Shortbread Biscuits!

Hi everyone! Today I’m sharing a recipe for shortbread biscuits!

If I was more organised, these would have been up months ago! I actually made these at Christmas and forgot to take a photo of them. After seeing Ash at Brewed Awakening post a recipe for Earl Grey Tea Shortbread Cookies, I decided that I should upload my recipe!

I’m not very good at making biscuits and pastries. I get very impatient with the kneading stage and usually I get frustrated. But as my favourite Home Economics teacher said, it’s only a silly bit of dough and it’s not worth getting worked up over!

These shortbread biscuits come from the Great British Bake Off cookbook. They go down a treat with my family! I’m not claiming that they’re the best shortbread ever, but they’re easy to make and they do taste yummy!

The mixture of this is super crumbly, so you might find it easier to gather it into two separate balls so it’s not overworked. I don’t usually get bogged down in incorporating every single crumb because I’m lazy.

I cut these using the tops of champagne flutes so they’re small. You could make them bigger, but I prefer having little nibbly bakes at Christmas time. Cutting them small means it’s easier to chill them too. For the second chill, I stack them on top of each other and wrap them in cling film. This is so helpful for if you have limited room in the fridge!

Definitely give these shortbread biscuits a try! They’re delicious, and perfect for snacking!

Shortbread Biscuits (adapted from The Great British Bake-off Cookbook)

Ingredients:

200g unsalted butter, softened

110g caster sugar

330g plain flour

½ teaspoon ground mixed spice

Method:

1. Beat the sugar and butter together until light and fluffy.

2. Sieve the flour and mixed spice into the bowl and mix with a wooden spoon.

3. Using your hands, gather the mixture into a ball of dough. Wrap in cling film and chill for 15 minutes.

4. Roll the dough out to about 8mm thick. Using a biscuit cutter, cut out shapes. Chill the shapes for 15 minutes.

5. Preheat the oven to 165 degrees fan.

6. Bake the shortbread for 12-18 minutes, or until firm and a pale golden colour. Leave to cool on the trays for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.

7. Once cooled, dust lightly with caster sugar.

Tips:

I make mine really small, and they can take between 12-18 minutes depending on how hot the oven is. Just make sure you keep an eye on them and take them out when they are a light golden colour!

I made 30 by using the top of a champagne glass to cut them!

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Recipe Testing- Frangipane Fingers!

Hi everyone! I’m doing another recipe review!

I promised my mum I would make her something on Mother’s Day (very easy gift if you’re ever in a pinch!). I specifically said it could have fruit in it. I rarely bake anything with fruit in it since I don’t like baked fruit. The closest I’ve gotten has been the Lemon and Blueberry Blondies I made last year! I suppose since it’s Mother’s Day it was fair enough to make an exception!

Mum chose this recipe for Frangipane fingers from a blog called The Kitchen Alchemist. She has both sweet and savoury recipes that look perfect for summer! The recipe has baked pear and almonds, and it’s not something that I’d usually make. I’ve only recently decided that I like nuts, but I’m always wary to bake with them in case someone is allergic.

The recipe specifically states that it is very easy, yet I still managed to mess them up. I managed to forget to pick up the ground almonds that the mix needs, so I ended up having to grind the flaked ones I bought for on top and sending my dad out to the shop to get more (did I mention I have the best parents ever?). The recipe calls for the flaked almonds to be sprinkled on top of the cake batter with the pear, but I was too impatient to wait and just toasted them all and added them once the cake had cooled. It worked well this way!

The traybake should be baked for about 45 minutes, but I took mine out after 35 because it seemed ready. They were slightly soft, but still yummy!

And as for the pear situation? To be honest, there’s not a lot of pear in it. I think I used about three quarters of one. Each slice only has a couple of pear segments in it, so there’s really not a lot. This is a good recipe to try if you’re not too keen on pears. You can’t really taste the almonds in the mixture either.

