Cashmere Wrap & Macadamia Nuts

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Category: Kitchen Stories

December Special. Christmas Cookies.

Chistmas Cookies

In our hectic daily routines, finding time for little things can be a challenge, but how often those little things are what matters the most? Why not slow down a little and do something that your nearest and dearest will remember, like baking those lovely Christmas cookies that make spirits bright just in time for Christmas Eve…? After all, December is a time for giving, and no gift is more precious than the one made with love.

Christmas Cookies – List of Ingredients:

  • 150 g. of butter
  • 250 g. of all purpose flour
  • 2 ss. of baking soda
  • 2 ss. of vanilla sugar
  • 100 g. of sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg white
  • chopped nuts and almonds

Christmas Cookies – Preparation:

1. Mix butter, flour, baking soda and vanilla sugar in a big bowl, add sugar and egg and work the dough well.
2. Form the dough into a big roll (5 – 6 cm. in diameter). Cut small portions of the dough and form a cookie from each and every one of them.
3. Place all cut cookies on a baking plate covered with a sheet of baking paper. Smear them with egg white and sprinkle some chopped nuts and almonds on top. If you have a particularly sweet tooth, you may substitute nuts with sugar or mix both.
4. Place form in an oven preheated to 175 C degrees, bake cookies for approximately 15 minutes, until they get golden on top. Keep an eye on them, as 1 minute too long may change golden cookies into burned disaster.

*** If you feel like raising a difficulty level higher, you may roll the dough and cut shapes with Christmas cookie cutters. If you work the dough well, it is very easy and cookies look more elegant on the Christmas table.

December Special. Berlinerkranser.

Berlinerkranser

Baking Christmas cookies is one of my most cherished December traditions. Nothing makes the cozy, homely atmosphere better than home made cookies. They require some extra effort, surely, but Christmas time is first and foremost about giving and carrying, so be generous and offer your nearest and dearest something special.

Berlinerkranser – List of Ingredients:

– 1 hard boiled egg yolk
– 1 egg yolk
– 60 g. of sugar
– 125 g. of butter (in room temperature)
– 175 g. of all purpose flour
– 1 egg white
– chopped almonds

Berlinerkranser – Preparation:

1. Crush hard boiled egg yolk with a fork. Add sugar and mix well. Add butter and flour, continue to mix.
2. Work the dough well. When ready, wrap in a plastic foil and place in a fridge for 1 hour.
3. Separate small portions of the dough, form them so each one is a roll 5mm thick and 10 cm long.
Form cookies, by crossing both ends of a roll somewhere in the middle, so each cookie looks like a small bow.
4. Place cookies on a baking plate covered with a sheet of baking paper. Smear cookies with egg white and sprinkle some chopped almonds and/or sugar on top.
5. Place form in an oven preheated to 190 C degrees, bake cookies for approximately 10 minutes, until they are golden on top.

The best way to store cookies is to keep them in a metal tin. Be careful, as they are very crusty and easy to break.

Everyday Cakes. Decadent Chocolate Brownies.

Decadent Chocolate Brownies_2

When I think about the amount of chocolate and butter needed to prepare brownies, it makes me feel like a real chocolate rebel. However, life is for the living and occasional decadence (especially on a special event) can be very well justified! if you ask my opinion… I love chocolate brownie as it tastes divine and is heavenly… easy to make. It is a perfect “stand alone” dessert and when combined with whipped cream and fresh fruits it is so sweet and satisfying, that very few guests would ask for a second helping. Ladies and Gentlemen – Decadent Chocolate Brownies are yours for the making!

Decadent Chocolate Brownies – List of Ingredients:

– 2 dark chocolates (200 g. each)
– 1 glass of sugar
– 3 eggs
– 2/3 of a butter stick (counting whole stick as 200 g.)
– a glass of all purpose flour
– 1 ss. of baking soda
– chopped walnuts or almonds

Decadent Brownies – Preparation: 

1. In a saucepan melt chocolate with butter. Having done that, set the mixture aside and let it cool down.
2. Mix eggs with butter, add flour and baking soda. Add chocolate melted with butter. Mix well until you get well worked dough.
3. Add half of chopped nuts into the dough and stir again.
4. Pour the dough into a baking form greased with butter and sprinkled with bread crumbs. Distribute remaining nuts on top of the dough.
5. Bake for 20 – 30 minutes in the owen heated to 180 C degrees. After baking, the cake should be a little “undone”, moist in the middle.
6. Serve alone or alongside with whipped cream, carmel or vanilla sauce.

