Recipe | Shortbread Christmas Tree

DSC_0097_01It’s my day off so I decided to do something a little Christmassy – It is only nine days away after all…

I bought this cookie cutter set last year and decided to make myself a little edible Christmas tree. It worked well so I decided to share it with you today. My cutters were from Avon however I’ve found this set from Lakeland which is the exact same. I only use the 5 smallest ones as the bigger ones take up an entire baking tray and nobody’s got time for that!

The entire process is so simple and the fun thing is you can decorate it however you want.

DSC_0101_01For the shortbread you will need:

  • 100g Butter
  • 150g Plain Flour
  • 50g Golden Caster Sugar
  • 1tsp Ground Ginger
  • 1tbsp Milk

For the decoration you will need:

  • Plenty of imagination
  • White or Milk Chocolate

Preheat your oven to 150˚C then add the butter, flour and ginger into a large mixing bowl and using your fingers rub it together to form a breadcrumb consistency. Add the sugar and mix it in. Start working the mix into a ball. I added the milk here to help the mixture stick together better, however, you can always use extra butter if it feels to dry. Likewise, if it feels too sticky and gloopy, add more flour until you have a ball of dough that you feel can be rolled out.

Roll it out onto a floured work surface turning it as you go so it doesn’t stick and then using your cookie cutters, cut out two of each size star. The more stars you cut, the taller the Christmas tree will stand. If you have more mouths to feed then cut three out or cut four and make two separate trees. Prick the top of the shortbread before placing in the oven and bake for 25 minutes. The shortbread should be pale and soft when it comes out of the oven, but don’t worry, it will harden as it cools.

Leave it to cool completely before constructing your tree.

Melt your chosen chocolate and start with the two largest stars, these will be the base. Blob a bit of chocolate in the middle of one of the stars and then stack the other one on top – Make sure that you turn the second star so that the pointy parts sit where the non-pointy parts are on the bottom star (technical or what)!? Carry on stacking the shortbread until you reach the top. It should resemble a Christmas Tree now…

You can decorate it however you wish – I just lightly dusted it with icing sugar and stuck a bow on for the pictures and then demolished it and gave it to my nephew to decorate as I know he will have much more fun – and also my sister has to do the cleaning up that way! Smarties make great baubles and this writing icing is great for tinsel, or what about edible glitter!? The possibilities are endless 🙂

Let me know if you will be having a go at making your very own edible Christmas Tree…

Bx

Recipe | White Chocolate & Cranberry Flapjack

DSC_0015_02BAKE OFF’S BACK!!! I’m so excited that for the next ten weeks! My Wednesday nights are going to be booked up – Don’t talk to me, don’t text me, don’t tweet me between the hours of 8pm and 9pm as I will NOT reply!

In aid of my favourite TV programme being back on my screen I’ve decided to get my hands dirty in the kitchen, basically because I wanted something to munch on while I was watching… Anyone else get ridiculously hungry?

So here it is, White Chocolate & Cranberry FlapjackDSC_0023_03

DSC_0046_02You will need

  • 250g Porridge Oats
  • 100g Golden Caster Sugar
  • 125g Butter
  • 3-4tbsp Golden Syrup (the more you add, the stickier they will be)
  • 100g Dried Cranberries
  • 120g White Chocolate – A bar or choc chips, either works fine
  • 8inch Square Cake Tin

Method

  1. Pre heat your oven to 180C.
  2. Add the porridge oats and butter to a mixing bowl and using a spoon, or your hands, mix until it starts to come together.
  3. Add the sugar, golden syrup, cranberries and about 2/3 of the white chcolate (broken into pieces) and mix until it’s evenly spread through.
  4. Spoon the mixture into a greased baking tin and press it down into the edges and sides until it’s flat and compact.
  5. Place it in the oven for around 20-25 minutes, until the top is slightly golden brown in colour.
  6. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin for a good 30 minutes. Note: If you try and take it out before it’s cooled it will just break up into little bits so try and leave it for as long as you can – I know it’s hard!
  7. Once it’s cooled, turn it out onto a piece of greaseproof paper and cut it into slices, chunks, bars – Whatever you want! Or just leave it whole and then it only counts as one slice, yes!?
  8. Melt the remaining chocolate and decorate the top. Note: If you can’t be bothered to melt the last little bit of chcolate either eat it or put the entire bar in the flapjack before you bake it, it’s basically just for decoration.
  9. Enjoy with a nice cuppa!

