Dia de los Muertos-inspired Halloween Cookies

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I.E the result of craving something to paint and needing to bring treats to a Halloween party. These are simply plain (Marie/Vanilla Wine) biscuits sandwiched with bubblegum icing and topped with painted fondant decorations 🙂 

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You just fill, cut out fondant circles to size and adhere them to the cookies with a dab of water. Then add some little fondant flowers (daisies and ribbon roses) and attach with water. Then add your colours one by one!

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And voila! Super easy 🙂 I added some sprinkles, silver cachous and edible glitter gel too. I hope your halloween went well if you celebrated it! You could easily take this idea and turn it to whatever theme you have, it’s super simple if don’t have time to bake (hence the store-bought cookies) but want to decorate and make something your own 🙂

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Purple Ombre Vanilla Donuts

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Ombre Vanilla Donuts
Ingredients:
Donuts:
2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla essence/extract
50 grams butter, melted
1 egg
250mls milk
+a little extra milk
Icing:
1 cup icing sugar
1 Tbsp butter, melted
Hot water
Blue and red food colouring
To decorate:
Sprinkles!

Instructions:
If you are using the oven to bake these babies, preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius and grease your donut tin. This recipe makes about 30 little donuts, so you may have to cook them in batches.

Meaaaanwhile, mix together the flour, sugar and baking powder. In another bowl, mix together the vanilla, butter, egg and 250mls milk. Make a well in the dry ingredients and mix in the wet ingredients until combined. The mixture should be thick enough to spoon into the donut molds. If it’s too thick, add a but more milk. Preheat the donut maker, if using. Fill the donut holes about 3/4 full and cook until golden and spring back when lightly touched (About 10 minutes in the oven if you are using that method). Cool on wire racks.

Onto the icing! Mix together the icing sugar, butter and a bit of hot water until you have a thick icing. Add some red food colouring and only the tiniest dab of blue. Mix and ice a handful of donuts before adding a little more blue colouring (don’t forget to add on the sprinkles now, before the icing sets.  Ice some more and keep repeating until you have used up all the donuts/icing.

Enjoy! Makes about 30x5cm diameter donuts.

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Orange-Kumara Mini-Cakes

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Let me introduce you to kumara, the Maori sweet potato. Aka divine, as fries, in cakes, roasted….

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And it makes the most gloriously orange cake batter!

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I was inspired by these beautiful edible flowers 🙂 The cakes are simply muffins that I turned upside down….!

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Orange-Kumara Mini-Cakes
Ingredients:
Cakes:
1+1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 egg
4 Tbsp butter, melted
3/4 cup mashed kumara
Zest of an orange
Juice of 3 oranges
Icing:
25g butter
1/2 cup icing sugar
Juice of an orange
Orange zest
1/2 tsp powdered ginger
Orange food colouring if you feel the need

Instructions:
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius and grease a 12-hole cupcake/muffin tin.

In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar and baking powder. In another bowl, mix together the egg, butter, kumara, zest and orange juice. Tip the wet ingredients into the dry and fold very gently until JUST combined. You can add a little dash of milk or water if you feel it’s too dry. Spoon into about 10 of the cupcake/muffin holes. Bake for 15 minutes until a skewer comes out clean when inserted. Leave for a few minutes and then unmold and cool on a wire rack.

When cool, make the frosting by softening the butter and mixing in the rest of the frosting ingredients until smooth and lightened slightly. It should be a pipe-able buttercream-y frosting so add some more icing sugar or orange juice if necessary. Spread a little bit of frosting onto the bottoms of the kumara cakes then pipe the rest of the frosting on top as a wee halo (you could get creative here if you like). Annnnd done! They last very well for two days, as they are moist cake.

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Chelsea’s Strawberry Genoise Cake

 

 

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Another cake! This one was a birthday cake for one of my friends, a sweetheart who adores anything French and speaks the language well (we have been learning it together since we were 10 years old…..!). As you can see it was strawberry season when it was made….. It’s a tad more complicated than my usual cakes and slightly more ‘francais’ so if all the components seem a little over the top altogether, then just adapt and take what you will from it 🙂

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It looks pretty anyway! Although I have to admit I used food colouring for the pink icing, something which I am not usually fond of doing…..

