Caramel Christmas Cookies

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What’s better than delicious Christmas cookies? HOME-MADE Christmas cookies. Yes, that’s right- we baked something that tastes and looks good (‘we’ being my boyfriend and I). We decided to impress his family by whipping up a batch of festive sweets for their Christmas party, and these photographs are the result!

I don’t know about you, but baking during this season seems to make the kitchen experience 100% more exciting. Between the carols playing in the background, the reindeer oven mitts and the limitless number of deco-inspo posts floating around Pinterest, cooking is transformed into a festival of festivity. Even if the finished product doesn’t quite resemble a Betty Crocker wonder meal, that touch of home-made-ness just serves to add an extra tablespoon of sweetness.

We switched up your average choc-chip recipe by sneaking pieces of caramel Cadbury bar into the middle of the dough. To learn how to replicate our dessert, have a wander through this article, and if you enjoy it, please let me know in the comments below.

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RECIPE

YOU WILL NEED: 

125 grams of melted butter 
1 cup of brown sugar 
1 egg 
1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
2 cups of self raising flour 

250 grams of choc chips
1 block of Cadbury caramel chocolate

Coloured Icing

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WHAT TO DO: 

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C fan-forced
2. Beat butter, brown sugar, egg
& vanilla essence in a mixing bowl
3. Lick beaters *optional, but recommended*
4. Stir in flour & choc chips
5. Roll mixture into balls & press one piece
of caramel chocolate inside
6. Flatten dough & use cookie cutters to
shape mixture into whatever your heart desires!
7. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown

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DECORATING: 

We experimented with a few different versions of decorating… Try to spot these styles throughout the photographs:

  • Christmas trees 
  • Bells with holly
  • Angels
  • Baubles with holly
  • Santa’s belt & Santa’s head

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Merry Christmas & happy baking! 

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Polaroid Album

Every photograph posted on this blog is the phenomenal result of a Canon 550d camera. Recently, the clarity and blur on my lens had been out of whack, so I’ve turned to my canary yellow Instax mini polaroid to fulfil all of my shooting desires. There’s something a little bit sacred and heartwarming about polaroids: every shot is purposefully selected based on the aesthetics of the environment, the golden feeling in the moment or the significance of the event.

Both candid and posed polaroids make an appearance in my films… There are shots where friends smile at the lens, and others where they don’t even realise their picture has been taken.  Nevertheless, each small rectangle transports me back to a moment in time, allowing me to appreciate the magical blips of memory that they are.

And so, I present the first of my polaroid albums. vines6

Specific themes emerged from the blend of white frames blu-tacked on my wall. SURPRISINGLY, the number one most-photographed subject was FOOD.

Licking spoons, eating breakfast, cooking dinner, drinking margaritas, sitting down for family meals… all of these instants make an appearance over and over again. Food isn’t just sustenance, it’s an integral part of humanity. As sharing a meal brings people closer together,  I’ve chosen to tell the stories behind a handful of my favourite foodie pics…

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LEFT:  Bianca and Holly across from me at the breakfast table the morning after our first university ball. Ashleigh is sitting by my side, and we’re sharing pancakes, fruit and tea in our pyjamas.  

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Holly and I both had time off from work, so we decided to spontaneously visit a friend we made in Europe… he lives in Sydney. This photograph is of Holly cooking pasta in his apartment, right before I knocked a full bottle of olive oil off of the bench (I’m ridiculously clumsy!). After the clean up, we drank cheap pink moscato and played cards with new friends.

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Brae and I hadn’t seen each other in years after she left our theatre group. We caught up in a cute cafe/bar in Brisbane where we ordered cocktails and chatted about her films and my writing.

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This polaroid was taken on the Sydney road trip: Glenn & Jake sharing a milkshake in a diner.  

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LEFT: Zak’s family at breakfast outside by the pool.
RIGHT: My family on Mother’s Day, around our dinner table.

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Ashleigh came over for an ‘art day’ – of course we had to cook brownies to fuel us for hours of painting! 

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Our first meal together! Zak and I cooked a rice curry for his parents one evening when we had a day off. Aren’t our aprons cute??   😉

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I saved the best for last: Zak attempting to cook pancakes but nearly burning the kitchen down instead. He cheekily sprayed olive oil onto the flame directly after I warned him not to: classic boyfriend behaviour, right?! 

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My wall of white rectangles is constantly expanding, so
keep an eye out for plenty more polaroid articles.

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For the Love of Florence

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It didn’t take long to find joy in the city of flowers.

My first impression was through my hostel’s window, as the sun set over the city’s rooftops like butter melting across the sky. That’s how each hour felt in the Italian town, as though a radiant warmth was seeping further through my body with every passing moment.  Every place you visit leaves you with something, whether it’s a cuisine you’ve never tasted or a simple life lesson, but Florence was different… Florence introduced me to a new emotion.

Continue reading “For the Love of Florence”

A Visit to Versailles

img_4060A photo story from The Palace of Versailles, France

Eight hours may seem like a long time when you’re studying or churning out gold bills, but the seconds slip through your fingers like grains of sand when you’re exploring the seemingly-endless gardens of the Palace of Versailles.

The first glimpse into this world of overwhelming wealth, luxury and unmerited grandeur is a snaking line of tourists pressing against gold gates. Once inside, it’s clear that the Sun God’s palace boasts his extreme prowess in the art of ‘being rich’ with 17th century artwork smothering over 700 rooms.  Understandably, 700 rooms was still a little crowded for the French royalty, as the King’s Austrian wife, Marie Antoinette, was presented with her own estate behind the 20 acres of trimmed gardens. Anyone still unsure why the French revolted?

From the famed Hall of Mirrors to the Queen’s Hamlet and the Grand Trianon, every turn of a polished corner was a marvel that filled me with happiness. Writers string words together to elucidate the inexpressible all the time, tugging metaphors out of still water in a futile attempt at solidifying a fluid beauty, but I’m yet to stumble across a phrase capable of encompassing Versailles.

So, here are some moments in time instead Continue reading “A Visit to Versailles”

A Letter to Paris

Dear Paris,

Je t’aime, ma chérie!

Every second spent in your city was la vie en rose. The world around me was presented through rose-coloured glasses, every passing moment tinged with a little bit of magic.   Continue reading “A Letter to Paris”

A Switzerland Story

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From Mountains to Here

The window cracks open as I push my weight against it. Fresh air sweeps into the gondola, taking on a life of its own as it swirls around the enclosed cabin, feasting on our exposed cheeks and noses. I resist the urge to slam the window shut and instead rest my forehead against the slit. Uncontaminated by foggy glass, the Swiss Alps are the most beautiful landscape I have ever had the privilege of seeing.

Continue reading “A Switzerland Story”

Rome: Top 10

img_3417(Much love to this Italian chef who posed for my photograph while baking a pizza base!) 

‘Wheennn the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that’s amore!’ This song played in the back of my mind for the duration of our stay in Rome, the Eternal City. The city earned it’s nickname from the ancient Romans, who believed that no matter what happened in the world, no matter how many empires came and collapsed, Rome would stand the length of time. To this day, the ancient Roman belief has not withered, as the capital of Italy remains a city of both warmth and energy. There were so many things to do, monuments to see, food to devour and experiences to live that we were constantly on-the-go.

Read on for my ten favourite experiences in the Eternal City.

Rome: Top Ten

Continue reading “Rome: Top 10”