Sunday, November 1, 2009
I saw in my "Cookie craft" book an idea of a halloween house using boiled candies for the windows that really looked cool, so I got some candies and I tried to do something different myself. At the beginning I was just going to make some circles with candy in the center and some royal icing, but as I was cutting circles I saw a little face taking shape... and I loved it.
Then with an oval cutter I cut more cookies using the orange dough, cut some letters using the green dough and put them together as you see in the following picture, I added candy inside the letters to make them look a bit bloody:
When I had them all ready, I put them in clear bags with orange and black ribbon, they looked great!.
Saturday, August 29, 2009
I made these watermelon cookies, put them in clear bags and attached a nice label to promote my "sweet art".
They were very tasty and as my friend said afterwards....a complete success! :o)
Saturday, August 1, 2009
I was waiting for another excuse to bake more cookies. There was a birthday coming for someone very special in the family. I showed her all the cookie cutters I had and asked her to choose her favourites. I'm very glad that among them, she picked the ice cream one as I was dying to decorate it!, here's the result.
I had around 3 dozens of cookies to decorate and it took me 5 hours, I loved every single minute of it! yaaaaay!!!!.
I prepared a nice box for her and gave her a dozen of cookies. Then I put others in cute clear bags to give to the other members of the family and friends who went to the party.
These are the other ones I made:
And these cute pigs....OINK!
I used the chocolate roll out cookies recipe that appears in the "Cookie Craft" book and also the royal icing recipe which is really good.
These cookies definately had the WOW factor :o)
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
I was so eager to start using the ideas and techniques from the book that I dashed to get all what I needed, although I forgot the squeeze bottles, more pastry bags and extra nozzles.....which I can't find easily where I live. When I visited a friend the other day I remembered that I saw a pack of 4 sauce bottles in a shop, very cheap, not the perfect ones, but they would definitely help, so I got them. The pastry bags and extra nozzles had to stay in my "wish list" for now. Not to worry :o)
As I got a pack of greeting cards with photographs of lavender, I thought it would be nice to use the same colors for my cookies :
It was great to experiment with royal icing as I have never used it before. It can be tricky, I made some mistakes...that I ate afterwards :o)
I feel that I learnt a lot today and believe me.... I can't wait to decorate more!.
I'll put these in a clear bag with a nice ribbon plus a thank you card (the lavender ones...of course) to a very sweet friend of mine, Jacqueline, who sent me by surprise 5 pots of food coloring paste with a note that said "Happy baking and marzipal modeling"....isn't she nice!?.
Saturday, July 11, 2009
I recommend this book 100%
I couldn't sleep well last night thinking about all the ideas I have, things I can do with cookies, etc etc.... oh dear I'm going insane!!!!!!!!!!
I just can't wait to decorate cookies!!! :o)
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
I'm so inspired these days that I'm even dreaming of all the things I can make with marzipan, I keep a mini notepad with me at all times so I can sketch and write my ideas down.
It's been incredibly sunny and hot in England, this is what I call a proper summer ...finally! And there's no summer without watermelons, don't you think?.
So here they are, marzipan watermelon slices!.
I'm still trying to find out how to do the glaze for marzipan, I have seen that some people use corn syrup, but it's not very easy to find. If you know any other glaze recipe please send me an email, I'd really appreciate it!.
Saturday, June 20, 2009
I imagine these make a very good appetizer as well.
I got the recipe from Delicious Magazine:
150g Danish blue cheese, roughly chopped
100g softened unsalted butter, roughly chopped
1 medium egg yolk
100g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
75g quick-cook polenta
1 tsp poppy seeds
1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan180°C/gas 6. Line 2 baking sheets with baking paper. In a bowl, mash the cheese with a fork. Add the butter and egg yolk and mix together. Sift over the flour, add the polenta and mix into a stiff dough. Shape into a ball, flatten slightly, wrap in cling film and pop into the freezer for 15 minutes to chill.
2. Dust a work surface with a little flour. Roll out the cheese dough to a 5mm thickness. Using a 5cm star-shaped cutter, cut out biscuits and put onto the baking sheets. Re-roll the trimmings to cut out more biscuits, making 30 in total. Sprinkle the biscuits with poppy seeds, pressing them in lightly so they stick. Bake for 12-15 minutes until golden. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Maybe you'd like to know that, by the time the biscuits are in the oven, your kitchen will be impregnated with a rancid cheesy smell....opening the windows might help!!!
