Tag Archives: baking

Because it’s Decembrrr… letterpress gingerbread cookies

5 Dec

A while ago, I had the thought of using
our wooden letterpress blocks to
stamp letters into cookies.

I tried it. It wasn’t a failure.
But it wasn’t a great success either.

Then my husband tracked me down
some letterpress cookie cutters instead.

With Blook Club 3 on Sunday,
I thought it was the perfect excuse
to try them out…

So I made up a lump of gingerbread dough
based on an adaptation of this recipe
(Lump being the technical term of course!)

140g unsalted butter
100g dark muscovado sugar
6 soup-spoons of golden syrup
350g plain flour
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
2 teaspoon ground ginger
2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoon powdered ginger

Heated up the sugar, butter and syrup
then mixed in the rest until there was
a lump of gingerbread ready to go!

Then it was just as simple as pressing
the letter you wanted into the dough…
firmly or they lost their shape when rising.

And then cutting them out using the cutters…
Much simpler than my original plan!

And then they went into the oven
for 10 minutes at 200C…

And the finished result…
Not bad for a first attempt!

I did consider icing the letters
but thought that might
look like they’d been iced on…
which would defeat the point!

*****

What will you be baking this Xmas?
I’ll definitely be making more of these
and some of Danae’s amazing brownies
that she brought to Blook Club too.

*****

P.S. I owe the title of this post
to this gorgeous illustration
(found via Wit + Delight‘s pinterest)
… it’s blooming freezing isn’t it!

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Hooray for Halloween…

18 Oct

 I freaking love Halloween.

It is by far my favourite holiday of the year.
Blame an early obsession with Count Duckula and The Trap Door
if you like but some of my favourite childhood memories
involve me and my cousins, dressed as little
vampires, ghosts and witches, going guising,
that’s what ‘trick or treating’ is called in Scotland,
with our Nana or one of my Aunts.

(Oh yes and it’s sort of my birthday too.
Regulars here might remember we renamed it
last year to be Birthoween!)

****

Anyway, in an airport, I recently picked the Halloween magazine
by Martha Stewart. Not my normal plane reading material
but the baking and DIY suggestions were too good to leave behind.

As there’s less than two weeks to Halloween,
I thought I’d share my favourites from the mag
for those of you who fancy trying them too.

I definitely want to make the chocolate
cheesecake with the snake on it.
I bet it’s terrifyingly good!

Loving this… marshmallow skulls using chocolate
sprinkles for eyes. They’re perched on double chocolate
mini madeleines but I’m sure a dot of melted chocolate
and an Oreo cookie would work just as well!

The how-to here is for Boston ‘Scream’ Pie
but I mainly adore that bat mobile. So simple and cute.
Spooky, I mean spooky, not cute of course!

I sort of gasped when I saw these…
not sure my carving skills are up to this
but apparently you use a template for the image,
draw it on to your pumpkin, get carving
then paint the image black.
Um, easy.

Ok, this one is easy… love how simple this is.
Oh yeah and the smell of marker pens isn’t so bad!

Ok, these owls are just darn brilliant.
I love how fecked off they look.
If you know how to make a fan circle,
they’re easy to make too.

And some scared kitty cake toppers too.

I have no idea why there are witches hanging off these toffee apples
but it did remind me how that I’ve never tried making them.
Must do better!

****

How about you all?
Are there are any more Halloween
obsessives out there?

P.S. I even have a spooky board over at Pinterest.
I so want to make the ghost meringues too I’ve pinned.
Might need to learn to make meringues first of course!

My first batch of black bottom cupcakes…

27 Sep

A few weeks ago, the postman brought me something much nicer than the usual bills and junk mail… the Hummingbird Bakery Cook Book.

Up until we began speaking to bakers for our wedding, it hadn’t dawned on me just how many types of cupcakes there are. And then upon opening on this lovely baking book, I discovered even more pretty, spongey, gooey goodness!

The dilemma became… what to bake first!

Red velvets are already a favourite of mine (thanks to their involvement in our engagement). My little sister (up for a visit from London) pointed out the green tea cupcakes. The OH spotted the raspberry cheesecake brownies.