Everyday (Cup)Cakes. Perfect Muesli Muffins.

Perfect Muesli Muffins_1

Not sure about you, but I love muffins. However, recently I jut can’t find any that would look appetizing – all this icing, heavy toppings, sugar sprinkles or chocolate chips just puts me off. Not only because of calories, but also because of a taste – I would like to enjoy the actual muffin and not feel like every bite is a mouthful of sugar. The remedy is quite simple and waiting… at home! Why not bake muffins that you can enjoy and feel confident of how much sugar (none) and fat (two spoons) are on the ingredient list? I do regularly and can state they make perfect breakfast or a lunchtime snack. Have I mentioned that it takes 1o minutes to prepare…?

Muesli Muffins – List of Ingredients:

– 150 g. of full grain muesli
– 150 g. of all purpose flour
– 2 eggs
– 300 ml. of milk
– 2 ss. of neutral oil
– 3 ts. of baking soda
– optional (according to season, mood, occasion…): honey, nuts, dried fruits, raisins, baking cocoa, oats, fresh fruits, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, …

Muesli Muffins – Preparation:

1. Mix loose ingredients in a bowl.
2. Add liquid ingredients and stir well (or let a food processor do the job).
3. Pour the dough into baking forms at 3/4 of their hight.
4. Bake at 180 C degrees for about 20 minutes (baking time may vary according to muffin form size – for bigger size bake a little longer).
5. Serve with whipped cream, marmalade, fresh fruits and with a smile.

Perfect Muesli Muffins_2

Everyday Cakes. Clafoutis.

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Clafoutis is a French cake that most often is prepared with cherries, though it tastes equally well with other fruits such as strawberries, blueberries, plums and such. This recipe contains no fat and sugar in the reasonable amount, so it can be considered a healthy alternative for a desert, especially if you share it in moderate slices and do not use extra sugar for icing. And even though Clafoutis is not my no.2 when it comes to everyday cakes, I share the recipe now, as it is perfect with all seasonal fruits.

Clafoutis – List of Ingredients:

  • 60 g. of all purpose flour
  • about 250 – 300 g. of selected fruits
  • 1/2 ts. of baking soda
  • 3 eggs
  • 60 g. of sugar
  • 300 ml. of milk
  • 1/2 ts. of vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt

Clafoutis – Preparation:

  1. Mix all ingredients in a bowl until you get a creamy dough that is more liquid than solid (bit like a pancake dough).
  2. Set the dough aside, preheat the owen to 180 C degrees.
  3. Grease the oval baking form with some butter and sprinkle with bread crumbs.
  4. Place fruits in the baking form and pour the dough on top of them.
  5. Bake for around 30 – 35 minutes, until it is puffy and golden on top. 
  6. Serve warm or cold; according to your preferences Clafoutis may be accompanied by ice cream, yoghurt or whipped cream.

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Everyday Cakes. Yoghurt Cake.

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Having a full time work with a family and social life to maintain leaves me little time for elaborate cakes. On special occasions – perhaps, but never as a regular practice. Everyday cakes are a different story though. I believe that a home made everyday cake brings an unique quality to family gatherings, being tasty yet fast to prepare, uncomplicated and possible to make with a simple list of ingredients that even a modest kitchen supply can cater for, and if you are lucky enough to own a food processor (like Kitchen Aid or similar), making everyday cakes will require a minimal effort,

Today, to open “Everyday Cakes” series, one that is not only delicious, but simple in preparation – the Yoghurt Cake.

Yoghurt Cake – List of Ingredients:

  • 4 eggs
  • 200 g. of sugar
  • vanilla sugar
  • 2 ss. of baking soda
  • 450 g. of all purpose flour
  • 225. g of natural yoghurt (chose one that is thick and contains minimum sugar)
  • 150 ml. of plain oil

Yoghurt Cake – Preparation:

  1. For approximately 10 minutes mix eggs well (both egg whites and egg yolks), until you get an airy mixture.
  2. Continue to mix and gradually add sugar mixed with vanilla sugar, yoghurt, oil and at the end flour mixed with baking soda.
  3. Pour the dough into a baking form greased with some oil and sprinkled with breadcrumbs.
  4. Bake for 60 – 65 minutes in an oven preheated to 160 C degreed. The cake is ready when a wooden pin is dry once you pierce a cake with it.

This is a base recipe that can be modified by adding seasonal fruits or delicacies such as raisins or nuts. To the cake that you can see on all pictures I added some rhubarb.

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