The good news is that I’m baking again! The ‘bad’ news is that it’s nothing fancy up till now 😉
Besides the spinach quiche I made Patricia’s sweetened condensed milk cake, Dutch boterkoek topped with a layer of marzipan and some decoration for A’s grandmother’s 80th birthday party and spice cookies for A’s sister’s birthday.
The sweetened condensed milk cake was super simple to make and I liked the idea of using a can of scm in the batter. I soaked some raisins in rum but when I made the batter it was too liquid to keep the raisins floating. Added them anyway. So after baking they where all at the bottom of the cake. I was asked what special trick I used to get to raisin at the bottom. I just laughed and told him (a non-baker as you already gathered) that I failed that part of the cake. The cake tasted good but not very special. It was like a mix between pound cake and genoise. Because it’s a ‘add all ingredients in a bowl and mix’ kind of cake the air bubbles varied from (mostly) small and round to sometimes large and not so round. In sum not good enough to take a picture of.
For the boterkoek I used a different recipe than I’ve done in the past and it turned out more like short bread. Tasting great but without boterkoek texture. The boterkoek was covered with natural (uncoloured) marzipan and decorated with a green marzipan 80 and some pink small flowers. I added a bit too much colouring to the marzipan and ended up being not too happy with the end result. The idea for the cookie was the same as the 2 XL cookies I made here and here. Again no picture, this time for lack of time (what else is new) and because I made something similar twice which both looked much better (in my opinion at least). Of course the important thing was that A’s grandmother liked it, and I think she did.
On to the spice cookies, it’s based on a recipe I’ve used for years. I mostly used to make them flavoured with ginger powder (yum!), also tried a version with only cinnamon (tasted like Lu’s Bastogne cookies for those who know what I’m talking about). This time I made them with mixed spices, very seasonal. In the Netherlands November and December show an explosion of goods with mixed spices.
What I like about these cookies is the way the dough is made. Butter, sugar and stroop (or dark corn syrup) is heated and stirred until it is homogenous. Flour, baking powder and spices are added after the mixture cools. The dough is wonderful to roll into balls. The balls flatten into pretty flat and crispy cookies in the oven.
Though I liked them a lot with the mixed spices, I love them even better with just ginger.
I wasn’t very creative in photographing them (lack of time and inspiration bla bla bla) so I cheated with the picture you see above, they are actually the same cookies but with just cinnamon 😉 I used this picture a couple of years ago when I blogged about them. The picture below was the best I could do this time.
Ok enough about my not so fancy baking up till now, have to continue brainstorming about what to cook and bake for Christmas….
Spice cookies adapted from Traditional Farmhouse Teas by Janice Murfitts
makes 48 small cookies
125 g (4 oz) butter
125 g (4 oz) soft dark brown sugar
1 tbs golden syrup, dark corn syrup or ‘schenkstroop’
150 g (5 oz) flour
1 ts baking soda
1 Â½ ts mixed spices
Put butter, sugar and syrup in a saucepan. Heat over low heat, stirring occasionally until the mixture is homogeneous. Let the mixture cool down.
Line two baking sheets with baking paper (if your using non-stick baking sheets you don’t need the paper and also don’t need to grease them). Heat the oven to 170ÂºC (325ÂºF). Sift the flour together with the baking soda and ginger.
Beat the flour mixture together with the sugar-butter mixture until well blended. Roll small balls, place them on the baking sheets and flatten them slightly. Be careful to allow space for spreading! Bake for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown.
Allow to cool on the sheets for 5 minutes, then remove with a palette knife and allow to cool on a wire rack.