Hedwig the Owl Almond Butter Cookies

dsc04978bbHedwig is one of my favourite Harry Potter characters – she is clever, loyal and beautiful! I especially love the musical theme she was given in the films. Imagine listening to this lovely sountrack while decorating your Hedwig cookies…pure bliss!

Where I live, we currently experience the change from winter to spring. The buzzards have begun flying over the hills again and the first spring flowers have returned. img_20170207_100545bbdsc05772bdsc05774bThis has inspired me to show you this recipe now. Remember the wonderful scene in the first Harry Potter film, in which Harry release Hedwig and when she returns to the castle, spring has come. I love this scene! Here you can watch it again!

Admittedly, Hedwig is a snowy owl and my owls have brown wings. However, even snowy owls are not completely white, especially in summer. 😉 If you want to make your Hedwigs even more “snowy”, you can, of course, leave away the cocoa powder and dust the wings with powdered sugar after baking, instead.dsc04986bFinally, we have to talk about the taste of these cookies. It is sadly often the case that super cutely decorated sweets are not quite as tasty as they look, for instance, because incredible amounts of sugary ingredients are used to make them beautiful. This is definitely not the case with these owls. As you will see below, the owls are decorated only with chocolate, cocoa powder and almonds – and all these bits add to the owl cookies’ fabulous taste!

The cookies are buttery, crisp and the smell and taste wonderfully of almonds…oohhhhh! Sooo good! What a pity I don’t have any left! 😉dsc04927bShow me your Hedwigs! I would be thrilled to receive a picture of your owl cookies on Instagram (@bettythebakingprincess)!

Best wishes,
Bettina.

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Hedwig the Owl Almond Butter Cookies

preparation time: about 10 min
baking time: 8-10 min
decoration time: about 1 h
yield: about 20 owl cookies

Ingredients:

  • 230g butter
  • 230g white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp. almond extract
  • 380g flour
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • about 40 chocolate chips
  • about 20 whole almonds
  • about 50g almond slivers
  • cocoa powder

Preparation:

  1. Combine the softened butter and sugar.
  2. Then, add the egg, vanilla extract and almond extract.
  3. Combine flour and salt; sieve the mixture over the butter mixture and stir to combine.
  4. Refrigerate for at least ½ an hour.
  5. Line one or two baking sheets with baking parchment.
  6. Dust your surface with flour. Roll the dough until it is 7mm thick and cut out round shapes. Basically, you can make your owls as big or small as you wish. I chose a diameter of about 8cm.
  7. Now the best part begins: It’s time to create your owls! Use reserved cookie dough to form the white parts of the eyes and chocolate chips for the brown parts. Make the beak with a whole almond, the talons with almond slivers. Use a round cookie cutter (preferably one with a larger diameter than the one you use for the owl body) to create the wings but don’t cut through the dough entirely! To create the impression of feathers, use a knife or a fork. Dust the wings with cocoa powder using a small brush.

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  1. Cool the cookies for at least 30 min, preferably longer (up to 1h), to help them keep their form when baking. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Bake the cookies for 15-20 min, take them out of the oven and let them cool down.
  3. Store them in the box, enjoy yourself or give them away as presents.

(recipe after Heather Baird from Sprinklebakes)

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To get a printed version:
Download the pdf. (Both English and German versions available!)

Hedwig the Owl Almond Butter Cookies

Hedwig Eulen Mandel-Butter-Cookiesdsc04948b

Valentine’s Day Owl Cupcakes with Lime and Persimmon

DSC00695blogIt’s exactly two weeks until Valentine’s day – and here’s my suggestion for the Valentine’s Day’s Dessert: Owl Cupcakes with Lime and Persimmon!DSC00700blogWhen I think of Valentine’s Day, I have to think of Gilderoy Lockhart’s Valentine’s Day “surprise” which annoyed probably every single creature living at Hogwarts.

