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I love bundt cakes.

It seems that I tend to celebrate the arrival of each season with them.

Somehow, it always works.

 

To welcome this year’s spring and Easter, I decided to go for a wonderful, fresh and invigorating citrus flavor.

And here it is.

 

In fact, the big clever books of baking would call this cake a chiffon cake.

Chiffon cakes are light and moist cakes that use vegetable oil instead of butter. That is the main reason why these cakes do not tend to harden or dry out as traditional butter cakes might.

That is positive, I think.

 

Frankly, this cake tastes just lovely.

Plus, there’s this delicious citrus glaze that increases the whole fresh experience immensely.

Here’s how you can make it too…

 

These are the ingredients that will come in handy.

 
 

1. First, preheat the oven to 325 °F  (165 °C).

 

2. Wash one tangerine under running water thoroughly.

Pat it dry with a kitchen towel.

Then grate one tablespoon plus one teaspoon peel. We are going to need one tablespoon for the cake and the remaining teaspoon for the glaze.

 
 

Mmm.

 
 

3. Now, squeeze the juice from 4 tangerines.

And try not to drink it.

Be strong!

 
 

4. Pass the juice through a fine sieve to get rid of seeds.

Because there might be seeds.

They are naughty and tend to sneak into your juice unobserved.

 
 

5. Now prepare your dry ingredients.

In a large bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, salt, and 1 cup granulated sugar.

 
 

6. Make a well in the center.

Add the oil, egg yolks, and the tangerine peel and juice.

Whisk into the dry ingredients.

 
 

7. In another larger bowl, beat the egg whites until they just stand in stiff peaks when beaters are lifted.

 
 

8. With a rubber spatula, gently fold one-third of the whites into the egg-yolk mixture to loosen the batter.

Then fold in the remaining whites.

 
 

9. Brush a 6-cup (1.4 liters) bundt cake pan with some vegetable oil.

Or use your cooking/baking spray.

 

10. Then dust the pan with some flour lightly.

But be careful at this point, don’t miss a spot. The more attention you pay to this process, the easier it will be for you to remove the cake from the pan after baking.

 

Note: You can use an angel food cake pan instead, if you wish to.

 
 

10. Using a spoon or a ladle, pour the batter in the pan.

 
 

11. And bake at 325 °F (165 °C) for about 30 minutes…

 
 

… or until a wooden skewer inserted into the center of the cake…

 
 

… comes out clean.

 
 

Hello baby.

I like you.

I like you very much.

 

12. Or, in other words, remove the cake from the oven.

Let it stand on the wire rack for about 15 minutes.

Then, using a knife, carefully loosen the cake from the edges and the center of the pan.

 

13. Invert the cake on a cake stand or a plate.

 

14. Let cool completely.

 
 

15. To prepare the glaze, squeeze 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon juice from the remaining tangerines.

Start preparing the glaze just before using it.

 
 

16. In a small bowl, stir together the confectioners’ sugar, tangerine peel, and 2 tablespoons tangerine juice until smooth, adding the remaining teaspoon juice if necessary for good spreading consistency.

 
 

16. Spoon the glaze over the cooled cake, spreading it with the back of the spoon and allowing the glaze to run down the sides of your cake.

 

17. Use some colorful, happy sugar sprinkles to decorate the cake.

 

18. Let stand until the glaze is set, about 30 minutes.

 
 

And most importantly – enjoy, dear friends!

 

Love,

Petra

 

(This cake has been adapted from www.goodhousekeeping.com.)

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I am sending you warm greetings from my kitchen.

Because I luv ya!

And because the running oven makes it really, really warm in here.

 

The time before Christmas has a sweet and magical impact on me. I find myself in the kitchen even more often than usual.

Which actually means that instead of 14 hours a day I spend 20 hours here now.

Like yesterday, for example, I made 82 cookies and I don’t even know how that happened to me.

Strange.

 

Anyhow, these lovely Bowtie Cookies were one of those I made yesterday.

The dough has cream cheese in it. It remotely resembles puff pastry, but it is less layered and less fatty. And oh so delicious!

The dough is filled with jam. You wouldn’t believe how gorgeous that combination is.

Let me show you how I prepared them…
 
 

Here’s what we need.
 
 

1. In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, beat together the cream cheese, butter, sugar, and salt on medium speed until light, about 2 minutes.

