Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Treat Petite December - Round Up


It's been a very busy December for me this year, I've not had nearly enough time as usual to bake. I've really enjoyed seeing all the entries for the 'Merry Christmas' themed Treat Petite come flooding in. So much exciting inspiration. Happy Christmas everyone! Look out for January's challenge over on Cakeyboi in the new year.


Our first entry was from Pauline's Occasional Baking Adventures with these tasty Cranberry & White Chocolate Cupcakes which she made for a charity bake sale.


Paul's Food World made a recipe I have been wanting to try myself for ages - Lebkuchen. A traditional German recipe that dates back to the 13th century.
 

Mini Stollen Loaves were sent over by Tales From The Kitchen Shed, another traditional German recipe adapted into mini portions.


Ros from The More Than Occasional Baker made these Golden Syrup Cupcakes. She liked them so much she made 36!


Caroline Makes... also made Golden Syrup Cupcakes, but her's were also dairy free and vegan friendly. Plus Frozen themed!


The More Than Occassional Baker's second entry was this dark and delicious looking Chocolate & Fig Panforte. It looks similar to Rocky Road and is a great no bake recipe.


I was recently involved in Waitrose's Bake It Forward campaign, and so was Choclette. She made these Chocolate Cinnamon Smacaroons which are very chewy and nutty.


I'm ashamed to admit that I often forget that not everyone celebrates Christmas! Family Friends Food made these Spiced Olive Oil Cupcakes for Chanukah.


How To Cook Good Food sent in these gorgeous looking Roasted Pear & Mincemeat Crumble Tarts, a great twist on the classic!


Another twist on traditional mince pies from Food Glorious Food with Mini Chocolate Mince Tarts made with chocolate pastry.


For my entry I made these Snowflake Biscuits using a gorgeous set of cutters from Lakeland. I decorated them with icing, sprinkles and glitter.


Green Gourmet Giraffe made these cute White Chocolate & Ginger Cookies, which are vegan friendly too!


Family Friends Food also sent over these Festive Chocolate Christmas Trees, which are a super easy Christmas gift!


If you're trying to avoid overindulging this Christmas, Caroline Makes... tried out this Less Sinful Mince Pie recipe from Slimming World.


As Camilla from Fab Food 4 All suggests, her Christmas Soda Bread would be a great way to use up leftover ingredients from Christmas cakes and puddings.


Garden Tea Cakes & Me made this Christmas Fudge with Cranberry using a Christmas Punch flavoured icing sugar. It sounds delicious!


Elizabeth's Kitchen Diary made these gorgeous looking Peppermint Candy Cane Christmas Chocolates. An easy no bake recipe perfect for gifts.


Edible decorations for your Christmas tree are so fun to make and tasty too, The More Then Occassional Baker's Stained Glass Cookies look awesome!


Two more great ideas for Christmas gifts from Caroline Makes... with Candy Cane Peppermint Bark and Hot Chocolate Dippers. I love the mould used for the bark!


Beckie from This Is Not My Home sent over this Spiced Cranberry Party Fudge. I would be glad to see this on offer at a Christmas party!


My Treat Petite co-host, Stuart from Cakeyboi, made these mouth wateringly good looking Mince Pie Custard Bars. A fantastic festive bake!


The Gluten Free Alchemist made a gingerbread house with her daughter and made these Gluten Free Gingerbread Christmas Tree to go along with it. They are so beautifully decorated.


These super cute Reindeer Cupcakes were sent over by The Dream Baker. They are made with pretzels for antlers.


Caroline Makes... friends and family certainly are lucky to receive so many edible gifts from here, these ones are Candy Cane Chocolate Hearts.


Lancashire Food experimented with chesnut flour to make these Chesnut Maple Snowflake Biscuits. They sound a bit healthier then usual Christmas biscuits with coconut oil instead of butter.



How To Cook Good Food's Stollen Biscuit Bites are such a brilliant way to transfer the flavours of stollen into easy to make and eat biscuits.


Isn't this Cupcake Christmas Tree impressive?! Fenton Eats made this by sticking lots of cupcakes to a large cone, such a clever and effective idea.



This biscuit tower is made from lots of Spiced Christmas Biscuits. Blue Kitchen Bakes iced and piled the biscuits up into a tree that looks beautifully festive!


More delicious Christmas Shortbread Biscuits this time from Tales From The Kitchen Shed. They look gorgeous dusted with icing sugar!


Caroline Makes... tried out a Chocolate Truffle recipe without double cream. They didn't set quite as well, but tasted good with the Christmas cake liquor she used!


Family Friends Food made these fantastic Orange Chocolate Truffled-Centred Cookies. I would love to get a bag of these for Christmas!


The More Then Occasional Baker finishes up the round up with her Cranberry, Orange, Percan and White Chocolate Loaves. Another tasty Christmas gift!


A late entry from Herbs, Spices & Tradition with her Eat-Sum-More Christmas Cookies which look lovely and are inspired by a recipe from Botswana that has cream cheese in the recipe.

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Brie & Cranberry Tartlets



Christmas party season is upon us and if you are hosting a party, or need to take some food along to one, easy to make treats that are also delicious are top of the baking list. These tartlets fit the bill perfectly, sweet cranberry sauce and smooth savoury brie go together perfectly in a crispy pastry case. I think I will be taking these along to my family's annual Christmas Eve buffet!


