Coffee Kisses

Coffee KissesI consider myself very privileged to have a “Richard” in my life.  The Richard in this instance is that very rare breed; a techie with impeccable social skills.

When I get carried away with my culinary ramblings and post pictures of all things edible, Richard is the one who reminds me that there is a technical side to managing a blog and then he very kindly corrects all my mistakes.  So, when he sorts out an indexing system to make sense of all my recipes or deals with 2000+ spam messages, I tend to shuffle sheepishly into the office bearing cake.

Today was his first day back at work after his 30th Birthday and he already had cake so, when he resized all my photos (because I have apparently used up most of the bandwidth in Cornwall) and very patiently showed me how to do it myself in future, I decided to thank him with coffee kisses.

These sweet, innocent looking little bite sized bakes pack a hidden punch of caffeine and are perfect as an afternoon pick-me-up.  They are also simple and quick to make so no slaving over a hot stove whilst the sun is shining.

If you would like to have Richard in your life you will find him at UKNetWeb; a talented and friendly web design and development company based here in Cornwall.  If you would just like some coffee kisses here is the recipe:

Ingredients

For the biscuits

170g Self-Raising Flour

85g Softened Butter

55g Golden Caster Sugar

1 Egg Yolk

1 heaped tsp Instant Coffee Granules dissolved in 1 tbsp Hot Water

For the icing

55g Softened Butter

120g Icing Sugar (plus extra for sprinkling)

1 heaped tsp Instant Coffee Granules dissolved in 1 tbsp Hot Water

Method

Makes around 24 kisses

Pre-heat the oven to 180C / 350F / Gas Mark 4

Mix together the flour, butter and sugar until they resemble braedcrumbs.  Mix in the coffee and the egg yolk and bring together into a stiff dough.

Divide the dough in half and divide each half into 24, small, evenly sized pieces.  Roll each piece in the palms of your hands to form small balls.  Space them out evenly on a large, greased baking tray (they will spread out a little).

Repeat with the other half of the dough and space out on another tray.

Bake for 15 minutes then remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool.

To make the butter cream put the butter and icing sugar into a large bowl and mix until smooth.  Beat in the coffee.

When the biscuits are cold sandwich them together with a generous blob of butter cream (an icing bag helps).  Dust the finished coffee kisses with a little extra icing sugar and share – go on, there’s plenty to go round.

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A Bit of Kitchen Labour

My youngest daughter, Lyssa Fêe is expecting our first grandchild and we are all incredibly excited and eager to meet her. Lys has just passed her due date and, if memory serves me well, at this stage, every day feels a week long. The bump is weighing heavily, the back aches and the waddle is really something to behold. When all else fails it’s time to draw on some age old advice (also known as old wives tales!):

Exercise is supposed to help so I have been accompanying her on daily walks on the beach – walks which require an uphill stomp back to her house. However, Lyssa has (wisely in my opinion) been studiously ignoring her dad’s suggestion that she gets on a trampoline.

There is another category of advice that should probably never be discussed by your mother and certainly not somewhere as public as a food blog so we’ll draw a discrete veil over that…

There are numerous food based suggestions – cod liver oil is currently being ignored and half a pineapple caused a sore mouth and “epic” heartburn – so goodness knows what would happen if she indulged in the 7 or 8 supposedly needed to have an effect.

Lyssa’s friends are all recommending a hot curry but she has a low tolerance for spicy food and I remain unconvinced that last night’s korma will do anything at all to help! Being my daughter, she has a decidedly sweet tooth so it occurred to me to help her by stealth by adding chilli to my favourite chocolate cookie recipe.

I don’t know if this will help (I’ll let you know) but I suspect it would stand a better chance if I gave Lyssa more cookies and ate less myself! My guess is that the baby will come when she is good and ready, and not a second sooner, but if there is a bit of a wait then a cup of tea and a cookie is as good a way to pass the time as any.

Chilli Chocolate Cookie Recipe

 

 

Chilli Chocolate Cookies

Ingredients

225g softened butter

100g caster sugar

175g dark muscovado sugar

2 eggs

300g plain flour

50g cocoa powder

1 tsp baking powder

1½ tsp cayenne pepper

½ red chilli pepper

100g dark chocolate

100g milk chocolate

Method

Pre-heat oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas mark 4.

Beat the butter and sugars together – muscovado sugar has a tendency to clump into lumps – make sure you break it up thoroughly before you add the butter as it is a much messier job to do it later.

Mix in the eggs.

Sift together the flour, cocoa, a pinch of salt, baking powder and cayenne pepper then mix them into the sugar/butter mix. This will form a thick mix – more like a dough than a batter.

Finely chop the chilli pepper and roughly chop the chocolate. Add both to the cookie mix and stir through until evenly distributed. You can buy chocolate chips instead if you prefer.

Take dessert spoonfuls of the mixture into your hand and lightly roll into a ball.

Place, well spaced, on baking sheets lined with baking parchment.

Bake in batches in the centre of the oven for 10-12 mins. Leave to cool on the baking sheets for a minute or two before removing to a cool flate surface (a plate or worktop) to cool completely. Don’t place on a cooling rack as these cookies are a bit soft when warm and will break up easily.