Gingerbread Christmas Cookies

There is no Christmas without a tin of homemade gingerbread Christmas cookies somewhere in sight in my humble opinion. These gingerbread cookies are easy to make and will make a perfect canvas for kids friendly kitchen crafts if you decide to let them decorate the final product.

There is no Christmas without a tin of homemade gingerbread Christmas cookies somewhere in sight in my humble opinion. These gingerbread cookies are easy to make and will make a perfect canvas for kid friendly kitchen crafts if you decide to let them decorate the final product. Ingredients:

  • 250g flour
  • 80g butter
  • 4tbsp honey
  • 4tbsp sugar
  • 2tbsp natural yogurt
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1tbsp cocoa
  • 1tbsp gingerbread spice mix
  • 1tsp cinnamon
  • 1tsp baking soda

For decoration (optional)

  • 1 egg
  • 250g dark chocolate
  • 150g icing sugar
  • 2tsp white egg powder
  • 2tbsp water

Method:

Preheat the oven to 180C.

Prepare and line with baking parchment two large baking treys.

In a small saucepan gently melt the butter and honey but do not allow them to boil. Put aside to cool.

In a large bowl mix all the dry ingredients being: flour, sugar, cocoa, gingerbread spice mix, cinnamon, and baking soda.

In a small bowl whip the egg yolks.

Once your butter has had the time to cool down, add it into the dry ingredients and mix gently. Next add the yogurt and ensure that all ingredients are well combined. Finally add your egg yolks and mix until smooth.

Place on a flat surface that has been lightly dusted with flour ready for rolling.
Roll out the dough to approximately 1cm in thickness, it can be less but ideally no more. Cut the desired shapes out and place on your pre-lined baking trays.

Now, for a shiny looking cookie, take 1 egg and in a small bowl beat with a fork and use the mix to “paint” your cookies just before their trip into the oven.

Bake in the earlier preheated oven for about 7 to 9 minutes.

Remove from the oven and move onto a cooling rack.

Once cooled down, it’s time to decorate!

There is no Christmas without a tin of homemade gingerbread Christmas cookies somewhere in sight in my humble opinion. These gingerbread cookies are easy to make and will make a perfect canvas for kid friendly kitchen crafts if you decide to let them decorate the final product.There is no Christmas without a tin of homemade gingerbread Christmas cookies somewhere in sight in my humble opinion. These gingerbread cookies are easy to make and will make a perfect canvas for kid friendly kitchen crafts if you decide to let them decorate the final product.You can simply melt some chocolate and half dip them as we did to our Christmas trees or use icing pens to draw on them, or create your own royal icing (just mix 150g of icing sugar with 2tsp of white egg powder and 2tbsp of cold water)… as I am not very good at decorating things I like to stick to the basics 🙂

Do you bake your own gingerbread cookies?

Or maybe you prefer the ones from a packet without all the hassle of home baking?

There is no Christmas without a tin of homemade gingerbread Christmas cookies somewhere in sight in my humble opinion. These gingerbread cookies are easy to make and will make a perfect canvas for kids friendly kitchen crafts if you decide to let them decorate the final product.

Super Quick and Easy Coconut Macaroons

Super quick and easy Coconut MacaroonsThere is a lot of different recipes floating around on the net for coconut macaroons. Some use flour, some use butter, others call for condensed milk… some even ask for chilling time… well my one has only three ingredients; it is quick and easy and you can have freshly baked macaroons within 20-25minutes depending on how fast your mixer can beat the whites and your oven can heat up. To make things even better the recipe is gluten and fat free… but it does have sugar so not so good for people on the diet 😉

Ingredients:

  • 2 large eggs
  • 140g caster sugar
  • 220g decanted coconut

Method:

Preheat your oven to 180C (160C if fan assisted).

Prepare a large baking tray and line it with baking or parchment paper.

Separate the eggs and pop whites into a mixer.

Mix them until stiff, then slowly add sugar, spoon after spoon… you need to have really thick egg whites in order for your macaroons to keep their shape.

Once all the sugar is incorporated, add yolks (one by one) and stop the mixer.

Fold your coconut and try not to “play” with your mixture for too long.

Use a spoon or an ice cream scoop to shape your macaroons and place them on earlier prepared baking tray. If your mixture is as thick as it should be they shouldn’t spread too much so there isn’t a need for a lot of spacing.

Bake in earlier preheated oven for around 15 minutes or until just golden brown.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool a little before moving them onto a cooling rack.

