Easter Spice Biscuits

egg bucket

For Easter, I wanted to create a variation on my Christmas Jumbles recipe, because we aren’t already eating enough sweet goodies over the weekend…

These tasty biscuits are nice and soft and flavoured with spices reminiscent of hot cross buns and a bit of cocoa. I dipped them in melted chocolate and piped on contrasting decorations to make easter egg and hot cross bun desgins.  I think they look pretty cute for the short amount of time I spent decorating them. They were a big hit at work and I plan to make another batch before the weekend is out!

Please forgive the lack of methd photos and the not so great photos of the finished product – I made these quite late on a work night. My soundtrack for this recipe was equal parts Disney, Eric Clapton and The Rolling Stones- I’ve been reading an interesting biography about the Stones and thus they have been on high rotation!

eggys

 You’ll need: 

For the biscuits-

  • 60g butter
  • 1/2 cup (110g) firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup (270g) golden syrup
  • 1 large free range egg
  • 1/2 cup (75g) self raising flour
  • 2 1/2 cups (375g) plain flour
  • 1/.2 teaspoon bicarb (baking) soda
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp all spice
  • 4 tsfffp cocoa or cacao powder

For the topping-

  • 200g dark chocolate melts
  • 200g white chocolate melts
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • Food colouring, if you like
  • Food shimmer

Method-

1. Combine the butter, dark brown sugar and golden syrup in a small saucepan and stir over medium heat until smooth.

2. Add hot mixture to a large bowl and cool for 10 minutes. Add egg to cooled mixture and stir until combined.

3. Add half of the sifted dry ingredients and stir until combined, and repeat. Taste dough and add more cocoa or spice if desired.

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4. Turn your dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead, with floured hands, until it loses its stickiness (about 5 minutes).

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5. Wrap dough in cling-wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

6. Preheat oven to 180°C and grease & flour two oven trays.

7. Remove chilled dough from the fridge and roll out to about 0.5cm thickness and cut out your shapes, with a lightly floured biscuit cutter and placing onto trays. To get my easter egg shape, I cut out circles and then used my fingers to make them longer and more egg-like.

8. Bake for around 15 minutes, keeping an eye on them and turning or swapping shelves if necessary, and remove when just golden brown and fragrant. Cool on trays for 5-10 minutes and then place on wire racks to cool completely.

9. Place chocolate in wide, shallow glass or stoneware bowls. Heat in bursts of 30 seconds at medium heat in microwave, stirring at each interval until melted. Add a tablespoon of oil to each and stir to combine.

10. Carefully dip the top of each cooled biscuit into one of the melted chocolates and place on a sheet of baking paper to cool.

11. Using a piping bag or a ziplock bag with a corner cut off, pipe contrasting or coloured chocolate onto your dipped biscuit top and dust with shimmer if desired.

12. These biscuits are a delicious Easter treat and will keep for at least a week in a container, or in cellophane bags for gifting.

good friday

p.s. If you like my lovely vintage ironstone bowl, take a look at acreativelifestyle on Etsy, it’s curated by a lady in Tasmania and features a great collection of kitchen and homewares at really great prices.

easter

Basil Flower Shortbread

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Our basil is in flower at the moment, and it inspired me to call my Grandma and ask for her Aunt Maise’s shortbread recipe – she’s been promising it to me for a while.

I’d read a recipe for herb flower shortbread in Cooking With Flowers by Miche Bacher (such a beautiful book), and thought I would combine that idea with the Scottish classic.

The basil flowers add a subtle point of difference to the otherwise familiar biscuits. If you prefer, the flowers can be left out altogether or exchanged for other herb flowers like rosemary, oregano or lavender, depending on what you have in the garden.

I had my good headphones on for this bake and I must admit to grooving around the kitchen a whoooole lot while preparing and washing up. It was a Genesis and Led Zeppelin heavy shuffle.

I exercised both days this weekend (including a 36km bike ride this morning!) and I think that’s why I feel super energetic tonight.

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You’ll need

  • 225 unsalted butter, softened and chopped
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar
  • 1/2 cup rice flour, sifted
  • 2 1/2 cups plain flour, sifted
  • small pinch sea salt
  • 1-2 tbsp basil flowers
  • extra caster sugar for topping, if desired

Method

1. Sift dry ingredients into a large bowl.

2. Add butter to bowl and rub into dry ingredients using the tips of your fingers. This should take around 10 minutes and leave you with a well combined ball of dough, a bit like pastry.

3. Wrap the dough in cling wrap and refrigerate until firm, around 45 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, heat oven to 180ºC and grease a large oven sheet.

5. Cut chilled dough into two equal portions and roll out into rectangular lengths around 10cm wide.

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6. Cut into pieces around 2-3cm wide and place on the prepared tray. Prick biscuits with a fork and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until light golden.

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7. Sprinkle biscuits with the extra sugar and allow to cool.

Grandma used to make her shortbread for my Aunty and Uncle’s cafe and loves to tell the story of a chef who tried it and declared it the best he’d ever tasted.

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I realise that these photos aren’t the best, and I do apologise, but I think Grandma’s story should convince you to give this shortbread a try next time you’re after something easy for afternoon tea or lunches.

Have a great week!

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Passionfruit Melting Moments

passionnnnnI’m a sucker for a good biscuit.

The passionfruit vine on our fence is going crazy at the moment (it isn’t even planted in our backyard, thank you neighbours!), so I’ve been incorporating the flavour into lots of my baking.

The tangy passionfruit flavour goes really nicely with the crumbly, buttery biscuits. Perfect with a cup of tea or as a late night treat.

I made the biscuits purple to evoke the contrast of the passionfruit shell with the yellow pulp. I probably didn’t achieve the perfect colour but I still think they look pretty. So, food colouring  is totally optional here.

You will need:

Biscuits

  • 250g unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • red and blue food colouring, if desired
  • pinch of sea salt flakes
  • 1/2 cup icing sugar, sifted
  • 1 1/2 cups plain flour, sifted
  • 1/2 cornflour, sifted

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Passionfruit butter cream

  • 90g unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup icing sugar, sifted
  • 1 tbsp passionfruit juice, seeds removed

Method

1. Preheat oven to 160ºC and line two oven trays with baking paper.

2. Beat butter, vanilla, salt and icing sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add food colouring if desired, and stir to achieve a light purple mixture.

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I love my Kenwood Chef!

3. Add flours in two batches, stirring between additons.

4. Using lightly floured hands, roll generous teaspoons of mixture into balls and place on prepared trays, leaving 2cm spaces between each of the biscuits. Flatten slightly with a lightly floured fork.

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5. Bake for about 15-20 minutes and stand on trays to cool.

6. Meanwhile, make the butter cream. Beat butter and icing sugar (does anyone else hate sifting opened icing sugar as much as I do!?) until light and fluffy. Stir in passionfruit juice until combined.

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7. Sandwich biscuits with about a teaspoon of the butter cream. Mmm mm!

Makes about 20 filled biscuits.

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