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.