Snowflakes Sugar Cookies

Snowflakes Sugar Cookies 3
Christmas for me is like a baking fever, I want to do everything almost in no time.
Baking cookies is such a tradition but you can agree with me that finding a good cookie recipe can be hard.
After a lot of trying and disappointments I ran on this great recipe from Rosie. Gave it a try with a few turns and voilà, cookies where delicious and above all they didn’t deform while baking. This recipe is a Keeper.
As mine in Law’s where leaving us for xmas to see the rest of the family, I had to come up with cute easy transportable gift for everyone and thats when the cookies came to save me. So I did 2 batches of these lovelies and had so much fun decorating them.
Snowflakes Sugar Cookies1
Snowflakes Sugar Cookies

Yield: Aprox 22 medium cookies
Recipe adapted from Sweetapolita

You will need:

  • 375 g of all-purpose flour, sifted
  • a pinch of salt salt
  • 230 g of unsalted butter, softened
  • 200 g sugar
  • 1 large eggs, cold
  • 1teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon of almond extract

In large bowl, sift together flour and salt. Set aside.

In your Kitchen Aid or electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Beat in the egg until well incorporated.

Add flour mixture and mix on low speed until thoroughly combined. Add the vanilla extract (in my case I add a little of pure vanilla powder cause its great)  and almond extract and blend. Scrape the walls of the bowl to better results.

Remove the dough from bowl, make a ball, and place on a large piece of paper film on your counter top. Wrap  the ball and then press down with the palm of your hand and make a disc.

Place the dough disc in the fridge for about an hour. I always wait cause in that way the cookies gets sharp edges.

Remove the disc and plastic wrap, place the dough on top of a large piece of parchment paper , then another sheet of parchment paper and roll it out. At the beginning its a little bit hard, but it will get easier I promise!

If you don’t have dough dowels like me, try to roll the dough until you get aprox the same thickness everywhere.

Preheat your oven to 180° C. Slide your parchment paper and dough onto a board, then place in refrigerator for about 20minutes. Remove from fridge, and cut your shapes using the cutters of your choice.

Place the cookies on a baking pan previously set with parchment paper. Place sheet with cookies into freezer for 30 minutes before baking.

Bake for14 minutes, or until edges are golden brown.

Cool sheets on wire racks. When the cookies are cooled you can start decorating with royal icing =D

Snowflakes Sugar Cookies 2

The cookies can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

The Christmas day my mom in law distribute the cute cookie packages we prepare and everyone absolutely loved them. We receive so many calls and flattering messages for the simple but great gift.

I hope you all had an amazing Christmas and that  all your wishes come true.

Love,

Sara

French Almond and Pear Tart // Tarte Bourdaloue

Been absent form the virtual world was almost unbearable, but it also allowed me to focus myself in certain aspects of my life that I left behind cause I was distracted.

I went back to sport, We moved to a new apartment, I did all the test to enter in the pastry school and I’m proud to announce you that I Did! Yeiii, so while I was away from the blog, twitter, facebook and others I achieved things that were very important for me.

Tarte Bourdaloue 1   Now is Xmas time, a mixed feeling season for me, happy cause I love Christmas spirit and melancholic cause I’m far away from my whole family, but to be honest baking have always helped me through the sad part of the holidays, that’s why today I’m giving you my very secret and special Almond-Pear French Tart.

For the Sweet Dough you will need:
Yield: For a tart of 22cm or 6 persons

  • 50 g of butter softened
  • 50 g of icing sugar
  • 25 g of egg
  • 125 g of flour
  • a little bit of water

In the bowl of your Kitchen Aid or else, cream the butter and the sugar until pale and smooth. Add in the egg.

In low speed incorporate the flour to the sugar butter mixture. Add a little bit of water until the dough comes together and the ingredients are thoroughly mixed. Do not over beat.

Remove the dough from the bowl, form a disk with it  and wrap in plastic film. Refrigerate for 30 min or more.

Tarte Bourdaloue 2For the Poached Pears you will need:

  • 3 Pears (aprox same size)
  • 100 g of lemon juice
  • 750 g of water
  • 375 g of Granulated sugar
  • The scrapes of 1 vanilla pod

Peel the pears and keep them in water with lemon, juice in order to preserve them from oxidation.