 
 

2. Then on low speed, gradually beat in the flour just until mixed. A crumbly mixture will form.
 
 

3. Using your hands, pat the crumbly mixture together to form a dough ball.

 

Oh, and the face – I had to. Again. It’s addictive. Sorry!
 
 

4. Preheat the oven to 350 °F (175 °C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

 

5. Now, on a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a square or rectangle about 1/8 inch (3 mm) thick.

 

6. Cut the dough into even 2.5 x 2.5 inch (6 x 6 cm) squares.
 
 

I’ve found out that my pizza cutter works best when it comes to cutting pastry.

It’s perfectly sharp.

And pink.

I’m in love with it!
 
 

7. Place 1 teaspoon of the filling in the center of each square.

Use a really thick jam. There are even jam brands out there that are meant for baking. Get one of those, preferably.

Also, when I was making the first batch of these cookies I was a little too generous and placed a little more than one teaspoon of the filling in the center. And I also spread it.

 
 

I don’t recommend that.
 
 

Although the cookies looked amazing before baking, if there’s too much jam, it has a tendency to leak while baking.

 
 

In the second batch I was less generous.

 
 

And the cookies leaked less, they almost didn’t leak at all.

 

7. Back to the instructions… pull 2 opposite corners of the square into the middle, and pinch the edges together to seal.

Pinch the edges well, don’t give them a chance to open back into the square shape while baking.
 
 

8. Place the cookies on the prepared cookie sheet, spacing them about 1 1/2 inches (4 cm) apart.

 

9. Bake at 350 °F (175 °C) for about 12 minutes or until lightly golden.
 
 

10. Let cool on the cookie sheet for 1 to 2 minutes, then transfer to wire racks.
 

11. Dust the tops with sifted confectioner’s sugar while still warm, then let cool completely.

 

Enjoy, dear friends!

 

(This recipe was loosely adapted from Epicurious.com and makes 40 cookies.)
 

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These straws are super easy to make.

And yummy!

 

Of course, they can be enjoyed as a nibble or finger food year-round, but I think they are especially welcome at Christmas and New Year’s parties.

Mmm. I can imagine them with drinks, salads or thick soups even.

Also, creating these savory treats makes a great project for you and your kids. Just try making them together. I am sure there will be loads and loads of fun.

 
 

Here’s what we need.

 
Yes, this is one of those recipe where you only need very few ingredients.

I am a huge fan of such recipes.
 
 

1. Preheat your oven to 350 °F (175 °C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

 

2. Place the butter, cream cheese, flour, and salt into a bowl.
 
 

3. Combine the ingredients by hand just until a nice ball forms.

 
 

4. Place the dough onto a well floured surface.

 

5. Using a rolling-pin, roll out the dough into about 1/4 inch (0.6 cm) thickness.

If the dough gets too sticky during this process, just use more flour to make the work easier.

 
 

6. Now cut the dough into even strips. My ones were 3/4 inch (2 cm) wide and 4 1/2 inches (11 cm) long.

 

If you want them to look super fancy, use a fluted pastry wheel cutter.

Oh, and it helps a lot if you dip the cutter in flour beforehand.

 

7. Re-roll any scraps and cut more strips.
 
 

8. Lay the strips on the lined baking sheet. Brush them with a lightly beaten egg.

This will make them beautifully golden in color.
 
 

9. Lastly, sprinkle each strip with some salt, sesame seeds and cumin.

I only had ground cumin seeds on hand when I was making these cuties. I think that the whole ones would look even better.
 
 

9. Bake at 350 °F (175 °C) for about 15 minutes or until golden brown.

 

Enjoy, dear friends!

 

(This recipe makes about 30 straws and takes 45 minutes to prepare.)
 

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These bite-sized cookies are perfect for having with tea.

(Psst, coffee is all right too.)

They taste wonderful and are very, very simple to make.

I like to prepare them when my sugar craving strikes out of the blue. Or when friends call unexpectedly saying they will come soon.

These cookies just save lives.

 
 

Here’s the list of ingredients.
 
 

1. To make your own Tea Cookies, first preheat the oven to 350 °F (175 °C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

 

2. Sift the flour and sugars into a larger bowl.
 

 

3. Add the softened butter, two egg yolks and lemon zest…
 

 

4. …and use pastry cutter or just a plain fork to turn the ingredients into a crumbly mixture.

