We spent the weekend in the country-side of Ireland helping a friend paint her house. Before setting out on our weekend adventure, I wanted to make something that everyone can enjoy after a hard day’s work. I looked in my pantry, did some recipe searching, and settled on this recipe from Joy the Baker.
These were so fun to make and I was very happy with the results. I don’t have any heart shape cookie-cutters, so instead I drew a heart on parchment paper and cut it out to use as my stencil. In fact, I don’t have a lot of baking equipment…we don’t own a rolling pin so I had to make do with a nice bottle of French wine.
The recipe below makes about 14-15 pie hearts.
2 1/2 cups All-purpose Flour
2 tbsp granulated sugar
1 tsp Salt
1 cup unsalted butter (227g) - cold and cut into little bits
1/2 cup + 1tbsp buttermilk
2 cups of thawed frozen raspberries
3 tbsp granulated sugar
3 tbsp corn startch
2 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg
pinch of salt
1 egg beaten
1/2 cup turbinado/muscovado sugar
To prepare the crust:
- mix the flour, sugar, salt
- Cut the cold butter into little cubes - mix them into the flour with your fingers. Pinch, pinch, pinch them in. Keep doing this until you get pea sized and sand grain sized bits. (This can also be achieved with a food processor)
- Add the buttermilk and mix in with a fork - try to get all the bits moist
- Divide in to two and knead out on a floured surface; your dough will be moist but also crumbly. Shape into flat disks and wrap in plastic wrap
- Refrigerate the pie crusts for an hour to let it cool down and rest
To prepare the raspberry filling:
- Drain the thawed/defrosted berries
- Add sugar, corn starch, lemon zest, lemon juice, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and stir to combine - make sure to break up the corn starch pieces
- Set aside
To prepare the pie crusts hearts - after dough has been refrigerated for 1 hour:
- Roll one of the dough disks out on a lightly floured surface until it’s about 1/8” thickness
- If using parchment paper heart stencil like I did, place on and cut around with a knife - or you can use a ~3 inch heart cookie cutter
- Place hearts onto a plate and let them cool in the fridge as you cut more
- Do the same with the second dough disk - feel free to knead and re-roll out scraps (make sure they’re still cool though)
- Preheat oven to 400F or 200 C
- Lay out one pie crust heart, spoon ~ 1 heaping tsp full of the filling on top. Try to avoid putting too much juice in
- Slightly stretch another pie crust heart and place on top - pinch the sides of the bottom and top one together
- Use a fork to pres the sides and close up the edges
- Cut a few slits on top as air holes
- Brush with your egg mixture
- Top generously with muscovado sugar
- While you continue to do more of these, let the done ones rest in the fridge
- Once you’re ready to bake a set, line a baking tray with parchment paper and sprinkle some flour on top. Place hearts an inch apart from each other.
- Bake for ~12-15 minutes or until the top is golden brown
- Let it cool down for ~10 minutes (else it may separate on you)
As some of you are aware, I moved to Dublin (Ireland) about a year ago with work. Sometimes you miss home, and you miss those fatty American desserts we enjoy so much…like fudge brownies and chocolate chip cookies. Cookies here are crunchy and it’s impossible to find a chewy chocolate chip cookie! Anyways, rather than complaining, if I want something bad enough I have to make it…and that I did! I used THIS recipe and made myself a batch of cookies. did you know that chocolate chips are a rarity here - if you do find it, it’s 4 Euro a 4 oz. bag! I substituted with the chips 1.5 king size chocolate bars.
One big difference is that Europeans are on the metric system - you never find cups on your stick of butter! It gets confusing for me when my recipes are all American, but I use this nifty converter for butter.
I was worried I’d get the measurements wrong but everything turned out alright. My brownies were a messy fudgy chocolate-y hit. Metric conversion success!
Adapted from Joy the Baker
1 2/3 cup granulated white sugar
3/4 cup cocoa powder - I used this
3/4 cup (170g) unsalted butter
2 tbsp strong coffee - or water as substitute
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
(optional) 3/4 cup of chopped nuts
(optional) 1/4 cup chocolate chips or chunks
9 in. round cake pan
- Preheat oven to 350 F/ 175 C
- Bring a pot of water to boil, turn down the heat so it’s simmering. Combine cocoa powder, butter, and the coffee in a bowl. Place the bowl on top of the water but make sure the bottom of the bowl is not touching the hot water. Let it melt and stir together.
- In a medium/large bowl whisk together eggs and sugar. Add vanilla extract.
- Once the chocolate mix is melted and combined, slowly pour and stir it into the eggs/sugar.
