Star Wars Cookies

I haven’t had time to go watch it yet, I’ve been busy…

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Star Wars Sugar Cookies

For the sugar cookies

  • 110 g butter
  • 80 g brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 0.5 tsp caramel flavour
  • 200 g self-raising flour
  • 0.5 tsp NaCl

Cream the butter and sugar together. Incorporate the egg and then the flavour. Sift in and mix the flour and salt. You can do all this with a fork!

Gather up the dough and roll it to 0.5 cm thick. Stamp the cheewbacas and Darth Vaders and bake at 160 °C fan for 10 to 12 minutes until the bottom is browned.

For the icing

  • 90 g powdered sugar
  • 1.25 tbsp water
  • Food colouring

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Peanut Butter Cookies with Fig Jam

St. Joan is around the corner and by then fig trees become a fruity beacon of hope that make my stomach rumble and my eyes weep with joy. If you have ever approached a fig tree, taken one of the fruits and eaten it there on the spot, you know what I’m talking about. This year I will have to reluctantly accept some seasonal fig jam instead… sad face.

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Peanut Butter Cookies with Fig Jam

Makes around 20 cookies

  • 175 g flour
  • 0.5 tsp baking powder
  • 0.5 tsp bicarbonate
  • 0.5 tsp salt
  • 170 g crunchy peanut butter
  • 100 g room temperature butter
  • 65 g brown sugar
  • 65 g white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 100 g fig jam (or another kind if you can’t find it, my condolences)

Preheat the oven to 150 °C fan and line two baking sheets with baking paper.

Sift the flour, bicarbonate, baking powder and salt and mix thoroughly. Beat the butter and peanut butter until creamy, then add the sugars and keep beating until the mixture is whitish (as whitish as it can be considering the brown sugar…), light and fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla and finally fold in the flour (or beat at low speed).

Take ice cream scoop size portions of the dough and bake for 5 minutes. Take the biscuits out of the oven and make a hole in the middle with a dessert spoon (or with your thumb if it’s insensitive to heat, this is a thumbprint sort of cookie). Bake the cookies for 5 more minutes, until golden. Let them rest for another 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack and wait until cold. Finally fill the well with the fig jam and enjoy.

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Lebkuchen

On the evening of the 5th of January, the Three Kings come by to bring presents to all well-behaved kids. Here they were welcomed with sweets, in a clumsy attempt to gain their favour and encourage them to leave one present or two amongst the coal. The sweets were German, just in case Christkind decided to pay a belated visit as well, the more the merrier!

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Lebkuchen

  • 70 g sugar
  • 20 ml water
  • 200 g honey
  • 1 egg
  • 0.25 tsp vanilla extract (or 5 g vanilla sugar)
  • 160 g rye flour
  • 160 g white flour
  • 30 ml milk
  • 3 g baking powder
  • 1.5 g bicarbonate of soda
  • zest of half a lemon
  • Ground spices (Lebkuchengewürz)
    • 10 g cinammon
    • 2.5 g clove
    • 0.5 g allspices
    • 0.5 g nutmeg
    • 0.5 g cardamom
    • 0.5 g ginger
  • Dark chocolate
Boil the sugar with the water and stir in the honey, then let the mixture cool down to 30 °C.
Whisk the egg with the spices until foamy.
Add the honey and egg mixtures to the flour and combine thoroughly.
Dissolve the baking powder in half the milk and the bicarbonate in the other half, and then incorporate each one to the dough separately.
Wrap the dough tight in clingfilm and let cool overnight in the fridge.
The following day, roll the dough to 0.5 cm and cut out the cookies with your favourite cookie cutters. Place the cookies in a greased baking tray and brush them with milk. Bake for 15 minutes at 160 °C fan.
Let the cookies cool in a wire rack and then melt the chocolate over a pan of simmering water and dip their bottom in it. Place on clingfilm, chocolate side down, until it solidifies.
The cookies will be a bit tough when just made, but they will get softer if left for a couple of days in an airtight container.
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Herrencreme in Cookie Cups

Herrencreme is the typical German Christmas day dessert (at least in my photographer’s house…), and this version comes from his father’s bag of culinary wonders.

Fans of eating even the plate as we are, we considered pimping the Herrencreme up with a chocolate cup, it did the Eaton Mess justice after all… But since the Herrencreme already has some chocolate, we tried a new variation.

Sweet Merry Christmas!

Herrencreme in cookie cups

Herrencreme in Cookie Cups

Herrencreme is a mixture of vanilla pudding (kindly provided by the German backing superhero Dr. Oëtker), whipped cream and dark chocolate, with a good splash of rum… lecker!

For the Sugar Cookie Cups

  • 225 g softened butter
  • 130 g sifted powder sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 270 g sifted flour
  • 1/2 tsp NaCl

Beat together butter, sugar, and vanilla on medium speed until light and fluffy. Beat in flour and salt at low speed until combined. With a rolling pin, shape the dough into a 1 cm disk in between two plastic wrap layers. Seal the corners with the plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 min (until firm).

Cut out 5 cm circles and place them on the greased back of the cups of an overturned 12-cup muffin tin, leaving empty cups in between. Gently press each round over the top of each muffin cup and down the sides about a couple cm. Refrigerate 30 minutes.

