Archive for the ‘Recipes – Cookies’ Category

Owl shapes are terribly cute! We got our hands on a owl shaped cookie cutter and cut into a tray of freshly baked crunchies. These owl shaped crunchies were decorated with melted chocolate; White Heart Confetti noses; black and white Ready to Roll Fondant eyes; and the wings were detailed using Chocolate Writing Icing.

Ingredients:

2 cups Oats, rolled or steel-cut 1 cup Coconut, desiccated 2 Tbs. Sesame Seeds 1 cup Self Raising Flour 3/4 cup Treacle Sugar 50ml Golden Syrup/ Honey 200g Butter Pinch of Salt

For dipping –

150g Chocolate

Melt the butter together with the syrup. Mix together the dry ingredients. Add the butter mixture to the dry ingredients, and mix until the mixture is combined well and sticking together. Press the mixture into a tray to bake. Bake at 180°C for 30-40 minutes.

Allow to cool slightly before cutting into owl shapes. Allow to cool completely and before removing the cut shapes.

Dip the heads of the owls into melted chocolate (melt in the microwave or over a double boiler). Cut out white fondant eyes and add black fondant pupils. Stick the eyes and nose onto the owls using a little of the melted chocolate.

Birthday parties can be stressful enough, without having to worry about baking cakes, cupcakes and organising creative birthday treats. We took a few store-bought classics and updated them to ‘birthday status’ – just add a few sprinkles and they are birthday-ready!

We used an assortment of Nicoletta Sprinkles – Cake Confetti, Cake Crystals, Nonpareils and Sprinkle Crunch to embellish and add texture to our birthday bites.

Mini Sandwich Cookies: You will need a few packets of mini cookies (we used Cinnamon + Ginger cookies), buttercream icing and sprinkles. Pipe or spread the buttercream on one cookie and sandwich it with another; roll in sprinkles to coat the visible icing layer between.

Doughnut Holes: You will need mini doughnuts, icing sugar, boiling water and sprinkles. Make glace icing by mixing icing sugar with few teaspoons of boiling water; pour over the doughnuts and sprinkle with decorations.

Party Marshmallows: You will need 1 x packet marshmallows, 1 x chocolate slab and sprinkles. Melt the chocolate; wait until it is not too runny, and then dip the marshmallows into the melted chocolate. Before the chocolate hardens dip the coated end of the marshmallow in to assorted bowls of sprinkles. Insert mini candles into the marshmallows before the chocolate coating dries completely. Even on “non-birthdays” these are great to keep kids busy. Colour your white chocolate with a splash of food colour for extra fun!

“Et Voila” instant party bites.

 

Using a very cool set of cookie cutters in different sizes, we cut out cookies in a bunny shape (we used our ‘tried and tested’ vanilla butter biscuit recipe).

Ready to Roll Fondant was used as icing, and we rolled and cut out pink, green and yellow shaped bunnies. The top layer of icing was made lighter using pink/green/yellow fondant and adding white fondant.

In order to become a better baker, it is generally accepted that developing your own recipes will not only teach you the art of balance in baking, but this is where you can show some bravery, and feel a sense of accomplishment when you achieve your envisioned creation. If you want to learn to become better bakers, use your imagination, be creative, and surprise yourself!

Baking is a science (almost an exact art), making additions / substitutions all ‘willy-nilly’ will probably get you into trouble. Don’t try and alter a recipe if you haven’t tried it before. In science, whenever an experiment is completed, there is always a control group (called “group-nothing-has-been-changed”) so that scientists can measure their changes / deviation from the norm. It’s the same for us bakers – we need to see all the factors that would be normal, before we alter the recipe (i.e. how long a recipe will take to bake, what is the texture / colour/ flavour).

Take a trusty recipe and alter it in a way that makes something completely new. Don’t be intimated, if it doesn’t work out, you’ll only create a wonderful flop.

We used our basic Vanilla Butter Biscuit recipe and started to make additions. The basic recipe contains vanilla flavour, which actually enhances other flavours, so don’t be afraid to make your addition and add the vanilla. We made 5 varieties – Double Chocolate Chip Cookies; Cranberry & White Chocolate Cookies; Peanut Butter Cookies; Apple & Cinnamon Cookies; and Zesty Lemon Cookies.

