Caraway & Cinnamon Biscuits

  • I came across this recipe in an English book about the Lake District.
  • I thought the spice combination was a little unusual and would be liked in Poland.
  • I changed soft brown sugar for granulated sugar, which is used in Poland.

INGREDIENTS

  • 125g butter
  • 125g granulated sugar
  • 175g plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of caraway seeds
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1 egg – beaten

METHOD

  • Grease several baking trays.
  • Pre-heat the oven to GM4 – 180°C.
  • Mix the baking powder and flour together.
  • Rub in the butter until you get breadcrumbs.
  • Stir in the sugar and spices.
  • Slowly add the egg (you might not need all) and mix to give a soft dough.
  • Roll out the dough on a floured board till thin.
  • Use a 6 cm diameter cutter to cut out the biscuits.
  • Leave space on the trays as they will rise a little.
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes.
  • Leave to cool slightly and then remove and place on a wire rack to cool completely.
  • These could be made using Christmas cutters for Christmas

Mince Pies with Apple Mincemeat

 

I make these with the pastry that I learnt from my mother  – a variation on kruche & półkruche,  pastry (a richer shortcrust pastry).  Using the proportion of 2 parts flour to 1 part butter.

Rather than the classic mincemeat – these were made with Apple mincemeat,  which is lighter and more tart.

Ingredients – Pastry

  • 1500g plain flour
  • 75g butter 
  • 1-2 tablespoons of icing sugar (optional)
  • 1 egg yolk
  • Juice of 1 lemon (and maybe 1 tablespoon of cold water)
  • *
  • Glaze
  • Lightly beaten egg white
  • Caster sugar

Method for pastry

  • Rub the butter into the flour to make “breadcrumbs”.
  • Mix in the icing sugar.
  • First with a knife and then with your fingertips mix in the yolk & lemon juice (and  maybe a tablespoon of cold water.)
  • You are aiming to get a dough which is not wet.
  • Rest for about 20 minutes.
  • Pre-heat the oven to GM6 – 200°C
  • You need to grease the tins well in order to get the pies out successfully.
  • 2 sizes of cutters are needed – 1 – 7cm diameter, plain, for the base, 1 – 6cm diameter, crinkle edge for the top.

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  • My tins are anodised aluminium and have a gentle rounded shape, this I think make for the perfect balance between the pastry and the filling.
  • I put “tops” on my mince pies – but not fully covered ones.
  • *
  • The tops are brushed with beaten egg white and sprinkled with caster sugar.
  • Cut out the bases and place them in the tins.
  • *
  • Place around a tablespoonful of apple mincemeat on the pastry.
  • Place the smaller tops on.
  • Lightly beat the egg white and brush this on the tops
  • Sprinkle caster sugar over the egg white.
  • Bake for around 15 minutes – keeping an eye on them – so they do not burn.
  • Leave to cool slightly in the tins & carefully remove them onto a rack to fully cool.

Classic Mince Pies with Cranberry Mincemeat

  • I think of these as very British – but we all love them and they have become part of our Christmas Day celebrations.
  • I make these with the pastry that I learnt from my mother  – a variation on kruche & półkruche,  pastry (a richer shortcrust pastry).  Using the proportion of 2 parts flour to 1 part butter.
  • Rather than the classic mincemeat – these were made with Cranberry mincemeat – which is lighter and more tart.

Ingredients – Pastry

  • 200g plain flour
  • 100g butter 
  • 1-2 tablespoons of icing sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • Juice of 1 lemon (and maybe 1 tablespoon of cold water)
  • *
  • Glaze
  • Lightly beaten egg white
  • Caster sugar

Method for pastry

  • Rub the butter into the flour to make “breadcrumbs”.
  • Mix in the icing sugar.
  • First with a knife and then with your fingertips mix in the yolk & lemon juice (and  maybe a tablespoon of cold water.)
  • You are aiming to get a dough which is not wet.
  • Rest for about 30 minutes in a cool place.
  • *
  • Pre-heat the oven to GM6 – 200°C
  • You need to grease the tins well in order to get the pies out successfully.
  • 2 sizes of cutters are needed – 1 – 7cm diameter, plain, for the base, 1 – 6cm diameter, crinkle edge for the top.

METHOD – Pies

  • My tins are anodised aluminium and have a gentle rounded shape, this I think make for the perfect balance between the pastry and the filling.
  • I put “tops” on my mince pies – but not fully covered ones.
  • *
  • The tops are brushed with beaten egg white and sprinkled with caster sugar.
  • Cut out the bases and place them in the tins.
  • *
  • Place around a tablespoonful of mincemeat on the pastry.
  • Place the smaller tops on.
  • Lightly beat the egg white and brush this on the tops
  • Sprinkle caster sugar over the egg white.
  • Bake for around 15 minutes – keeping an eye on them – so they do not burn.
  • Leave to cool slightly in the tins & carefully remove them onto a rack to fully cool.

