Category: Cookie recipe

Baby cookies

baby 2

I’ve been wanting to practice my cookie icing skills recently and there’s no better time than when there’s the arrival of a new baby to celebrate. In fact there were four babies within the space of a week at Easter!  I made these for two of my friends who obviously had boys. One was Benjamin and one Harry, so I added B’s and H’s to make them a touch more personal.
baby 3

The cookies were made from Vanilla Cookie dough (recipe below) and I used the technique as described by Ruth Clemens from The Pink Whisk to get the consistency of the Royal icing just right. She says that you make the Royal icing till it forms a ribbon trail. Lift your spoon up and let one of those ribbons drop across the middle of the bowl and count how long it takes to completely disappear. It should be 10 seconds. You can see the video here. This was really helpful to me as I never seemed to be able to get the consistency of the Royal icing quite right and I also always had different results. This way the end result is always the same.

baby 1

Vanilla Cookie recipe

(Makes around 20 biscuits)

  • 200g unsalted butter- at room temperature
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 400g plain flour
  • 1 egg – at room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

To make the cookies

  1. Place the butter in a bowl. Add the sugar, flour, egg and vanilla essence.
  2. Mix all the ingredients by hand. I always mix biscuits by hand as the warmth from your hands means that it’s all being blended really well and for some reason they taste much better than when mixed with a machine. You can always start the mixing with a wooden spoon if you don’t like gloopy hands.
  3. Be careful not to overmix biscuit dough. It will not only become tough, but the biscuits will spread more when baked and we want them to keep their shape perfectly.
  4. Once it is nearly all blended I turn the dough out onto the worktop and knead it till it all holds together nicely.
  5. Wrap the dough in cling film and pop it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. This allows the gluten in the flour to do it’s stuff. Without chilling the cookie shapes will definitely contort when baked.
  6. Remove from the fridge and knead a little on a lightly floured surface. Roll out using spacing sticks to ensure that your biscuits are all the same thickness.
  7. Cut out the cookies then remove the excess first. This way you can pick up the biscuit without denting it.
  8. Place on a baking tray lined with silicon paper and pop back in the fridge for another 30 minutes. This ensures the cookies bake slowly and don’t spread. It’s the easiest way to make sure each design is exactly the same.
  9. Pre-heat your oven to 160°C then bake for 12 minutes or until the biscuits start to brown on the edges
  10. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

 

Royal Icing recipe

  • 3 heaped tsp of  Meri White  (dried egg white substitute available from cake decorating shops and Amazon)
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 300g icing sugar

How to make Royal icing

  1. Start by dissolving the Meriwhite in the water in a large mixing bowl. 
  2. Add the icing sugar and mix till combined. You will need to scrape down any sugar that has stuck to the sides of the bowl. Continue to mix for around 10 minutes until the icing sugar is smooth and glossy.
  3. Royal icing dries out really quickly so pop it in an air tight container as soon as it’s ready.
  4. Add colour with a toothpick then fill your piping bag. Make sure you make enough to line and fill your cookies. It’s hard to match a colour if you run out.

How to decorate your cookies

  1. Pipe and outline on each cookie. This should be the same colour as the one you will fill it with so for the baby bottle the bottom should be white and the teat part yellow.
  2. Leave the outline to dry for around  ½ an hour. This will give it a chance to set and you’ll be able to handle the cookie much easier. I damaged loads of the outlines as I handled them too soon.
  3. Add a drop or two of water to the royal icing mix to make it a bit more runny and fill in the cookie. If there are any bubbles pop them now with a toothpick. Leave to dry completely. This may take an hour. It may take longer.
  4. Once completely dry pipe an outline on each cookie and any extra details like measurements on the bottles and details on the baby grow. Again, leave to dry.
  5. These cookies will last a week in an air tight container so bake and decorate on one day so you can give them as a gift and they will last a bit longer.

EmmaMT

Easy Almond Biscuits – a.k.a my mum’s fabulous Kirchals.

Almond cookie recipeMy mum has a famous Kichal recipe- well, it’s famous in our family anyway. Whenever she needs to make some biscuits to take to someones house these are what she takes. She cuts them in a crinkly circle and adds either a slither of chopped almond or a tiny piece of cherry on the top and she keeps them nice and thin. That’s the secret. To bake them long enough to be cooked right through but not so long as they go too brown. If truth be told I am the first to eat the ‘burnt’ ones as they are just as tasty- they’re just the wrong colour! Then she piles them high. They never last very long!

When my mum gave me this recipe I wrote it on the inside cover of the red book. The back cover has a pancake recipe on it. (I have had this book for a very long time!) I was talking to my sister about it and it turns out she has mum’s recipe written inside her red book too. I think I feel a family tradition coming on!

