Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Spring forward

The season is on the change, Mother's Day approaches - or is that Mothers' Day? I'm never sure if it is 'the day for your Mother' or 'the day belonging to all Mothers' and I do hate apostrophes in the wrong place. Oops, got off topic a bit.

Easter's not far off either.

The birthday cakes are all flowery and springlike and I've spent an unsuccessful 2 hours trying to make daffodils out of icing.

With the change of seasons comes the change in people's tastes. Unlike summer, a nearly chocolate-free zone, chocolate is still very big in spring. It's all those Easter eggs, I think. Lighter and freshers flavours move up while the spices that saw me through the winter season are much less in demand. Time to change what I'm making.

I've just had my meeting with the deli to decide on the Mother's Day range (I'm sticking to that apostrophe til someone tells me otherwise). It's gone well. I'm doing sugar cookies in the shape of teapots and teacups, lemon cupcakes with sugarpaste icing tops (and flowers and butterflies) and a decorated lemon layer cake.

The sugar cookies worked out really well. I have a regular moan about the stickiness and faffiness of cookie dough for cutting out rather than splodging. Splodge recipes are so much easier. The various cut-out recipes are either bland, too sweet, too sticky or stiff to handle - I'm looking at you, Ms N Lawson - or a little unreliable.

I've decided to go with the Hummingbird recipe, with extra vanilla because I like it and no salt because it doesn't need it. It's quite a sweet sugar cookie (the hint is in the name, really) so it doesn't desperately need to be fully iced, but it's not so sugary as to put your teeth on edge.

Cream together
200g butter

280g caster sugar

1tsp vanilla

1 egg and beat well

Sift in
400g plain flour

1/2 tsp cream of tartar

Mix, chill for a bit if you have time, roll out to about 5mm thick and cut with the cutters you like best (or your kids are insisting you use. I find mothers rarely have free choice on these things. for years it was dinosaurs in our house, and when B finds out I have a crown cutter she's going to be ecstatic!)

Bake at 180 got about 10 minutes and ice or not as the spirit moves you.

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