Rachel Allen's Smarties Cookies

 
 
Rachel Allen's Smarties Cookies
Rachel Allen’s Smarties Cookies
Makes about 25 Large Cookies

                                        Ingredients
                                        225g (8oz) butter
                                        375g (15oz) soft light brown or muscovado sugar
                                        2 tsp vanilla extract
                                        2 eggs, beaten
                                        350g (14oz) plain flour
                                        ½ tsp salt
                                        1 level tsp bicarbonate of soda
                                        1 level tsp baking powder
                                        150g (5oz) Smarties

                                          What to do
                                           Preheat the oven to 180ºC (350ºF), Gas mark 4.
                                           Cream the butter in a large bowl, and add the sugar and
                                          beat until soft and light. Add the vanilla, then the eggs
                                          gradually while beating.
                                           Place the flour and salt in a separate, medium-sized bowl
                                          and sift in the bicarbonate of soda and the baking powder,
                                          then mix. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and
    fold in, then add the Smarties and mix.
   Form the dough into balls (to make big cookies, use a golf ball size; for small ones, use small
    walnut size) and place them on baking trays (there’s no need to grease or line them), allowing
    plenty of room for spreading.
   Place the cookies in the oven. Small cookies take about 8 minutes and large ones about 13 –16
    minutes. They are cooked when they are golden around the edges and pale golden in the centre-
    they will still be a bit gooey and chewy if you cook them like this. For crisper cookies, bake until
    they are evenly golden all over. They often cook unevenly so keep checking them in the oven and
    take out the cooked ones.
   Transfer to a wire rack while hot, using a stainless-steel fish slice- if you let them cool on the
    baking trays they will stick.
Rachel Allen's Smarties Cookies
Annie Bell’s Smiley Chocolate Traybake
Makes about 20 squares

This is my favourite recipe for school cake sales. It’s easy to transport (you can take it in its tin), cuts
into lots of squares which means lots of money for Bake a Smile, and it’s good to hand over wrapped
in a paper napkin to waiting fingers. Add to that, everyone loves chocolate, so I promise you it will
sell.

The smile can be as big as you like – trace it out with red M&Ms or Smarties, or cover it with lots of
smaller smiles.

To safeguard those with allergies, I tend to make this with sunflower oil, although groundnut oil is
excellent should this not be a concern. If your sugar seems at all lumpy, then you can either make
the cake in a food processor or give it a whizz until it’s smooth.

                                                                   Cake ingredients
                                                                   75g cocoa
                                                                   3/4 (three quarters) tsp bicarbonate
                                                                   of soda
                                                                   4 medium eggs
                                                                   370g light muscovado sugar
                                                                   180ml sunflower oil
                                                                   200g self-raising flour, sifted

                                                                   Icing ingredients
                                                                   150g dark chocolate (about 50%
                                                                   cocoa), broken into pieces
                                                                   3 tbsp milk
                                                                   Smarties or M&Ms

What to do
Whisk the cocoa with 200 ml boiling water in a medium-size bowl, whisk in the bicarbonate of soda
and leave to cool for about 20 minutes. Preheat the oven to 160 C fan oven/180 C electric oven/Gas
Mark 4, and butter or oil a 23 x 30 x 4 cm traybake tin (there is no need to line it unless you are
planning on turning the cake out whole).

Whisk together the eggs, sugar and oil in a large bowl until smooth, then stir in the flour, and then
the cocoa solution. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 30-40 minutes until risen and
firm, and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Run a knife around the edge of the cake
and leave to cool.

Gently melt the chocolate with the milk in a bowl set over a pan with 2 cm of simmering water in it,
stirring until smooth and using the back of a spoon or palette knife, coat the surface of the cake.
Decorate with a smile or smiles, and leave for a couple of hours to set. Cut into squares to serve, you
should get about 20. This will keep well in an airtight container for several days.
Rachel Allen's Smarties Cookies
Caroline Spelman MP’s Smiley Jam Faces
Makes 20

                                      Ingredients
                                      250g butter
                                      250g caster sugar
                                      2 beaten eggs
                                      A few drops of vanilla essence
                                      500g plain flour
                                      Jam for spreading