3. Gift-wrap with a card or label explaining to store in an airtight box and eat within a week.
Per biscuit: 66kcals, 4.6g fat (2.7g saturated), 1.7g protein, 4.7g carbs, 0.1g sugar, 0.2g salt
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
My son got chickenpox (I know...this word doesn't really sound good in a baking blog! LOL)...he's been a bit poorly these last days so a cupcake likes this would be a good treat, he loves bananas!.
I found this recipe here, it's the second time I use a recipe from Wilton's, they're very good!!. It would be nice though, if along with the recipe using cup measurements, they added between brackets, the measures in grams.
I have to admit, I was a bit insecure with the ingredient measurements....as I tried the raspberry recipe before and they didn't work very well.
This time I added another teaspoon of baking soda and self raising flour instead of the plain one and it worked very well. Don't know whether the baking soda is more powerful in the US or what...honestly!.
This recipe uses sour cream....what for? I don't know.... do you?...I'd love to know!!!.
I was right next to the oven watching the cupcakes raising beautifully, my heart was shaking just by the thought of seeing them sinking like the Titanic....but they didn't!...well done me!!! :o)
The whole house was smelling like heaven....hmmm!
After the cupcakes were cold I prepared the marzipan to do the garnish:
First, I grabbed a chunk of marzipan and gave it a pale yellow tint using food coloring, then I rolled it in between 2 sheets of baking paper and using a cookie cutter I made a sort of marzipan doilly, placed them on top of the cupcakes and then I made the little wholes with a toothpick.
After this, I grabbed another chunk of marzipan and kneaded it using yellow food coloring. I divided the coloured marzipan into little balls and then started giving shape to the bananas.
This was my first attempt to make marzipan fruits!!.
I placed the bananas on top of the doillies and tried to give them more life colouring the extremes with green and brown food coloring....lots of fun!!!.
These banana cupcakes plus the marzipan taste incredible, give it a try, you won't regret it!!
Monday, June 8, 2009
I kept the block in a drawer for ages waiting for the real inspiration to come and it came after I saw a tutorial on how to make cupcake earrings with clay! (I'll try to find the link)..... I thought it would be nice to make cupcakes with marzipan.....and this was the result:
Today I went to visit my friend Fernanda, and I gave her the little marzipan cupcakes I made, she and her daughters loved them, great!.
If you have some good links to marzipan related websites please let me know, I'll appreciate it!.
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
If I bake something, it's to be shared...otherwise I eat it all and that's not the idea!.
Lastnight I baked some cookies to share with a good friend of mine I visited today, she has 2 little girls so I thought it would be nice to garnish some cookies specially for them and my son.
I used my lemon pie's pastry (although I added one more tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract).
Ingredients (it makes 5 1/2 dozen cookies):
* 1, 1/2 cup of self raising flour
* 2 tbsp of butter (it can be oil instead)
* 3 eggs yolks
* 1 cup of sugar
* 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract.
Preheat the oven to 180 C
Place baking paper on the baking tray.
In a large bowl, mix flour, egg yolks, butter (or oil) and 1 cup of sugar until you get a good consistency to knead and give shape with your hands. If it's too dry add a bit of milk.
Sprinkle some flour on the surface you'll work and roll out the dough till you get a 3mm thickness. Use your favourite cookie cutters. Place the cookies on the tray and bake in the oven for 10 minutes or untill light brown.
Take them out of the oven and let them cool.
You can have them just plane or you can garnish them with chocolate, sugar strands or any other edible decoration.
To stick the sugar strands I used egg white powder as it's safer than using raw egg whites.
For the ones dipped in chocolate: I used the chocolate cake covering, 5 squares for this recipe is more than enough.
Enjoy them!!! :o)
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
I was looking for easy recipes to start with and I found this one , Raspberry cupcakes....hmm!!
I don't know why, they sank in the middle, could have been too much moisture from the raspberries? if you have an idea of what went wrong here please let me know, I'll really appreciate it :o)
The taste was great, but that hole in the middle didn't look good....I had to save them!...so I melted some chocolate and poured on top, then I garnished with some rainbow white chocolate buttons:
Monday, June 1, 2009
My mother in law's birthday was coming so I thought it would be nice to bring her something special.
The little cupcakes came out perfect
Using a ready mix might be boring, but I think it's great for beginners like me! and also..... I think it's a very good way to start baking with your children :o)
Okkie....let's go to the next part.....the decoration!....I was soooooo excited about this!....I got all the ingredients for the glaze, writing icing (a bit difficult to write with though), sugar flowers and strands.
It was also my first time preparing icing....which is very easy indeed, but you'll need a couple of attempts to get the desired consistency.