Will you be trying this recipe? Let me know if you do 🙂

Bx

Recipe | Chocolate Chip Scones

DSC_0063DSC_0069

There’s nothing I love more then a spot of baking, but I sometimes struggle to find the time to do any so I love it even more when I can rustle something tasty up in a matter of minutes – 25 to be precise! Here’s my recipe for the easiest choc chip scones you will ever make. I hope you enjoy!

For the scones you will need:

  • 350g Self Raising Flour
  • 100g Caster Sugar
  • 85g Butter – Cut into small chunks
  • 170ml Milk
  • Plain or Dark Chocolate Chips
  • 1 Egg

Start by pre-heating the oven to 200˚C. Weigh out the flour and sugar and add them both to a large mixing bowl. Give it a quick stir so that they are combined and then add the butter (the smaller the chunks the better).

Time to get messy – Using your hands rub the butter into the flour and sugar until it resembles breadcrumbs.

Make a hole in the middle of the mix and add in the milk – make sure you add a bit at a time as you may not need to use it all. Using a spoon, work the mixture together to form a dough. It may take a while for it to come together, but keep going – It will happen!

Once you have a dough, work it out onto a floured work surface and pour the chocolate chips on top. Knead them in until they are evenly spread. You can add as many – Or as little as you like! I add a lot because I love the sweetness they add and I love chocolate, simple!

Roll the dough out until it’s around 2.5cm in thickness and cut out circles using a cookie cutter – You should be able to make about 12 scones.

Place them onto a baking tray (lined with greaseproof paper) and brush the tops with a beaten egg. Pop the tray in the oven and bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown.

Place them on a wire rack to cool and pop the kettle on!

Let me know if you make these easy scones I would love to know what you think! You can also experiment with different flavours – I made pumpkin seed ones too that are perfect with jam!

Bx

Review | Tanya Burr – Love Tanya Book

DSC_0033_02DSC_0037_01DSC_0001_01

When this book was first published I couldn’t decide whether or not to buy it. I wouldn’t say I was a huge fan of Tanya Burr – In the sense that I don’t sit and wait for her videos to be uploaded, but I do tend to watch them when I have a bit of time to myself. She has a really bubbly personality and I find her vlogs really easy to watch. If you are the same then I would recommend this book 100%.

One thing I didn’t know was Tanya is around the same age as me so I could relate to a lot to the growing up pages. It made me laugh a lot and was definitely my favourite part. The book is split into the different sections – With some gorgeous pictures to separate them may I add, and I find this makes it easier to digest and also gives you a good stopping point… If you can put it down that is.

DSC_0012DSC_0007

The one thing I didn’t like about the book were the ‘notes’ pages – As you can see from the picture, after each section there  were blank bits for you to jot things down and personally I found this a little childish – Obviously Tanya has a huge following and many of them are a lot younger than myself so I can understand why she would do it, but I didn’t like it.

I whizzed through the book in three days as it was just so easy to read – It probably could have been less as once I started I couldn’t stop, but you know, I had to go to work… I would recommend picking up a copy if you haven’t already as it is a good read, especially if you are around the same age!

Have you read Love Tanya or any of the other YouTuber’s (Is that even a word?) books? I personally don’t know where I sit with the whole book deals for bloggers and I would love to know your thoughts.

Bx

Recipe | Blueberry Pancakes

image



Happy Pancake Day!! It’s my favourite day today – This definitely overshadows Christmas for me as it means I can eat pancakes guilt free ALL DAY…

Pancakes are super easy to make from scratch, but there are also ready made mix’s out there if you don’t fancy doing them yourself.

You will need:

  • 150g Plain Flour
  • 2 Eggs
  • 300ml Semi-Skimmed Milk
  • Oil for frying
  • Pack of Blueberries
  • Golden Syrup

To make the pancake batter: In a large mixing bowl add the flour and eggs and whisk together. Pour in half of the milk and continue to whisk until you have a thick batter. Keep adding the milk bit by bit until it forms the consistency of thick single cream. Note: You may not need to use all of the milk – If you think the batter is too thick keep adding it and if you think it’s too runny just add a touch more flour until you feel you have the right consistency.

