Saturday, 7 April 2012

Sweet Easter Cookies

Easter brunch is a real tradition in our family. We all bring our favorite recipes to the table , sit down, eat together and enjoy.
Easter is my favorite holiday! Spring is in the air… There is a promise of nature waking up; pink spring blossoms, long and bright summer days yet to come, bright yellow daffodils, fresh and delicious fruits and vegetables.

My mother and grandmother have taught me over the years, starting as a little girl already, to make my own jams an curds. My fridge is always filled with home made jams; lemon curd and chocolatespread.

These jams taste so delicious on a fresh croissant or on a cookie! To surprise everyone at the table this year I thought of some sweet cookies, filled with lemon curd and chocolatespread. But you can of course use another delicious jam or spread to fill the cookies. How about caramelspread or raspberry preserves? The possibilities are endless with these cookies!

Easter cookies

1 ½ cups of good quality butter, room temperature
2 cups of sugar
3 large eggs
Seeds of ½ a Vanilla Pod
4 ½ cups of flour, you can add extra if your dough stays a little sticky
1 ½ teaspoon of baking powder
A pinch of salt

Cream together the butter and sugar in a large bowl. This can take a little while, make sure the mixture almost has a soft yellow colour. Add the eggs and mix again.
Mix in the flour, salt, vanilla seeds and baking powder.
Wrap your dough in cling film and chill in the fridge for an hour.

Preheat the oven ( 180 degrees C).
Roll out the dough on a floured surface really thin (you will place two cookies on top of eachother and don’t want to eat a cookie sandwich with your tea!).
Cut out round circles for the cookies; half of the circles cut out an easter figure as well.

Bake the cookies in the preheated oven, for about 8 to 10 minutes.
Let the cookies cool for a couple of minutes after you take them out of the oven, then let them cool completely on a wired rack.

After the cookies cooled; spread your favourite jam of curd on a cookie without the cut out shape and put it aside for a sec.

Place all of the cut out cookies on a plate and dust them with icing sugar (as seen on the photo). Gently place a cut out cookie on top of the cookie with jam.

Serve the cookies to your Easter guests and enjoy! If you don’t finish them all during the brunch (which is not likely to happen…) store them in an airtight container for 3 days max.

Thursday, 1 March 2012

A Sweet Heart for your Sweetheart

White Chocolate Cheesecake

White chocolate, raspberries, cream cheese and your sweet heart. Is this a divine combination or what?
I meant to post this blog on Valentinesday, yes, I know...I'm far too late. But actually I think every day should be a little bit like Valentinesday;loving your loved ones, enjoying life and great food with them :)
This Sweetheart is not difficult to bake at all, like some cheesecakes can be, trust me! You can prepare this cake in less then half an hour. Some patience and your oven will do the rest of the work.

Use a heart shaped spring cake tin (hartvormige springvorm)to bake your mini cheesecake in. You will also need:

For the crust

100 gr sugar cookies
30 gr almond flour
40 gr melted butter

Blend the cookies in the foodproccesor until they are fine crumbs or use a rolling pin, put the cookies in a plastic bag and crush them. Mix the crumbs with the almond flour and melted butter.
Put this mixture on the bottom of your (buttered) spring cake tin and spread even. Use your finger tips or a spoon to gently push it down and form a crust. Bake for 10 min in a prehaeated oven of 140 degrees Celsius.

For the cheesecake

175 gr. cream cheese (Philadelphia)
30 gr. white chocolate, chopped
25 gr. sugar
1 egg (small)
vanilla, seeds from 1/4 pod
fresh raspberries (1 box)

Beat the creamcheese for about half a minute until it's smooth. Add sugar, the egg and vanilla seeds, mix until everything is well combined. Gently fold in the melted (cooled!) white chocolate.
Poor the batter into the springcake tin, on the crust. Bake for about 45 minutes, in the middle of the oven (140 degrees Celsius). Then turn off the heat the oven, crack open the door for a few cm's and let the cake cool. This way you make sure you won't get any cracks in your cake.
After the cake and oven are cooled, place the cake in the fridge (prefarably overnight) to let it set.

Gently remove the cake from the springcake tin and decorate it with the fresh raspberries. To give it just that little bit of extra; spray some goldspray over the raspberries.