My Super Quick and Easy Coconut MacaroonsThe macaroons are lovely and crisp on the outside and soft and chewy inside; just as they should be.

Top tip: take your time when beating the whites; they need to be firm but be careful not to over-beat them. Add sugar slowly spoon by spoon… do not rush it. You are aiming for super glossy totally white whites, just like you would make for a meringue mixture.

My Super Quick & Easy Coconut MacaroonsDo you like coconut macaroons?

Yum

super-quick-and-easy-coconut-macaroons

Oats & Tea Infused Raisin Cookies

Oats & Tea Infused Raisin CookiesMost people think of oats as a healthy food, most people think about cookies as an unhealthy food, so when you mix these two together do you get a healthy cookie? Well I would love to think so… or at least a healthier option than a standard flour based one.

A few days before we left for our holidays I received a lovely parcel from Mornflake containing a selections of their oats. Did you know that Mornflake has been milling oats since 1675? With expertise and skills handed down from fathers to sons and over 330 years of milling experience, it is no wonder that Mornflake are able to produce what is probably the finest range of oat cereals available today, winning international gold medals for the quality, purity and consistency of our oats year after year.

But back to my parcel… so I had a selection of oats and a 20h car ride in front of us… baking some cookies for the road was an obvious choice.

Oats & Tea Infused Raisin Cookies - IngredientsIngredients:

  • 300g organic oats, we used Mornflake
  • 200g golden caster sugar
  • 100g raisins
  • 150ml vegetable oil
  • 140g wholemeal flour
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 50ml strong tea, we used Black Tea from Teatulia

Method:

Preheat oven to 180C (160C if fan assisted).

Line 2 large baking trays with baking parchment.

Oats & Tea Infused Raisin Cookies - cooking with teaBrew 50ml of strong tea and pour it over the raisins. Leave them to soak for about 20 minutes or until plump; then drain but reserving the liquid.

In a large bowl, mix together the oil and sugar. Gradually beat in the egg, add the reserved water from the raisins, the cinnamon and vanilla extract. Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda and a pinch of salt into the bowl, then add the oats. Finally, mix in the raisins.

Drop heaped table spoon of the cookie dough onto the baking trays. Make sure that they are well spaced apart as they will increase in size during the baking process.

Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden.

Remove from the oven and leave to cool on the trays for five minutes then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Oats and Tea Infused Raisin CookiesOats & Tea Infused Raisin Cookies.Apparently they will keep in an airtight container for up to 3 days… well ours didn’t survive that long as they were all gone by day two 😉

*Recipe based on BBC Good Food Oatmeal Raisin Cookies recipe but amended to fit our needs

Bring on the summer – Papaya & Orange Ice Lolly

Bring on the summer – Papaya & Orange Ice LollyImagine my huge surprise when a few weeks ago I opened my pantry cupboard to retrieve a couple of mangos (yes mangos) I needed for my salad, only to discover there were no mangos; they had been replaced by some papaya fruit! Well they were not exactly replaced… in moment of madness I think I must have picked them up, instead of the mangos I wanted, whilst out shopping a couple of days earlier. I am still foggy as to why or even how this could have happened but it did, so I had to deal with the consequences of my mistake.

Now I like playing the ingredients replacement game as much as the next person but I couldn’t really use papaya instead of mango in my salad as it wouldn’t be a mango salad any more 🙁 I have to admit we aren’t huge fans of the papaya so eating it just as a fruit wasn’t really a viable option… so it was time to get creative.

There is nothing simpler than creating ice lollies so I decided it would be the perfect way to deal with my “unwanted” fruit 😉

Ingredients:

2 large ripe papaya (not mangos!)

4 large juicy oranges; juiced

Method:

Wash, peel and chop the papaya into small chunks.

Juice all the oranges and then pop both the fruit and the juice into a blender.

Blend it for a minute or so until all large chunks have gone and it has nice smooth consistency.

Pour into ice lolly moulds and pop into the freezer.

Allow at least 4 hours of freezing time.

Bring on the summer - Papaya & Orange Ice LollyBring on the summer – Papaya And Orange Ice LollyBring on the summer - Papaya and Orange Ice LollyAs it ended up they are very enjoyable little treats. There is no added sugar or any other ingredients for that matter so they are diet friendly.

In addition to consuming them straight from the freezer, I’ve used them instead of ice cubes whilst making myself smoothies and shakes. I have to admit they are perfect in this role and provide an incredibly exotic level of additional flavour. I would assume they would work well as regular ice cubes too in an appropriate drink.

Do you prepare homemade ice lollies?

What’s your favourite flavour?

Yum