Hey there kids! This is just a quick post to let you all know that i’m still alive. And eating gelato burgers.
Yes, you heard that right.
Hubs and I heard about Cremeria De Luca in Five Dock through Broadsheet and seriously, going there was a no brainer. Gelato and burgers are basically two of the best things ever. This place is super cute and friendly and with a limited menu, its easy to choose what you want. It was refreshing to see that the variety of flavours was in single digits with some pleasant surprises amongst old favourites. I can safely say that this summer will be devoted to attempting to re-create the delicious cinnamon flavoured gelato that I had on my burger! How is it that cinnamon gelato has not yet become a thing???
So, my lovelies, I believe this year has been the year of the cookie for me. Most of my baking recently has been cookies. And really, can you blame me? These tiny, tasty treats are perfect for snacking, afternoon tea, a sneaky midnight munch or, lets face it, a meal themselves. Don’t judge. Im sure you’re guilty of having cookies for lunch. Or breakfast. Or dinner. Or all three…
munch munch munch!
But before I get into the fragrant delight that these Coconut and Strawberry Cookies are, I want to share with you an exciting development in the world of my blog. I was recently featured on the SBS Food website! Yay! I was contacted a little while ago by a lovely lady from SBS who sent me some questions tailored to my blog for me to answer. A took a lovely snap of me at a recent wedding to pop on the page and hey presto! You have what you see below
So i’ve been full of excitement! And cookies. I thought that this Christmas I would make my co workers cookies as presents. Lucky them! Actually, lucky me. These cookies are delicious and make the house smell ah-mazing. I’m thinking that this blog is going to see a whole lot of coconut during the new year. Im also thinking that a whole lot of cookie dough is going to be consumed right through 2013.
yum yum yum!
Its a soft and fragrant dough that needs to be refrigerated before its rolled out. If you can keep it out of your belly long enough to get it into the fridge that is…
then you cut out your little round with a sweet petite heart in the centre.
Or close enough to the centre.
Yes, maths and symmetry is not my strong point.
Dust the baked babies with icing sugar
and fill with sweet, sweet strawberry jam
then pop these into a jar and gift to someone you really love!
And I mean REALLY
because you are not going to want to part with these for anyone less.
So, my lovelies, what do you think of my little interview?
Coconut and Strawberry Cookies – From Donna Hay Magazine Dec/Jan 2012
1/2 cup (110g) caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
1 1/2 cups (225g) plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup (40g) desiccated coconut
icing sugar for dusting
1/2 cup strawberry jam
1. Beat the butter and caster sugar in an electric mixer until pale and creamy
2. Add the egg and vanilla and mix until combined
3. Add the flour, baking powder and coconut and mix until combined
4. Turn the dough out onto a strip of cling film, wrap up and pop into the fridge for 30 mins or until firm
5. Cut the dough in half and roll both parts between two strips of baking paper until 5 mm thick
6. Using a 5cm round cookie cutter cut 12 rounds from each sheet of dough
7. using a small heart shaped cookie cutter, cut out the centre of 12 of the rounds and remove
8. Bake for 8-10 mins until golden
9. Allow to cool
10. spread a little strawberry jam on the whole rounds
11. Dust the cut rounds with icing sugar, then place on top of the whole rounds that have been spread with jam
Yes I love Christmas, yes Santa is awesome, but I wonder if there isn’t someone else who we should be talking about who doesn’t often get a lot of thanks. After all, you must know the adage that behind every great man is a greater woman. Yes, Mrs Claus, i’m looking at you.
This months theme was sweets for santa, and, while I do remember putting out cookies for santa and carrots for the reindeer, I thought that this year I might shift the focus and have a think about what Mrs Claus would enjoy at this time of year. So I made some Brown Sugar Spiced Cookies for an afternoon tea with Mrs Claus.
I think that after she has spent all year co ordinating elves and making sure that santa doesn’t gain so much weight that the reindeers won’t be able to carry him, Mrs C would like to put her feet up, enjoy a sweet brew of T2 Creme Brûlée tea and a little cinnamon sugar dusted cookie. Or two. Or three. She is a Claus after all! I also thought that she would enjoy some more feminine colours like pink and cream, and that we should put in a little ballet dancing reindeer this year. Just because.
I think Mrs C would also like my other christmas decorations
particularly this garland made by the ever-resourceful Mrs S
from plants in hew own garden!
and what do you think of my little tree?
I thought that these little cookies would be the perfect treat to eat with the tree sparkling, lights twinkling around and some good company at the table. Easy to make and deliciously scented, they will not take long and don’t require a great big list of ingredients (spices aside of course). All you have to do is mix everything together like so…
then bake and dip in cinnamon icing sugar
don’t think you can resist these babies.