And then we saw Black Bottom Cupcakes. They sounded insane. Double chocolate sponge with a cheesecake centre… and cream cheese frosting!

Were they too much of a challenge for my first bakeathon? Perhaps vanilla was a safer bet. My sis vetoed this. So Black Bottoms it was!

So we got to mixing the ingredients…

And you gotta break a few eggs to bake a cake…

… making the cheesecake part… which at this point seemed so liquidy we were sure we’d done it wrong!

But everything came out of the oven, all baked and smelling amazing… even if they didn’t quite look like they did in the book!

And then while they cooled, we made up the cream cheese frosting… hmmm.

Even though we stuck to the recipe, our batch came out as 10 cupcakes – not sure how we managed that!

We dropped most of the batch at my Dad’s… and the majority of them were swiftly demolished, which we took as a good sign!

So all that was left was to try one with a cup of green tea…

… and god, they were good. They taste just as insane as they sound!

Since baking these, we’ve been gone a little baking crazy and made our first ever loaf of banana bread, some dark chocolate brownies and some spiced apple loaf.

Next on the list… maybe some strawberry cheesecake cupcakes! Yum!

Friday I’m in love… with brownies

5 Jun

The other half seriously makes the best brownies ever – they have just the right amount of crust, chewiness and chocolateliness. I would share his recipe but apparently its a secret!

So here’s a link to Delia’s Four Nut Chocolate Brownies. I hear she can bake.

But as well as having the right recipe, I also think the following baking trays would add to the whole baking experience no end…

1. S-XL Silicon Baking Tin from Pedlars

I love this idea. Small to extra large portions for all sizes of appetite. You so know that one of the small pieces would not be enough!

swatch.984

2. Baker’s Edge brownie pan from Fred Flare

In my humble opinion, the edge is the best of the brownie – and with this genius tray you get lots and lots of edge. I think our (yet to exist) new kitchen needs this tray… my mouth is watering just thinking about how good the other half’s brownies would taste if they were made in this. Yum!

2962_D2962_4884

P.S. Sorry if this inspires a need to go out and get/bake brownies! Think I may have to persuade the other half to get baking this weekend 😉

10 sweet and neat post-10K run treats – part 1

6 May

On Sunday I did my first ever 10K race, in a respectable 1 hour, 1 minute and 35 seconds, but boy was it hard – only Radiohead’s Jigsaw Falling Into Place kept me going (an unlikely running tune I know but it worked!) Anyway in celebration of my small feat (and tired feet) here’s 10 conversation pieces that would make the perfect post-10K treats. (That said, the best treat of all was just sitting in the sun afterwards, on a space blanket, wearing my medal – and eating haribo. Thanks Neil for putting me up for it and putting up with my whole ‘running is boring’ thing!)

1. You Deserve Pie Poster from TealTown Ink

Because I do you know…

2. Scented donut necklace from Pancake Meow

Now, I know this looks I just want a donut but this is actually a hand-painted, scented donut charm. The lovely Pancake Meow does a fab range of scented dessert charms, from cupcakes, crepes and waffles to cinammon rolls and chocolate chip cookies. Looks good enough to eat and smells just as sweet. Not really one for wearing if you’re on a diet but if you’ve done 10K, then you’ve worked off 800+ calories so you can afford to indulge 😉

3. Baker’s Edge brownie pan from Fred Flare

Everyone knows the edge is the best bit of the brownie, so you have to saulte the makers of Baker’s Edge for creating the best brownie tray ever. Pure chocolatey brilliance. May have to start running marathons though if I buy this!

4. Crayola Thermos Flask from Urban Outfitters

Cute and practical (except you can’t draw with it), this oversized Crayola shaped thermos is perfect for picnics, funky lunches and lazying about in parks (much better than running round them). I want one in every colour (that’s almost one for every working week day!)

5. Cue n’ 8 Salt and Pepper set from Eco Centric

After so much sweet stuff, you need something savoury to balance it out. These “used and bruised” (much like myself after Sunday) pool balls have been converted into funky salt and pepper shakers. Created by UK designer Alex Turner, the set contains one cue ball – for salt – and one 8 ball – for pepper. The bases have been ground flat so they don’t roll around but I guess you could still roll them down a table, giving new meaning to passing the salt.