - Buttery shortbread cookies sandwiched with homemade Strawberry Jam. The classic British snack, beloved by the Eleventh Doctor. Britain's answer to the Linzer Cookie

There are a few things that Britain takes pride in, usually they are things most people might find odd – like our ability to queue for anything and everything, we take queuing etiquette very seriously. One thing we rightfully take pride in is our biscuits – nothing beats a British biscuit! From the tough cookie HobNob to the beloved Custard Cream, and everything in between – we love our biscuits! Of course, these are not to be confused with what American’s call biscuits, when a Brit says “biscuit” we mean a cookie. I’ve picked up many Americanisms over the last few years, having an American best friend will do that to a person,  and I’ll refer to lots of things as “cookies” – but the British classics? They will always be biscuits – a custard cream, a jammie dodger, a chocolate bourbon, a rich tea – always biscuits! 

Homemade Jammie Dodgers by Giraffes Can Bake - Buttery shortbread cookies sandwiched with homemade Strawberry Jam. The classic British snack, beloved by the Eleventh Doctor. Britain's answer to the Linzer Cookie

 

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Amaretti Cookies

Crisp on the outside, soft and chewy on the inside, with delicious almond goodness – these Italian cookies are little bites of heaven 

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Crisp on the outside, soft and chewy on the inside with an a beautiful almond flavour- Italian Amaretti Cookies | GiraffesCanBake.com

Have you ever had a dream about baking or cooking something and then not been able to get it out of your head until you make said thing? Or is it just me that bakes in their dreams? Well, either way, I had a dream about baking Amaretti cookies and they were all I could think about! Which is weird considering they were a complete disaster in my dream (which turned out to be a little prophetic!) – but I adore Amaretti cookies, if a bakery has them I will always buy a dozen and eat them all in one day! So I set out to try and make these little beauties 

Crisp on the outside, soft and chewy on the inside with an a beautiful almond flavour- Italian Amaretti Cookies | GiraffesCanBake.com

It seems my dream was pretty accurate though and these innocent looking cookies were a nightmare to make. I don’t even know how many failed batches I made before I made that perfect batch,  it was enough that I almost gave up, I only kept going because I love these darn cookies so much! What is it about almond flour based cookies that are so tricky (I still haven’t mastered French Macarons)? I read countless recipes online, all of which differed fairly substantially so they ended up making me feel even more lost at times! 

Crisp on the outside, soft and chewy on the inside with an a beautiful almond flavour- Italian Amaretti Cookies | GiraffesCanBake.com

I tried lots of different things based on the recipes I’d read online and what I knew the cookies should taste and feel like. I tried – whole eggs added at once, egg yolks and egg whites added separately, egg yolks and whipped egg whites, just the whipped egg whites and just egg whites not whipped. I tried – making my own ground almonds, blanching the almonds before grinding and ready ground almonds. I also experimented with adding almond extract and different types of sugar they were rolled in! 

Crisp on the outside, soft and chewy on the inside with an a beautiful almond flavour- Italian Amaretti Cookies | GiraffesCanBake.com

I wasn’t exaggerating when I said I lost count of how many failed batches I had! I almost had to take out a mortgage to pay for all the almonds I went through (seriously, why are nuts so expensive?!). In the end, what worked for me was just egg whites by themselves, no whipping and ready ground almonds. If you can I would encourage you to make your own ground almonds, but with my food processor I just can’t get them as finely ground as I needed for the texture I wanted before it started to turn into butter. Whatever way you get your hands on ground almonds, you need to make sure they’ve been blanched first for the best taste. I also added a little almond extract to add a boost of flavour and rolled them in caster sugar to get that crisp outside. 

Crisp on the outside, soft and chewy on the inside with an a beautiful almond flavour- Italian Amaretti Cookies | GiraffesCanBake.com

I hope my failures haven’t put you off attempting to make these for yourself, because the end result really is worth the effort. In theory my recipe should give you the same results as me, but it’s a very temperamental dough and it needs to be just the right consistency for them to play nice – if your eggs are slightly bigger than mine or your almond flour slightly drier, you’re gonna get different results. So the key is to look at the dough and add a little more egg white or almonds if it’s too dry or too wet. This recipe calls for 250g ground almonds and 5 egg whites, but I would recommend having extra almonds and an extra egg white on hand so you can add a little more if needed. The dough itself is vey wet and sticky – it looks like kind of like the start of a cake batter after you’ve creamed the butter and sugar and started to mix in 1 egg! If that description leaves you a little confused, I’ve included a photo below (apologies for the poor quality, it was taken quickly with my iphone in bad lighting). 