I started by making the pastry. I mixed 175g plain flour and 85g butter together and rubbed with my fingers until it resembled breadcrumbs. I added 1 egg and brought it together to form a dough. I also had to add a splash of milk as it was a bit dry. I wrapped it in cling film and chilled in the fridge for 1 hour. You can buy ready made if you need to save extra time.


I made the cranberry filling by mixing together 250g smooth cranberry sauce, 50g dried cranberries and 1 tbsp port. You don't have to add port if you don't want to.


I chopped up the brie into pieces, leaving the rind on. If you really hate the rind you can remove it of course.


I rolled out the pastry until it was quite thin, about 1-2mm. I cut rounds out using an 8cm round cutter. I got 21 tarts from the pastry.


I greased a tartlet/mince pie tray and put the rounds of pastry in, gently tapping them down into the tin.


I put about 1 tsp of the cranberry mixture into the pastry and topped with a square of brie.


I baked them on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 10-15 minutes until golden. When they came out of the oven I sprinkled some finely chopped pecans on them. You could use walnuts or almonds too.


The tartlets are so delicious and incredibly moreish! I ate 3 while writing this post! And I really want to go and get another one...

I am submitting this post to the LV= Very British Cookbook.



print recipe

Brie & Cranberry Tartlets
Ingredients
  • 175g Plain flour
  • 85g Butter
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 tbsp Milk
  • 250g Smooth cranberry sauce
  • 50g Dried cranberries
  • 1 tbsp Port
  • 250g Brie
  • 75g Pecans, finely chopped
Instructions
Start by making the pastry. Mix the plain flour and butter together and rub with your fingers until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add the egg and milk, and bring it together to form a dough. Wrap it in cling film and chill in the fridge for 1 hourMake the cranberry filling by mixing together the smooth cranberry sauce, dried cranberries and portChop up the brie into piecesRoll out the pastry to a thiness of 1-2mm. Cut rounds out using an 8cm round cutterGrease a tartlet/mince pie tray and put the rounds of pastry in, gently tapping them down into the tinPut approx 1 tsp of the cranberry mixture into the pastry and top with a square of brieBake them on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 10-15 minutes until golden. When they come out of the oven sprinkle the finely chopped pecans on them

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Snowflake Biscuits & Christmas Jumper Day



This Friday is Save the Children's annual Christmas Jumper Day. The charity work around the world saving the lives of children and fighting for their rights. A lot of people I know are having Christmas Jumper Day's at work and donating to the charity. I was contacted by both Save the Children and a company called The Biscuiteers, who make bespoke biscuits about the day and I was inspired to not only get my Christmas jumper on, but also to make these gorgeous snowflake biscuits and spread the word about this fantastic cause!


Here's me in my Christmas jumper! And the biscuit likeness sent to me by The Biscuiteers, isn't it fantastic?! Their speciality are beautifully iced biscuits that they send out in gorgeous tins.


I am also submitting this post to Patience Brewster's Cookie Exchange. They make Christmas ornaments and gifts.


To make the dough for the Snowflake Biscuits I first creamed together 230g butter and 225g caster sugar. I then added 1 egg, 1 tsp vanilla extract and 1/2 tsp almond extract and mixed well.


Finally I added 385g plain flour, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tbsp baking powder and mixed to form a dough. I wrapped it in cling film and chilled it in the fridge for 1 hour.


I got the snowflake cutters from Lakeland and they are pretty tricky to use because they are so intricate. I found the best way was to roll some of the dough out onto baking paper, press the cutter in, then gently peel the baking paper away. The dough will stay in the cutter.


Using a lollipop stick I first poked out the holes of the snowflake, then holding the dough filled cutter close to a lined baking tray, I used the lollipop stick to gently poke the dough to get it come out of the cutter. I did get a few lollipop stick indentations, but they disappeared after baking.


I filled my baking tray full of snowflake shape dough using all four different shapes from the cutters.


I baked them on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for around 8 - 10 minutes, until they were just going golden at the edges.


To make the icing I mixed 1 egg white with 225g icing sugar in my food mixer until thick. I piped it onto the biscuits using lot of different patterns. Snowflakes are unique after all! I used some sprinkles and glitter as well for decorations.


Although the cutters are tricky to work with, the effect is amazing and they look so stunning and even prettier when decorated!


Here are some more I decorated the next day but didn't get a chance to photograph in the day light.


I am also entering these into myself and Cakeyboi's monthly challenge, Treat Petite. I'm hosting this month and the theme is Christmas.



print recipe

Snowflake Biscuits
Ingredients
  • 230g Butter
  • 225g Caster sugar
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp Almond extract
  • 385g Plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tbsp Baking Powder
  • 1 Egg white
  • 225g Icing sugar
Instructions
To make the dough creame together the butter and caster sugar. Add the egg, vanilla extract and almond extract and mix wellAdd the plain flour, salt and baking powder and mix to form a dough. Wrap it in cling film and chill it in the fridge for 1 hourRoll the dough out onto baking paper, press the cutter in, then gently peel the baking paper away. The dough will stay in the cutterUsing a lollipop stick gently poke out the holes of the snowflake, then holding the dough filled cutter close to a lined baking tray, use the lollipop stick to gently poke the dough to get it to come out of the cutterBake them on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for around 8 - 10 minutes, until they are just going golden at the edges. Leave to coolTo make the icing mix the egg white with the icing sugar in a food mixer until thick. Pipe it onto the biscuits and add sprinkles and glitter as desired


Biscuit recipe from Bake Space. Icing recipe from The Biscuiteers.