Almond biscuit recipe

 

Almond biscuit recipe

Makes around 50 biscuits

  • 226g (1 cup or 2 sticks)  butter at room temperature
  • 460g (3 ½ cups)  Self raising Flour
  • 226g (1 ¼ cup) caster sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tbsp water
  • ½ tea spoon almond essence/ extract

How to make Almond biscuits

  1. Make sure all your ingredients are at room temperature- especially the butter and eggs.
  2. Pre- heat your oven to 160ºC (140ºC Fan) and line your baking sheet with silicon paper
  3. Place all the ingredients in a bowl and mix until it forms a ball of dough. You can use a food processor or stand mixer but the best way to mix is with your hands as their warmth will combine the ingredients in a way that makes them taste the best. I’ve tried it all ways and by hand always wins- hands down!
  4. This makes quite a lot of dough so I will often knead two balls and freeze one. It will defrost in about 30 mins and it’s always great to have some ready to go. Whether you want to chill or freeze, wrap the dough in clingfilm. Chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before rolling out.
  5. Once you are ready to roll out, lightly dust your surface and knead the dough. If it’s really sticky add just a little flour. The dough will soften quickly as you handle it so handle it as little as possible.
  6. For really thin biscuits roll out the dough to a depth of around the size of a coin then cut out your shapes and place on the baking sheet. Bake for 5 minutes then turn the baking sheet around inside the oven so the biscuits bake evenly. Bake for a further 5 minutes. You know they are done when the edges start to brown ever so slightly. Watch them like a hawk if you don’t want them to burn.
  7. Place the cookies on a cooling rack and try to resist eating them hot!

Almond biscuit

 enjoy!

 

 

Oh alright then… here’s a Raspberry and White chocolate cookie recipe for Valentines day!

Valentines day cookiesNow, I know that I said this was a Valentine free zone this morning, but I couldn’t resist sharing with you my cookies for AchicaLiving.com. Have I mentioned that I write for them? Well I do. They asked me to do a recipe for Valentines day and these are what I came up with. I did some hearts as they are more generic but I also did some words. You can see the post complete with recipe and more designs here.

 

Big love to all my readers.

Achica Cookies for Valentines day

 

EmmaMT

 

Give your mince pies a swirl with this great mince pie recipe

Mince Pie Swirls

For a modern twist on a mince pie these swirls are easy to make. What’s more you can assemble and freeze them ready to bake straight from the freezer on Christmas day. They taste best when warm from the oven with a dollop of cream. I’ve made them 5 times so far – testing the best combinations/ types of mincemeat & pastry / how thick the marzipan should be etc  and I think I’ve really nailed it. My sister tried them and siad “they were the best thing I had made in a long time” I’m not sure if that means they taste really good or everything else I have made recently hasn’t tasted good! I’m going with the deeelish option!

Ingredients

225g Butter at room temperature

460g Self Raising flour

225g golden caster sugar

1 egg (+ 1 egg to make an egg wash)

1 tbsp water

½ table spoon vanilla or Almond extract

Jar of good quality mince meat (I used M&S’ finest one)

150g marzipan

100g flaked almonds

icing sugar to dust

How to make Mince pie Swirls

To make the pastry place all the ingredients into a bowl. Mix until it forms a firm dough. Do the last bit of mixing with your hands. You can use a food processor but make sure you don’t over work the dough or it will become tough. Cover with cling film and leave to firm up in the fridge for 20 minutes. Mince pie recipe
Line a baking sheet with grease proof paper and warm your oven up to 180ºC (160ºC fan oven) Knead and roll out the pasty into a large rectangle and set aside

Roll out the marzipan (use icing sugar to stop it sticking to the surface) till it’s really thin. Thin enough to see through.
Lay the marzipan over the dough and roll them together. Mince pie swirl

Spread the mince meat over the pasty. Avoid going too near the edges as it will spill out whilst baking. I cut the dough into a neat square to make it more even to cut. Mince pie swirlRoll the length of pastry, tucking in as you go.

Mince pie swirl
Cut the swirls from the roll around 2cm thick. Use a sawing action, rather than pressing down with a knife when cutting to keep the shape as round as possible. This was one of my first attempts. As you can see they look pretty squishy. If you place the roll in the fridge for half an hour (or even overnight) it will be really firm and a doddle to cut.Mince pie swirl

Mix up an egg and use a pastry brush to cover each swirl with egg wash then cover with almond flakes.

Mince pie swirl

Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown. Leave for a minute or two before transferring from the baking tray to the cooling rack. If you pick them up too early they will break.

Mince pie swirl
Once cooled a little sprinkle icing sugar over the top and serve while still warm.

Mince Pie swirl

Enjoy!

How to make Bauble cookie decorations

Bauble cookies

I love these Christmas Tree bauble Cutters from Eddingtons. Apart from the fact that the set comes with 5 sizes (way more than I could need in one go) but it also comes with ribbon and a little punch for making the holes! It’s available from Amazon.com and I think I’m going to be using them for years to come.

