Fluffy cupcakes with chunks of cherry and marzipan and a white chocolate cream cheese frosting on top.
Chocolate, cherries and almonds in one neat package. Perfect for Valentines day and easy to down a couple without thinking. There are a couple of recipes for a glaze below, use one or the other (or half and half), but don’t try to use both on the same donut.
Nothing says “you’ve got no Valentine” like a heart shaped cherry pie which bleeds cherry juice when you bite into it. I doubled this recipe for the pictures and made half with pastry flour and half with whole wheat flour. There’s about 1 tablespoon of cherry filling in each heart shaped pie.
Frangipane and raspberry jam filled tarts with hearts on top for Valentines Day. These are quick to make and look great.
One thing I’ve learned when making any kind of bar/slice/tart which has a filling with a layer of something else on top is that you can never have too much filling (mots recently with the Manchester Tart I made, which I should have used more jam for). A batch of 12 mince pies used around 400g of mincemeat; both of these tarts used around 300g in total but there was plenty of room for more filling. The frangipane topping is chunky enough to hold the flavour of the almonds on it’s own, so you can load the base with as much mince meat as you have.
Three layers of cookie with apricot jam, cherry jam, marzipan and chocolate. These rainbow cookies have a strong marzipan flavour due to the marzipan between each layer. They take a while to make as they need to be compressed overnight then you need to set the chocolate before cutting them up. Most recipes say to mix in the grated marzipan with the dough, but I grated it instead gave the cookies a more distinct almond flavour.
A traditional Polish Easter/Christmas cake with chocolate, raisins and peanuts on a shortcrust base. I wanted to make this at Easter but with so many other recipes I didn’t get chance.
Speculaas are a traditional Dutch spice cookie eaten around the dutch celebration of Sinterklaas. They’re usually made with wooden moulds, but since these are expensive when you’re only making a small batch, you can use regular cookie cutters instead. They use their own blend of spices which gives them a unique taste.
Raise money for Children in Need with these almond sponge cake bars filled with white chocolate and homemade jam. It’s a bit more creative than just dropping a pound in the bucket on the way in to work, and it’s easy enough to make that I had time to buy the ingredients and bake this after work on without advance notice.
For anyone not in the UK, “Pudsey” is the mascot for the Children in Need charity which runs a national collection every year. He has one eye and is covered in multi-coloured spots (hence the sprinkles). Read more
What’s more appetising than an edible witch’s finger, complete with blood covered nail? Great for kids, these are light almond flavoured shortbread biscuits with blanched almond nails. They came out bigger than I expected due to spreading in the oven. Next time I’d make them no bigger than 5cm x 2cm.