Cinnamon & Ginger Thumbprint Cookies

J-23 guys! 23 more days til the most wonderful time of the year and I cannot wait! And really, what better way to get in the festive mood than a plate of spicy, cinnamon-ey cookies?

Cinnamon & ginger thumbprint cookies | Cake + Whisky

Nothing. My point exactly.

Cinnamon & ginger thumbprint cookies | Cake + Whisky

For me, that first bite of something sweet, crumbly and unmistakably cinnamon-ey is what marks the official start of the festive season.

Cinnamon & ginger thumbprint cookies | Cake + Whisky

Most years, mince pies are the way this happens (and I absolutely love it that way!).

But this year was different. This year, that ‘first bite’ was one of these gorgeous, homemade Cinnamon & Ginger Curd Thumbprint Cookies.

Cinnamon & ginger thumbprint cookies | Cake + Whisky

Flavoured with the warm aromas of cinnamon and ginger, they are the super Christmas-sy version of the already quite Christmas-sy jam thumbprint cookies.

They’re super easy to make (absolutely no need to be a smart cookie!) and with all these spices, they definitely make for the perfect seasons’ greetings!

Cinnamon & ginger thumbprint cookies | Cake + Whisky

Cinnamon & Ginger Thumbprint Cookies (makes 30)

For the cookie dough:

  • 200g flour + some for dusting
  • 100g granulated sugar
  • 125g soft unsalted butter
  • 4 egg yolks
  • a small pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon

To garnish: 

1. In a big bowl, whisk together the egg yolks with the sugar and salt until it becomes fluffy and doubles in volume.

2. Add in the flour and cinnamon and mix. You should get a crumbly texture, not dissimilar to that of crumble, only much finer.

3. Incorporate the butter and knead lightly until the dough comes together, adding more flour as you go if necessary.

4. Wrap the dough in greaseproof paper and let it rest in the fridge for about 30 min.

5. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Take the dough out of the fridge and shape into balls the size of a large cherry.

6. Place the balls about 5cm apart on prepared baking sheets. Press a thumbprint into the center of each ball, about 1 cm deep.

7. Bake for 15 min.

8. Let the cookies cool entirely. Fill each indentation with about 3/4 tsp ginger curd, then dust the cookies with ground cinnamon.

 

Cinnamon & Ginger Thumbprint Cookies

Chocolate Madeleines

There are few dishes that everybody loves.

And while I have met a few of those people with rather unusual dislikes (apparently, some people do find ice cream repulsive. Shocking, I know!), I am still to come across anyone that doesn’t like madeleines.

Chocolate Madeleines | Cake + Whisky Chocolate Madeleines | Cake + Whisky

But then this small, bite-size cake originating from the Lorraine region in northeastern France is utterly irresistible.

Chocolate Madeleines | Cake + Whisky Chocolate Madeleines | Cake + Whisky

With its distinctive shell-like shape, domed top and light, delicate sponge-like texture, madeleines are commonly served as a mid-afternoon snack in France and make for the perfect bite-sized treat.

Chocolate Madeleines | Cake + Whisky Chocolate Madeleines | Cake + Whisky

Based on a light sponge batter, madeleines can be made into many different flavour variations, from plain vanilla to more extravagant combinations such as chocolate & orange.

Chocolate Madeleines | Cake + Whisky

The chocolate-enriched version below lays somewhere in the middle and makes for a brilliant, indulgent tea-time treat.

Chocolate Madeleines | Cake + Whisky

Chocolate madeleines (makes 30 small madeleines)

Ingredients:

  • 3 large eggs
  • 130g granulated sugar
  • 60ml milk
  • 75g melted chocolate
  • 185g self-raising flour
  • 3 tsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp chocolate extract
  • 175g melted unsalted butter

1. Prepare the batter: In a large bowl, beat together the eggs and sugar. Stir in the milk and melted chocolate, then fold in the flour, cocoa powder & chocolate extract. Add the melted butter and mix until well combined.

2. Cover and refrigerate for at leats 2 hours or overnight.

3. Pre-heat the oven to 230°C (gas mark 9) and grease a madeleine tray or tin.

4. Scoop the batter into the prepared tray, filling each mold to about three quarters (about a small tablespoon in each).

5. Insert into the oven and immediately lower the heat to 180°C (gas mark 6). Bake for about 15 minutes, until the madeleines are domed and set, then remove from the oven and unmold immediately.

6. For subsequent batches, get the oven temperature back up to 230°C before inserting the tray, then down to to 180°C after inserting.

(For an even more indulgent version, dip the cooled madeleines into melted chocolate and allow to set on a sheet of baking papper before serving)

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Chocolate Madeleines | Cake + Whisky

Chocolate Madeleines

Apricot + Passion Fruit Scones

I’m a bit late to the #afternoonteaweek (totally a thing!)… but no way I was going to miss out entirely on the opportunity to use the best excuse there is to have scones and cake and call it a meal!

Scones are my favourite part of afternoon tea, and having never baked any myself, I thought it was about time I give them a go.

The word on the street is that a good scone is actually more tricky to bake as you’d think, so I wasn’t really sure how it’d end up. Add to that the fact that I’m truly terrible at following recipes and had decided that adding fresh passionfruit to your dough was the way to go and it looks like a recipe for disaster!

Add yet, my Apricot + Passion Fruit Scones worked a charm, so I thought I’d share the step-by-step recipe below.

Apricot + Passion Fruit Scones | Cake + Whisky

For 8-12 scones, you’ll need:

  • 30g granulated sugar
  • 60g cold butter, cubed
  • 60ml whole milk
  • 240g plain flour, plus more for dusting
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 package instant yeast
  • 10-12 dried apricots, chopped
  • seeds from passion fruit

Apricot + Passion Fruit Scones | Cake + Whisky

1. Pre-heat your oven to 180-200°C.

Mix together the sugar, flour and yeast. Add in the cold butter and combine until you get a sand-like texture.

Apricot + Passion Fruit Scones | Cake + WhiskyApricot and passionfruit scones 4

2. Add the eggs and mix until roughly combined.

Apricot + Passion Fruit Scones | Cake + Whisky

3. Add the milk and knead lightly until the dough comes together.

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4. Add the diced apricots and passion fruit seeds and knead for a few seconds until just incorporated.

Apricot and passionfruit scones 9

5. Using your hands, stretch the dough on a sheet of flour-dusted baking paper.

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6. Using a cookie-cutter (or a glass), cut up rounds of dough until you run out. Place the scones on a baking-paper covered baking tray.

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7. Glaze each scone with a little bit of milk (or beaten egg), then bake for 10-15 min.

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8. Serve immediately the traditional way with clotted cream and your favourite jam.

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But then, salted butter and lemon curd isn’t half bad either!

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Apricot and passionfruit scones pin

Apricot + Passion Fruit Scones