Tag Archives: Dessert

What’s Cooking – Christmas Gingerbread Man Cookies

What’s Cooking - Christmas Gingerbread Man Cookies

The Christmas season is in a full bloom so it is time to get some festive food ready. What can be more festive than some tasty little gingerbread cookies?

The recipe I want to share with you today is from The Christmas 3D Cookie Kit from Parragon. The kit contains 3D cookie cutters (so you can make your own 3D snowman and 3D Christmas tree) and a recipe book with a fantastic selection of Christmas cookies.

The recipe I’ve chosen was originally for a Mini Gingerbread House Cookies, but we thought that a gingerbread man shaped cookies will be a better choice 🙂What’s Cooking - Christmas Gingerbread Man Cookie

Ingredients:

125g butter

2tbp golden syrup

175g light muscovado sugar

300g self-rising flour

2tbsp ground ginger

1 large egg

Method:

Prepare 2 large baking sheets, ideally pre-lined with a baking paper.

Heat the oven to 160C.

Place the butter and the golden syrup in a pan and heat gently, stirring all the time until melted.

Remove the pan from the heat, add sugar and stir until dissolved.

Sift the flour and ginger into a large bowl and make a well in the middle ready for the wet ingredients.

Pour in the warm, wet ingredients and add the beaten egg into the mix.

Stir thoroughly to form a smooth dough.

Wrap it in a cling film and chill in the fridge for about 20 minutes.

Remove your dough from the fridge and prepare to roll it out; ideally you want your rolled dough to be about 5mm thick.

Cut desired shapes using a cookie cutter or an upside down glass if you want to make a classic round shape or even a knife if all else fails.

Transfer your cut cookies to your baking sheets.

Chill in the fridge for a further 10 minutes.

Bake in earlier preheated oven for about 12-15 minutes or until firm and lightly brown.

Remove from the oven and allow them to cool down.

Now the fun can begin…

It is time to decorate!

What’s Cooking – Christmas Gingerbread Man CookieWhat’s Cooking -- Christmas Gingerbread Man Cookies

If you are good with decorating you can make your own royal icing (just mix 150g of icing sugar with 2tsp of white egg powder and 2 tbsp of cold water)… I am not a master decorator so we used shop bought icing pens to make this job easier 😉

Happy baking!

What’s Cooking – Christmas Gingerbread Man Cookies

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What’s Cooking – Chocolate and Jam Wafers

what’s cooking – my chocolate and jam wafer

This is a recipe from my childhood. Every family gathering my auntie would indulge us with her famous Chocolate and Jam Wafers. It’s weird but at the time I never asked her for the recipe and thus never attempted to make them… That is until a few months back. As I do not live in Poland any more I don’t have a lot of occasions for tasting her wafers so I thought it was time for me to start making them myself.

So here it is – Chocolate and Jam Wafers – just as I remember them from my childhood.

What’s Cooking – Chocolate and Jam Wafers - Ingredients

Ingredients:

  • 1 pack of dry wafer sheets*
  • 250g unsalted butter
  • 200g sugar
  • 200g powdered milk
  • 5tbs cocoa powder
  • 125ml water
  • ½ jar of jam**

*This might not be so easy to find but if you have a Polish shop close by I am sure they will stock it, they are called “Andruty”. They come in packs of five and are just large wafer sheets rather like pasta sheets, but bigger.

**Ideally you need a jam which isn’t too sweet. The idea is to break the sweetness of the chocolate. I used a Morello Cherry Jam from Mackays and it worked perfectly. You can find it in your local Asda store.

Method:

In a cooking pot melt the butter.

Once your butter has melted and started to foam add water, sugar and cocoa powder (to make your chocolate mix more luxurious you can add some chocolate shavings), stir well and bring it to boil.

What’s Cooking - Chocolate and Jam Wafers

Put aside and allow it to cool for a while.

Once your mixture is hand warm, add the powdered milk into it and stir well. Ideally you want to get rid of any “chunks” of milk powder so whisk well. You are aiming for a smooth and bits free mixture.

