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Posts Tagged ‘holidays’

Happy Holidays!

 

I am sending my love and warm greetings from my home to yours.

Have the most wonderful Holidays!

 

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I am making loads and loads of these delicious rolls for this year’s Christmas.

There are many poppy seed addicts in our family and I’ll try my best to satisfy them all.

 

These rolls are amazing and fun to make yeast-based pastries filled with a scrumptious poppy seed filling.

If you are still looking for a nice Holiday recipe then you should definitely give these a try.

They’ll make you happy.
 
 

Here’s what we need to prepare them.
 
 

Let’s start with the dried yeast.

Dried instant yeast is an awesome thing! Your baking will always be a success if using this kind of yeast.
 
 

1. Mix the yeast, warm milk and sugar in a bowl.
 
 

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

 

3. Pour in the yeast mixture.
 

4. Using your hands or an electric mixer, combine the ingredients and then knead until you form a ball. You should knead until the dough ball is no longer sticky. It should be nicely smooth and elastic.

If you think that your dough is a little too dense to work with, add a little more milk. Start with one tablespoon of milk and if that’s not enough, add some more.
 
 

This is the kind of dough that likes a lot of attention (read: kneading). I love kneading dough – it’s the most wonderful way of relax for me.

 

5. Place the dough into a bowl, cover it with a clean kitchen towel and let rise in a warm place for about 1 hour or until doubled in bulk.
 
 

In the meantime, we can prepare the poppy seed filling.
 

Of course, you can replace this filling with the canned, store-bought one.

But why would you?

Okay, I may know why… it’s simpler. But still – making your own filling will be a lot more fun!
 

6. So, for the adventurous ones – grind the poppy seeds.
 
 

7. Combine the sugar with hot water. Stir until the sugar dissolves.
 
 

8. Then stir in the ground poppy seeds, lemon zest and vanilla extract.

And that’s it – your poppy seed filling is done and ready to be used.

 

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

10. Turn the risen dough onto a floured surface.

 

11. Using a sharp knife, divide the dough into four (4) equal parts.

 
 

12. Take one of the four parts…
 
 

13. And roll it out into a circle.

The circle should be about 10 inches (25 cm) in diameter.
 
 

14. Cut the circle into 8 equal triangles.
 
 

15. Arrange 2 teaspoons of the filling crosswise at the wider end of the triangle.
 
 

16. And roll it up, starting at the wider end.

 

17. Pinch the edges to seal.

 

18. Let the rolls rise for another 10-15 minutes.
 
 

19. Then transfer them onto the lined baking sheet.

Work in batches here.

 

20. Beat the egg lightly. Brush each roll that you’ve transferred onto the sheet with the egg mixture.
 
 

Just like this.
 
 

21. Bake at 350 °F (175 °C) for 16 minutes.

Then repeat the process with the rest of the rolls.
 
 

Yum!
 
 

Double yum!

 

Enjoy, dear friends.

This is very, very good.

 

(This recipe makes 32 rolls and takes about 2 1/2 hours to prepare.)

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Thumbprint Cookies – you may also know them as Polish Tea Cakes or Butterballs.

Combining all things people love so much – butter, nuts and jam – they are classic and favorite cookies for any occasion.

And you know what? They are also really easy to make –  just have a look!

~~~

To prepare the Thumbprint Cookies you need:

1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature

1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated white sugar

1 large egg

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup (140 grams) all-purpose flour

1/8 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup (100 grams) walnuts (or hazelnuts or almonds or pecans)

1/2 cup jam (any flavor you like)

~~~

1. Preheat an oven to 350 F (176 C).

2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the nuts on the sheet.

3. Toast the nuts for about 10 minutes.

4. Remove the nuts from the oven and let cool.

Then chop them finely and place them into a bowl.

Nice!

5. Now let’s make the dough.

In the bowl of your electric mixer mix the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

6. Separate the egg and add the egg yolk to the batter.

Add the vanilla extract.

And then add the flour and salt to the batter and beat until just combined.

7. On a lightly floured surface form a log from the dough and cut it into about 12 – 15 equal pieces.

8. Form a ball from each piece and refrigerate for about 30 minutes (the balls will be easier to work with when refrigerated).

9. In a bowl whisk the egg white until frothy.

10. Dip a ball into the whisked egg white…

11. … and then roll in the nuts lightly.

Place the balls onto the prepared baking sheet spacing about 1 inch (2,5 cm) apart.

12. And now the funny part!

Take one well-built thumb and make an indentation into the center of each cookie.

13. Using a teaspoon, fill the cookie with the jam (if you want to make it more neat you can use a pastry bag or – like me – a small plastic bag with one corner cut off).

14. Bake for about 13-15 minutes.

Remove from the oven, place on a wire rack and let cool.

If you are planning to make these cookies in advance, you can bake them without the jam filling (in that case, reduce the baking time by a few minutes). They can be stored for about one week and filled with jam the same day as serving.

This recipe makes about 15 cookies.

Enjoy!

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These cookies might possibly be the easiest cookies in the whole universe…

They contain just a few ingredients and are great fun to make.

