Hello Everyone! So today’s recipe was inspired by a video I watched on YouTube from one of my favourite channels SORTED Food. This recipe is by far one of my new Christmas favourites and spot on because this year for Christmas planned on decorating our Christmas Tree with food items! We strung some popcorn and wrapping them around our tree. We have candy canes, Ferrero Rochers, Lindt chocolate, and sugar cookie wreaths lined up as our ornaments:
I actually completely forgot about this recipe for Stained Glass Cookies until the night before Jialing and I had planned to make the cookies. It’s a good thing that we picked up the Turkey I preordered yesterday which meant that I could also pick up some boiled candy for this recipe! But I mean, does Australia have something against boiled sweets? Or did they just sell out or something? I swear I could not find any form of boiled sweets at the local supermarkets other than soothers or lozenges. Lucky for me that Woolies stocked their own home brand fruity sweets. But even so, the bag of candy only had 4 green sweets and half of the bag was filled with yellow sweets. So I ended up crushing some of the yellow with the green and added a few drops of green food colouring to it.
Initially I had planned to make my gingerbread cookies again for the tree, and since I have all the ingredients ready for some gingerbread making, I decided to do a little twist on their recipe and make Gingerbread Stained Glass Cookies. Do check out the original recipe on their main channel: Stained Glass Cookie Decorations, or if you want to see a step-by-step write-up version of the recipe, check it out on their website: SORTED Food.
The first batch of cookies turned out to be a massive fail that they only deserved a before picture. Can’t even bare the look of the result after. Lesson learned? Don’t bake these stained glass cookies with raising agents in them – just don’t. I think you may have a picture in your head how these first batch of cookies turned out:
PREP TIME 30 MINS| COOKING TIME 12 MINS| MAKES 2 DOZEN
2 cups plain flour (plus 1/2 cup additional for rolling, if needed)
85g unsalted butter, softened
1 large free range egg
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 cup caster sugar
1/4 cup dark molasses (or honey in my case)
2 tbsp milk
2 tsp ground dry ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
Boiled Sweets (Hard Candy)
Preheat oven to 200C. Add the unsalted butter and sugar in a large bowl and beat using an electric mixer fitted with a paddle at medium-high speed until smooth; about 5 to 8 minutes.
Meanwhile, in another bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, dry ginger, nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon, cloves, and salt. Whisk to blend and then set aside. In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, molasses (or honey), and lemon juice.
When the butter and sugar mixture is smooth, lower the speed of the mixer and add the wet ingredients. Then gently fold the dry ingredients until a dough starts to form.
Divide the cookie dough in half. Wrap each half with cling wrap and chill in the fridge for about 15 minutes. This step will make it easier to finish rolling out the dough when it has chilled. It will also mean you only have half of the dough getting warm as you roll it.
Lightly flour a flat surface. Use a floured rolling pin to gently roll the first half of the dough about 1/2-inch thick. Lightly flour the cookie cutter(s) and cut out your desired cookie shapes. Cut another shape out of the centre of each cookie and transfer the cookies to a lined baking tray.
Chop up some boiled fruit sweets with a knife or by bashing them with a rolling pin whilst still in their wrappers, keeping the different colours separate. Sprinkle the chopped sweets into the hole in the centre of the cookies and bake them for 12 minutes.
Leave to cool until completely cold before removing them from the lined baking tray. Ice them however you wish and thread a ribbon through the hole to hang your decorations. For these cookies, I made a simple vanilla icing to decorate with and edible silver balls.
Hello Everyone! I would like to dedicate today’s post to my partner in crime, my matchy-matchy twin, and all round foodie & gym/boxing buddy, Maria the Mew (also known as Jialing), the happiest of birthdays! Happy Birthday my love, and I hope you had a most fantabulous day today! Hope you also liked my essay-like birthday card and present that I got for you 🙂
Though it wasn’t a particularly sunny day, we celebrated an early birthday on Saturday afternoon at Coogee Beach with lots of cake, dessert, drinks, and food. Oh and BARBECUE! Then ending the night at Beach Burrito Company with some margaritas and tequila. We also celebrated her birthday today by having dinner at Pizza e Birra on Crown Street at Surry Hills and having left over cake and flan for dessert.
So today’s recipe can originally be found on Better Baking Bible, and was actually baked by Jialing while I assisted in preparing the decorations for her cake. I also helped crush the hazelnuts and slap them on to the sides of the cake. On Friday night after work for the both of us, Jialing came over to my place to bake her cake while I made flan for her birthday celebration the next day. We actually started making stuff at around 7pm and seriously did not finish making her cake until about 1am. We honestly had no idea where all the time went – we didn’t even get to bake her quiche as planned originally. Well, we did have an hour and a half or so of a dinner break in between. I mean honestly, this is how I’ve spent two Friday nights in a row – baking until 1am (my birthday cake last week).
I also think time went into having to make another batch of cake batter and waiting for that to cool down as well. The original recipe actually says to split the cake into 2 even layers, however when we took the cakes out of the oven, they looked like an okay size for a single layer and would appear to be too skinny if we had sliced them in half. So Jialing decided to make another batch of batter for just one more layer to make a three layer cake (two is never enough, and honestly probably wouldn’t look as epic). I have adjusted the quantities from the original recipe specifically to Jialing’s cake, as well as adding extra ingredients such as hazelnuts into half of the frosting mixture.
PREP TIME 20 MINS| COOKING TIME 25-30 MINS| SERVES 8-10
1 packet (125g) vanilla wafers, crushed (reserve some whole)
Preheat oven to 180C. Butter three 8-inch round pans.
Cake batter: In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and cocoa powder. Mix in the hazelnut meal and set aside. In a separate mixing bowl, whip the eggs and sugar using an electric mixer on high, for about 5 minutes (when it has tripled in size). Slowly mix in the dry ingredients into the egg mixture and then divide the batter evenly between the three pans. Bake for about 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when pierced. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling wire rack to completely cool down before frosting.
Frosting: Add the chocolate to a microwave safe bowl and melt the microwave, stopping every few seconds to stir and prevent the chocolate from burning. Once melted, remove and allow to slightly cool to room temperature. Transfer the chocolate to a mixing bowl and whip together with the unsalted butter, Nutella, and vanilla extract until well combined. Take half of the frosting mixture and place it into another bowl and stir in the crushed roasted hazelnuts.
Assembly: Place the wafer biscuits in a ziplock bag and crush them with a rolling pin. Place the first layer of the cake onto a round cake board. Spread with half of the hazelnut frosting mixture of the frosting and sprinkle with some of the crushed wafers. Repeat for the remaining layer.
Decorating: Cover the whole cake and sides with the plain chocolate frosting. Press the roughly chopped hazelnuts onto the sides of the cake and decorate the top of the cake accordingly or however you wish to. Serve!