Prepare the syrup with the water, sugar and the vanilla beans. Bring the syrup to a boil and immerse the pears in it.

Keep the syrup simmering with the pears for around 20 minutes. Check the pears cooking point with a knife blade. It must go through the pear easily.

Remove the pears from the syrup. Let them cool and dry a little and then slice them.

For the Almond Cream:

  • 65 g of butter softened
  • 65 g of granulated sugar
  • 65 g of almond flour
  • 1 egg
  • 15 gr of flour
  • 10 gr of rum
  • a little of pure vanilla extract.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, work the sugar and the softened butter. Add in the almond flour.

Add in the egg and combine. Beat the mixture until pale and fluffly. Add in the flour and vanilla extract and at last the rum. Mix until well combine.
Transfer the almond cream to a piping bag set with a 10 round tip and Reserve.

Line the tart ring with the sweet dough and pinch the edges.

Spread out the almond cream. Place the pears over the almond cream forming a star.

Bake at 180°C for around 35 minutes or until the almond cream rises and form a golden brown crust.

Let cool the tart, glaze with golden glaze (or warm apricot marmalade). Sprinkle with icing sugar and sliced almonds.

Tarte Bourdaloue 3This id just a perfect and easy tart for the holidays.

I serve it a lil bit warm cause I find that the rum and almond cream taste better.I always do it this season cause after a huge dinner a light dessert is always required.

Serve with tea and enjoy.

Tarte Bourdaloue 4

Love,

Sara

Pumpkin Banana Coconut Cake

You might be wondering why theres only one picture and why its so ugly, orangy and saturated… well I present you my excuses in advance… Belive it or not, I did the cake photo shoot but as clueless as I am I just forgot the most important thing while taking a picture, the freaking memory card!

Yeap, you can laugh as hard as you want and you can also wonder how the heck I didn’t check before shooting… Well that’s me! The worst part is that in the camera screen theres and intermittent little sign who says: NO MEMORY STICK! How can I miss that hu? Well fellas I did!

You can also may ask, why I didn’t re-do the photos, well cause there’s no more bread!!! It was so delicious that was eaten in less than an hour. Thank God it was yummy, cause now thats my only comfort.

This picture is the one I took with my phone to send it to my husband et voilà, is the only one I have for the blog. SORRY ='(

Here’s the recipe for this great cake, perfect for autumn:

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of all purposeFlour
  • 2 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup of granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 2 large ripe bananas
  • 3/4 cup of fresh Pumpkin Puree
  • 1/4 cup of Milk
  • 1 teaspoon of ginger
  • 1teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup of grated coconut

Preheat the oven at 180°C and butter + flour your cake pan.

In a large bowl, mix the flour, baking powder and salt. Mix to spread evenly.

In a medium bowl and with and electric mixer, beat the butter, oil and sugar. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition . Add the vanilla extract and stir.

In a bowl, mash the bananas with the milk. Mix in the pumpkin puree, coconut and spices. Mix well.

Graduaslly mix half of the flour mixture into the butter mix. Then, mix in the banana-pumpkin mix and then the other half of the flour mixture.

Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 40-45 minutes, or until a toothpick comes clean.
I hope you all enjoy this easy and tasty recipe.

Next time I will be more cautious with the memory stick.. I promise,

Love,

Sara

Happy Halloween! Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake

Well, I know I’ve being away for almost 2 month (Jeezzz), shame on me, but I owe you all an explanation…. After a month and a half in Venezuela visiting my parents and 2 weeks in “la campagne française” , its been impossible to bake, believe me! I have a lack of sugar in my system.

Last week I heard about Cupcake Camp Paris 3er edition and their wonderful idea of a fund raise for the Make a Wish Foundation, the idea just touched me and I decided to participate (last minute emails) donating 50 cupcakes to be sold. Great experience by the way!  Later I’ll write a post with photos to tell you all about.

Halloween is here fellas and I couldn’t miss the opportunity to bake something with pumpkin… All those beautiful courges in all sizes and colors driving me crazy at the market, so I bought one gorgeous red/orange pumpkin, destinate to be the queen of my pie, that later switched to a cheesecake.

