Recipes that are delicious and that always work!

You know these recipes are delicious because if I didn't think that they were fabulous . . . I wouldn't be showing them to you. You can also be sure that these recipes work for the same reason! The rest is simply a matter of taste.

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Cookies and Cakes and Pies . . . oh my!

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I had baked a delicious spiced apple and pear cake today to share with you, but the day got away from me and before I knew it, it was too dark to take photographs.   I like taking my food photographs in natural light if I can, which means I will have to wait until tomorrow.  In the meantime I am moving a few scrummy bits over from my other blog.  I think it would be nice to have all my recipes in one place.  The photography on these is not that great as it was eons ago and I was not that practiced at using my camera or taking photos!  They're all good solid recipes however.  There isn't a clanger in the bunch!  Tasty tasty!  I'll be back tomorrow with the apple cake!

  

*Cinnamon Oatmeal Cookies*
Makes about 36
Printable Recipe

Oh my but these are delicious fresh out of the oven with a tall glass of cold milk.  Each bite brings you the sweet crunch on the outside with the chewiness of the inside, and full oaty flavour.  I think these are fast becoming my favourite.

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 TBS molasses
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/4 cup old fashioned rolled oats, (Do NOT use instant)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 cup demerara sugar (to roll the cookies in)

Pre-heat the oven to 180*C/350*F.  Line two baking sheets with baking parchment.  Set aside.

Cream the softened butter together with the sugar, until light and cream.  Beat in the egg, molasses and vanilla.  Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.  Stir this into the creamed mixture, blending in well.  Stir in the oats.  Put the demerara sugar into a bowl.

Roll bits of the dough into walnut sized pieces and then roll each ball in the demerara sugar to coat.  Place on the baking sheets, leaving about 2 inches between.   Bake, one tray at a time, placing them on the centre rack of the oven, for 10 to 12 minutes, or until lightly browned.  Remove to a wire rack to cool.  Repeat until all the dough has been used up.  Store in an airtight container.


 

*Chocolate Chip Cake*
Makes one 8 inch square cake
Printable Recipe

This is a tasty amd moist white cake, just stogged full of delicious milk chocolate chips.  If you are feeling really indulgent you can replace the chocolate chips with the same amount of good quality milk chocolate cut into bits. My favourite it Green and blacks.  The icing does call for raw egg yolk, so if you are making this cake for the elderly or the very young, I would replace it with a plain vanilla buttercream icing.

for the Cake:
1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups flour
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla
3 egg whites, beaten stiff along with 1/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup milk
3 ounces milk chocolate chips (Or an equivalent amount of good quality milk chocolate,
such as Green and Black's, chopped into small bits) (Remove 1 TBS of the flour before mixing it with the
baking powder and stir this into the chocolate chips so that they don't sink when baking)
for the Icing:
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cup icing sugar
3 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla

Pre-heat the oven to 180*C/350*F.  Grease an 8 inch square pan and then line it with parchment paper.  Grease again and then set it aside.

Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.  Whisk together the dry ingredients.  Add them to the creamed mixture, alternately, beginning and ending with the dry.  Carefully fold in the beaten egg whites.  Fold in the chocolate chips, along with any flour residue.  Spread the batter into the prepared pan and then bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the centre springs back when lightly touched and a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.  Be careful not to overbake it.  Let sit in the pan for about 10 minutes before removing it completely to a wire rack to cool  before icing.

To make the icing, cream the butter until light.  Beat in the remaining ingredients, beating until light and fluffy.  Spread on top of the cooled cake.


 

*Gingerbread Pudding Cake*
Serves 12, but can be successfully halved
Printable Recipe

I just love pudding cakes, and this one is a spicy delight!  Serve warm with ice cream for a realy tasty treat!

