Linzer Cookies

Happy Valentines

These biscuits are perfect for sharing with your loved ones on Valentine’s Day and are quick enough to make. This is the Hummingbird Bakery recipe version of the Austrian traditional torte.

What you need: IMG_1881

10oz unsalted softened butter
5 1/2oz caster sugar
13oz plain flour
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
2oz ground almonds
7oz seedless strawberry jam

 

What you do:

> Line 2 – 3 baking trays with greaseproof paper. For this recipe, I used half the ingredients which made around 9 biscuits so 2 trays were enough.

> In a freestanding mixer or using a handheld mixer cream together the butter and sugar till light and fluffy.

> Sieve the flour and cinnamon together and add the almonds. The dry ingredients can now be added to the sugar/butter mixture and mixed to form a dough.

> Turn out onto a lightly floured surface, flatten a little, divide into 2, wrap in cling film and then chill for 15 minutes.

Linzer Cookies

Now, ‘the recipe’ says once chilled, roll out each piece of dough between 2 pieces of greaseproof paper. I’ll admit…this was a faff and I gave up trying and just rolled out the dough on a floured surface – worked for me! My dough was incredibly soft and kept breaking up so is a bit tricky to cut and move the shapes onto the baking tray.

‘The recipe’ also says at this point (rolled between sheets) place on a tray and chill again. Hands up! I didn’t bother because I only have a small fridge and they wouldn’t have fit.

> Preheat your oven to 170ºc and if you’ve chilled for a second time, then roll out and cut your larger heart shapes to approx 4mm thick and place on the tray.

> Roll out any unused dough, cut more larger hearts and then use the smaller cutter to cut out the centres.

Linzer Cookies

It’s at this point that I’m writing this blog that I realise that I’ve made my cookies in the wrong order – duh! In my defence, I wasn’t on top form this week having badly injured my ankle so was trying to race through so I could sit down.

> Anyway…..what I should have done is now bake the cookies, top and bottoms separately (not together like I did).

> Bake them for approx 15 minutes until golden brown.

> In a pan, heat up the jam to a gentle simmer. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.

Linzer Cookies

Just pretend these are baked 🙂

> Spoon about 1/2 tsp of jam onto a bottom and then pop on a top to create a sandwich. Ta dah! Ok, so mine didn’t quite have the finesse but the biscuit had a lovely taste. (And..might have been even better had I baked them in the right order).

Linzer Cookies

Until next time, Happy Baking

Peanut Butter & Jam Pinwheel Cookies

“A good old PB&J sandwich…in cookie form” from the Hummingbird Bakery Home Sweet Home recipe book. The recipes requires smooth peanut butter but I used crunchy (as it was cheaper) and it gave the cookie a nice crunchy texture so I would recommend this.

What you need:

2oz smooth raspberry jamIMG_1823
1 tsp cornflour
3 1/2oz unsalted softened butter
3 1/2oz smooth peanut butter
6 1/2oz caster sugar
1 large egg
2 tbsp whole milk
12oz plain flour
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/4 tsp salt

What you do:

Prepare 2 pieces of grease proof paper approx 15 x 10″

In a small bowl mix the jam and cornflour into a smooth paste.

Peanut Butter & Jelly Cookies

Using a freestanding or electric mixer cream the butter, peanut butter and sugar.  Add the egg and milk, and mix.

Sift in the flour, salt and bicarb and mix on a slow speed until all combined until it forms a dough.

Peanut Butter & Jelly Cookies

Put the dough on one of the pieces of paper and flatten. Put the other paper on top and roll out to the edges.

Remove the top sheet and spread the jam over, leaving a gap around the edges.

Peanut Butter & Jelly Cookies

Using the paper to help, from the long edge, roll up the dough like a Swiss roll. This was actually quite a tricky procedure as the dough was sticking to the cling film and trying to roll it tight and make sure it wasn’t sticking was more difficult than rolling the baked sponge for the Swiss roll.

When you’ve managed to roll it, wrap in cling film and put in the fridge.

The recipe says chill overnight but I only had time to chill for a couple of hours but this was fine.

Preheat type oven to 170c, prepare 2-3 tines with some more grease proof paper.

Slice the dough into 2cm slices and space them out onto trays.

Peanut Butter & Jelly Cookies

Bake for approx 10-12minutes (although mine took more like 20) until golden brown.

These are nice served when warm but crisp up more like traditional biscuits when cold.

Peanut Butter & Jelly Cookies

Until next time….Happy Baking

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

Here’s a recipe I baked from my Hummingbird Bakery Home Sweet Home book.

