Mr Sherick’s Milkshake Review

Who doesn’t love a thick, creamy, ice cold milkshake? I know I do! So when asked to try a few shakes made by Mr Sherick’s and maybe create a recipe or two I leapt at the chance. Enjoy my Mr Sherick’s Milkshake Review, plus a bonus GIVEAWAY!

FF Mr Sherick's Milkshake Review
Cookies and Cream shake with cookies of course!

The very nice people at Mr Sherick’s sent me 5 different, luxury shakes to try. They were packaged well in a cool bag with an ice pack.

Cookies and Cream – A creamy, thick, luxurious vanilla shake with real pieces of cookie and belgian chocolate chips.

This was the first milkshake I tried, I also happened to have baked some Rolo Chocolate Cookies which accompanied it perfectly. Thick, creamy, vanilla shake with real pieces of cookie and chocolate in the shake. Absolutely delicious with great texture, this shake was a little rich – that didn’t stop me from finishing the bottle though 😉. A firm 9/10

FF Mr Sherick's Milkshake Review
Hint of Mint Milkshake churned into ice cream!

Hint of Mint – A creamy, thick, luxurious, chocolate shake, made with real chocolate and mint choc chips added.

After a quick taste of this thick, chocolate shake with delicious pieces of mint choc chips, I knew I wanted to turn it into an ice cream. The shake has a deep chocolate flavour that allows the mint to be, as the label suggests, a hint. Very refreshing. Turning it into Mint Chocolate Milkshake Ice Cream takes it to another level, with the mint still coming through after the initial chocolate taste.

Whether drunk as a shake or turned into ice cream, Hint of Mint is my personal favourite amongst all the flavours I tried. No question a definite 10/10.

FF Mr Sherick's Milkshake Review
Strawberry Pavolva Milkshake with real pieces of meringue.

Strawberry Pavlova – Made with real strawberry juice and pulp this luxuriously thick, creamy shake contains real pieces of meringue.

I have to say that this Strawberry Pavlova shake is so pretty to look at. I don’t know how they do it, but if you look in the glass there really are pieces of meringue suspended throughout the entire shake. Of all the shakes, this for me was the sweetest and tasted exactly like strawberry milkshake should. Whilst I enjoyed the sensation of meringue pieces in the shake, it was, just a tiny bit too sweet for my palette. So a firm 9/10, only dropping a mark for the extra sweetness.

FF Mr Sherick's Milkshake Review
Choc Chip Latte delicious with chocolate drizzled shortbread cookies.

Choc Chip Latte – Coffee flavoured, luxurious thick, creamy shake with Belgian chocolate chips.

Ooh if you like coffee then you will love this shake. Luxuriously thick and creamy, with a strong, yet not overpowering coffee flavour, added Belgian chocolate chips simply send this shake over the top. I imagine this shake would also make a very good ice cream or gelato. No question about it a firm 10/10.

Finally as part of my Mr Sherick’s Milkshake Review I wanted to try something new. Having made a lot of ice creams this summer, all made with a custard base and churned, I decided to make a gelato. This was a huge gamble for me. I had one bottle of milkshake left, what if it didn’t work?

Read on to see what happened and how you could win a cool bag full of Mr Sherick’s utterly delicious, luxury shakes.

Pot au Choc – Luxuriously thick, creamy, deepy chocolate milkshake, made with real chocolate and added Belgian chocolate chips.

Pot au Chocolate Gelato – an incredibly creamy, rich chocolate ice cream, that’s made without using an egg custard base and does not need churning in an ice cream maker.

Recipe: Make approx 1l Pot au Chocolate Gelato

250ml Bottle Pot au Choc Milkshake made by Mr Shericks Shakes

300mls Double Cream

397g Tin Condensed Milk – I used Carnation

50g Dark Belgian Chocolate finely chopped

Method: You will need a 1 litre plus freezer proof tub with lid

  • Pour the condensed milk into a large bowl.
FF Mr Sherick's Milkshake Review
Mr Sherick’s Milkshake Review making the Pot au Chocolate Gelato.
  • Add the double cream and whisk until it starts to thicken.
  • As it starts to thicken, with the whisk still running, slowly pour in the Mr Sherick’s Pot au Choc shake.
FF Mr Sherick's Milkshake Review
Mr Sherick’s Milkshake Review, whisking in the Pot au Choc Shake.
  • Continue whisking until the mixture can hold a figure of eight for 5 seconds. The unfrozen gelato will be thick and airy, but not as thick as whipped cream.
  • Pour the gelato mix into a freezer proof container.
  • Add two thirds of the chopped chocolate and swirl through using a wooden spoon handle. Then add the remaining chocolate to the top.
FF Mr Sherick's Milkshake Review
Mr Sherick’s Milkshake Review Pot au Chocolate Gelato ready for the freezer.
  • Pop on a tight fitting lid and place in the freezer for 24 hours.
  • 24 hours later, once the gelato is frozen, remove from the freezer and allow to sit at room temperature for 10 minutes.
  • Scoop the Pot au Chocolate Gelato into jazzed up ice cream cones. And enjoy 😉
FF Mr Sherick's Milkshake Review
Pot au Chocolate Gelato ooh so good.

Yes this gelato made with Mr Sherick’s Pot au Choc Shake is absolutely phenomenal!

FF Mr Sherick's Milkshake Review
Mr Sherick’s Milkshake Review Pot au Chocolate Gelato easy to make and easier to eat!

Having tasted the Pot au Choc shake prior to making this gelato, I found it to be rich, creamy and deeply chocolatey, with little nuggets of Belgian chocolate. It is  a firm 10/10.

My advice with this Pot au Choc or any of the shakes is to buy two bottles. One to drink straight away, as they are outstanding shakes and another to turn into ice cream or gelato at home.

