Sometimes, life doesn't go quite as planned. One day you're beavering away, thinking you're doing your best work, and the next you're the ex-Prime Minister of Australia. One day you're leading your troops into political battle only to discover your deputy charging from a different direction, and that half the others have already pissed off down the pub to celebrate your demise.
For some, this would be a wake-up call. For others? Not so much.
Some may harbour a desire for a second bite at the proverbial cherry. Some may even take a crack at regaining that coveted position. Because when the motivation is great enough, obstacles blur into challenges that seem surmountable, irrespective of the collateral damage that will inevitably ensue.
Sometimes it leaves one to wonder if a whole lot of hoopla could have been avoided if a cup of tea and a nice bickie had been available at an appropriate opportunity.
When all is said and done, and there certainly has been a great deal said and done, all that may be left to do is sit down with that cup of tea and bickie, and watch the re-run of the Oscars. Because you know they’ll be missing the live broadcast at midday.
Here is my suggested bickie. It combines fresh hazelnut meal with some yummy tidbits of chocolate. No matter what your political flavour, I’m sure these cookies would have bipartisan support.
- 125g butter, softened
- ½ cup caster sugar
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 1 ½ cups plain flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ cup hazelnut meal or ½ cup fresh hazelnuts
- 100g milk chocolate, roughly chopped
- 1 tbs milk for glazing
If you can’t get your hands on any hazelnut meal, you can easily make your own by grinding some roasted hazelnuts. To make the hazelnut meal, heat your oven to 160°C. Place the whole hazelnuts on a tray lined with baking paper. Roast for about 10 minutes, until fragrant (oh and don’t they smell wonderful), being careful not to burn. Remove from the oven and transfer to a clean tea towel to rub the skin from the nut. Allow the skinned nuts to cool before transferring to a food processor to grind to an even meal.
To make the biscuits, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla, then the egg, beating until well combined. Fold in the hazelnut meal, then the sifted flour and baking powder.
Transfer the mixture to a lightly floured surface, knead lightly, and then roll out to about 1cm thick. If it’s a hot and humid day, the dough might benefit from a 15 minute rest in the fridge before you roll it out.
Use a cookie cutter to cut out the cookies (I used a round fluted cutter, 5cm in diameter) and transfer to a lined baking tray. Allow a little space around each cookie, as they will expand slightly. Lightly glaze with the milk.
Bake at 160°C for approximately 10-12 minutes, until the cookies are golden. Transfer to a baking tray to allow to cool before they find their way into the reach of any little fingers. Or any weary, politically drained fingers for that matter.
Makes about 40 cookies.