All posts filed under: biscuits and cookies

Pistachio and Cherry Tiffin

I won’t insult your intelligence by suggesting that this is some great bake, or indeed, a new idea. I got the inspiration from a coffee chain’s pistachio and amaretti tiffin, but decided to recreate it with my own additions. As with all tiffin, it is very, very simple and a (excluding the amaretto soaked cherries) great thing to make with the kids. It would also make a lovely Christmas gift or addition to serve with coffee at the end of a meal. Ingredients: 100g Dried Cherries (chopped roughly) 40ml of Amaretto 225g Butter 45g Golden Syrup 50g Cocoa Powder 250g Amaretti 50g Pistachios, chopped 200g Milk Chocolate 100g Dark Chocolate Extra Pistachios, freeze Dried Cherries or sprinkles to decorate. Begin a day or two before you want to make the tiffin by soaking the dried cherries in the amaretto. The cherries will plump up and taste delicious. Line an 8′ square baking tray. Melt the butter and golden syrup in a saucepan over a gentle heat. Crush the amaretti biscuits fairly finely, then stir through …

Speculaas Snowflakes

There is no lengthy introduction to this recipe. I was given Gingerbread Wonderland for Christmas last year, but never got round to making any of the recipes in the book. Then I was recommended The Speculaas Spice Company later in the year. I decided to order some of their Speculaas spice blend in Autumn and to make Speculaas biscuits as gifts for my kids’ teachers for Christmas. Steven, from The Speculass Spice Company, included a lot useful information about the spice blend, including a recipe. Their website has even more recipes. But I decided to make a new recipe with elements from their recipe and with those in Gingerbread Wonderland, and here it is. Ingredients: 100g of Butter 150g of Light Muscovado Sugar 1 Medium Egg The zest of half an Orange 200g of Plain Flour 1/2 Teaspoon of Baking Powder 3 Teaspoons of Speculass Spice Mix 50g of Ground Almonds Cream the butter and sugar until paler and fluffy. Add the egg with a dessert spoon of flour, and the orange zest, and mix thoroughly. Mix all the dry ingredients …

Biscoff Macarons Heaven

Put your hands up if you like Lotus Biscoff spread? That Speculoos flavoured spread that only found its way in to our supermarkets a couple of years ago. Maybe you have only tried the Lotus biscuits: a sweet and caramelised crunch that dunks very easily in to a cup of tea or coffee. My daughter likes the biscuits, but *loves* the spread. It’s probably her all time favourite thing. She laughs in the face of Nutella but would give away her last colouring pencil for a spoon of “my favourite spread”. Last week I made 250 macarons. You would think I would have had enough of the things. In fact, I thought I had had enough of them. But, as the task of producing this massive order was coming to an end, I had this idea of making Biscoff flavoured macarons after seeing an online tutorial to make Oreo macarons. It didn’t take long to work out how I was going to fill them. Last winter, BBC Good Food printed a recipe for a Gingerbread Cake that …

Macathon

A few months ago I was asked by a friend of a friend to make some macarons for the evening reception of their wedding. I took on the task, not realising I’d be making 250 of the little blighters, in five different flavours. It also turned out to be the most humid and hot week of the year so far. It was quite the challenge and a macarons marathon. She chose four flavours that I was familiar with: White chocolate; Pistachio; Chocolate; and Lemon. However, she asked for one I hadn’t made before: Mojito. So, I did my research and tried out a couple of filling ideas. I had wanted to make a sugar syrup with real rum, mint and lime, but it just didn’t work. I reduced it to a sticky mess and the rum flavour just wasn’t coming through. In hindsight, I think I should have used a dark rum for a more rounded flavour. In the end, I used a rum flavouring. This is not the route I wanted to go down, …

Well, hello there. It’s been a while.

I’ve not written a blog post in weeks and weeks. And it’s not because I haven’t been baking: in fact, I was very busy baking in May and June. Then we went on holiday (smashing, thanks for asking) and now we have a new puppy in the house. So, although I have a couple of bigger celebration cake blogs posts in me, I thought I would ease myself in with one of my favourite recipes. It’s based on a BBC Good Food biscuit recipe and I have adapted and played with it over the years. I thought I’d document and share my favourite version. I’ve said it countless times: these are such easy and quick biscuits. They are egg free and a great recipe to make with your kids, even toddlers. Pistachio & Chocolate Oaties (makes between 25 and 30) 250g of Butter, soft 150g of Light Brown Sugar 150g of Self Raising Flour 225g of Oats 80g of Pistachios, chopped 100g of Dark Chocolate chips (or a chopped up bar of chocolate) Cream the …

Blame it on the Brownie

Brownies are a very emotive subject for me. They are my favourite “cake” and they would be the dessert in my Death Row dinner (and it would be roasted Duck Breast with a red wine and cherry sauce, Dauphinoise Potatoes and Garlic Greens for main, if you are interested). I have very strong feelings about Brownies: they have to have squidge. They should not be hard or dry or cakey: they should be soft, melting, moist and squidge.   I finally found my Brownie nirvana a few years ago with Nigel Slater’s recipe but have tinkered with it a little since. I usually substitute the 50g of chopped dark chocolate for white, for example. I tried various respected food writer’s recipes, including ones from Nigella Lawson and Tamsin Day-Lewis, but Nigel’s recipe gives the exact amount of oozing chocolate richness that I want in a Brownie. Last year I made BBC Good Food’s Salted Caramel Brownies and though delicious and a contender for Nigel’s ultimate recipe, I still preferred his.   Off the back of that I came up …

Roses for Mother’s Day

This Sunday, in the UK, it is Mothering Sunday or Mother’s Day: a day to treat our mums, grannies and maternal folk to show them how much we appreciate them. Whilst listening to the radio this morning, I discovered that the origins of this day are to be found in the 16th century, when Christians were expected to return to their “mother churches” where they were baptised or to their local church or cathedral on the fourth Sunday in Lent. By Victorian times, when children as young as ten often left home to go into service, it became common practice to take the opportunity on this day to visit your mother, take her wild flowers and to spend time with your family. Modern day celebrations are often criticised for being too commercial (as are most modern Red Letter days in the West) but I can vouch that there is nothing more lovely than being presented with a hand drawn card and a tray of a comically assembled breakfast at 6am on Mother’s Day, eager faces …

Happy Hogmanay

We have several traditions surrounding Hogmanay, or New Year’s Eve, in Scotland, many of which revolve around food or drink. One such tradition is the consumption of Shortbread. I suspect it was made available at The Bells at midnight to soak up the whisky being knocked back. But, as a nation, we are known for our buttery, short biscuit the world over. Who hasn’t been given a garishly coloured tartan tin of the stuff from someone who has visited our dear land? I don’t really like the stuff. Well, the stuff in the tins and packages. Homemade is an entirely different beast, and everyone has their own recipe and preferences. Most Scots will add rice flour or corn flour to their shortbread mixture. I am not one of them: I find it makes the biscuit too claggy when I eat it and it sticks to the roof of my mouth. My shortbread contains only three ingredients: One of the things that got me into making shortbread was coming across the prettiest of Shortbread moulds that …