Lemon Poppy Seed Cookies

Delicious lemony cookies with savoury poppy seeds and an ultra tangy lemon curd filling. The perfect celebration prize for scrumptiousanddelicious reaching 5000 views. Congratulations to Rebecca Carpenter for winning a dozen of these yummy cookies.

 

Lemon Curd

6 tbs fresh lemon juice (2-3 lemons)

2 tbs butter

1 tbs finely grated lemon zest

2/3 cup sugar

2 tbs corn flour

1 egg

1 egg yolk

1 tsp vanilla extract

Pinch salt

 

Cookies

1 cup butter (225g), softened

1 cup icing sugar

2 tsp vanilla extract

2 ¼ cups plain flour

1 tbs poppy seeds

 

For the curd, heat the lemon juice, butter and zest in a saucepan over medium heat until the butter is melted. Remove from heat and set aside. Whisk the sugar, cornflour and salt together in a bowl, add the egg and yolk, whisk until smooth. Gradually add the warm butter lemon mixture, being sure to whisk consistently. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan. Cook over a medium heat for about 5 minutes or until the lemon curd is thick and bubbling. Stir often to prevent scorching. Tranfer the curd to a bowl and press a piece of glad wrap on the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until cold.

 

For the cookies, cream the butter, sugar and vanilla. Add the flour and the poppy seeds until just incorporated. Roll the dough into 1 inch balls, being sure they are smooth and free of cracks. Arrange balls on a tray lined with baking paper, spaced 2 inches apart. Make a deep indentation with your index finger or the stick end of a wooden spoon. Bake in a 180’C oven for 12-14 minutes. Let cookies cool for a few minutes on the tray before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Fill a zip lock bag with the lemon curd and cut a corner off to make a piping bag. Pipe a small amount of curd into each cookie. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days or 2 weeks in the fridge.

 

 

This recipe is from Crystal’s Fantastic Fixin’s a food blog with all sorts of recipes on it. This recipe makes about 30 cookies, the curd recipe makes more than double what you need but you can keep it in the fridge and use the left overs for something else. I used the end of a wooden spoon to make the indents because I wanted them a consistent size and I knew using a finger would be too unreliable. The holes to rise up a fair bit during baking so make sure that the holes are deep to start with. These cookies are really easy to make and you get such a lot of cookies for not too much work. I let the cookies harden in containers over night before I added the curd to prevent too much of it soaking into the cookie. If you prefer softer cookies by all means fill them once they have cooled.

 

I used a zip lock bag to pipe mainly out of laziness, I couldn’t be bothered washing up all the bits that go with using a piping bag so a snipped off zip lock bag is the perfect disposable substitute. These cookies would be quite nice with orange curd as well, just substitute orange juice and zest for the lemon. The curd I made was very tart, I would assume it was the lemons I bought on the day but if you don’t like tart lemon try the curd before you thicken it because you might need to add a little more sugar or some water to make it a little less tangy. If you don’t like poppy seeds all that much I would recommend reducing the amount you use because these cookies have a large content of poppy seeds.

 

I loved these cookies and so did my competition winner. If you have some spare time this weekend why not give them a go while lemons are in season.

 

Love Sonia

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Chocolate Walnut Cookies

I baked these for Debbie to take to a dog show along with the Peaches and Cream cake I posted last week. A recipe from Julia the runner up in this years Masterchef.

From the October Masterchef Magazine these cookies are super naughty and super yummy.

 

60g rolled oats, roughly chopped

150g walnuts

125g unsalted butter, softened

1 tsp vanilla extract

110g caster sugar

110g brown sugar

1 egg

1 ½ tbs milk

250g plain flour

2 tsp baking powder

250g dark chocolate chips

200g dark chocolate

 

Preheat oven to 180’C. Spread oats and walnuts evenly over 2 separate oven trays. Bake oats for 5 minutes and walnuts for 6 minutes or until lightly toasted. Set aside to cool sightly, then roughly chop walnuts. Line 2 large baking trays with baking paper. Using an electric mixer, beat butter, vanilla and sugars on high speed for 5 minutes or until light and fluffy. Add egg and beat until well combined. Add oats, walnuts and chocolate chips and stir to combine. Roll tablespoons of mixture into 36 balls and place 2cm apart on lined trays, bake, swapping trays halfway though for 12 minutes o until golden and crisp. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Meanwhile, place dark chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of gently simmering water. Stir for 5 minutes or until melted. Dip a cookie half way into melted chocolate. Gently tap cookie on edge of bowl to remove excess, then place on a sheet of baking paper. Repeat with remaining cookies. Set aside for 30 minutes to set. Store in an airtight container for up to a week.

 

These cookies grabbed Daniel’s attention first while I was doing the first flick through of the October Masterchef Magazine, over my shoulder I heard “they look tasty”. I Flagged the page and continued reading. I promised I would make the cookies one day soon. When I offered to make something for Debbie to take to the dog show I thought I better make 2 things because cakes never last long enough. These cookies were perfect and even though she didn’t take them to the show, her house guests enjoyed them immensely. I got 42 cookies from this mix, slightly more than the recipe stated.