- Add the dry ingredients in - flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir until it’s combined.
- (optional) add nuts and chocolate chips/chunks. You can also top your brownie with nuts/chocolate chunks. The batter is thicker than cake batter, but a little more mushy than cookie batter.
- Pour the batter into a greased pan (I used a 9-in circle springform pan) and top with extra nuts/chocolate if you want.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes. The toothpick won’t come out clean since it’s fudge brownies - don’t worry though once cool the brownies will set.
I don’t know what makes this apple tart Dutch…hold on I need to look this up in Wikipedia. AH! Okay, I’m back. So the one I made is a ‘appelkruimeltaart,' one of two common varieties of Dutch apple pies. Apparently modern day recipes are very similar to one found in 1500s so I basically made great great great great great great great great grandma's recipe - that is, if I were Dutch. Okay let's get back to business.
Christian and I held a dinner party last week - I left him in charge of the main course because dessert is WAY more fun to make…duh! It’s been raining/snowing here in Dublin so I wanted something to warm everyone up - what’s better than apples and cinnamon on a cold
rainy snowy day? (It ended up snowing that night :D)
Sweet Tart Dough
To Partially Bake the Crust:
Freeze the crust for about an hour before baking so it doesn’t puff. Preheat the oven to 375F or 190C. Butter shiny side of aluminum foil and cover the crust (this way it doesn’t burn). Bake for 20 minutes and then remove the foil. Let it cool to room temperature and keep it in its pan.
Dutch Apple Tart
(adapted from My Baking Addiction)
1 9-inch partially baked pastry crust/tart shell
1/4 Cup unsalted butter
1 tbsp + 1 tsp all-purpose flour
2 tbsp water
1/4 Cup white sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 Cup packed light brown sugar
4-6 granny smith apples (or any sour/tart apple)
Oatmeal Streusel Topping
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg (ground)
3/4 Cup all-purpose flour
1/2 Cup packed light brown sugar
3/4 Cup rolled oats
1/2 Cup unsalted butter(not melted but left out ~30 min)
- Preheat oven to 425F or 215C.
- Prep the apples - peel them, core them, and slice them thinly
- Melt the butter in a saucepan. Stir in flour to form a paste. Add water, sugar, cinnamon, and brown sugar and bring to a boil. Once boiling reduce heat and just let it simmer.
- Prepare the oatmeal streusel topping by combining all the dry ingredients first. After this, cut the butter in until you get a crumbly streusel
- Fill the partially baked shell/crust with apples - I placed them in a spiral until there was no more space for apple slices
- Slowly pour the hot sugar/butter mixture over the apples in the crust - since it’s pretty viscose, make sure to pour as evenly as you can. Leave streusel off for now.
- Bake for 15 minutes in the pre-heated oven. Remove and reduce temperature to 350F or 175C. Add the streusel on top - form a few larger streusel crumbs for more crunch.
- Continue baking for 30-40 minutes until streusel is golden and crisp. Let it cool and enjoy with some ice cream!
Last Friday was Christian’s birthday - I wanted to give him a surprise that’d remind him of home. After doing lots of “research” (food and cake porn) I decided to make a Danish layer cake. It consists of sponge, whip cream, and Danish flags. It’s impossible to find Danish flag toothpicks in Ireland…and so I had to improvise. I edited images of flags, printed them out as mirror images, and glued them onto toothpicks; so in the end this turned into an arts and crafts project. :) Glue sticks are fun.
I was sad I couldn’t find gelatin powder - I’d found that to stabilize your whip cream you’d need this but as an alternative I ended up using Bird’s Dream topping with my own vanilla bean addition; I’ve read that Dr. Oetker Whip It is a good sub as well. The purpose of stabilizing your whip cream is so it doesn’t dissolve everywhere and will remain on your cake. Don’t fret if you can’t get your hands on any of this stuff…custard will work well as a filling and as long as you keep your regular whip cream in the fridge, you’ll be fine.
Danish Layer Cake
adapted from food.com
4 large eggs (whites and yolks divided)
3 tbsp cold water
1 cup white sugar (or caster sugar if you have it)
1 tsp vanilla extract (or half a vanilla bean)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp cornstarch
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
8-inch cake pan
- Pre-heat oven to 200C/ 400F
- Separate the egg yolks and egg whites. Beat egg yolks together. Add cold water, vanilla, and sugar to egg yolks and beat until creamy.
