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Archive for the ‘Baking’ Category

Lavender Cupcakes!

We made these super yummy lavender cupcakes for A’s birthday party.  I got the recipe off the back of a thank you card someone gave me years ago!

First we gathered lavender over the course of a couple weeks.  Then when we had enough, we picked off all the little lavender flowers, which I posted about here.
Then you need to soak the flowers overnight in the milk you will be using in the recipe.

The next day, you have this yummy smelling lavender milk to use to make your cupcakes!  Here is the recipe from Hummingbird Bakery.

Ingredients

Cupcakes

  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 3 tbsp dried lavender flowers
  • 1 cup all-purpose / plain flour
  • a scant 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 egg
  • 12 small springs of lavender (optional)

Lavender Frosting

  • 2 tbsp whole milk
  • 1 tbsp dried lavender flowers
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar (icing sugar)
  • 5 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • a couple drops of purple food colouring (optional)

Directions

  • 1.  Put the milk and dried lavender flowers in a measuring cup, cover and refrigerate for a few hours, or overnight if possible. Do the same with the milk and lavender flowers for the frosting, in a separate cup.
  • 2.  Line a 12-hole cupcake pan with paper cases. Preheat oven to 325F (170 C or gas mark 3, except it worked better on 4 with my oven.)
  • 3.  Put the flour, sugar, baking powder and butter in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment and beat on slow speed until you get a sandy consistency and everything is combined.
  • 4.  Strain the lavender-infused milk (for the cupcake) and slowly pour into the flour mixture, beating well until all the ingredients are well mixed. Add the egg and beat well (scrape any unmixed ingredients from the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula).
  • 5.  Spoon the batter into the paper cases until two-thirds full and bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until the cake bounces back when touched. A skewer inserted in the center should come out clean. Let the cupcakes cool slightly in the pan before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

  For the lavender frosting:

  • 1.  Beat together the confectioners’ sugar (icing sugar), butter and food colouring, if using, in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment on medium-slow speed until the mixture comes together and is well mixed. Turn the mixer down to slow speed. Strain the lavender-infused milk and slowly pour into the butter mixture. Once all the milk is incorporated, turn the mixer up to high speed. Continue beating until the frosting is light and fluffy, at least 5 minutes. The longer the frosting is beaten, the fluffier and lighter it becomes.
  • 2.  When the cupcakes are cold, spoon the lavender frosting on top and decorate with a sprig of lavender, if using.

It says it makes 12, but it only makes 10 for me!  And it makes enough icing for about 18 cupcakes, the way I frost them anyway.

Source: Ingrid – Hummingbird bakery

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Homemade Tortillas

I love making these and putting them in the freezer to eat whenever we want!  And I love that they don’t have preservatives or anything in them, they taste awesome!

Here’s the recipe!

Ingredients:

1 cup plain flour

1 cup wholemeal flour

1/2 tsp salt

1 and 1/2 tsp baking powder

3 Tbsp butter

3/4 c very hot water ( I microwave it for 1 and a half minutes)

1.  Combine dry ingredients in bowl and mix well

2.  Cut in the butter till like course cornmeal

3.  Add the water and mix to form soft but not too sticky dough

4.  Knead about 15 times to form a smooth dough

5.  Form into 8 equal sized balls.  Cover and let stand 30 minutes

6.  Flatten each ball into a circle with a uniform thickness

7.  Cook in a pan on medium heat on each side

I keep a few out for the day and freeze the rest.  I like melting cheese on them and eating with salsa!  My girls like them plain because they’re boring and picky.

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We’ve been collecting lavender to dry out and use to make A’s birthday cupcakes.  The girls enjoyed picking off all the little lavender flowers and putting them in jars.

  

And some pouring!

    We spent about an hour or more doing this, and it smelled so wonderful!  I’ll try and remember to post the recipe to the cupcakes and maybe photos when I make them!  I hope our lavender is drying out nicely!

