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A Christmas Miracle + Double-Whammy Give-Away!


Dec
20

As I write this post I’m currently surrounded by lemons, honey, tissues, (prescription) drugs and both my left and right lungs; that’s right. I have caught the dreaded Christmas lurgy. But hey, that ain’t gonna stop me from getting into the Christmas spirit! In fact, I’m feeling SO generous that today I’m not only going to give you an awesome cookie recipe, I’m ALSO going to give you not one, but two give-aways! ‘Tis the season and all that jazz. SO. Prepare to have your minds blown and read on, friends, read on.

Every year Momma Lee comes home with an advent calendar which she presents to Brother and I with great pride. This year we each received a Cadbury’s advent calendar that featured a sleeping santa. She then informed us that it was either this one or the Transformers one she saw in Sainsbury’s, and when we said we would’ve preferred Transformers she called us both heathens and walked out of the room. Eh. Can’t win ‘em all. But see, here’s the problem: it’s not so much the fact that we’d rather have Megatron on our advent calendars, it’s that I don’t like chocolate, so there’s literally no incentive for me to open each calendar door. Instead it sits there, gathering dust, until I remember and pull out a deformed and (by now) white bit of crumbly chocolate that ends up in the bin (or in a tupperware box in the fridge, thanks Momma Lee). Until now, that is, because I had a total brainwave, the best way to use up unwanted chocolate and create some very festive little bites of nom: Advent Calendar Cookies.

These cookies feature Green & Black’s Maya Gold chocolate chunks, in a gorgeous soft and chewy cocoa cookie, topped with an advent calendar milk chocolate. Now I’m not doing any advertising for Green & Black’s, but every time I have to do some baking I buy their chocolate. Why? Because it’s damn good, that’s why. This particular flavour is infused with vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and a gorgeous hint of citrus, which adds an extra depth to these cookies. That’s why I like it. A hint on using chocolate in baking: my favourite chocolatier told me that the better the quality of the chocolate the faster it burns, so whenever I’m baking with it I make sure to chop it into itty bitty pieces and treat it with care.

The inspiration for this actually came from three different people, whom I’d like to acknowledge here. First off was the lovely Lindsey at Gingerbread Bagels whose Ghirardelli Almond Brownies originally inspired me (to the point where I couldn’t remember whose recipe it was, so spent a good half hour scouring the tinternets and asking all of the Twitterati where it was), the equally lovely Lora at Cake Duchess whose beautiful Chocolate Mint Thumbprint Cookies gave me further food for thought, and my go-to-baker, the stunning Monet from Anecdotes & Apple Cores whose actual cookie recipe I adapted. Credit where credit is due! Thank you ladies for the inspiration!


ADVENT CALENDAR COOKIES
Adapted from Anecdotes & Apple Cores.
(Makes 24)

Ingredients
1 3/4 cup plain flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 egg + 1 yolk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 bar Green & Black’s Maya Gold, chopped into small pieces
24 advent calendar chocolates

Method
1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C and butter two cookie trays well.
2. Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt in a large bowl.
3. In a measuring jug, cream together the butter with the two sugars until well incorporated (about 5 mins by hand), then add the egg and yolk and mix well. Add the vanilla extract.
4. Pour the butter, sugar and egg mixture into the centre of the dry ingredients and mix roughly with a wooden spoon until just incorporated. Add the Maya Gold chunks and make sure they’re evenly distributed (I used a 100g (3oz) bar) throughout the batter.
5. Using a teaspoon scoop out the batter into your hand, form rough balls and place on your prepared cookie sheets. Press down lightly on the balls with two fingers to flatten slightly.
6. Bake in the oven for about 14 mins – Monet’s tip is to take them out of the oven just before they look ‘done’, as this will help them to stay soft and chewy. It really works, so I recommend it!
7. Allow to cool on the tray and when still warm (but not too warm, or the chocolate will melt), press an advent calendar chocolate into the top of each cookie. Remove to a wire wrack and let cool, then store in an airtight box or wrap up and give away!
8. Enjoy with a hot cup of coffee or, even better, a mug of ginger tea! Mhm…

But that’s not all. Y’see the reason I was even thinking about this is because Ewa from Tortilla and I had been discussing the fact that I didn’t want my advent calendar chocolates, and she had made me an offer I couldn’t refuse: use my advent calendar chocolate to bake something and she’d swop it for a burrito. Hello! So after I’d baked these babies up (and tested one or two… or three… or four…), I wrapped them up nicely Feeder Lady style, stuck a red ribbon and a sticker on them, and took them down to the Oxford Circus branch at the appointed time for the Great Christmas Swop. We chatted, swopped goods, snapped a few photos and then I went on my merry way, feeling like the Fairy Feeder Lady.