- Sift dry ingredients together: flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt. Add to the egg yolk mixture and mix it all together
- In a separate bowl, beat egg whites until stiff. This means that when you scoop it up, the peaks that form will stay in place. Fold stiff egg whites into the yolk and flour mixture. Be gentle as we’ll need the extra air from the egg whites.
- Pour half of the batter into a lightly greased cake tin. We’ll be making two layers. Bake for 15-20 minutes and watch closely as the top tends to cook/burn faster than the center. To counter this, once the top starts to brown cover with some tin foil. Use the toothpick test if you’re not sure whether the center is cooked or not; the toothpick should come out clean when done. When first cake is done, run a knife around the edges.
- Bake the second cake.
Stiff egg whites
strawberry preserves or jam
1 basket of fresh strawberries
1 tbsp of white sugar
2 packets whip cream topping (or your choice of an alternative)
- Let cakes cool until room temperature before assembling. Prep the whip cream or whatever filling/topping you’ve chosen to use.
- Cut strawberries into little cubes. Mix the 1 tbsp of sugar in if your strawberries are too sour (like mine were). Pour out extra liquid.
- Divide up the whip cream into what you’ll use for the inside, and what you’ll use to cover the outside. It’ll be about half for each. Mix strawberries into one half.
- Cover the bottom layer of your cake with a layer of strawberry preserves. Spread the strawberry cream mixture on top of this.
- Put top layer of cake on top, and if you’re going to cover in cream, but another thin layer of strawberry preserves on the top. Spread cream all over and decorate with Danish flags!
What the inside looked like before covering in cream.
It’s a lego candle! Legos are Danish.
Okay, okay…so I made a mistake. My “nuts” ended up being huge cookies. I blame that on the fact that I’m not on the metric system, and so I don’t understand centimeters…
This recipe was shared with me by my friend Yang Yang; this cookie reminds her of her childhood and the few years she spent in Denmark. If you know Yang, you’ll know that she loves good food so for these Danish Christmas cookies to be her fondest memory, they have to be pretty amazing. :-p
My verdict? Yes they’re good! They’re crunchy and melt in your mouth addicting. However, I’m still not over the fact that they’re spicy and leave a light burning sensation on your tongue. ONWARDS to the recipe.
Danish Pebernødder (Peppernut)
Recipe adapted from My Danish Kitchen
1/2 Cup (~4.5 oz) butter room temperature
1/2 Cup of dark brown sugar - packed
1/4 Cup of heavy whipping cream
1 Cup & 2 tbsp of all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp white pepper (not black!)
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
- Preheat oven to 390F/200C
- Beat together butter and sugar, once combined add cream and mix in
- In a separate bowl, mix flour, all the spices, baking soda, and baking powder
- Mix dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until combined
- On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough a bit and then divide into four smaller sections. Roll each into logs ~1.5cm thick and then cut those into 1 cm pieces. I made 1 inch thick by 1 inch wide pieces so my cookies fit on one baking sheet…and became massive cookies (it does expand so leave enough space in between); if you do this right it’ll fit onto two baking sheets :)
- Bake for 6-10 minutes until light brown and no longer gooey looking. Every oven is different, so watch them closely so they don’t burn!
- Let the cookies cool (they’ll be moist right after baking) - and enjoy whether you made nuts or cookies!
dry ingredients and wet ingredients - combined!
my way to big chunks waiting to transform into cookies!
I love cinnamon and I love bread…so a buttery cinnamon sugar bread just screams ‘YES!’ This will take 3-4 hours in total but it’s so worth it. The only problem is that it won’t last for very long after coming out of the oven; it’s both delicious and super fun to eat…so before you know it half the loaf will be POOF. :)
Oh my apartment smells so nice right now.
Cinnamon Sugar Pull-Apart Bread
Recipe adapted from Joy the Baker
9x5x3 loaf pan
2 3/4 cups of flour (+extra for rolling)
1/4 cup granulated white sugar
2 1/4 tsp (1 envelope) active dry yeast
1/2 tsp salt
2 oz unsalted butter (+extra for greasing)
1/3 cup whole milk
1/3 cup water
2 large eggs (room temp.)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup granulated white sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
2 oz unsalted butter, melted and browned
- Activate the yeast - mix yeast into 3 tbsp of warm water (~100-110 F). Add a pinch of sugar. After about 5 minutes it’ll be frothy which lets you know the yeast is still active. We’ll mix this in after when we’re combining wet/dry ingredients
- Mix together 2 cups flour, the sugar, salt - set aside
- In a saucepan, melt milk and butter together until the butter has just melted (don’t let it get too hot!) - remove from heat and add water and vanilla extract. Let it cool down a little until its comfortable to touch.
