Posted by: Laura | February 19, 2012

Salted caramel choc chunk cookies and some noses

Last week I made salted caramel chocolate chunk cookies and they turned out to be monsters! Seriously, enormous cookies. Here’s how to make some monsters:

(Original recipe from Picky-palate.com)

Ingredients:

I love bulk-sized items, such as this vanilla extract from Costco (love Costco too):

A lot of baking recipes call for softened butter but it can be difficult to keep butter soft in the winter even if it’s out of the fridge days before you use it. To make the mixer’s job a bit easier, give the block of butter a smush in it’s wrapper and it will soften it up enough to use.

Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Beat 250g butter, 3/4 cup granulated sugar and 1 cup light brown sugar.

Add 2 eggs and 1 1/2 tbsp vanilla extract and beat again.

Mix in 1/4 cup caramel sauce (I used Carnation cook with Caramel). If you want a more intense caramel flavour to come through I would add more caramel than 1/4 cup here.

Mix 3 3/4 cups plain flour, 1/2 tsp salt and 1 1/2 bicarbonate of soda and gradually mix into the wet ingredients.

Add many many chocolate chips (aka 12 ounces).

Use a 1/3 cup measure to place balls of the dough onto a baking sheet. Grind a small amount of sea salt on the top of each cookie.

Chop 1 1/2 cups of dark chocolate and add to the top of the cookies.

Bake for 12 – 15 minutes until golden around the edges.

Monster cookies!

Now for the noses. Kitten nose:

Bunny nose:

Which is cuter? You decide!

Posted by: Laura | February 14, 2012

Double-Chocolate-Snickers-Chunk-Cookies

Let’s face it, things are just better with chopped up chocolate bars in them.

I was never really a massive fan of Snickers when I was younger because I wasn’t that keen on peanuts. But I have since seen the error of my ways and now I love ‘em! What better way to celebrate their snickety goodness than to whop them into some double chocolate cookies? None, there is no better way.

So, if you want to get some nuts – like Mr T. himself – here’s how you can do it:

(original recipe is here: http://picky-palate.com/2011/10/03/double-chocolate-snickers-chunk-cookies/#more-17020)

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees and prepare your baking sheets. Beat 125g softened butter, 1/2 cup granulated sugar and 1/2 cup light brown sugar until mixed. Add 1 large egg and 1/2 tbsp vanilla extract and mix again. Add 1  cup plain flour, 1/2 cup good-quality cocoa powder (such as Green and Black’s), 1/2 tsp baking soda and 1/4 tsp salt and mix until you have a well combined something that looks unappetizingly like this:

Get 5 delicious Snickers bars

Unwrap (that’s critical)

Chop into manageable pieces

Add to your cookie dough and mix in so they are evenly distributed

Place balls of cookie dough onto your baking sheets about 1 inch apart (this recipe makes about 18). Bake for 14 – 16 minutes then let cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.

Check out those melty bits!

The cocoa powder gives them that lovely dark double chocolatey colour.

Enjoy these sin-free at only 204 calories each!

I have recently started using Pinterest, an online pinboard. It is a great way to find new websites and items as well as track what your friends are loving and doing right now. Head over and check it out.

Posted by: Laura | February 6, 2012

Fudge Brownies with Walnuts

Today I fell up the marble stairs at work and landed on my nose. It’s not a pretty sight and I feel a big swollen bruise coming on but . . . all is OK when there’s brownies in the world. Specifically, Joy the Baker’s Old School Fudge Brownies with Walnuts. I love this lady, she’s very funny. You should check out her blog (and the recipe).

OK, here’s what you need

Grease and flour your pan and preheat Mr. oven to 180 degrees

Whisk up eggs and sugar, then add vanilla extract

Melt together butter cocoa powder and 2 tbsp strong coffee, i used instant espresso

Technically, you should melt your butter and cocoa in a bowl over a pan of simmering water but I don’t have a bowl which fits in any of my pans without touching the water (an absolute no-no) so instead I melt it (very carefully) in the microwave. This is OK, but you do have to watch it really closely – heat it for no more than 10-15 seconds at a time on a low power such as 360 watts and stir well after each heating. The residual heat and the heat from stirring will do most of the work for you so you won’t need to heat for more than about 30 seconds.