amaretti cookie dough

Since it’s such a sticky dough it can be hard to roll into balls, the best way to do it I found (without making a huge mess and ending up with more dough on your hands than in the cookies) was to wet your hands and coat lightly in caster sugar. My other tip for these cookies is to use a light coloured baking sheet so the bottoms don’t cook too quickly, if you only have dark ones line it with three sheets of greaseproof paper. This dough doesn’t lend itself well to resting either, it’ll be fine to sit in the bowl while you’re baking a batch but if you roll them into balls and leave them out (or even in the fridge) for even a few hours the egg whites will start to separate from the dough – I learned this the hard way! 

Crisp on the outside, soft and chewy on the inside with an a beautiful almond flavour- Italian Amaretti Cookies | GiraffesCanBake.com

What you’re looking for in a successful batch are cookies that spread only a small amount and rise up a little in the centre, and of course you want them to crack. If your dough is too soft they’ll spread out in a mess (I wish I took a photo of my worst spread batch to share with you, they looked like a coconut macaroons ugly step brother!), if it’s too dry you’ll have hard, round balls with no cracking. These are definitely a goldie locks type cookie dough – it has to be just right or they’re gonna throw a tantrum (at least in this fairy tale cookie analogy no bears are gonna interrupt your post cookie nap… unless maybe you live in Canada or something!)

Crisp on the outside, soft and chewy on the inside with an a beautiful almond flavour- Italian Amaretti Cookies | GiraffesCanBake.com

I’m gonna bring these delicious bites of heaven to Fiesta Friday this week – because honestly, these cookies deserve a party! Come join us, there’ll be lots of yummy treats for the eyes, ears and mouth! 

Do come hang out with me on social media, I’d love to see you guys around there! You can find me on TwitterInstagramPinterest and Facebook

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(note for subscribers: I’m using a new service to send out my new posts by email which is much better for me and should hopefully be creating an easier reading experience for you – however you may have been noticing a few of my old posts coming to your email, it does this whenever I edit a post for the first time since setting up the service, so apologies for that! However you won’t receive the same post more than once no matter how many edits I make!) 

Now for the recipe, I’ll try and be as detailed as possible but if you have any questions just give me a shout 🙂

Amaretti Cookies
Yields 24
Crisp on the outside, soft and chewy on the inside - these Italian almond cookies are little bites of heaven
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Ingredients
  1. 250g finely ground almonds
  2. 1/4 tsp almond extract
  3. 200g caster sugar (extra fine granulated) - plus extra for rolling
  4. 5 large egg whites
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 160C/350F. Line a light coloured baking sheet with 2 sheets of greaseproof paper.
  2. Mix the almonds, extract and sugar in a bowl.
  3. Add the egg whites one at a time, mixing to combine. Until you have a soft, sticky dough that's almost coming together. See notes for more info
  4. Roll into small balls, about 1 -1.5 inches, and roll in sugar. Place on baking sheet with a little space between each one (they won't spread very much so not a lot of space needed)
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until they are turning a light golden and are cracked along the top
  6. Cool on tray for a couple minutes, then transfer to wire wrack
Notes
  1. Dough should be very wet and sticky - it will look like the start of a cake batter mix after you've creamed butter and sugar and started to mix in the first egg. See main post for photo reference.
  2. You may need to add more almonds or more egg whites to get the right consistency. For every 10g of almonds you add, add 8g of sugar. If you're adding more egg whites, just pour a little in at a time.
  3. If you're unsure if the dough is right, bake one first and then adjust dough as needed - if the cookie is a hard ball with no cracks you need more eggs whites, if it's spread out way too much then you need more almonds.
  4. Store cookies in air tight container 1-2 weeks
A Tipsy Giraffe https://www.atipsygiraffe.com/
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Crisp on the outside, soft and chewy on the inside with an a beautiful almond flavour- Italian Amaretti Cookies | GiraffesCanBake.com

German Cinnamon Stars (with a Georgia Twist)

German Cinnamon Stars are a classic German Christmas cookie, these delicious meringue cookies have been given a Georgia twist and are made with toasted pecans! Chewy, delicious and totally festive!

