Saturday, 16 July 2011

Festive Baking

Here are some recipes that I put together a while ago.

Sparkly Stars

These are simple to make. Bake a batch of plain cupcakes, when pouring the ingredients into a cupcake holder try placing some lemon curd in the middle.

Whilst cooking, roll some ready made icing and either cut or stamp a star shaped cutter into the icing. Once the cupcakes are cooled place the star on top and top with some edible sprinkles.

Mince Pies

Delicious at Christmas! Mine were quite small. I cooked them by mincemeat already made up, I made basic pastry rolled it into shape and placed it into the oven.

Sweetheart Cupcakes and love cookies

These cupcakes are romantic at Valentines or for a special occasion.

The cupcakes were made up of chopped rhubarb which softens in the oven. Rhubarb muffin recipe is available on this blog. The topping was butter and icing sugar with pink food colouring. I topped it with a chopped quarter strawberry.

The cookies were made out of the same recipe as the star sugar cookies and then red writing allowed etching of words such as ‘love’ and ‘kiss’

Friday, 3 December 2010

Gingerbread Snowmen

I set out to make gingerbread men but then half the country fell with snow and suddenly the whole of my neighbourhood was covered in the white stuff so I aptly decided to make some warm gingerbread snowmen to complement the snow days. I picked this out of my favourite baking book but changed it slightly to suit.

400g Plain Flour
Three quarters teaspoon of Bicarbonate of Soda
2 Teaspoons ground ginger
2 Teaspoons ground cinnamon
Half teaspoon ground all spice
Half teaspoon salt
180g Butter (softened)
125g soft light brown sugar
1 egg
125g black treacle

Note: This recipe needs to be made the day before you want it – as the dough needs to harden and rest overnight in the fridge.

10-15 minutes in the oven depending on the type of oven.

I start by sifting together flour, the soda, salt and all the spices in a bowl.

In a separate large bowl I put the butter and sugar and then whisk on a light speed until it is light and fluffy.

I then beat in the egg and treacle with the whisk on a slightly higher speed.

Once all mixed together I add the flour mixture slowly and at small spoonfuls at a time, whisking as it goes.

I divide the dough into three parts placing them into bowls cover them in cling film and then pop them into the fridge for the night.

The next day in the morning I put the oven to 170c. I leave the dough to soften out of the fridge for ten minutes. I then dust the surface with flour rolling out the dough.

I cut snowmen out with my snowman cutter, grease a baking tray with butter and then pop them all into the oven for 12 minutes.

I leave them to harden as they cool and then enjoy!

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Pudsey Bear Cookies

I saw this recipe and thought it would be lovely to bake gingerbread cookies in the shape of Pudsey for Children in Need. I sold them to my work colleagues along with a few other wonderful baking creations my colleagues made. I hope to raise a good amount of money with them. The recipe can also be used for simple gingerbread cookies for any occasion.


350g self-raising flour

Pinch of salt

2 tsp ground ginger

100g maple syrup

75g butter

2 tbsp caster sugar

1 egg, lightly beaten

180c oven

I start by heating the syrup, butter and sugar together on a low heat stirring until it is all melted. I then leave to cool, whilst cooling I sieve the flour, salt and ground ginger into a mixing bowl. I lightly whisk the egg with a fork and add to the flour mix, and then the cooled syrup.

I stir the batter until it is well combined together. I then wrap it in foil and place in the fridge for 30 minutes roughly.

Once out of the fridge I roll out the unwrapped dough to about 1cm and cut out bear shapes with the cookie cutter. I try to use up all the batter by rolling end leftover bits together to make the most out of it. 

I place the cookies onto butter greased baking trays and bake in the preheated oven for 10 until slightly golden in colour. Mine took literally 10 minutes and not anymore.

I used ready made white icing for the bandage but icing can be made very easily. I rolled mine out and cut it up to place on the cookies carefully pressing down. I used different coloured writing icing for pudsey’s red spots and black for his face and buttons.

Saturday, 16 October 2010

Traditional Chocolate Brownies

Brownies are my favourite they are crunchy on the outside but soft and goey on the inside. Brownies are great for a quick chocolate fix and are neither too sweet or savoury. They can be eaten warm or cold and go great with ice cream or fruit. I leave nuts out of mine to keep it traditional and let the taste of chocolate come through.

