Halloween Cookie fun with the girls!

We had so much fun this afternoon baking and decorating these simple Halloween Cookies. I was a little apprehensive about the icing but it was so easy.

I’m definitely recycling this idea for Christmas!

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INGREDIENTS:

FOR THE COOKIES:

125g butter

125g caster sugar

250g plain flour

2 tsp vanilla extract

1 egg

FOR THE ICING:

White fondant icing

Edible Glue (available from baking shops/hobbycraft)

icing gels in various colours

METHOD:

Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg, flour and vanilla extract and mix until a soft dough ball forms.

Wrap in clingfilm and chill in the fridge for 30 mins.

Roll out until 1cm thick and cut into spooky shapes, place on baking sheets and put back in the fridge to firm up the butter for 30mins.

Pre-heat your oven at 180 oc and bake the cookies for 10-12 mins.

Cool on a wire rack.

While the cookies are cooling, roll out white fondant icing and cut into the same spooky shapes as the cookies.

TO ICE:

Brush a little edible glue onto the top of the cookie and then place the icing on top. Use the gel colours to decorate.

Let your little monsters loose to create…..

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Sometimes things just don’t go to plan!

coffe cake

Sometimes the Gods of baking are just against you….. I made this coffee and caramel cake yesterday and absolutely nothing went to plan!

It is a deliciously light, coffee and caramel sponge cake with feathered coffee icing on top. However, as you can see from the picture it’s not really a showstopper…More of what Mary Berry may call ‘Rustic’…. Still it tasted absolutely lovely and by the end of the day over half had been gobbled up by my family.

I can see now what I did wrong, so please do try this cake, (gorgeous with a cup of tea). Just avoid the following mistakes!

  1. I baked the cakes to high up in the oven, this meant that they were too close to the heat. After 20 mins. baking they were still wobbly but brown. I had to therefore overbake them leading to a little drying/crumbling.
  2. When i tried to remove them from the baking tins, i used a palette knife which was too wide and cut through into the side of the cake (hence the landslide of sponge!)
  3. I added the buttercream to the top of the caramel instead of to the base of the upper cake. Had I done this the buttercream would have had something to adhere to and would have tried to escape out of the edges!
  4. My icing/piping syringe devise broke as i was adding the white icing to the top for feathering. Such a shame as it is a lovely way to finish a cake. I will use piping bags in future!

 

So, with that now out of my system I would love you to try this cake. Really simple to bake as long as you avoid my little disasters!

INGREDIENTS:

For the sponge:

225g Butter/Baking spread (room temperature)

225g Caster sugar

225g Self Raising Flour

4 Eggs (room temperature)

2 tsps Baking powder

1 shot Expresso

For the Buttercream:

40g Butter/Baking spread

60g Icing Sugar

For the icing:

4 Tablespoons icing sugar

A shot of Expresso (add until a slow lava-like spread is achieved)

2 Tablespoons extra for the white icing

For the Caramel:

1/3 tin of Caramel (approx 100g)

 

METHOD:

Preheat the oven at 180 Celsius. Grease and line two 22cm baking tins.

To make the sponge, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the flour, eggs and baking powder and mix until combined. With the mixer still on, add the coffee *This should be cold as hot coffee will melt the butter and split the sponge, pop it in the fridge for 10 mins*.

Divide the mixture between two baking tins and bake in the CENTRE of the oven for 25mins. *When checking to see if the cakes are cooked DON’T open the oven door as the change in temperature will knock the air out and your cakes will look like deflated balloons!*

When the cakes are ready, remove from the oven and cool in the baking tins for 10 mins. Turn out the cakes onto a baking rack *wait until completely cool until you remove the lining paper from the bottom as it will break the sponge if warm*

To make the buttercream, mix the butter and half the icing sugar in a mixer, when combined add the remaining icing sugar *Adding all at once will turn your kitchen into a winter wonderland covering every surface in icing sugar*

To assemble, Choose your flattest sponge for the top as this will need to be covered in icing and would hopefully be the one on display (Unlike mine which is hidden!) Place the sponge top side down onto the cake stand/plate you intend to serve it on. Spread an even layer of caramel with a palette knife. Then spread an even layer of buttercream on the bottom of your top layer and carefully and in one decisive motion sandwich them together.

To make the coffee icing, mix the icing sugar slowly with a shot of cold expresso, the consistency should look like slow moving lava when you drop it into the bowl. Now drop gently onto the centre of the cake. Leave it to slowly move to the edges of the cake. *You can help it to the edges with a palette knife dipped in hot water, this stops it from sticking to the icing*

To add the feathering to the icing, mix up a loose white icing and run straight horizontal lines across the top of the coffee icing. Now take a cocktail stick (or similarly thin stick) and GENTLY run vertical lines through the white icing. This will give a feathered finish.

 

Now, Put the kettle on, make a big cup of tea and dive in!