You may or may not know this, but I’m a big Miffy fan. I have no idea why – I am, after all, a grown-up, and this bunny hasn’t been part of my childhood in any way. But I can’t resist her cute, minimalist features. When I visited her homeland last year, I went out of my way to find the Miffy store, and came back with as much stuff as I could carry. So you can imagine my excitement when I found Miffy shaped cookies on a blog! I immediately bought the cookie cutters from Amazon and they arrived yesterday. I’ve already made a second batch of bunny cookies and I love how they turned out. Wanna try? They’re absolutely perfect for Easter!
Peanut butter cookies
Crunchy peanut biscuits that are perfect with a cup of tea.
- 80g unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 tbsp peanut butter
- 1/2 cup caster sugar
- 1 small egg, room temperature
- 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- In the bowl of a mixer, put the butter, peanut butter and caster sugar, and mix well until the composition is light and fluffy.
- Add in the egg, and mix until well incorporated.
- Sift in the flour, progresively. If the mixer can no longer handle the weight of the dough, continue forming it by hand.
- On a well-floured surface, roll out the dough in a thin layer. Cut the cookies in shapes and place on a lined tray.
- Place the tray in the fridge for 15 minutes, so that the cookies don't lose their shape from the heat (you can skip this step if your cutters don't feature any details). Meanwhile, preheat the oven at 160 degrees Celsius (320 Fahrenheit).
- Bake the cookies for about 10 minutes or until the sides start browning slightly.
- You can replace caster sugar with granulated sugar, although the cookies might end up more irregularly shaped.
- When you roll the dough, keep in mind that the cookies don't have any baking soda, bicarbonate or yeast, so they won't grow. The thickness of the cookies will be the same before and after baking. For the same reason, you can place them very close to each other on the tray.
I think every year I mention that I don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day – but since I’ve done so many posts on the topic already, doesn’t that count as celebrating? That’s for you to decide. Either way, these chocolates would make a thoughtful homemade gift for the occasion. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t equally tasty on any other day of the year! The only condition is that you have to love dark chocolate. For some (unknown to me) reason, some people don’t treasure it as much as I do, so don’t go offering these around to just anyone. Which I’m sure you wouldn’t do, you know better.
I’ve recently ventured into – well, not chocolate making per se, but rather chocolate improving. Ever since buying my first ever coconut oil, I found countless possibilities for the stuff, including making chocolate richer and tastier. And if that’s something you’d be interested in, check out the easy chocolates recipe below:
Dried fruit dark chocolates
A bitter-sweet dessert that's rich in flavor yet easy to make.
- one tablet (100g) dark chocolate
- 1 tsp coconut oil
- dried fruit (I used a Pina Colada tea mix)
- Break the chocolate into small pieces. Together with the coconut oil, melt in the microwave or in a double broiler. Stir to get a homogeneous consistency.
- Set 10-12 silicon cupcake molds on a tray, and pour hot chocolate in each one, barely covering the bottom of the mold.
- Sprinkle some dried fruit on each chocolate, and allow to cool. Move the tray to the refrigerator, and keep there for at least an hour before taking the chocolates out of their molds.
- Before adding the fruit, you can trickle a couple of drops of your favorite liqueur on each chocolate. I used strawberry liqueur.
I think it’s safe to say everyone in Romania grew up with semolina pudding. It’s economical and versatile. I was never crazy about it as a kid, although I did like all the different toppings it came with (i.e. jams), which made it feel like a different dessert every time. Recently, I’ve started making it occasionally, putting my own spin to it (such as adding lemon peel in the boiling milk) and calling it breakfast or dessert. If you make it in the evening, it gets to the perfect consistency by morning. However, you can also serve it warm or slightly chilled. And honestly – don’t worry about it! It’s so easy, you can even make it in the morning when you’re still half asleep. The only secret is to stir continuously, to prevent lumps from forming. So be prepared to stand by the stove for 15 minutes and stir. A magazine/phone might come in handy, as well as a good soundtrack.
A tasty pudding that can be eaten warm or cold, any time of the year.
- 400 ml milk (1 3/4 cups)
- 3 tbsp semolina
- 2-3 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- fruits or jam for topping
- Bring the milk to simmer, then turn the heat lower.
- Gradually add the semolina, stirring continuously. Add the sugar and vanilla essence and keep stirring.
- When the consistency is thickened, after 15-20 minutes, turn off the heat and pour the pudding into bowls.
- I haven't tried it, but nut milk should work as well for a vegan version of this recipe.
- If you want to turn your pudding upside down when it's cool, begin with a wet bowl.
Growing up in the countryside, I took what we had in the garden for granted, and thought everything store-bought was superior. It was the case of peonies, it was the case of rhubarb. It was more urban (i.e. cool) to get roses from the flower shop or a slice of cake from the sweets shop. Now that the world has kind of turned around and everyone is into basic, organic stuff, I rediscovered a part of my childhood in the form of rhubarb. Have you noticed how everyone is baking with rhubarb lately? And it looks divine (for example). So here’s what I did: I adapted the raspberry pie recipe and made these super tasty mini pies with rhubarb (from my parent’s garden) and strawberries.
Rhubarb strawberry individual pies
Taste summer goodness with these individual pies filled with rhubarb and strawberries.
- 2 cups whole flour + more
- 4 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 cup sugar + a few tsp more
- 1/3 cup butter (cold)
- 1 large egg (beaten)
- 1/2 cup chopped strawberries
- 1/2 cup chopped rhubarb
- Chop the strawberries and rhubarb, mix, and let them sit with a little sugar on top.
- In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking soda and sugar.
- Cut the cold butter in small cubes and add it into the flour mixture. Mix with a fork.
- Preheat the oven at 190°C.
- Beat the egg and add it into the bowl. Mix until you get a sticky dough.
- Divide the dough into two pieces. Dust your work surface with flour and roll a thin sheet (a few millimeters thick). Using a water glass, cut 8 dough circles and set them on a lined tray. Spoon some fruit in the middle of each circle. For the top, either cover with another dough circle or with crossed dough strips. Press the sides with a spoon in each case.
- Bake for about 20 minutes, checking from time to time.
- Optional: brush the surface of each pie with a mixture of egg, milk and vanilla essence.
This is a recipe very dear to me – my grandmother used to make it all the time! I lived with my grandparents during high-school, and she would always pack me lunch for school, including something sweet. These biscuits were by far the most successful with my classmates – and you’ll understand why if you give it a try! The biscuits were originally stick-shaped, but I made mine round, for variation. This is my first time making the recipe, and it turned out great. This means: it’s really easy.
Chocolate coconut biscuits
- 500g flour
- 150g butter
- 150g sugar
- 1 egg
- 6 tbs milk
- shaved lemon skin
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 250g sugar
- 2 tbs water
- 3 tbs cocoa powder
- 200g butter
- 50g rum or almonds essence
- coconut shavings
- Add all these ingredients for the biscuits in a bowl, in this order, and mix. Once you get a tender dough, roll it flat and cut circles with a glass. Bake for about 20 minutes, checking with the toothpick test. Let cool.
- In a pot, mix the sugar, water and cocoa for the glazing. When it boils, add in the butter and the essence of your choice and mix it all in.
- Pour the chocolate glazing into a bowl, and put the coconut shavings into another. Pass each biscuit through chocolate and then coconut, and lay them out to dry.