2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
2 1/4 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg, beaten
1 cup molasses
(mild and in the uk you can use 1/4 cup dark treacle mixed with 1/4 cup golden syrup)
1 cup water
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 1/2 cups hot water
1/3 cup butter, melted

Pre-heat the oven to 180*C/350*F.  Whisk the flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, salt, allspice, nutmeg and cardamom together in a bowl.  Set aside.

Cream the butter and sugar together until creamy.  Beat in the egg.  Mix the molasses and water together and then beaet that into the creamed butter, alternately with the flour mixture, beating only until blended.  Do not over beat.  Pour batter into an ungreased 13 by 9 inch baking pan. Sprinkle the brown sugar evenly over top.  Stir together the hot water and melted butter and carefully pour this over top of the batter.  Do not stur.  Bake for 40 to 55 minutes, or until the gingerbread looks all cracked on top and a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.

Serve warm with some ice cream.  Delicious!!


 

*One Bowl Chocolate Cake*
Makes 2 9-inch layers
Printable Recipe

This is a rich and moist chocolate cake which goes together in a jiffy, all in one bowl.  Frost as desired with your favourite frosting.

2 cups sugar
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 2ggs
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup sunflower oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water

Pre-heat the oven to 180*C/350*F.  Grease and flour two nine-inch round cake tins.  Set aside.

Place all the cake ingredients,except for the boiling water into a large bowl.  Beat for 2 minutes on the medium speed of an electric mixer.  Stir in the boiling water and divide the batter amongst the prepared cake tins.  The batter will be thin.  Don't worry, this is normal.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes.   The cake is done when a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.  Cool in the pans for 10 minutes before removing to wire racks to finish cooling.

Frost and decorate as desired.



 


 *Strawberry Toffee Tart*
Serves 6
Printable Recipe

A crispy, buttery and oaty crust covered with a tangy cream and a plethora of sliced strawberries, this is truly moreish. A final drizzle of toffee sauce is it's crowning glory. Easy, quick and pleasing on all levels this is a true winner!

170g of hobnob biscuits (a buttery oatmeal cookie)
(Scant two cups of crumbs)
85g (1/3 cup) butter
400g of ripe strawberries (scant 3 cups)
385ml of double cream ( 1 2/3 cup)
5 soft toffees (such as Werther's original soft toffees)
200g tub of Greek Yoghurt (1 2/3 cup)
icing sugar for dusting



Line an 8 inch tart tin with baking parchment. Crush the biscuits to fine crumbs either in your food processor, blender or by bashing them in a plastic bag with a rolling pin. Tip them into a bowl and mix together with the melted butter. Press this mixture evenly in the base of the tart tin. Place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or so until it feels firm. Once firm, remove the biscuit base from the tin and carefully slide it onto a flat serving plate.

Slice the strawberries and set aside.

Take 2 TBS of the cream and put it into a small bowl. Whip the rest of the cream until it holds soft peaks. Fold in the yoghurt and then spoon this mixture over the top of the biscuit base and cover with the sliced strawberries.

Add the toffees to the cream and place in the microwave. Cook on medium heat for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Stir until they form a sauce. Drizzle this sauce over the berries. Dust with icing sugar just before serving.


 

*Sticky Topped Gingerbread*
Makes one 8 inch square cake
Printable Recipe

I am a gingerbread connoisseur. I have tried many recipes through the years and this is the ultimate version that I have come up with. Dark, spicy and moist with a lovely and stickily decadent topping, this version wins on all counts!

1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
2 1/2 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp unsweetened Dutch process cocoa powder
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup firmly packed soft dark brown sugar
1/2 cup sour milk
(or buttermilk)
1/2 cup dark molasses
1/2 cup slightly salted butter, melted and cooled
For the Topping:
3 TBS butter
1/3 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
2 TBS double cream (heavy or whipping)

Pre-heat the oven to 180*C/350*F. Lightly grease and flour an 8 inch square baking dish, tipping out any excess flour. Set aside.

Whisk the flour, soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves, cocoa and ground ginger together in a medium sized bowl. Set aside.