I used the three smaller sizes for gift cookies for our family. I wanted to use all kinds of toppings. I made some with pre-bought sprinkles then started playing with the coloured sugar and decided that was the best and most uniformed look.

How to make bauble cookies.

I made up a batch of Vanilla dough for these cookies and using spacers rolled out the dough so each cookie would be the same thickness.

When you take them out of the oven it’s really important to stamp out the hole in each cookie to hang the ribbon from before you remove them from the baking tray and place them to cool on a rack. If you wait till the cookies are cold to try and make the holes the biscuit will break.

Bauble cookies

Once the cookies are completely cooled, use the same cutter to cut out some rolled out sugarpaste . Make the edges on the reverse slightly damp. Position the bauble shaped sugarpaste over the cookie then rub the top gently with the palm of your hand to smooth it firmly onto the cookie. If you can’t see where the hole is use a toothpick from the back to mark the hole. Use the little punch to create a neat hole (from the front). Leave to dry for around 20 minutes.

How to make bauble cookie decoration

Pipe some royal icing  lines/dots/ stars etc onto each cookie then dip or sprinkle your toppings over it while it is still wet. Leave to dry over night.

Once they are firm enough to handle place the ribbon through the hole and knot it. You can store these cookies in an air tight container for a week or hang them from your tree. They look really cute.

bauble biscuits

Christmas tree bauble cookies

EmmaMT

Ottolenghi Spice cookie recipe from ‘Jerusalem’

After reviewing the book ‘ Jerusalem‘ by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi yesterday, I have very kindly been given permission by the publishers Ebury Press to run this delicious extract. I hope you enjoy it!

EmmaMT

Spice cookies

MA K E S 1 6 COOK I E S

During the late 19th century, as part of their Protestant beliefs, the Templers
arrived in Jerusalem from Europe and established the German colony, a
picturesque little neighbourhood south west of the old city that to this day
feels unusually Central European. This is the ‘civilized’ part of town, where
you go for a coffee and a slice of Sachertorte if you wish to escape the harsh
Levantine reality.

Germanic influences on the city’s food are evident in Christian contexts
— the famous Austrian hospice at the heart of the old city serves superb
strudels and proper schnitzels — but Czech, Austrian, Hungarian and
German Jews arriving in the city from the 1930s have also managed
to stamp their mark, opening cafes and bakeries serving many Austro-
Hungarian classics. Duvshanyot, round iced cookies,
made with honey and spices, typically for Rosh Hashana (Jewish New Year),
are possibly a result of this heritage; they are very similar to Pfeffernüsse.

These are very loosely inspired by duvshanyot, or pfeffernüsse. They are
actually more closely related to an Italian spice cookie and are hugely
popular on the sweet counter at Ottolenghi over Easter and Christmas. The
recipe was adapted from the excellent The International Cookie Cookbook by
Nancy Baggett.

125g currants
2 tbsp brandy
240g plain flour
½ tbsp best-quality cocoa powder
½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
½ tsp each ground cinnamon, allspice, ginger and nutmeg
¼ tsp salt
150g good-quality dark chocolate, coarsely grated
125g unsalted butter, at room temperature
125g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
½ tsp grated lemon zest
½ tsp grated orange zest
½ medium free-range egg
1 tbsp diced candied citrus peel

GLAZE
3 tbsp lemon juice
160g icing sugar

Soak the currants in the brandy for 10 minutes. Mix together the flour,
cocoa powder, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, spices, salt and dark
chocolate. Mix well with a whisk.

Put the butter, sugar, vanilla and lemon and orange zest in a mixer bowl
and beat to combine but not aerate much, about a minute. Add the egg
slowly, while the machine is running, and mix for another minute. Add the
dry ingredients, followed by the currants and brandy. Mix until everything
comes together.

Remove the bowl from the machine and use your hands to gently knead
until you get a uniform dough. Divide the cookie mix into 50g chunks and
shape them into perfectly round balls. Place on two baking sheets lined with
baking paper, about 2cm apart, and rest in the fridge for at least an hour.

Preheat the oven to 190ºC/170ºC Fan/Gas Mark 5. Bake the cookies for
15–20 minutes, or until the top firms up but the centre is still slightly soft.
Remove from the oven. Once the cookies are out of the oven, allow to cool
for 5 minutes only, and then transfer to a wire rack. While still warm, whisk
together the glaze ingredients until a thin and smooth icing is formed. Pour
1 tablespoon of the glaze over each biscuit, leaving it to drip and coat the
biscuit with a very thin, almost transparent film. Finish each with three
pieces of candied peel placed at the centre. Leave to set and serve, or store
in an airtight container for a day or two.

Jerusalem is available now from Amazon (Just click on the book image below) and good book shops

enjoy!

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