Garibaldi Biscuits

I always got a packet of raisins in my cupboard. If not raisins, sultanas or currents would be there. It goes in to my bread or cakes, sometime it becomes rum raisins. But I had never made them into Garibaldi biscuits until recently.

It came suddenly to me one day, ‘I like Garibaldi biscuits, why haven’t I thought about making them myself before?’ So, I checked online and made them.

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I used the recipe from Delia Online, Garibaldi Biscuits.

It was a great success, my family liked them apart from my big son who doesn’t like raisins. It is slightly different from shop bought ones, but it is tasty nonetheless.

I had some as soon as it was baked, and then later with my friends. And the rest went into a cookie jar, but disappeared soon after. Its combination of plain not-so-sweet biscuit base and sweet raisins is seriously moreish.

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It’s surprisingly easy and tasty, worth making a few batch.

When I was munching on those little biscuits, I remembered that there were raisin biscuits similar to Garibaldi biscuits always sitting in a cupboard when I was little. It was like a big sister of Garibaldi, bit chunkier and chewier. I wondered what was it called, but I cannot remember the name. Now that I had made Garibaldi biscuits, I’d love to try making that biscuit from my memory sometime soon.

I’m in Fiesta Friday this week agian, hosted by Angie @ The Novice Gardner, and co-hosts are Jhuls @The Not So Creative Cook and Mila @milkandbun. Thank you for hosting FF!

Have a happy weekend!

Lemon iced Easter biscuits

Easter is coming!
My boys are off school&playgroup now, and I am trying to keep them happy and busy at home; and to be honest, I am failing already.
After a few sibling fighting at home and pretend wrestling at shops, I finally started to use Easter bunny like Santa.
‘Easter bunny bring eggs only for good boys.

Oh, well.
Shame on me for using Easter bunny like that, but I need to buy food without taking boys to A&E. (or anyone else for that matter.)

I do hope Easter bunny will come!

While we wait for the bunny to come, it is nice to have some Easter treats to make us in the mood for the celebration. I made some bunny and egg biscuits.

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 Lemon iced Easter biscuits. I wish I had a bit more steady hand for icing, but I guess ‘practice makes perfect’!

I like thin royal icing on my biscuits, but icing can be too sweet, so I love lemon in the icing giving sharp freshness.

I used the cut out biscuit recipe which isn’t that sweet, so icing really works.P1070091 (640x481)

  • Servings: about 20 biscuits
  • Time: 2hr 30mins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

cut out biscuits (this recipe make a bit floury, not so sweet home-made biscuits. if you prefer buttery one, please try some other recipe.)
butter…..100g
sugar…..80g
egg…..40g
plain flour…200g
lemon zest….1/2 lemon

royal lemon icing
royal icing power….some
lemon juice…..some

1. cream butter and sugar together, till light and white.
2. add egg a little at the time, mix all the egg. add zest.
3. fold in flour, make into a large ball.
4.rest the dough in the fridge for 1 hour or so.
5.Roll out thin, 3mm-5mm, cut in the shape using cookie cutter or template. (I used rabbit cutter I have and just cut around egg shape template with a knife)
6. Bake in the oven, preheated 180C, for 10-13min. Check often not to burn.

7. Once biscuits is cooled, make royal icing (see the packet for instruction), using lemon juice instead of water. Colour them as you like. (I used pink and yellow colouring)
8. Making little paper piping bag (cut a lining parchment into triangle and roll up into a corn shape), fill them with icing. Decorate biscuit as you like. If you are coating the top of biscuits with icing and piping on top of it, you need to wait until first icing is dry to get clear line. (if you are doing marble effect or something, you need to do it before drying)
9. Dry them out over night, then it is nice and crisp to eat! Yum.

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Sun is shining in Belfast today, and big Easter holiday weekend coming.

Happy Easter!
Happy Fiesta Friday!

(April 2014)

Raspberry Meringue Drops

What do you do if you had some egg white in the fridge?

Maybe you can bake pavlova or macaroon, or simply some little meringues.

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Little pink meringue drops with freeze dried raspberry pieces.

