Granny's Kitchen

Learn how to cook- try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, and above all have fun

Festive Gingerbread Cookies December 24, 2015

Biscuits 1Biscuits 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These are great to make yourself or with some help from the children. Lovely as they are, decorated or you can even top cupcakes with small ones. The decorated ones above are what Freya, my 4 year old  Granddaughter did 🙂

Makes approx 60, depending on size.

 

Ingredients

 

5 1/2 cups plain flour

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1 tsp salt

2 tsp ground cinnamon

2 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp ground nutmeg

1 tsp ground cloves

1 cup lard ie: Trex (shortening)

1 cup granulated sugar

1 1/4 cups treacle

2 eggs, beaten

 

Method

 

Preheat oven to 190C/gas 5.

Thoroughly mix flour, baking soda, salt and spices. Melt lard in large saucepan. Cool slightly. Add sugar, treacle and eggs to saucepan and mix well. Add 4 cups dry ingredients and mix well.

Turn mixture onto lightly floured surface. Knead in remaining dry ingredients by hand. Add a little more flour, if necessary, to make firm dough.

On floured surface, roll out 1/8 to 1/4 in. thick for cut-out cookies. Bake on ungreased cookie sheet, small and medium-sized cookies for 6-10 minutes.

Substitute 1 1/4 cups golden syrup for treacle to make lighter, slightly sweeter Gingerbread.

If you want to make these for hanging on the Christmas tree, make a hole near the top with a skewer before baking, to thread ribbon through and bake them for 10 – 15 minutes.

Have fun!

 

 

 

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Festive Rainbow Cookie Bites December 19, 2015

Festive Christmas Cookie Bites

Three layers of almond sponge cake are put together with sticky apricot jam and topped with chocolate to make these rainbow cookie bites.

 

Ingredients

 

8 oz marzipan
1 cup granulated sugar
10 oz unsalted butter, softened, cut into pieces
4 large eggs, separated
½ teaspoon salt
2 cups plain flour, sifted
1 teaspoon red food coloring
1 teaspoon green food coloring
1 jar smooth apricot or raspberry jam
8 oz pound semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped small
1 teaspoon butter
Method
You’ll need three 9 x 12 inch rimmed baking tins.
Preheat oven to 175C/gas 4. Line the baking tins with parchment paper.
Combine the marzipan and 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until the mixture is in fine crumbles. Beat in the butter, a few pieces at a time, until well combined. Beat in the egg yolks, one at a time, until smooth.
Add the flour and salt to the mixing bowl and beat until just combined.

In a clean bowl, whisk the egg whites until foamy. While whisking slowly add the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and whisk until firm peaks form.
Fold about one-third of the egg white mixture into the batter with a rubber spatula, then gently fold in the rest. The batter should be fluffy.
Divide the batter evenly among 3 bowls. Stir enough red food colouring into 1 bowl to make a deep salmon colour. Stir enough green food colouring into another bowl to make a medium green colour. Leave the third bowl uncolored.
Transfer the batter to the prepared pans, smoothing out the tops.
Bake for 8 – 10 minutes, until the cake is just begining to come from the edge of the pan. Cool completely on wire rack. These are very thin cakes so do not try to remove the parchment paper until the cake is cold or it will break!
Spread half of the jam over the red cake and place the green cake on top. Spread the rest of the jam on the green cake and place the uncoloured cake on top.
Wrap the cake in clingfilm, put a 9 x 12 inch rimmed baking tin over this then put several tins of baked beans or whatever you have on the baking tin. This will help hold it all together. Leave like this overnight.
Remove the cans and the clingfilm.
Melt the chocolate and  butter in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Let cool for 5 minutes then pour on the cake, using a spatula to spread it to cover the cake.

 

 

Holly Decorated Christmas Cake November 28, 2012

I made this simple yet effective cake for a friend.

This was made in a 6”/16cm cake tin.

Ingredients

6 oz of softened butter

6 oz brown sugar

3 eggs

½ lb of plain flour (use white flour for a traditional result and wholemeal for a darker cake)

¾ tsp bicarbonate of soda

¼ tsp of salt (this really helps bring out the flavours so don’t leave it out)

1 ¼ tsp ground mixed spice (or a mix of ground ginger, ground cinnamon and ground cloves)

1 ¼ lb mixed dried fruit, soaked overnight in the liquid of choice. For this I used tea as my friend didn’t want alcohol in it.

6 Tbsp apricot jam

1lb approx 500g marzipan

1lb approx 500g white ready to roll fondant

green food colouring

7-inch cake tin lined with greaseproof paper, place the tin on the paper and draw around it to get the right size for the lining on the inside.

Method

Put the dried fruit in a bowl and pour on your liquid for soaking  – no need to measure just keep on adding until the liquid gets to the top of the fruit. Cover tightly with a clean tea towel and leave overnight.

Then when you’re ready to finish the cake, first line your cake tin with greaseproof paper and turn your oven on to Gas Mark 1 (140C or 275F).

Then get another large bowl and add your softened butter and sugar. Give it a quick mix with a wooden spoon, there’s no need to go the whole hog and bash it until it’s properly creamed.

Then crack in your eggs and add the rest of the dried ingredients.

Strain the dried fruit from any remaining liquid and add this into the large bowl.

Give it all a stir until the dried fruit is evenly covered.

You want quite a stiff cake mix at this point, the wooden spoon should stand up unaided in the mix. If the mix is so stiff that you’re finding it hard to get the spoon in and stir then add a swish of saved liquid. But if the cake mix is too sloppy then add a tablespoon or so of flour and stir.

Then heave it all into the lined cake tin and put it in the oven for 3 hours.

You’ll know when the cake is done because the now solidified cake mix will have detached itself from the edge of the tin and shrunk inwards a bit. Also your kitchen will be smelling wonderful.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin, for at least 45 minutes – 1 hour, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

To decorate, melt 3 Tbsp of jam in the microwave and brush all over the cake. Roll out the marzipan to fit over and around the cake, I rolled mine into a 12”/31cm circle, and place onto the cake, smoothing down with your hand.

You now need to leave it to dry, for about least 2 days.

Again, melt 3 Tbsp of the jam. Roll out the fondant, as you did the marzipan. Place the fondant onto the marzipaned cake.

Colour the left over fondant green, and using holly cutters, cut out some holly leaves. Attach them with a brush just slightly dampened with water then add the berries.

 

 
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