200g dark cooking chocolate
175g unsalted butter
325g caster sugar
130g plain flour
3 eggs

I put the chocolate and butter into a bowl over simmering water and leave it to melt whilst I weigh out my ingredients.
Once melted, I pour into a large bowl and add the sugar stirring until well combined. I add the flour and stir in and then add the eggs and mix it until it is thick and smooth.

I spoon the mixture into two greased square tins and bake for 30 minutes until flaky on top but soft and sticky inside.

Saturday, 9 October 2010

Banana Loaf

I first thought of doing this recipe when I realised I had never really eaten a fresh loaf let alone baked one myself. I really like bananas cooked in food so I picked the banana loaf. I was daunted by the amount of spices at first but then came the amazing taste once I had baked it. I can’t recommend this highly enough!

270g light brown sugar
2 eggs
200g mashed bananas
280g plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
140g butter

I add the sugar and eggs together in a large bowl and whisk until well combined. I add the mashed bananas and then add the flour, baking powder, soda, cinnamon and ginger and I mix it well with a spoon by hand. I then pour in the melted butter and mix well.

I pour it into a tin that is greased with butter and cook for about an hour. It should be done if the knife comes out clean when inserted.

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Rhubarb Muffins

I had leftover cuts of rhubarb in the freezer and decided to use them up by baking some soft and sweet muffins. This recipe I got out of my muffin cookbook, which always seems to turn out delicious (and large!) muffins. You can also substitute the rhubarb for blueberries, peaches or anything else similar.


280g Plain Flour (or self raising flour but if using self-raising take out the baking powder)
2 and half teaspoons Baking Powder
Half teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
Half teaspoon salt
1 Egg
140g Fine white sugar
Half teaspoon almond essence
150ml sour cream
120 ml milk
60ml Vegetable oil
As much rhubarb as you want

I get a large bowl and sift the flour, baking powder, soda and salt together.
In a separate medium sized bowl I beat the egg with a fork and stir in the sugar, almond essence, sour cream, milk and oil. I give it a good stir and then pour the wet mixture into the dry. I fold it until almost combined and then sprinkle the rhubarb into the mix. Finally I combine the last of it and then pour into muffin sized cups.

I bake for 20 minutes until they bounce back to the touch.
I decide not to create any topping as the rhubarb seems to do all the work in making the muffin look and taste amazing.

Monday, 13 September 2010

Star Sugar Cookies

I turned 25 in August and for my birthday my boyfriend gave me a cookbook full of yummy baking recipes. I soon got to work and decided on baking some sugar cookies with glazed icing and hundred and thousands sprinkled on top.
I took these with me to visit family and they loved it. My boyfriend took the rest to his work and he came home with an empty tin, a good sign!


200g Butter
280g Caster sugar
Quarter teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 Egg
400g plain flour
a pinch of salt
Half a teaspoon of cream of tartar

Oven 170c

I place the soft butter, sugar and vanilla extract into a large bowl and whisk until cream and fluffy. I add the egg and mix well with the whisk again.
I add the flour, salt and cream of tartar and mix with a spoon ensuring there is no clear flour left. There always seems to be too much flour at first but once the mixing takes place it forms together and shrinks and it is then that I get my hands in and squash it all together into a ball so I can roll my dough.

I prepare a flat surface and dust it with flour. I get out my rolling pin and roll into a flat round shape using the pin in all directions. Once I am happy with the thickness of the dough I start cutting with my star shaped cutter. This is the fun bit! Once laid on a greaseproof tray I re-roll the dough to get as much out as possible. Once most of the dough is used I pop them in the oven and keep an eye on them. Mine took 10 minutes and even then I over cooked them so it is important to watch it and open the door to check. It should be a light brown around the edges and the same everywhere else.

Royal Icing

1 egg white
310g icing sugar
Food colouring if you want to jazz it up, but I prefer a classic white for my stars!

I beat the egg until it is bubbly and foamy and I gradually add the icing sugar whisking lightly. I whisk until it forms soft peaks and is thick, hard to mix and pure white.

I use a small spoon to place onto the cooled cookies and smooth down with a knife. Once done I sprinkle some hundreds and thousands, these remind me of my childhood and add some welcome colour and cheer to the pretty stars.