‘Happy Valentine’s Day!’ Lockhart shouted. ‘And may I thank the forty-six people who have so far sent me cards! Yes, I have taken the liberty of arranging this little surprise for you all – and it doesn’t end here!’

Lockhart clapped his hands and through the doors to the Entrance Hall marched a dozen surly-looking dwarfs. Not just any dwarfs, however. Lockhart had them all wearing golden wings and carrying harps.

‘My friendly, card-carying cupids!’ beamed Lockhart.

– Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, p. 176.

Lockhart hired dwarfs to deliver the Valentines – I suggest some perfectly cute little owls instead. With a lovely messangers such as the owl on my cupcakes even Ginny’s embarrassing poem for Harry (“His eyes are as green as a fresh pickled toad…”) might have been more successful – who knows? 😉DSC00696blogOf course, these cupcakes are not just about the fondant owls. I simply love the lime and persimmon combination! The fruity and moist texture makes you long for spring and summer, it’s so refreshing.DSC00702blogI hope you like this recipe – don’t hesitate to show me your results either here or on Instagram using the hashtag #bettythebakingprincess.
I am looking forward to it!

All the best,
Bettina.

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Valentine’s Day Owl Cupcakes with Lime and Persimmon

yield: about 8 cupcakes

preparation time: 50 min

baking time: 18-20 min

Ingredients:

for the muffins:

  • ­       2 eggs (at room temperature)
  • ­       75g butter, softened
  • ­       1 small pinch of salt
  • ­       90g muscovado sugar
  • ­       40g white sugar
  • ­       80g Greek yoghurt
  • ­       125g flour
  • ­       1 tsp. baking powder
  • ­       juice and zest of ½ lime
  • ­       75g persimmon (finely chopped)
for the decoration:

  • ­       white, green, red and black fondant
  • ­       a bit of jam
  • ­       sugar hearts
  • ­       toothpicks

Preparation:

  1. Preheat the oven to 160°C. Prepare a muffin tin with 8 paper liners.
  2. Lightly beat the eggs. Add the sugar, then the warm butter and salt. Mix until light and fluffy.
  3. Add the yoghurt, then sift the flour and baking powder on top.
  4. Add lime (juice and zest) and persimmon.
  5. Divide the mixture evenly between the cake cases. Bake for 18-20 minutes until risen and firm to touch.
  6. Let the muffins cool down completely. In the meantime, prepare the fondant owl.
  7. Cut an owl shape using the white (or green) fondant, then another half one in the other colour. “Glue” it on top of the first owl using a bit of jam. Decorate with eyes, eyebrows, sugar hearts as mouths, buttons, feet and more. Be creative!DSC00665blogDSC00672blogDSC00674blog
  8. Put a bit of jam on the lower side of the owl and put it onto the cupcake. Decorate with fondant heart in on a toothpick and give it to someone you love! ❤

(muffin recipe inspired by a recipe from “Cupcakes” by Marianne Hudson)

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To get a printed version:
Download the pdf. (Both English and German versions available!)

Valentine’s Day Owl Cupcakes with Lime and Persimmon

Valentinstags-Eulen-Cupcakes mit Limette und Kaki

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Real London Hot Chocolate

DSC00526bHello everyone and welcome to my first blog post in 2016! First of all, I wish everyone a very happy New Year – may it be a great one!DSC00520b

I was lucky enough to spend New Year’s Eve (and a few days more) in London.SONY DSC

It’s such a fantastic city and – being a fan of both Harry Potter and Paddington Bear – it was really exciting for me.

Together with two friends I visited the Harry Potter Studios in Leavsden. It was SO good and somehow surreal – like a dream come true! Of course, I bought a lot of lovely stuff in the gift shop… 😉

One of things I bought was the cute little cauldron this fabulous Hot Chocolate is served in. Oh yeah – and can you spot what’s lying next to it? My very own time-turner! Shame it doesn’t actually work, but I guess you can’t expect that for this price. 😉

DSC00523bThe Hot Chocolate recipe is taken from the super-adorable Paddington Bear Cookery Book, which I bought at Waterstones. Therefore, this Hot Chocolate really is ‘London in a cup’. ❤

All the best,

Bettina.

