Category Archives: Biscuits

Chocolate Dipped Whipped Shortbread

I’m back! Finally, a little later than expected, and with – unfortunatly – no baking to share other than my own. Nevermind.

My trip away was great – except for the part where I came down with a nasty case of the chicken pox ): That kind of put a hold on the fun. Anyway, I’m pretty much recovered now – well, to a standard of being able to feel partially normal again. And while I acctually didn’t get to bake anything with my Aunty, I was able to eat up all of her genorosity all the same.¬† I also got to share photo’s of my baking (the one’s I share on here) with her and some of her elderly friends – so that was nice ūüôā

What else is new with me? Well, as of last week I’ve applied for two jobs. One is food preparation early Saturday and Sunday morning’s at the local shop, the other (please please please may I get this one) is at a European bakery. If I get either I’ll be incredibly happy.

School starts again on Wednesday – I guess it had to happen sometime, right?

As for me baking, it’s been practically non existent for the past few weeks. It was mum’s birthday on Friday, which ment we had shop bought cake (read: YUM.) plus apple pie, plus a whole jar of lollies and chocolates from when we went away. There is literally no room in our kitchen for me now. Haha.

With that being said –¬†I still¬†made space for these delicious delights – chocolate dipped whipped shortbread –¬†what a mouthful! The secret is simply, whip, whip, whip! If you whip effectivly, you are guaranteed a delicious light, buttery,¬†melting yet dense mouthful everytime. There is deffinatly room for these in every kitchen – and tummy!

Have a great week everyone – happy baking!

Whipped Shortbread (from A Culinary Education)

(makes about 60 cookies)

1 lb(500 g) of butter, at room temperature
1 cup sifted icing sugar
1/2 cup corn starch
2 tsp vanilla
3 cups all purpose flour

(1) Preheat oven to 325 degrees
(2) Line baking sheet(s) with parchment paper
(3) With an electric mixer on medium speed, cream butter and icing sugar until very fluffy (this is what gives the cookie that light and airy texture…it takes about 5 minutes)
(4) Mix in corn starch and vanilla until combined
(5) Turn electric mixer to low and mix in flour 
(6) Turn electric mixer back to medium speed and continue to mix until dough has that light and fluffy texture (about 3-4 minutes)
(7) (time to get the cookies onto your baking sheets) Drop by teaspoonfuls or use a cookie press or pipe cookies onto the parchment lined baking sheets. 
(9) Bake 20-25 minutes, until edges are a golden brown

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Rainbow m&m Cookies

Happy holidays!¬†Christmas has come and gone for another year –¬†it’s sad that it’s finally¬†over after months of preparation¬†– but at least now we can look forward to the new year. I spent my half of my¬†Christmas day¬†flying home from a wonderful holiday on Norfolk Island – but all in all it was a lovely day, and my lead up to Christmas was equally as lovely – it was a well earned rest, but at the same time it’s good to be home.

Now that we’re home,¬†I’m focusing on the new year – which I must say has seemed to sprung up awfully soon since last time. I’m tidying up around the house while I have the free time because of the holidays – and I’ve planned some new years goals I’m determined to work towards, for example, get a job. It’s one thing I love about the new year is – at least mentally – being able to start fresh and¬†hopefully make some positive change.¬†Plus, with a new school year means loads of new opportunities, I’m looking forward to it.

Hopefully 2012 will be a little less shaky, with Christchurch being hit by yet another large earthquake on the 23rd – and another 50 or so aftershocks and still counting. It was a real blow to everyone here, I’m glad we were away when it happened. I’m one of the lucky one’s as our house wasn’t as badly affected as people on the eastern side of town – but an earthquake is an earthquake, and it’s just as challenging no matter what your situation.

On a brighter note – the cookies! These cookies acctually aren’t a recent bake – I made them a few months back and took photo’s but never shared them. With all the sweet food that’s inhabiting our pantry at the moment, both mum and I decided we’d better finish what’s left before we end up with an alladins cave of¬† fatty¬†goodness, so I’ve been out of the kitchen when it comes to baking.

With that being said, I acctually just finished making some oaty caramel slice because I’m craving it since returning from having it for dessert every night we’ve been away – so¬†watch this space!

I made these cookies for a dancing competition.¬† There are a lot of little kids at my dance studio, so when requests were sent out for home baking donations, I decided to put some of the m&m’s in the pantry to good use in brightening up chocolate cookies because they would be sure to sell – and they did.¬†They’re not just for the littlies either – big kids like myself¬†were fans too. And they really stood out against all the other¬†plain muffins and slices.

Anyway, I didn’t think I’d have much to write but I’ve come out with quite a bit afterall. I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas/holiday and get some rest before the new year hits us full swing! Untill next time – happy baking!