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Anyway, here is the recipe!

Chelsea’s Strawberry Genoise Cake
Genoise:
3 eggs
125g sugar
40g flour
30 g cornflour
35g butter, melted
Crème Mousseline:
1 yolk
2 Tbsp sugar
15g flour
100mls milk
30g seedless jam (raspberry)
35g butter
Italian Meringue:
1 egg white
50mls water
50g sugar
Pinch of cream of tartar
Extras:
Some plain icing on top if you want.
(I used ½ cup icing sugar with some hot water and pink food colouring)
Jam to fill
Strawberries to decorate
Edible leaves to decorate

Instructions:
Begin with the genoise. Place a large metal or glass bowl over a pot of boiling water, and preheat the oven to 160 degrees Celsius. Grease a 20cm diameter cake tin) if it has a removable bottom then don’t forget to line it too!). Don’t forget to melt the butter.

Place the eggs and sugar in the large bowl and whisk, whisk, whisk! Keep whisking until the batter is thick and pale. You should be able to drizzle the batter into a figure of eight before it sinks in. Remove it from the heat. Sift the flour onto the batter and fold in. Do the same for the corn flour. Lastly, pour in the melted butter and fold until just combined. Pour the batter into the tin and bake for 30 minutes until the cake springs back when lightly touched. Cool in the tin.

Meanwhile, start on the crème mousseline. In a small bowl, whisk the egg yolk, sugar and flour until pale. Heat the milk until boiling/steaming, and pour it a bit at a time into the yolk mixture and whisk well. Pour the egg and milk back into the saucepan and heat on LOW heat. With a spatula or wooden spoon, mix until the crème is thick and like custard. Keep mixing because there is not a lot of crème in the pan and it will glug up fast if you aren’t careful! When done, transfer to a bowl or cup and chill.

Now to assemble; cut the sponge in half horizontally. On the top of the bottom layer, spread on the jam of your choice, then top with the crème mousseline. Place the top layer on top. Spread on the plain icing.

Now to make the Italian meringue! Place the egg white and cream of tartar in a clean mixing bowl; beat until frothy. Separately, heat the sugar and water together until the mixture reaches, soft ball stage, or 110 degrees Celsius. Working quickly, turn up the speed of the mixture (or get your arm working harder!) and pour in the syrup in a thin stream. Beat continuously until the meringue is thick and fluffy, Dollop or pipe the meringue around the edge of the top of the cake, into a big whispy tiara. Arrange mint leaves and sliced strawberries on top. Done!
NOTE: you can sprinkle the cake with some simple syrup or liqueur before assembling.

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Lamington Pops and Drops

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Just a cute idea I came up with in the weekend, adorable wee lamingtons, perfect as canapes! Kiwis and Aussies know lamingtons well, but for those who don’t, they are delicious squares (traditionally) of sponge cake covered in chocolate or raspberry glaze and rolled in coconut; sometimes garnished with some cream and jam. Delicious!

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My auntie bought me a cake pop tin (for $4 from the Second Hand store; brand new!) so I decided to use it in the weekend. I haven’t got a specific recipe but I do have instructions in case you would like to make these yourself! They look amazing when stacked in a big tower, and you could make them in lots of different colours if you like.

Lamington Drops and Pops
Sponge cake:
Find your favourite sponge cake recipe (or butter cake) and bake it in either a cake pop tin or cupcake tins. Leave them to cool.
Note: I cut down a sponge recipe to only using one egg, which made 12 pops.
If you use cupcake tins, shave down the cake into a ball (doesn’t have to be exact).
To finish:
Make a thin chocolate or raspberry (using jelly crystals) icing and drop in a pop. Cover completely, then roll in desiccated coconut and let set.
To make the drops into pops, just insert a skewer!

I hope to make lots more variations of these to come!
Have a nice week xx

Tetris Cookies (Hand-Cut….)

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They aren’t perfect; they were a quick make before a party. But they are fun 🙂
I ramble so much in this recipe! There isn’t really anything special about them though, I just got very carried away. Even if they aren’t your cup of tea then I hope they made you smile!