Mr Sherick’s Shakes are the epitomy of milkshake luxury. Delightful, creamy flavours with added texture, they are by far the very best shakes I have ever tried.

If you have enjoyed my Mr Sherick’s Milkshake Review, especially the ice creams, here are some other recipes you may like:

Blackberry Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream

FF Mr Sherick's Milkshake Review
Blackberry Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream

Strawberry Ripple Ice Cream

FF Mr Sherick's Milkshake Review
Strawberry Ripple Ice Cream

Lemon Ripple Ice Cream

FF Mr Sherick's Milkshake Review
Lemon Ripple Ice Cream

If you could have any flavour milkshake what would it be???

Ooh this is so exciting. Mr Sherick’s are running a giveaway to win a cool bag filled with their luxurious shakes. Please read below for details and I wish all of you the very best.

Sammie xx

Mr Sherick’s  supplied me with 5 bottles of their shakes for this review. All opinions, views, content and photographs are my own. I was not paid to write this post and the giveaway is the reponsibility of Mr Sherick’s. Please see my Disclosure Policy.

Giveaway T’s & C’s

This giveaway is open to UK residents only.

For your chance to win a Mr Sherick’s cool bag filled with shakes you need to retweet the pinned giveaway posts of both @sammiefeasting and @MrShericks on Twitter.

The giveaway will run from 7pm GMT today 13/07/2016 until midnight on Sunday 17/07/2016. No retweets after the deadline will be included.

The winner will be chosen at random by Mr Sherick’s. Their decision is final and responsibility for this giveaway is theirs alone. For more information please see Mr Sherick’s website.

 

 

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Silicone Baking Mat Review

When baking there is one disposable item that I use very frequently, baking parchment. So when  GOLDENSPOON  sent me 2 Premium Silicone Non Stick Baking Mats I was interested as to how they would perform. Carrying out a Silicone Baking Mat Review was going to be interesting and fun!

FF Silicone Baking Mat Review
Silicone Baking Mat Review would my gooey cookies come off easily?

After some research as to how hot Silicone bakeware can be cooked at. They are safe to bake up to 250C, I decided to test these vibrant green edged mats in three ways.

  1. Bake at a high temperature – for this I choose to bake a puff pastry tart.
  2. Bake my most gooey and sticky recipe – for this I choose my Rolo Chocolate Cookies.
  3. Use in place of baking parchment for setting messy melted chocolate – for this I covered some strawberries in chocolate to decorate a cake.
FF Silicone Baking Mat Review
Silicone Baking Mat Review 2 mats.

I received 2 Premium Silicone Non Stick Baking Mats, dimensions 27cm x 40cm. A quick wash in warm, soapy water and they were ready to use. I was very pleased to find that they fitted nicely inside my two biggest, most used, baking trays.

Knowing that puff pastry is baked at a high temperature, I decided to make a quick Asparagus Prosciutto Ham Tart.

To make this tart you will need:

320g Ready Rolled Puff Pastry

10-12 Asparagus Spears – washed and trimmed

1 Medium Egg – whisked with a teaspoon of milk fit the egg wash

3 Medium Tomatoes – sliced

6 Slices Prosciutto Ham

Approx 50g Soft Cheese – I used Goddess Cheese from Pong Cheese

Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper.

1tbsp Olive Oil

Basil leaves to garnish

Assembling and baking the tart: Preheat the oven to 220C/200C fan, gas mark 7

Place one Premium Silicone Non Stick Baking Mat on to a baking tray.

Un roll the pastry and place directly on to the mat – removing the paper it is rolled in.

Use a pastry brush to lightly cover the pastry in egg wash.

Place the asparagus and sliced tomatoes on to the pastry and season with salt and pepper.

FF Silicone Baking Mat Review
Silicone Baking Mat Review see how perfectly the pastry fits on the mat.

Place the baking tray in the top of the oven for 15 minutes.

After the baking time has elapsed remove the tray from the oven.

Break off small chunks of the cheese and scatter around the tart. Then lay the Prosciutto ham over the tart, in the same direction as the asparagus. Add a small drizzle of olive oil.

FF Silicone Baking Mat Review
Asparagus Prosciutto Ham Tart easily assembled on the silicone baking mat.

Place the tart back in the oven for 10 minutes to crisp the ham and finish baking.

FF Silicone Baking Mat Review
Asparagus Prosciutto Ham Tart

Once baked remove from the oven, scatter over some whole basil leaves.

Remove the tart from the silicone baking mat before cutting.

Result a delicious tart, that baked beautifully on the non stick silicone baking mat. It slid off the mat easily. The mat had a quick wash in warm soapy water and was as good as new.

Fantastic! These Premium Silicone Non Stick Baking Mats cook at a high temperature with no affect on taste and no change in appearance to the mat 10/10.

Next the gooey, sticky test. I used my Rolo recipe for this test. The cookies were prepared according to the recipe and baked using both mats, instead of baking parchment, as instructed.

This recipe requires the cookies to cool on the baking trays before removing.

Once cooled the cookies removed easily, with only a little of the melted caramel staying on the mat. This is usual with baking parchment too so I had expected it. A quick wash and the mats were clean and ready to use. A firm 9/10.

Now for the melted chocolate test!

FF Silicone Baking Mat Review
Silicone Baking Mat Review with messy melted chocolate.

The strawberries were dipped in chocolate and left to set on the silicone baking mat. Once set they removed easily and were used to decorate a beautiful cake. Another quick wash in warm soapy water and again as good as new! A firm 10/10.

In conclusion I am thrilled with these Premium Silicone Non Stick Mats and thoroughly recommend them. They are so easy to use for a variety of baking and cooking purposes. They take up very little space, I store them flat in the bag they came in on top of some tins in a cupboard.