And let me tell you that they taste just wonderful.

There is also one magical trick involved – Melting Moments Cookies replace some of the flour with cornstarch (corn flour) so they literally “melt-in-your-mouth”.

Yum!

~~~

To prepare the delicious Melting Moments you need :

1 1/2 cup (210 grams) all-purpose flour

1/2 cup (60 grams) cornstarch (corn flour)

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup (60 grams) powdered (or confectioner’s or icing) sugar

1 cup (227 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Topping:

1 cup (110 grams) powdered (or confectioner’s) sugar, sifted

~~~

1. In a bowl whisk together the flour, cornstarch and salt.

Set aside.

2. In the bowl of your electric mixer mix the butter and sugar …

… until light and fluffy (about 3 minutes).

Beat in the vanilla extract.

3. Gradually add the flour mixture.

Beat until incorporated.

Cover and refrigerate the dough for about one hour.

4. Preheat an oven to 350 F (175 C).

5. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

6. On a lightly floured surface form a log from the dough.

Cut the log into two halves.

And then cut each half into two halves, and then again and again, until you have 36 equal pieces.

7. Form a ball from each piece (it is going to be about 1 inch/2,5 cm in diameter).

(Hey, palm readers, what’s my fortune? Making many cookies, right?)

8. Place the cookies on the prepared baking sheet spacing them about 1 inch (2,5 cm) apart.

9. Bake for about 12 – 14 minutes or until the edges of the cookies start to brown.

Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool for 5 minutes.

10. Now we are going to cover our lovely cookies with some sugar.

Line a baking pan or a tray with parchment paper and sprinkle about half of the confectioner’s sugar onto the bottom of the pan.

Then place the slightly cooled cookies on top of the sugar.

Thus we’ve covered the bottoms of the cookies and we can place them back on the cooling rack.

11. Put the remaining sugar in a strainer or a sieve and sprinkle the tops of the cookies.

Nice!

These delicious cookies store very well (up to two weeks – in airtight containers between sheets of wax paper) so they are very good for those who like to make their Holiday baking in advance.

This lovely recipe was adapted from joyofbaking.com and makes 3 dozen cookies.

Enjoy!

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I simply love December.

I consider it the greatest, most magical and heart-warming month of them all.

And I celebrate every single one of its wonderful days.

Every year I buy my boyfriend this advent calendar full of lovely chocolates.

And every year he tells me that he’s not into such things all that much and I can have it.

And that is what I wait for!

Now I have my own treasure box without blaming myself for being too childish and  buying it for myself.

In fact, I am being frugal by putting it into good use, right?

I absolutely love and adore all the details of this beautiful thing.

A lovely girl lighting a candle.

A happy boy who’s just found a present.

A peaceful winter land behind the windows.

But where’s number one – the first day of this festive countdown?

No, it’s not here.

Aaaaa, here you’ve been hiding.

Gotcha!

Reveal your sweet secret to me!

Yaaay!

(I like the way the kids are looking at my fingers in this picture. They look quite curious.)

I want my chocolate right now!

Yum!

Look!

Number two.

Let me have that one as well!

Not…!

I was strong, stronger than the lovely chocolate under number two!

I am keeping it for tomorrow.

For another magical day of December.

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I have experimented a bit today …

The inspiration to make these cookies comes from Martha’s Chocolate Pretzels but I have changed her recipe quite a lot.

These pretzels taste like coffee, chocolate and cinnamon all together.

Quite pleasing combination, hm?

~~~

To make these lovely pretzels you need:

1/4 cup (20 grams) cocoa

4 teaspoons instant coffee

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

10 tablespoons boiling water

1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature

2/3 cup (135 grams) granulated white sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 large egg

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 2/3 cup (220 grams) all-purpose flour

confectioner’s sugar to sprinkle on top

~~~

1. In a small bowl, mix together the instant coffee, cocoa and cinnamon.

(OK, you are right, there’s no cinnamon in the bowl. My brain just doesn’t work so well in the morning and I tend to forget things. I added the cinnamon as the last step.)

2. Pour the boiling water into the bowl and stir thoroughly. Set aside.

3. Put the butter and granulated sugar in the bowl of your electric mixer.

Mix until creamy.

Then add the egg, vanilla extract and salt and mix again.

4. Add the cocoa-coffee-cinnamon mixture and beat slightly.

5. Gradually add flour, and mix until a smooth dough forms.

6. Turn out on a lightly floured counter and form a ball.

Wrap in foil and refrigerate for about one hour.

7. Preheat an oven to 350 F (175 C).

8. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

9. Shape the dough into a log and cut it into 18 equal pieces.

Form a small ball from each piece.

Shape the balls into 12-inch-long (30 cm) ropes.

10. Twist each rope into a pretzel shape (I recommend doing this on the baking sheet because it might get a bit awkward to transfer them onto the sheet).

11. Some granulated sugar on top. Here we go…

Bake for 10 minutes.

12. Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack.

If you’d like your cookies a bit more festive you can sprinkle them with some confectioner’s sugar.

These cute and delicious pretzels can be stored in airtight containers at room temperature up to 1 week.


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