Monday, July 25, 2011

Little apple pies

Thought I'd try out this recipe after watching someone bake an apple pie on TV recently. I can't really be bothered to make an entire large pie, so these mini ones using puff pastry are probably easy enough.

Ingredients: -
2 sheets frozen puff pastry
12 ounces cut up red baking apples (approx. 2 medium sized apples)
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons flour
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 beaten egg

Method: -
Thaw puff pastry according to directions on package. Heat oven to 175C.

Peel, core and chop apples up coarsely. Combine apples with sugar, flour, lemon juice, cinnamon and nutmeg.

Flour surface lightly and cut pastry sheet into nine 3x3 squares.

Place approximately 1/4 cup apple mixture on each square and brush edge with beaten egg. Place second pastry square on the top of the already filled pastry to form a pocket. Press down border with fingers to seal and then press with fork to decorate the edges. Make a 1-inch L shape incision into each pie and fold back the pastry flap.

Place on ungreased cookie sheet and give each one an egg wash. Bake for approximately 20 minutes or until golden.

Result: Not bad at all! The filling tastes quite good although I wish I knew how to fit more in them before baking.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Blueberry intense chocolate cookies

Tried out last week's cookie recipe with a bar of Lindt Blueberry Intense. Wow, I didn't realise that the berry flavours in that bar are so powerful! The cookies now have a lovely fruity taste :) Quite different but still great for my cookie fix this week. I might try using all the different flavoured bars over time!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Itsy Bitsy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Cannot remember how I came across this recipe but I am glad I did. They are yummy!

Ingredients: -
5 ounces (approx 140g) good-quality semi-sweet chocolate bar
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour (but you can substitute unbleached all-purpose flour)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup walnuts, very, very finely chopped (by hand)
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
scant 1 cup natural cane sugar (or brown sugar)
scant 1 tablespoon organic unsulphured molasses (blackstrap)
1 large egg
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup large-grain sugar (for ex: turbinado)

Method: -
Preheat your oven to 350F (175C) degrees. Line a couple baking sheets with parchment paper.

Finely chop the chocolate bar into 1/8-inch pieces, more like shavings really. Try to avoid big lumps and chunks, which make flattening out the cookie dough later more difficult.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, oats, walnuts, and shaved chocolate. Set aside.

Using a mixer (or by hand) beat the butter until fluffy. Beat in the sugar and mix until it is also light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl once or twice. Beat in the molasses, then the egg, mixing until both are well incorporated, scrape down the sides of the bowl once or twice. Beat in the vanilla. Add the flour mix and stir by hand until the ingredients barely come together into a uniform dough.

Scoop out the dough in exact, level teaspoons, then tear those pieces of dough in two before rolling each 1/2 teaspoon of dough into a ball shape. Place two inches apart on the baking sheets. Gently flatten each dough ball into a thin, round patty with two fingers and then sprinkle the top of each cookie with a pinch of large-grain sugar. Bake for 7 minutes or until cookies are golden and fragrant. Remove from oven, and cool on a wire rack.

Makes about 12 dozen tiny, bite-sized cookies.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Strawberry and white chocolate muffins with pepitas

Seem to have a baking bug going these days. Spotted this recipe online and since I have strawberries in the fridge, I decided to try it for breakfast.

Ingredients: -
2 cups self-raising flour
½ cup castor sugar
1 cup milk
⅓ cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
½ cup chopped strawberries
50g white chocolate buttons
3 tbsp pepitas

Method: -
Pre-heat oven to 200C. Combine flour and sugar in a large bowl. Combine milk, oil and eggs in a separate bowl, whisk lightly then stir in strawberries and chocolate buttons. Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture, pour in the milk mixture and mix lightly. Spoon batter into six greased muffin tins (½-cup capacity) until three-quarters full. Sprinkle pepitas over muffins and bake for 25-35 minutes or until golden and cooked. Turn onto a wire rack to cool.

I had leftover easter chocolate so I used that instead. The muffins are really moist and not greasy which is really good. The toasted seeds on the top also become crunchy. My muffin tins were smaller and I got 16 muffins.

Friday, July 01, 2011

Earl grey tea cake

Spotted this recipe with my favourite tea in it so of course I had to try it out.

Ingredients: -
Melted butter, for greasing
2 Earl Grey tea bags
60ml (1/4 cup) boiling water
80ml (1/3 cup) milk
100g butter, at room temperature
2 eggs
160g (2/3 cup) caster sugar
190g (1 1/4 cups) self-raising flour

Marmalade icing
230g (1 1/2 cups) pure icing sugar
1 1/2 tbs breakfast marmalade
1 1/2 tbs fresh orange juice, approximately

Method: -
Preheat oven to 180°C. Brush 12 medium (80ml/1/3 cup) muffin pans with the melted butter to lightly grease.

Empty the tea leaves from the tea bags into a cup and add the boiling water. Set aside for 3 minutes. Stir in the milk and then transfer to a large bowl.

Mix butter and sugar until pale and creamy, then add eggs, the tea mixture and flour. Beat until the mixture is pale and creamy (the mixture may look slightly curdled).

Spoon the mixture evenly into the greased pans. Bake in preheated oven for 20-22 minutes or until golden and a skewer inserted in the cakes comes out clean. Remove from the oven and set aside for 2-3 minutes before turning onto a wire rack to cool.

Meanwhile, to make the marmalade icing, combine the icing sugar and marmalade in a small bowl. Add enough juice to make a very thick paste.

Use a teaspoon dipped in hot water to spread the icing over the tops of the cooled cakes. Set aside for 15-20 minutes to allow the icing to set.

Keep in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Variation: Use a round 20cm cake pan, the base and side lined with non-stick baking paper. Bake in an oven preheated to 180C for 40-45 mins or until golden brown and a skewer inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean. Set aside for 5 minutes before turning onto a wire rack to cool. Ice as above.

I made mine in a loaf pan and I don't usually bother with icing and it tastes great! ;)