 

5. Then use your hands to form a ball.

 
 

Like this one.

Though creating a face is not necessary.

But it helps.

Kidding!

But it really does.

Kidding again!

 

Now I’d like to tell you this: Please, be patient when you find yourself in the phase in-between the crumbs and the dough ball. It only takes patience and trust that those crumbs will eventually come together. Give it five minutes or so and you’ll see success!
 

 

6. Place the dough ball on a very, very lightly floured surface.

This dough is almost not sticky at all so you really need very little flour, if any.

And besides that, the more flour you’d be using the firmer the cookies would get. And we don’t need that.

 

7. Using the palms of your hands, roll the dough until you form a log which is about 1.5 inches (3.5 cm) wide in diameter.

 

8. Then cut the log into about 1/2-inch (1 cm) thick rounds.
 
 

9. Place the rounds onto the sheet and bake in the preheated oven (350 °F – 175 °C) for 10 minutes.

The cookies should still be very pale in color when baked.
 
 

10. Remove from the oven and let cool completely.

Enjoy, dear friends.

(This recipe makes about 30 cookies and will take you about 40 minutes to make.)
 

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I’d love to reveal a little secret about our monkey household of two.

We love biscuits! All sorts of them!

Unbelievable, huh?

 

Biscuits are especially enjoyed by the male monkey over here.

You should see his smile each time he finds out they are in the oven.

It’s the widest and most content smile I’ve ever seen.

And when the biscuits are done my boyfriend immediately grabs his plate of at least fourteen and hurries to watch his favorite sitcoms.

I love to make biscuits because somehow they make the world a perfect place.

They are magical.
 
 

Here are the ingredients.
 
 

And here’s the bacon.

It’s a crucial part of the magic.
 
 

1. To make your own Bacon and Cheese Biscuits, first preheat the oven to 390 °F (200 °C).

 

2. Then slice the bacon thinly.
 
 

3. In a large pan, fry the bacon over moderate heat until crisp.

This will take a couple of minutes.
 
 

4. When beautifully crispy, remove the bacon from the pan and crumble it finely.
 
 

5. Grab the cheese and grate it.
 
 

Just like this.

This is a lot of cheese.

 

The cheese mostly will constitute the flavor of your biscuits. So choose the one you really like.

It’s completely up to you.

I used Leerdammer. Next time I’ll try Cheddar, I think.

It’s fun because the biscuits can be different every time.
 
 

6. Now we need a large bowl.

Using a pastry cutter (or just a fork), combine the flour, baking powder, salt, cayenne pepper and butter until crumbs form.
 
 

7. Stir in the grated cheese and the bacon.
 
 

8. Then add the milk…
 
 

9. …and stir together just until the dry ingredients are well moistened.
 
 

10. Transfer the dough onto a lightly floured surface and make a Halloween face out of it.

Sorry.

What I really mean is that now you should knead the dough 4 – 5 times.

To make the biscuits perfectly soft, the trick is not to over-knead the dough.

 
 

11. Roll it out to about 1/2 inch (1 cm) thickness.

When it gets sticky use some flour to make the job easier.
 
 

12. Cut out rounds using a 2-inch (5 cm) cutter.

Pat the scraps together, re-roll them and cut out some more rounds.
 
 

13. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Arrange your biscuits on the sheet about 1/2 inch (2.5 cm) apart.
 
 

14. And bake them for about 15 minutes.
 
 

These are so yummy.

Enjoy, dear friends!

 

This recipe makes about 36 biscuits.

(The recipe was adapted from LeitesCulinaria.com.)
 

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I heart bundt cakes.

You can clearly see it in the above picture and also in the picture below.

Hearts overload.

 

Bundt cakes are cute, bundt cakes are fun and they also are super-easy to make.

In addition, this one is also perfect.

I promise.

It’s moist but not too moist,  it’s sweet but not too sweet and it tastes just like heaven.

Actually, I’d so love to give you a slice right now.

But I think it will be more useful to give you the recipe…
 
 

Here are the ingredients.

Six of them.

I love simple recipes.
 
 

1. First preheat the oven to 347 °F (175 °C).
 

2. Then butter and flour thoroughly a 9 x 4 inches (23 x 10 cm) bundt pan.

Instead of buttering the pan you can use a vegetable spray.
 
 

3. Now separate the eggs into two larger bowls.

Set the egg whites aside. Their time will come a little later.
 