- Pour the milk/butter mixture and activated yeast into the dry ingredients and mix with spoon/spatula. Whisk the eggs in a separate bowl, and then add in. Keep stirring as it’ll take a while for the eggs to incorporate. Add remaining 3/4 cup flour and stir in.
- Place dough in greased bowl and then cover in plastic wrap and a towel. You’ll want to place the bowl in a warm place to let it rise (~1 hour).
- While dough is rising, we’ll make the filling. mix the sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg together. Set aside. Melt the 2 oz.s of butter in a pan until it browns - set this aside as well. Grease your 9x5x3 loaf pan.
- After dough has risen, deflate it and knead in 2 tbsp of flour. Cover with the towel again and let it rest for 5 minutes. Lightly flour a flat surface, and roll the dough out as large as you can. You’re aiming for about 12 x 20 inches. Spread the browned butter across the dough with a brush or back of a spoon. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mix alllll over.
- Slice the dough into six equal sized strips - stack them on top of each other and slice into six more equal sized strips. Layer these dough strips into your greased loaf pan (see image) - Place towel over it again and let it rise in a warm place for 30-45 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 F, 175 C
- Place loaf pan in middle rack in preheated oven and bake for 30-35 minutes. You want the top to be a darker golden brown, as we want to make sure it’s thoroughly cooked.
- Remove from oven and let it set for 20-30 minutes. Run a knife around the edges to loosen and invert onto a plate; place another plate carefully and invert so it’s upright. Enjoy! :)
all rolled out
covered in browned butter and cinnamon sugar - yum!
stacked into the pan and allowed to rise one more time
Fresh out of the oven! ^_______^ SO good.
Cinnamon rolls! Let’s just say that the apartment smelled amazing both during and after. Christian and I had loads of fun throwing stuff together (I personally had no idea what to expect…) and to my surprise the result looked and tasted WONDERFUL. Nom nom nom.
Apologies on not having more updates…since moving to Dublin, Ireland I have been too busy eating cake and dreaming of cinnamon rolls to post! But really, it’s mostly because I don’t have any of my baking equipment here. :(
Adapted from AllRecipes.com
1/4 cup warm water
1/4 cup butter melted
1/2 (3.4 oz) package instant vanilla pudding mix
1 cup warm milk
1 egg at room temperature
1 tbsp white sugar
1/2 tsp salt
4 cups flour
1 package active dry yeast
1/4 cup butter softened
1 cup brown sugar
4 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup (8oz) cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup confectioners’ (powdered) sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp milk
- In a bowl combine warm water, melted butter, vanilla pudding powder, warm milk. Add egg and 1 tbsp white sugar
- Add dry ingredients (salt, flour, and yeast) to mixture and start kneading dough until thoroughly combined.
- Roll out dough on lightly floured surface to ~17x10 inch rectangle. Spread with softened butter. In a separate bowl stir together brown sugar, cinnamon, and nuts. Sprinkle mixture over buttered dough - leave a strip of the 17 in long side free of the brown sugar mixture.
- Roll from long side up and slice ~16 one inch thick rolls; place swirly side up on a 9x13 buttered dish pan.
- Set aside and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size (about 45 minutes). Preheat oven to 350 F (175 C)
- Bake for 15-20 minutes. Meanwhile, stir together topping ingredients: cream cheese, softened butter, confectioners’ sugar, vanilla extract, milk.
- Distribute icing mixture over fresh cinnamon rolls - we only used half of what the recipe makes…and enjoy! (careful, they’re hot)
Whew! The star ingredients of this cookie - what a mouthful (ha ha get it? get it?). Coconut seriously adds a whole new dimension to oatmeal chocolate chip (or raisin) cookies. It’s super delicious and definitely worth a try.
I haven’t had a chance to update recently…so I owe you something delicious! Ta-da! These cookies are dangerous….I think I might have ate 20 in a sitting.
Coconut Oatmeal Chocolate-chip Cookies
adapted from the Magnolia Bakery cookbook
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup unsalted butter
1 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 1/2 tsp.s vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 cup coconut
1 cup chocolate chips (or more!)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees
- Combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt
- In a separate bowl, cream butter with brown and white sugar - add egg and vanilla and mix in.
- Add the dry ingredients and mix
- Add oats, coconut, and chocolate chips - mix with a (preferably wooden) spoon
- Drop tbsp.s of dough onto ungreased cookie sheets with ~2 inches space between; bake ~10 minutes or until center is clearly cooked (not dark and raw)
- Let cool before trying to remove and ENJOY!