This time I went for Martha Stewart’s recipe, and as she is one of the homebaking queen, I decided to trust her.. Ohh God I was right! the Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake turned out fantastic.

Here is the original recipe for 12 servings, ( I downsized to half)

Ingredients

  • For the Crust

    • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
    • 1/3 cup sugar
    • 1 large egg yolk
    • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    • 1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
    • Pinch of salt
  • For the Filling

    • About 700 g of fresh pumpkin puree
    • Unsalted butter, for parchment and pan
    • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
    • 2 1/2 pounds cream cheese, room temperature
    • 1 3/4 cups sugar
    • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
    • 3/4 cup sour cream
    • 1 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 5 large eggs

Directions

  1. Make the crust: Put butter and sugar into the bowl of an electric mixer and mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy.
    Mix in egg yolk and vanilla. Reduce speed to low. Add flour and salt; mix until dough comes together. Shape into a disk; wrap in plastic. Refrigerate until firm, at least 30 minutes or an hour.
  2. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into a 10-inch circle. Fit into bottom of a springform pan. Freeze 15 minutes.
    Preheat the oven at 180° C, Bake until crust is firm and pale golden, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool completely.
    Reduce oven temperature to 165°C
  3. Transfer 1 cup puree to a medium bowl; reserve remainder for another use. Stir in cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger.
  4. Wrap exterior of springform pan (including base) in 2 layers of foil.
    Butter sides of pan; set aside.
    Put cream cheese into the clean bowl of an electric mixer and; mix on medium speed until fluffy.
    Gradually add sugar and flour, mixing until smooth. Mix in sour cream, vanilla, and salt.
    Mix in eggs, 1 at a time, until just combined; do not overmix.
  5. Stir 2 cups cream cheese mixture into squash mixture; set aside. Pour remaining cream cheese mixture into prepared pan on top of the crust. Then the pumpkin-cream cheese mixture on top.
  6. Set pan in a large, shallow roasting pan. Transfer to oven. Carefully pour enough boiling water into roasting pan to come halfway up sides of cheesecake.Bake until cake is set but still slightly wobbly in center, about 50 minutes.Turn off oven; let stand in oven with door slightly ajar 1 hour.

    Let cool completely on a wire rack. Refrigerate at least 6 hours or overnight.

    I put a thin coat or sourcream on top of the cheesecake to make it look very smooth. Before serving, run a knife around sides of cake; unmold.

Happy Halloween to everyone and I hope you enjoy this great recipe.

Love,

Sara

Zucchini Bread

As summer comes, the zucchini is a main ingredient in so many dishes. We can find it in tarts, poelés, pasta, muffins, flans, chips and even bread.

The zucchini is very versatile, it works just great in savory dishes as in desserts, so surfing around the web looking for inspiration, the idea of the well known bread came to me. As an amateur in bread making, I thought it was a good idea to give it a try and finally use some zucchini I had in the fridge.

The procedure is the same for doing some carrot cake, so the result will be very flavorful and summer like.

The bread is super moist and with crunchy parts thanks to the walnuts and hazelnuts =D

For the Zucchini Bread you will need:
Adapted from Simple Recipes
Makes 2 breads

  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3 cups grated fresh zucchini
  • 2/3 cup melted unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • Pinch salt
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Ginger
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup of chopped hazelnuts

Preheat the oven to 175°C. Butter and flour 2 baking pans.

In a large bowl, mix together the sugar, eggs, and vanilla.
Mix in the grated zucchini and then the melted butter.

Add in and mix the baking soda and salt.

Add the flour in 3 times time. Sprinkle in the cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg and mix.
Fold in the nuts and mix to distribute evenly.

Divide the batter equally between 2 buttered  loaf pans.
Bake for 1 hour (check for doneness at 50 minutes) or until a wooden pick inserted in to the center comes out clean.

Cool in pans for 10 minutes. Turn out onto wire racks to cool thoroughly.

Serve warm with some milk and it will be the perfect afternoon treat =P

Bon Appétit,
Love
Sara