Chocolate cherry cookies

Hi there! It’s been a while, and I kept telling myself I’d get back to blogging tomorrow, in a day, a week, etc, but finally, I’m here writing the post. Hope you all had w-o-n-d-e-r-f-u-l holidays, full of surprises, lovely moments and delicious food. What is your favorite sweet treat during winter? Hot chocolate, spiced orange cake or just lots of chocolates? I’m still eating chocolates from the Christmas tree (yes, it’s still in our house, and probably will be here until the beginning of February).Chocolate Cherry cookies

I adore dark chocolate with cherry pieces in it, and I like cookies: good, buttery with those tiny little dots of pure vanilla in it. So, I combined my both desires and prepared these beautiful cookies. I’m thinking you will really love it. Even though, I prefer vanilla cookies over chocolate, but not this time. Better you cook and try, and you will never buy a cookie. Ok, maybe you will but nothing taste like homemade cookies, prepared with high-quality ingredients and the most important – your passion and love. Give these a try and you will be as happy with them as I was.ChocoCookies

Triple the quantity and take some to share with your friends or co-workers, or maybe even a neighbor.ChocoCherryCookies

Chocolate cherry cookies

What you’ll need
100g mild dark chocolate
50g dark chocolate with cherry pieces, or plain dark chocolate
180g plain flour
30g cocoa
1.5 tsp baking powder
a pinch of salt
120g butter, at room temperature
50g light brown sugar
50g white sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
100g dried cherries
100g chopped/slivered almonds
20-30g dark chocolate with cherry pieces, optional
How to make it
  1. Chop 150g chocolate or break into pieces, and put into heatproof bowl and microwave on low power or melt over a pan of simmering water.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, sift flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt.
  3. In another bowl, whisk butter with sugar for 5 minutes or until light. Whisk in vanilla extract and then eggs (one by one). Add the melted chocolate and stir well.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the batter mixture and stir well. Stir in cherries, almonds and chopped chocolate (if using).
  5. Line the baking sheet with baking paper and scoop out equal portions in some distance apart. Make 14 equal balls, flatten them.
  6. Bake in preheated 180C oven for 15 minutes.
Enjoy!
Chocolate cookies with cherries&almonds

 

Linzer cookies

  I do love shortcrust pastries! It’s versatile, great choice of fillings allows your imagination run wild. 😀  Thus, is easy to guess that I’ve made so many shortbreads as well, some of them were not good and too crumbly for me, but I keep on.
 Linzer cookie is two nut-flavored cookies are sandwiched together with a jam, originally it was a torte, named after the city of Linz, Austrian. Do you know that such round-shaped cookies are called “Linzer eyes”. What a pretty name! 🙂
Love_cookies_v2-1
 Based on different recipes, I used following Linzer cookie recipe:
Ingredients
100g (1/2 cup) white sugar
1 egg
120g (1/2 cup) butter, cut into small cubes, room temperature
200g (1 1/2 cup) all purpose flour
90g (1 cup) almond meal
pinch of salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp lemon zest
50g (1/3 cup) or less powdered (icing) sugar
50-60 ml (1/4 cup) Raspberry jam
Method 
In a bowl on a table cream butter and sugar. Add the egg, vanilla and mix.
Finally, beat in the ground almonds.
Stir together dry ingredients in a bowl and add to the batter and blend.
Form into disk, cover with plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes in the refrigerator.
Preheat oven to 180C/350F. Line baking trays with parchment paper.
Roll out pastry to 25-50mm (1/4-1/8 inch) thickness.
Cut out the cookies (if cookies are too soft-chill it again for 10-15 minutes).
Bake for 12 minutes. Allow to cool.
Spread 1/2 or 1tsp jam on the bottoms of solid cookies. Sprinkle the cut-out cookies with icing sugar, place them on top and sandwich them together.

