29 Dec 2013

All butter vanilla pod and chocolate wedding favor iced biscuits

I have been wanting to try iced cookies for awhile now (or sugar cookies as they are called in the states). I finally got the chance to make them for a friends beautiful small wedding. My first time attending a wedding with only 21 people and my first time making iced biscuits too! So I was a little nervous and planned well ahead (oh what fun it was looking at all the different cookie cutters and decorations!) I had to restrain myself and stick to two shapes and two beaded decorations. I looked up how to make the cookies on lots of different websites. You could take a look here and here. I had Miranda Gore Browns book Biscuit from the library so I used her cookie and icing recipe..Purple was the colour to go with the brides flowers hence the purple-I used violet gel colouring from Wilton.    I bought the little bead decorations when I went to the cake and bake show. The biscuits were really delicious-buttery and crisp, I made them a week in advance and stored in an airtight container and stored in the fridge. They stayed nice and fresh and were still crunchy. However when you do the icing you have to leave them overnight to dry (yes it really is a bit like painting!) and this is when they go a bit soft-they still tasted great though and I do not think you can avoid that. I used the writing tubes to do the outline on the cookies and the squeezy bottles to do the filling in (best thing for the job). You make a slightly stiffer icing for the outline and a thinner one for filling in. I made way too much icing (have frozen half) but seeing as it was the first time I made it I didn't want to run out! Toothpicks were very useful for smoothing out bubbles when doing the filling in. I also put toothpicks into the writing tips to stop them drying out. Equipment and recipes listed below pics:

Here's the equipment I used:
Heart cookie cutter
wedding cake cookie cutter
PME writing tube No.2 (X2)

3 oz Squeezy bottles (x2)
4 bowls 
2 piping bags
trays for drying cookies

Royal icing
Makes enough to cover at least 24 biscuits
13g Merriwhite (dried pasteurised egg white powder)
500g icing sugar
150 ml warm water
1 tbsp lemon juice or flavouring,such as lemon,orange or lime juice (optional)

Put the dry ingredients into a bowl, add the warm water and lemon juice and beat well to form a thick paste (this will take about 7 minutes in a mixer on the highest speed.) You can then add a tiny bit of extra water to make it a good thickness and even more water to make run-out icing. To check the consistency of the run-out icing,pull a spoon through the mixture-the icingh should return to being completely smooth.

Chocolate biscuits
Makes 24
55g dark chocolate
200g soft unsalted buter
160g caster sugar or vanilla sugar
50g golden syrup
1 egg lightly beaten
350g plain flour
50g cocoa powder

You will also need
5-6 cm cutters (to make 24 biscuits)
Preheat oven to 180 ◦C
Melt the chocolate (see page 6). Cream the butter with the sugar,then beat in the melted chocolate and syrup until light and fluffy.
Add the egg and mix well. Sift in the flour and cocoa powder, then mix together until dough forms . Bring together with your hands and divide in half. Roll each half into a ball and flatten into a disc.wrap each disc in clingfilm and put in fridge for atleast 1 hour. Roll out each chilled disc between two sheets of clingfilm, then stamp out your shapes. Place on baking trays lined with greaseproof paper spacing them atleast 3cm apart, and chill for another 15 minutes.
 Bake for about 10 minutes until surface is dry and the base is firm. Allow to cool on the tray for 10minutes, then use a palette knife to transfer to a cooling rack. Decorate when complete cold.

Vanilla pod butter biscuits
Makes about 24
200g soft unsalted butter
200g caster sugar
seeds from 2 vanilla pods
1 large egg lightly beaten
400g plain flour preferably 00
 you will also need 6 cm cutters

Preheat oven to 180 ◦C
Cream butter,sugar and vanilla seeds until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and then add flour and mix on a low speed until dough forms. Shape into two flat discs and wrap in clingfilm. Chill for atleast 30 minutes. roll out dough between two sheets of clingfil and cut out your shapes. place on baking sheets lined with greaseproof paper atleast 3 cmm apart. Chill for atleast 15 minutes. Bake for about 9 minutes until golden brown at the edges. Allow to cool on trays for about 5 minutes the use a palette knife to transfer to a wire rack. decorate when complete cold.


23 Dec 2013

Cinnamon buns with cream cheese frosting (cinnabon stylee)

These are from the Hummingbird Bakerys' latest book Home Sweet Home. They are very american style cinnamon buns. Rich and soft and covered with a generous dollop of gooey cream cheese icing which melts on the warm buns. You really can get away with half the icing I had plenty left over-I often find this with Hummingbird recipe-there just too much icing! The buns however went very fast. Although it says makes around 16-that's fairly small ones and it's very easy to eat two! Just saying. You could, I reckon, make these the day before and leave in the fridge and then take them out about three hours before you wanted to bake them for the final rise. Or freeze them before the second rise and then leave them out overnight....Just thinking maybe if you wanted to make them for Christmas morning/tea or something... Full recipe below the pics.

1. Make the dough and let it rise

2. Roll out and dot with butter

3. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar

4. Roll up and slice

5. Leave the buns to rise in a warm place

6. Bake until golden and delicious


7. Smother with as much icing as you like and eat!

Makes 16-18 buns
for the dough
300ml lukewarm water
25g caster sugar
1.5 tp dried active yeast
500g strong white bread flour
1 tsp salt
85g unsalted butter

For the filling
80g unsalted butter softened
80g soft dark brown sugar
1.5 tsp ground cinnamon
1 large egg beaten

For the glaze
50g unsalted butter softened,softened
300g icing sugar,sifted
125g full fat cream cheese

one 25 cm or two 20 cm tins/pie dishes.

1. mix milk,sugar and yeast and stir well. leave for 20 mins until mixture becomes frothy
2.sift together flour and salt in a large bowl. Add the butter and rub into dry ingredients to form a crumb like consistency with no large lumps of butter. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the milk and and yeast. Using the spoon, bring the mixture together to form a dough.
3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead well until soft and smooth. Place the dough back into a large,lightly floured mixing bowl. Cover the bowl with cling film and leave in a warm place to allow the dough to rise for approximately 40 minutes or doubled in size.
4. Once the dough has risen,knock it back in the bowl and turn it out on to a lightly floured surface. Knead it gently to get the dough smooth, then roll it out into a rough triangle, about 1.5cm thick.
5. Gently spread the soft butter evenly over the dough. In a small bowl mix the dark brown sugar and ground cinnamon together. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar evenly over the dough. Roll the dough up lengthways like a swiss roll. Using a sharp knife cut he roll into 16-18 slices.
6. Line the cake tin with baking parchment or butter the pie dish. Very gently place slices,flattest side down,into the tin, arranging them snugly.