Lemon Glaze Cookies

The perfect bite sized lemony goodness your week needs!

 

2 ¼ cups plain flour

½ teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

¾ cup sugar

2 tablespoons lemon zest

1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Glaze

1 cup icing sugar

5 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

 

Preheat the oven to 180’C. Line 2 baking sheets with baking paper and set aside. Whisk flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl, set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter, sugar and lemon zest until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla extract, mix until smooth. On low speed add the flour mixture and blend until just incorporated. Drop tablespoon sized balls onto the baking sheet about 5cm apart, gently flatten with your hand. Bake for 10-14 minutes or until biscuits are just set and slightly golden. Cool on baking sheet for 2 minutes then transfer to wire racks to completely cool. Once they are cool make the glaze. In a medium bowl whisk together the icing sugar and lemon juice . Dip each cookie top into the glaze. Let cookies set until icing has set. Store in an airtight container for up to 4 days. Makes approx 30 cookies.

 

From the blog Handle the Heat, this girl has amazing recipes, one day I’ll get around to trying more of them! I have my heart set on a raspberry lemonade slice she has on there, keep your eyes peeled once it gets a bit warmer. I made these biscuits at the start of August but never got around to writing about them. I took some to Sydney for Daniel’s family and we took some on our short holiday to the south coast. Their amazing lemony flavour is just so refreshing and tangy it’s hard to stop at just one. The biscuit is amazingly soft and just melts in your mouth and the icing rounds it out so perfectly.

 

I had no issues with these biscuits, just don’t make them last thing at night because you really do need to let the icing set before packing them away, I had to put pieces of greaseproof paper between them to stack them because as usual I was baking at 10.30 at night. It doesn’t harm the cookies, just results in a flattened cracked look on the icing, not as pretty as they should be.

 

I loved these, Daniel loved these and his family did too so I am sure that your family will love these just as much as all of us. Give them a try next time you have some lemons that need using up, you’ll be glad you did.

 

Love Sonia

 

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Coca-Cola Cupcakes

I know it sounds weird but they are amazing. From my favourite book, Nigella’s How to be a domestic goddess, these cupcakes can be made into a whole cake instead and either way it is an incredible chocolate cake unlike anything you have ever tasted before!

1 1/3 cups plain flour

3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar

½ teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon salt

1 large egg

½ cup buttermilk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

½ cup unsalted butter

2 tablespoons cocoa powder 1/3 cup coca-cola or coke zero

Icing

1 ½ cups icing sugar, sifted

2 tablespoons butter

3 tablespoons coca-cola

1 tablespoon cocoa powder

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

 

Preheat oven to 180’C and put a baking sheet into the oven. Place 12 cupcake lines into a 12 hole cupcake tin. Have some spare in case you need more. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. Beat the egg, buttermilk and vanilla in a measuring jug. In a heavy bottomed saucepan, melt the butter, cocoa and coca-cola, heating gently. Pour into the dry ingredients, stir well, then add the liquid ingredients, beating until everything is well blended. Pour into the cupcake liner to about 2/3 full. I got 18 from this mix. Place tray on top of the baking sheet and bake for 20-30 minutes depending on your oven, they are cooked when a skewer inserted comes out clean. Immediately make the icing to pour over the cupcakes. Sift the icing sugar  and set aside. In a heavy bottomed saucepan combine butter, cocoa and coca-cola and stir over a low heat until the butter has melted. Remove from the heat and add the vanilla extract. Spoon in the icing sugar beating as you do so, until you’ve got a good spreadable but running icing. Pour over each cupcake while they are still warm. Before the icing sets hard stud the top of each cupcake with a walnut or coke bottle lolly.

I have been afraid of this recipe since I received this book for Christmas last year. Something about adding soft drink to a cake didn’t sit quite right with me. As I am not a straight coke drinker I substituted coke zero for the regular coke and it worked out perfectly. I rack my brains every time a special friend’s birthday comes around trying to come up with the perfect cake for that person. This year for Daniel’s best friend Jono I was really struggling. I had planned on baking apple pie spring rolls but they required immediate eating so were a no go. After half a day of magazine flicking, flagging, digging and corner folding I resorted to Nigella giving me the cake I was after. This cake, although listed in the children’s section is very much a decadent adult worthy cupcake.

The faint hint of coke and the soft dense crumb of this chocolate cake make it impossible to stop at one. This recipe made 18. One was eaten before it was even iced, to test that they were cooked of course! I took 11 to Jono for his birthday, enough for dessert and one each for him and his girlfriend for morning tea the next day and the remaining 6 were ours to eat and share. They were even better the next day and I gave 2 to people at work to try.