Tortilla is a very American concept, brought over to London by Brandon Stephens, a Californian, and taking the streets of London by Cali-Mexican storm. If you’ve been to Amurika then you’ll know that there are burrito places on practically every corner, so when I heard they were coming to the UK I knew that I wanted to check them out. There are currently five locations in London: Islington, Southwark, Canary Wharf, Oxford Circus & Leadenhall Market, and apparently the Leadenhall Market one has a giant Corona chandelier that they were trying to break the world-record with (for largest bottle-based sculpture). Unfortunately they lost to some monks somewhere who built a temple out of thousands of beer bottles, but it’s a pretty good effort, still. The Oxford Circus branch boasts its own pretty little Corona chandelier, however, which is worth checking out!


And SO. THE GIVE-AWAYS. Ewa loved her cookies so much that she has wrangled TWO VOUCHERS from Tortilla for a FREE BURRITO to give-away to you guys, so that you and a friend can enjoy the goodness of Tortilla! And I’m telling you, that burrito? Mhm, that burrito… I went home, scoffed it down and watched Labyrinth. There is nothing better than a bulging burrito and a bulging David Bowie. Mhmmm…

But that’s not all. I promised you two give-aways, didn’t I? Because the Tortilla give-away is only open to those based in the UK (I don’t think the burrito would travel that well across the Atlantic), I’m throwing in a give-away of my own which is open to all readers worldwide! Remember this?


I look like a mentalist.

Remember how I said that you could win that mug? Well now you can! That is a very special ‘I Am A Feeder’ personalised baby mug from Emma Bridgewater – I bought two and, in the spirit of Christmas, I’M GIVING ONE AWAY! What lucky readers you are.



Golf ball shown for size…

Alright, enough chit-chat, how can you win these fabulous things? Very simple.

To win the Tortilla vouchers (open to UK residents) answer this whimsical question in the comments:
1. If you had to liken yourself to a cookie which would you be and why?

For additional entries:
1. Like the Tortilla page on Facebook, then come back here and leave a separate comment telling me you did so.
2. Follow Tortilla on Twitter, then come back here and leave a separate comment telling me you did so.
3. Send me cookies. That’s it! Three different opportunities to win those vouchers! I’ll use a randomiser to pick the winner for this one.

To win the I Am A Feeder baby mug (open worldwide) answer this whimsical question in the comments:
1. If you could feed any person in the world, living or dead, who would it be and why?

Only one opportunity to win the mug, so make sure your answer’s a good ‘un! Whichever one tickles my fancy the most will win. BOOM.

So there you go. Aren’t I a freakin’ generous soul. So, now I’m going to return to my trashy TV, my tissues, my lemons and honey, and I’m going to scoff down some more cookies. Y’know what they say: starve a fever, feed a cold, and if there’s anything I’m good at it, it’s feeding. Until next time folks, peace and love.

Jax x

PS: I’ll announce the winners on New Year’s Day so plenty of time to get your entries in! Go, go, go!

38 Responses to “A Christmas Miracle + Double-Whammy Give-Away!”

  1. Jean Says:

    Gosh, I hope you feel better soon!

    Love the inspiration that came from other bloggers for your cookies (which look awesome!). I was inspired by a couple of bloggers myself for my current post.

    Okay, for the mug. Hmm, I’d have to pick a pair of people: my maternal grandparents. One I never met and the other passed away when I was young. I was lucky to be able to spend time w/ my paternal grandparents and I’d love the chance to do the same w/ my mother’s parents. What better way to show my love for them by feeding them. I heard that they loved food as much as I do. It would be wonderful to connect over food they loved (and that I made for them).

    Get better!

  2. Brian @ A Thought For Food Says:

    Since I am not a UK resident, this is obviously not an entry… but I wanted to wish you a speedy recovery.

    These cookies look fantastic! I have some Green and Black’s Maya Gold as well… now I know what to do with it!

  3. Brian @ A Thought For Food Says:

    Well, that’s what I get for not reading all of the details. Here’s my kick-ass entry for the mug!

    This is what I have to offer… I’ll treat you like the queen you are when you come to visit. Champagne, caviar, food massage… maybe more. All I want is that mug!

  4. Brian @ A Thought For Food Says:

    Obviously I meant foot… but I’ll massage your food too. Now, that’s hardcore!

  5. Charsue Says:

    1. If you could feed any person in the world, living or dead, who would it be and why?

    Tough question! I have a handful of people i’d love to feed. Although, im an eater rather than a feeder LOL….but
    when I make the effort I put 100% of love and happiness into what I create!! lol.

