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

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

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

 

Iced Sugar Cookies

A beautiful basic cookie with yummy fancy icing!

 

230g reduced salt butter (room temperature)

180 pure icing sugar

1 egg (room temperature)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 tsp baking powder

400g plain flour

 

Preheat oven to 200’C. In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Add the egg and vanilla. Mix well until combined. Sift the flour and backing powder together then add to the mixing bowl gradually. Mix well until a dough forms. Roll your dough on a floured surface. Cut into shapes using a cookie cutter, Place cut cookies on to a baking tray covered with baking paper and bake for 7 minutes until cookies appear dry but not browned. Makes approximately 24 cookies. Store in an airtight container.

 

Royal Icing for Cookies

 

500g pure icing sugar

30g Pavlova Magic (meringue powder, comes in an egg from dessert section in supermarket)

90ml water

Flavouring

Colouring

 

Sift icing sugar and meringue powder into a bowl. Add water. Mix using a hand or stand mixer on high until icing reaches a stiff consistency, add flavouring about half way through. Depending on desired consistency, add a little bit of water at a time to make a runnier mix. Separate mix into smaller bowls and colour, rememebering that the colour may change the texture. Also reserve a small amount of stiffer icing in case you need it for outlining. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for a couple of weeks.

 

I got this recipe from the facebook page for Latorta, a cake decorating store in Canberra. They do demonstrations twice a week, which I can’t get to because of work. Last week they did these amazing cookies and posted the pictures to facebook and I just had to try them out. The cookies are sweet, crumbly and very moreish. I found the dough really easy to work with, and I got 24 circles about 6mc in diameter and about 15 small hearts out of the remaining dough. I found cooking them without browning difficult in our oven but it has always been difficult to work with. I made up the full batch of royal icing and have used little bits at a time, a small amount tinted pink to practice with one the hearts and some bright blue  and plain white to cover the circle cookies with. I used the remaining to “paint” the cookies and I will kept the icing in the fridge for about a week after in case I got the icing bug.

 

Painting the cookies was incredibly hard, so hard I gave up after a few attempts and tried some other techniques. The painting is so pretty, it would be nice to make them for lots of different occasions, if only I had the skills to do it! I use gel colours for colouring the icing, it doesn’t change the texture too much. My favourite cookies ended up being the plain white ones with some stars and swirls and the blue and white stripes which I swirled with a tooth pick. I also made a name sake cookie with my blog name, but again my shaky hands don’t like to do pretty piping so it is a bit wobbly.

 

I would recommend making these to anyone who like fine crafts like cross stitch and sewing, it is the same kind of patience required with these cookies, so much so that Daniel decided to eat a plain cookie because the decorating was taking me too long. These cookies would be ideal for birthday parties and holiday celebrations or place cards at Christmas.

 

If you have the patience and the time, give these cookies a go. They really are very delicious once completed, and if you ask Daniel delicious plain as well.

 

My apologies for not posting for a couple of weeks, I have been on holidays and have a lot of blogging to catch up on, I hope to have it completed for you this week, stay tuned for glazed lemon biscuits, double layer sour cream chocolate cake and Daniel’s cheat birthday cake.

 

Love Sonia

Rancell’s Ginger Snaps

Entrusted to me, this no longer secret family recipe has all the flavour of the Arnott’s Gingernut biscuits without the teeth breaking hardness and with all the added joy of home baked biscuits.

125g butter

175g caster sugar

1 tablespoon golden syrup

2 cups SR flour

1 tablespoon ground ginger

1 egg, lightly beaten

Preheat oven to 175’C. Line 2 oven trays with baking paper. In a saucepan over low heat, melt butter, sugar and golden syrup together, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Set aside to cool slightly. In a large bowl mix flour and ginger together. Quickly beat the egg through the sugar mix and pour over the flour. Mix until it forms a dough. Roll the dough into balls and place about 4 cm apart on the baking paper. Bake for 8-12 minutes depending on your desired level of hardness. Cool on a wire rack. Makes between 25-30. Store in an airtight container for up to a week.

I tried these a few weeks ago when Rancell brought them in to work to try, his mum’s secret recipe. I just had to have it! They are so simple and so delicious it is hard not to fall in love with these. I love this recipe because of its simple melt and mix method that results in beautiful smooth biscuits. I wanted to bake these for my brother but ended up baking a chocolate mud cake for him instead. I made these last night and they have been really well received at work today and by Rancell, hopefully he’ll give me some more of his family recipes!

There is nothing hard about this recipe, just make sure you watch the sugar and butter mix on the stove because it could end up a very sticky and very burnt mess if you leave it unattended. I cooked these to the harder side, they still have a soft centre but are lovely and crisp on the outside. I have also tried some that Rancell made earlier this week which were really soft and melt in your mouth, so its up to you how you make them. Maybe a tray of each?

