Tag: #christmasbaking

Last-Minute Christmas Cake with Glazed Candied Fruit

Last-Minute Christmas Cake with Glazed Candied Fruit

While you might have the very best intentions to bake a Christmas Cake in October, feeding it twice weekly with Brandy leading up to December, sometimes life just gets in the way and before you realise it it’s December and Christmas Day is a week […]

Panforte

Panforte

Panforte is a classic Italian Christmas dessert.  It’s a very dense, rich confection loaded with nuts, candied or dried fruit, and spices (hence its name, which means “strong bread”).  Panforte has a long history. It was made by apothecaries, old-time pharmacists, and it was only […]

Gingerbread

Gingerbread

When looking for a good Gingerbread recipe, two things are important to me, and the first thing is the flavour.  I want gingerbread to have a strong spice aroma and taste – otherwise it’s just not gingerbread!  The second important thing when making cut-out cookies, is the dough must maintain its shape and not spread during cooking time.  I think you will be happy with this recipe, I know I love it!  You can use gingerbread to make a beautifully decorated gingerbread house , you can make gingerbread men, any shaped cookies you like, or you could get a little bit more creative at Christmas or Easter time and make festive wreaths.  The wreaths here were made with Christmas on my mind, but I might just update the photos in this post come Easter – imagine a wreath of gingerbread bunnies or decorated eggs! 

Gingerbread

  • 120g butter
  • 75g packed dark brown sugar
  • 110ml molasses
  • 1 egg
  • 410g plain flour
  • 2 tablespoons cornflour
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  1. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar until well combined.
  2. Add the molasses, and use a spatula to scrape butter from the sides of the bowl.
  3. Add the egg and incorporate into mixture.
  4. Sift flour, cornflour, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and salt together, and with the motor running on medium-low, add in batches to the butter mixture.  Continue mixing until the mixture forms a ball of dough, and all ingredients are incorporated.
  5. Divide the dough into quarters and roll it out between two sheets of baking powder.  Refrigerate.  Continue to roll out remaining dough until it is all resting in the refrigerator.
  6. Remove one rolled sheet of gingerbread dough, and peel off the top layer of baking paper. (Use this piece for the cookie shapes).  Using the cutter of your choice, and cut out gingerbread shapes.  Return these to refrigerator and preheat oven to 180°C.  Bake for 8 – 13 minutes depending on size of cookies.
  7. To make a gingerbread wreath It is best to place the gingerbread shapes in the freezer before baking.  Remove them after 20 – 30 minutes, and arrange on a clean sheet of baking paper.  Arrange them overlapping – they will stick together during baking, but be careful once they are cooked because they can be quite fragile.

GINGERBREAD – PAN DI ZENZERO

Quando si cerca una buona ricetta per fare i Gingerbread, due cose sono importanti per me. La prima cosa è il sapore:   voglio che il pan di zenzero abbia un aroma e sapore forte di spezie -altrimenti non è pan di zenzero!  La seconda cosa importante quando si fanno i biscotti è che la pasta deve mantenere la sua forma senza allargarsi durante il tempo di cottura.  Penso che sarete contenti di questa ricetta: io lo amo!  È possibile utilizzare pan di zenzero per fare una casa splendidamente decorate, si può fare gli uomini di pan di zenzero, biscotti di qualsiasi forma, o si può essere un po’ più creativi a Natale o Pasqua e fare ghirlande festive.  Le corone qui sono state fatte pensando al Natale, ma forse aggiornerò questo post a Pasqua – casomai con una corona dei coniglietti del pan di zenzero o delle uova decorate!
Ingredienti
  • 120g burro
  • 75g zucchero di canna muscovado
  • 110 ml melassa
  • 1 uova
  • 410g farina
  • 2 cucchiai farina di mais
  • 2 cucchiai di cannella
  • 2 cucchiai di zenzero
  • 1/2 cucchiaini di garofano
  • 1/2 cucchiaino di sale
  1. Utilizzando un mixer elettrico, battere il burro e lo zucchero fino a che siano ben combinati.
  2. Aggiungere la melassa, e utilizzare una spatola per raschiare il burro dai lati della ciotola.
    Aggiungere l’uovo e incorporare in miscela.
  3. Setacciare farina, farina di mais, cannella, zenzero, i chiodi di garofano e il sale insieme, e con il motore in esecuzione su medio-basso, aggiungerla alla miscela di burro.  Continuare a mescolare fino a quando la miscela forma una palla, e tutti gli ingredienti sono incorporati.
  4. Dividere la pasta in quarti e stenderla tra due foglie di carta da forno.  Refrigerare.  Continuare a stendere l’impasto rimanente e farlo riposare nel frigorifero.
  5. Rimuovere un strato di pan di zenzero, e staccare lo strato superiore di carta da forno (utilizzare questo pezzo per le cucinare i biscotti).  Utilizzando il cutter di vostra scelta, tagliare le forme di pan di zenzero.  Riportarle in frigorifero e preriscaldare il forno a 180 °C.  
  6. Cuocere per 8-13 minuti a seconda delle dimensioni dei biscotti.
  7. Per fare una corona/ghirlanda è meglio mettere le forme di pan di zenzero nel freezer prima della cottura.  Rimuovere dopo 20-30 minuti ed organizzarli su un foglio pulito della carta da forno.  Disporli sovrapposti – si attaccheranno durante la cottura, ma attenzione perché una volta cotti possono essere abbastanza fragile.

