IMG_7297

Adorable teddy bear sugar cookies

It’s no secret, I have an absolute obsession with Pinterest. I can idle away hours scanning through the images and picking up inspiration for recipes, tips and ideas. Back in September it was Jemima’s first birthday, so I began searching party ideas on Pinterest in the July… I was a rather excited mother. After all, it was her very first Birthday. I happened across this teddy bear picnic idea and I actually knew someone who had hosted this type of party before, so the idea was cast and I embarked on two months of party planning.

Who knew planning a party for a one year old would be so fun? Obviously from a food point of view the pressure was off as a traditional teddy bear picnic would mean everyone bringing their own lunch along. This meant that I was able to decide what food to offer without the pressure of having to provide a huge variety of sandwiches, meats and sweets etc. And, I didn’t have the worry of catering for exact numbers.

Having seen the adorable teddy bear picnic ideas on Pinterest I just had to decide which ones to run with. I’d never attempted iced sugar cookies before so it seemed a fitting time to try. I’ll be honest and say this is by no means a quick task and it requires a certain level of patience – the kind of patience I don’t normally have. However, it being Jemima’s first Birthday it warranted all the time and effort.

Everyone seemed to be greatly impressed with the effort . The food on the day turned out great and everything was so fitting with the theme. Richard’s niece Emily is an amazing baker and made Jemima a wonderful teddy bear Birthday cake – she’s also a blogger so you can check out her amazing creation here.

If teddy bears are not your thing, you could of course make any design you like. With Christmas just around the corner I’ll certainly be trying my hand at some festive designs. Most of us have made biscuits before right? So we know about making a dough that won’t spread in the oven meaning we lose the desired shape? Well, if you are shaking your head, don’t worry… there are a couple of super simple tips that will guarantee your biscuits are perfect every time.

Top tips for perfect sugar cookies

  • Don’t use baking powder – even if a recipe states you should
  • Don’t open the oven – even if you’re really tempted to check
  • Roll the dough out so it’s no thicker than a one pound coin
  • Place the cut out biscuits on a baking tray lined with parchment paper
  • Chill the dough for 45 minutes in the fridge/freezer

Chocolate teddy bear sugar cookie recipe

Iced teddy bear biscuits (sugar cookies)
 
Author: 
Recipe type: Sweet
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Ingredients
  • 230g softened butter
  • 200g granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 60g coco powder
  • 300g plain flour
  • pinch of salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees
  2. Cream the butter and sugar together in a bowl
  3. Add the egg and vanilla, mix to combine
  4. Add the dry ingredients and bring together using a wooden spoon
  5. Turn the mixture out on to a floured work surface and knead until you have formed a smooth dough (try not to handle it too much).
  6. Flatten out the dough, wrap in cling and place in the fridge for a minimum of 45 minutes
  7. Remove from fridge and roll out to the thickness of one pound coin
  8. Use a cookie cutter to cut out your cookie shapes
  9. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet
  10. Place in the center of the pre-heated oven and bake for 8 minutes

 

 

To make the flood icing

Outline the biscuits using thinned royal icing mixed with food coloring of choice (I actually used coco powder for my teddy bears), use a thin piping nozzle. Once you have piped the outline, immediately flood the rest of the biscuit with icing using a slightly thicker nozzle. Use a wooden skewer (or a scribe if you have one) to evenly distribute the icing. Gently tap the biscuit to settle the icing. . If using other colours such as the black and white you can add these after the initial colour has set for about 30 minutes. Allow 8-12 hours for the icing to thoroughly set

I found YouTube a great help when learning how to flood the icing.

IMG_7297

Crunchy Coconut Biscuits

Generally speaking, I’m not the best baker. In fact, if truth be told, I’m terrible. Richard often makes fun of the fact that most of my bakes end up with some deformity or another – soggy bottom, flat cake – you see where this is going. For someone who has such a passion for food and cooking I suck at baking! That said, I persevere time and again – I figure one of these days I’ll create something wonderful.

This week I decided to make coconut biscuits. If you’ve ever tasted coconut rings, they are fairly similar, perhaps just a little crunchier. They actually turned out well, much to my own surprise – so I thought I’d share the recipe with you. Coconut is one of my favourite ingredients, it’s the versatility of it that I love – use it in sweet and savoury dishes, either way it’s delicious.

