I’m constantly humming Christmas carols, there’s always something green or red in my daily outfits, I start re-watching films like The Santa Clause, Love Actually, The Holiday, Home Alone, Elf, and Scrooged. I start reading lists of things that happened in 2011 on the internet, laugh at some of them, wrinkle my nose and sniff at some of my bigger regrets, scoff at the shoddy list of resolutions I made this year. All of this can only mean one thing: December is here!
This time last year I was a new associate in the firm, starting to get my sealegs and also planning a trip with my cousin and a bunch of friends to Langkawi for New Years. It was fun, we made good memories and I would probably definitely do it all over again.
This year, I’m looking at a limited number of leave days I can take… mostly due to the fact that there are three weddings happening next year, one of which involves a 23 hour flight to the other side of the world. I need to save up my leave days, carry some forward and plan this very, very carefully.
But most of all, I just want to be out of the city when the clock strikes 12. I hate new years eve, hate the expectation that comes with it, and how everyone makes such a bloody big deal of us growing yet another year closer to our death. So whether or not I end up going on holiday with my family, or escaping to a beach island somewhere with a friend, or end up stuck in the city… I’m going to do whatever the hell I wanted to do regardless of whether or not anybody else wants to do it with me.
One of those things might be baking.
Speaking of which, in the spirit of Christmas, I thought to make something green! Green Tea Chocolate Chip cookies, to be exact, inspired by Starbucks Green tea chocolate chip frapp. I figured it would be easy enough to do, and adapted a recipe which I have been dying to try from Smitten Kitchen. I only made minor tweaks, but in future I may add a 1/4 teaspoon of colouring to get a brighter green out of the batter.
Green Tea Chocolate Chip cookies
adapted from Smitten Kitchen’s Chewy Choc-Chip cookies recipe
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 heaped teaspoons green tea powder (or to taste, add more if you like)
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 180C, and line cookie sheets with parchment paper
- Sift together the flour, green tea powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl and set aside
- In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, beat the melted butter and sugars at medium speed until well blended
- Add the egg + egg yolk and vanilla, beat until fluffy then incorporate the milk, continue to beat until ingredients have incorporated
- Combine the sifted ingredients into the wet mixture in two additions
- With a spatula, manually stir in the chocolate chips (the original recipe called for 2 cups, but I like a lower cookie to chips ratio)
- Scoop up teaspoon-fulls of batter and drop them on the cookie sheets, 2 inches apart. Try to manipulate them into ball-shapes at least, so they don’t go oval on you
- Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until the edges are slightly toasted. Allow to cool on the sheets for 5 minutes before moving them to a cooling rack
I have to say that I’m quite happy with this recipe, and also the way they look with all my Christmas decorations. Can’t wait to try another Christmassy recipe!
[note: Photos from a second batch, added a drop of green Wilton colouring gel and an extra tsp of green tea powder]