Lovely, yummy, jammy cookies!

IMG_3097It’s that time of the week again when I get my bake on! 🙂 

As you already know I’ve gone down the valentines route a little already with my Jammy Dodger Cupcakes but I’m not done with the romantic notion of valentines yet! Its so easy to make and bake things with a theme and when love is in the air its really fun to play around with different ideas and ways of decorating…!

 

I’ve decided to keep it simple this time around and have opted for jammy hearts!

They are sweet and tasty and pretty to look at!

Tip: With this recipe it’s important to buy a really good quality jam as it will be doing most of the ‘talking’ for these bakes! 🙂

I have lots more ideas in the pipeline so will try to bake and blog as much as my work and social life permit 😉

Enjoy!

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Ingredients: 

  • 125g butter, softened
  • 120g caster sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg, at room temperature
  • 250g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • Jar of quality strawberry or raspberry jam

Recipe:

1. Preheat oven to 180°C/Gas 4. Line a baking tray with baking paper.

2. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter, sugar and vanilla in a bowl until pale and creamy.

3. Add the egg and beat in to the mixture until well combined.

4. Connect the dough hook to your stand mixer and sift the flour and baking powder in to the butter mixture. Add the milk and mix until combined.

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Tip: This dough can seem like it takes a long time to come together but it will get there eventually! If it sees like it is too sticky you and add another tablespoon of flour and perhaps try kneading with your hands to help bring it together.

5. Turn your dough out on a light floured surface and using a rolling pin, roll the dough out to about 1/2 and inch in thickness.

6. Take the larger of your heart shaped cutters and cut out as many heart shape as you can.

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7. Gently place your dough hearts on the prepared baking tray. You might not be able to fit them all on at once.

 

Tip: It will be easier if you have a spatular to help lift the dough hearts off the surface – but be careful with them.

8. Now that your dough hearts are on a baking tray it will be easier to cut out the middles. Take the smaller heart shaped cutter and carefully cut out hearts from the middle of half of the cookies on your baking tray.

Remember: You will only need to cut small hearts out of the middle of HALF of your cookies. You need to make sure that they other half are left as whole hearts.

9. Place your baking tray in the oven and allow to cook for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.

10. Once your cookies have finished baking, remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before transferring on to a wire rack to cool completely.

11. Take the heart shaped cookies with the holes in the middle and careful use a sieve to cover them in icing sugar.

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12. Next, take a whole heart cookies and using a teaspoon, place a small dollop of raspberry or strawberry in the middle of the biscuit.

13. Take the other half of the cookies with holes in the middle and place them over the whole cookies so that the jam is visible from the middle of the heart.

14. Enjoy!

Love S & P x

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Queen of Hearts ♥

IMG_2832This week I really just wanted to have a bit of fun with my baking – I wanted to do something different and have a little play around! 🙂

I decided on these scrummy treats, partly because I love Jammy Dodgers and partly because its the run up to Valentine’s Day! Even if you don’t have love for Valentine’s day itself, you still have love for Jammy Dodger’s, right?!

 

With these, I especially love how the jammy dodgers look at the bottom of the muffin cases when they come out of the oven 🙂

These cupcakes are pretty much cup-muffins, huge and very very sweet, not for the faint hearted! They look pretty though and will (hopefully) impress your friends and family 🙂 Give them a whirl and let me know what you think!

So….here’s the heads up – some bits worked, some bits need…..a little improvement! I’m ok with this, as the saying goes – we learn from our mistakes! I was really happy with the cakes in general but when it came to the icing it was far too soft! Forgot the golden rule of not adding too much ‘liquid’ and so completely threw the mixture off when I added the jam in one go!

I managed to sort of save it and later found this really helpful hints and tips website for thickening different types of icing….

Anyway, to the recipe!

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Ingredients:

For the sponge:

18 Muffin cases
110g unsalted butter – at room temp
225g golden caster sugar
2 large eggs
150g self-raising flour
120g plain flour
120ml semi skimmed milk – at room temp
1 teaspoon of vanilla essence
Full sized Jammy Dodgers

For the topping:

110g unsalted butter – at room temp
60ml of semi skimmed milk – at room temp
1 tsp of vanilla extract
500g icing sugar
200g raspberry jam
Mini Jammy Dodgers (for decoration)

Recipe:

1. Place a jammy dodger ‘heart down’ in to the bottom of each of the muffin cases.

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2.
 Preheat your oven to 180c or 160c (fan) and line a 12 hole muffin tray with the jammy dodger filled muffin cases.

3. Using an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

4. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing for a few minutes between each one.