Apple Mincemeat Crumble Squares

  • This is my 525 post – Thank you everyone for reading them.
  • This is a quicker alternative to making individual little mince pies.
  • There is a buttery layer of shortcrust pastry at the bottom.
  • A crumble mixture on the top.
  • In between a layer of Apple mincemeat. 
  • Or use good quality mincemeat with a cooked cooking apple added but no extra sugar.

Ingredients – Pastry

  • 150g plain flour  –  
  • 75g butter 
  • 1-2 tablespoons of icing sugar (optional)
  • 1 egg yolk
  • Juice of 1 lemon (and maybe 1 tablespoon of cold water)

Method  – Pastry

  • Rub the butter into the flour to make “breadcrumbs”.
  • Mix in the icing sugar.
  • First with a knife and then with your fingertips mix in the yolk & lemon juice (and  maybe a tablespoon of cold water.)
  • You are aiming to get a dough which is not wet.
  • Rest for about 20 minutes.

Ingredients  – Crumble

  • 90g plain flour
  • 45g butter
  • 45g granulated sugar

Method – Crumble

  • Rub the butter into the flour until you have breadcrumbs.
  • Stir in the sugar.

Method – Overall

  • Pre-heat the oven to GM6 – 200°C
  • Grease and line with 1 piece of baking paper 2 long sides and the base of a 26 x 21 cm tin.
  • Roll out the pastry into a  thin rectangle that fits the base of the tin.
  • Spread the mincemeat over the pastry.
  • Sprinkle the crumble mix over the top.
  • Use a fork to ‘rough up’ the top.
  • Bake for around 25 – 30 minutes.
  • *
  • Cut into squares when cool.

Baking with Cranberry Mincemeat 1 – Easy Little Pies

  • These are the small version of the Easy Apple Cake posted recently.
  • Use the same amount of pastry and divide it into 8 or 6 portions.
  • *
  • Shortcrust pastry made from 200g plain flour, 100g butter, 1 egg yolk, juice of 1 lemon, extra water if necessary – 2 tablespoons of icing sugar optional.
  • *
  • Grease a large baking tray or two.
  • Pre-heat the oven to GM6 – 200°C.
  • Roll out each piece of pastry into a thin rough circle.
  • Brush the centres with some egg yolk.
  • Add a 1-2 tablespoons of the Cranberry mincemeat.
  • Bring up the sides but do not totally cover the filling.
  • Join up the pastry slightly.
  • Brush beaten egg white over the pastry.
  • Sprinkle a little granulated over the sides.
  • Place pies on the baking sheet.
  • Bake for 15 – 20 minutes till golden.
  • Leave to cool still on the baking tray for a few minutes and then transfer onto a wire rack.
  • Serve slightly warm or leave to cool completely.
  • Evesham plate by Royal Worcester. 

Belgian Buns

  • These would be called ciasteczka belgijskie in Polish
  • This is a  recipe that was popular in the 19th century in Belgium.
  •  The mixture of spices is slightly different than in many Polish or English recipes.

INGREDIENTS

  • 80g blanched almonds
  • 85g butter
  • 225g plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 125g icing sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 2 eggs
  • 75g currants
  • 40g mixed peel
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • (a little milk maybe needed)
  • *
  • 1egg yolk & 1 tablespoon of milk for egg wash

METHOD

  • Pre-heat oven to GM3 – 160°C.
  • Line a large baking tray with baking paper.
  • Chop the almonds into 4 and keep around 36 pieces back for the tops.
  • Mix the flour and baking powder together.
  • Rub in the butter until you have breadcrumbs.
  • Mix the icing sugar and the spices together.
  • Mix the sugar mixture into the flour mixture.
  • Mix the currants, almonds, peel and lemon zest together.
  • Mix the fruits with the other ingredients.
  • Add the eggs, mixing until you have a soft dough.
  • (You might have to add a dash of milk – depending on the size of the eggs.)
  • With floured hands divide the dough into 12 equal parts.
  • Form these into balls.
  • Space these out on the baking tray and flatten them slightly.
  • Brush the tops with the egg wash.
  • Put 3 pieces of almonds on the top of each.
  • Bake for 40-45 minutes until golden.
  • Leave to cool for a while on the tray before putting them on a wire rack.

Vintage cake plate on a chrome foot.

Little Honey Cakes

  • This recipe, which only uses honey as the sweetener, is based on an old Yorkshire recipe.
  • It would be quite “at home” with Polish recipes for pierniczki.