    I would love love love to feed…Elvis! lol. I heard alot of his music as a Child. My parents would play his vinyls and it
    became a soothing sound to hear with his mellow and smooth voice! He was HOT…before the wierd studded
    suits, drugs and the binge weight. I would feed him Penut butter, bacon and banana sandwiches egg dipped and fried
    (french toast style) annnnd have a big bowl of chocolate chip ice cream as a side dish LOL. And maybe do a spot of Kareoke with him hehe. An amazing, talented man
    and passionate about his beautiful music (before the drugs)!

    2nd choice was Jamie Oliver. I want him to adopt me. lol.

  6. Roxan Says:

    Oh, what a cute idea! I love the thought of using the advent chocolates in the cookies. These cookies turned out wonderful – awesome awesome job. I wish I could eat one right now!

  7. saltyseattle Says:

    First I want to say that I would love to trade lives with you for just a week- I love the exotic madness of your mama, and advent calendars from Sainsbury oddly make me weak in the knees. Next, confused about how someone could not like chocolate, but green & blacks would change the mind of an elephant, so i get why those cookies would disappear should a certain someone (me) be around when they came out of the oven.

    Finally, i think we could be onto something with the blogger life swap- they might even make a reality tv show out of it- plopped down into another blogger’s kitchen for a week to write their blog posts and vice versa? could be fun.

  8. sophia Says:

    I’d love to feed Victoria Beckham. That lady needs a good cheeseburger.

  9. Russell van Kraayenburg Says:

    Oh my gosh. Where to start?! Those cookies look super yummy! I am definitely going to try them! Im jealous about the tortilla give-a-way so I may be moving to the UK shortly.

    As for the mug give-a-way–by the way, that mug is adorable!–, I would have to say, I’d like to feed Julia Child. While it may seem a tad cliched, she is a huge inspiration behind me jumping into the kitchen. Besides, not only is she my role model, but she worked so hard feeding so many people-essentially an entire country, influencing the way Americans cooked from that day forth–and she invented the TV cooking show–a medium/format I am of which I am very fond. She no doubt deserves(ed) a chance to sit down and be fed for once. I would give her a moment to not only rest but to see what her legacy has produced. And, just to make sure it’s not all sappy and heart-felt, Id just love to have a conversation with that stentorian and gleeful personality of hers.

    Bon Appétit!

  10. Emma, a.k.a. Barking Friend Says:

    FREE FOOOOOOOOOOD!

    Um, I mean, yay burrito! I do love a good burrito, it’s been a while.

    Okay, so. For the tortilla.

    I think this question depends very much on whether you’re using “cookie” in the North American sense, i.e. what we would understand as a biscuit, or the UK sense, i.e. a squidgier, more soft-baked and larger item. I know the Yanks use it in the second sense, too, but they’re just greedy with their language.

    SO. In the first instance, I would almost certainly be a Bourbon. You have to work a bit to get past the surface layer, but once you do, what’s inside will have you coming back for more OVER AND OVER AGAIN.

    (That really actually didn’t sound dirty in my mind, but clearly my mind is a little broken.)

    Um, and in the second instance, I would definitely be a chocolate chip cookie. Dark chocolate chips, specifically, and Ghiradelli if at all possible. Because they’re yummy. There.

    Woof.

  11. Vanessa Says:

    If I could feed any one person in the world, I would have to say that it would be the brave people who live in the albino camps in Tanzania. I suppose I could choose someone like the starving kids in Ethiopia, or the victims of the earthquake in Haiti, or even be somewhat witty and choose Ghandi, but if I were to be honest, it would be them. The reason I choose them, is because they have all lived under fear, persecution, and have spent most of their lives being hunted by friends, family members, neighbors, or even strangers. Currently there is a HUGE problem that the Tanzanian government is working to put an end to. Due to the number of independent tribes in the country, there are many that still adhere to beliefs in Shaman and Medicine Men, and magic. Many of these people have been led to believe that people born with albinism have no souls, and that their flesh contains magical healing properties. Add into that the very poor economic conditions of many of the people there, they are constantly being sold for harvesting, and are being captured, amputated, and left to bleed to death (all, including infants). As if this weren’t bad enough, when they DO pass away, many have to be buried under cement slabs in unmarked graves so that their bodies are not later exhumed by grave robbers, and further mutilated. Add into this the light-sensitivity of their eyes, and skin, many that survive the hunting die of skin cancer and live with painful burns and blisters due to the searing hot sunlight they are exposed to just from living in Tanzania.

