Cinnamon Cookies Two Ways: Belgium or Chocolate-Chai Sandwich Cookies

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I love sandwich cookies. You can do so much with them. So many flavours. Maybe that’s why I love macarons…. on that note, if you can make macarons, I salute you. In my eyes, you are a kitchen master.

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Chocolate-chai may seem like an interesting combination, but it’s glorious. You may have tried ‘dirty-chai’ which is chai with coffee, and I will go a step further to say that chocolate-coffee-chai would probably taste great too… Looks like that’s a new project 🙂

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You could easily use these cookies without any filling but why would you not add butter and sugar if you have the time? As long as you are allowed to eat those things, full respect if you can’t 🙂

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Cinnamon Cookies Two Ways
Ingredients:
Cookies:
1 cup flour
1/2 cup wheat flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp cinnamon
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1 egg
100g butter
1 (huge) Tbsp honey, melted
Dash of milk
Icing:
50g butter
1 cup icing sugar
For chocolate-chai option:
1 tbsp cocoa
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
Pinch cardamom
Pinch nutmeg
Pinch black pepper
Dash milk
For the Belgium biscuit option:
Vanilla essence
Pink food colouring
Raspberry jam

Instructions:
Mix together the flours, baking powder, cinnamon and coconut sugar until combined. Rub in the butter until it resembles fine bread crumbs. In another bowl, whisk the egg until broken up, then whisk in the honey. Add the egg-honey mix into the dry mixture and knead to combine gently, adding some milk if needed to bring the dough together. Knead very lightly then flatten into a disk and chill for about 10 minutes, until roll-able.

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius and line two baking trays. (Or just grease them if you are lazy)

Roll out the dough on a floured surface until about 3-4mm thick. Cut out into rounds using your desired cutter (mine was 4cm dimeter fluted circle cutter). Transfer to the trays and bake for about 10 minutes, until slightly golden and the cookies move when budged slightly. Cool on a wire rack. Depending on the size of your tray, you make have to bake them in batches.

For the icing, you have two courses of action! Both begin with softening the butter and beating the icing sugar until super light and fluffy.
For the chocolate-chai version, add the spices and NOT the cocoa to the icing and mix. Spoon half into a piping bag and pipe into the center of HALF of the cookies, on the not-so-pretty undersides. Don’t pipe right to the edges; that comes now. Add the cocoa to the rest of the icing and pipe the chocolate-chai around the edges, being pretty if you like. Now top with another cookie to complete the sandwich.
For the Belgium biscuit version, divide the icing in half. Add the vanilla to one half and the pink food colouring (tinted to your desire) to the other half. Spoon each colour into a piping bag and on the bottom half of a cookie, pipe alternating dots of icing around the edge. Fill the centre with jam and sandwich another cookie on top.

Makes about 40 cookies all up, and they last well for a few days 🙂


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Have the most wonderful week everyone! 🙂 xx

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Pre-sandwich-ing!

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Chocolate Cupakes Two Ways; Chai and Berry/Coconut

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As promised, more cupcakes 🙂 I hope you have been having a nice day, whatever the weather. New Zealand is finally warming up, which means fresh fruit, more ice cream and hopefully some road trips. Everyone’s goal seems to be to get a tan, so if this is yours; good luck!

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I baked cupcakes and sold them at my hall of residence to raise money for Syrian refugees. I got about $80, which is enough to buy both mats and blankets for a family according to the UN Charity. These coconut-berry ones (rather lamington-esque) sold the fastest, but I assure you the chai-frosted ones are just as delicious!

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My exams will be over in a week, and I already have a list of things to bake over summer. I hope you enjoy, and I have some more cupcakes coming up! 🙂

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Chocolate Cupcakes Two Ways: with Chai or Berry Frosting
Ingredients:
Cupcakes:
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1.5 tsp baking soda
1 cup sugar
3 Tbsp cocoa
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup thick yogurt
2 eggs
1.5 cups hot-ish coffee

Icing (for the Chai):
5 Tbsp butter, softened
1 tsp cinnamon
Pinch nutmeg/allspice/black pepper/cayenne or paprika
3/4 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp cardamom
1.5 cups icing sugar
(+extra cocoa or cinnamon to dust)

Icing (for the berry):
5 Tbsp butter, softened
1 Tbsp seedless raspberry jam (can just pass normal stuff through a sieve)
1.5 cups icing sugar
+coconut to roll in

Instructions:
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius and line two cupcake tins with paper cases.

For the cakes: In a large bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar and cocoa until combined. In another smaller bowl, mix the oil, yogurt and eggs. Make a well in the dry mixture and pour in the oil-batter and most of the coffee. Mix well, and add the rest of the coffee a bit at a time. The mixture will be quite runny, not like a butter cake or pound cake! Fill up the cupcake cases until 2/3 full and bake for 20 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean when inserted. Cool on a wire rack.

If you should decide to make CHAI frosting, simply mix all the frosting ingredients together until smooth and light. You can add the spices to taste, as yours could be stronger than mine! Spread the frosting onto the cupcakes. Dust with cinnamon, through a stencil if you have one!

For the BERRY frosting, again mix all the frosting ingredients until smooth and light. Frost the cupcakes and then dip the top in the coconut. All done!

You could make the cupcakes up to 2 days before, makes about 24!

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Banana Chai Cupcakes

Mmmm chai. Yes, I know you’re thinking it. So incredible in its masala spicy goodness. But wait, it gets better! Banana too! I hope you love banana cake, even if you don’t like banana in its pure form like me.
Oh, and then add cream cheese frosting and a dusting of more spices. That’s right, you get these babies:photo (10)
I am not sure how big you can see that photo but apologies if it is small, I’m still working on this whole photos+blog thing 🙂

But I digress! These are so simple to make, no beating the butter and sugar, no milk (you could probably make it vegan very easily if you’re into that!) and no fuss. Just pure delicious that makes 12 cupcakes with a yummy frosting. I was a little worried that they would be one of those mixes that didn’t want to come out of the wrappers but I was wrong; and they stayed amazingly moist and delicious too. Without further ado, here is the recipe!

Banana Chai Cupcakes

Chai banana cake:
2 bananas
3 Tbsp yogurt
3 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 egg
5 Tbsp sugar
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1/8 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
Pinch of salt

Frosting:
25g softened butter
2 Tbsp cream cheese
1 tsp vanilla essence
1/2 cup icing sugar
+various ground spices for dusting.

Instructions:
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Line a 12-hole muffin pan with cupcake liners. In a large bowl, mash the bananas. Mix in the yogurt, oil and egg, then mix in the sugar. In another bowl, mix the rest of the ingredients (the dry ones) until well combined. Slowly mix the dry ingredients into the wet until just combined. Divide evenly among the cupcake liners and bake for 30 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean when inserted. Cool.
Beat together the butter, cream cheese and vanilla until light and fluffy. Add the icing sugar and beat until well combined. Frost the cupcakes, then dust some spices on top.

Note, I didn’t want a lot of frosting on the cupcakes (although I am quite partial to it from time to time, don’t get me wrong!) so you may want to even double the amount I used!

Enjoy that chai-banana-cream cheese goodness! With love 🙂