German Cinnamon Stars are a classic German Christmas cookie, these delicious meringue cookies have been given a Georgia twist and are made with toasted pecans! Chewy, delicious and totally festive!

Merry Christmas Everybody!! It’s finally almost here, Santa is coming tonight yay! I’m bringing you a gift myself today and it’s Day 10 of my Countdown to Christmas recipes, in the lead up to Christmas I have been posting a festive recipe every day – Day 1 was Spiced Caramel, Day 2 was a Chocolate Peppermint Milkshake, Day 3 was Peppermint Puppy Chow, Day 4 was Mince Pies, Day 5 was Christmas Spiced Chocolate Cake, Day 6 was Frosted Shortbread Christmas Cookies, Day 7 was Spiced Chocolate Orange Puppy Chow, Day 8 was a Spiked Black Forest Milkshake and Day 9 was Christmas Spiced Pudding Cookies. My final festive recipe of the year are these ridiculously delicious German Cinnamon Stars.

German Cinnamon Stars are a classic German Christmas cookie, these delicious meringue cookies have been given a Georgia twist and are made with toasted pecans! Chewy, delicious and totally festive!

The yummy little cookies are traditionally made with almond flour and I first heard about them from Ginger and Ginger and Bread and I pretty much fell in love with them, I knew I had to make them soon. I made mine with pecans instead of almonds though because man, I just love pecans and I couldn’t pass up that opportunity! Plus, I’m spending the holidays in Georgia so it only makes sense to use pecans, right?! I swear I don’t purposefully just stomp all over baking traditions, I just can’t help but put my own stamp on them! I will make them with almond flour one day though, because these are too yummy not to make again and again, all year round!

German Cinnamon Stars are a classic German Christmas cookie, these delicious meringue cookies have been given a Georgia twist and are made with toasted pecans! Chewy, delicious and totally festive!

These are kind of like Germany’s answer to France’s macarons (I have no idea which one came first, so maybe it’s the other way around!) – they’re made basically with meringue and almond flour (or pecan flour, in my case), just like a macaron. These go much heavier on the nuts though so they’re much more robust and definitely feel way more German – none of that delicate French nonsense (disclaimer: I love French patisserie, no offense meant haha) just good ol’ fashioned deliciousness in a nice, chewy cookie that could hold it’s own in a fight!

German Cinnamon Stars are a classic German Christmas cookie, these delicious meringue cookies have been given a Georgia twist and are made with toasted pecans! Chewy, delicious and totally festive!

I read quite a few recipes for these in preparation to make them and most of them mentioned they were a pain in the butt to make, so when mine came together really easily I was sure I had messed them up somehow! I guess I was just lucky though because they came out beautifully, I really can’t say enough good things about these cookies – they’re so much flavour and such a gorgeous texture for only a few ingredients, it makes me stop and appreciate the art of baking even more than usual! It’s crazy though isn’t it? How you can put just a few ingredients together in the right way and you come back with something so delicious? 

I did have one little problem with these is and that is I rolled a few of them out a little too thin so they over baked a tad, so a couple of them don’t have that gorgeous chewy centre. But it’s okay, I have enough of the thick, chewy ones to go around and keep everybody happy! 

German Cinnamon Stars are a classic German Christmas cookie, these delicious meringue cookies have been given a Georgia twist and are made with toasted pecans! Chewy, delicious and totally festive!

I know I said these came together pretty easily for me, but they do take a bit of prep. The night before I toasted the pecans to bring out their wonderful flavour, I like to do mine on the stove top so I can keep a close eye on them. I left them to cool over night and then threw them in a food processor to blitz them into flour, I did it in two batches with a 1/2 cup of icing sugar in each to help stop it clumping together and starting to turn into butter. You can process them as fine as you dare, mine was a little coarse as it started to clump a little but I really liked that texture. Once that’s done you just have to whip up the egg whites, add the sugar and whip until you have a nice stiff and glossy meringue. Then add your nut flour and mix it all up. Once your dough has chilled in the fridge for about an hour, you roll it out and cut out stars. Then top with some meringue and bake! Even after it’s chilled the dough is pretty sticky and can be quite hard to work with, it’s best to roll it out between two sheets of parchment. I didn’t have too much trouble with mine that way. This is not a cheap cookie to make either, I used a 1lb of pecans in one batch and pecans are not cheap (lucky for me, Leah’s mum bought me a 2lb bag from Costco) – you will get about 50 amazing cookies out of it though! 