 

 

Gingerbread Mince Pies

Gingerbread Mince Pies

It’s no secret I love Christmas fruit mince pies, and while I love the classic version, I’m happy to experiment and try other flavour combinations.  Last year I made Chocolate Mince Pies using a chocolate pastry paired with my mother’s rich fruit mince filling (link below), […]

Christmas Custard Cookies

Christmas Custard Cookies

These cookies are so delicious, it’s difficult to stop at just a couple and impossible to eat just one.  It is a variation of a shortbread recipe.  I had every intention to bake the recipe my mother and Aunts would use every Christmas (they made […]

Shortbread

Shortbread

My English grandmother would make shortbread and she comes to mind whenever I eat it.   I think it was one of the first things she taught my sister and I to bake.  Last week I spotted a beautiful Nordic Ware snowflake baking pan, and so I justified buying it by telling myself I could make Shortbread for Christmas!   I actually tried 3 different recipes, but the best one was the first and as it comes from Scotland, I’m assuming it’s the most authentic.  It also reminded me the most of the recipe I enjoyed as a child.

There are actually different styles of shortbread.  A circle, which is divided into ‘slices’ are called ‘shortbread petticoat tails’ because the design is similar to the pattern used to make a full petticoat once upon a time.   A rectangle which has been cut into strips or bars are called ‘shortbread fingers’, and individual small biscuits or cookies are ‘shortbread rounds’.  Obviously, thanks to my new baking pan, I made shortbread petticoat tails, but you can press the shortbread mixture into any shaped baking pan.

Shortbread

  • 450g butter
  • 225g caster sugar
  • 450g plain flour
  • 225g rice flour
  • pinch of salt
  1. Pre-heat oven to 180°C.
  2. Sift flours together twice and add salt.
  3. Cream butter and sugar together (best done by hand although I used a mixer).
  4. Add the sifted ingredients and mix together by hand until the butter and sugar are incorporated.  Don’t overmix.
  5. Prepare the shortbread mold or baking pan by lightly coating it with butter and icing sugar. Tap to remove excess.
  6. Press the shortbread dough gently into the shortbread baking mold.  I used a ‘cake smoother’ to press mixture into the baking pan and to ensure it was flat and level.
  7. Bake for 25 -30 minutes, or remove from oven when shortbread is a pale and golden.  Allow shortbread to cool in the pan, then turn it out to a wire cooling rack.

 

Shortbread

  • 450g burro
  • 225g zucchero semolato fino
  • 450g farina
  • 225g farina di riso
  • pizzico di sale
  1. Forno  180 °C
  2. Setacciate le farine insieme due volte e aggiungete il sale.
  3. Mescolare il burro e lo zucchero insieme (meglio fatto a mano anche se io ho usato la planetaria).
  4. Aggiungere gli ingredienti setacciati, mescolando insieme a mano fino a quando il burro e lo zucchero sono incorporati.  Non lavorare troppo con l’impasto.
  5. Preparare lo stampo o la teglia da forno con un leggero strato di burro e zucchero a velo e rimuovere l’eccesso.
  6. Mettere l’impasto nello stampo e premere delicatamente per ottenere la superficie piatta.
  7. Cuocere per 25 -30 minuti, o quando il shortbread è leggermente dorato.