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Emma x

Category: Biscuits

Chocolate Ginger Biscuit Shards

Chocolate Ginger Biscuit Shards

The final addition to our afternoon tea stack are these little chocolate ginger biscuit shards. These are so easy and fun to make so they’re perfect for baking with small children, and you can easily leave out the ginger if it’s not your cup of tea. As with most biscuits you can also get really creative with the decoration! I’ve just gone from a drizzle of chocolate and some crystallised ginger, but these are also a great biscuit base for icing and so on.

Recipe

Makes 20 biscuits

Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 200g Unsalted butter
  • 330g Plain flour
  • 50g Cocoa powder
  • 3 tsp Ground ginger
  • 200g Caster sugar
  • 1 Medium egg
  • 50g Dark chocolate
  • 50g White chocolate
  • A little Seasalt
  • Crystallised ginger to decorate

Method

  1. Put the butter and flour into a bowl and cut the butter up into small pieces using a round bladed knife. When you can’t cut the butter up any further go in with your finger and rub the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
  2. Stir the cocoa powder, ginger and sugar into the mixture. Then add the egg and mix together until a dough forms. Wrap the dough in clingfilm and then chill it for at least 20-30 minutes.
  3. Pre-heat the oven to 180˚C and line 2 baking trays with baking paper.
  4. Roll the dough out between two sheets of clingfilm and then use a knife to cut the dough into triangles (or any other shapes you want). Transfer the biscuits to your lined baking trays and then bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes until starting to firm (the biscuits will firm up a lot more once cooled down).
  5. Leave the biscuits to cool for a few minutes and then move them onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  6. Now prep the decoration. Put the dark and white chocolate into separate bowls over pans of simmering water and leave to melt.
  7. Cover a surface in baking paper and arrange the biscuits over it. Then drizzle the biscuits with the two chocolates (you can either use a pipping bag or a teaspoon). Scatter the biscuits with the crystallised ginger and a little seasalt.
  8. Leave the chocolate to set and then serve! These will keep in an airtight container for 3-4 days.

Thanks for reading!

Emma x

Mad Hatter’s Tea Party

Mad Hatter’s Tea Party

“Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast” – Lewis Carrol, Alice in Wonderland.

We’re at the end of book themed month (where did that go?!) and so I’ve decided to end like we started and do a week of recipes themed around one book – this time that good old favourite Alice in Wonderland! I’m from Oxford and there’s loads of Lewis Carrol references around the city that I’ve been trotted around since I was very young, so I’ve always had a fondness for this crazy story. Although it’s technically a children’s book I think the actual themes and plot are pretty incomprehensible and I remember being really confused with it as a kid, but re-reading the book now in my early adult years I’m finding it much more insightful and interesting.

So, back to why we’re here, the food! When doing an Alice in Wonderland themed week on a food blog it’s kinda compulsory to do a Mad Hatter’s tea party so that’s what we have. This is an all bells and whistles afternoon tea, but you could scale it back if you don’t want to spend two days baking. If you really don’t want to bake that much you could just take inspiration from what I’ve put together and buy the elements from a shop. I have to admit to being sooo tempted to just buy a bakewell tart on my way out of the shop when I was buying the ingredients for this! In my opinion a ‘complete’ afternoon tea needs…

• Finger sandwiches

• Scones

• Some kind of cake

• Some kind of biscuit

• Something made out of choux pastry (e.g a profiterole)

• Something made out of Shortcrust pastry (e.g a tart)

• And of course lots of tea!

I’ll be posting a recipe a day which you’ll be able to find on the main page of my blog, or on this post where I’ll be collating all the links…

First up is the base of all afternoon teas – finger sandwiches!

Afternoon Tea Sandwiches

Scones

Banana, Cinnamon and Rum Friands

Bakewell Tartlets

Passion Fruit and Chocolate Profiteroles

Chocolate Ginger Biscuit Shards

Thanks for reading!

Emma x

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies  

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies  

Something that I really love about making biscuits, and in particular cookies, is how quick and simple it is to make them. The three basic ingredients in any biscuit is flour, butter and sugar, and anyone who bakes regularly will probably have these in their home at all times, so these are something that can be rustled up at a moments notice without the need for a shop first. I also love how easy it is to make them. Whop everything in a bowl, mix it together, portion it out and bake them. Then, no decoration, filling, or embellishment required, they can be devoured in minutes, warm pools of chocolate oozing out of them!

Peanut and chocolate is one of the ultimate flavour marriages out there, and in these it works sublimely. The little saltiness from the nuts compliments and brings out the richness of the chocolate, and the nutty flavour makes the basic cookie dough a little more interesting than your classic plain stuff. Recently there’s been a food craze of different nut butters  (like peanut butter but made out of cashews or almonds etc) so you could also try experimenting with other nut-choco combos. Especially if you’re not a fan of peanuts, there might be another nutty substitute that you’d prefer. These will also freeze really well, so if you want you can make the dough, pop it into a freezer-proof container and leave it in the freezer for months until you need it (and that way a fresh, warm cookie is always only minutes away!)

