Thursday, November 11

Chorizo buns

I have lived in Spain for eight years, and chorizo is something that I miss so much now that I live in Holland. I love that it is so spicy with this unique intense flavor, which I miss in a lot of other ''sausage types'. If you are not the spicy type, you can buy a milder type in the supermarket. How great is that?
When I went to Spain this summer, to visit the town where I grew up my boyfriend fell in love with it as well, and he's been eating it ever since. So when I stumbled upon this recipe from Kayotic Kitchen I didn't hesitate, I bought my things and made some delicious little chorizo buns. 
I really recommend checking out her site, her blog is amazing and almost all of her posts take you through all the steps in the recipes with great photography. Besides, she's dutch as well so that's pretty cool.

From Kayotic Kitchen

  • 3 heaping tbsp garlic/herb cream cheese
  • 6 puff pastry sheets (frozen)
  • 1/2 cup cheese, grated
  • roughly 4oz chorizo
  • 1/2 red bell pepper
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1 small red onion
  • paprika powder
  • pepper
  • 1 egg
  1. Start by chopping the onion and bell pepper, chop as finely as you can or use your food processor. You can use about 4oz Spanish chorizo, or about half of a sausage.
  2. Use a little oil and sautee the onion and bell pepper until your onion is translucent. Put the chorizo in a big bowl and add your grated cheese.
  3. Now add 3 heaping tbsp spiked cream cheese. Plunge in your vegetable mix and also add 1/2 to 1 tsp dried basil. Add a good pinch of black pepper, grab a fork and start mixing it all up. Taste to see if it needs more of anything. Usually it’s perfect like this.
  4. Sprinkle a little flour on your cutting board or kitchen counter. Place the pastry sheets next to each other and sprinkle a little flour on top as well.
  5. Now break out your dough pin – if you’re anything like me it’s probably somewhere in the back of a drawer with the other stuff you seldom use anymore. Great to have around for these occasions, though. Start rolling out the puff pastry a bit. No need to make it paper thin, just a little thinner. ( didn't do this, I like it better when the dough is a little thicker. 
  6. With a cookie cutter (about 3 inch wide) or a glass cut out little pastry circles. Get the leftovers and knead it.
  7. Sprinkle a little flour underneath the dough and roll it out again. Using your cookie cutter or glass or whatever, continue making pastry circles.
  8. Start filling the pastry. Use 1/2 to 1 tsp filling on one half, fold the other half over and seal the edges. If the edges won’t stick as much as it did before rolling out the dough for the 2d (3d or 4th) time, just get your fingers wet and lightly dab some water on the inside of the pastry, that will make it sticky again.
  9. When you’re done, place them on a cookie sheet. Get a little paprika powder on top of them. Just hold your measuring spoon over a small sieve (it’s called a sieve, right?) and lightly tap your finger on the side of the spoon. This will distribute the paprika powder more evenly. (I just mixed the paprika powder with the egg in a little bowl and then brushed it over the puffs)
  10. Preheat your oven to 450F (225C) and bake them for 12 to 15 minutes until beautifully brown and puffy.

Monday, November 1

Halloween cookies

I love Halloween! I find it a shame that it's not really that populair in the Netherlands (even tough I saw some kids trick or treating this year). I love all the kinds of candy you can make for halloween, specially with all the spooky decorations. I found it a good excuse to finally start cookie decorating, since I bought stuff to do that. So here, my first time cookie decorating! I'm so proud!

I hate it when I have to use flash, but I want to show my ghost cookie!

All recipes adapted from: Joy of Baking
Sugar Cookies:

  • 3 cups (390 grams) flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup (227 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup (200 grams) Sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Royal Icing
  • 4 cups (440 grams) confectioners' (powdered or icing) sugar, sifted
  •  3 tablespoons (30 grams) meringue powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract(optional)
  • 1/2 cup - 3/4 cup (120 - 180 ml)  warm water
  •  Food Coloring(I use Gel Pastes that can be found at cake decorating and party stores or else on-line
For Sugar Cookies: 
  1. In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, salt, and baking soda. In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy (about 3 to 4 minutes). Add the eggs and vanilla extract and beat until combined. Add the flour mixture and beat until you have a smooth dough.
  2. Divide the dough in half and wrap each half in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for about one hour or until firm enough to roll.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) and place rack in center of oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper
  4. Remove one half of the chilled dough from the refrigerator and, on a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to a thickness of 1/4 inch (1 cm).Remove one half of the chilled dough from the refrigerator and, on a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to a thickness of 1/4 inch (1 cm). (Keep turning the dough as you roll, making sure the dough does not stick to the counter.) Cut out desired shapes using a lightly floured cookie cutter and transfer cookies to the prepared baking sheet. Place the baking sheets with the unbaked cookies in the refrigerator for 10 to 15 minutes to chill the dough which prevents the cookies from spreading and losing their shape while baking.
    Note: If you are not going to frost the baked cookies, you may want to sprinkle the unbaked cookies with crystal or sparkling sugar.
  5. Bake cookies for about 8-10 minutes (depending on size) or until the edges are just starting to brown. Remove from oven and let cookies cool on baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to finish cooling. Frost with royal icing, if desired. Be sure to let the royal icing dry completely before storing. (This may take several hours.)
  6. Frosted cookies will keep several days in an airtight container. Store between layers of parchment paper or wax paper.
  7. Makes about 36 - 4 inch (10 cm) cookies.

For Royal Icing:

  1. In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the confectioners' sugar and meringue powder until combined. 
  2. Add the water and beat on medium to high speed until very glossy and stiff peaks form (5 to 7 minutes). If necessary, to get the right consistency, add more powdered sugar or water. 
  3. To cover or 'flood' the entire surface of the cookie with icing, the proper consistency is when you lift the beater, the ribbon of icing that falls back into the bowl remains on the surface of the icing for a few seconds before disappearing.

The icing needs to be used immediately or transferred to an airtight container as royal icing hardens when exposed to air. Cover with plastic wrap when not in use.