4. Add the sugar and the vegetable oil into the bowl with the egg yolks and using a hand mixer mix them for about three minutes.
 

5. Then add the milk and mix for another three minutes.
 
 

6. Now pour the flour and the baking powder into a smaller bowl and combine them with a spoon.
 
 

7. Add the flour mixture into the beaten egg-yolk mixture…
 
 

8. …and using a spatula stir it to combine.

First there will be lumps. But don’t give up, keep stirring and kill them all.
 
 

9. Finally, grab the bowl containing the egg whites and whip them until firm.

 
 

10. Using a spatula again, gently fold the whipped egg whites into the batter just until blended.
 
 

11. Pour the batter into the pan.
 
 

12. And into the oven it goes for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick (or a wooden skewer) inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

When you do the toothpick/skewer test you might find dry crumbs adhering to the skewer. That’s all right. The cake is done.

But when you find raw batter on it that means that the cake needs some more baking.
 

13. Remove the cake from the oven and let cool.
 
 

Then place it on your Mom’s old cake stand (which is actually older than you) and admire the beauty for a while.
 
 

Then make a nice cuppa tea or coffee, cut a big fat slice of the cake (or three) and have the best time ever.

Enjoy, dear friends.

And, please, make this soon.
 

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These muffins are like treasure boxes.

Cute, little treasure boxes.

The moment you take a bite the muffin welcomes you with its moist and tender texture.

After a while you’ll notice that a couple of refreshing assorted berries have come to greet you too.

‘Yum’ – that’s exactly what comes to your mind!

And then, as if this wasn’t enough already, you’ll stumble upon these wonderfully rich and creamy white chocolate chunks that counterbalance the tartness of the berries in a way you’ve never even dared to dream about before.

And you think: ‘I thought “Yum” before… so what am I supposed to think now? Shall I scream? Or call somebody? Or shall I run really fast?’

These muffins, they are amazing.
 
 

This is the cast of characters.

 

I’ve noticed that for some reason the number of ingredients in my recipes rarely exceeds ten.

If ever.

Who knows why?

‘Cause I don’t.
 
 

1. To make your own ‘treasure box’ muffins you’ll need two bowls.

One bowl for the ‘wet’ ingredients and the other one for the ‘dry’ ones.

Then you just combine the two, bake it and that’s it.

Bye!

 

No, no, no, just kidding – don’t you expect me to leave that quickly.

You know me, don’t you?

I’m here to reveal the whole story in every specific detail.

Otherwise my brain would break.

 

So (and this really is the step number one), in a bowl pour all the wet ingredients – the lemon juice, oil, milk and egg.
 
 

2. Whisk them to combine.
 
 

3. Then grab the white chocolate.
 
 

And chop it roughly into chunks.

Of course, you can also use store-bought chunks or even chips.
 
 

4. Place the dry ingredients (the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar and chocolate chunks) into the second bowl.

Set about half a cup of chunks aside for decorating.

 

5. Stir to combine.
 
 

6. Now pour the wet mixture into the dry one.
 
 

7. And stir -and this is important when it comes to muffins – just until it combines.

Small lumps are perfectly all right.

Overmixing a muffin batter might result in tough muffins.
 
 

8. Finally, add the berries.

If you decide to use frozen berries, don’t let them thaw before baking. That way they won’t bleed into the batter and the batter will remain yellow(ish).

Which is exactly what I didn’t do.
 
 

9. Gently, fold in the berries and admire the beauty you’ve created.

Yes, I see a lot of beauty in batters.

Yes, I am feeling all right.

Why do you ask?
 
 

10. Line the muffin tin with paper liners.

If you don’t want to use papers, then just oil the tins with some vegetable oil.

 

11. Using a spoon, fill each cup full of batter and sprinkle a few chocolate chunks over the top.

The extreme amount of batter per cup might surprise you, but that way you’ll achieve those nice domed tops more easily.
 
 

12. Bake at 356 F (180 C) for about 20-25 minutes…
 
 

… or until the tops are golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean.
 

13. Remove from the oven, transfer to a wire rack and let cool for about 5 minutes before removing from pan.

Then let cool completely.
 
 

Here it is – standing proud in all its irresistible deliciousness.
 
 

Oh my!

Enjoy, dear friends!

 

This recipe makes 11 large muffins.
 

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