Raspberry Shortbread Sandwich Biscuits

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The Great British Bake Off has finally started again and so I thought it was about time to get back into baking myself after a super busy summer! I made these beautifully easy raspberry shortbread biscuits in preparation for biscuit week (I realise its now coming up to week 6 so apologies for taking so long to get this recipe posted) and they really do not disappoint.

I cannot emphasise enough how easy and quick they are to make, so they are perfect if you fancy something sweet but don’t want to spend hours in the kitchen baking away.

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Shortbread is probably one of the simplest biscuits to make, and combined with fresh fruit and vanilla icing it really does create the perfect combination! You can use any fresh fruit you like, it doesn’t necessarily have to be raspberries – strawberries, blackberries, blueberries etc would make an equally tasty shortbread biscuit.

You can decide how big to make these depending on how big the cutters are that you’re using, I like to use fairly small ones to make them (almost) bitesize and perfect for summer or afternoon tea!

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When you’re rolling out the cookies, the chilling really does make a difference – the dough is less likely to stick to the surface and so it’ll make it 100x easier when it comes to transferring the biscuits to the baking tray. Also make sure there’s enough flour on the surface before rolling out. Alternatively you can also roll the dough out between two sheets of greased proof paper or clingfilm, this not only prevents sticking but means that you’re not adding extra flour to the dough every time you roll out another batch!

So, here’s the recipe :

Recipe

For the biscuits

250g plain white flour

200g butter (unsalted, chilled)

100g icing sugar

2 egg yolks

1 tsp vanilla extract/ essence

For the icing

250g salted butter (softened)

400-500g icing sugar

1 tsp vanilla essence

To decorate

Fresh raspberries

Raspberry jam

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan, 350°F, gas mark 4). Line a baking tray with baking paper. 
  2. In a bowl add the butter, sifted flour and work the mixture with your finger tips to form crumbs. Make a well and add sifted icing sugar, the egg yolks and the vanilla extract. Mix the ingredients together until combined and forms into dough. Wrap in cling film and leave to rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. 
  3. After the dough has chilled, remove from the fridge and knead for 5 minutes. Roll the dough out to 5mm thickness and using a circular cutter, stamp out the biscuit shapes. Place on the lined baking tray and chill again in the fridge for 30 minutes. 
  4. Bake the biscuits in the preheat oven for 10-12 minutes then transfer to a wire cooling rack. 
  5. To make the icing, put the butter, vanilla and half of the icing sugar into a bowl and combine with an electric mixer until smooth. Slowly add the remaining icing sugar until the icing is light and fluffy, and sweet enough to not be able to taste the butter! 
  6. Place a shortbread on a serving plate, cover with jam and evenly space three raspberries on top of the jam. Pipe the icing in the spaces between the raspberries and then top with another shortbread biscuit. Repeat for the remaining shortbread biscuits and finally dust with icing sugar to finish.
  7. Enjoy !

Happy Baking x

 

Raspberry Bakewell Tart




  

Recipe

For the pastry (Recipe from Konditor and Cook)

