Tag: Biscuits

Iced Gingerbread Biscuits

Iced Gingerbread Biscuits

iced gingerbread biscuits

Iced gingerbread biscuits are such a staple at Christmas.Their simplistic yet versatile nature makes them a favourite among children and adults alike. Whether you’re making gingerbread houses, tree decorations or just a teatime treat like mine, the signature spiced smell just spells Christmas to me!

I’ve never actually dared to make a gingerbread house, its always seemed like an awful lot of work and stress to me! But this gingerbread recipe is my absolute favourite, and perfect to turn into cute festive treats with the icing being the cherry on top!

iced gingerbread biscuitsiced gingerbread biscuits

When baking my iced gingerbread biscuits, the first thing you should know is that they’re very forgiving. The dough can be re-rolled if you get in a pickle and it doesn’t make the biscuit chewy and tough. And shall we say ‘rustic’ icing just makes them look more personal and homemade in my opinion. Just what Christmas should be about! I’ve always been more of a ‘maker’ than a ‘buyer’; there’s just something so special about spending time making something you know someone will love! Or in this case, enjoy eating! At Christmas I definitely become a feeder…guilty!

The biscuits are lightly spiced and have a good snap when you bite into them. They do get a little softer as the days go on, but i’ve found they keep well for up to a week. And in some ways I sort of prefer them when they get a little softer! But with that in mind they can easily be made as a present, so long as they’re wrapped up air-tight…and you don’t eat them all first!

iced gingerbread biscuitsiced gingerbread biscuits

I realised only as I’d started to bake these that I didn’t actually have any Christmassy cutters – something that I need to rectify! So I used a circle cutter for my ‘snowflakes’, and cut a star out of baking paper and used that as a makeshift template. Both worked really well (in my opinion), and actually I think the circular ‘snowflakes’ have a certain charm.

The icing I wanted to keep quite simple, I think with iced gingerbread the simpler the better looks wise and taste! They have a whimsical, oldy-woldy sense about them don’t you think? Making the icing took me back to being a little girl and adding the icing to the chocolate fairy cakes my mum had made. I always wanted to be involved when mum was baking…to lick the spoon obviously 😉

Let me know if you make these, for yourself or as a gift! I’ll be back with another festive recipe soon!

iced gingerbread biscuits

Iced Gingerbread Biscuits

Yield: 20 Biscuits

Iced Gingerbread Biscuits

Ingredients

    Gingerbread
  • 350g plain flour
  • 1tsp bicarb
  • 2tsp ground ginger
  • 1tsp ground cinnamon
  • 125g unsalted butter, cubed
  • 175g light soft brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 4tbsp golden syrup
    Icing
  • 250g icing sugar

Instructions

  • Firstly, pour the flour, bicarb, ginger, cinnamon and unsalted butter into the bowl of a food processor. Blend until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs, then pulse in the sugar until combined. Or if you don't have a food processor, rub the butter into the dry ingredients using your hands until it resembles breadcrumbs. Then whisk in the sugar until combined.
  • In a separate bowl, lightly beat the egg and golden syrup together and then pour into the food processor. Pulse until the mixture clumps together. Or, using a wooden spoon mix the wet ingredients in with the breadcrumb mixture until it clumps together.
  • Tip out the dough onto a lightly floured surface, and knead until combined and smooth. Wrap the dough in clingfilm and pop it in the fridge for 15 minutes to firm up.
  • Preheat the oven to Gas 4/180C/350F and line two baking trays with baking paper.
  • Roll the dough out to 0.5cm thickness on a lightly floured surface. Cut out circles and stars (or any other festive shape you like) and place on the baking trays leaving a little gap between them.
  • Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden-brown. Leave them on the baking tray for 10 minutes and then place them on cooling racks to cool completely.
  • For the icing, mix the icing sugar with two/three tablespoons of water until you have a thick icing. You want it to be thick enough so that it doesn't run off the biscuits when you decorate. Pour the icing into a piping bag, and snip off the end so you are left with a small hole to pipe from.
  • Decorate your biscuits as you wish, and leave to set at room temperature.
  • Notes