At this point your mixture should be ready so all you have left to do is to put it all together.

What’s Cooking – Chocolate and Jam Wafers

If you look at the above picture, you will see two different textures of your wafer sheet. It is important to place the side with bigger holes facing upwards. This way more mixture will get into holes making your creation perfectly moist and yummy.

So let’s build!

Take sheet one of your wafers and place big holes uppermost.

What’s Cooking – Chocolate and Jam Wafers.

We will start with a layer of jam. Spread the jam around ensuring that you are going to the very edge of the wafer. Do not leave any dry or uncovered spaces. Concurrently don’t layer it on too thickly or the finished result will be very sweet and maybe sickly. You are aiming for a nice thin even layer.

What’s Cooking –- Chocolate and Jam Wafers

Once this is done, place the second piece of wafer on top of your jam layer, still remembering to place it big holes up.

What’s Cooking -- Chocolate and Jam Wafers

Cover with your chocolate mixture to the same extent you did with the jam.

Repeat this layering process with the chocolate until you are left with just one dry piece of wafer.

The last piece goes other way around – meaning the large holes will go face down and touch the chocolate layer, giving us a nice and even finish on both sides of the wafer.

What’s Cooking  Chocolate and Jam WafersWhat’s Cooking --- Chocolate and Jam Wafers

Now comes a very important part. You have to turn your creation upside down. This will allow the jam and chocolate fillings to seep into and coat each neighbouring wafer sheet. Turn it upside down and place something big flat and heavy on top. Just make sure that whatever you place is at least the size of the waffle itself so it will weight down evenly, we have found a couple of cookbooks do the trick lovely.

Leave for few hours. If you have a space in the fridge, you can place it in the fridge, but it is not essential.

After a few hours when all the filling has had time to spread evenly, you are ready to cut your wafer into your desired shape and portions.

What’s Cooking – Chocolate and Mackays Jam Wafers

Ideally for cutting you want to use a large and very sharp knife. If your knife gets dirty, wipe it clean before you cut the next piece.

Place your wafer in an airtight container so it can stay fresh for longer. Again, if you have space in the fridge then pop hem in there for storage however it can live on the kitchen top just as well.

What’s Cooking – Chocolate and Jam Wafers!

I like just a wafer on its own but Mark thinks that it is a perfect companion to be served with ice-creams 🙂

So what do you think?

Would this creation appeal to you?

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What’s Cooking – Quick and Easy Cinnamon Biscuits

Quick and Easy Cinnamon Biscuits

From time to time we all get cravings, sometimes we can satisfy them, sometimes we can’t. One day last week sometime around 11pm I developed a huge craving to have some fresh baked cookies. We had guests over so it wasn’t exactly sleeping time yet so we decided to bake something. Obviously we knew that this had to be a quick and easy recipe as no one wanted to start a long preparation process at that time of the night. We settled on a batch of Quick and Easy Cinnamon Biscuits. As there were four people in the kitchen including a fellow foodie blogger Iwona from Smakowite Jadlo, we had a lovely warm biscuits in no time!

So if you ever get that feeling you must have a cookie now, I would highly recommend this recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 160g flour
  • 120g soft butter
  • 3tbs icing sugar
  • 1.5tsps cinnamon

Method:

To start preheat your oven to 180C and using some baking parchment line two large baking trays.

In a large bowl mix all your dry ingredients: flour, cinnamon and sugar. Add soften, cubed cutter and combine until you have a nice smoo0th and even dough.

Now depending on the shape of your cookies you can either:

– Form small balls which you will shape into roundish biscuits with your hands.

or (my preferred way)

– Roll your mixture flat using a rolling pin and then just use a cookie cutter to achieve your desired shape.

Bake in your earlier preheated oven for about 15-20 minutes or until firm to the touch.

Remove the biscuits and place on a wire cooling rack so they are allowed to cool.

Decorate if needed or desired.

Quick and Easy Cinnamon Biscuits.

They are perfect for storing, as long as you put them into an airtight container of course.