Reusable and in my opinion better than baking parchment, these have to be a great choice, not only for our kitchens but also our planet!

If you have enjoyed this Silicone Baking Mat Review you may like these recipes to bake with your mats:

Blackberry Nectarine Tart

FF Silicone Baking Mat Review
Blackberry Nectarine Tart perfect for cooking on a silicone baking mat.

Red Onion Sausage Plait

FF Silicone Baking Mat Review
Red Onion Sausage Plait next time I bake this will be on a silicone baking mat!

Chocolate Dipped Viennese Fingers

FF Silicone Baking Mat Review
Chocolate Dipped Viennese Fingers had I used a silicone baking mat most of these would not of stuck to the cooling rack!

Strawberry Vanilla Chocolate Drip Cake

FF Silicone Baking Mat Review
Strawberry Chocolate Vanilla Drip Cake are what the chocolate covered strawberries decorated.

Having carried out this Silicone Baking Mat Review I am now a complete convert to baking with silicone. I wholeheartedly recommend every kitchen, where baking takes place, to switch to these silicone baking mats. Over time they will pay for themselves and are more environmentally friendly than using baking parchment.

Whatever you are making, baking and creating in your kitchens today, I hope that you are having fun, smiling and enjoying the feast you are preparing.

Sammie xx

GOLDENSPOON provided me with the 2 Premium Silicone Non Stick Baking Mats for the purpose of a review. All views and opinions are my own, as are the recipes, photographs and content of this post. I was not paid to review this product. Please see my  Disclosure Policy.

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British Bakeware Product Review

Hello lovely readers. Today I am so thrilled to share with you my British Bakeware Product Review.

British Bakeware produce a wide range of fantastic bakeware that is all manufactured in the UK. If you need a well made, durable piece of baking kit, British Bakeware stock it.

I was sent a Large Baking Tray, 3lb Loaf Tin and 12 Cup Muffin Tray to review. I had so much fun developing recipes and testing each product and am excited to share the final results and my thoughts on their products with you.

Large Baking Tray dimensions 33cm length x 24cm wide x 2.5cm deep

British Bakeware Product Review
Large Baking Tray with a non-stick finish.

This Large Baking Tray has a double non-stick coating and is oven, freezer and dishwasher safe.

Oh, did I mention it comes with a 5 year guarantee – yep a whole 5 years.

I really put this baking tray through it’s paces. From baking sausage rolls, on Christmas Eve, to roasting chicken, making biscuits and baking rolls. This baking tray performed time and time again.

Food cooked evenly and the baking tray was a dream to clean. Although it is non stick I gave it a very light coating of oil prior to using it. Doing so prolongs the life any non stick bakeware.

During my British Bakeware Product Review I developed new recipes. Using this Large Baking Tray I made Roast Chicken Noodle Soup  that is very low in fat and  these Cherry Bakewell Cookies for a little treat!

Cherry Bakewell Cookies
Cherry Bakewell Cookies cooling on the baking tray.

I deliberately did not grease the baking tray, or line with parchment paper. These cookies were very easy to remove, using a palette knife. That for me was the ultimate non-stick test and this large baking tray passed with flying colours.

In future I would line with baking parchment, as it is a great baking tray and I don’t want to scratch it!

Overall I was very impressed with the quality, durability and versatility of this Large Baking Tray.

12 Cup Muffin Tray dimensions 36cm length x 26cm wide x 3cm deep

British Bakeware Product Review
12 Cup Muffin Tray

This Muffin Tray has a double non-stick coating and is oven, freezer and dishwasher safe.

Yes this Muffin Tray also has a whopping 5 year guarantee.

Although this is a Muffin Tray I wanted to bake deep cupcakes in it, to see how it performed.

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes
Baked, golden Vanilla Bean Cupcakes using the 12 Cup Muffin Tray.

With the 12 Cup Muffin Tray I baked a batch of these Vanilla Bean CupcakesThe cupcakes baked evenly across the tray and were easy to remove.

What I particularly like about this Muffin Tray is the lip it has, that runs around the outside, on the top of the tray. This is a fantastic feature when baking any muffin or cupcake with a streusel topping. Inevitably some of the crumbly streusel gets knocked off the top of the muffin whilst moving the tray, this little addition ensures the sticky, crumbly mixture, doesn’t end up on your oven floor!

I do not know anyone who enjoys having to clean the oven!!!

So top marks for that British Bakeware.

This 12 Cup Muffin Tray was easy to clean, baked evenly and can be used for muffins and cupcakes. It is a complete winner all round.

3lb Loaf Pan dimensions 21cm long x 13cm wide x 12cm deep.

British Bakeware Product Review
3lb Loaf Tin

The 3lb Loaf Tin has a non-stick coating and is also oven, freezer and dishwasher safe.

Those of you who know me, know I love baking all sorts of delicious cakes, cookies, pies……

Did you know that I bake almost ALL of our bread?

This 3lb Loaf Tin has been used almost every day, since just before Christmas. I have baked our regular variety of loaves and created 2 new recipes in honour of this loaf tin – if it is possible to love an item of baking equipment, well, let’s just say, don’t try and come between me and this loaf tin. Are we clear???

Time after time it produced fantastic loaves. If you bake bread you NEED this tin. If you don’t and want to start get THIS tin.

I have been baking bread for the best part of 40 years (I started very young!!) and this is, without question, the best non-stick loaf tin I have ever used.

I created a recipe for a Wholemeal Loaf and a Spiced Fruit Loaf

The fruit loaf has a very, very sticky dough, yet it baked perfectly in this Loaf Tin.

British Bakeware Product Review
The 2nd Spiced Fruit Loaf I baked for this British Bakeware Product Review.

