Saturday, December 14, 2013

The Great Food Bloggers Cookie Swap of 2013 - Maple Pumpkin Gingerbread Cookies


HO HO HO and its a very Merry Christmas with only 11 days remaining to the big day.  And it's another year of the Annual partaking in the Food Bloggers Cookie Swap.

A couple of months ago I have made the decision along with my partner to turn my part-time Cookie Business into a Fulltime Working At Home Mum (WAHM) Business, and since then it has been super duper uber crazy busy! Parties, Events, Corporate Orders and Market Days have kept me run off my feet every single week.  So it was definitely a squeeze to get the 36 cookies required completed for the swap given I insist on producing decorated cookies. AND as usual my definition of a Christmas Cookie is definitely a gingerbread variety...  and I have to say I did excel as far as taste for my family, they deemed it a great look and tasting cookie all round.  Even my Miss 4 ate several and even insisted on taking a 'doggy bag' of them to her Nanny's house on her sleepover.  They did puff nicely the first roll out of each lot of dough, a note is to knead the dough back together well before re-rolling it to avoid distortion and shrinkage in cutter shapes.

Maple Pumpkin Gingerbread Cookies

1/4 cup Butter - softened
1/4 cup Brown Sugar - firmly packed
1 Egg
2 Tbsp Molasses
1/2 cup Maple Syrup
1/2 cup FRESH Pumpkin Puree
1/4 cup Water
3 1/2 cups all-purpose Flour
1 1/2 tsp Ground Ginger
1 tsp Bi-Carb (Baking) Soda
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Ground Nutmeg
1/4 tsp Cloves
1/4 tsp Ground Black Pepper

Place pumpkin diced into a saucepan of water and boil until soft, drain and put through the food processer until a puree.

Place butter and sugar in the electric mixer and mix until light and fluffy.  Then add the egg and combine well. 

Add in the molasses, maple syrup, pumpkin and water and mix well on medium.

In a separate bowl sift together the dry ingredients and whisk them through so the raising agent is spread throughout.  Then add all at once to the wet/or pumpkin mixture in the electric mixer with dough hook.  Mix on low speed until a ball of pliable dough.

Take the dough out of the bowl and knead it on a floured surface.  Make 2 large discs of dough and put in glad wrap/cling film and place in the fridge for 4 hours (or overnight).

To Make Cookies :

Pre-heat over to 160 degrees.
Remove from the fridge, allow to sit until the dough is rollable, roll out the disc and use cookie cutters to cut out your cookies, place them on a lined cookie tray.
Bake for 15 minutes - check for golden colour as they may need more time depending on your oven.
You can decorate how you wish, I used Royal Icing.

I credit the Blogger Courtney from Sweet Tooth Sweet Life for these gorgeous cookies :
I thought these were easy and great, but I did opt to make my own Pumpkin Puree just because I hate pumpkin from a can, I don't think it tastes the same at all, plus you avoid unnecessary preservatives.

I have received 3 Cookie Packages from my fellow Cookie Swappers, their details and pics are below, so far I have nibbled at each package and they taste great! Thank you so much lovely ladies. 

Thank you and my Cookie Bakers for 2013 were :

Alicia from The Kitchen and the Camera :

Kate from The Cook's Companion Challenge :

Giulia from Love At Every Bite :

If you missed out this year but don't want to miss out in 2014, just sign up with your email here so you get the notifications when the swap is taking names next year :


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

White Chocolate & Raspberry Celebration Cake

Again I am still do Blog Post delayed catch ups, this one is from my daughter's 4th birthday.  She requested raspberry cake.... again. Along with Orange Sponge Cupcakes.  So here is the cake I made for the bottom layer in her Lalaloopsy Birthday Party Cake.

This cake tastes delicious, but I ensure I use a good quality white chocolate, I find the cheaper cooking ones just taste bitter a bit like cardboard.  So my fav is Cadbury Dream, but my 2nd Choice is Nestle Plaistowe.

White Chocolate & Raspberry Celebration Cake

250g Castor Sugar
180g Butter - room temp
465g Plain Flour (less 3 Tbsp)
3 Tbsp Cornflour
3 tsp Baking Powder
3 Eggs
375ml Milk (I used 50% lite milk & 50% Buttermilk) - room temp
270g White Chocolate (Good Quality, I use Cadbury Dream) - chopped
Raspberries - Frozen

Preheat oven to 180 degrees.  Grease
and flour cake tin, I used a 10 inch springform pan.

Cream the butter and sugar together in an electric mixer on medium speed.  When pale and fluffy you can add in the eggs one at a time until fully combined.
Sift your dry ingredients together in a separate bowl and whisk to ensure the raising agent and cornflour are dispersed throughout flour well.

Take your milk and your dry ingredients and add them into the butter mixture in alternative additions, once fully combined take the bowl out of the electric mixer.

