Sunday, 18 December 2011

MY CHRISTMAS BISCUITS



This is another of my own creations, so they've become MY Christmas cookies!. I've made these plain pastry biscuits and I needed an idea, something to make them special. So I decided to dip them into melted dark chocolate... and this is the result. They are now my favourite!!!

Ingredients for about 60 biscuits:

400 g of plain flour
200 g of butter
180 g of sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons of baking powder
2 teapoons vanilla extract
a pinch of salt
100 g of dark chocolate

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. 

Cream the butter and the sugar, then add the egg and the vanilla extract; mix well then add the flour, the baking powder and the pinch of salt.

On a lightly floured board roll the pastry dough to a 3 mm thickness.Cut the biscuits with cookie cutters and put them properly spaced on a baking tray lined with baking paper.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes - edges should just be golden brown when done.

While the cookies are in the oven, put the chocolate in a bowl and put on top of a pan with some boiling water. When the chocolate has melted, dip the cold biscuits, then let the chocolate dry for a couple of hours. I've added a picture to show you how I've managed to do it.
And now...enjoy them!!!







Friday, 16 December 2011

CINNAMON BISCUITS



Sorry for my absence, but I've been vey busy...baking!!! In the past days I've made quite a lot of Christmas cookies as I wanted to give  little gifts  to my friends. These kind of present is very cheap but...it took me ages to make them all and to decorate these ones in particular!So I really made them with my heart. The icing requires a lot, but really a lot of patience, so don't do it if you're in a hurry. And it takes several hours (a night) to set.
So this is the recipe. On half of them I've just sprinkled some icing sugar on the top and they were equally good. I love cinnamon and its scent and after I've baked these biscuits you could smell them from outside the building!

Ingredients for about 60 biscuits

400 g plain flour
200 g softened butter
200 g sugar
2 egg yolks
2 teaspoons of  cocoa powder
2 teaspoons of cinnamon
2 teaspoons of baking powder
4 tablespoons of milk

For the Icing:

80 g icing sugar
2 tablespoons of water

In a bowl mix the softened butter with the sugar. Add the egg yolks, the milk, the flour, the baking powder, the cocoa powder and the cinnamon. Work the dough until it just holds together. Wrap it in cling film and let it rest in the refrigerator for at least 1/2 hour.

On a lightly floured board roll the pastry dough to a 3 mm thickness.Cut the biscuits with cookie cutters and put them properly spaced on a baking tray lined with baking paper.

Bake in a preheated oven at 180 ° for about 10 minutes, or until golden; do not overcook, as they will become too hard, it’s better to take them out of the oven when they are still soft.

At this point, when cold, sprinkle some icing sugar on the top.

Otherwise, if you want to decorate with the icing, just mix well icing sugar and water, pour the mixture on the top of the biscuits and spread it helping yourself with a teaspoon and a toothpick. If you like, you can add some sugar balls on the wet icing. Let the biscuits to cool for a few hours before serving.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

RICOTTA CAKE



I made this cake because I had a Ricotta in the fridge that was about to expire...but I think I'll make it again, because the result was really outstanding! The ricotta gives the cake an exceptional softness. I added raisins and candied fruit, but if you prefer you can add dark chocolate chunks.


250 g Ricotta cheese
250 g sugar
300 g self-raising flour
3 eggs
100 g candied fruit
100 g raisins
50 gr butter
100 ml milk

Turn on the oven to 180 degrees.

Mix well the Ricotta cheese with the sugar, then add the eggs (one at a time), the flour, the milk and the softened butter.
Mix well then add the raisins and the candied fruit (remember to flour them a bit, so that they don't sink to the bottom). Grease and flour a baking tin, pour the mixture in it and cook for about 40 minutes.

Sunday, 4 December 2011

SALTY PLUM CAKE




Today we decided to have a brunch with some friends, so I cooked a mix of salty and sweet stuff: croissants filled with Nutella, jam or Frankfurters and cheese; an apple cake, courgettes muffins and other little things. I start posting the recipe of this plum cake, a very nice surprise. Quick and easy to make and very, very tasty. Perfect for a buffet, an aperitif or a brunch.

Ingredients for a 20 cm baking-tin

2 eggs
70 ml milk  
70 ml olive oil
200 g self raising flour 
100 g pitted green olives
70 g honey-roasted ham  
70 g cheese ( I've used goat's cheese, but you can use Emmenthal, Edamer, Gruyere or Cheddar)
10 g grated Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper


Turn on the oven to 180 degrees.
Chop the cheese, ham and olives.
Beat the eggs with salt and pepper in a bowl. When frothy, add the milk and the oil; then the flour.
Mix well, then add the cheese, the ham, the olives and the Parmesan and mix again. Grease the tin with butter, then cover with flour ( to be quick I use baking paper!). Now pour the mixture in it and put in the oven for about 30-35 minutes. When cold cut into slices and serve.



Thursday, 1 December 2011

CHICKEN TATTERS WITH VEGETABLES



This is a great idea for dinner: you cook the meat and the side at the same time. Quick and tasty, my children love it. And we do too!


Ingredients for 4 :

 600 g chicken breast fillets
1 small onion, chopped
1 large carrot, cut into small ppieces like matches
2 courgettes, cut into small pieces like matches
100 g frozen peas
 olive oil
salt
pepper
flour


In a large pan fry lightly the onion in some olive oil, then add the vegetables. Add a glass of water, salt and pepper (optional) , then cover and cook until the water has evaporated.

In the meantime slice the meat diagonally very thinly to obtain small meat tatters; flour them and add some salt.

Put the chicken in a wok pan and cook until golden, then add the vegetables. Mix well and then serve.