                                      You will need
                                      6cm plain round cookie cutter

                                       What to do
                                              Lightly grease 2 baking trays
                                              Preheat the oven to 190C/ Gas Mark 5
                                              Cream together the butter and caster sugar
                                              Gradually mix in the eggs and vanilla essence
   Stir in the flour and mix to make a fairly soft dough
   Turn out onto a lightly floured board and knead gently.
   Roll out to about 3mm and cut with a 6cm plain round cookie cutter, repeat until you have used
    up all the dough
   From half the circles cut our two small circles for the eyes and make a smiley shaped slit for the
    mouth
   Place all the biscuits onto your prepared baking tray
   Bake for about 15 minutes or until golden brown
   Leave on baking sheet for a few minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cook
   When cool. Spread the plain biscuits with jams and put the faces on top
Rachel Allen's Smarties Cookies
Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’ s
Ten-minute chocolate chip cookies
Makes 14–16
                                            Ingredients
                                            125g unsalted butter
                                            100g caster sugar
                                            75g soft light brown sugar
                                            1 medium egg, lightly beaten
                                            2 teaspoons vanilla extract
                                            150g plain flour
                                            ½ teaspoon baking powder
                                            A pinch of sea salt
                                            100g dark chocolate, chopped into smallish chunks (or use milk
                                            chocolate, if you prefer)

                                     These chewy, vanilla-rich treats are easy-peasy, taking no more
                                     than 10 minutes to make, and 10 to bake. Ideal when people
turn up unexpectedly for tea, they are also a mainstay of a rainy afternoon cooking sessions with the
kids. No batch has ever been known to last till the next day.

What to do
Gently melt the butter in a small saucepan. Put
both sugars into a mixing bowl, pour in the melted
butter and beat well with a wooden spoon. Beat in
the egg and vanilla. Sift the flour, baking powder
and salt into the bowl and stir them in, then add
the chocolate. You should have a pretty sloppy sort
of mixture.

Dot heaped dessert spoonfuls of the mixture on to
2 baking sheets lined with baking parchment,
leaving a good 4cm in between each one as they
really spread out. Place in an oven preheated to
190°C/ Gas Mark 5 and bake for 8–10 minutes, until the cookies are turning
pale golden brown.

Remove from the oven and leave on the baking sheets for a couple of minutes to firm up. Then
carefully lift the baking parchment on to a wire rack and leave to cool completely. Inevitably, they will
be eaten as soon as they are cool enough not to burn fingers.

Variation

Oat and raisin cookies
Leave out the chocolate and the vanilla extract. Add 2 tablespoons of honey to the butter before
melting. Add ½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon to the flour, then add 50g jumbo oats, 100g raisins
and 75g chopped, roasted hazelnuts to the batter before baking as above.
River Cottage Every Day – Bloomsbury 2009
Rachel Allen's Smarties Cookies
Jayne Middlemiss’ Carrot Cake with
Cream Cheese icing
This is the easiest cake to make ever. I love it as it has the really good combination of sweet but not
too sweet and also as its carrots you can convince yourself that its really just like eating vegetables.

                                            Ingredients
                                            2 eggs
                                            140ml vegetable oil
                                            200g soft light brown sugar
                                            300g grated carrot
                                            100g raisins
                                            180g self raising flour
                                            pinch of salt
                                            1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
                                            1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
                                            1/2 tsp mixed spice

                                            Cream Cheese icing
                                             250g cream cheese
                                            50g softened butter
                                            150g icing sugar
                                            1 tsp vanilla extract

                                             What to do
                                                    Preheat your oven to 150C/Gas Mark 2. Oil and line
                                             a loaf tin 13cm x 23cm (5x9in)
                                                    Beat the eggs in a large bowl and add the oil,
                                             brown sugar grated carrot and raisins. I use the food
    processor to grate the carrots as its quicker and easier. If you haven't got one get grating.
   Sift in the dry ingredients and bring together using a wooden
    spoon.
   Pour the mixture into the loaf tin and bake in the oven for an
    hour it may need and hour and 15 mins. Check with a skewer
    inserted into the middle if it comes out clean its ready.
   Allow to cool in the tin for 5 minutes before taking out and
    cool completely on a wire rack.
   The icing: Beat the cream cheese and butter together in bowl
    until combined. Add the vanilla essence and icing sugar and
    mix to combine. Sometimes I like to add a little grated
    orange zest and juice to flavour. To taste really. Using a
    palette knife spread evenly over the cake.
   Cut into slices and serve x
Rachel Allen's Smarties Cookies
Mary McCartney’s Vanilla Cup Cakes
                                Makes 16