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Real London Hot Chocolate

Preparation time: about 5 min

Yield: two mugs of hot chocolate

Ingredients:

  • 3.5 dl milk
  • 80g dark chocolate
  • 0.75 dl cream
  • 1 tbsp. sugar

Preparation Instructions:

  1. Chop the chocolate coarsely and grate 2 tablespoons for the decoration (set aside).
  2. Put the chopped chocolate and the milk into a saucepan and heat until it is hot but not boiling.
  3. In the meantime, whip the cream together with the sugar, until soft peaks form.
  4. Whisk the milk until all chocolate has dissolved. Pour the chocolate milk into two cups. Pipe the whipped cream on top and decorate with the grated chocolate. Serve immediately!

(recipe after ‘Paddington’s Cookery Book’ by Michael Bond)

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To get a printed version:
Download the pdf. (Both English and German versions available!)

Real London Hot Chocolate

Echte London Hot Chocolate

Harry Potter Sugar Cookies (Collaboration with ‘Kathrin’s Cup of Tea’)

Selection of our Harry Potter Cookies

Selection of our Harry Potter Cookies

Selfie with my DSLR 😉

Saying goodbye to dear friends is never easy – but at least Kathrin (from Kathrin’s Cup of Tea) and I had a wonderful baking time before it came to that. A bit more than a week ago, she left Switzerland for a a semester at the University of Manchester…and we had absolutely wanted to bake together before she left!

So, together, we made these adorable (if not necessarily perfect) Harry Potter Cookies and Orange-Chocolate-Macarons, which we will show you in the next post.

SONY DSCYou can find the recipe for the sugar cookies and Royal Icing here. As a little twist (and to match our lovely macarons) we added a bit of orange zest and juice (only a few drops) to the dough and also to the icing.

The decoration of the cookies is pretty straight-forward. As we could not find all the cookie cutters we would have liked, we drew some of the shapes ourselves. We then simply laid them on the rolled dough and cut the shapes with a knife.

We collected our “extra-shapes” and made a nice little printable for you:Harry Potter Cookies Printable

You can download as a pdf right here:

Harry Potter Cookies Printable

We wish you loads of fun when making these cookies – and stay tuned for the macarons post!

very tired after nearly 6 hours of baking - but so happy and proud :)

very tired after nearly 6 hours of baking – but so happy and proud 🙂

All the best,

Bettina & Kathrin.

Neville’s Vanilla-Meringues

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‘What about you, Neville?’ said Ron. ‘Well, my gran brought me up and she’s a witch,’ said Neville, ‘but the family thought I was all Muggle for ages. My great-uncle Algie kept trying to catch me off my guard and force some magic out of me – he pushed me off the end of Blackpool pier once, I nearly drowned – but nothing happened until I was eight. Great-uncle Algie came round for tea and he was banging me out of an upstairs window by the ankles when my great-auntie Enid offered him a meringue and he accidentally let go. But I bounced – all the way down the garden and into the road. They were all really pleased. Gran was crying, she was so happy. And you should have seen their faces when I got in here – they thought I might not be magic enough to come, you see. Great-uncle Algie was so pleased he bought me my toad.’ – Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, p. 93.

Even though the risk of being accidentally dropped out of the window by your great-uncle due to a meringue seems very limited in our world, many bakers are still afraid of them. Some people chuck their left-over egg-whites away because they think that they couldn’t bake the meringues anyway.

And indeed, they can be tricky if you’re baking them on a very humid day or using a recipe which doesn’t work well. I was always very lucky with my meringues, though. This is, of course, thanks to this recipe I’m sharing with you today. To proove how easy it is, here a picture of my very first meringues (over a year ago):SONY DSCNot bad for a first try, don’t you think? The recipe I’m suggesting uses a bain-marie to heat up the egg-whites-sugar-mixture before baking. I’ve tried another recipe once, but that recipe didn’t work for me at that time.