Saturday, 31 December 2011

Candy Cane Sprinkles

It has been sort of an obsession already for years during the holiday season....Candy Canes! I just love Candy Canes!!I collect them in all sorts and shapes, because no Candy Cane is the same.

Unwrapping them can be a little bit of a hassle. I hate it when they break into a few pieces, trying to remove the plastic. Not wanting to waste any of the broken pieces I make sprinkles of them. And besides tasting yummie, they look gorgeous as well!

Just put your broken Candy Cane(s) in the food processor and cut them into little pieces. Don't overblend it, because then you will end up with "sugar" and you want to have the structure and colours ofcours of the gorgeous Candy Canes.
Don't make more then you need, you can't store the sprinkles really well, they get sticky.
Use your sprinkles on your Cupcakes, cookies, cakes or like I did on macarons.

This is already the last post of the year; Wishing you all a very Happy, Healthy and Blessed 2012. Filled with good times spend with your loved ones and lot's of sweetness!

Thank you for stopping by the blog this past year, looking forward to inspiring you in 2012!

Friday, 23 December 2011

Winter Spice Cookie

With Christmas almost here, our house is starting to smell delicious! We are doing some serious baking with the family...And ofcourse Christmas Cookies have to be a part of this!
In my last post I mentioned my husbands enormous dislike of ginger; Gingerbreadcookies are out of the question! But it wouldn't be wright not to decorate cookies.
So I came up with these Winter Spice cookies...They are absolutely delicious!! With a cup of coffee, hot chocolate, tea, breakfast, lunch, after dinner...And the good thing about this recipe is; the cookies are wonderful to decorate with icing. The taste of the winterspices combine delicious with icing and after baking they have the wright "shape" to ice them. Not to high, not to flat, beautiful and delicious structure, remain in perfect shape during baking...What are you waiting for? There is still enough time to start baking before Christmas!

Winter Spice Cookies

2 cups of all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup brown sugar (bruine basterdsuiker)
1/2 cup butter
3 tablespoons Winter Spice Mix
1 egg (M)
1/2 cup molasses (schenkstroop)
pinch of salt

Mix the butter and brown sugar together in the bowl of the electric standing mixer, high speed until it's a smooth mixture. Scrape sides of the bowl when needed.

Add Spice mix, pinch of salt, baking powder, egg and molasses and mix until well combined. Again, scrape sides of the bowl when needed.
Then mix in the flour; make sure your dough is firm, not sticky (add more flour if needed).

Wrap your dough in plastic foil and let it rest for half an hour in the fridge. Take your dough out of the fridge after half an hour and let it rest on the counter about two hours before using.

Roll out your dough on a floured working surface, about 0,5 cm thick, and cut out the shapes.
Bake them in a preheated oven (160 degrees Celsius), depending on size and shape, for about 10-14 minutes. After removing the cookies from the oven, place them on a wired rack to cool.

Now you're ready to decorate....or eat :) Enjoy!

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Winter Spice Mix

Christmas is coming close and I'm looking forward to spending time with my family. Enjoying wonderful company of my loved ones and delicious food. The tradition of Gingerbreadhouses is starting to become more populair in Holland. Which I'm happy about because I just love baking and decorating them!
Unfortunately, my dear husband doesn't eat ginger! Really, he hates ginger!! The smell of it, the taste of it, the look of it, try presenting a Gingerbreadhouse in the dinnertable then...
To let him enjoy the sweets as well I came up with my own Winter Spice Mix, filled with delicious sents of gorgeous spices!

This Winter Spice Mix is easy to make and I promise you; you will never use a store bought spice mix again. Make sure you use a good quality of spices. It takes a little time but I like to ground the Nutmeg, Anis and Cardamon myself.

Winter Spice Mix
120 gr. Cinnamon
8 gr. Cardamom
15 gr. Nutmeg
20 gr. Anis

Mix all of the spices together, I use a blender (keep the lid on a minute after mixing!) Make a big batch of the mix and store it in a airtight container in your spice cubboard.

You can use the Winter Spice Mix for a lot of delicious treats; Cake, Cupcakes, for all the Dutch bakers...pepernoten. Or share under the Christmas tree as a present!

To complete your gift, use the download for the cute Christmas labels I made for you...Enjoy!