                                Ingredients
                                200g butter
                                200g sugar
                                3 eggs
                                200g self raising flour
                                1 tsp vanilla
                                approx 3tbs milk

                                What to do
                                      Preheat oven to 190C/Gas Mark 5
                                      Cream together the butter and sugar, gradually mix in the
                                eggs, then the flour and vanilla. Beat well, add the milk.
                                      Spoon into cup cake cases.
                                      Bake for 18-20 mins or until golden on top.

If you would like to decorate Mary’s delicious vanilla cupcakes, then try our Buttercream Icing:

Ingredients
125g unsalted butter (at room temperature)
250g icing sugar (sifted)
2 teaspoons hot milk
I teaspoon vanilla extract
1 box Smarties

What to do
 Beat the butter in a bowl until light and fluffy. Stir in the icing
  sugar, milk and vanilla essence and beat until smooth.
 Then take two Smarties for the eyes and use a further 5
  Smarties to make your smile.
Rachel Allen's Smarties Cookies
Sarah Beeny’s Chocolate Brownies
Ingredients
100g melted butter
250g caster sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
100g plain flour
5 tablespoons cocoa

To Decorate
A piece of paper
Icing sugar

What to do
 Preheat the oven to 170C/ Gas Mark 3
 Sieve flour and cocoa into a bowl
 Add sugar
 Mix eggs together then pour into the mixture
 Add melted butter
 Add vanilla essence
 Stir all the ingredients together
 Pour into a well greased 8” springform cake tin with loose base
 Put into the oven for about 30 mins
 Check after 25 mins
 Cool and cut into squares
 To create a smile cut out a piece of paper in the shape of a smile and place on top of each
  brownie – sieve icing sugar over and hey presto - you have a smile!
Rachel Allen's Smarties Cookies
Wendi Peter’s Rocky Road Brownies
                                                          Ingredients
                                                          200g unsalted butter
                                                          200g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids),
                                                          chopped
                                                          3 large eggs
                                                          300g granulated sugar
                                                          2tspns vanilla extract
                                                          125g plain flour
                                                          A pinch of salt
                                                          60g glace cherries
                                                          60g digestive biscuits (broken into small
                                                          pieces)
                                                          80g mini marshmallows

What to do
   Preheat oven to 180C/Gas Mark 4
   Grease and line an approx 20 by 30 cm rectangular baking tin 3 to 4cm deep with greaseproof
     paper
   Melt the butter and chocolate wither in a bowl over a pan of simmering water or gently in the
     microwave
   With an electric hand whisk, beat together the eggs, sugar and vanilla extract until they are
     lovely and think and creamy
   Mix in the melted chocolate and butter. Finally stir in the four, salt, cherries, biscuits and
     marshmallows.
   Pour into the baking tray and cook for about 25 minutes until the top is cracking and the
     centre is just set.
   Leave to cool in the tin for about 20 minutes before cutting into squares
Rachel Allen's Smarties Cookies
Not Cross Buns
                                                    Ingredients
                                                          450g strong plain flour
                                                          1 1/2 tsp fast action dried yeast
                                                          200ml milk
                                                          1/2 tsp of salt
                                                          1 level tsp mixed spice
                                                          75g caster sugar
                                                          50g melted butter
                                                          1 medium egg
                                                          25g-50g currants
                                                          25-50g chopped mixed peel (or extra
                                                    dried fruit)