With this one, however, I didn’t have a single batch of meringues that was damp or lumpy, they were always wonderfully light and crisp, though still nicely soft inside. A last important advice concerns the storing: I suggest an air-tight box, in which you can keep them without problems for a week or more – if they aren’t eaten beforehand… 😉

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Neville‘s Vanilla-Meringues

Preparation time: 20 min
Baking time: 50-60 min
Yield: 30-50 meringues (depending on how big you pipe them)

Ingredients:

  • 3 egg whites
  • 215 g sugar
  • ½-1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • ½ TL fresh lemon juice
  • if you like: sugar pearls to decorate

Preparation:

  1. Preheat the oven to 130°C.
  2. Put egg whites, sugar, vanilla extract and lemon juice into a heat-resistant bowl. Prepare a bain-marie: put the bowl onto the pot with boiling water.SONY DSC
  3. Whisk with the electric whisk until the mixture has reached a temperature of about 55-60°C (use a candy thermometer).
  4. Take the bowl out of the bain-marie and continue to whisk until the mixture has cooled down to room temperature again. (It should now be very thick and easy to form.)SONY DSC
  5. Put the mixture into a piping bag and, using a nozzle of your choice, pit meringues onto a baking sheet (covered with baking parchment). If you like, decorate the meringues with sugar pearls. Bake in the oven at 130°C for 50-60 minutes.SONY DSC (If you wish to pipe very small or big meringues, you’ll have to adapt the baking time accordingly.)
  6. Take them out of the oven and wait until the meringues have cooled down completely. Then, store them in an airtight container.

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To get a printed version: Download the pdf. (Both English and German versions available!)

Neville’s Vanilla-Meringues

Nevilles Vanille-Meringues

Horace Slughorn’s Favourite Pineapple and Vanilla Cupcakes

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‘What with your uncanny ability to know things you shouldn’t, and your careful flattery of the people who matter – thank you for the pineapple, by the way, you’re right, it is my favourite -‘
Several of the Boys tittered again.
‘- I confidently expect you to rise to Minister of Magic within twenty years. Fifteen, if you keep sending me pineapple. I have excellent contacts at the Ministry.’
Tom Riddle merely smiled as the others laughed again. Harry noticed that he was by no means the eldest of the group of boys, but that they all seemed to look to him as their leader.
‘I don’t know that politics would suit me, sir,’ he said when the laughter had died away. ‘I don’t have the right kind of background, for one thing.’
A couple of boys around him smirked at each other. Harry was sure they were enjoying a private joke: undoubtedly about what they knew, or susprected, regarding their gang leader’s famous ancestor.
‘Nonsense,’ said Slughorn briskly, ‘couldn’t be plainer you come from decent wizarding stock, abilities like yours. No, you’ll go far, Tom, I’ve never been wrong about a student yet.’

– Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, p. 462-463.

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Welcome to the Slug Club! Because, if you can make these wonderfully moist and fluffy Pineapple and Vanilla Cupcakes you’ll be invited to Horace Slughorn’s exclusive little parties at once. Crystallized pineapples are his favourite treat (and great weaknes) and these cupcakes are actually topped with them – what more could he wish for?

