Carly's Blog

I really enjoy spending my free time baking so I thought I'd set up a blog dedicated to just that :)

Monday, 27 December 2010

Peanut Butter Cups

For the base:
50g soft dark brown sugar
200g icing sugar
50g butter, softened
200g smooth peanut butter

For the topping:
200g milk chocolate
100g dark chocolate
gold buttons/dragees/stars to decorate

Place all the base ingredients in a food processor and blend until the mixture takes on a sandy texture.  Mixing with a wooden spoon works just as well you just need to get your hands in there to make sure the butter isn't in big clumps.

Spoon about a teaspoonful of the mixture into the bottom of 48 gold petit four cases and press the mixture down as best you can in the bottom of each case.

Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of barely simmering water, whilst stirring.  Once melted spoon teaspoonfuls of chocolate on top of each of the bases.

Decorate the tops with the gold decorations, then place in the fridge to set (minimum of 30 minutes.)

Mince Pies

140g cold butter, diced
225g plain flour
50g ground almonds
50g golden caster sugar
1 orange, zest only
pinch of salt
1 egg yolk
1 - 2 tsp cold water
280g good quality mincemeat
1 egg, beaten
icing sugar, for dusting

Preheat the oven to 220'c/Gas Mark 6.

Rub the butter into the flour and add the almonds, caster sugar, orange rind and salt until the mixture is a bit crumbly.  Add an egg yolk and 1 - 2 tsp of water until it forms a soft dough, then put it into a plastic bag and chill in the fridge for 20 - 30 minutes.

Roll out the pastry to a thickness of 2 - 3mm and cut out about 18 rounds (7.5cm) with a pastry cutter.

Place into a lightly greased 12 hole cake tin and spoon in the mincemeat evenly.  Re roll the left over pastry and cut out lids, these can either be round or a shape that fits on top.

Lightly brush the pastry tops with the beaten egg and bake in the oven for 12 - 15 minutes, until golden brown.

Remove from the oven and leave to cool for a few minutes before removing them from the tins and place on a wire rack.  Once completely cooled dust with icing sugar.