Bake at 130 °C fan for 20 min, until golden brown. Let the muffin tin cool slightly on a wire rack and then lift each cookie by sliding a knife under the edge (don’t wait too much or they will become fragile, but not to worry, freeze the broken ones, there’s plenty we can do with them…). Makes around 20 of muffin-tin back cookies.

For the Herrencreme

  • 0.5 l milk
  • 3/4 packet of Vanilla Pudding Powder (around 30 g)
  • 1 egg
  • 4 tbsp sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 tbsp rum
  • 150 ml whipped cream
  • 50 g dark chocolate shavings (or more…)

Mix well the milk, egg and pudding powder and then add the salt and sugar. Heat until it thickens and let cool, mixing every couple of minutes.

When the pudding is cold, mix in the rum and fold in chocolate and whipped cream.

Spoon the Herrencreme into the cookie cups and enjoy!

 

It’s not difficult to break one cup or two when attempting to lift them from the tray, but not to worry, we tested the crumbled cookie+Herrencrem combination and it got our quality control stamp.

Herrencreme

Cookies and Cream Cake

There is a double standard about having your bday close to Christmas time. On the one hand, it is more likely that people will be around to celebrate, which is great. But on the other hand, there tends to be a rather unfair overlaping in presents that Christmas-day born children will surely understand… So why not an extra self-made one?

Cookies and Cream Cake

Cookies and Cream Cake

Another courtesy of the Hummingbird bakery.

For the sponges

  • 175 g softened butter
  • 570 g sugar
  • 480 g flour
  • 6 tsp baking powder
  • 1.5 tsp NaCl
  • 480ml buttermilk
  • 5 eggs
  • 200 g chocolate chip cookies

Preheat the oven to 170 °C fan and line 3 cake tins of 23 cm of diameter with parchment paper.

Mix butter, sugar, flour, baking powder and salt with the electric mixer until the mixture has a sandy consistency.

Separately, mix the buttermilk and eggs and add to the dry ingredients slowly, whilst beating, until the batter is smooth. Crumble the cookies broken into medium pieces and fold into the batter. If you don’t have buttermilk, you can add white wine vinegar to regular milk and let it stand for 5 minutes, the casein will precipitate because of the acidic pH giving the consistency of buttermilk.

Divide the batter among the three tins and bake for 35 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack.

For the mascarpone buttercream

  • 320 g butter
  • 1 kg of powder sugar (I know, it seems a lot…)
  • 500 g mascarpone cheese

Beat the powder sugar into the butter and then beat in the mascarpone in small additions, until smooth.

Fill the layers of cake with buttercream and finish by frosting the outside. The design is done with a metal spatula moving it in circles and in a spiral motion.

Cookies and Cream Cake

Cookies and Cream Cake

Chocolate & Peanut Butter Cookies

Chocolate to peanut butter is a match made in heaven. Like goat cheese to tomato marmalade, whipped cream to strawberries or a social life-less postdoc to a tyrannical PI. For these last ones, there goes a working weekend cheer-up recipe.

P1120499Chocolate peanut butter cookies

For 25 big or 50 small cookies (depending on how busy your lab is on the weekends).

  • 225 g butter
  • 200 g sugar
  • 200 g dark brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 0.5 tsp vanilla extract
  • 240 smooth peanut butter
  • 340 g self-raising flour
  • 0.5 tsp NaCl
  • 150 g milk chocolate
  • 150 g white chocolate

Preheat the oven to 170 °C fan.

Cream butter and sugars together, then add the eggs one at a time, the vanilla and the peanut butter, beating to mix. Finally add the flour and salt.

Distribute the cookie dough in baking trays and bake for 10 minutes, until golden brown. Leave them to cool on a wire rack.

Melt the milk chocolate and drizzle over the cold cookies, still placed on the wire rack (remember to put a piece of baking paper under them to catch the chocolate spillover). You can do this by placing the melted chocolate in a plastic bag and cutting out a little hole in one corner. Let the chocolate solidify and then melt the white chocolate and drizzle over the cookies in a perpendicular motion.

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Snickerdoodles!

According to wordreference, the meaning of this word would be little laugh drawing, or laugh little drawing… So they would be kinda little eatable smiley faces.

Smiley faces had my colleagues when I brought a big batch to the office. Delicious 🙂

Snickerdoodles

Snickerdoodles

Enough for 24 of these funny-named cookies.

 

Funniest thing about it is that my hand-held mixer broke after the second batch… so if you have a KitchenAid, use it… (in favour of the cookies I will say the poor machine had been highly overworked in the past).

For the cookie dough

  • 225 g softened butter
  • 350 g sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 430 g flour
  • 2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • pinch of salt

For the coating

  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 3 tsp  cinnamon

Preheat oven to 160 °C fan and place a lined baking tray on the fridge to cool. Beat the softened butter until creamy, then beat in the sugar and finally the eggs and vanilla. Combine and sift flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt in a separate bowl. Blend dry ingredients into butter mixture and chill the dough for 15 minutes. Make little balls of dough and coat them in the sugar-cinnamon mixture. Place the balls on the baking tray and in the oven for 10 minutes. Remember to remove them from the pan immediately!

Your kitchen will smell of cinnamony amazingness.

Snickerdoodles

 

It is important to leave some space among the cookies when in the oven, unless you are very fond of shamrocks…

Snickerdoodle shamrock

Snickerdoodles