What to do
 Put all the dried ingredients including the yeast into a bowl. Stir in the melted butter.
 Mix the egg and milk in a jug, and gradually mix into the dried ingredients a little at a time.
  Knead well until you have a smooth, but not sticky dough. Add a little more flour if needed.
 Knead the dough on a floured surface until perfectly smooth, put back into the bowl and cover
  the bowl with cling film. Leave in a warm place to rise for an hour.
 Grease and flour two baking trays and preheat oven to 200C/gas 6.
 Divide the dough into 12 pieces and shape into buns. Set the buns well apart on the prepared
  trays and leave them in a warm place until doubled in size.
 Mix 3 tablespoons of flour with 1 tablespoon of water to make a soft dough. Roll into strips and
  cut to make two eyes and a smile for each bun. Attach to bun with a small drop of water.
 Bake just above the centre of the oven for 15-20 mins. Leave the buns to cool on a wire rack;
  while still warm brush them with a glaze made from 40g caster sugar dissolved in 2 tablespoons
  water.
Rachel Allen's Smarties Cookies
Cheesy Grins
                                              Ingredients
                                              350g ready made puff pastry
                                              4 handfuls of grated parmesan
                                              Handful of flour to roll pastry on
                                              Cayenne pepper
                                              Freshley ground black pepper

What to do
1. Heat oven to 220C/Gas Mark 7

2. Finely grate the cheese into a mixing bowl and add a sprinkling of cayenne pepper (remember it
can be very spicy). Add some freshly ground black pepper and mix.

                                           3. unroll the puff pastry and with a sharp knife, , scatter
                                           over a couple of handfuls of grated parmesan, then fold in
                                           half. On a lightly floured surface, roll out to the thickness
                                           of a £1 coin. cut out smile shapes our of the puff pastry.
                                           Gently lift them on to a baking sheet, leaving a little space
                                           between each one. Sprinkle the rest of the grated cheese
                                           mixture onto your smiles

4. Wearing oven gloves, place the baking sheet in the oven and bake for 12 minutes or until golden
as oven temperatures vary.

5. Take from the oven and allow to cool. I would also recommend trying one or two when still warm
from the oven yum!

6. Once they have cooled keep your cheesy grins an airtight plastic container for up to 2 days. As
these cheese straws are very delicate, roll them in kitchen paper before packing into the container.

Tip
To make a more simple smile shape in your pastry you can use a round cookie cutter and then cut
the circle in half for your smiley shape
Chocolate Pizza
Chocolatey Pizza Base            Decoration
175g soft unsalted butter        600g icing sugar
3 large eggs                     250g softened butter
175g caster sugar                1 teaspoon vanilla extract
150g self raising flour          2 tablespoons milk
30g cocoa powder                 Red colouring paste
1 tspn vanilla essence           300g white chocolate
2 tbsp milk                      Assorted sweets

What to do
 Pre-heat the oven to 180C/Gas 4
 Make sure your butter is at room temperature and then cream the butter. This can be done with
  a wooden spoon but using an electric whisk is easier
 Add the sugar to the creamed butter and whisk some more
 In a separate bowl put the eggs and vanilla essence and beat until light and fluffy
 Add egg mixture to creamed butter and sugar and mix well
 Sift the flour and cocoa into the bowl with wet ingredients and fold together
 Add the milk and fold in
 Pour into 2 X 20cm sandwich tins
 Bake in the oven for 15 – 20 minutes

To decorate
 Mix up the red icing "sauce." In a large bowl, cream the icing sugar and butter.
 Add the milk and vanilla extract and beat until smooth. Add 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of red food
   coloring paste and mix until you have the desired shade (think ketchup). Use a spatula or knife to
   spread the sauce evenly over the cooled "pizza."
 Now you're ready to add the toppings. For white chocolate "cheese," roughly grate (adults only)
   white chocolate.
 Sprinkle it over the icing, add more “cheese” if you want! For other toppings, add Smarties,
   chocolate chips, Haribo or sweets you like.
 Use a pizza cutter or knife to slice the “pizza” into 8 pieces. Present it in a pizza box (ask a local
   pizza shop if you could have or buy one).