5. In a separate bowl, combine the self raising and plain flour and put the milk in a jug with the vanilla essence.

6. Add 1/3 of the flours to the butter and sugar mixture, beat well. Add in 1/3 of the milk to the mixture and beat again. Repeat until all flour and milk have been added.

7. Carefully spoon the mixture in to the muffin cases – making sure they are about 2/3rd’s full.

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8. Bake in the oven for around 25 minutes until slightly raised and golden brown. A skewer should come out clean after being inserted in to the middle of each cake.

9. Remove from oven and leave cakes to cool for 5-10 minutes before placing on a wire rack to cool.

10. Once the cakes have cooled – use a shaped cake plunge, or a knife to cut a small hole in to the middle of your cupcakes. I used a heart shaped one.

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11. 
Fill the holes with strawberry jam

Tip: I find it easier to pipe the jam in – makes it a little neater! :)

12. Using a large mixing bowl and an electric mixer, beat the butter, milk, vanilla extract and half of the icing sugar until smooth.

Remember: Sift in the icing sugar

13. Gradually add the remainder of the icing sugar and beat again until the buttercream is smooth and creamy.

14. Gradually add in the 200g of raspberry jam

Tip: This is definitely where I went wrong – try adding the jam in a tablespoon at a time….you will soon know if you have the right consistency. It needs to be thick enough to pipe properly. Why not watch this video 🙂

15. Spoon the mixture in to a piping bag and decorate your cupcakes as desired.

16. Add a mini Jammy dodger to the top of your cakes and devour! 🙂

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Love S & P x

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Simple Engagement Cupcakes

IMG_2738Recently, two very lovely friends of mine, Kate & James got engaged! Congratulations!

During a lovely little family trip to Centre Parcs, James got down on one knee and popped the question in a beautifully fairy light lit part of the forest! Swoon! ❤

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We had the lovely pair over for dinner at ours on Saturday night and Dave cooked an amazing dinner. To start we had, Jamie Oliver’s Camembert stuffed with garlic and rosemary, followed by Tom Kerridge’s slow roast shoulder of lamb with boulangère potatoes and for dessert I had knocked up some cute engagement themed cupcakes!

I decided to keep it simple as we had so much rich, french food on the menu and I didn’t want to overwhelm our guests with mountains of food!

I stuck with my standard vanilla cupcake with strawberry jam in the centre – my new favourite cupcake addition – and a plain vanilla butter cream (from the Primrose Bakery book) before decorating with red icing hearts (that had been cut a good few hours before decoration to allow them to stiffen) and haribo ‘engagement’ rings!

I really wanted to cut the letters ‘J’ & ‘K’ out of black icing but couldn’t find my cutters 😦 Its one I will try next time though, think it would have added a bit more of a personal touch 🙂

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Ingredients:

For the sponge:

110g unsalted butter – at room temp
225g golden caster sugar
2 large eggs
150g self-raising flour
120g plain flour
120ml semi skimmed milk – at room temp
1 teaspoon of vanilla essence

For the topping:

110g unsalted butter – at room temp
60ml of semi skimmed milk – at room temp
1 tsp of vanilla extract
500g icing sugar
Haribo star mix
Red icing

Recipe:

1. Roll out your red icing and using a heart shaped cutter, cup out the required number of hearts needed for your cupcakes.

Tip: The longer you can leave the hearts to dry and stiffen, the better – preferably over night.

2. Preheat your oven to 160c and line a 12 hole muffin tray with cupcake cases.

3. Using an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

4. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing for a few minutes between each one.

5. In a separate bowl, combine the self raising and plain flour and put the milk in a jug with the vanilla essence.

6. Add 1/3 of the flours to the butter and sugar mixture, beat well. Add in 1/3 of the milk to the mixture and beat again. Repeat until all flour and milk have been added.

7. Carefully spoon the mixture in to the cupcake cases – making sure they are about 2/3rd’s full .

8. Bake in the oven for around 25 minutes until slightly raised and golden brown. A skewer should come out clean after being inserted in to the middle of the cake.

9. Remove from oven and leave cakes to cool for 5-10 minutes before placing on a wire rack to cool.

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10. Once the cakes have cooled – use a shaped cake plunge, or a knife to cut a small hole in to the middle of your cupcakes. I used a heart shaped one.

11. Fill the holes with strawberry jam

Tip: I find it easier to pipe the jam in – makes it a little neater! :)

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12. Using a large mixing bowl and an electric mixer, beat the butter, milk, vanilla extract and half of the icing sugar until smooth.

13. Gradually add the remainder of the icing sugar and beat again until the buttercream is smooth and creamy.

14. Spoon the mixture in to a piping bag and decorate your cupcakes as desired.

15. Decorate by placing the red icing heart and a haribo ring on to your cupcake!

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Love S & P x