I had a lot of fun decorating the cupcakes and I'm ready to learn more! My mother in law was very pleased, she really enjoyed them :o)
I'll share the recipe I know for the icing:
* 250 grams icing sugar
* Food coloring
* 2 tbsp of hot water
In a bowl, put the sugar and add one tablespoon of hot water, stir until you have a creamy consistency, if you need a bit more water, add a teaspoon first and if you still need more, then add another teaspoon.
If you want to use 2 colors of icing, then pour the mix into a couple of bowls only.
Take one bowl (cover the other one) and add a few drops of food coloring, stir well.
For pastel colors only add a few drops of food coloring. The more drops you add, the more intense the color you'll get.
You can use a spoon or a spatula to cover your cupcake with the icing. If you're adding some decorations, like strands, pearls, or others, do it before the icing sets....let's say then, as soon as you've iced your cupcake :o)
This is the basic recipe, you can also add flavour to your icing :o)
Friday, May 29, 2009
I have to say before to continue, that the only sweet thing I used to prepare were pancakes, and I have really mastered it!....I never get bored making them, but hey, this post is not about pancakes but about the LEMON MERINGUE PIE.
I can't remember who gave me this recipe, I've had it in my computer for a long time, then in 2007, after a year of being in the UK, I was craving for a good, well made lemon meringue pie... because let's be honest, in England you only find the ones that are not particularly baked with love, but the very "chemical ones" as I like to call them, where the filling tastes like anything but lemon and the meringue...oh well, you can imagine.
I found this recipe and decided to give it a try....I saw my sister (who's a very good cook) making one years ago and it didn't seem too complicated so here I was, collecting all the ingredientes.... exciting!.
The best thing of all was that it came out puuuurrrrfect!!!, my first ever lemon meringue pie was a big success
Here's the picture....the decoration is not brilliant, but the taste! oh dear!. Since then, I have baked loads of pies like this and I have improved the meringue a lot.
I'm still working on the decoration,
I think I need a good set of piping nozzles.
Being now very interested and completely in love with cupcakes.....I decided to make some small (cupcake size) lemon meringue pies:
They were very nice, but I think that the pastry was too thick, I'll have to try again.
Here's the recipe:
* 1 1/2 cup of self raising flour
* 1 tbsp of butter (it can be oil instead)
* 3 eggs
* 1 cup of sugar
* 1 tin of condensed milk
* Zest and juice of 2 lemon
Pastry:Preheat the oven to 180 C
Lightly grease a round pie plate (including the borders).
In a large bowl, mix flour, egg yolks, butter (or oil) and 1/2 cup of sugar until you get a good consistency to knead and give shape with your hands. If it's too dry add a bit of milk.
Roll out the dough and cover the pie plate with it. Bake in the oven for 5 minutes, remove it from the oven, place a circle of baking paper on the pastry shell, covering it all and then put baking beans (these will prevent the patry from rising too much), put back in the over for 10 minutes,
or until it's slightly golden. Take out of the oven.
You can prepare the lemon filling whilst the pastry is baking in the oven.
Lemon filling: Pour the whole tin of condensed milk into a bowl, add little by little the lemon juice while you stir gently (I add aprox one tsp at a time, I stir gently, then another tsp and so on). When you've added all the lemon, add the lemon zest. Cover with a lid or cling film and put it in the fridge.
Meringue: Beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until you have a thick and creamy consistency, add the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar little by little while still mixing.
Take the lemon filling out of the fridge, put it all in the pastry shell and even with a spoon. Then, cover the pie with the meringue with a spatula. You can give a final decorating touch passing a fork on top or, you can use a piping bag instead. After you've done the decoration, take the pie back to the oven (180 C) for 15 minutes, untill you see the meringue gets slightly golden.
I hope you enjoy it!!
Thursday, May 28, 2009
My grandma used to prepare wonderful cakes and all sorts of sweet things to celebrate birthdays in the family, she was a fab cook, very creative. I think I got this love for baking (among other things) from her.
I haven't done too much so far but I'm eager to learn all about it!.
Since my grandma Juanita passed away in July 2007, I have found myself in the kitchen more often, maybe to feel closer to her as I miss her terribly!.
All the wonderful sweet smells that take me straight back to my childhood are the ones of cakes, cookies, sweet bread and so on. I love the cosy and family- loving feeling I get from it, which I want to pass on to my little son Bjorn (whom is already showing signs of a very sweet tooth!).
I want to make of my home, a real "home sweet home" to be enjoyed and always remembered by family and friends.
I'm collecting recipes from everywhere, books, magazines, internet, family and friends, so if you have a special recipe please send it to me and I'll give it a try.
I love recipes from other cultures as well, there is so much to taste!!.
*In this picture: my grandma Juanita at 16 years old.