    The biscuits can be kept stored in a sealed container for at least a week.

    http://bakingwithaimee.com/2016/12/09/iced-gingerbread-biscuits/

    Christmas Pudding Cookies

    Christmas Pudding Cookies

    christmas pudding cookieschristmas pudding cookies

    I’ve been feeling christmassy since the leaves started falling, but now its less than a month till the big day I think I can get away with vocalising my excitement. Christmas pudding isn’t a favourite dessert for me, but it’s a such a festive tradition that these christmas pudding cookies are the perfect alternative. All of the cute and none of the heavy fruit!

    Christmas for me is all about making and baking presents. I’ve always got some jam on the go, fudge to make and gingerbread to wrap up. The festive season is such a great reason to spend time with family and friends and show my love for them. For me, that’s usually through baked goods. There’s something about receiving something handmade that is so much more special.

    These christmas pudding cookies could totally be used as gifts as they last so well. You can also make the cookie dough up to three days before baking, giving you precious time for festivities! The cookies are really thick and chewy, quite American in style I’d say, which is my favourite kind.

    christmas pudding cookieschristmas pudding cookies

    I used dark chocolate in the dough to balance out the sweet white chocolate decoration. It works really well, which means you get to eat at least two at once without feeling too bad! Always a win in my eyes. The dough is so easy to make, just one bowl, although be careful not to eat it all before baking – its easy done believe me!

    Obviously to make these cookies into christmas pudding cookies, they need the cute decoration. For this, I really simply just melted some white chocolate and piped it on. I made sure to leave the melted chocolate to cool for at least 10 minutes so its easier to pipe, then piped the outline first before filling in. I used the end of a cake tester to make sure the shapes were completely filled, though you could use a cocktail stick instead.

    If you’re going to splurge on one thing for this bake, make it the white chocolate. Cheap white chocolate can taste very synthetic and as its the main decoration I think it deserves to be the star. I used Green & Blacks cooking chocolate which has flecks of vanilla seeds throughout making it all the more luxurious. The little holly and berry decorations were from Waitrose, though I’m sure you could find them in most supermarkets. I think they look so cute. It’s funny how quickly they can go from just plain old cookies, to cute festive christmas puddings!

    Let me know if you bake up a batch as presents, or just for yourself!

    Christmas Pudding Cookies

    Yield: 16 cookies

    Christmas Pudding Cookies

    Ingredients

    • 115g unsalted butter, room temperature
    • 100g caster sugar
    • 100g light brown soft sugar
    • 1 large egg, room temperature
    • 1tsp vanilla extract
    • 125g plain flour
    • 53g cocoa powder
    • 1tsp baking powder
    • 1/8tsp salt
    • 2tbsp milk
    • 200g dark chocolate chips
    • 150g white chocolate, for decoration
    • holly and berry decorations

    Instructions

  • In a large bowl beat the butter for a minute until it's smooth and creamy. Then add both the sugars and using a hand-held mixer, mix on a medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla, and beat on a high speed until thoroughly combined.
  • In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Then on a low speed, slowly mix into the wet ingredients until combined. The cookie dough will be quite thick at this point. Switch to a high speed, and add in the milk and dark chocolate chips. The cookie dough will be very sticky and look hard to handle at this point, so it must be chilled before using.
  • Cover with clingfilm and place in the fridge for at least 3 hours, and up to three days. I chilled mine overnight.
  • Remove the cookie dough from the fridge and leave to sit at room temperature for 20 minutes, or 30 minutes if you chilled for longer than 3 hours. Preheat oven to 175C and line two large baking trays with baking paper. Scoop and roll balls of cookie dough and place onto the baking trays, I allowed for about 2tbsp of dough per cookie.
  • Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes. They will feel very soft when you remove them from the oven, so leave to cool on the baking tray for 10 minutes. Then place on a cooling rack to cool completely.
  • For the decoration, melt the white chocolate over a bain marie being careful not to burn the chocolate. Leave to cool for at least 10-15 minutes, then place into a piping bag. Snip off the end, to make a very small hole and pipe the outline of the christmas pudding decoration to make a dam. Then fill the outlines with the remaining chocolate, using a toothpick to smooth out and push the chocolate into the edges. Add the holly and berry decorations and leave to set at room temperature.
  • Notes

    Cookies can be kept for up to one week, sealed at room temperature.

