Monday, November 3, 2014

Chocolate Cherry and Caramel Bars / Шоколадно-Вишнево-Карамельные Пирожные

These chocolate caramel and cherry bars have crunchy layers of cookie like dough and three types of frosting, which are caramel, sour-sweet cherry filling and a rich layer of chocolate with bits of almonds on top. Quite festive, yet very easy to make.
I do recommend that you give this recipe a try.

2 cups flour
270g butter
1 cup sugar
pinch of salt
2 eggs
10g baking powder
drop of lemon juice

Beat together butter and sugar, adding eggs, flour and baking powder with a drop of lemon juice. Divide the dough into 3 parts and chill for 30 minutes in the fridge.

200g butter
400g dulce de leche or caramel
pinch of salt
2tb.s. cocoa powder
1t.s. espresso powder

Beat everything together  and chill.

350g cherry jam

If the jam has chunks of fruit in it, using hand blender mix it until it is smooth.

Preheat oven to 180C. Using your fingers spread one part of dough evenly over 23x23 square baking form, covered with baking paper.  Bake until golden, approximately 10 minutes. Let it cool of on a wire rack.  Repeat with other parts of dough.

Spread jam and then caramel filling over one layer of dough. Cover with the other and spread two frostings again, repeat with a third layer. Place the cake into the fridge for a while.

Melt 160g dark chocolate with 1 tb.s. olive oil. Take the cake out of the fridge. Sprinkle the cake on top with chunks of toasted almonds. Pour your chocolate over it. Let the cake set in the fridge.

It's better to serve it 24 hours later.


Friday, October 17, 2014

Mixed Spice Yoghurt Bars / Пряные Йогуртовые Пирожные

These tender, light and delicious yoghurt bars can easily be adapted for different seasons, depending on the flavour you choose. Instead of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves....you could just use vanilla and decorate with fresh berries for a nice  melt in your mouth summer dessert.

For the dough

60g melted butter
4 eggs, separated
125g sugar
pinch of salt
100g flour
70g cornflour
10g baking powder

150g small almond cookies
150g small meringue cookies

Wisk egg whites until stiff, adding sugar gradually. Add salt and vanilla and beat in yolks, flour and cornflour. Pour melted (and cooled) butter.

Line baking tray (30x20cm) with baking paper, pour half of the batter into it and bake at 175C during 15 minutes, until done. Cool on a wire rack. Repeat with another part of batter, but before baking it, arrange almond cookies on top of the batter (to add some crunch).


400g very thick Greek yoghurt
250g whipping cream
200g vanilla powdered sugar
3tb.s. mixed spices
1 1/2 tb.s. gelatine powder

Whipp the cream until stiff, adding powdered sugar gradually. Add spices and yoghurt and stir well. In a small bowl heat small amount of water with gelatine powder, until it is dissolved. Add this mixture to yoghurt cream. Stir.

Line the same baking tray with plastic film, place one plain layer of sponge cake. Pour the cream over it (same a little bit for top). Cover with another layer of sponge cake (the one with cookies in it). Using the remaining cream glue small meringues to the cake top.

Refrigerate overnight. Remove from the tin (lifting the plastic film). Cut into portions.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Lebkuhen. Christmas Mood / Рождественские Пряники

As  leaves are turning yellow and red I'm getting into Christmas mood. Together with kids we look through holiday pictures, holiday recipes and wait for presents...already in October!:) I blame the weather this year, actually.
I've made quite a few Holiday cookies through the years, but never German Lebkuhen. So it was time for them this year.  This recipe makes really a lot. The sugar glaze and chocolate makes a huge difference, I would say, because without them the cookies are kind of plain, just fragrant.

Here is the recipe.

225g brown sugar
225g honey
250ml light molasses
250ml sour cream
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp  soda
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tbsp cloves
1 tbsp cocoa
200g candied orange, lemon and citron peel, diced (mixed peel)
100g slivered almonds
about 1 kg flour (depending on the dough)

Makes 3 baking trays of Christmas-y, fragrant little glazed and dipped in chocolate cookies. Enough for all your neighbours.
Heat molasses, sugar, honey in a small pan until sugar dissolves. Add butter. Cool a bit. Add soda and sour cream together. Transfer the mixture to a larger bowl. Add spices and flour, until the dough can be formed. Do not add too much flour.
Cover the dough with plastic and let it stand in the fridge for a couple of hours.
Preheat the oven to 180C. Scoop balls of dough with a table spoon and flatten them a bit. Place the cookies onto lined with baking paper baking tray.
Bake for 15 minutes. Let them cool a bit. Prepare a glaze with lemon juice, water and (vanilla) powdered sugar in equal parts. Deepen each cookie into the glaze and place them onto wire rack.
Melt about 150g of bitter (or milk) chocolate and deepen each cookie bottom onto it. Let them dry. Store in an airtight container with a small slice of apple so that the cookies keep soft.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Glazed Cut-out Cookies / Глазированное Печенье

This recipe is really good and I come back to it very often. Kids ask to bake stars, hearts, animals... quite often and I don't look for any new recipes any more, because this one is just so good. The cookies come out very tasty, fragrant, chewy with crunchy sides and a sweet glaze.

1 cup soft butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg
almond extract
vanilla extract
1 t.s. salt
2 3/4 cups flour (begin with 1/2 and see if you need more)

Beat butter, egg and sugar until combined and smooth. Add extracts, salt and flour. Refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes if you're making them in summer. Roll the dough out into a thick (about 0,5cm) disk. Cut out cookies and place them onto baking tray, covered with baking paper.
Bake for about 10 minutes at 175C.


I use a very simple recipe.
0,5 cup powdered sugar (with vanilla)
1 tb.s. runny honey
1-2 tb.s. water
colouring gel or liquid

Mix all ingredients together until you get thick paste that slowly runs from the spoon if you lift it.
I use a simple watercolour paint brush for this. Let the cookies dry. The above quantity is probably enough for half of the cookies, so you can repeat with another colour for the rest of them.



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