DOUBLE CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

Make a batch of the “Vanilla Butter Biscuits” substituting 50g flour with 50g cocoa Once all the flour has been added to the mixture, add 100g white chocolate chips and 100g milk chocolate chips, mix well Chill the mixture for at least 45 minutes Remove the dough from the fridge and roll out on a floured surface. Using a cookie cutter, cut the dough into the desired shapes and bake on a non-stick baking sheet for 15 minutes. The chocolate cookies tend to spread a bit so make sure you spread them out on the baking sheet. Remove from the oven and leave to cool on a wire rack.

CRANBERRY & WHITE CHOCOLATE COOKIES

Make a batch of the “Vanilla Butter Biscuits” as per the recipe Once all the flour has been added to the mixture, add 150g dried cranberries and 100g white chocolate chips and mix well Continue with the original recipe’s method.

PEANUT BUTTER COOKIES

Make a batch of the “Vanilla Butter Biscuits” as per the recipe Once half the flour has been added, add ½ cup peanut butter and mix well. (We used chunky peanut butter to give the biscuit extra crunch). Add the remaining flour and mix well. Chill the mixture for at least 45 minutes. The peanut butter will make the dough softer than usual. Remove the dough from the fridge and roll into small balls. Flatten the balls with your hand, place on the baking sheet and bake as usual.

APPLE & CINNAMON COOKIES

Chop 150g dried apple into small chunks. In a bowl mix together 3 tbsp castor sugar and 1 tbsp cinnamon. Toss the apple in the sugar/cinnamon mixture. Make a batch of the “Vanilla Butter Biscuits” as per the recipe Once all the flour has been added to the mixture, add 2 tsp cinnamon and the apple chunks. Mix well. Continue with the original recipe’s method.

ZESTY LEMON COOKIES

Make a batch of the “Vanilla Butter Biscuits” as per the recipe Once half the flour has been added, add the zest of two lemons and ¼ cup of lemon juice. Mix well. Continue with the original recipe’s method. Whilst the cookies are baking, roll out Nicoletta yellow fondant so that it is very thin. With a knife cut out lemon shapes and press onto the cooled cookies.

Go on… test your limits, and your baking skills. Try any number of concoctions such as: Ground Cinnamon + Crystalized Ginger; Almonds + Almond Flavouring; Raisins/Sultanas + Oats; Hazelnut + Dark Chocolate pieces; Instant Coffee granules + Chocolate pieces; Walnut + Dried Pear; Cherries; Toasted Coconut; Dried Mango + Pecan Nuts; Fresh Orange zest + Candied Citrus peel; Custard powder + Dried Peach.

Don’t forget to enter your cookie creations into our March 2014 Bake Off competition on Nicoletta Bake Club.

This butter biscuit recipe forms a great dough to use as a base for any extra additions/ flavour combinations. It’s also yummy on it’s own.

Ingredients:

250g Butter, softened 140g Castor sugar 1 Egg yolk 2 tsp. Vanilla extract 350g Cake flour

Mix the softened butter and castor sugar together using an electric mixer. Add the egg yolk and vanilla extract. Beat until all the ingredients are combined.

If you are using a free standing mixer, you need to swop the beater for the dough hook before adding the flour. Add the flour to the mixture, one table spoon at a time. Mix well between additions until you have used all the flour and have a soft dough consistency. Place the dough in a plastic bag or wrap in cling film and chill for 20 minutes to an hour.

Remove the dough from the fridge and roll out on a floured surface. Using a cookie cutter, cut the dough into the desired shapes and bake on a non-stick baking sheet for 15 minutes at 180°C or until golden brown in colour. Remove from the oven and leave to cool on a wire rack.

NOTES

This basic dough can be adapted to suit your taste. Have fun experimenting with different shapes and flavours.  The Nicoletta March newsletter is packed with different flavour combinations. This dough is freezable (defrost before cooking). This dough can also be easily doubled in quantity.