Variation

You can also make the chocolate base out of your favourite brownie recipe!
Oatmeal & Raisin Blondies
                                     Ingredients
                                     180g unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for
                                     baking tin
                                     150g light-brown sugar
                                     60g granulated sugar
                                     1 large egg
                                     1/2 teaspoon salt
                                     1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
                                     100g all-purpose flour
                                     200g old-fashioned rolled oats (not quick-cooking)
                                     150g raisins

What to do
   Preheat oven to 180C/Gas Mark 4.
   Butter an 20cm square baking tin and line bottom with baking paper, leaving an overhang on
     two sides; butter paper.
   In a large bowl, beat together butter and sugars.
   Add egg, salt, and cinnamon; beat until smooth.
   Add flour, oats, and raisins.
   Gently toss the raisins in the flour to prevent them from sinking to the bottom of the pan
     during baking. Fold by hand to combine.
   Spread batter in prepared pan, and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out
     with moist crumbs attached, 25 to 30 minutes.
   Let cool completely in pan.
   Using paper overhang, lift blondies onto work surface; cut into squares.
Chocolate Dominoes
                                              Ingredients
                                             Base:
                                             175g margarine
                                             150g self raising flour
                                             3 eggs
                                             175g caster sugat
                                             25 cocoa powder

                                             Topping
                                             175g butter
                                             300g icing sugar
                                             25g cocoa powder
                                             Smarties and strips of licorice laces

You will need to grease proof a tin (7 x 11 inches)

What to do
   Preheat oven to 180C/Gas Mark 4.
   Put all the base ingredients into a bowl and mix together
   Spoon ingredients into the tin and bake for 30 minutes
   Allow to cool
   Put on a board and cut into 16 rectangles
   Mix the butter, cocoa powder and icing sugar into a bowl. Spread onto your 16 rectangles and
     decorate with smarties and licorice laces
Farmyard Biscuits
                                   Ingredients
                                  350g plain flour
                                  100g butter
                                  1 egg
                                  2 teaspoons of bicarbonate of sade
                                  175g soft light brown sugar
                                  4 tablespoons of golden syrup

                                  Large farm animal (or indeed a teapot?) cookie cutters

What to do
   Preheat oven to 180C/Gas Mark 4 & grease a baking tray
   Sift the flour, sugar and bicarbonate of soda into a bowl. Rub the butter into the flour with
     your fingers until it looks like breadcrumbs. Beat the egg and syrup together in a small bowl.
     Add this to the flour and mix until dough
   Roll out the dough on a floured surface and cut out your animal shapes. Place on a baking
     tray and cook in the oven for 12-15 minutes until golden.
   Leave to cool on a wire rack
Recipes from
Around the World
African Ginger Cake
                                      Ingredients
                                     250g flour, sifted
                                     75g Sugar
                                     3 teaspoons ginger
                                     1/2 teaspoon red peppers, ground
                                     115g butter, softened
                                     120ml water

What to do
   Sift the dry ingredients together into a bowl.
   Rub in the fat thoroughly.
   Add the liquid and mix to a firm dough.
   Roll out on a floured board about 3/8 inch thick.
   Cut into rounds.
   Bake on a greased cookie sheet for about 15 minutes at 180C/Gas Mark 4
Accra Banana Peanut Cake
                                             Ingredients
                                            250g all-purpose flour
                                            2 teaspoons baking powder
                                            ¼ teaspoon salt
                                            ¼ teaspoon baking soda
                                            150g butter or margarine , softened
                                            150g sugar
                                            2 eggs
                                            4 large bananas , peeled and mashed (very ripe)
                                            150g salted peanuts, coarsely chopped (divided)

What to do
   Combine flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda.
   Cream softened butter and sugar until light and fluffy; beat in eggs.
   Add dry ingredients alternately with mashed bananas just until combined; stir in ½ cup
     chopped peanuts.
   Scrape batter into well-greased 9" x 5" loaf pan; sprinkle top evenly with remaining chopped
     peanuts. Bake in 180C/Gas Mark 4 for 60 to 65 minutes or until skewer inserted in center
     comes out clean.
   Cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes; turn out of pan and cool completely.
   Wrap in plastic wrap or foil. Cake is best if served next day.
Meni-Meniyong
                                     Ingredients
                                    200g Sesame Seeds
                                    240ml honey
                                    4 tablespoons unsalted butter

What to do
   Preheat oven to 230C/Gas Mark 8. Spread the sesame seeds on a baking sheet and toast in
     the oven for about 10 to 12 minutes. Remove and cool.
   Heat the honey and butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring until it bubbles
     and darkens somewhat, about 3 to 5 minutes.
   Stir the toasted sesame seeds into honey mixture. Spread the mass onto a buttered baking
     sheet to a thickness of about 1/4 inch. Cool until it is just warm and cut into finger-sized
     pieces. Cool completely and serve.