Beat the eggs in a large bowl until foamy. Beat in the brown sugar, beating it until the mixture is smooth and lump free. Beat in the sour milk (or buttermilk), molasses and melted butter. Beat until well blended, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Fold in the flour mixture, mixing it in only until just blended in and no dry mixture remains. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan. Give the pan a gentle smack down on the counter a couple of times to release any air bubbles and then bang it into the oven and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until the top springs back when lightly touched and the edges have pulled away a bit from the sides. Transfer to a rack to cook for several minutes while you make the topping.

Pre-heat the grill or broiler of your oven.

Place all the topping ingredients in a small saucepan. Heart over medium heat, stirring constantly until the mixture bubbles and thickens. Remove from the heat.

Take a fork and poke a few holes here and there across the top of your gingerbread. Pour the hot topping mixture evenly over top of the warm gingerbread, allowing it to seep down the sides. Place under the grill and broil until the topping is bubbling, about 40 seconds or so. (watch carefully so it doesn't burn!) Remove from the broiler.

Serve warm with sweetened whipped cream if desired.





*Baked Apples with Mincemeat and Cream*
Serves 4
Printable Recipe

I love baked apples. They are so easy to do and always taste so good when they are done. For a little something extra special try baking them stuffed with mincemeat. These are truly delicious!


1 medium bottle of sparkling apple cider or apple juice (about 3 1/2 cups)
2 dessert spoons of cranberry jelly
2 TBS unsalted butter
4 large baking apples (I used Blenheim Orange Suffolk)
4 dessert spoons of mincemeat
a small handful of chopped and toasted walnuts
a small handful of dried tart cherries
1 TBS chopped crystalized ginger
250 ml container of double cream for serving (about 1 1/4 cup)

Pre-heat the oven to 200*C/400*F/gas mark 6. Lightly butter a baking dish and set aside.

Put the apple cider, cranberry jelly and butter into a large skillet and bring to a boil. Boil until it is reduced to about 1 1/4 cups. This should take about 12 to 15 minutes.

In the meantime, cut a cone shaped piece from the stem end of each apple, about 2 inches wide at the tip and 1 inch deep. Using a melon baller, remove the core, leaving the apple intact at the bottom. Take a sharp knife and cut a slight slit around the middle of each apple, about halfway up. Try not to cut in too deeply. This will help to prevent the apple from exploding in the oven and help it to keep it's shape.

Mix the mincemeat, walnuts, cherries and ginger together in a bowl. Spoon this mixture into the apples, filling and mounding it up in the centre.

Arrange the apples in the baking dish and then spoon the cider over and around them. Bake for about 45 minutes, until the apples are tender. Serve warm in shallow bowls with a spoonful of cream or two drizzled over each.

11 comments:

  1. I've been looking for a good gingerbread recipe since I moved here from the States, and yours is the only one I've seen that uses all molasses/treacle instead of golden syrup - the way I love it best. I will definitely be making this for the holidays, thanks!

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  2. all look amazing Marie but your gingerbread pudding cake kill me, I bookmarked:))
    xo

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  3. Pinned the Gingerbread cake!! I can't wait to try it! I don't think I have ever had a gingerbread that lived up to my expectations, but if anyone can finally do it, You can! I've missed you, dear friend, so sorry I'm so behind on comments. It's been crazy around here! I'm on a mission to catch up though :)

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  4. I have twenty pounds to lose and I will never ever do it coming here! But I love it!!!Oh my gosh Marie, wonderful recipes, you should be on T.V!!!!!

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  5. Every single one of those looks delicious!

    I could not tell you which one I would try 1st if they were all set out in front of me.

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  6. Oh my, I just came over from Christine's blog, and have fallen in love with the sticky gingerbread recipe! Valerie

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  7. Welcome Valerie! I do hope that you make it and enjoy it as much as we do! xx

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