 

The assembled cookies can be store in an container (in the refrigerator), or I keep them without jam, in a jar, and assemble when it’s needed 🙂Love_cookies_v2-3
Enjoy! Cookies are sooooo good! 😀
Love_cookies_v2-4
*You can cut out any shape, and use your favourite jam.
**In case if the pastry turned out too crumbly and difficult to roll it out, add 2tbsp of cold water, usually it helps me 🙂 
P.S. You can click on all photos to have a look it in full size.

 

Apple pie with semolina

There are so many things I love about autumn!
Chose a day in our rush-life-time and stop! Stop and look around! You could see many bright colors, that golden fall has brought for you. Browny-orange and fiery red leaves are falling from trees. Gloomy and gray sky. Breeze in! Cooling and lightly burning air. 
 
What an amazing day to bake a warm apple pie! 🙂
Apple pie_1 
Ingredients:
 
Apples (pink lady) 3
Cottage cheese 100-150g (1/2-2/3 cups)
A handful of raisins, optionally
Butter 50-70g (4-5 Tbsp), melted
Semolina 150g (1 cup)
Flour 2Tbsp
Egg 1
Sugar 100g (1/2cup), I used brown  
Cinnamon 1/2 tsp, optionally
Baking soda 1tsp
Bread crumbs or crushed nuts (hazelnuts, almonds) 1-2Tbsp, optionally
 
I forget to put soda in the pie mixture sometimes, so don’t worry if you’ve done the same, the pie will be nice and tasty anyway! 😉
Using fine semolina makes the pie more fluffy, however, I used that time coarse-grained and the pie was none the worse.;)
Feel free to change a quantity of the ingredients to suit your own taste.
 
Method:
 
Slice the apples, sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon.  
Meanwhile, combine cottage cheese and egg. Add semolina, flour, soda and melted butter, mix.
Add apples, raisins and carefully combine.
Butter the baking pan, sprinkle some bread crumbles or crushed nuts, add the apple mixture.
Bake until golden color for 30-40 minutes. 200C/400F
 
Enjoy!!! 😀
 Apple pie_2
 

Russian kasha

 Kasha means porridge. One Russian proverb says “Bread and Porridge is our food”. A pot with a porridge and bread were the main food on a table many years back. A large varieties of cereals are produced in Russia, but the popular and loved one has been the buckweat.
 According to old Russian tradition, during the wedding a bridegroom and a bride had to cook a porridge together. If they could cooked a good, tasty porridge that meant they could get on with each other. A porridge was cooked for many occasions like a wedding or Christmas feast, birth or funeral repast. Sometimes a feast was called ‘kasha’. Every hostess had a personal recipe of porridge, which she kept in a secret. 
 
 In Russian cuisine a porridge is divided into 3 groups by it’s consistency: liquid (eaten as a soup), oozy (usually for children) and crumbly (the tastiest one). The consistency depends on a quantity of water or milk, in which porridge was cooked. Pumpkin_millet

Millet porridge with butter or lard added was the common meal for Russian labors, who had worked in fields. It’s can be eaten sweet (with sugar, honey, dried fruits) or savoury (with onion, garlic, mushrooms), as a main dish or garnish.
 Moreover, millet is rich in calcium, B vitamins, iron, potassium, and contain no gluten.

  
We need:

  • pumpkin
  • millet – 1 cup
  • water – 1/2 cup
  • milk – 1 cup
  • a knob of butter
  • few dried apricots
  • raisins
  • sugar – 1Tbsp
  • a pinch of salt
Take a pumpkin. 
Cut the lid and set aside. Clean all seeds out.
Put a knob of butter on the pumpkin bottom.
Wash millet thoroughly under running tab water. Mix with raisins and sliced dried apricots. 
Put the cereal mixture in the pumpkin. Add a pinch of salt and some sugar to taste. Pour the milk and water, cover with the lid.
Bake for 1-2 hours.
Open the lid. 
Tasty millet porridge in pumpkin pot is ready!
Serve with honey.
Pumpkin_millet-2 
P.S. For 1 cup millet take 1 cup milk+1/2 cup water. Sub millet with rice.
 
P.P.S. Don’t throw away seeds. Sprinkle over some sea salt and smoked paprika. Add olive oil and bake on a baking paper along with the pumpkin.