I’ve seen lots of bloggers posting fruity bakes recently. Sarah from Sarah’s Cake Blog uploaded a Cinnamon and Apple Traybake that sounds super yummy. Megan from Megan Elizabeth Lifestyle also uploaded a recipe for a Sugar-free Wholemeal Apple Cake that would be good for people who are reducing their sugar intake. I’d love to try more fruity bakes- it might stop me eating them all!

Overall, this recipe was fab, and I can see it becoming a firm favourite in our household!

Easter Brownies!

Look at me being organised and making these brownies in lots of time!

These are adapted from a BBC Good Food recipe and they are delicious! A super fudgy brownie topped with the best Easter chocolate- what’s not to love?!

The trick with this recipe is making sure you whisk the eggs enough. Be patient and use an electric mixer. I definitely don’t have the arm muscles to whisk it by hand! It’s crucial the rest of the ingredients are folded in gently to make sure you don’t knock the air out of the eggs. Just be patient!

Be very careful when you take it out of the tin too! Mine split in half when I lifted it out! It might have been a better idea to chop it on the paper.

You could change the sweets that you top the brownie with. I’d love to try it with Galaxy golden eggs since they’re my favourite Easter chocolate, and the Malteser bunnies would probably be really tasty too! When I pressed them in, the brownie was pretty much cooked. If it seems really underdone after 20 minutes, I’d bake it for a little bit longer because otherwise the sweets will burn.

I don’t have any good photos because my family was too impatient! I suppose that’s just another excuse to make some more!

These are an amazing way to use up Easter chocolate. I find that a whole Creme Egg can get a bit sickly, but it’s perfect in these brownies! These are the perfect Easter treat!

Easter Brownies (adapted from BBC Good Food)

Ingredients:

185g unsalted butter

185g dark chocolate

3 medium eggs

275g golden caster sugar

85g plain flour

40g cocoa powder

5 Creme Eggs

150g mini eggs

Method:

1) Melt the butter and the chocolate together in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water. Set aside to cool to room temperature.

2) Preheat oven to 160 degrees fan and line a brownie tin with greaseproof paper.

3) Whisk the eggs and caster sugar together for about 5-8 minutes until they are thick and creamy and have doubled in size.

4) Pour the cooled chocolate mixture into the egg mixture and fold together gently.

5) Sieve the flour and the cocoa into the wet ingredients and fold gently until combined.

6) Pour the mixture into the tin and bake for 20 minutes.

7) While the brownie is cooking, cut the Creme Eggs in half. Crush some of the mini eggs and leave some whole.

8) After 20 minutes, take the brownie out of the oven and press in the Creme Eggs so the centre faces up. Press in half of the mini eggs, and bake for an additional 5 minutes.

9) When baked, top with the remaining mini eggs. Leave to cool completely in the tin. Cut into squares to serve.

Recipe Testing: Rolo Cookie Bars

Hi everyone! It feels like it’s been ages since I’ve done a baking post! I did lots of baking over Christmas but was too lazy to take photographs, which was very silly! I had a couple of days off university at the start of February so I decided to pop home and bake!

The first thing I made were these Rolo Cookie Bars from Jane’s Patisserie. I’ve been wanting to make cookie bars for so long, so when my mum chose this recipe, I was so excited to make them!

As you’ll know by now, I’m a massive fan of Jane’s website. I’ve made lots of her bakes before. Her Lemon and Blueberry Blondies were a firm favourite, and I’m definitely planning to make her Raspberry and White Chocolate Muffins again! Her recipes are very easy to follow and there’s lots for experienced bakers too! I’d definitely recommend going over there if you’re looking for inspiration!

I followed the instructions exactly as they’re printed. I think my bags of Rolos were a little bit smaller but I didn’t find it made too much of a difference. The only thing I wished I had done was saved more to put on top. I did keep back a handful, but a bigger handful would have been more to my tastes!

There was a point when I did doubt if the recipe would come together. Once the dry ingredients and the chocolate was added, I was worried it wouldn’t combine. I looked away for a minute and as if by magic, it had formed a dough!

My pan was a different shape than she suggested, which meant my bars were a lot thinner. I found it a bit hard to press into the tin, which made mine look slightly more rustic than hers. They still tasted fab!