Tetris Cookies
Ingredients:
Cookies:
250g flour
50g cocoa
½ tsp baking soda
55g brown sugar
45g white sugar
120g butter, softened
30mls approx. milk
Icing:
150g icing sugar
10g butter
20mls approx. hot water
Food colouring
A bit of cocoa

Instructions:
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Line or grease two baking trays.
In a food processor, pulse the flour, cocoa, baking soda and sugars until combined. Add the butter, cut into cubes, to the mix and pulse until the butter has been cut in; so that it is distributed evenly and resembles bread crumbs. Add about half the milk and pulse again, then tip out onto a clean surface. Gently bring the dough together, adding more milk if necessary until it is smooth and not crumbly. Be careful not to over work it! You are now ready to work your magic.
Flour the surface (and rolling pin) you will be using. Roll out the dough until it is about 4mm thick. With a knife, cut out tetris shaped cookies. I just did mine from memory and didn’t really worry about making the right size. My slightly perfectionist side will never forgive me, but I was running late! If you actually have cookie cutters in the right shapes, then go you! Your life will be much easier. If not, don’t worry, a butter knife and some patience will do the trick. Transfer the cookies onto the baking trays and bake for about 20 mins, until the cookies move when lightly nudged. You may have to re-use the trays depending on how big they are, and so bake the cookies in batches. When baked, leave them to cool in wire racks.
To ice, pop the icing sugar into a large bowl. In another small bowl or teacup, melt the butter into the hot water (you may have to microwave it for a few seconds to help). Tip into the icing sugar and mix. You may have to add a little more water to reach a thin but not too runny consistency, so that the icing will stay on the cookies and not run off the sides. If you add too much water, just add a little more icing sugar to even it out. Divide into four equal parts and colour each one your desired colour (I did blue, yellow, pink/red and green). Using a butter or palette knife, ice the cookies. You may want to sort them out into groups if you are wanting to have an even amount of each shape in each colour. Leave these to dry, and while this is happening, add a bit of cocoa to the leftover icing (there should be at least a little; sorry if you were planning on eating the stuff left). You may need to add a bit of water too, and mix, until this enough to pipe but not too runny. Spoon into a small baking paper piping bag or snap lock bag and pipe ‘outlines’ of the squares onto the cookies. Leave to set and you’re done!
Makes about… 50 cookies!

——-don’t be afraid of the long recipe. I ramble.

Feather Iced-Cookies

Haven’t been keeping the blog as a priority at the moment, I figured it was time for a pretty (well, -ish) post to make up for it.
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I’m really sorry, but I do not actually have time at the moment to post the recipe for the cookies themselves (I know, how poor of me!) but I promise to sometime 🙂 It’s a really simple and easy way to jazz up your plain cookies and they do look great.

Feather Iced-Cookies

20 plain cookies

Icing:
1 cup icing sugar
50 g butter
1 Tbsp icing sugar
1 tsp water
pink food colouring

Instructions:

Melt the butter and place in a small bowl with the icing sugar. The icing sugar should be a runny consistency, so more butter may need to be added. Colour the icing pink. Mix together the extra icing sugar and water and spoon into a small piping bag. Place the good side of the cookie facing the top of the prongs of the fork. Dip the fork into the icing so that the icing covers all but the bottom of the cookie. Take out the fork and flip the cookie onto a wire wrack so the un-iced side is facing down. Pipe stripes of the white icing onto the cookie and using a tooth pick, drag it across the cookie, at a right angle to the lines. Drag the tooth pick across the other direction, but down the cookie slightly. Do this 2 or 3 more times. Continue with the other cookies and leave them to set. Serve or store in an air tight container in the fridge.

Makes 20

Lasts 2 days

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I
 went for pink colouring, but you can of course do whatever colour takes your fancy!
Have a good day all 🙂

Pastel Iced Cookies

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Fun fact: you are all capable of making and decorating adorable cookies. I used to think it was just for the professionals like Peggy Porschen but fear not, for those with a kitchen;can. It’s been a while since I’ve made these, so I’ll have to get back into them, but there is a recipe from a few years ago (5 actually, time flies….!) for cookies I have as a present for a new mother. If this is not a suitable theme for your cookies, simply change the colours 🙂 Remember that the colours sometimes fade slightly when the icing dries, so make it a little darker than you intend. I just used vanilla butter cookies for the base but you could add some lemon zest or substitute some flour for cocoa if you want to alter the flavour.
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For some reason that photo is slightly blurry…. but you get the idea. Anyway, have a go at them, even if they’re not for a gift and are just for fun!