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To be precise, they are topped with dried pineapple to which a little bit of sugar has been added. I found those dried pineapples at a health food shop in Zurich main station (it’s called “Egli”) and they’re a truly delicious snack even without the cupcakes. 😉SONY DSC

So, after I found “my” crystallized pineapples I went looking for a pineapple cupcake or Muffin recipe. I found a muffin recipe and changed it (mainly I added coconut milk and the topping) to create what I think Professor Slughorn (and we all) would like: a very light, moist and spring-like cupcake with a pineapple and vanilla flavoured mascarpone-cream topping (pluis of course the famous crystallized pineapples!).SONY DSC

Whether you want to join Old Sluggy’s Club or not, these Pineapple and Vanilla Cupcakes are a good choice! They’ve got some lovely spring and sunshine magic about them, don’t they?SONY DSC

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Horace Slughorn’s Favourite Pineapple and Vanilla Cupcakes

Yield: 12 cupcakes
Preparation time: 30 min
Baking time: 18-20 min

Ingredients:

For the muffins:­       2 slices of pineapple (canned or fresh) + 2 tbsp. pineapple juice­       280g flour

­       3 tsp. baking powder

­       1 pinch of salt

­       80g muscovado sugar

­       40g white sugar

­       2 eggs

­       120g coconut milk

­       80g sour cream (or crème fraîche)

­       90g butter (melted but cooled to room temperature)

­       1 tsp. vanilla extract

For the topping:­       ½ dl cream­       4-6 tbsp. confectioner’s sugar

­       3-4 tbsp. mascarpone

­       1 tbsp. coconut milk

­       1 tsp. vanilla extract

­       2 tbsp. pineapple juice

­       dried pineapples (at least 12 slices)

Preparation:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Cover the muffin tin with cupcake liners.
  2. Cut the pineapple slices into small cubes. Melt the butter and let it cool down.
  3. Sieve flour, baking powder and salt into a big bowl. Add sugar and pineapple cubes.
  4. Combine eggs, coconut milk, sour cream and 2 tbsp. pineapple juice in a small bowl and whisk.
  5. Form a little well in the middle of the dry ingredients and pour the liquid ingredients into that well. Stir until just combined (don’t overwhisk!).
  6. Use a spoon to fill the mixture into the cupcake liners. Bake for 18-20 minutes until the muffins have risen and are golden brown. SONY DSC
  7. In the meantime, prepare the topping: Whisk ½ dl cream until stiff, add 6 tbsp. confectioner’s sugar, whisk again. Add 3-4 tbsp. mascarpone, 1 tbsp. coconut milk, 1 tsp. vanilla extract and 2 tbsp. pineapple juice (make sure that the mixture stays stiff).
  8. Fill the topping into a piping bag and pipe a twirl on each cupcake (once
  9. they have cooled down, of course!). Decorate the cupcakes with dried pineapple slices.SONY DSC

(recipe adapted from “1 Teig = 100 Muffins“ by Susanna Tee)

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To get a printed version: Download the pdf.
(Both English and German versions available!)

Horace Slughorn’s Favourite Pineapple and Vanilla Cupcakes

Horace Slughorns liebste Ananas-Vanille-Cupcakes

Madam Puddifoot’s Victoria’s Sponge Hearts with an Orange Twist and Homemade Raspberry Jam

Madam Puddifoot's Raspberry Victoria's Sponge Hearts with an Orange Twist and Homemade JamCan you feel the love..? The love these little beauties spread, I mean. Inspired by Harry’s very unsuccessful Valentine’s day-date with Cho Chang at Madam Puddifoot’s they are even decorated with little confetti hearts that might have been thrown onto them by one of the cherubs:

‘Um … d’you want to get a coffee?’ said Cho tentatively, as the rain began to fall more heavily.
‘Yeah, all right,’ said Harry, looking around. ‘Where?’
‘Oh, there’s a really nice place just up here; haven’t you ever been to Madam Puddifoot’s?’ she said brightly, leading him up a side road and into a small teashop that Harry had never noticed before. It was a cramped, steamy little place where everything seemed to have been decorated with frills or bows. Harry was reminded unpleasantly of Umbridge’s Office.
‘Cute, isn’t it?’ said Cho happily.
‘Er … yeah,’ said Harry untruthfully.
‘Look, she’s decorated it for Valentine’s Day!’ said Cho, indicating a number of golden cherubs that were hovering over each of the small, circular tables, occasionally throwing pink confetti over the occupants.

– Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, p. 493.

Victoria's Sponge Hearts

It’s a great pity that they didn’t get some of these little Victoria’s Sponge Hearts at Madam Puddifoots – things might have turned out differently… 😉 Whether you want to surprise your love or maybe just a dear friend or family member, you can’t go wrong with a lovely little heart like this one and a nice cup of coffee to round it off!

Victoria's Sponge Hearts

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Madam Puddifoot’s Victoria’s Sponge Hearts with an Orange Twist and Homemade Raspberry Jam

preparation time: about 2h (if you don’t make the raspberry jam yourself:  1h 15 min) baking time: 8-10 min
yield: 20-24 hearts

Perfect to surprise a dear person on Valentine’s Days with a sweet and fruity little heart!

Ingredients:

Jam:

  •        1 apple
  • ­       500g raspberries (frozen or fresh)
  • ­       1.5 cups (300-320g) gelling sugar/jam sugar
  • ­       4 tbsp. fresh orange Juice

Victoria’s Sponge Hearts:

  • ­       4 eggs
  • ­       120g sugar
  • ­       1 pinch of salt
  • ­       1 tbsp. warm water
  • ­       1 tbsp. fresh orange juice
  • ­       zest of ½ orange
  • ­       80g flour
Furthermore:

  •        raspberry jam (homemade à as described on the left side; or bought)
  • ­       2-3 tbsp. Grand Marnier
  • ­       2 tbsp. fresh orange juice
  • ­       1 tbsp. Grand Marnier
  • ­       about 6 tbsp. confectioner’s sugar

Preparation:

  1. Prepare the jam:SONY DSC
    1. Finely grate the apple. Put the grated apple, raspberries, gelling sugar and fresh orange juice into a large pot and cook at a rapid boil for at least 10 min.
    2. Fill into preheated glasses and close immediately. Let it cool down for 2-3h. (If you want to continue right away with SONY DSCVictoria’s Sponge Hearts, put a bit of jam into a small bowl and let it rest in a cool place for about an hour.)
  2. Preheat the oven to 220°C. Line the base of the tin (about 15 x 12in) with baking parchment.
  3. Separate the egg whites from the egg yolks. Put the egg yolks into a large bowl and put the egg whites into a medium sized bowl.
  4. Add sugar, one pinch of salt, warm water and orange juice to the egg yolks. Whisk until light and fluffy. Add zest of ½ orange. Set aside.
  5. Add a pinch of salt to the egg whites and whisk with an electric whisk until stiff. Put the whipped egg whites on top of the egg yolk-mixture.
  6. Sift the flour on top. Gently fold in and combine, trying to keep the volume.
  7. Pour the mixture into the tin and level into all the corners, smoothing the top with a palette knife.SONY DSC
  8. Bake for 8-10 minutes in the middle rack of the oven until golden brown on top.
  9. Generously sprinkle a kitchen towel with additional white sugar (take as much as you need to get the entire towel covered with a thin layer of sugar). Carefully turn the sponge out of its tin onto the towel. Immediately remove the baking parchment. Cover cake with the baking tin and let it cool down (for about 5 minutes).SONY DSC
  10. Cut out about 24 little hearts. Combine two hearts – brush the upper one lightly with Grand Marnier and the lower one with the raspberry jam.
  11. Combine orange juice, Grand Marnier and confectioner’s sugar (if the glaze is too runny or too think, add more confectioner’s SONY DSCsugar/orange juice – it should be well covering). Brush the upper heart with the glaze and decorate with a raspberry and sugar hearts. Let it dry for at least 10 minutes.SONY DSC

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To get a printed version: Download the pdf.
(Both English and German versions available!)

Madam Puddifoot’s Victoria’s Sponge Hearts with an Orange Twist and Homemade Raspberry Jam

Madam Puddifoot’s Victoria’s Sponge Herzen mit einem Orangen Twist und Hausgemachter Himbeerkonfitüre