German Cinnamon Stars are a classic German Christmas cookie, these delicious meringue cookies have been given a Georgia twist and are made with toasted pecans! Chewy, delicious and totally festive!

 

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Christmas Spiced Pudding Cookies

These Christmas Spiced Pudding Cookies are the perfect treat for the holiday season. Soft, chewy and full of Christmas Spice. This Christmas take on pudding cookies make for a whole lot of yum and festive spirit!

Christmas Spiced Pudding Cookies - Soft, pudding cookies full of chocolate chips and festive Christmas spice!

Well hello there!! It’s day 9 of my Countdown to Christmas recipes, we’re almost there!! In the lead up to Christmas, I’ve been posted a festive recipe every day – Day 1 was Spiced Caramel, Day 2 was a Chocolate Peppermint Milkshake, Day 3 wasPeppermint Puppy Chow, Day 4 was Mince Pies, Day 5 was Christmas Spiced Chocolate Cake, Day 6 was Frosted Shortbread Christmas Cookies, Day 7 was Spiced Chocolate Orange Puppy Chow and Day 8 was a Spiked Black Forest Milkshake. And today I have Christmas Spiced Pudding Cookies for you.

Christmas Spiced Pudding Cookies - Soft, pudding cookies full of chocolate chips and festive Christmas spice!

Pudding cookies are my absolute favourite type of cookie, the added instant pudding mix makes them so soft and chewy and delicious, everything I want in a cookie! I hadn’t planned to make these cookies but then I was at the grocery store and came across these pumpkin spice chips and had to buy them! I wasn’t sure what I’d make of them but they were actually really tasty so naturally I put them in some cookies. I used my standard chocolate chip cookie recipe and added the pumpkin spice chips and a little cinnamon to the dough too. I also put some pecans in there to add to the festive taste!

Christmas Spiced Pudding Cookies - Soft, pudding cookies full of chocolate chips and festive Christmas spice!

 

 

I took the photos for these cookies with my fancy new camera, I’ve not quite got the hang of it yet but I did enjoy taking these photos and I’m mostly happy with how they came out, the scenery definitely helped – I love taking photos out here, it’s so pretty! I definitely need to get myself a little tripod, I do not have a steady enough hand for this camera! I think that’ll be my new year treat to myself next month! Anything else you’d recommend I get to help me out? I currently only have a 18-55mm lens with it, I’ll definitely look into getting a macro lens eventually but I’m going to have to save up for that! 

Christmas Spiced Pudding Cookies - Soft, pudding cookies full of chocolate chips and festive Christmas spice!

 

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Frosted Shortbread Christmas Cookies

These Frosted Shortbread Christmas Cookies are buttery and sweet, and so easy to make. They’re the perfect cookies to make with the kids and leave out for Santa! 

Frosted Shortbread Christmas Cookies - These Frosted Shortbread Christmas Cookies are buttery and sweet, and so easy to make. They're the perfect cookies to make with the kids and leave out for Santa!

These buttery, melt in your mouth Gluten Free Shortbread Cookies with Cinnamon & Clementine are the perfect Christmas cookies - Christmas tree and gingerbread men shaped cookies on snow with christmas baubles, square cropped

If you want your shortbread Gluten Free – check out my cut out GF Shortbread Cookies!

It’s already day six of my Countdown ’til Christmas, Santa is going to be here before we know it! So today I bring you these yummy frosted shortbread Christmas cookies – perfect to leave out for Santa on Christmas Eve. For Countdown ’til Christmas I’ve been posting a festive recipe a day up until Christmas Eve. Day 1 was Spiced Caramel, Day 2 was a Chocolate Peppermint Milkshake, Day 3 was Peppermint Puppy Chow, Day 4 was Mince Pies and Day 5 was Christmas Spiced Chocolate Cake.

Frosted Shortbread Christmas Cookies - These Frosted Shortbread Christmas Cookies are buttery and sweet, and so easy to make. They're the perfect cookies to make with the kids and leave out for Santa!

Do you have many Christmas traditions with your family? My traditions these days involve splitting my Christmases between the UK and the US, which is nice but it’s always sad to be away from people you care about at Christmas which I inevitably am! Leaving cookies out for Santa is a simple tradition, but I think it’s one a lot of people like to do with their kids. And of course you can’t forget about the glass of milk to wash these Frosted Shortbread Cookies down with and some carrots for the hard working reindeer – who, fun fact, are actually all female if the countless drawings, displays, movies and stories are to be believed! Female reindeer keep their antlers during the winter but males shed them. 