 

1 dozen were gifted to my Dad to share with his employees, 1 dozen stayed with Daniel and I and we shared them at work and the remaining cookies, (minus the “testers”) went to Debbie. These cookies have a nice firm texture and the real chocolate melted on the outside melts deliciously quickly adding a lovely mouthfeel to the cookie. Daniel doesn’t normally eat walnuts but he loved these cookies, so for those of you that don’t like walnuts I urge you to give them a go anyway. There was nothing too difficult about theses cookies, I found the hardest part to be finding enough bench space to cool and set chocolate for 42 cookies. Thank goodness we have stools that are large enough to hold cooling racks!

 

These cookies make an excellent give away treat because you can give away 2 dozen and still have more than enough to eat yourself. Perfect for around Christmas time, you could even jazz them up with some Christmas coloured sprinkles or something. At the end of dipping the cookies the melted chocolate will get a bit to shallow for dipping, you can then spoon the chocolate on to half or all the cookie or do what I did and just use a spoon to dribble chocolate over the remaining cookies, these are the ones we kept for ourselves and I certainly didn’t mind!

 

Love Sonia

 

Eliza’s Baby Biscuits

Reaching 5000 views on my blog was a huge milestone for me, I had hoped to reach 5000 by the end of the year but to reach it in September was amazing. To celebrate I gave away a dozen cookies via my facebook page and the lucky winner was Bec, who also has a gorgeous little munchkin that too loves cookies. Because Eliza is so little she can’t have sugar yet so I was set the task of some sugar free cookies for her. This what I came up with.

1 cup plain flour

85g unsalted butter, softened

2 tbsp apple sauce

½ teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon nutmeg

 

Preheat the oven to 180’C. Line a baking sheet with baking paper. In a large bowl cream butter until smooth, sift in flour and spices and mix to combine, add the apple sauce 1 teaspoon at a time until the dough is soft and a rollable texture. Roll out between 2 sheets of baking paper. Cut out with cookie cutters and place on the baking sheet. Bake for about 10 minutes until just turning golden around the edges and firm to the touch. Store in an airtight container for up to a week.

This recipe was challenging for me to say the least, sugar is in basically everything I cook. If not straight up sugar, a variant like honey, glucose or sweetened condensed milk. Tasting the dough and even the baked cookies I wasn’t sure it was edible for even a baby but turns out when you don’t have a severe sweet tooth like I have, they are delicious. By all reports Eliza loved her butterfly biscuits and I am glad she did as this will give me a good base recipe to use in the future.

If you like me have a sweet tooth but want to make these cookies with a twist you could use honey instead of the apple sauce or even some sugar replacement. If you are a dried fruit fan you could try some dried cranberries or raisins to naturally sweeten the biscuits up. Why not give this recipe a go for the little people in your lives.

 

Love Sonia

White Chocolate Mud Cake

Sometimes we save recipes for certain occasions and sometimes we save them for certain people. This one I have been saving all year for my Dad. This recipe is from exclusively food and works amazingly every time. Iced with a golf theme, this cake was the all round perfect cake for my Dad.

300g white chocolate Cadbury Dream white chocolate
200g butter
250ml (1 cup) milk
165g (3/4 cup) caster sugar
2 teaspoons (10ml) vanilla extract
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
100g (2/3 cup) self-raising flour
150g (1 cup) plain flour

 Preheat oven to 160 degrees Celsius (145 degrees Celsius fan-forced). Grease a 20cm square cake pan and line the base and sides of the pan with baking paper. Place chocolate, butter, milk and sugar in a large saucepan over low heat, stirring frequently. Remove from heat when chocolate and butter have melted, and stir mixture until completely smooth. Allow mixture to cool at room temperature for 15 minutes. Add vanilla and eggs to chocolate mixture and stir until well combined. Stir flours together in a large bowl. Add one cup of chocolate mixture to the flour and stir until a smooth paste forms. Repeat with another cup of the chocolate mixture Add remaining chocolate mixture and stir until mixture is smooth. This gradual method of combining the wet and dry ingredients helps prevent lumps. Pour mixture into prepared pan. Bake for about 1 hour 10 minutes to 1 hour 20 minutes. When the cake is ready, a fine-bladed knife inserted into the centre of the cake should come out without any batter attached. Loosely cover cake with greaseproof paper or a clean tea towel and allow it to cool to room temperature in pan. 8. The cooled cake can be iced with the white chocolate ganache immediately, or stored and then iced on the day of serving. Store cake in an airtight container in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature before serving. The cake is suitable to freeze iced or uniced.