The 100% Wholemeal Loaf also baked beautifully in this 3lb Loaf Tin.

British Bakeware Product Review
Delicious and healthy Wholemeal Loaf.

Have I convinced you to start making your own bread yet?

I have thoroughly enjoyed carrying out this British Bakeware Product Review, not least because the products I reviewed were of excellent quality. They withstood the rigours of a normal household kitchen, although, it is probable that I bake more than most.

Whether you are a frequent baker, or not I can thoroughly recommend British Bakeware products. They are very reasonably priced, especially when you consider all three items I reviewed come with a 5 year guarantee and they are made right here in the UK.

Following this British Bakeware Product Review they will now be the first place I turn to when I need baking equipment – in fact I already have a few items on my list!!

As you know I frequently mention sharing on here. First home, wedding, birthday – how about giving a baking gift from British Bakeware? Maybe go one step further, pick a recipe (from feastingisfun of course 😉) buy the ingredients and the bakeware to bake it in and give it as a present?

Here are the links to get you started!

Large Baking Tray

12 Cup Muffin Tray

3lb Deep Farmhouse Loaf Tin

Do you enjoy baking?

Would you like to start baking?

Please let me know. I really enjoy reading your comments. I am not an expert but will always aim to give helpful advice.

Have fun baking, I’m off to do some online shopping at British Bakeware

Sammie xx

British Bakeware provided me with the 3lb loaf pan, large baking tray and 12 cup muffin tray, for me to review. All opinions and content are my own. I did not receive any payment for carrying out this review.

 

 

 

 

 

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Macadamia Nutty Chocotastic Cookies

Hi, I’m so excited to share this new recipe to all you cookie lovers, chocolate lovers and nut lovers. Welcome to my Macadamia Nutty Chocotastic Cookies!

 

Macadamia Nutty Chocotastic Cookies www.feastingisfun.com
Macadamia Nutty Chocotastic Cookies www.feastingisfun.com

 

Are you a cookie lover?  I am!

Homemade cookies are sooo much better than regular, shop bought ones. The taste is always better, you know exactly what has gone into them and you just cannot buy the smell of home baked cookies. Ooh that warm, buttery, delicious smell that drifts from the oven making your home feel – well – more like home!

These Macadamia Nutty Chocotastic Cookies so deserve their wacky name. They are stuffed to the brim with nuts, chocolate chunks and are Chocotastic!!!

Macadamia Nutty Chocotastic Cookies www.feastingisfun.com
Macadamia Nutty Chocotastic Cookies www.feastingisfun.com

 

Everyone who has tried these cookies had absolutely fallen 100% in love with them and immediately requested more. Now that, has got to be a reaction worth sharing.

Sharing is a major inspiration in my baking. I love seeing the reaction on someone’s face, when you give them something that you have made with them in mind. For this recipe, the inspiration was our children. They all work so hard at school and home and it’s wonderful to treat them.

My cookie preference, as I’ve mentioned before, on this blog, is always for oat/fruit cookie combos like these Walnut Fig Oat Cookies . But I know how much our children love chocolate and they don’t have chocolate bars very often at home, so baking something special like these Macadamia Nutty Chocotastic Cookies really is a treat for them. As I use good quality ingredients there are no hidden nasties, that is very imortant to me.

Recipe : Makes Approx. 26 Macadamia Nutty Chocotastic Cookies

225g/8oz Unsalted Butter at room temoerature

175g/6oz Dark Brown Sugar – I used muscavado sugar

1 Large Egg Yolk

1tsp Vanilla Extract

225g/8oz Plain White Flour

50g/2oz Cocoa Powder

1/4tsp Salt

175g/6oz Macadamia Nuts – roughly chopped

225g/8oz Milk Chocolate Chunks or Chips

Method : Preheat oven to 185C/170C fan.

Place the sugar and butter in a bowl.
Place the sugar and butter in a bowl.

 

You really do need the butter to be very soft. I actually put the bowl in the microwave on medium for 20 seconds, as my butter wasn’t soft enough. Ideally you want butter that you can easily push a knife, flat side down, through.

Beat or whisk the sugar and butter together, for 5 minutes, until pale and light. Don’t worry if there are still little specks of sugar once the mixture is whisked.

Add the egg yolk and vanilla extract to the bowl.
Add the egg yolk and vanilla extract to the bowl.
Whisk or beat for 5 minutes until the mixture is paler.
Whisk or beat for 5 minutes until the mixture is paler.
Sieve the flour, cocoa and salt into the bowl.
Sieve the flour, cocoa and salt into the bowl.
Add the chopped nuts and chocolate chunks.
Add the chopped nuts and chocolate chunks.
Mix everything together until the have the most delicious, chocolate, nut studded cookie dough.
Mix everything together until the have the most delicious, chocolate, nut studded cookie dough.

 

Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

Using an ice cream scoop make 1" balls of cookie dough.
Using an ice cream scoop make 1″ balls of cookie dough.

 

Ensure the cookie dough balls are well spaced apart.

Press down on each cookie dough ball to flatten.
Press down on each cookie dough ball to flatten.

 

Place the cookies into the oven and bake for 15 minutes exactly. The cookies will still seem soft when baked. Remove from the oven.

Macadamia Nutty Chocotastic Cookies allow to cool completely on the tray.
Macadamia Nutty Chocotastic Cookies allow to cool completely on the tray.

 

As this mixture makes such a big batch of cookies you can freeze half of the dough, in a freezer bag, for up to 3 months, or keep wrapped in cling film and refridgerated for up to a week. Or you can wash up the baking trays and bake the rest, just as I did 😉

 

Macadamia Nutty Chocotastic Cookies www.feastingisfun.com
Macadamia Nutty Chocotastic Cookies www.feastingisfun.com

 

Once cooled, these cookies have a deep chocolatey flavour complimented by the beautiful, buttery, Macadamia nuts. Ooh these are sooo good. They have to be up there, at the top of my favourite cookies ever list. What? Don’t you have a list???