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Here’s another yummy recipe for a healthy, sugar free snack for kids and adults too!  I don’t have a photo because my kids ate them all up.  But here’s a photo of another cookie that sort of looks like these ones!

Like the oat bars, these also keep a few days left out in a tupperware, but I usually freeze them as soon as they’re cooled, and leave out enough for a day or two.

Sugar Free Banana Cookies

Makes about 25 cookies

65g butter
2 very ripe, medium bananas
1 egg
8 or 10 (1/2 cup) brazil nuts crushed as finely as possible

8 dried apricots or prunes chopped up small, or a handful of raisins
1.5c oats
1/3 c plain flour

1/3 cup wholemeal flour
1/2tsp baking powder
1/2tsp vanilla essence
some dessicated coconut if desired.

Preheat oven to 350F/Gas 5 / 180°C / 145°C fan oven.

Melt butter in microwave in large mixing bowl. Add bananas and mash. Add egg, mix. Add all remaining ingredients and mix.

Make into cookie shapes and place on baking tray.  Bake for 12 minutes or till lightly browned.


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I’ve had some requests for this recipe, so thought I’d do a post on it.  My kids and I love these granola bars.  There is no sugar, and lots of healthy stuff, so I’m happy for my kids to eat as many as they want of these when we make them!

I based the recipe on the Organix Goodies ones, and I think they taste exactly the same!  You get at least twice as much for the same price.

Oat Bars

I freeze orange or apple juice in ice cube trays, and then when I want to make these, I take out maybe 4 and microwave them in a mug, then add to mixture in blender. I stick the coconut and oats in the blender together, a little at a time so it blends up easier. Then put that in a bowl and blend up the raisins and juice.

They keep a few days left out in a tupperware, but I usually freeze them as soon as they’re cooled, and leave out enough for a day or two.

3 cups oats (ground in blender)
2/3 cup dessicated coconut (ground)
1 1/2 cup raisins (ground/pureed) with a splash of apple juice to help it puree
120g butter
a few splashes of apple juice to wet the mixture a bit (3-4 ice cubes worth) or milk

Mix all together, press into greased pan to about 1/4 inch thick (one cm?)

Cook about 12 minutes on gas 6/200C/400F

Cut into bars and let them cool, they’re less likely to fall apart.

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One of our favourite things to bake is cheese straws/cheesy men/cheesy bears/cheesy butterflies, depending on which cookie cutter we use.  E helped dump the ingredients in the bowl.

About 10 minutes of putting the ingredients together, and 10 minutes in the oven, and we have a plate of butterflies!

Here’s the recipe:

½ cup flour (I use half white, half wholemeal)

½ cup butter

1 cup grated cheddar cheese

½ egg beaten

Mix all together, roll out 1cm thick.  Cut into strips or shapes.  Bake 10-15 minutes on 400F/200C/Gas 6

On another note, we ‘planted’ some chickpeas and aduki beans in a jar with wet a paper towel, and will hopefully see it sprouting in a few days!

Fold a paper towel and roll it into a tube, put it in a wet jar and press it against the sides.  Drop seeds or beans between the jar and paper towel.  Then scoop some water with a spoon onto the paper towel.  Wet it every day and wait for it to sprout!

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We made some Easter bunny bread this afternoon!

I know they’re a little creepy looking with their huge eyes.  And some eyes wandered, and one fell off.  Maybe next time I’ll cut the raisins smaller and it would look better.  But the kids loved them!

I just made blobs about the size of the body, head, arms, legs and ears and pushed them together.  Then they stuck together as they baked.  I made the dough in the bread maker on the dough setting.  Here’s the recipe I used:

1 1/4 cup water

1Tbsp skimmed milk powder

2 Tbsp olive oil

1 Tbsp sugar

1 tsp salt

4 cups flour (I used 3 cups white and  1 cup wholemeal)

1 1/2 tsp fast action yeast

 

I chucked it all in the bread machine, the made the shapes, plus some hedgehog rolls, and let rise for about 45 min, then baked 15 minutes at 200C/400F/Gas 6

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