    This all makes for pretty desperate living conditions. Fortunately there are some kind kind souls and organizations that have set up government-sanctioned “safe” camps that provide a protected refuge for them to have a home, and education, and live their lives free of fear. They are some of the most hope-filled people that I have heard about/seen. Add into that my pre-existing desire to go do some work over there when I graduate, and my answer is simple.

    If I could cook for anyone, it would have to be them. They deserve everything that they are given, and all the blessings people bestow on them. If I could do anything for them, I would. I would love to go and cook them a beautiful meal, and just show them how much they are cared about and loved, and that not ALL people believe they are less than human, or less than anything.

    Sappy I know, but you know me. It’s the truth.

  12. Lawyer Loves Lunch Says:

    At the risk of sounding like every comment above mine, “You don’t like chocolate?!?” Oh, and this post made me sad we don’t live close enough to share cookies and burritos. SF, February, 2011! Woohoo!

  13. Ethan Says:

    Well, if we’re hanging out and there’s extra chocolate, you don’t mind if I help myself to it, right?
    Those are all great cookies and amazing bloggers too:)
    I’m going with sappy for my answer here as to who I would feed. I’d love to feed my bubbie (grandmother in yiddish) what she would always feed us. Friday night dinner with matzah ball soup, gefilte fish, boiled chicken, challah and just a perfect warm feeling being surrounded by family.

  14. Kim at Life as a Foodie Says:

    Martha Stewart.

    I’d love to show that prissy woman how normal people live and have her try some of our “whatever we throw into the pan” kind of meals. That’s how we roll yo. In our house it’s whatever we can find in our freezer.

    And how can you not like chocolate? I’m going to cry now. Love bulging David Bowie but not chocolate. I always knew you were a bit weird!

  15. Lora @cakeduchess Says:

    Jax-so sorry you are still not well. I wish you a speedy recovery. Your cookies turned out super fabulous! I will try your recipe this week with my kiddos. Thank you for liking my mint thumbprints;)

    Now for the giveaway, I will one-up Brian. I would love to cook and bake for you and your mamma. I would massage your food, your feet, and your sweet mamma’s too! So I know you both want me to win *wink wink. Xxoo

  16. chanel11 Says:

    Advent cookies – stroke of brilliance woman!

  17. Ken?hungry rabbit Says:

    I have to read it twice to make sure you said ‘I don’t like chocolate’. This is a shocking bit of information that we must remedy. So who ate the cookies? Is it in the mail being sent my way?

  18. IslandEAT Says:

    Jax, I was going to pander to you by saying I’ll feed YOU whatever YOU like when you come here (and promise not to “convert” you to the Holy Church of Chocolate-and-Pizza, as was my plan), but then I saw Brian tried this first with his attempt to win you over.

    Then I thought of feeding my late grandmother Jessie;, after all, I re-created 19 of her recipes on my site. But I see Ethan beat me to the punch with the Jewish grandma angle. Besides, Jessie would criticize some of my choices (“I never called it Jewish pork tenderloin! Where did you get that idea? What is wrong with you?”).

    So I guess I’ll try again by saying I’d feed Baby Spice with the baby mug, to bring it all back to you in Britain. I’d stir up some Horlick’s into some sort of hot toddy to make her a grown-up drink. Whatever happened to her anyway?

    Feel better,

    Dan

  19. Lindsey @ Gingerbread Bagels Says:

    I hope you feel better soon!
    I LOVE these cookies, you are just so creative. What a great use of advent calendar chocolates. And thank you for mentioning me, you are too sweet.

    Oohh how I would love that mug, it’s so cute. I would feed Giancarlo, the Italian man that I used to work with. He was so good looking. :)

  20. Ashley Says:

    Love that mug! So, I would feed…

    YOU.

    truly. Because you’ve fed me in the past. And you are so generous, that I would want to return the favor. And hopefully I can when you visit!!!!!! And I am not hitting on you, because we’re not lesbians, and you’re not a prostitute, but we did meet on the internet.

    My second answer for who I would feed is Elton John. Just because. haha. Why not?

  21. Milla Says:

    What’s all this “1 cup” business? Have you turned into an American whilst baking? I’m a Brit and I have no idea how much “1 cup” is. Help!! Those biscuits (not cookies luv!) look yummy!

    x

  22. Tweets that mention iamafeeder.net » A Christmas Miracle + Double-Whammy Give-Away! -- Topsy.com Says:

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Jackie Lee and Brian Samuels. Brian Samuels said: @jaxies i guess it'd be nice if we tweeted the link for ya ;-) http://tinyurl.com/398fpgr @MyFoodThoughts @lawyerloveslnch @lifeasafoodie [...]