I saw a picture of wonderfully colourful meringue drops of Meringue Girls the other day. It was wow! Just bursting with colours (and flavours if I could taste one!), and so cute!

Not sure if meringue drops can be next big thing of baking world after cupcakes and macaroons, but it give me an idea to make those little pink meringue with freeze dried raspberry.

I used simple French meringue method, just whipped egg white with caster sugar, where Meringue Girls seems to use much more interesting method of making meringue.

See their website for their basic recipe; they bake sugar in a tray and spoon into egg white. It’s bit like in between Italian (ie: pour hot sugar syrup into egg white) and French.  Interesting, indeed!

But I just wanted to make quick treat to use up all my egg white, so French way was good enough.

Those little drops are good to eat with coffee just as they are. Very crisp with a little burst of raspberry flavour whenever you hit freeze dried raspberry bits.

Or you can make up a bowl of dessert like this,
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Raspberry meringue drops with strawberry and creme fraiche.

I just had Spanish strawberry bought from a veg shop, so I used that, but fresh raspberry would be perfect if it was in season.
Fresh cream or Greek yoghurt will be fine instead of creme fraiche. Meringue is so sweet that you don’t need to add sugar to the cream.

Raspberry Meringue Drops

  • Servings: 2
  • Time: 1hr 30mins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Egg white……1 egg
Caster sugar….60g
(I had 3 egg white, so use 180g sugar, that gave me plenty of meringue for family and friends!)
Freeze dried raspberry…. as much as you like, about 2g? (they are very light)
Pink food colouring… a few drops

1. Whisk egg white to soft peak
2. Add caster sugar little by little. Whisk till it is glossy and heavy.
3. Mix raspberry and food colouring in.
4. Pipe into small drops using round nozzle. (I tried star shape nozzle first , but raspberry got stuck and didn’t come out well. Just use big round nozzle if you got any bits in!)
5. Bake in the oven, 100C (212F), for about 1 hours till they are dry and crisp.
6. Once cooled, you can eat them now or keep in a airtight container for later. They keeps crisp really well, as long as you bake it completely dry.

Well? My first insertion with recipe shortcode. Learn new thing everyday!
I’ll probably post only the recipe which is I can happily say it is mine and easy to write. I will give you a link if the recipe is based on someone else’s, or just tips and idea as usual.
If you are new to baking, please check other more detailed recipe site as well before you start on my recipe. I jot down recipe, short cutting basics, like preheating, lining, sieving etc…

P1070013 (640x481)Little hands waiting to get some of his share.

Happy Fiesta Friday!

Green Tea Biscuits + Cherry Blossom Biscuits

3rd of March is Hinamatsuri, girl’s day in Japan.
If there are any girls in the household, you display traditional dolls called “Hina-Ningyo” and have a party to wish for happiness and health of the girls. This festival is also called as ‘Peach day’, celebrating Spring coming.

(image of Hina Ningyo from Japanese Wikipedia: http://ja.wikipedia.org/)

My family had 3 girls, I was middle one.
We had large doll set, 7 or 8 steps, with prince and princess  and all the servants. We didn’t have a party as such, because my parents were too busy in spring time as my family has apple and pear orchard. We just had dolls displayed and had a nice dinner or something.

In Belfast, Hinamatsuri would be a distant memory.
But actually, we celebrate it here in Northern Ireland! Thanks to Japan Society of Northern Ireland, we do Hinamatsuri party every year, around early March, with full set of dolls displayed beautifully.
(One Japanese lady actually has her dolls brought over, and now she celebrate this day with her little daughter. She usually let us display her dolls at Japan Society)

To celebrate Spring, I made those biscuits for the party.

P1060932 (640x481)Biscuits for Japanese Spring Party.

P1060933 (640x481)I wish I had cherry blossom powder, but I didn’t. (Cherry blossom is often  salted to be preserved, and it has distinctive flavour.)

So, I just made pink vanilla cookies using star piping nozzle, and put freeze dried raspberry in the middle.

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I coated the back of biscuits with strawberry flavour chocolate.

P1060934 (640x481)Green Tea (Maccha) biscuits with black beans.

I had some sweet black beans my mum sent me, so I put them in. It gives nice texture to the biscuits.