Add oil to a piece of kitchen roll and wipe it around the frying pan only slightly covering it. Wait for it to get hot and then add a ladle full of the mixture. Move the pan around until you have a nice even thickness  and then leave it to cook for about 30 seconds. If you are feeling clever, toss the pancake to cook the other side for the same amount of time – If the pan is hot enough it should turn a nice golden brown. Repeat the process until all the batter is used up.

Stack, cover with blueberries and syrup and tuck in! You can also experiment with different types of fruit and sauces – Nutella on pancakes is to die for!

image

How will you be enjoying your pancakes today?

(Collage of images via Pinterest)

Bx

Ginger And Pumpkin Seed Cake Recipe

DSC_0016DSC_0018_02DSC_0027_01

For today’s post I decided to share with you this recipe for a Ginger & Pumpkin Seed Cake. It’s a real tasty cake and I feel it’s perfect with a cup of tea on a cold winters night. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have!

Ingredients: 

  • 100g Self Raising Flour
  • 100g Butter
  • 50g Light Muscovado Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1tsp Baking Powder
  • 2tsp Ground Ginger
  • 50g Crystallised Ginger (Chopped)
  • 100g Pumpkin Seeds (Plus extra for sprinkling on the top)
  • 175g Golden Syrup
  1. Start by preheating your oven to 180ºC – 160ºC for a fan assisted oven. Grease a loaf tin and set it aside.
  2. To a mixing bowl add the Flour, Butter, Ground Ginger and Baking Powder and rub together until it resembles breadcrumbs.
  3. Add the Eggs, Sugar, Golden Syrup, Crystallised Ginger and the Pumpkin seeds (Chopped Pumpkin Seeds work best) to the mix and whisk it together to form the cake batter.
  4. Spoon the mix into the loaf tin, scatter a few whole pumpkin seeds on the top and bake for around 35 – 45 minutes.
  5. Leave it to cool in the tin for 10 minutes and then gently tap it out onto a wire rack – You may need to insert a knife around the edges to loosen it.
  6. Cut into slices and enjoy!

Bx

Quick & Easy Mince Pies

DSC_0250DSC_0251DSC_0256Merry Christmas Everyone!!!

Today I’m going to share with you my recipe for my fairly quick and easy Mince Pies. I’ve made these twice this year and they are amazing! They haven’t lasted very long at all so that proves it…

For the shortcrust pastry you will need:

  • 250g Plain Flour (Plus extra for dusting the surface)
  • 100g Icing Sugar
  • 125g Cold Butter
  • 1 Egg (Plus one for glazing if you choose to)

For the filling you will need:

  • About 450g Mincemeat (Either homemade or shop bought) I chose shop bought just to save time.

To make the Mince Pies:

  1. Add the flour and the icing sugar to a mixing bowl. Cut the butter into chunks and add this to the bowl. Using your hands (It gets messy) rub it all together to create a sort of breadcrumb consistency. Add in the egg and – still using your hands continue to work the mixture together to form a ball. At this point if the mixture doesn’t start coming together add a splash of milk.
  2. Lay out a sheet of cling film and lightly dust it with flour. Pop your ball of pastry onto this and wrap it up. Place it in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  3. After the 30 minutes is up take out your pastry ball and – on a dusted work surface – roll it out until it’s about 7mm in thickness (precise I know). Cut out 12 circles 7 1/2cm in diameter and place these into a greased muffin tray.
  4. Pop a spoon full of mincemeat into each pie bottom. If you like them quite full just put a bit more in – It’s personal taste really.
  5. Cut 12 lids for the mince pies – They can be stars, full lids anything you want – Be creative!
  6. Brush the top with egg wash – I tend not to do this because it’s a waste of an egg, but it gives the top a glaze and turns it a nice golden brown if you choose to.
  7. Pop them into the oven for 20-25 minutes and then leave to cool for a few minutes – If you can!
  8. Dust the tops with icing sugar and…
  9. Enjoy!

I hope you all have an amazing Christmas and Santa brings you everything you want – If you leave him one of these tasty mince pies I’m sure he will!

Bx