Mix together the cocoa-butter mixture and the egg-sugar mixture.

Add flour, baking powder, salt and some of your chopped walnuts. Pour into the pan and top with the remaining walnuts and chocolate chips.

Bake for 18-25 minutes. Allow to cool then cut into bars

Divide and conquer by sharing the brownie love with your nearest and dearest, multiple tupperware style.

This recipe makes 24 brownies at 109 calories each.

Enjoy!

CookieGalore

 

Posted by: Laura | January 21, 2012

A Cookie Wrapped Kiss

First blog post in about a million years . . .

Now that’s over with, when I saw this idea for Giant Hershey Kiss Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies, I knew I had to make them. As you can probably tell from my blog name I am somewhat of a cookie-lover. A lot of my food memories involve cookies. I can remember the first time I had a snickerdoodle, homemade chocolate chip cookies at my first (and currently only) ever drive in movie (with http://foodfascinations.blogspot.com/) and can tell you that if you want a safe-bet delicious cookie on the fly this is where you need to go. I could not tell you how many cookies I ate when I lived in the US. Let’s just say it was A LOT.

This is a very easy snack. All you need is cookie dough and Hershey’s Kisses. Use any cookie dough you like, homemade or a mix. I used a Betty Crocker one as I think they always turn out well. And I used the small kisses as the Giant ones aren’t so readily available in the UK and, being me, I wanted to be able to eat more than I cookie :-)

If you are a UK-er and you’ve never had Hershey’s chocolate before it starts off tasting like Cadbury’s Dairymilk but has a kind of strange, almost savoury aftertaste but in a good way. Basically, it’s not Dairymilk but it’s still nice. It’s the novelty of the shape that makes it fun. Especially adorable for Valentine’s day.

In the UK you can now buy Hershey’s at Asda, Selfridges, The Stateside Candy Company and other UK online suppliers of American food and Amazon.

Make up your cookie dough, and form into a disc on your baking tray and pop a kiss upon it.

(On a side note if you’re looking for a good baking tray for cookies, I use a flat Ikea one – no need to use baking parchment and the cookies never seem to stick. Cheap and durable too).

Next, use your remaining cookie dough to cover up the kiss, making sure that you seal the dough all around it.

Bake as your recipe or packet directs, maybe allowing an extra minute or two due to the increased size of the cookie dough ball. Remember that, because you are having to wrap up the chocolate, you won’t make as many cookies as the recipe indicates. My Betty Crocker mix made 6 cookies instead of the stipulated 8.

These are best eaten warm after cooling out of the oven for 5-10 minutes. They would be great with vanilla ice cream but we ate ours alongside rocky road hot chocolate with marshmallows. Cut open to enjoy the full glory.

Calorie update: 157 cals per cookie

I love the Picky Palate blog that these cookies came from. It features American style family food (and lots of sweets!)

You can wrap all kinds of sweet chocolate things in cookie dough to make double-sugar treats. One great idea is using up all your leftover Christmas chocolates (unfortunately ours have already all been scoffed) in Leftover Candy Cookies. I think Snickers might just be worth trying . . .

Enjoy!

L.

P.S. What season is it exactly? I have both daffodils and an amazingly-still-alive poinsettia on my table.

Posted by: Laura | January 23, 2011

A weekend of treats in pictures

No time for words this week . . .

Not many at least.

Nigella’s Chocolate Chip Cookies

 

Oreo Cookie Milkshakes

Cupcake Bites

 

:)     L.

Posted by: Laura | January 16, 2011

Progression aka Basic Cupcake Pops

Firstly, I am trying to write this with a sleepy little kitten stretched across my keyboard who loves the mouse pointer and is gnawing on the side of the laptop. So sorry if there are  spelling mistakes.