Frosted Shortbread Christmas Cookies - These Frosted Shortbread Christmas Cookies are buttery and sweet, and so easy to make. They're the perfect cookies to make with the kids and leave out for Santa!

As well as the fun of leaving a little gift for Santa and his reindeer, actually making these Frosted Shortbread Christmas Cookies with your kids can be a lot of fun and a great tradition to pass down. And these cookies are great for that, because they’re nice and easy to make and can be decorate however you like! I kept it simple with festive coloured frostings and sprinkles, but the possibilities are endless! You can even add some festive flavours, like cinnamon or orange. 

Frosted Shortbread Christmas Cookies - These Frosted Shortbread Christmas Cookies are buttery and sweet, and so easy to make. They're the perfect cookies to make with the kids and leave out for Santa!

They’re so yummy too, so saving some for Santa might require hiding a couple away until everybody is going to bed! You, of course, then get to do the fun part of pretending to be Santa and eating up the cookies! One of the perks of being a parent, I’m sure! Not that I’m saying Santa isn’t real…. 

Frosted Shortbread Christmas Cookies - These Frosted Shortbread Christmas Cookies are buttery and sweet, and so easy to make. They're the perfect cookies to make with the kids and leave out for Santa!

Of course, you don’t have to share these Frosted Shortbread Cookies with Santa! You can make them for your family, for your Christmas party or to give as gifts (I would only give these ones as gifts that you can hand deliver, they won’t ship well). This is my first time making frosted cookies and I’m definitely a convert, shortbread is my favourite type of cookie hands down and I didn’t think they needed anything else, they shine on their own! But I decided to frost them to make them more festive looking and I’m glad they did, while they still shine beautifully on their own the frosting is just a yummy addition! 

Frosted Shortbread Christmas Cookies - These Frosted Shortbread Christmas Cookies are buttery and sweet, and so easy to make. They're the perfect cookies to make with the kids and leave out for Santa!

I’d love to see what you guys are up to this holiday season on social media, You can find me on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook

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Frosted Shortbread Christmas Cookies
Yields 16
Yummy, buttery shortbread cookies with buttercream frosting and festive sprinkles! Santa will love them!
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For the shortbread
  1. 250g unsalted butter, softened but not melted
  2. 60g Icing sugar (confectioners sugar)
  3. 300g plain flour (all purpose flour)
  4. 50g cornflour (cornstarch)
For the buttercream
  1. 100g unsalted butter, room temperature
  2. 200g icing sugar
  3. 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  4. Red and green food colourings, preferably gel colourings
  5. Sprinkles
Instructions
  1. Put all the shortbread ingredients in a bowl and beat together until all combined and smooth. You may need to use your hands to gently need it into a dough towards to end.
  2. Roll the dough into a large ball and flatten into a thick disk, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes
  3. Preheat oven to 190C/375F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  4. Roll out the dough until about 1/2 inch thick. Cut out cookies with a round cookie cutter, use whatever size you want your cookies they won't spread. Obviously the smaller the cookies the more you'll get and vice versa
  5. Transfer cookies to the cookie sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes until edges are light golden brown and the cookies are set to touch.
  6. Cool on tray for 5 minutes and then carefully transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. The cookies are very delicate when warm, so be careful not to break them.
  7. To make the frosting, add the butter, sugar and vanilla to a bowl and beat together. If using an electric or stand mixer, start off on a slow speed so your kitchen doesn't end up covered in a fine layer of icing sugar! Beat until combined, then increase speed and beat until light and fluffy.
  8. Separate the frosting into three bowls. Add green dye to one bowl and red to another, leaving the last bowl white. Gel food dye is best for this as you'll need to use much less dye, add a little at a time until you have your desired colour.
  9. Spread the frosting on the cooled cookies using an offset spatula or the back side of a spoon. The cookies are much more sturdy once they're cooled, but they're still pretty delicate so use a gentle hand.
  10. Add sprinkles and any other desired decorations
Notes
  1. Store in airtight container for up to 5 days
  2. Add 1/4 tsp cinnamon to the shortbread mixture for a festive kick
  3. This recipe yielded 16 cookies for me, but how many you get will depend on how thick you roll the dough and how big your cookie cutters are.
  4. Recipe is easily doubled.
A Tipsy Giraffe https://www.atipsygiraffe.com/