These biscuits were made in log shape, set in fridge and cut into 7mm ish before baking.
When using Maccha powder, you can use it as you do with cocoa powder. But you’ll probably only need to use less quantity than you use cocoa powder, as Macha powder can be strong and also expensive. Make sure to mix Macha powder really well with flour and sieve, before you mix with wet ingredients.

(March 2014)

Buckwheat Biscuits


At Christmas, my husband gave me a very large mixing bowl with lots of goodies inside it, like a hamper.
The goodies inside were some chocolate, interesting sweet syrups like rose hip and pomegranate, dry yeast for my bread making, herbal tea I like to drink before bedtime, buckwheat flour and rice flour etc… Interesting, indeed.

As a Japanese, when I saw a big bowl and buckwheat, I instantly thought of SOBA noodle.
And yes, I tried to make it myself but without  good results. SOBA making is an art itself. My noodle tasted like SOBA, but it was cut into small bits once boiled and didn’t hold shape of noodle. (Usually soba is made of 80% buckwheat 20% wheat, but I even tried 50%, but no success of holding shape.)
It seems that buckwheat has to be freshly grounded to make decent SOBA noodle, according to some websites. Or maybe buckwheat here is not exactly same as buckwheat in Japan. Or maybe much more simply it is me.

So I decided to use rest of my buckwheat flour for something else.

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Ta darrrr, I made biscuits.
A lot easier than Soba noddle.

It’s a mix of buckwheat and a bit of spelt flour with walnuts.
I shaped dough into rectangle bar and frozen it for a few hours. Then I cut it into thin slices to bake.

I often use chilling & cutting method to make biscuits, but I never actually frozen them completely to be able to cut so thin.
It is slightly exciting. It opens some doors, the doors for ‘thins’ and ‘crips’ sort of biscuits.  (I know I am a bit mad.)

This biscuits has nice buckwheat flavour, simple gentle sweetness on its own. Or you can sandwich chocolate hazelnuts spread between two biscuits, like my husband.

Recipe (not so detailed. sorry.)

melted butter    50g
cooking oil         40g
icing sugar        120g
egg L                         1
walnuts                30g
buckwhat flour 200g
spelt flour          50g

1. Mix butter and oil and sugar.
2. Mix egg.
3. Then mix flours and walnuts.
4. Shape into rectangle log, and freeze.
5. Cut thinly, about 3mm. Spread on baking mat.
6. Bake in 180C oven, till slightly coloured.

(Feb 2013)

Magic Wand Pop

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The Magic Wand (or fairly wand? ) which I made for Christmas Fair of my son’s last school. (See Snow man pop about that)

Since I made the snow man pops last year as well, I wanted to make something new to bring to the fair. I thought and thought, and I came up with this idea.

I made lots of star shape biscuits, simple vanilla flavour cut out type, and iced using royal icing. When icing was dry, I used cake pop stick and sandwiched two biscuits together with while chocolate in the middle.

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The idea was that it is easy to buy and eat at the fair, and something a bit different from cup cakes and tray-bakes.

I was happy with results. Simple but cute.

This was how my Christmas baking kicked off in early December.

(Dec 2013)

 

 

Pistachios and Rose Biscotti

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Biscotti = coffee time.

A friend of mine invited me for a morning coffee and chat the other day, and I thought about a little something to take with me.
She mentioned before that she loves having good cup of coffee, so I thought of making Biscotti.

I made plain almond biscotti before, but this time, I decided to use pistachio nuts which was waiting to be used in my cupboard for sometime, and teamed up with rose essence.

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Hard and crunchy, but nutty and rosie.
Simple baking, good for keeping in a biscuits jar.  (so simple that I could put this recipe on here!)

Recipe

1egg,
150g sugar,
150g flour + 1/2 tsp b.powder,
80g pistachio,
2tsp rose essence

1, mix sugar and egg well
2, add flour and b.powder
3, add nuts and rose essence
4, shape it into long rectangle, 1.5cm thick
5, bake in oven 170C for 30 min
6, cut into bars while it is still warm.
7. bake again at 150C, turning, for 15-20 min till it is dry and hard.

Enjoy with a cup of coffee!

(Sep 2013)