Make these for yourself, to share with friends, family, neighbours. If you know someone who loves cookies bake them some Macadamia Nutty Chocotastic Cookies and watch the smile spread across their face as they take their first bite!

If you love cookies then you will love these Extreme Chocolate Cookies 

Cheer Up Chocolate Chip Cookies

Sammie x

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Lemon Shortbread Cookies

Hi, I’ve done it!! I’ve managed to make  Lemon Shortbread Cookies that are light, lemony and crumbly, but still taste of shortbread!

Lemon Shortbread Cookies - perfect on their own, or with a cup of tea!
Lemon Shortbread Cookies – perfect on their own, or with a cup of tea!

I can’t tell you how good it feels to get back to baking since my recent stay in hospital. I’m not out of the woods yet, but at least I’m on the right path! Baking relaxes me, allows my creative juices to get flowing and produces something scrummy to eat afterwards. Not bad eh???

These are so delicious, my favourite Lemon Shortbread Cookies!
These are so delicious, my favourite Lemon Shortbread Cookies!

 

Buttery, lemony, light Lemon Shortbread Cookies. The perfect biscuit, in my book anyway. I encourage you to try this recipe if you are a fan of lemon and shortbread. I think you get the picture – I LOVE THESE COOKIES!

Lemon Shortbread Cookies - my favourite!
Lemon Shortbread Cookies – my favourite!

 

Recipe : Makes 20-24 Lemon Shortbread Cookies

150g/5oz Caster Sugar

225g/8oz Unsalted Butter – room temp

1 Large Egg Yolk – free range

1tsp Vanilla Extract

1tbsp Lemon Zest – finely grated (approx 1 medium lemon)

1/4 tsp Salt

300g/10oz Plain White Flour

Extra Sugar for sprinkling

Method :

Whisk the sugar and butter together until light and fluffy.

Add the room temp egg yolk, vanilla, lemon zest and salt. Whisk until thoroughly combined.

Add the flour and mix (I do this by hand) until all the ingredients are just incorporated and the cookie dough comes together.

Place half of the cookie dough onto a piece of cling film.
Place half of the cookie dough onto a piece of cling film.

Using your hands shape the dough into a log. Wrap tightly in the cling and repeat with the other half of the dough.

Tip: if you wipe your worktop/board with a damp, clean cloth, the cling film will lay flat and stay in place!

 

These cookie dough logs need to be refrigerated until firm - approx 1 hour.
These cookie dough logs need to be refrigerated until firm – approx 1 hour

 

When firm, slice the log into individual rounds.
When firm, slice the log into individual rounds.

When ready to bake preheat the oven to 175C/160C fan.

Place the uncooked Lemon Shortbread Cookies onto a non stick baking tray and sprinkle with sugar.
Place the uncooked Lemon Shortbread Cookies onto a non stick baking tray and sprinkle with sugar.

 

Bake the Lemon Shortbread Cookies for 12-15 minutes, until golden brown and set (cooking time will be slightly longer, if you’ve cut the dough rounds thicker – my first batch took 18 mins!).

Remove from the oven, when cooked and then sprinkle a little more sugar over the cookies (I use granulated sugar for sprinkling).

Leave to cool on the tray for 10 mins then transfer to a cooling rack.

These Lemon Shortbread Cookies actually improve on keeping, in an airtight container, if you can wait???

Now think of someone you know, who loves lemon, pop some cooled cookies in a cellophane bag, tied with pretty ribbon and make their day!

An unexpected gift is a wonderful way to show someone that you care and food ALWAYS tastes better when it’s shared.

Do you like to bake and share? I’d love to hear your stories.

Keep smiling, Sammie x.

 

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Extreme Chocolate Cookies

Hi, have I got a treat for you today – Extreme Chocolate Cookies. Ooh if you love cookies and need a chocolate fix then these babies are definitely for you!

These Extreme Chocolate Cookies - perfect with a cup of tea!
These Extreme Chocolate Cookies – perfect with a cup of tea!

 

I’ve been unwell lately, including a 2 week stay in hospital (I’ll save that for another post). Having been home for 2-3 weeks now, today was the first day I really had the energy to bake. So, unashamedly I decided to make these Extreme Chocolate Cookies for our gorgeous children and my wonderful hubby, who has taken THE BEST care of me. I really do love that man.

Rows of Extreme Chocolate Cookies. Is there a better sight??
Rows of Extreme Chocolate Cookies. Is there a better sight??

 

I know that I’ve said it before, but baking or cooking for others, especially my family, is one of the ways I like to show my love for them. Chocolate is not my go-to favourite Cookie, I favour nutty, fruity, oat cookies, BUT, I obviously had to try one of these and they are my favourite chocolate cookies to date!

Extreme Chocolate Cookies - my favourite chocolate cookie ever!!
Extreme Chocolate Cookies – my favourite chocolate cookie ever!!

 

Recipe : Makes 18 Extreme Chocolate Cookies

225g/8oz Unsalted Butter softened

150g/5oz Dark Soft Brown Sugar

1 Large Egg at room temp.

1 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract

1/8 tsp Sal

225g/8oz Plain White Flour

50g/2oz Cocoa Powder

1/4 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda

100g/4oz White Chocolate Chunks

150g/5oz Milk Chocolate Chunks

Method : Preheat oven to 170C/155C fan

In a large bowl add the butter, sugar and salt. Whisk until well combined and fluffy.

Add in the egg and vanilla extract to the whisked butter/sugar.
Add in the egg and vanilla extract to the whisked butter/sugar.