I baked mine for about 23 minutes, and it was slightly over baked. I believe they’re supposed to be quite gooey, but mine were hard, like cookies. That was definitely my fault though! Because my pan wasn’t as deep, I took them out at twenty minutes and then put them back in. I should have trusted myself!

All in all, this recipe is fantastic. It was super quick to make, and definitely satisfies a cookie craving! If you’re a fan of Rolos, they will be perfect for you!

Let me know if there are any other recipe blogs you enjoy reading! I’m always looking for recommendations.

White Hot Chocolate Cupcakes!

Hi everyone! I hope you’re all well! I’m back with some Christmas baking inspiration!

This is definitely a well loved recipe! I adapted it from my favourite cake book ever: Cake Days by the Hummingbird Bakery! My cake book is so splattered with cake mixture it’s hard to read the recipe!

I’m not the biggest fan of white chocolate, but these cakes are definitely popular. It uses hot chocolate powder instead of white chocolate, and they’re not too chocolatey. I use either the Galaxy white hot chocolate or the Options one, but I’m sure others would do the job!

These would be a good thing to make for Christmas. They’re really easy as well! The only thing that sometimes trips me up is heating the milk. I sometimes forget to do it at the start and end up waiting for it to cool. But it’s not a huge problem!

White chocolate can also be quite unpredictable. The icing is quite stringy and the sponges can rise quite a bit! Just make sure you keep your eye on them and use your judgement. If you’re ever in doubt about if a cupcake is cooked, you can put a skewer in the centre. If it comes out clean, it’s ready!

This is the only photo I have, and I’m aware it’s terrible! I swear, I will remake these and take a picture of them! And let’s just ignore the chocolate drip on the radio! It’s from the drizzling from my Marbled Toffee Brownies!

Anyway, I hope you enjoy!

White Hot Chocolate Cupcakes (adapted from the Hummingbird Bakery)

For the sponge:

240ml whole milk

25g white hot chocolate powder

80g unsalted butter

280g caster sugar

240g plain flour

1tsp baking powder

Pinch of salt

2 large eggs

For the frosting:

60ml whole milk

30g white hot chocolate powder

500g icing sugar

160g unsalted butter

Large white chocolate buttons

Method:

1) Preheat the oven to 160 degrees c and line a muffin tin with paper cases.

2) Gently warm the milk, then add the white hot chocolate powder and stir until dissolved. Set aside and allow to cool.

3) Using an electric mixer, mix together the butter, sugar, flour, baking powder and salt on a slow speed until it resembles a sandy texture and there are no large lumps.

4) Crack the eggs into the cooled chocolate milk and combine. Pour two thirds of this into the dry mixture and mix until combined.

5) Pour the rest of the milk into the mixture and beat until smooth and thick.

6) Fill each case two third full. Bake for 18-20 minutes until the tops are golden brown and they bounce back when lightly pressed. Turn out to a wire rack and leave to cool.

7) To make the frosting, warm the milk and white hot chocolate powder together until dissolved. Leave to cool completely.

8) Sieve the icing sugar into a bowl and add the butter. Beat on a low speed until there are no large lumps.

9) Gradually pour in the milk and beat until combined. Turn the mixture up to high and beat until light and fluffy.

10) Spread the icing onto the cooled cupcakes and decorate with a white chocolate button. Store in an airtight container.

Strawberry Cheesecake Cupcakes!

Hi everyone! It feels like it’s been ages since I’ve written a blog post. Today I’m sharing the recipe for strawberry cheesecake cupcakes!

It’s probably the wrong season for these, but I’ve been too busy to bake. The photo I’m using is quite an old one. Anyway, if you can get your hands on some strawberries, they’re delicious!

The recipe comes from from the first Hummingbird Bakery cookbook. It’s a vanilla sponge with strawberries baked into it. The frosting is cream cheese and it is decorated with digestive biscuits. It’s a brilliant combination. I’ve doubled the quantities from the book because I don’t get enough cupcakes when I use the original.