Pastel Iced Sugar Cookies

100g butter

½ cup sugar

¼ cup icing sugar

2 tsp vanilla essence

1 egg yolk

1&1/2 cups flour

1tsp baking powder

Pinch of salt

Royal icing:

1 egg white

1&1/2 cups icing sugar

Food colouring

Hot water

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 180°C and grease 2 cookie trays.

Soften the butter and beat with the sugars and vanilla essence until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg yolk. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Slowly add to the creamed butter mixture until the dough forms clumps. Pour the extra flour and dough onto a floured surface and knead until the mixture forms a smooth dough. Roll the dough until it is 6mm thick. Cut out shaped with a small heart and a small star cookie cutter. Transfer the shapes onto the cookie tray. Gather up the remaining dough and roll into a ball. Roll out until 6mm thin. Repeat the cutting process until there is no or a small amount of dough left. Bake the cookies for 10 minutes, until lightly browned. Remove from the oven and cool for 5 minutes. Unstick the cookies from the tray and place on a cooling rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container until ready to ice.

Beat the egg white until stiff peaks form. Add the sugar a bit at a time, beating well after each addition. When combined, divide into 3 even portions. Colour one portion baby pink, one baby blue and one lemon yellow. Spoon about 1 tablespoon of each colour into a separate baking paper piping bag. Snip the ends of the piping bags and pipe outlines around the cookies. When the outlines have dried, add a bit of hot water to the royal icing to make it a bit runnier. Spoon into more paper piping bags and pipe the icing inside of the outlines, using the flooding technique. If necessary, use a toothpick to drag the icing into the corners. Then decorate with different colour icings, making different patterns such as dots and stripes. Leave the cookies until the icing has dried. Store in an airtight container.

Here are some slightly less professional ones used as a birthday gift a few years ago:
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The flowers are ones that I had actually made before hand, I piped them onto greaseproof paper to store them, and them stuck them on top of the dried flooded icing, which is an option too. Not very spectacular this batch but it’s just to give you an idea 🙂

Belgium Biscuits

Ahh, some traditional New Zealand baking. You wouldn’t think it with that name, would you?
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I can’t believe that when I made my recipe book for a school project a few years ago, I didn’t include them; and I only just realised! You’ll find many different recipes for these pretty and delicious biscuits in books and on the web, and they are all similar in; being two cookies sandwiched together, being spiced and being iced with some sort of pink. The name comes from it’s inspiration from the Linzer Torte, as I am lead to believe, and the name changed. Either way, they are a Kiwi classic and not very time consuming. I didn’t have any coloured sugar or jelly crystals to decorate with, so I used some pink 100s and 1000s instead. Have a play 🙂

Belgium Biscuits
Cookies:
125g butter

1/3 cup sugar

2 tbsp golden syrup

1 cup self raising flour

2/3 cup normal flour

1 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

Pinch of ground cloves

Icing:
1/2 cup icing sugar

2 tsp butter, melted

1 tbsp-ish hot water

To decorate: pink decorations such as jelly crystals, sprinkles etc
1/4 cup-ish (traditionally) raspberry jam

Instructions:
Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in the golden syrup. Sift the dry ingredients together. Mix the dry ingredients into the butter (chances are you will not need t use your hands or remove the dough from electric beaters if you are using them). Chill for at least 30 minutes, until the dough is no longer sticky and is strong enough to roll out. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Roll until about 3mm think and cut into your desired shapes (I used a mini fluted tart tin, as I couldn’t find my cutter!). Place on a greased tray and bake 10 minutes until golden, or the cookie moves when you nudge it gently. Cool.
Make the icing by mixing together the icing sugar, butter and water until thick enough to spread. Place about a tsp or so of jam on the bottom of a cookie and sandwich another on top. Spread the icing on top of the cookie and decorate with the pink of your choice. Makes about 24.

ImageBonne journee!