 

Whisk in the whole egg and vanilla extract.

Now chop up the white and milk chocolate into chunks.

These chocolate chunks are what make the cookies EXTREME!!!
These chocolate chunks are what make the cookies EXTREME!!!

 

Add the flour, cocoa, bicarb and chocolate chunks to the bowl.

Once combined these ingredients make Extreme Chocolate Cookies!
Once combined these ingredients make Extreme Chocolate Cookies!

 

Mix all of the ingredients together until just combined. Take about a tablespoon of mixture, roll into a ball shape and place onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Repeat until all the mixture is used.

These cookie dough balls are about to be squished!!!
These cookie dough balls are about to be squished!!!

 

Wash your hands, they WILL look like you’ve been making mud pies!!!! Now using your fingers squish the cookie balls, they will still spread a bit whilst cooking.

The finger marks leave a pretty pattern even once baked!
The finger marks leave a pretty pattern even once baked!

 

Place the baking sheets in the oven and bake for 15-20 mins. I rotated my baking sheets halfway through the cooking process so that the cookies baked evenly. This is fine with cookies NOT cupcakes!!!

Once baked remove from the oven and allow the Extreme Chocolate Cookies to cool on the trays for 5 mins, then transfer the cookies to a cooling rack.

Inhale deeply. The smell of baked Extreme Chocolate Cookies is gorgeous!
Inhale deeply. The smell of baked Extreme Chocolate Cookies is gorgeous!

 

Whilst cooling I sent the children a text (at school – rebel mummy!!!) and put the kettle on for a lovely cuppa!!

I can’t tell you how good it feels knowing I’m getting back to being me. Sooo good.

Am I alone? Why do you bake? I’d love to hear what motivates you?

Until next time have fun, feasting, sharing and smiling.

Sammie x

 

 

 

 

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Cranberry Oat Cookies

Hi, there. How are you today? I woke up and felt the need to bake – it’s been too long. Then I checked my posts and realise it’s been ages, I mean like a gazillion seconds, since I’ve posted a Cookie recipe!! So, today I bring you my Cranberry Oat Cookies.

Cookies - I need Cookies!!!!
Cookies – I need Cookies!!!!

 

Now that doesn’t mean I haven’t baked Cookies since the last Cookie post, just that I’ve baked Cookies I’ve already posted. Confused yet??? Any how I baked a a batch of Cranberry Oat Cookies. Oh my!! I think these may be my favourite Cookies today!!!

 

These Cookies are a mash-up of two previous recipes I’ve posted – Cranberry and Almond Cookies and Apricot and Oat Cookies!

So these delish Cranberry and Oat Cookies also have Almonds added!
So these delish Cranberry Oat Cookies also have Almonds added!

 

I really fancied Cranberries, Oats and Almonds. So I made these Cookies throwing in all the ingredients hoping they would turn out ok. Oooh they are so much more than ok they are scrumptious.

 

Scrumptious Cranberry and Oat Cookies - yum x
Scrumptious Cranberry Oat Cookies – yum x

 

Recipe :  Makes 18-20 Cranberry Oat Cookies

150g/5oz  Caster Sugar

225g/8oz  Unsalted Butter – room temp

1  Large Egg Yolk

1tsp  Vanilla Extract

1/2tsp  Almond Extract

1/4tsp  Salt – I use Kosher (no additives)

175g/6oz  Plain White Flour

175g/6oz  Oats – not quick cook

50g/2oz  Flaked Almonds

Method :

Preheat the oven to 175C (160C fan).

Into a large bowl add the butter, sugar and salt.  Beat together until pale and fluffy – I used an electric whisk, a stand mixer with the paddle attachment fixed is fine.

Add the egg yolk and vanilla/almond extracts and thoroughly mix in. Next add the flour, oats, cranberries and flaked almonds.  Mix until just combined.

Take about a heaped tablespoon of the Cookie dough and roll into a ball using your hands.  Place the Cranberry Oat Cookie dough balls onto baking sheets (line with parchment paper if not non stick).

Cookie Dough Balls
Cranberry Oat Cookie Dough Balls

 

Gently press down on the cookie dough balls so they just become flattened.
Gently press down on the cookie dough balls so they just become flattened.

 

Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown. Then remove from the oven.
Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown. Then remove the Cranberry Oat Cookies from the oven.

 

Once golden, remove from oven and allow to fully cool on the baking sheets.  This allows the Cranberry Oat Cookies to firm up.  These Cookies are particularly scrumptious with a nice, cold glass of milk.

Cookies and milk - the perfect combination.
Cookies and milk – the perfect combination.

 

One of my best friends has been unwell recently, a fresh delivery of Cookies will be just the boost she needs.

Who will you share your Cookies with?

Remember, food always tastes better when it’s shared.

Sammie x

 

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Apricot Oat Crumble Cookies

Hello, how are you today?  If you’ve taken a look at my blog before, you might have noticed that I rather like Cookies, ooh and Biscuits (is there a difference??)!  This recipe for Apricot Oat Crumble Cookies started forming in my brain last week – but I was out of oats.  I’m very glad I ordered some with my shopping cos these Cookies are scrumptiously moreish!!

Apricot and Oat Crumble Cookies - afternoon tea at its best!
Apricot Oat Crumble Cookies – afternoon tea at its best!

I like to play around with textures as well as tastes and with these Crumbly Oaty Cookies you also get nice nuggets of Apricot which have a lovely chewy texture.  The addition of Demerera sugar also adds a very slight toffee taste and extra crunch.  So all good then!

The first batch of Apricot Oat Crumble Cookies were made and baked.  My special friend and chief taste tester agreed to the arduous task of tasting them – it’s a tough job, but she manages!!!  They were given a thumbs up!! Obviously I had to try one as well and they are scrummy, plus with fruit and oats in them they must be good for you.  Well that’s my theory anyhow!!

