trEATs :: Delicious food gifts to make at home

Cherry and Cinnamon Bundt Cakes
Photography by Danielle Wood for Rizzoli USA

One of the perks I get for blogging is that I get a lot of great stuff to review. My two most favorite items to review are books and champagne. Last week I was delighted when a small package from Rizzoli landed at my front door. Inside was a delightful little book called trEATs written by April Carter, a fellow blogger who created Rhubarb and Rose

There's nothing like giving, or receiving for that matter, a homemade gift from the kitchen. It's personal and it's filled with meaning. It can lift someone's spirit and make someone's day. Celebrate a Birthday, a milestone, an accomplishment, or celebrate nothing at all. Whether you're at home in the kitchen or a novice behind the counter, there's something in this sweet volume of recipes for everyone. Peppered through the book you will find plenty of tips and tricks on baking, wrapping and packaging. There are recipes for those with the sweetest of sweet thooths and plenty for those who prefer something more savory.

Raspberry Rose and Chocolate Cupcakes
Photography by Danielle Wood for Rizzoli USA

Liberty Print inspired chocolate hearts
Photography by Danielle Wood for Rizzoli USA

Chocolate Rose Truffles
Photography by Danielle Wood for Rizzoli USA

Black currant and vanilla linzer cookies
Photography by Danielle Wood for Rizzoli USA

Other incredible recipes include: Tiny lemon meringue pie cookies, Plum crumble in a jar, Savory fig and goat cheese cakes, Infused oils, flavored salts, Salted caramel truffles and Apple cinnamon compote, just to name a few.

"Whether it's a gift to say thank you, a way of celebrating happy news or something sweet to cheer up a friend, thoughtful, beautifully presented trEATs that taste as god as they look have a way of making people feel happy." April Carter

Meanwhile tomorrow's Valentine's Day so why not bake a sweetie for your sweetie?

Here's the recipe for the above-pictured Black Currant and Vanilla Linzer Cookies:
Makes 24
9 oz unsalted butter
1/2 Cup superfine sugar
1/2 Vanilla pod, split lengthwise and seeds scooped out
2 1/2 Cups all purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1/4 Tsp salt
4 oz blackcurrant jam or jelly
Confectioners sugar for dusting

Preheat your oven to 170 C or 350 F, line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

In your food processor with the beater attachment mix the butter, sugar and seeds from the pod until smooth and combined. In a separate bowl add flour and salt that have been sifted together and gradually add to the butter mixture beating in the food processor until the ingredients are well combined.

Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead briefly until dough is smooth. Wrap half the dough in plastic wrap and set aside. Roll some baking paper/parchment paper onto your work surface and roll the dough until it is about 1/5 of an inch. Chill the rolled dough in the freezer for about 10 minutes. This will make it easier to cut.

Remove the dough from the freezer and cut out in circles using a crinkle cutter. Cur holes in half the circles using a smaller circle cutter (3/4 inch). Transfer the circles back into the freezer. This helps the cookies to keep their shape. Then bake for 6-8 minutes until the cookies are firm put pale. Let the cookies cool on a wire rack and repeat with the remaining cookies.

Dab a half a teaspoon of jam in the middle of each cookie and place the circle with the hole on the top. Dust with confectioners sugar and store in an airtight container for up to a week.

trEATs will be published in the US by Rizzoli in March 2014. It would look great in your kitchen!