Recipe

Makes 10

Time: 15 minutes, plus cooking time

Ingredients

  • 110g Unsalted butter
  • 75g Caster sugar
  • 100g Light brown sugar
  • 1 Large egg
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 130g Peanut butter
  • 200g Plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp Bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 tsp Baking powder
  • 75g Milk chocolate

Method

  1. Begin by putting the butter and sugars into a bowl and beating them with a wooden spoon until pale and fluffy.
  2. Add the eggs to the mixture and stir until combined. Then add the vanilla and the peanut butter and beat again until incorporated.
  3. Add the flour, bicarb and baking powder to the mixture and mix until a smooth dough forms.
  4. Chop the chocolate into rough chunks and then stir it into the dough.
  5. Split the dough into 16 pieces and then roll each portion into a ball. Place the balls on two trays lined with baking paper. Take a fork and press down on each of the balls in a criss-cross pattern to slightly flatten and decorate them. Chill the biscuits in the freezer for 15 minutes.
  6. Preheat to 180˚C. When ready bake the biscuits for 10-15 minutes until golden and starting to crisp around the edges. Leave to cool slightly and then enjoy!

Thanks for reading!

Emma x

Rugelach

Rugelach

What is this? Another unusual bake that no one’s ever heard of before? Well you’d be right there. As you can probably tell I’m pretty obsessed with foreign baking, and over the course of the year I’ve been really pushing that side of my cooking. In my town there’s this really old bookshop that has a massive cookbook section, full of every style, theme, and cuisine of cookbook you could imagine. I love flicking through the books there, making mental notes of any unusual flavours, techniques, and ideas to give a go.

I first came across these in a Nordic recipe book and I immediately knew they’d be something I’d want to work on myself. Despite finding them in a Nordic cookbook though, these are actually a Jewish pastry, mainly found in the middle east. The dough is made with cream cheese which creates a really interesting, soft texture. These are then stuffed with apricot jam, nuts, raisins and cinnamon which makes them super moreish.

I quite like these as small, one-mouthful bites, but if you want to make them chunkier you can easily do this by cutting your circle into 6 or 8 triangles, rather than 12 like I have. I also haven’t tried this, but I wouldn’t be surprised if this filling works really well with shortcrust, puff, or even filo pastry, so you can really play around with these to suit your personal taste.

Recipe

Makes 24

Time: 45 minutes plus chilling and baking

Ingredients

  • 230g Cream cheese
  • 250g Unsalted butter
  • 155g Caster sugar, plus 3 tbsp for dusting
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 300g Plain flour
  • 40g Light brown sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp Ground cinnamon
  • 140g Raisins
  • 140g Walnuts, finely chopped
  • ½ cup Apricot jam
  • 1 Large egg, beaten

Method

  1. Put the cream cheese and butter into a bowl and whisk until light and pale. Add 55g of the caster sugar, salt and vanilla and mix again to combine. Slowly add the flour and mix slowly until a dough forms.
  2. Roll the dough into a ball. Then cut the ball into quarters, roll each quarter into a ball and wrap in cling film. Leave in the fridge for an hour.
  3. Meanwhile make the filling. Put the 100g of the caster sugar, the brown sugar, ½ tsp cinnamon, raisins and chopped walnuts into a bowl and mix together.
  4. Lightly flour a surface and roll each dough ball out into a 9 inch circle. Spread the apricot jam over the circles and sprinkle with some of the filling mix, pressing it into the dough slightly.
  5. Cut the dough circle into 12 wedges. Then, starting at the wide end of the wedge roll the dough up like a croissant.
  6. Line a baking tray with baking paper and put the rolled up cookies on the tray, making sure the point where the folded bit of pastry ends is underneath. Chill for 30 minutes.
  7. Pre-heat the oven to 180˚C. Lightly brush each biscuit with the beaten egg. Then combine the rest of the caster sugar and cinnamon in a bowl and sprinkle over the biscuits.
  8. Bake the rugelach in the oven for 15-20 minutes until golden brown and crisp.
  9. Leave to cool on a wire rack and then serve!

Thanks for reading!

Emma x

Anzac Biscuits

Anzac Biscuits

Back in the time when I was small, cute, and at primary school I came across this incredible recipe for Anzac biscuits. There was this lovely Australian teacher there who taught me in year three, and at a school fete one year she sold bags of them which were so delicious I had to ask for the recipe. A couple of days later she gave me an A4 hand-typed recipe which I still have to this day in a recipe folder on the shelf. I loved making them when I was little as they were so simple and quick to put together, and of course tasted delicious!

That said, for some reason I  haven’t made these in a  really long while. So, as it’s Anzac day today, I thought it’d be a good time to re-discover the recipe. Sure enough, they’re just as delicious as I remember them – sweet, chewy and with a slight nutty, caramelised flavour.

Recipe

Makes 16

Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 135g Plain flour
  • 200g Sugar
  • 100g Rolled oats
  • 100g Desiccated coconut
  • 150g Butter
  • 40g Golden syrup
  • 2 tbsp Boiling water
  • 1 tsp Bicarbonate of soda

Method

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180˚C. Then line two baking trays with greaseproof paper.
  2. Put the flour, sugar, oats and coconut into a bowl and mix together.
  3. Next take a pan and melt together the butter and syrup. When fully melted add the water and bicarb and mix together.
  4. Mix the wet into the dry ingredients until completely combined.
  5. Take a table spoon and drop blobs of the mixture onto your lined tray. Make sure to leave space between the biscuits as they will spread a little.
  6. Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes until golden brown and just starting to colour.
  7. Take the biscuits out of the oven and leave to cool for a few minutes so they harden, before transferring them to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Thanks for reading!

Emma x