A huge benefit of these cupcakes are they are so easy to make, but they look quite impressive! This makes them ideal for bake sales and parties, and I often make them in the summer when I get requests!

If any part of the recipe is unclear, please let me know in the comments!

Strawberry cheesecake cupcakes (adapted from the Hummingbird Bakery)

For the sponge:

80g unsalted butter

240g plain flour

280g caster sugar

1tsp baking powder

¼ tsp salt

240ml whole milk

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

12 strawberries, chopped into small pieces

For the frosting and decoration:

600g icing sugar, sifted

100g unsalted butter

350g Philadelphia

Digestive biscuits, crumbled

Method

1) Preheat the oven to 170 degrees c and line a muffin tray with cupcake cases.

2) Mix the butter, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a freestanding electric mixer on a slow speed. The mixture should be a sandy texture, with no large lumps.

3) In a separate bowl, combine the milk, eggs and vanilla extract.

4) Pour roughly 2/3 of this mixture into the dry ingredients and beat until combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl using a spatula. Pour the remaining milk into the mixture, and beat until combined.

5) Divide the chopped strawberries into the bottom of the paper cases. Fill the cases with the batter until they are 2/3 full. Bake for 18-20 minutes. The sponges should be light golden brown in colour and should bounce back when lightly pressed. Transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool completely.

6) For the frosting, beat together the icing sugar and butter until there are no large lumps. It is best to use an electric mixer for this.

7) Add the cream cheese to the mix and beat until combined. Do not overbeat as the mixture can become runny.

8) Once cooled, spread the icing onto the sponges and decorate with the crushed biscuits. Store in an airtight container.

Tips

This mixture can make between 12 and 16 cupcakes. If you have leftover batter, chop extra strawberries: there should be roughly one strawberry per cupcake.

Make sure the butter is soft before making the icing. This will help to make the icing smooth.

The icing is quite soft, so the cakes may look a bit messy!

I recommend using a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment, but you could also use a handheld electric whisk. I wouldn’t recommend mixing this by hand.

Lemon Drizzle Traybake!

How much is everyone going to judge me if I say that I went home from uni so I could bake?

Okay, so that’s a bit of an exaggeration. My gran’s choir were having a concert, and I make Toffee Brownies every year. I wasn’t going to come back, but I was missing my family! I thought I’d take advantage of this opportunity to try something new. It might be a while before I can do something again!

I’d wanted to try this recipe for a while. It’s a Mary Berry one, and it looked ideal for those times when you need lots of cake in a short time period!

I was so pleased with how these turned out! They’re not too tangy or sweet, and they’re super light inside! My mum and I loved them! I’m not too sure they went down very well at the concert, but I think this is because they looked quite plain. They have no icing but are topped with a crunchy sugar topping.

The recipe is ridiculously simple. Just chuck everything in a mixer and whisk until it is smooth. It is literally foolproof. I forgot to soften the butter, but after a bit of whisking, it was soon sorted. This recipe would be perfect for anyone who’s missing the summer!

Lemon Drizzle Traybake (adapted from Mary Berry)

Ingredients

For the sponge:

225g unsalted butter, softened

225g caster sugar

280g self raising flour, sieved

2 tsp baking powder

4 large eggs

100ml milk

Finely grated zest of 2 lemons

For the crunchy topping:

175g granulated sugar

Juice of 2 lemons

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 155 degrees and line a traybake tin with greaseproof paper

2. Measure all the ingredients into a large bowl and beat well for about five minutes. The mixture should be pale in colour and have no big lumps of butter

3. Pour into the tin and bake for 25-30 mins. The traybake should spring back when pressed lightly and the edges should be shrinking from the sides of the tin.

4. Allow to cool in the tin for a few minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack. Leave to cool slightly

5. To make the crunchy topping, mix the granulated sugar and lemon juice in a bowl. Spoon this mixture evenly over the traybake while it is still warm.

6. Leave to cool completely before cutting.

Tips

Place a piece of greaseproof paper under the sponge to catch any drips from the topping.

The recipe suggests to cut into 30 pieces, but I made 18 (with a few ends!)