INGREDIENTS

  • 100g butter
  • 225 plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 130g runny honey
  • 1 egg – beaten
  • 1 teaspoon mixed spice
  • 1 tablespoon caraway seeds
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • (A little milk – maybe needed)

METHOD

  • Pre-heat the oven to GM 5 – 190°C.
  • Grease two large baking trays.
  • Mix the baking powder with the flour.
  • Rub in the butter till it is like breadcrumbs.
  • Add the mixed spices, caraway seeds and ginger.
  • Mix in the honey and egg to give a soft dough.
  • (Should it not be soft enough – add a dash of milk).
  • With lightly floured hands make balls with the dough (larger than walnut).
  • Place the balls on the baking tray – leaving room for them to spread.
  • Flatten the balls slightly.
  • Bake for 15 – 20 minutes.
  • Leave them to cool on the trays before removing.

Babeczki – with Sweet Cheese

  • You might think these are too much trouble compared with making a normal large circular sernik .
  • But after making  little babeczki, which people liked being able to pick up an individual little cake, I thought I would give them a try.
  • They turned out well  and very good if you want these for a large number of people.
  • The sweet cheese mix does not want to be one that rises too much so I adapted the filling from flat sernik. 

Ingredients

  • Shortcrust pastry – Kruche ciasto – from 250g plain flour
  • This made 24 pastries.
  • 200 – 250g yoghurt cheese or cream cheese
  •  2 egg yolks
  • 50g granulated sugar
  • 30g ground almonds
  • Fine grated zest of 1 lemon or orange
  • 50g mixed chopped peel 

Method

  • Pre-heat the oven to – GM5
  • Butter shallow tart tins.
  • Roll out the pastry very thinly.
  • Cut out circles to fit and line each tart mould.
  • *
  • Filling
  • ¾ fill each tart – leaving room for expansion.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes.
  • Leave to cool a little before removing them from the tins.

Tea plate by Crown Staffordshire

Ciasteczka – Francuskie

    • Ciasteczka -francuskie – means little French cakes
    • This recipe originated in France in the 17th century and they were first called financiers” and later “friands”.
    • They are small cakes baked in oval moulds.
    • These moulds are bigger than madeleine moulds.
    • These moulds can still be purchased nowadays.
    • You could use small tart tins and even small bun cases.
    • Friands have become very popular in Australia and New Zealand but it is not known when this started.
    • Alpine (wild) strawberries are used in this recipe and as I have lots of these in my garden I thought I would have a go!
    • This amount makes 6.

Ingredients

  • 70g ground almonds
  • 30g plain flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 120g icing sugar
  • 100g butter
  • 3 egg whites
  • 80g alpine strawberries
  • *
  • Icing sugar to dust

Method

  • Greased the moulds.
  • Pre-heat the oven to GM4 – 180°C.
  • Mix almonds, flour, salt and sugar.
  • Melt butter in a small saucepan and leave to cool.
  • Whisk whites till frothy but – not as stiff as for meringues.
  • Trickle butter into the dry mix.
  • Add ½ the whites and mix lightly.
  • Add the rest of of the whites until everything is mixed thoroughly.
  • Spoon the mixture into moulds.
  • Scatter the alpine strawberries on top.
  • Bake for 16-18  minutes.
  • Dust with icing sugar before serving.

Option

If you do not have any alpine strawberries use fresh strawberries cut into quarters or slices or use raspberries.

Chocolate Cookies

  • I was given this recipe recently and it is amazing how the icing sugar comes out crinkled.
  • They are so chocolatey 
  • Cookies would be called ciasteczka in Poland.
  • After mixing up the ingredients you have to refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
  • I always mix this in the evening and leave it overnight.

Ingredients

  • 30g cocoa
  • 100g granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 65g plain flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 30g walnuts – chopped
  • *
  • 2 -3 tablespoons icing sugar

Method

  • Mix the cocoa and sugar together
  • Add the oil, beaten egg and vanilla essence.
  • Mix the flour, baking powder and salt together.
  • Mix the flour mixture with the cocoa mixture until combined.
  • Mix in the walnuts.
  • Cover the bowl and place in the fridge.
  • Leave overnight.
  • *
  • Pre-heat the oven to GM3 – 150°C.
  • Line 2 baking trays with baking paper.
  • Put the icing sugar into a small/medium bowl.
  • Using a spoon divide the mixture into 12 even pieces.
  • Place these onto a large plate.
  • Drop 3 pieces into the icing sugar.
  • Roll them a little in the sugar to coat.
  • Pick each one up and roll in your palms to make an even ball.
  • Roll the ball in the icing sugar again.
  • This initial coating really works to stop the mixture sticking to your hands.
  • Place the ball on the baking sheet.
  • Leave space as these will spread.
  • Repeat with the other balls.
  • Bake for 11-12 minutes.
  • They will be soft and firm up once they cool.
  • Leave them to cool on the tray for 5-10 minutes.
  • Transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely. 
Crown Staffordshire Serving Plate