This recipe is an adaptation of Coconut Biscuits from a book called Biscuiteers Book of Iced Biscuits, which despite it’s very un-snappy title is a wonderfully illustrated book packed with fabulous looking (and tasting) biscuits. The book has everything from old fashioned favourites, such as custard creams and bourbons to iced baby shower, birthday, Easter and Christmas themed biscuits.

coconut

Coconut Biscuits
 
Author: 
Recipe type: Sweet
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Delicate coconut flavoured biscuits with a crunchy texture
Ingredients
  • 350g Plain flour
  • 100g self raising flour
  • 140g granulated sugar
  • 100g desiccated coconut
  • 125g butter, diced
  • 200g golden syrup
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
Instructions
  1. Place the flours, sugar and coconut into a mixing bowl and stir to combine the ingredients.
  2. Add the cubed butter and tub together with the dry ingredients using the tips of your fingers until you have a fine breadcrumb consistency.
  3. Make a well in the centre and add the egg and golden syrup, bring the mixture together using your hands, drawing in the flour from the sides of the bowl until you have a dough that comes together.
  4. Transfer the dough to your worktop and flatten into a disc, cover with cling film and chill for 20 minutes before rolling out.
  5. Preheat your oven to 160 degrees (fan). Place baking paper onto a baking sheet ready for the biscuits.
  6. Roll out the dough until it is the thickness of a pound coin, cut out your biscuits using a cookie cutter and bake for 13-14 minutes (until lightly golden).

And of course, no biscuit would be complete without a hot beverage for dunking…

chocolate

 

First

Festive Jam Tarts


Tis the season to be jolly *
For those that are regular readers of Miss Friday’s Feast you’ll know sweets really aren’t my forte, or should I say my preference? I really don’t have much of a sweet tooth and can’t seem to get as excited about the prospect of baking cookies as I can about cooking a steak. Nevertheless, I realise that Christmas is the time for indulgence, so what better time to take the plunge with my very first sweet blog post?
Well, technically speaking it isn’t my first sweet blog post. A few weeks back Stephanie over at Kitchen Frolicasked me to participate in her festive cookie calendar, so I have been experimenting with all things cookie ever since. You can see my white chocolate and macadamia cookies that I made for Steph over at her blog.
So, having decided to set aside some time for festive baking, I enlisted in the help of my mother, who has never really been much of a cook (sorry mum), but a few glasses of wine and a very messy kitchen later we were feeling rather smug with our efforts.


These festive jam tarts are truly great, not only do they look festive, but they taste it too. The wonderful vanilla pastry against the sweet raspberry jam works beautifully. In an effort not too eat them all myself, I brought them to work this week and my colleagues seem to agree that they taste good, either that or they are good liars!
This would be a great recipe to do with the kids, let them have fun cutting out the stars, although the top outline stars can be a little fiddly, that part may just be a job for mum, or indeed dad. It is really important not to miss out the freezing step. Freezing the pastry for 10 minutes will ensure it is stiff enough for you to handle.
This recipe was inspired by Sainsbury’s, but I made a few adaptations to suit my own tastes, such as swapping strawberry jam for raspberry, and icing sugar for coconut. I also made a few look like proper jam tarts rather than stars. But, that’s the beauty of them, you can make them however you like. I think I’ll make some heart shaped ones for Valentine’s Day.
You could also substitute the jam for mince meat if you like, personally I don’t like it. Just saying!   

* Fa la la la la, la la la la *

Mum made the broken ones 😛


Ingredients:
100g unsalted butter, softened
100g caster sugar
200g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
1 egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla extract
60g raspberry jam
1 tbsp desiccated coconut, to dust
Method:
Preheat the oven to 180⁰C. In a bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg yolk and vanilla extract. Stir in the flour and then, using your hands, lightly knead to form a ball.
On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough to a 5mm thickness. Using a 8cm star shaped cookie cutter, stamp out as many stars as you can, then, using the smaller star shaped cookie cutter, stamp the little stars from the middle of half of the bigger stars. Place the biscuits onto a lined or greased baking sheet. Place these in the freezer for 10 minutes.
Spread a thin layer of jam onto the whole larger stars, placing the stars with the cut-out middles on top. Bake for 10 minutes, until lightly golden. Allow to cool on a wire rack, then sprinkle with desiccated coconut to serve.
Tip – You will have pastry left from the smaller star cut outs, you can either bake these separately, or roll out the pastry again and make a few more.