This week my kitchen challenge was Basic Cupcake Pops. Here is what they’re supposed to look like:

And the exciting thing about these poppity pops is that they use 2 colours of candy coating

 

After mixing the cake and icing as usual (and firming them up for 15mins in the “deep freeze” as Nigella would say) you use a flower shaped biscuit cutter to mold the cake balls into a cupcake-ish sort of shape

they don’t look too bad right? Right??

I think this is the best effort

With 2 types of candy coating to use (which is thinned out with vegetable oil this time to much improvement) you begin with the chocolate and dip the bottom of the cupcake then let dry.

At this point you are supposed to insert the lollipop stick because obviously you can’t do this once the coating has dried. Not so obvious to me, however, and so I only did 3 with sticks once I had realised this!

However, stick or no stick, next dip the other half into the pink coating and add an upturned M&M and some sprinkles.

 

Still need some more dipping practice though.

Next week  – Cupcake Bites.

L.

 

 

Posted by: Laura | January 16, 2011

I’m Posting every week in 2011!


I’ve decided I want to blog more. Rather than just thinking about doing it, I’m starting right now.  I will be posting on this blog once a week for all of 2011. Or trying at least :)

If you already read my blog, I hope you’ll encourage me with comments and likes, and good will along the way.

And more blogging, of course, means more baking and more eating, so what better excuse does a girl need!

Laura.

Posted by: Laura | January 9, 2011

So 2011: Cake balls and pops

So this is the New Year, and time to start exploring one of my fab Christmas presents: Bakerella’s ‘Cake Pops’.

As you can probably guess, cake balls are balls of cake. And cake pops are balls of cake on lollipop sticks :D

Basic Cake Balls

All you need is

or any variation of cake mix, icing and candy melts (which can be found at hobby craft stores in the UK, along with other Wilton brand items).

Make up the cake mix

and bake. A whole cake will make 48 cake balls/pops. A little bit much for even me to eat! But who knew you could freeze cake?! And save the other 3 quarters for next time.

Take the chosen one

and crumble it up

mix it with a quarter of a tub of icing (the Betty Crocker icings handily keep for a month in the fridge once opened)

Next, roll into cake balls  and place in the freezer for 15 minutes to firm up. My freezer has a drawer seemingly made exactly for this purpose

The next stage is to melt the candy melts (I went for pink) in the microwave, checking every 30 seconds

Then dip the cake balls in the coating. My coating was a bit thick and there is a definite art to dipping! But practice makes perfect. Here is my best attempt so far

And they’re pretty good to munch on too

Now, for Cake Pops you will need these

Make the cake balls as before. When the time comes for dipping, dip a lollipop stick in a little of the candy coating and push into the cake ball, then coat the cake ball as before

Repeat 12 times and voila

Now, I need some practice with the coating, so next time it’ll be the challenge of Cupcake Pops.

Happy New Year everybody!!

Posted by: Laura | October 31, 2010

This is Halloween . . .

Monster Pumpkins

Canned pumpkin

Carving pumpkins

Finished pumpkins



Posted by: Laura | September 27, 2010

When the boyfriend’s away . . .

Let me tell you what happens when the BF goes out for a 3 hour band practice. In fact, let me show you.

1. I put on leggings. Not sweats. Not yoga pants. Leggings.

Not a good look.

2. I admire the new double glazing installed today.

3. I look in the fridge.

Pretty bare.

4. I decide that what I really need is this:

Yes, that’s Heinz tomato soup with lots of cream in it. Yes, those are croque monsieur croutons, aka a croque monsieur cut into squares. Yes, I used Bavarian ham and cheddar. Yes, I used reduced salt soup and wholemeal bread so that makes it all OK. Yes, cranberry is always the drink of choice in this house, always. I keep Asda in business with the amount of cranberry we buy.

5. I spend some quality time with my other true loves:

JD

and Turk

That’s, JD

and Turk

And JD again (I don’t have a favourite, honest :S )

6. Conclusion: I don’t do well with being on my own for an evening!

Happy Monday!

L.

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