Gingerbread houses are gorgeous, festive, and are made to be admired! For those who do not love gingerbread (i.e. children) we used our sugar cookie recipe to bake mini “Soetkoekie” houses. Soetcookies hold their shape well when baking, this lends itself to shaping the dough with cookie cutters or a knife. We created this little house by cutting dough to fit the following template.

Ingredients:

300g Butter 1 cup Sugar 1 Egg 1 tsp. Vanilla 2.5 cups Cake flour 1/2 tsp. Baking powder 1/2 tsp. Salt

Whip the butter and sugar until light and creamy. Add the egg slowly with the vanilla and stir. Sift the remaining ingredients and beat into the mixture till the dough combines and forms a ball around the whisk/dough hook. Place the dough in cling film and store in the fridge for 1 hour, or until firm.

Cut a slice of cold dough, place the template over the dough and cut along the template to create the walls x 2, roof x 2 and front/back x 2. Place on a lined/ non-stick baking tray and bake at 180°C for 8-12 minutes or until the edges are golden. Allow to cool on the baking pan.

We used royal icing powder mixed with water to create an icing which dries hard in minutes/ you could create your own by whipping egg whites and icing sugar. We decorated our houses using Nicoletta Christmas Tree ConfettiHeart ConfettiSnowflake Wafers, Pearl Drops, and Nicoletta Soft Pearl balls in cream, green and red. We created an edible glue using CMC and water to stick our decorations to the houses.

Whether you are a lover of ginger or not, you have to admit that gingerbread men are just adorable, not to mention a quintessential favourite of Father Christmas and his reindeer. Gingerbread cookies store well, and can be made in advance for Christmas. We made mini men (perhaps called “Gingerbread Boys”), to nibble on with our tea. We decorated them by dusting them with Nicoletta gold shimmer. We also added soft pearl balls for those fabled buttons.

Ingredients:

½ cup softened butter ½ cup brown sugar ½ cup molasses (treacle) 2 ½ cups cake flour 1 tsp. bicarbonate of soda 3 tsp. ground ginger (add grated fresh ginger if you love the “ginger-heat”) 2 tsp. ground mixed spice 1 tsp. ground cinnamon Pinch of ground cloves ¼ cup strong cold tea 1 tsp. vanilla essence

Cream together the butter and sugar until light and creamy. Add the molasses to the butter mixture and beat well. Add the dry ingredients, alternating with the tea and mix well. Add the vanilla and mix to form a dough. Wrap the dough in cling film and chill for 24 hours to allow the dough to rest and stiffen for rolling. Roll the dough to the desired thickness and cut into gingerbread men. Arrange the shapes on greased cookie sheet or a Nicoletta non-stick baking sheet and bake at 180°C for 8 – 10 minutes.

The ginger and spices in this recipe give the cookies a warm and spicy yet mildly sweet taste and aroma. Store in tins, and dust with Nicoletta gold shimmer to decorate. Use Nicoletta soft cream pearls as buttons by sticking them to the “The Boys” using Nicoletta silver writing icing.

For those of us who have forgotten the fairy-tale: Run, run, as fast as you can, you can’t catch me, I’m the Gingerbread Man..

 

These beauties were made using an “old family” condensed milk cookie recipe – delish. Although they do come with a warning… you will want to eat them all.

Cuddle up on the couch with these babies, it’s going to be a long winter….. The recipe makes 30 fist size BUTTERY cookies comfortably.

Condensed Milk Cookies

500g butter

1 tin condensed milk

375g sugar/ castor sugar

750g cake flour

4 tsp. baking powder

1 Tbs. vanilla extract

pinch of salt

Beat the butter and sugar till creamy. Add condensed milk and beat well. Add the sifted cake flour, salt, baking powder and flavouring. Roll batter into balls, place on lined baking tray. Press balls down and stamp with your cookie stamp. Bake at 170C for 8 minutes, or until golden.

We can’t do without one of these in our kitchen. With 3 varieties to tickle your taste buds – I LOVE YOU, EAT ME and HOME MADE. What a sweet idea when covering cupcakes / cookies with fondant!! or stamping your embossed message onto cookies.