Recipe : ApricoT Oat Crumble Cookies

2oz  Demerera Sugar

3oz  Caster Sugar

8oz  Unsalted Butter – room temp

1 Large Egg Yolk – pref. free range

1tsp  Vanilla Extract

1/8tsp Salt – I use Kosher

4oz  Dried Apricots

4oz  Ordinary Rolled Porridge Oats (not quick cook)

6oz  Plain White Flour

Method :

In a bowl cream the butter and sugars together, ideally with an electric whisk (by hand with a wooden spoon is fine, just ensure the mixture is well beaten.

The whisked butter and sugars. The Demerara sugar gives the mixture more colour.
The whisked butter and sugars. The Demerara sugar gives the mixture more colour.

Add the egg yolk, vanilla extract and salt to the mixture and beat in well.  Take the dried Apricots and chop them roughly into small 1/2cm pieces.  You want the pieces of Apricot small enough so that they distribute evenly throughout the cookie dough, but big enough to be golden nuggets of chewy fruit that contrast with the crumbly cookie texture.

Here's a pic of how I chopped the apricots!
Here’s a pic of how I chopped the apricots!

Into the bowl add the oats, flour and place the chopped apricots on top.  Mix together until just combined.

Placing the chopped apricots in top of the flour helps to stop them all clumping together.
Placing the chopped apricots in top of the flour helps to stop them all clumping together.

Scoop a desert spoonful of the cookie dough and shape into a ball using your hands. I placed 6 cookie dough balls on both of the baking trays I used. Obviously the bigger the ball, the larger the cooked cookie will be!

Note : Unless you are confident that your baking trays are non stick, it’s best to line them with parchment paper.

Lightly press down on the dough balls, to flatten them into an even round shape.  Place the baking trays in the I’ve and cook for 15-25 minutes until golden brown on the bottom (see photo).  Again the cooking time will depend on the size and thickness of your cookies.

Note the underside is much deeper in colour than the top.
Note the underside is much deeper in colour than the top.

If the bottom is not golden (as above) return your cookies to the oven for an extra couple of minutes.  The first tray I got out of the oven looked fine, however, when I tried to turn the cookie over to check the underneath, it completely fell apart – I put the tray bake in the oven for an extra 5 minutes and the photo above shows the result!

When cooked properly, even whilst still warm, the cookie will hold it’s shape, allowing you to check the underside.  Leave the cookies to cool completely on the baking tray.

Whilst cooling, ring a friend, or your mum, or someone you’ve been meaning to invite round for ages.  Pop the kettle on, quickly clean up (vacuum, throw some bleach down the loo, anti bac wipe the cat…..). No, no, no!! Whoever you’ve invited round doesn’t want to see you (and the cat!) frazzled to within an inch of your life. Relax.  Put on some whale music if necessary (although if you need that you might want to invite so and so tomorrow – just saying!!!).

Tea anyone???
Tea anyone???

Enjoy feasting and having a good natter, with a friend, over Apricot Oat Crumble Cookies.  Have fun catching up and sharing in each other’s news.  One of the most precious gifts you can give is your time. We all feel loved and valued when others take time out of their busy schedules to share part of their day with us!

I know, because my sister – who is the best sis in the world – took time out of her day for me today.  Thanks babes, love you with all my heart xx.

Sammie x

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Baking and Why I Love it?

Hello, I hope you are having a good day. Why do I love baking?

The BEST Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting.
The BEST Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting.

Firstly and above all other reasons, I find it really relaxing.  I’m constantly amazed that I really can have a batch of cookies, a cake or loaf of bread baking in the oven in literally minutes!

Secondly I’m always surprised when recipes turn out well.  I’m not sure why this is – as I do have a tendancy to ‘interprete’ recipes, as opposed to following them strictly.

I'm amazed every time I bake these Pecan & Sultana sticky buns. They are scrummy!
I’m amazed every time I’ve baked these Pecan & Sultana sticky buns. They are scrummy!

Thirdly, I have learnt, over the many years of baking and cooking to trust my nose.  Following on from my bad habit if not entirely following recipes to the letter, I also very rarely time things as they are baking or cooking!  I know, sooo bad.  But, since I’ve started my blog I’m getting better.  It’s a work in progress!!!!

Not enough pastry for a Sausage Plait, so made a huge Sausage Roll a cut a diamond pattern to make it look pretty!!
Not enough pastry for a Sausage Plait, so made a huge Sausage Roll a cut a diamond pattern to make it look pretty once baked!!

Next (fourthly didn’t sound quite right?!) I love the smell emanating from the oven as something is nearing it’s cooked stage.  In fact it is this very thing that stops me from timing how long something takes to bake.  My nose alerts me, with alarming accuracy!

As with planting a seed, caring and watering the plant that grows, then picking the produce or flowers, so too, in all types of cookery and baking, the ‘magic’ of turning a wet, lumpy mess into moist, delicious muffins never, ever fails to thrill me.  Yes I make mistakes, but I am all the better for it, tweaking ingredients, methods etc. It’s fun!!

A sticky, wet, Morello Cherry and Almond batter....
A sticky, wet, Morello Cherry and Almond batter….

Once cooked, cooled and sliced looks like this…,.

A moist, cooked cake, with a scrumptious Morello Cherry centre!!!!
A moist, baked cake, with a scrumptious Morello Cherry centre!!!!

Baking and cooking allow me to explore the creative side of my nature and I am never short of taste testers who give me the honest feedback I value.

Lastly and following on from the previous point, I get to share! l love the reaction from anyone I share my food with, whether it be the latest homemade ice cream flavour, devoured by our children and their cousins, or an individual portion of lasagne, given to one of my best friends, after a days serious walking (we’re talking 6-10miles here people!!!), knowing, she not only doesn’t have to think about what to have for dinner, but half an hour in the oven and a home cooked meal is ready.