50g caster sugar

1 egg yolk

100g salted butter

150g plain flour

For the filling

225g / 8oz unsalted butter, softened

225g / 8oz caster sugar

225g / 8oz ground almonds

3 free-range eggs

50g / 2oz plain flour

1 jar raspberry jam

1 box/ punnet fresh or frozen raspberries

flaked almonds, for sprinkling

Method

For the pastry
  1. Combine the sugar and egg yolk in a medium bowl with a wooden spoon and then add the cold cubed butter. Using the spoon or your fingers combine them together.
  2. Sift the flour into the bowl and quickly work everything into a dough, being careful not to overwork as this will result in a tough pastry.
  3. Shape into a ball/ flat slab, wrap in film and chill for 1 hour.
  4. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface to 3-4mm thick and use to line a 25cm loose-bottomed tart tin. Chill for 30 minutes.
  5. Preheat oven to 175°C/gas mark 4. Line the pastry case with aluminum foil, draping it over the edges a little and fill with baking beans or rice.
  6. Bake blind for 15 minutes then remove from the oven and leave to stand for 5 minutes.
  7. Lift out the foil with the beans or rice and return the pastry case to the oven for 5-10 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown and crisp.
  8. Remove from the oven and leave to cool
For the filling
  1. In a separate bowl beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
  2. Add the eggs one by one, mixing well after each addition. You can add a little flour to the mixture to prevent curdling.
  3. Fold in the flour and ground almonds and mix until well combined.
  4. Generously spread the raspberry jam over the base of the pastry case.
  5. Spread half of the raspberries over the raspberry jam.
  6. Fill the tart case with the frangipane batter and then top with the remaining raspberries and the flaked almonds.
  7. Bake the tart for 20 minutes, or until the filling is set and golden-brown.
  8. Allow to cool in the tin and then ‘dust’ with icing sugar just before serving.

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Banana Muffins

This recipe isn’t anything ground breaking or new, but it’s super easy and the caramel butter icing takes your average banana muffin from good to great. Perfect for an afternoon snack or dessert! Equally, additions such as blueberries, chocolate chips, raspberries, nuts etc.. make for a decadent breakfast that’ll pair perfectly with your morning cup of tea or coffee.


Here are a few tips:

  1. Make sure you use over ripe bananas, the riper they are the moister the muffins will be!
  2. When you combine the two together, only mix until they combine. If you over mix the wet with the dry, your muffins will be heavy, tough, and dense.
  3. Fill your muffin pans all the way to the top. Set the initial oven temperature high, then lower it as the muffins bake. Setting the oven to a “high temperature burst” lifts the muffin top up quickly and creates a tall crust.

Recipe

Recipe from the blog Sally’s Baking Addiction

For the Banana Muffins

3 cups (375g) all-purpose flour (very careful not to overmeasure)

4 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, divided

2 large eggs, at room temperature

1/2 cup (200g) packed light brown sugar

1/2 cup caster sugar

¼ cup (50g) granulated sugar

1 cup (240ml) milk, at room temperature

1/3 cup (80ml) vegetable oil

3/4 cup mashed banana (2 small, very ripe bananas)

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For the Caramel Butter Icing

250 g salted butter (softened)

500g icing sugar (sieved)

4 tbsp caramel sauce or a few drops of caramel essence

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees(C). Fill a muffin pan with cases and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, gently toss together flour, baking powder, salt, and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Mix until all dry ingredients are combined – a 20 second toss to disburse everything together. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, sugar, and granulated sugar until combined. Whisk in milk, oil, mashed bananas, and vanilla extract. Mixture will be pale and yellow.
  4. Fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix everything together with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon. Avoid over-mixing, which will produce tough, dense muffins. Gently mix until all the flour is off the bottom of the bowl and no big pockets of flour remain. The batter will be extremely thick and somewhat lumpy.
    Spoon batter into prepared muffin tins, filling all the way to the top.
  5. Bake muffins at 200 degrees(C) for 5 minutes. Keeping the muffins in the oven, reduce oven temperature to 180 degrees(C) and continue to bake for 25-26 minutes until tops are lightly golden. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean.
  6. Allow to cool for 10 minutes.
  7. To make the butter icing, put the softened butter, caramel sauce or essence and half of the icing sugar into a medium bowl and beat well.
  8. Slowly add the remaining icing sugar, tasting after each addition until the icing is sweet enough. You may not need to use all of the icing sugar, if the icing starts to become too stiff you can add a little bit of milk to loosen it up.
  9. Fill a prepared piping bag with the butter icing and pipe swirls on top of the cooled muffins. I like to use a star shaped nozzle for cupcakes and muffins.
  10. Top with slices of banana (either fresh or dried banana – the dried banana will keep better if not being eaten on the day of baking)
  11. Muffins taste best fresh the same day. Store muffins at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 5 days. (They also freeze well ~up to 3 months).