Saturday, December 21

Best Sugar Cookie Recipe

Recipe from

Soft cut out sugar cookie recipe that keeps its shape and dough does not need to be chilled before baking- perfect edges every time!


  • 2 cups of butter, softened
  • 2 cups of granulated white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon of almond extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 6 cups all purpose flour


  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. In the bowl of your mixer cream butter and sugar until smooth.
  3. Beat in extracts and eggs.
  4. In a separate bowl combine baking powder with flour and add a little at a time to the wet ingredients. The dough will be very stiff. If it becomes too stiff for your mixer turn out the dough onto a countertop surface. Wet your hands and finish off kneading the dough by hand.
  5. DO NOT CHILL THE DOUGH. Divide into workable batches, roll out onto a floured surface and cut. You want these cookies to be on the thicker side (closer to 1/4 inch rather than 1/8).
  6. Bake at 350 for 6-8 minutes. Let cool on the cookie sheet until firm enough to transfer to a cooling rack.

Tuesday, December 17

Sweet Potato (yam) pie

This is a recipe from Susan Van Heemst

This is really a Southern (US) specialty which I grew up with .  For some parts of the world, the idea of using a sweet potato (or pumpkins) in a dessert is completely foreign.  They imagine some odd vegetable flavor which they do not want.  That is so not the case with this pie.  There is no hint of a vegetable or something that is "good for you".

It is a creamy, smooth burst of autumn flavors that comes in a velvety custard form.  Super easy to make as well which is a bonus!  It is easy to adapt to non-dairy and gluten free by choosing a gluten free crust and subbing in a non-cow milk and cream.

One note:  A few countries do carry canned sweet potatoes/yams, but many do not.. including Holland.  The canned varieties would work (drained), but it is not difficult to prepare it from scratch.  There are instructions below for using fresh.


  • 1 lb. around 450gram of cooked sweet potato, cooled to room temperature *
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter (60gram), melted and cooled
  • 3/4 cup (177ml) coconut/palm sugar or brown sugar
  • 2 eggs (I used medium), room temperature
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. ground ginger
  • 3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup (177ml) milk (room temperature)**
  • 3 Tbs. (44ml) heavy cream***,room temperature
  • 1 unbaked pie crust (9inch/23cm) ****


  1. Preheat oven to 400F/200C.
  2. In a stand mixer or food processor (I used a food processor), blender, or in a bowl with an electric mixer... add cooled sweet potato and blend until smooth.  
  3. Add in melted butter and sugar and blend until well combined.  
  4. Add in milk and cream and blend together.
  5. Add salt, spices, and eggs and then blend together until creamy.
  6. Pour creamy mixture into unbaked pie shell (to about 3/4 full).
  7. Bake at 400F/200C for 15 mins. One tip: I use a piece of aluminium foil to lightly cover the crust for the first 15 mins. to prevent overbrowning, but optional.
  8. After 15 mins. remove foil (if used) and lower temperature to 350F/175C and baked for another 40-50 mins. until just set.  It should not be giggly, but not cracked.
  9. Remove from oven and allow to sit on a cooling rack until room temperature.
  10. Allow to set in the fridge overnight before serving to allow it to set completely.
  11. Great served with cinnamon whipped cream.

*Using Fresh yams/sweet potatoes:
For best results, get 2-3 large sweet potatoes/yams (I prefer the orange fleshed ones as they are naturally the sweetest).  Give them a good scrub in water and pat them dry.  
Place them on a baking sheet and bake in a preheated oven (400F/200C) for about 40 mins or until soft.  
Allow to cool and then peel away skin and use in this recipe, a savory recipe, etc.  The skin comes easily away from the flesh. I prefer the oven method to boiling as boiling them can make them more waterlogged and they will have less flavor.

**You can also sub in evaporated milk (koffiemelk in Holland), coconut milk, almond milk, soy milk.

***You can also sub in alternative creams like cooking creams, soy cream but they do have a lower fat content.  If you chill coconut milk, you can use the thick, creamy part as a great sub for heavy cream as well.

**** We use a standard flakey pie crust recipe.  You can use pre-made if available in your country.  If you do not have a recipe, let me know and I can post the one we use.

Monday, December 16

Crumpets by Delia Smith (recipe 1)

Recipe HERE

Crumpets by Paul Hollywood (recipe 2)

  • 175g/6oz bread flour
  • 175g/6oz plain flour
  • 2 x 7g sachets instant yeast
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • 350ml/12fl oz warm milk
  • 150-200ml/5-7fl oz warm water
  • ½ tsp bicarb
  • 1 tsp salt
    oil for cooking

    1. Weigh the flours in to a bowl. Add the yeast and stir through the flour.
    2. Dissolve the sugar in the warm milk and pour onto the flour. Using a wooden spoon beat until you have a smooth batter. This will take 3-4 minutes and is hard work, but is essential to produce the holes in the crumpets.
    3. Cover and leave for at least 20 minutes and up to an hour. The batter will rise and then begin to fall. You will see marks on the side of the bowl where the batter was before it dropped.
    4. Mix the bicarbonate of soda and salt with the warm water and beat it into the batter. Add about ¾ of the water and keep adding it until you get a double cream consistency. Cover and rest for 20 minutes.
    5. Heat a flat griddle or heavy based pan. Lightly grease the inside of four metal crumpet rings. Lightly grease the griddle. Sit the rings on the griddle over a medium heat.
    6. Drop two dessert spoons of mixture into each ring. After 4-5 minutes bubbles should appear and the surface should be set. Carefully turn the crumpets in their rings and cook for a further three minutes.
    7. Serve immediately or leave to cool and then toast before eating with plenty of butter.