 

Sour Cream and White Chocolate Ganache
200g white chocolate
88g sour cream

Melt white chocolate in a small saucepan over very low heat, stirring frequently. When chocolate has completely melted, remove from heat and quickly stir in sour cream. Use immediately, or if your ganache is quite runny, set it aside at room temperature to thicken slightly before using

 

Classic Vanilla Buttercream

225g unsalted butter, softened

3-4 cups pure icing sugar, sifted

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon salt

Food colouring if desired

2-3 tablespoons milk

Cream the butter in a mixer for 3 minutes or until smooth and creamy. Add 3 cups of icing sugar and beat on lowest speed until combined, add vanilla extract and 1-2 tablespoons milk and colouring if desired. Beat until smooth and glossy. Add extra icing sugar if a stiffer consistency is needed likewise add milk if a runnier mix is needed. Spread or pipe as desired.

 

This cake is one of my favourites, I have made it for Daniel’s family a couple of times before and they like it as much as I do. It isn’t an all the time cake thought because of the amount of naughty ingredients and time consuming cooling period. This cake takes about 3 hours to cool before you can ice it. I have found 6” cakes to be easier to gift for birthdays as they look prettier decorated and is just the right amount of cake for a couple of people. I reduced this recipe by a third to make it fit the 6” tin. Even in a 6” tin it still took an hour to bake. Then 3 hours in the tin cooling.

 

I had decided a long time ago that I was going to make Dad a golf themed cake for his birthday this year, the one I had in mind was a lot more elaborate than this one but I think for a days work this one hit the mark. To make the grass I coloured the icing with 10 drops of regular green food colouring and about ½ a teaspoon of mint green gel food colouring, this made for a bright green colour. I purchased a Wilton #233 piping nozzle which is designed for grass and flower centre piping. Once fitted to a multix disposable piping bag ( I don’t use fancy bags when using colour in case it stains) I was ready to go, I filled the bag with icing and then used the remaining icing to coat the cake with a smooth layer of green to work on. Patchy in some parts and a little thick in some to cover little dents. I used a palette knife to spread the icing and then the long edge to smooth the icing for the “green”. Once the cake was covered I set to work with my piping bag. Piping the edges of the “green first so I got the shape I was after then filling in the rest of the top of the cake. I then started from the bottom of the cake and worked my way up to the top of the cake piping all the way around. I had to stop twice to re-chill the bag as the icing was melting due to the heat of my hands. I made a golf ball out of white fondant and pricked it all over with a toothpick to create dimples. The golf flag was a tooth pick with a flag made out of a left over envelope. In total the icing took about an hour, so not a task for the non committal.

 

The cake was beautiful as always, soft, fudgy crumb with a luscious white chocolate flavour. If gets better as time goes on and is at its best on the third day. It is best eaten at room temperature. The sour cream ganache recipe is the specified icing for this cake and is divine. The sour cream cuts through the sweetness of the white chocolate and makes an incredibly moreish icing.

If you or someone in your family loves white chocolate, please try this cake, don’t let baking and cooling time put you off, just bake it in the morning and finish it in the afternoon. The perfect cake for birthdays, parties or weddings. Check out exclusively food for size variations of this cake and make it to suit you. Apologies for the lack of photos, sometimes I really just want to bake without stopping every 30 seconds to take photos, this was one of those days.

Happy Birthday Dad!

 

Love Sonia

 

Peaches and Cream Cake

I loved the sound of this cake as soon as I saw it. I can’t verify the flavour but have been told on multiple accounts that it is to die for.

 

1 1/2 cups plain flour, sifted

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

¾ cup cream

¾ cup caster sugar

410g tinned sliced peaches, drained and chopped

100g flaked almonds

 

Preheat oven to 180’C. Grease and line a 23 cm cake tin. In a large bowl combine sugar and flour. In a mixing jug or small bowl combine eggs, cream and vanilla and beat to combine. Pour into the dry ingredients and stir gently until combined. Fold through chopped peaches and pour into lined tin. Sprinkle top with flaked almonds. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Cool in tin for 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

 

The smell of this cake baking is enough to make you want to bake it again and again. The praise received by its recipient’s makes you want to bake it for yourself so you can find out what all the fuss is about! I baked this for my step-mum Debbie to take to a dog show over the long weekend, thinking it would do for morning tea over a couple of days, little did I know that the cake was so tasty that word spread and it was finished before afternoon tea on the first day. Luckily I baked a few biscuits to go with it so no one went hungry.

 

This cake was super easy and I am considering re making it with some raspberries thrown in for good measure. After all the compliments I would really like to know how good it really is! I love cakes that are as easy as this, no butter, no creaming, no waiting, just whack it all together and bake. The hardest part was finding the ingredients in the supermarket as apparently inCanberra it is the done thing to move the aisles around every few weeks or so!

 

I can only give you a description of the cake as per the taste testers description. A soft middle with an almost custardy texture around the peach filling with a crispy almondy top. With many a comment of “it’s to die for and sensational” I would suggest this one is a winner. Those luckily enough to live in Canberra, why not try it out this next long weekend!

 

Love Sonia