  23. Rich Says:

    I would probably feed a bunch of French peasants some cake. It’s what Marie Antoinette would have wanted.

  24. Kay@Chopstix2Steaknives Says:

    I love your question…I remembered that night on Twitter.
    I think I said cookies and cream cookie I will be! Why? because I can be sweet and crumbly at the same time…LOL!!

  25. sippitysup Says:

    Well her I go being a sap again! But I’d feed my mom. She died in 1993 she before I ever developed an interest in cooking. I’d love her to see the spark she set in me with out either of us ever knowing it at the time. And if I don’t win the mug, I’ll take a cookie as a consolation prize. ‘Cuz chocolate consoles. Yes it dies. GREG

  26. Katy Says:

    I am still carrying some baby weight, so I am more like two cookies. Chocolate chip ones, with ice cream sandwiched between them. Probably. Crap that sounds good.

    And I also like burritos immensely. And have even been known to take an hour train ride into London to go to Tortilla. Pick me, random generator.

  27. Katy Says:

    And I just liked Tortilla on FB. Mmm. Now I’m hoongry.

  28. Nick Silversides Says:

    Morning,

    I would be a triple chocolate chip cookie – too irresistible and tasty for words and something you can wait to get your hands on ;-)

  29. Nick Silversides Says:

    i have followed Tortilla on twitter to hear about all their tasty food :-)

  30. Katie Vale Says:

    Hi

    I love these cookie ideas, they sound fabulous! I may have to try these!

    Anyway……my entries are:

    1. If you had to liken yourself to a cookie which would you be and why?
    Am I allowed to cheat slightly & go for a biscuit? Well if so, I’d go for a jammy dodgy. Some say I can be quite jammy in the luck stakes. I’m tasty, a little bit round, but I’ve got a big heart at the centre of me! :-)

    And if I could feed anybody……it’d have to be James Corden. He looks like he likes his food, and he cracks me up. So seeing him enjoy eating lovely, delicious food would make me happy too!!!

    xx

  31. Tunde Says:

    Thumbprint choco cookies FTW !!and what’s this business about not liking chocolate eh ?

    If I had to feed someone, It will Anthony Bourdain. I love a good challenge and it will be hard to impress him. Before I started watching ‘No Reservations’ and exploring my palette, I was pretty reserved about my food choices (who knew the true goodness of good sushi !!). If not Mr. Bourdain, I’ll go with Oliva Wilde and sweep her off her feet with my culinary prowess. That’s is after she divorces her husband of course ;) !

  32. Maya Says:

    I think chocolate flows in my veins, so you and I are from different planets, girlie! But never mind, we are both feeders, so I’ll call off my alien invasion because I can totally relate with what you’re doing on this lovely blog.

    If I could feed anyone in the whole, wide world, I think it’d have to be Gordon Ramsey as I’d love to learn how to swear like it’s second nature and be so bad-tempered that people actually want to eat my food! Feeding him will also give me much enjoyment, there will be a moment’s silence as I stuff his gob and watch his pug’s mug melt with love… aaahhh!

  33. Chef Dennis Says:

    I hope you are feeling much better soon! My wife has the same thing….
    Those cookies look so very very good, I’m glad you had time to make them, that little bit of extra chocolate on top makes its even better!
    as for what kind of cookie, definitely one with nuts!
    Merry Christmas to you and your family!
    Dennis

  34. PinkStuff28 Says:

    I would feed my grand-grandmother , because she used to feed me when i was little , and i still remember how much i liked eating what she made for me :D

  35. MIchael Says:

    Hello

    I would be any cookie from Ben’s cookies! Why: because, they always cost more than I expect, but they’re ooooh sooo goood, that I can’t ever resist going back for more.

    Thank you

  36. MIchael Says:

    I’m also following Tortilla on Twitter, now.
    @munroleaf

  37. Oye Says:

    If I could feed anyone, I’d go back in time and feed Mongol warriors with hamburgers and chips to see if it would affect their ability to conquer the world.

    After watching the overweight Mongols getting ‘high’ on McDs and Burger King, I’d skip a long to the Roman times to see how my little game of ‘interference’ had affected history.

    If the Romans were still in a position to build an army to conquer the world, I’d introduce KFC to their diet.

    To round things off, I’d come to pre-colonial Britain, and hand out free Krispy Kreme donuts. :)

  38. Amanda @ BakingWithoutABox Says:

    I’m a praline. Sweet, sassy, Southern, with a bite.

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