 

 

 

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Christmas Time

Hoorah! December is finally upon us again. There’s something in the air at Christmas time, for me it’s the prospect of the end of¬†another year’s hard work and the beginning of a new – as well as a fun-filled summer holiday break away from everyday life.

Christmas in New Zealand is slightly different from that in other parts of the world. The days are long, sunny and warm (in saying that, it’s currently pouring with rain and a chilly 9 degress celcius outside). It’s the perfect weather for barbeques, salads and ice cream – all on the beach.¬† School is finished for the year, with around a 6 week well-earned¬†holiday break for us kids – although longer for those of us in high school, as we have ‘study break’ leading up to, and around our end of year exams.

There are some things that stay the same – the decorations go up in streets, and carols start ringing throughout malls and shops, Santa pops up everywhere –¬†and we still devour a delicious Christmas dinner or lunch, even if desert is a pavlova rather than a pudding (one of my favourite times of the year¬†I must admit). In fact it’s all¬†rather materialistic if you look at it, but to be honest, it’s about the only time of year that it happens for me personally.

This year, I decided to get a bit creativly festive, as I’ve had a lot of time off with exams (which has been FANTASTIC). I took inspiration from the many times we’ve been to Hawaii for Christmas. Although the weather is much the same as home, the Christmas atmosphere is totally different – the decorations are amazingly beautiful, and one thing that always impresses me is the array of gingerbread villages. Seriously, some of them are¬†huge! ¬†It’s something I’ve never done before but can now check off my list.

I’m quite pleased with my house – although it lacks in doors and¬†windows and is comparitivly bite sized to the ones in Hawaii. It’s certainly unique, it kind of reminds me of something from¬†Hansel and Gretel. I even got a few gingerbread men out of the left-over dough. I got pretty excited over the decorating aspect too¬†– I finally I had a use for my royal icing recipe. I spent the whole afternoon and into the night on it, with breaks of course.

I havent yet tried it РI will Рbut for now I think I can trust that it tastes good. I left it out on the bench by accident the other night, and when I woke up, the roof has been nibbled at by mice Рholiday cheer for all.

Merry Christmas everyone ūüôā !

 

 

 

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Magnificant Melting Moments

It’s always heartbreaking and frustrating¬†when I recipe dosent¬†turn out just the way you wanted. And although I must admit these melting moments do look scrumptious – they’re not what I wanted.

You see, this recipe is not a first for me. It’s one of the few recipes which I attained from an acctual cookbook. I frequently return to it because it turns out somewhat right everytime, and always tastes good.

Last Weekend, I had a sudden urge for a delicious,¬†gob-stopping, buttery biscuit crammed with icing – I immediatly turned to these cookies. I halved the recipe, and produced¬†five – perfect – ¬†lovely plump creamy biscuits, the combination of custard powder and flower caked my mouth as I munched. Enough to satisfy my craving after I devoured three of them. There was still something missing though. The lemon icing simply wasn’t enough, so I decided to make the cookies again, this time adding lemon zest to both the biscuit dough and the icing. This produced a lovely lemony treat – but my cookies were not what I had in mind.

My mum looked at me like I was mad as I stood infront of the oven telling the cookies how much of a fail they were Рrightly so I suppose, because they looked alright, and they tasted fine too. But they werent the replica of what I had made the previous week, and my craving for those lovely plump melting moments went un-satisfied, dispite still eating two of them.

You –¬†like my mum –¬†are probably struggling to see what I mean, but if you had experienced the cookies, you would understand. I think maybe the cookies were slightly too buttery this week, which caused a flatter, more buttery cookie -or maybe it was a result of the lemon zest. I don’t really know, but they werent what I wanted.

However, I will not abandon the recipe. Sooner or later the inkling for a melting moment will return, and I shall keep you posted on the results.

Biscuits: (recipe from the Biscuit and Slice Bible)

190g softened butter, 1/3 cup sugar, 1 cup plain flour, 1 cup custard powder, pinch of salt, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (and I added about 2 tablespoons of lemon zest).

Preheat oven to 180 degrees (celcius). Lightly grease a baking tray.

Cream butter and icing sugar untill light and fluffy. In another bowl, sift flour, custard powder and salt. Add to creamed mixture with vanilla to form a soft dough.

Bake for 15-20minutes, untill lightly golden.

Once cold sandwich biscuits together with lemon flavoured butter icing.

Butter icing (lemon variation)

125g softened butter, 2 cups icing sugar, 1 -2 tablespoons warm lemon juice, 2 teaspoons lemon zest (optional).

Cream the butter in a bowl. Gradually add the icing sugar, alternating with the lemon juice, untill soft and creamy. Beat in the lemon zest if using.

 

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,