Chop your white chocolate up into very fine pieces and stir into the mix with a wooden spoon.  Next take your frozen raspberries and stir them lightly through the batter.

Pour the mix into your prepared cake tin, and place into the preheated oven, and bake for 45-55 minutes.  Always check the centre of the cake with a wooden skewer to ensure the centre is cooked and not raw, this is done by sticking it in when you pull it out it should be clean without mixture stuck to it.  Your should turn out the cake once it has cooled for at least 15 minutes.

Once your cake is completely cold (I usually also placed wrapped in gladwrap/clingfilm into the freezer to ensure it is extra cold), it is ready to frost, ice, ganache and if so desired cover in fondant like I did!

Here is the Dessert Buffet setup I did for my daughter's birthday, we went with a Hot Pink and Sunshine Yellow theme in her favourite doll sesries called Lalaloopsy Dolls.

And.... these are a close up of the uniquely self designed Cookies and Choc-Coated Oreos!

And here are the Take Home Favours I made for all the little girls and boys!! Such fun!

I had the designs for my stickers, invitations and tags made through Lala Heaven on, here is her link : Katie is fabulous and fast, I found no request too great for her, she even personalised these gorgeous stickers of Dyna-Mite after she met the live doll, for me which I put on boxes of my daughter's favourite treat - Milk Duds!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Triple Lemon Vanilla Bean Layer Cake with a Lucious Lemon Buttercream

Firstly apologies for my delay in blogging, its been a while and I keep starting new posts and not publishing for one reason or another.... so here goes one.  I promise to catch up asap!

I have an abundance yet again of lemons from my Mum's tree, a massive bowl is overflowing on our dining table, leaves and all.   Last night I did an order of 2 dozen macarons using them, and it inspired me to bake something further today because the Lemon buttercream was soooo delish!  And before you ask... yes I had my handy helper under foot too.

So fasten your seatbelts and hold onto your hats, this one is super fast and uber tasty...

Triple Lemon Vanilla Bean Layer Cake

225g Butter - room temp, cubed
1 cup Castor Sugar
1 1/2 tsp Vanilla Bean Paste
1 Lemon Rind
1 Lemon Juice
1/2 tsp Lemon Extract
6 Eggs
1 cup Milk (i used Lite Organic with a squeeze of a 1tsp of lemon juice in it)
3 cups Plain Flour (All-Purpose) - remove 3 tablespoons of flour
3 Tbsp Corn Flour (or corn starch)
2 tsp Baking Powder

Lucious Lemon Buttercream

125g Butter - room temp
3 ounces Cream Cheese
1 Whole Lemon - Zest & Juice
1/2 tsp Vanilla Essence
2 cups Pure Icing Sugar - sifted
2 cups Icing Sugar Mixture - sifted

Preheat your oven to 160 degrees.  Grease and flour two 8 inch cake pans.

Place your butter and castor sugar in the mixer and cream them together, then add the vanilla, lemon rind, juice and extract and mix in well, it may appear curdled but keep going.  Add in your eggs one at a time, mixing well between each addition.

Prepare, measure and have ready to go, your milk and also your dry ingredients sifted together (flour, corn flour/cornstarch and baking powder.  Alternatively add the milk and dry ingredients in 3 consecutive additions. Lightly mix at the end.

Pour your mixture into 2 equal sandwich pans.  Place in the oven on the middle oven shelf.  Bake for 35 minutes and check they are cooked through as every oven is different.

Buttercream - Place all ingredients into mixer and mix until it is pale, light and fluffy.  Frost your cake bottom layer first then top layer, and embellish with your choice of sprinkles or leave plain. Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Whole Orange Flourless Sugarless Gluten-Free Cake with a Jaffa Twist

My partner is trying to rid our house of high processed flours and refined sugars, he is fighting a loosing battle, but god love him for trying.  So I am succumbing to attempts at trying to find ways to make delicious cakes with occasionally less sugars.  Then I stumbled and adjusted this little beauty, not only white sugar free and flourless but also gluten free too..... But hey I just can't help it.... I added chocolate frosting sprinkles!


Whole Orange Cake

(Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free, Flourless)

2 Whole Oranges
6 Eggs
1 cup Organic Honey
250g Almond Meal
1 tsp Baking Powder

Wash your 2 oranges to remove dirt or wax, then place them both into a large saucepan and cover with water and bring to the boil them on a high heat, then turn down to a simmer and cover with a lid. Allow to simmer for 1 hour.  Remove them from the water after the hour and place them on a plate to reduce to room temperature.

Once the oranges are at room temp, cut them in half through cross section, remove seeds, then cut them into 8 pieces, leaving skin on, then place the orange pieces into the food processor, pulse the orange until a puree.

Crack your 6 eggs into the mixer and whisk on high for 5 minutes, this will get them into a high froth of beautiful fluffy pale orange colour.

Then add in your honey and remain beating mix on high to stay fluffy.  Then pour in your orange pulp from the food processor.