I can definitely recommend these for anyone who loves ginger, I think you could even add some little pieces of crystallised ginger if you really love ginger. They are also pretty enough to wrap up for ginger loving grandparents for a present, just some nice tissue paper and a cute ribbon and you have the perfect ginger lovers treat. Give these a go this weekend, as long as you aren’t alone, because you’ll end up eating all of them yourself!

Love Sonia

 

Milo Biscuits

Something a little bit different with the delicious taste of every ones favourite milk flavouring. Milo!

125g butter, softened

½ cup caster sugar

½ cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 egg

1 ¾ cups self raising flour, sifted

½ cup milo

Preheat oven to 180’C. Line oven trays with baking paper. Beat butter, sugars and vanilla in a lage bowl with an electric mixer on high until mixture is smooth and creamy. Add egg and beat until combined. Fold in flour and milo. Roll heaped teaspoons of mixture into backs and place on oven trays about 4 cm apart. Flatten slightly, bake for 6-7 minutes for soft biscuits or 8-10 minutes for crispier biscuits. Transfer to wire racks to cool. Serve warm or cold. Makes approximately 40. Store in an airtight container for up to a week.

I came across this recipe one night when Daniel was nagging me for chocolate biscuits. I think my blog is starting to get to him, he doesn’t get the same things that he loves more than once now so I had to find another recipe to add to my blog that would also tame the chocolate biscuit beast raging inside my adoring boyfriend. This one looked easy enough and ended up being really really tasty. From the that’s life website, there are several other versions out there on other food blogs, most of them say to sprinkle milo on the top, so I tried that out too.

There is nothing really tricky about these. I got Daniel to help me roll the dough into balls because he wanted the biscuits quicker than I could roll them. I cooked them for about 7-8 minutes so half way between soft and crispy. They were perfect, crunchy on the outside  and just soft in the middle. The biscuits are at their best when straight out of the oven with a glass of milk but they are still nice cold. Because the recipe makes so many is it good that they last all week. It’s just a shame it can’t be halved because of the egg. If anyone knows how to halve an egg I would be delighted to know!

These are the perfect biscuit to make in the school holidays because it will stop your kids from smashing glass after glass of milo. Instead it will just be straight milk with milo biscuits. They are also easy enough for kids to help out with. If you have a pesky half a cup of milo that no one will use because they are waiting for the new tin, then give these a go. The perfect combination of chocolatey, malty, biscuity goodness.

Love Sonia

Granny’s Jam Drops

A recipe given to me by Debbie’s mum, my Granny. Her famous jam drops have been enjoyed by her family for years and now I have had my chance to try the recipe myself.

2 cups self raising flour

2 eggs

¾ cup  caster sugar

125g butter or margarine

(I added a sneaky teaspoon of vanilla extract)

Your favourite jam, I used strawberry.

Preheat the oven to 160’C and line 2 baking trays with baking paper. Cream the margarine and sugar together in a mixer, beat in the egg, mix in the flour until it forms a soft slightly sticky dough. Use a little more flour if the dough is too sticky. Roll the dough into balls, whatever size you like, mine were about the size of those Lindt chocolate balls. Place on the trays about 3 cm apart. Press a small indent in each with the top of your thumb or similar shaped object. Fill each indent with jam. Bake for 8 – 12 minutes. Store in an airtight container for up to a week. The biscuits will soften over time.

Some recipes are so simple but surprisingly delicious that they stand the test of time and get passed down family member to family member so that the recipes can remain forever shared. I like to think that I did justice to Granny’s Jam Drops and that she wouldn’t be too disappointed with my addition of a dash of vanilla extract. I found that the dough tasted a little floury, a bit like bread dough, with the addition of vanilla the dough tasted a lot more biscuity. I got about 30 jam drops out of this recipe, which was more than enough to have some at home and take some to Sydney to share with Daniel’s family.

There is nothing hard about this recipe. It is just one of those recipes that is a perfect, timeless, effortless standby recipe. It would be easy enough to whip up a batch of these in as little as half an hour once you had made these a couple of times. Not bad for something that tastes so good! I think the taste of the biscuits as a whole can be vastly affected by the type of jam that you use, I used one of those fancy made in france ones, it was beautiful, you could use anything but if you get the best that you can afford your biscuits will be all the better for it.

Sometimes recipes are lost when we lose loved ones close to us. I am determined not to let this happen in my family. All of my grandmothers are still alive and I hope over the next few years to get at least a couple more recipes out of them so that they stay with the family and are not lost and forgotten. This is the first of 3 recipes that I have recently been given by my Granny, so stay tuned for the next 2!

 

Love Sonia x

 

Chocolate Sugar Cookies

From the blog smittenkitchen.com. I was dying to find a simple roll outchocolate cookie dough that was different from my chocolate freckle mix so that I could try out my new Ikea animal cutters and I found something that was just perfect. Who doesn’t want squirrel cookies?

