Viennese Whirl Biscuits

These biscuits are wonderfully short and crumbly and are filled with a lovely jam and buttercream filling. 

 

Ingredients

For the filling

 

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

I’ve tried out a fair few cookie recipes with the hopes of finding the perfect cookie. I wanted it to crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside and not too sweet.This recipe ticks all of those boxes they are thick and chewy without being doughy or greasy. Result!

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Makes 12 small/6 Large cookies

You will need…

  • 1/2 (115g)cup butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1/2(100g) cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/3 (62g) cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • (192g) 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup [175g] semisweet/ milk chocolate chips

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Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F/180°c.  In the bowl of a stand mixer, use the paddle attachment to cream together the softened butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Add egg and vanilla, and mix until combined, about 1 minute.

2. Add in the flour, cornstarch, baking soda and salt, and beat on medium-low speed until combined. Fold in (stir in) the chocolate chips by hand until just combined.

3. Use a large cookie scoop (equivalent to 3 tablespoons) or a spoon to shape the dough into balls, and place them on a parchment-covered baking sheet.  Chill in the refrigerator for at least 10-20 minutes, or until the dough is chilled through.  (This will help prevent the cookies from spreading out too flat when they bake.)

4.Bake for 10-12 minutes until the edges are just set. The centers may look slightly undercooked. Cool cookies on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling. Serve immediately or store in a sealed container for up to 1 week. You can also freeze the cookies for up to 3-4 months.

Recipe Taken from Gimme some Oven

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Strawberry Tartlets

These are a timeless classic and taste absolutely gorgeous! I lost the original recipe for these tartlets but the one below should work just as well if not even better.

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Ingredients

For the pastry

  • 200g (7oz) plain flour
  • 125g (4oz) unsalted butter
  • 30g (11⁄4oz) icing sugar
  • 1 large egg yolk

For the crème pâtissière

  • 350ml (12fl oz) full-fat milk
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 100g (3 1/2oz) caster sugar
  • 15g (1⁄2oz) plain flour
  • 15g (1⁄2oz) cornflour
  • 1⁄2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 600g (1lb 31⁄2oz) strawberries
  • 3 tbsp apricot jam, sieved

Method:

Blend the pastry ingredients in a food processor until the mixture first forms clumps and then comes together in a ball.  If you need to add water, 1 tsp will be enough. Roll the pastry onto a lightly floured board, to 5mm (1⁄4in) thickness, and use to line a 25cm (10in) loose-based tart tin or tartlet tins. Chill for 30 minutes.

Heat the oven to gas 5, 190°C, 170°C fan. Line the tart with nonstick baking paper and baking beans. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove the paper and beans, then bake for 5 more minutes. Leave to cool.

To make the crème pâtissière, heat the milk almost to boiling and then leave to cool for a few minutes. Put the egg yolks and sugar into a bowl and whisk until thick and pale. Add the flour and cornflour and whisk until smooth. Gradually whisk in the milk.

Return the mixture to a clean pan and stir over a medium heat until it begins to thicken. Stir vigorously, turn the heat to low, and simmer, stirring continuously for 2-3 minutes, until the mixture is very thick. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract. Pour the crème pâtissière into the tart case and spread level. Chill for 4 hours, or until set.

Hull the strawberries and arrange snugly on top of the crème pâtissière, pointed ends up. Gently heat the jam in a pan with 1 tbsp water, stirring. Remove from the heat and cool. Brush over the fruit.

 

Old-Fashioned Rock Cakes

These are a British Classic which get their name from their rock like appearance. I was first introduced to these during my very first cooking lessons at school and I have been making them ever since. They are so quick and easy to make and are the perfect accompaniment to a hot cup of tea.

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Yield: 6 cakes

Ingredients:

  • 225g Self-raising flour
  • A pinch of salt
  • 113g Margarine
  • 100g packet of Milk Chocolate Chips
  • 57g sugar
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1tbsp Milk plus a little extra for the top
  • Demerera sugar for the topping (optional)

Method:

  1. Sift the flour into a large bowl. Then using your finger tips rub the margarine into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs. Heat the oven to 180°c
  2. Using a wooden spoon mix the sugar and salt into the breadcrumb like mixture and then add in the chocolate chips. Mix in the beaten egg and then add 1 tbsp milk.
  3. With your hands, take small heaps of the dough and place on a lined baking tray. Brush with a little milk and add some demerara sugar on top. Bake in the oven for 15 mins until cooked and golden.

Notes: Traditionally these are made with dried fruit but you can put in any flavouring you like. I added chocolate chips because that’s what I like best.

 

Original recipe from http://scullerymaidsblog.com/2011/old-fashioned-rock-cakes/

Trip to Bolton Abbey

My former work colleagues and I went out on a day trip to Bolton Abbey the other day before we all got busy with our uni work again.  Bolton Abbey is an estate in Wharfedale in North Yorkshire, England which sits within the landscape of the Yorkshire Dales, adjacent to the village of Bolton Abbey. The estate is open to visitors, and includes many miles of all-weather walking routes and a variety of attractions for people of all ages.

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