My partner loves birds. It’s fun, when we go on holiday together, admiring the local birdlife. When we went to Tasmania together we got some lovely pictures of wrens at Port Arthur. This last trip we saw a rosella feeding its young at the nut farm in Moyston, Victoria. When I’m travelling alone, I admire the local birdlife and think of him. I took pictures of some of the beautiful birds I saw in Africa so he could see what I’d been able to admire.
We recently made a return visit to Sovereign Hill in Ballarat. I had a ball. The Clarke Brother’s Tinsmiths made very cute cookie cutters in the stylised shape of a wren. I couldn’t resist buying one. I’d highly recommend you make the trip to Sovereign Hill next time you’re near Ballarat, but saving that you might be able to email the Soho Foundry, and get them to post a cutter to you. I wasn’t sure what biscuits I’d make with it, but decided on chocolate and strawberry robin redbreasts, tweaking a recipe for sugar cookies I came up for Christmas. The red breast is made with powdered strawberry and sugar, a mixture I made from freeze dried strawberries that I picked up from a supermarket in town, but many health food stores sell them too. The rest of the robin is merely sprinkled with drinking chocolate, the cocoa/sugar mixture used to make hot chocolate.
Makes about 12
|1 1/2||cups||plain flour|
|1||egg white, beaten|
Beat the butter and sugar till light and fluffy and add the vanilla extract and egg yolks. Beat until combined. Sift over the flour and baking soda and combine to a smooth dough. Cover and refrigerate for about an hour, or till firm enough to roll.
Prepare your sugar mixture by grinding the freeze-dried strawberries to a course powder and mix in the sugar.
Preheat the oven to 170oC. Remove a portion of the dough from the fridge. Roll the dough on a lightly floured surface till it is about half a centimetre thick. Cut out your robins, carefully lay them on a lined baking tray and brush with egg white.
Take the lid of a medium sized jar and use it to cover the breast of your robins. Place the drinking chocolate in a course sieve and sprinkle the chocolate mixture over the exposed part of the biscuit. Remove the lid and sprinkle the breast with your strawberry sugar mix. Bake the cookies for 8-10 minutes, or until the edges are just starting to brown.
Remove the biscuits from the oven. Allow the biscuits to cool on the tray for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.