So what is your favourite christmas spice my dears? I bet its represented in this recipe!
This post has been part of the
Brown Sugar Spiced Cookies: Adapted from a recipe in the Donna Hay Magazine Dec/Jan 2012
1 cup icing sugar
3 tsp ground cinnamon
2 1/4 cups plain flour
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/2 ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp bicarb soda
1 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup golden syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract (I use vanilla bean paste. Love the stuff!)
1. place butter, brown sugar and golden syrup in a bowl and mix until light and fluffy
2. add the egg and vanilla and beat until incorporated
3. add the spices (only 1 tsp cinnamon) and flour and mix until it all comes together
4. roll tablespoons of the dough into balls and place on a baking tray. Don’t worry, they shouldn’t spread too much.
5. Place in an oven at 180 degrees celsius for 8-10 mins
6. Cool on a wire rack
7. While the cookies are cooling, mix together the remaining cinnamon and icing sugar
8. When the cookies are cool, dip each cookie in the cinnamon sugar mixture until completely coated
Do you like cinnamon donuts? Hang on, I don’t even know why i’m asking that, EVERYONE likes cinnamon donuts. While hot cinnamon donuts fresh from the fryer are a delicious treat, sometimes I just can’t be bothered making a big batch that just won’t taste the same the following day. These macarons however, improve with age! I’m not saying that macarons are less fiddly than fried donuts but yield will stay fresh for longer.
So why am I talking about donuts when these macarons are ‘snickerdoodle’ macarons? If you’ve never had a snickerdoodle before then you have my condolences. These biscuits are delicious, buttery, cinnamon-y and just plain good. They taste like cinnamon donuts converted into cookie form. So when I popped some cinnamon sugar on the top of my macarons and sandwiched some cinnamon buttercream between them, I found that they were similarly delicious. Mystery solved!
I used the Zumbo recipe posted previously to make the macaroni shells, but sprinkled some cinnamon sugar on top of half of them before baking. This gave a little more crunch and made them a little more reminiscent of the cookie after which they were named.
Aren’t they cute? All popped and crispy?
After baking the shells and letting them sit for a while, I hopped to it and whipped up some cinnamon buttercream. I seriously have no idea what i’m going to do when I move out later in the year and have to leave behind my mum’s kitchenaid mixer. And my mum…
nom nom cinnamon buttercream!
snickerdoodle macaron assemblage!
and of course I had to taste test.
Sooooo, my lovelies, what is your favourite macaron flavour?
1. Combine almond meal and icing sugar in a large bowl. Sieve the mixture thoroughly at least twice.
2. Put the egg whites into the bowl of an electric mixer with the whisk attachment
3. Put the caster sugar and water into a small saucepan and place over a low heat. Stir until the sugar has dissolved
4. Once the sugar has dissolved, increase the heat until the mixture is boiling and reaches 118 degrees celsius
5. When the sugar syrup is close to the required temperature, place the powdered egg whites into the mixer bowl with the real egg whites and mix until frothy
6. When the sugar syrup is at the required temperature, pour the sugar syrup in a slow and steady stream down the inside of the mixer bowl while the machine is still mixing. Turn the speed up to high and mix for about 8 minutes (or until the mix has gone from very hot to just warm)
7. Stir the extra egg whites into the sieved almond and icing sugar mix
8. Add the meringue mixture to the almond mixture and fold through. Once it is all combined, continue to fold until the mixture has loosened and is more ‘lava like’. You don’t need to be gentle here like you would with a normal meringue, the aim is to soften the mixture rather than to keep all the air in it
9. Pipe 4cm circles of mixture onto a baking tray making sure that there is enough space between each macaron as they will spread slightly. Mix the extra caster sugar and cinnamon together and sprinkle a little on top of half of the macarons.
10. Leave the trays for 30 mins to form a skin on the top. This will be how your macarons gain their ‘feet’ as the skin makes sure that they rise evenly and pop those little feet out the bottom (after 10 mins of resting, turn your oven on to 135 degrees celsius)
11. Place trays in the oven for 16 minutes or until they have a firm outer shell. Remove from the oven and set aside for 2 minutes. Carefully remove one macaron shell from the tray to check if the base is cool and dry. If it is still sticky on the bottom, put the tray back in the oven for another couple of minutes. When they are done, cool them on the trays.
Cinnamon Buttercream Recipe
100g unsalted butter (softened)
200g icing sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1. Place butter in the bowl of an electric mixer and whip for a few minutes until pale and creamy
2. Add the icing sugar, vanilla and cinnamon and whip for 5-8 minutes until the mixture is light and soft
3. Transfer mixture into a piping bag and pipe a circle onto the bottom of one macaron shell. Place another shell on top (bottom side in contact with the buttercream) press down gently and twist to secure