For a tasty coating that will keep fingers less sticky, roll the fingers in more toasted sesame seeds to
coat after cutting it into pieces
Nicaraguan Paste de Tres Leches
(Cake of 3 Milks)
                                                     Ingredients
                                                     200g Flour
                                                     1 teaspoon Baking powder
                                                     125g Unsalted butter, room
                                                     150g Sugar
                                                     5 Eggs, room temperature
                                                     ½ teaspoons Vanilla
                                                     250ml Whole milk
                                                     250ml Sweetened, condensed milk
                                                     150ml Evaporated milk
                                                     350ml Whipping cream (optional)
                                                     100g Sugar (optional)
                                                     1 teaspoon Vanilla (optional)

What to do
   Preheat oven to 180C/Gas Mark 4 and grease and flour an 8x11-inch baking pan.
   Sift the flour and baking powder into a large mixing bowl. Cream the butter and sugar
     together in a mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy.
   Reduce mixer speed to medium-low and add the eggs one at a time, allowing each one to get
     incorporated before adding the next. Finally add the vanilla and continue beating until foamy.
   Remove the bowl from mixer and fold in the sifted flour until it is well incorporated.
   Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake 30 minutes, or until done. Remove from oven
     and set aside to cool.
   Pierce cake all over with a fork, toothpick or skewer. Mix the whole, sweetened, condensed,
     and evaporated milk together and pour the mixture over the whole cake.
   Refrigerate cake for anywhere from 2 to 8 hours, or until liquid is completely absorbed and
     cake is well chilled.
   Beat the cream, sugar and vanilla together to make whipped cream. Frost the cake with the
     whipped cream and serve or like us just dust with icing sugar.

Variations
    Substitute coconut milk for the whole milk if you like. Scatter the frosting with coconut flakes.
    Substitute 1/2 cup rum for half the whole milk for a pastel with a punch.
    If you would like a layer cake, divide the batter between 2 prepared, round cake pans. For
      layer cakes, you can add a fruit filling between the layers. Try pineapple filling, peaches,
      bananas or any fruit that suits your fancy.

Notes
    Because of the milk ingredients, pastel de tres leches is perishable. Leftovers should be
     refrigerated.
Peruvian Alfajores
                                                  Ingredients
                                                  250 all-purpose flour
                                                  2 teaspoons baking powder
                                                  1 teaspoon salt
                                                  175g unsalted butter, room temperature
                                                  250g granulated sugar
                                                  2 large eggs, room temperature
                                                  175ml milk
                                                  60ml freshly squeezed orange juice
                                                  1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
                                                  Store-bought dulce de leche or jam
                                                  Icing sugar, for serving (optional)

What to do

   Preheat oven to 180C/Gas Mark 4. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or nonstick
    baking mats; set aside.
   In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
   In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and
    sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, and
    continue mixing until well combined, about 1 minute. Working in batches, add flour mixture; mix
    until well combined. Add milk, orange juice, and vanilla; continue mixing until a dough forms, 1
    to 2 minutes.
   Using a tablespoon or a small ice cream scoop, drop dough onto prepared baking sheets, about 2
    inches apart. Transfer to oven and bake, rotating baking sheets halfway through baking, until
    golden, 10 to 14 minutes. Transfer cookies to a wire rack until completely cool.
   When cookies have cooled completely, spread the bottoms of half of the cookies with dulche de
    leche, cajeta, or jam; sandwich together with remaining cookies. Store in an airtight container for
    up to 2 days. Just before serving, lightly sprinkle with icing sugar, if desired.
Basboosa (Egyptian Semolina Cake)
                                                 Ingredients
                                                 Syrup
                                                 400g Sugar
                                                 350ml Water
                                                 1 Lemon, juice only
                                                 1 teaspoon Orange flower water or rosewater
                                                 (optional)
                                                 Cake
                                                 350g Semolina
                                                 1 teaspoon Baking powder
                                                 1/2 teaspoon Baking soda
                                                 115g Unsalted butter, room temperature
                                                 150g Sugar
                                                 1 teaspoon Vanilla
                                                 2 Eggs, beaten
                                                 175g Yogurt
                                                 75g Blanched almonds