What you’ll need:

200g unsalted butter, softenedIMG_1796
200g caster sugar, + 3tbsp for sprinkling
4 large eggs
200g plain flour, + extra for dusting
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp salt
90ml pineapple juice (from tin)
6 slices tinned pineapple

What you do:

Preheat the oven to 170c. Grease a 9″ cake tin with butter and dust with flour.

Cream the butter and sugar with an electric whisk or in a freestanding mixer.

Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well.

Sift the flour, baking powder, bicarb and salt into a separate bowl. Then add the dry mix to the batter and mix well to form a smooth mixture. Add the pineapple juice and mix again.

Pineapple Upside Cake

Sprinkle the additional sugar into the prepared tin. Arrange the pineapple slices around the tin, including one in the middle, press flat. Pour the cake batter over the pineapple.

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Bake for approx 35-45 minutes until golden brown.

As soon as I put mine in the oven I noticed it was leaking onto to the oven shelf below. Aaaarrrrrggghhhh. Wasn’t anything I could do about it at that point, I just had to wait and see how much would be left to the actual baked cake.

Leave the cake to cool a little in the tin then turn out onto a plate.

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Despite losing some to the oven floor, and the cake not being as deep as the photo in the book, it was scrummy! Really light sponge and moist with the the tangy edge of the pineapple.

Banana Bread

Perfect for using up over ripe bruised bananas; this is a recipe I found on the Good to Know site. The finished cake was so light and moist and delicious served with some butter, this is a fab recipe I’d definitely use again.

Also, I must apologise for the rubbish photos. I was experimenting with a different camera rather than my iPad and I couldn’t get the light right.

What you need:

75g butter or margarineDSCF5267
100g soft brown sugar
1 egg, beaten
2 large bananas
225g self-raising flour
1/2 tsp mixed spice
Pinch of salt
Handful of mixed fruit or chopped walnuts (optional)

What you do:

Preheat your oven to 190°c and prepare a loaf tin (grease and line)

Cream the butter and sugar until fluffy using an electric whisk or freestanding mixer. Gradually add the beaten egg.

Banana Bread

Add the dried fruit. Mash the bananas then add to the mixture.

Fold in the flour, spice and salt. I then gave it a little extra beat in the mixer to ensure all the flour was combined. And, don’t forget the salt like I did!

Spoon into the prepared tin, level off and bake for 35-40 minutes. Mine actually needed 45.

Banana Bread

Cool on a wire rack. Serve with butter and a nice cuppa 🙂

Banana Bread

Raspberry Jelly Roll (or Swiss Roll)

Raspberry Jelly Roll in the America, Swiss Roll here in the UK. This is my first bake from new recipe book Hummingbird Bakery Home Sweet Home and I was looking for something a little more technically challenging this week. When I received my new mixer for Christmas I did wonder if I’d ever need to use my gorgeous Mason Cash bowl again, but I needed it for this recipe as the eggs need to beaten separately.

What you need:

4 eggs, separatedDSCF5231
6 1/2 oz caster sugar
1 tbsp vanilla essence
4oz plain flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
Icing sugar, for dusting

What you do:

Prepare a Swiss roll tin; greased and lined. Heat your oven to 180°c.

DSCF5232

The tin that I used was not a traditional Swiss Roll tin, it was about 3 inches short. I wasn’t prepared to buy a new one if this was going to fail!

 

Separate the eggs and using a freestanding or electric whisk, beat the egg whites until stiff but not dry (for my electric whisk this was no more than 2 minutes). Leave to one side.

Raspberry Jelly Roll

In another bowl, mix the egg yolks until pale. Then gradually add the caster sugar and vanilla whilst on high speed.

Sift the flour with the baking powder and salt. Fold this in to the egg yolk mixture. This forms quite a stodgy batter.

Raspberry Jelly Roll

Gently fold in the egg whites. This will makes the batter become more runny and loose, more like the cake mixture you’d expect (only lighter).

Pour into the prepared tin and level out. Bake for approx 10-15 minutes.

Raspberry Jelly Roll

Now for the fun bit….

Dust a clean tea towel with icing sugar. Tip out the sponge onto the tea towel.

Starting from the narrow edge of the sponge, roll the sponge and the towel up to together. Word of advice, it’s best to crack on and do it; don’t over-think it, and roll it as tight as you can to get the iconic swirl in the middle.

Cool on a rack, seam side down, for approx 15 mins.

Raspberry Jelly Roll

When cool, carefully unroll and peel away the greaseproof paper. Spread the jam over the sponge and re-roll.

Raspberry Jelly Roll

You can see by the end photo that if I’d had a longer tin I could have got more of a roll, having said that, for a first effort I consider this a success; no cracking!!

Dust with icing sugar and serve with a cuppa!

Raspberry Jelly Roll