There was nothing difficult about this recipe, I had them baked and iced in the time that it took Daniel to go to the car wash and back. Easy enough to take to a morning tea or afternoon tea and make the same day. They are scrumptious enough for dessert or just as a midday treat. I used silver wrappers but brown or red would work equally as well. The coke bottle lollies can be hard to get a hold of in supermarkets but most if not all lolly stores have them and I managed to pick up a packet of about 50 for $2. Big W also have them but in a much larger packet. I wouldn’t recommend trying this recipe with diet coke but if anyone is game enough to try let me know!

I would make these again any day, maybe the whole cake next time!

 

Love Sonia

White Rose Chocolate Cake

So naughty it will have you eating bits of icing that you swear fell off the side of the cake. Adapted from Australian Good Taste Magazine September 2012. This impressive cake is both beautiful to look at and delicious to eat! A fitting farewell to a colleague.

 

200g dark chocolate, melted

Chocolate sponge cake

6 eggs

2 egg yolks

1 cup caster sugar

2 tsp vanilla bean paste

1 cup self raising flour

¼ cup cocoa powder

1 tsp baking powder

White chocolate icing

5 egg whites

1 ¼ cups caster sugar

500g butter, room temperature, chopped

300g Cadbury Dream white chocolate, melted, cooled slightly

 

Preheat oven to 180’. Spray a round 7.5cm-deep, 20cm cake pan with canola oil. Line the base and sides with baking paper. To make the chocolate sponge, use an electric beater to beat eggs, egg yolks and sugar on high speed for 5 minutes  or until thick and pale. Combine flour, cocoa powder and baking powder in a bowl, sift one-third of the flour mixture over the egg mixture. Use a large metal spoon to fold until just combined. Repeat in 2 batches with the remaining flour mixture. Pour into the prepared pan. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched. Set aside in the pan for 10 minutes to cool. Turn out onto a wire rack.

Meanwhile, to make the white chocolate icing, use a wooden spoon to stir the egg whites and sugar in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water for 5 minutes or until the sugar dissolves. Transfer to a large bowl. Use an electric beater to beat on high for 5 minutes or until soft peaks have formed and the meringue mixture has cooled slightly. Add the butter, one piece at a time, beating well after each addition, until the mixture is thick and creamy (it may look curdled). Beat in the chocolate until the icing is glossy. Use a large serrated knife to cut the cake horizontally into 4 layers (I only did 3). Place one cake layer cut side up on a cake stand or serving plate. Spread with icing. On the next piece spread 1/3 to ½ of the melted dark chocolate over the layer and place the chocolate side down on top of the first layer. Continue layering with icing and the chocolate until all layers are used. Spread half the remaining icing over the top and sides of the cake. Chill for 30 minutes or until the icing is firm. Spoon the remaining icing into a piping bag fitted with a 1cm fluted nozzle. To pipe a rose, pipe from the centre outwards in a spiral pattern. Continue piping rosed in 2 rows over the side and top of the cake to cover completely. Place in the fridge for 30 minutes or until the icing is firm.

A massive recipe for a massive cake that required a massive effort. Not the ideal weeknight cake, more of an all Saturday cake but when an impressive cake is required on a weeknight I am never one to shy away. I did have Daniel questioning my intentions as 10pm approached and I still hadn’t iced the outside of the cake. I did however complete it and get a reasonable amount of sleep. When I saw this cake on the cover of good taste I immediately dismissed it, thinking it would be way too difficult but after a little reading into the recipe I deemed it doable.

This cake was a farewell celebration cake for our colleague Bernadette who has just started a new path in her life and has moved out west to Wagga Wagga. Having always been cranky with me for making such sugary and moreish treats to bring to work I figured, what the hell, a cake with 500g of butter in the icing is a perfect send off!

I loved this cake and would recommend you to make it this spring. The issues I had with this cake were, only being able to get 3 layers from the sponge, I had Daniel cut it for me because as anyone who knows me well knows I have very poor hand eye coordination and this extends to cutting in a straight line horizontally through a cake. The 3 layers still looked beautiful and really I’m not sure I would have had enough icing to do another layer. That was the other main issue, running out of icing. I’m not sure where I went wrong but I defiantly didn’t have enough icing to put flowers all over the cake. I did one single row around the side and some on the top. It would be nice to have it magazine perfect but hey, I did the best I could in the time I had. Flowers or no flowers this cake was delicious! I also think it would be amazing with vanilla sponge, but that’s just me, I prefer everything in vanilla!

Sorry about my lack of posts lately, Daniel and I have been on a bit of a health kick, hence the lack of baking, but don’t worry, everything I make will be up here and as the festive season approaches you will be overcome with the recipes I have for you!

 

Love Sonia x