 What to do
  Preheat oven to 180C/Gas Mark 4. Add the sugar, water and lemon juice to a heavy-bottomed
    saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and stir to dissolve the sugar. Reduce heat to
    medium and continue to boil for about 8 to 10 more minutes. Remove from heat, stir in the
    orange flower water or rosewater if using and set the syrup aside to cool.
  Sift together the semolina, baking powder and baking soda in a bowl and set aside.
  Add the butter and sugar to the bowl of an electric mixer and cream together until light and
    fluffy. Next add the eggs, one at a time. Then add the vanilla.
  With the mixer speed on medium-low speed, add about 1/3 of the semolina mixture to the butter
    and beat to incorporate. Then add 1/2 the yogurt and again beat to incorporate. Finish with the
    remaining ingredients, alternating the semolina with the remaining yogurt. Beat until smooth.
    Scrape the bowl and beat again.
  Pour the batter into a buttered 9x12-inch baking pan or into two 8-inch round cake pans and
    smooth out the top. Use a knife to make diagonal lines in two directions on the surface of the
    batter, creating diamond shapes. Arrange an almond in the center of each diamond. Place in the
    oven and bake 30 to 40 minutes, or until lightly browned on the top.
  Remove the cake from the oven and pour some of the cooled sugar syrup slowly over the entire
    cake while it is hot. Allow the syrup to soak into the cake before pouring on more, using up all
    the syrup. Set the cake aside until it is completely cooled.
  Cut the basboosa into diamond-shaped pieces and serve at room temperature with coffee or tea.
 Variations
 Use milk instead of yogurt. Increase the baking powder to 2 teaspoons and eliminate the baking
   soda.
 Often served with whipped cream or a dollop of ushta, a type of clotted cream.
 Use pistachios or walnuts instead of almonds if you like.
Besan Laddu
                                      Ingredients
                                      140g Ladoo Besan (available in Indian Stores)
                                      115g Desi Ghee (clarified butter)
                                      150g sugar
                                      1 teaspoon Cardamom powder
                                      4-5 tablespoons almonds
                                      1 tablespoons raisins

What to do

   Take a pan and heat the ghee.
   Add the gram flour to the ghee and fry it on a low flame till it changes the color to brown.
   Now let it cool for at least 1 hour.
   Add powdered cardamom and sugar. Mix it well.
   Now add chopped almonds and raisins to this flour mixture and mix it well.
   Make the round shape ladoos and serve. Garnish this with chopped almonds

Now the ladoo is ready to serve. You can keep this ladoo in an airtight container for 4-5 months.
Filipino Polvoron
                                                  Ingredients
                                                 500g all purpose flour
                                                 135g powdered milk
                                                 10g Puffed Rice (or rice crispies) crushed
                                                 250g butter, softened
                                                 300g granulated sugar

What to do
   Heat a frying pan or a wok then put-in the flour. Toast the flour until you smell the aroma and
     the color turns light brown. Make sure to stir while toasting to prevent the flour from being
     burnt.
   Once the flour is toasted, let it cool down for about 20 minutes then transfer to a mixing bowl.
   Add the powdered milk then stir using a balloon whisk.
   Put-in the granulated sugar then stir again.
   Add-in the crushed puffed rice then stir until very ingredient is well distributed.
   Pour-in the softened butter and mix well. You may use your clean hands in doing the
     procedure. After mixing, let it stand for at least 10 minutes to allow the butter to cool. This will
     make the mixture more intact.
   Using a polvoron molder, scoop the mixture and put it on top of a pre-cut Japanese paper or
     cellophane then wrap. If you don’t have a mould, use two spoons (or your hands but it can
     get messy) to pack the polvoron into a small tablet shape.
   Serve. Share and enjoy!
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