Finally add in your almond meal and baking powder and mix through well.

Pre heat your oven to 170 degrees (150 fan forced).  Prepare your springform tin with butter and flour, pour your cake mix into the prepared pan.  Place into the oven and bake for 1 hour.

Allow the cake to cool before removing from the pan.  

Ice your cake with your choice of frosting (or nothing to keep it completely healthy), I went for Chocolate to create a Jaffa flavour.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Sweet Shop Inspired Lolly & Dessert Buffet Tables - Book Yours Today!

I was honoured and thrilled to have my dear friend ask me to cater her new baby girl's Christening with a Lolly Buffet Table, complete with personalised Lolly Bags as the Bombonieries for guests.

The jars I already have, I have been accumulating Apothecary Jars over the recent years and use them for parties and high teas, I use them at home in the kitchen filled with left over cookies from my orders. I just needed an excuse to add to my collection!

I ordered sweets to match the theme such as Musk Sticks, Mini Jelly Beans, Jelly Babies, Milk Bottles, Raspberry White Chocolate Bullets and Strawberry Sour Straps.  Also made to order I created Cookie Booties, Bubblegum Marshmallow Clouds, Mini Strawberry Meringue Kisses and Strawberry Filled Chocolate Coated Oreo Candies.

All items featured in the Lolly Buffet can be ordered through the Cookie Queen Kitsch'n, minimum 2-4 weeks notice is required, and payment needs to be made 14 days ahead of your function date to allow for ordering the sweets & ingredients.  A bond of $60-100 is required on the day for the Jars (depending on the quantity booked), to cover any breakages, the bond is refunded upon the collection of the jars provided there is no damage to be replaced.

Apothecary & Candy Jars To Hire (+ Bond) :-

Large : $20 each
Medium : $15 each
Small, Pop Stands & Lolly Barrels : $10 each
Scoops/Tongs are provided per jar

Personalised Lolly Bags :-

Plain/Patterned Paper Bags : $ 24/24 bags
Paper Bags with Personalised with Ink Stamped Name : $ 30/24 bags
Paper Bags with Personalised with Event Name Stickers : $ 50/24 bags
Cello Bags Plain : $ 12/24 bags
Cello Bags with Event Name Stickers : $25/24 bags
(Note : For Buffets due to bulky items & pops I use a longer bag of 7 inches & 5 inches wide and the top can be folded over to seal)

Baby Bootie Cookies

$3.50/cookie (min order 12)

Mashmallow Clouds - flavoured Bubblegum

$1.00/marshmallow - cutter shape & flavour of your choice (min order 24)

Oreo Pops

$4.00/pop - choc, vanilla, strawberry or funfetti oreos and coating colour of choice (min order 12)

Mini Meringue Kisses

$2.00/meringue kiss or $3.50/large meringue - colour & flavour of choice (min order 24)

Macarons available upon request also priced at $24 /dozen.

To Book me for your next function, do not hesitate to email me at : or phone me on 0497 103 638. I can tailor a Lolly or Dessert Buffet to suit your theme, needs or specifications.

Hire/Setup Packages Available

1 - Buffet Basics Package 
  • 2 Jars
  • 3 Lolly Barrels
  • Scoops & Tongs
  • Selection of 5 Sweets (additional cost)
Suits 10-12 Guests
Total = $54.00 + Sweets + Bond
2 - Candy-licious Package 
  • 1 Lrg Jar
  • 2 Med Jars
  • 3 Lolly Barrels
  • Scoops & Tongs
  • Selection of 5 Sweets (500g each)
Suits 14-18 Guests
Total = $124.00 includes choice 5 Colour Themed Sweets + Mini Meringues (Bond required)
3 - Glitz & Glamour Package 
  • 2 Lrg Jars
  • 2 Med Jars
  • 3 Lolly Barrels
  • Scoops & Tongs
  • Cake/Oreo/Lolly Pop Stand 
  • Selection of 7 Sweets (500g each)
Suits 20-28 Guests
Total = $186.00 includes choice 7 Colour Themed Sweets + Homemade Marshmallows 
+ Choice of Macaron Pops or Mini Cookie Pops
(Bond Required)

4 - Seventh Heaven Package 
  • 2 Lrg Jars
  • 2 Med Jars
  • 2 Pedestal Jars
  • 3 Lolly Barrels
  • Scoops & Tongs
  • Cake/Oreo/Lolly Pop Stand 
  • Selection of 5 Sweets (1-1.2kg each)
Suits 30-35 Guests
Total = $246.00 includes choice 5 Colour Themed Sweets + Homemade Marshmallow Shapes  + Candy-coated Oreos + 20 Themed Cookies
(Bond Required)

Ribbons provided on all Jars & Tongs
Buffet Labels available for additional $10
Bunting on front of table available for $18
Flowers available for $22


Delivery Fee may be applicable for areas outside immediate area of the CBD/Inner West of Sydney.