3 cups plain flour

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon baking powder

1 cup unsalted butter, softened

1 ½ cups caster sugar

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa

Preheat the oven to 170’C. Whisk flour, salt and baking powder in a bowl and set aside. Mix butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla and cocoa in an electric mixer. Gradually add flour mix and combine until smooth. Wrap in glad wrap and chill in the fridge for an hour. Roll out cookie dough on floured surface or between 2 sheets of baking paper. Cut out into desired shapes. Bake on trays lined with baking paper for 8 to 11 minutes depending on the thickness of your rolled out dough, until the edges are firm and the centre slightly soft and puffy. Cool on a wire rack.

Such an easy recipe with great results that pleased the masses I am glad to say. I initially made a batch of squirrels, snails and moose for Daniel and I, after waiting for the dough to come together and washing up I had had enough of standing in the kitchen and rolling out dough so I used about a quarter and put the rest in the fridge. I rolled out the rest on Friday night, making more squirrels and a few moose for Daniel as he liked these the best. With the rest of the dough I decided to cut out circles (with an espresso cup because I don’t have round cutters) and bake them then decorate them with white chocolate ganache Mercedes-Benz star emblems. I gave these away at a barbeque that was held at work the next day and I am pleased to announce that everyone loved them.

The hardest part of this recipe is resisting adding any liquid while waiting for the dough to come together. I really thought it was going to need some milk to help it to combine, but gradually and very slowly it all came together and formed a lovely soft dough. It is quite a tough dough to roll out, mainly because it is such a large recipe. I rolled mine in ¼ lots, so that I had better control of the overall thickness. The dough is equally as delicious uncooked, but make sure you leave some for the cookies! This recipe calls for unsweeted cocoa, I had a couple of types, I was going to use my expensive dutch one but on Thursday night we had popped into Costco after work and they had Hershey’s, and it is delicious. A lovely change from the expensive stuff!

It was so nice to get feedback from people who don’t know me and my cooking. All the feedback I received on Saturday was positive and there were a gang of kids who demolished half the jar in about 15 minutes. The main comment I received was how lovely it was to have a cookie with a soft centre. I have to admit this is also one of my favourite things about this cookie. To make the ganche I just used some white chocolate melts that I had left over from something else mixed with a few teaspoons of thickened cream and piped it from a bag fitted with a size 2 nozzle. It was really easy once I got the hang of it. I felt really good to get some of my creations out to a wider audience and hopefully I can continue this further into the future.

Love Sonia

 

Apricot Jam Cookies

From the blog smalltownoven.wordpress.com these tasty little biscuits are a perfect “plain” biscuit with just the right amount of spice and sweetness.

2 cups plain flour

1 tsp baking powder

½ tsp ground ginger

¼ tsp salt

½ cup butter, softened

2/3 cup caster sugar

1 egg

2 tbs milk

½ tsp vanilla extract

¼ cup apricot jam

Preheat the oven to 180’C. Line 2 baking sheets with baking paper. Beat the butter until pale add sugar and beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Mix in the egg, beating until well combined. Add the milk and vanilla and mix, it will look curdled but don’t worry. On low speed beat in the apricot jam then sift in the flour, baking powder, ginger and salt. Mix until flour mix is combined. You will have a dough that is smooth and a little sticky. Drop heaped teaspoons of the dough approximately 1 inch apart onto baking sheets (I rolled mine into balls). Bake for about 15 minutes, turning the tray halfway through for even cooking. Allow to cool on the baking sheet for 1 minute before transferring the cookies onto a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with remaining dough. Store in an airtight container for up to a week.

Such a simple yet utterly delicious little cookie. I made small ones and slightly larger ones, both equally as delicious. With golden bottoms and a smooth top they look almost too perfect to eat. They have a lovely butter cookie flavour with a tiny hint of ginger and little flecks of apricot. You could use a chunkier jam or a different flavour if you wanted but I think this one is just delicious. I used Anathoth Apricot which I had for putting on cakes to stick down fondant. The rolling of the dough is quite time consuming but well worth it when you have about 40 freshly baked cookies in front of you.

There is nothing difficult about this recipe, it is so simple, the stickiness from the jam means that the cookies don’t crack when baking which leaves the centre lovely and soft when warm and really crumbly when cold. As someone who loves apricots I would like to add more jam but it would probably result in a dough that is too sticky, Daniel suggested they needed some ginger, once I explained they already had ginger he said add more, it was too late they were already cooked but for people who like ginger add a bit more, Daniel thinks it will make them taste better and he is an expert taste tester!

If you wanted to make large cookies you could, just make them flatter and check on then every 2 minutes or so until they are cooked. There is nothing more devastating than burnt cookies after the house is already filled with the baking cookie scent!

Have a lovely weekend everyone.

Love Sonia