Now remember there were four of us in the kitchen and we all wanted something just a little bit different, we just couldn’t seem to settle on just one flavour, biscuits by committee! As it is a democratic household we ended up baking four batches of biscuits in four different flavours 😉 So if cinnamon is not for you, you can try adding some grated almonds or chocolate or dry coconut (our coconut biscuits also had an orange food colouring, I am quite unsure what we were thinking at the time but I suspect that a degree of tiredness may have resulted in the wrong bowl receiving the colouring. Though witnesses were few and far between…)

Quick and Easy  Biscuits.Quick and Easy Biscuits

In the end for what amounted to less than an hour of fun and good humour in the kitchen, delayed somewhat by the deliberations over flavours, resulted in a huge box of awesome crunchy and super tasty biscuits. Possessing a wonderful snap when you bite into them and having a texture very similar to shortbread they are now a permanent feature on our “bestest recipe list”.

Link up your recipe of the week

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What’s Cooking – Marks Ultimate Summer Scones

Marks Ultimate Summer Scones

Marks Ultimate Summer Scones

What can be better than home baked scones with poshed up sweet strawberry mousse and freshly whipped cream (heaven had arrived)? This really is my ultimate summer dessert!

Here is what you will require for your own slice of heavenly delight.

STRAWBERRY MOUSSE

Ingredients:

  • 250g of fresh strawberries
  • 2tsp of soft brown sugar
  • Good dash of proper quality Balsamic vinegar

Method:

Chop up the strawberries and place in a bowl, sprinkle the sugar of the top and stir. Finish for now by drizzling your Balsamic vinegar over them. If you do not have a quality Balsamic then omit this part rather than use a cheap one as the sweetness we are after will be replaced with a more vinegary taste and ruin your flavour experience. Pop the bowl in the fridge.

WHIPPED CREAM

Ingredients:

  • 250ml of double cream
  • 50g of casted sugar
  • 1tsp milk powder (it helps the peaks to stay put)

Method:

Place cream, milk powder and sugar in a mixing bowl. Whisk until firm peaks form. Pop in the fridge.

And finally we move onto the main event…

SCONES

Ingredients:

  • 150g of flour
  • 2tbsp of sugar
  • 3tsp of baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 5tbsp of butter, cold and cut into cubes (spot the American input there)
  • 125ml of milk

Method:

Put the butter in the fridge and go have a cup of tea for ½ hour.

Preheat your oven to 220C. Grease a sheet of baking paper and place on a large baking sheet.

Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt into a bowl.

Retrieve your cold butter from the fridge and cut into cubes, small cubes and return to the fridge for 5 minutes.

With a pastry knife or cold finger tips (hold a bag of peas from the freezer for a few minutes to cool down) blend the butter into the dry ingredients mixture and rub until it resembles coarse crumbs.

As you mix in the butter you will have warmed it up so pop it into the fridge for 5 minutes to get cold again.

Now comes the really really really important part!

Retrieve and pour in the milk and stir as little as possible to get the mixture to form a soft dough. The dough can be rough and not fully mixed as long as you can see the main ingredients have spread throughout. It should look almost unfinished, this is perfect for what we want.

Wet you hands under a cold tap. Now as if you where picking up a hedgehog gently pull out a clump of dough about the size of a nectarine and place on the prepared sheet and give it a gentle press down to form a disk. When your tray is filled it should look like a collection of “bad hair days” so now you bake until golden, about 12 minutes should do the trick.

01

Now when all the pieces of our ultimate summer scone are ready it is time to put them all together!  This is best done whilst the scones are still warm.

Pick a scone! Any scone...

Pick a scone! Any scone…

Cut it in a drunken half leaving a slightly bigger bottom and just a small hat

Cut it in a drunken half leaving a slightly bigger bottom and just a small hat

Place a generous serving of the strawberry mousse on the bottom part of your scone

Place a generous serving of the strawberry mousse on the bottom part of your scone

Add even more generous serving of whipped cream

Add even more generous serving of whipped cream

Cover with the “hat”

Cover with the “hat”

Now hide, so no one can take it from you!

Enjoy!

***

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