    Cookie recipe adapted from Sally's Baking Addiction

    http://bakingwithaimee.com/2016/11/27/christmas-pudding-cookies/

    Viennese Whirls

    Viennese Whirls

    viennese whirls

    As an avid baker it will come as no surprise that The Great British Bake Off is one of my all-time favourite TV shows. So much so that I declined a free drinks event with work just so I could be sat in front of the telly at 8pm last week for the start of Season 7! I really am obsessed. I haven’t hedged my bets on anyone to win just yet, but I love Benjamina already! And Val, she’s a legend!

    So with the trailer for the second episode already on our screens I thought I’d whip up a treat to get us in the mood. Viennese whirls are one of my favourite biscuits to make, and after perfecting my recipe over the years I think I’ve got it down.

    Crumbly, buttery and with a sharp tang of jam to cut through – it’s just the perfect teatime treat!

    viennese whirls

    The key to good viennese whirls I think is the dough consistency. Too runny and your biscuits will be so crumbly you’ll struggle to spread the filling on. But too thick and your biscuits will have a claggy texture and won’t crumble nicely. Its a delicate balance.

    To get to this ‘perfect’ consistency, you’ll need to add the right amount of milk. Now this is tricky as I can’t really give an exact amount aside from saying between 1 and 1.5tbsp’s. Because it all depends on the dough at the time. I made these a few months ago and was certain that 1.5tbsp’s was the perfect amount, but when I made these on Saturday I only needed 1tbsp. I know you’ll be thinking that its hardly a huge difference, but it honestly counts so much!!! Add a little at a time, giving the dough a mix and assess if you need more. You want the dough to be smooth but not thick enough that it won’t pipe easily.

    I have been known to get the dough into the piping bag, start to pipe, realise its the wrong consistency and dump it all back into a bowl to try again. It happens!

    viennese whirls

    I make the dough in a food processor, mainly because its just so much quicker! But mixing by hand in a bowl is perfectly fine too.

    What I really love about viennese whirls is how quick and simple they are to make. You can fancy a whirl at lunchtime, and be enjoying one with a cuppa for afternoon tea!

    viennese whirls

    Filling wise, its all about a simple vanilla buttercream and jam combo to me. I don’t even use an electric whisk for the buttercream. Just simple mixing with a wooden spoon. Basics at its best!

    If you’re going to splurge on anything though, do it on the jam! Bonne Maman is a personal favourite, and it really makes the viennese whirls into such a treat!

    So on with the recipe, and enjoy tucking into the viennese whirls whilst the bakers struggle on with biscuit week!

    Viennese Whirls

    8 large viennese whirls

    Viennese Whirls

    Ingredients

      Biscuit
    • 250g unsalted butter, room temperature
    • 50g icing sugar
    • 250g plain flour
    • 50g cornflour
    • 1/2tsp vanilla extract
    • 1-1.5tbsp milk (depending on how runny/thick your dough is)
      Buttercream
    • 100g unsalted butter, room temperature
    • 200g icing sugar
    • 1/2tsp vanilla extract
      Jam
    • 4tbsp raspberry jam

    Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 190C/Fan 170C/Gas Mark 5. Line a large baking sheet with baking paper that you have drawn 14 circles on for guidelines. I draw round a 6cm diameter cookie cutter for mine.
  • If using a food processor, blitz the butter, sugar, flour, cornflour and vanilla extract until smooth. You may need to push the mixture down a little. Or add all ingredients to a bowl and beat together by hand.
  • Then add a little milk at a time until you reach a smooth piping consistency. Spoon the mixture into a piping bag fitted with a star tip, and pipe circles onto the baking paper starting from the outside of the circle and working your way in.
  • Bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes, until they are firm and pale golden brown.
  • While the biscuits are cooling, begin to make the filling by beating the butter in a bowl. Once soft, add in the icing sugar and vanilla extract and beat again until smooth.
  • To assemble, spread the jam on the flat side of half of the biscuits once they are completely cool. Then spread or pipe the buttercream onto the flat side of the remaining biscuits. Sandwich the biscuits together, and sprinkle with icing sugar if desired.
  • Notes

    http://bakingwithaimee.com/2016/08/29/viennese-whirls/

    Christmas Jumper Gingerbread

    Christmas Jumper Gingerbread

    Christmas Jumper GingerbreadChristmas Jumper GingerbreadChristmas Jumper GingerbreadChristmas Jumper Gingerbread

    Right now, I’m feeling pretty much like a stuffed turkey – I’M SO FULL. Boxing Day is meant for slobbing on the sofa though right?? Thats what we all tell ourselves anyway as we wander into the kitchen rooting for snacks for the twentieth time today….

    If you’re on the hunt for something a little different to snack on in the inbetween days before New Years Eve why not try these Christmas Jumper Gingerbreads! They look so adorable and can even be turned into a fun decorating activity to keep little people busy!!

    The gingerbread biscuit is a really quick dough to pull together, and once baked it keeps really well for at least a week so you don’t have to worry about eating them all at once! Though be my guest if you’d like to! The biscuit isn’t too heavily spiced, so its perfect for children who might like something more on the mild side.

    Decoration wise, this is where you can really go to town! I used a mixture of fondant and royal icing for my biscuits, but the world really is your oyster. With the pure royal icing gingerbreads I prepared batches of white, pink (I failed in making it red like I’d planned!) and green all at the same time. This was so I could flood the biscuit in white, pipe lines of pink and green and then feather the icing all whilst it was still wet. Royal icing tends to begin to harden fairly quickly so you need to have everything on hand when you begin.

    I got actual Christmas Jumper cookie cutters from Lakeland, but if you can’t make it to a cook shop you could cut a template out of baking paper and use that for your gingerbread and fondant icing instead!

    Let me know if you give these a try, I’d love to see your decorations!

    Christmas Jumper Gingerbread

    Yield: 15 Christmas Jumpers

    Ingredients

      Gingerbread
    • 350g plain flour
    • 1tsp bicarb
    • 2tsp ground ginger
    • 1tsp ground cinnamon
    • 125g unsalted butter, cubed
    • 175g light soft brown sugar
    • 1 large egg
    • 4tbsp golden syrup
      Decoration
    • 500g Fondant Icing (and additional icing sugar to help combat stickiness!)
    • 500g Royal Icing
    • Assorted Gel Food Colouring

    Instructions

  • Pour the flour, bicarb, ginger, cinnamon and unsalted butter into the bowl of a food processor. Blend until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs, then pulse in the sugar until combined.
  • In a separate bowl, lightly beat the egg and golden syrup together and then pour into the food processor. Pulse until the mixture clumps together.
  • Tip out the dough onto a lightly floured surface, and knead until combined and smooth. Wrap the dough in clingfilm and pop it in the fridge for 15 minutes to firm up.
  • Preheat the oven to Gas 4/180C/350F and line two baking trays with baking paper.
  • Roll the dough out to 0.5cm thickness on a lightly floured surface. Cut out christmas jumper shapes and place on the baking trays leaving a little gap between them.
  • Bake for 12-15 minutes or until lightly golden-brown. Leave them on the baking tray for 10 minutes and then place them on cooling racks to cool completely.
  • Once the gingerbread is completely cool, use the fondant and royal icing to decorate your gingerbread as you wish!
  • The gingerbread can be kept stored in a sealed container for at least a week.
  • Notes

    Adapted from BBC Good Food.

    http://bakingwithaimee.com/2015/12/26/christmas-jumper-gingerbread/