Saturday, December 22, 2012

One bite is never enough!

Since christmas is just around the corner, life has bcome very busy. So I thought I would play catch up.

Not too long ago I made a bithday cake for the daughter of a friend. Chocolate mud cake, with chocolate ganache and a chocolate lace border with ..what do you think?...yes, chocolate curls on top.

The smell alone was amazing and it weighed a tonne!

But, what I found out was that the birthday girl was just notified that she was gluten intolerant. She had just found out. So, I wanted to make a small gluten free cake as well and I found a lovely recipe on

There are some pretty good recipes around for gluten free options these days, thankfully.

So, i know I am not the only one busy this week so I will keep this a short post and say Merry christmas and a happy new year everyone.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

A teachers gift...

Okay, so Christmas is coming and very fast too. And because of that I have to think ahead a little to prep for teachers gifts. What! Christmas is around the corner..who am I kidding! Now, my little ones have a few teachers to consider for presents in order to say 'thanks' for all their hard work, care and kindness throughout the year, that they have lavished on my children. For I (and I mean 'we' here) do appreciate it all. My life runs as smoothly as it does because of these lovely people (okay so i am kidding that my life runs smoothly and stress free, but it isn't anything they can fix!).

So what do your get a teacher for Christmas, a gift of course! And home baked cookies! Now I know there are lots of mums (or dads) like me who work, and don't have much time up their sleeve, but I know you too like me love to bake and decorate. So, let me introduce you to a blog I follow - 'The Decorated Cookie'. Oh, you've heard of it...silly me of course you have.

It is fabulous and a little while ago there was this brilliant post about sprinkles or sparkles or whatever you want to call them. Either way it was an excuse for me to have some fun, and buy some more. Do you like sprinkles? I love them, on cupcakes, cookies, gingerbread houses and whatever...i think it is the 'hundreds and thousands' concept that gets me.

So, Meaghan has this great posting and I immediately fell in love with the cookies. I couldn't help myself and so my search began for jars....Oh I could go on, but needless to say Peters of Kensington saved my life...Ohh I loooooove that store, so many things I want to buy...but yes I am going on again. So yes,I found jars, and pretty sprinkles and made dough....lots if it! and made cookies. Lots of them!

I will share a few tips that I rely on this time of year to get through a large baking batch:
1. Firstly, pick a dough you like to use and stick with it. The one I use lets me change flavours simply enough.
2. Make the dough, roll into a log, and put it in the fridge. When it is firm enough I cut small amounts and cut my shapes. I then place those shapes directly onto baking paper lined trays and freeze (collect all the biscuits together when frozen and bag them) and place in freezer again.
3. This way I can bake them all together. So just take them out of the freezer when you are ready to bake and add a little extra cooking time (a minute or two). Cool, cool, cool.
4. Make all your batches of icing when you are ready to decorate and store in air-tight containers. I also used store-bought royal icing powder to decorate these cookies. I bought the Queens brand royal icing, and find it very good to work with, and that way I don't have to worry about raw egg-whites in my icing.

I hope the tips help.

I really feel these cookies offer a sparkle to the Christmas season. Yes, they are simple, but who wants to be complicated when you have so much Christmas baking to do!