Sharing is such an important part of who I am and so it naturally translates to my baking and cooking.

Made for sharing, totally delicious & good for you!!! Well they contain fruit......
Made for sharing, totally delicious & good for you!!! Lemon iced baked fruit buns.

Many people’s diet is restricted by the fact that they live alone.  If I’m making a Chilli for five of us it’s not any bother to make it for 6 people and it is always greatly appreciated.

None more so than by me.  The week following our eldest daughter’s birth, neither my husband or I cooked.  Family and friends brought round a main meal, everyday of that week.  Now I can honestly say we’ve probably tried every single type of Shepherds pie ever made!  But do you know what?  To a nursing mum (me) and a severely sleep deprived couple, who had absolutely no idea of what parenting was all about, each evening meal was truly wonderful.  I was constantly hungry and my gorgeous hubby has never, ever been a fan of cooking and our needs were met.

Beautiful Pink Cupcakes, made by my wonderful Mummy, for our Daughter's Birthday. Love you Mummy xxxx
Beautiful Pink Cupcakes, made by my wonderful Mummy, for our Daughter’s Birthday. Love you Mummy xxxx

I have never forgotten the love and practical kindness shown to us, during the earliest days of parenthood (where bathing the baby would take over an hour – I’m not joking!!!).

My aim is to now show that same practical love to others and in doing so encourage others to also share.

Handing my shopping delivery man a cupcake. Thank you for carrying all my heavy shopping through to the kitchen.
Handing my shopping delivery man a cupcake. Thank you for carrying all my heavy shopping through to the kitchen.

It’s amazing how many people you can make smile, just because you take a moment to notice them and share with them!

Try it.  I’d love to know how you get on?

Sammie xx

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Almond and Cranberry Cookies

Hello, thank you for stopping by to take a peek at my blog and the recipe for these scrumptious Almond and Cranberry Cookies.

Almond and Cranberry Cookies - delish xxx
Almond and Cranberry Cookies – delish xxx

Just because Cranberries are naturally in season over the holiday period, doesn’t mean you can’t use the dried version any time of the year!

Pop the kettle on - I need to be dunked!!!
Pop the kettle on – I need to be dunked!!!

Dried cranberries have a sweet/tart flavour and work wonderfully well in these cookies as they are not too sweet.  Most supermarkets stock Craisins (by Ocean Spray) otherwise I’ve found reliable stockists of dried Cranberries on Amazon/eBay.

Recipe :  Makes 20 – 30 cookies

5 oz  Caster Sugar

8 oz  Unsalted Butter (at room temp)

1/4 tsp Salt (I use Kosher – no additives)

1 tsp Vanilla Extract

1/2 tsp. Almond Extract

1  Large Egg Yolk (free range if possible)

2 oz  Ground Almonds

8 oz. Plain White Flour

4 oz  Dried Cranberries

2 oz  Flaked Almonds

Method :

Preheat the oven to 160C fan ((175C conventional oven).

Line 2 baking trays with parchment paper (if the trays aren’t non stick).

Cream together the butter, sugar and salt, using either an electric whisk (much easier!!) or wooden spoon, until pale and smooth to touch (rub a little of the mixture between your thumb and forefinger, it should not feel grainy).

Whisk/beat in the Egg Yolk, Vanilla and Almond extracts.

I now always switch to a spoon for mixing the dry ingredients, this way I can ‘feel’ when everything is combined and avoid overworking the flour (this can lead to tough cookies).

Add the Plain White Flour, Ground Almonds, Dried Cranberries and Flaked Almonds.  Mix until all the ingredients are just combined.

This dough looks yummy enough to eat!!
This dough looks yummy enough to eat!!

Using a teaspoon form small balls (the size of large marbles) of the mixture, approx 12-14 balls – this will use approx half of the mixture.

Place the cookie dough balls, spaced evenly, onto the baking sheets.  Lightly press the balls to form 1/4 inch thick disc.

Put both baking trays into the preheated oven and cook for 18-25 mins.  They are cooked when they have turned a light, golden colour.  Do not expect the cookies to be hard, they will firm up on cooling.

Leave to cool fully on the baking tray.

These taste even better the next day.  I had to hide them to find that out!!!!
These taste even better the next day. I had to hide them to find that out!!!!

With the remaining cookie dough, wipe your worktop with a clean cloth and place at least 14 inches of cling film onto the worktop.  Where the worktop is damp it will anchor the cling film in place!!

Place the cookie dough onto the cling film, form into a roll (approx 1 1/2 inch diameter).  Wrap with the cling film and place in the fridge, it will keep fresh for up to one week.  Or you can place in the freezer for up to one month.

Defrost the dough overnight in the fridge.  To bake, preheat the oven and remove the dough log 20 minutes before slicing – this allows the dough to warm slightly and will help stop the cookies cracking when being cut.

Slice 1/4 inch (1cm) discs from the dough log, place on baking sheets as before and bake for 18-25 minutes.  The time will vary depending on the diameter and thickness of your cookies.

Again they are cooked when lightly golden.  Leave to cool on the baking sheet.

These cookies make lovely gifts.  Pack a few up in a cellophane bag, tied with a pretty ribbon, reuse a Christmas chocolate tin and fill with Cookies, or pop some into a Kilner jar!

A super present, people can see what they're being treated to!!!!
A super present, people can see what they’re being treated to!!!!

Not only are these so easy to make, you can keep the dough stored in the fridge to whip out when unexpected guests arrive and have freshly baked cookies, ready to share with a smile and a cuppa!

Food really does taste better when it’s shared!!

 

 

 

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