Vanilla Mini Egg Nest Cupcakes

Easter Sunday is tomorrow and I simply couldn’t resist one last Easter themed bake. So here are my Vanilla Mini Egg Nest Cupcakes.

FF Vanilla Mini Egg Nest Cupcakes

Vanilla cupcakes, swirled with real chocolate buttercream, sprinkled with dark chocolate curls and mini eggs nestled in the centre.

Delicious Vanilla Mini Egg Nest Cupcakes have the perfect balance of cake, chocolate buttercream and Cadbury’s mini eggs.

RT Vanilla Mini Egg Nest Cupcakes
Vanilla Mini Egg Nest Cupcakes beautiful in tulip wrappers.

With ALL of the chocolate that is around over the Easter period I wanted a vanilla cupcake to provide balance. Don’t get me wrong I love a deep chocolatey cake, like my Chocolate Sparkle Cake but sometimes too much chocolate can be over powering!

I adore the crisp, vanilla shell on Cadbury’s mini eggs and wanted to echo that in the cupcake. Likewise, a lighter chocolate buttercream, piped on these cupcakes, works with the mini eggs, rather than swamping them.

RT Vanilla Mini Egg Nest Cupcakes
Vanilla Mini Egg Nest Cupcakes a little portion of edible happiness.

Homemade Gifts

These Vanilla Mini Egg Nest Cupcakes are an inexpensive way of making a few packets of mini eggs go a long way and are perfect to give as gifts. I personally love homemade gifts and these would be a very welcome gift indeed.

Wrapped in some cellophane, tied with raffia or ribbon, these portions of loveliness look so pretty. Good enough to eat in fact. My niece made a version of these and gave them to her teachers at Primary School as an end of term, Easter thank you. They were very well received!

Recipe: Makes 12 Vanilla Mini Egg Nest Cupcakes

For the cupcakes 

100g/4oz Unsalted Buter at room temperature

100g/4oz Caster Sugar

1tsp Vanilla Extract – I use Nielsen-Massey

1/8tsp – pinch Sea Salt

2 Large Free Range Eggs

100g/4oz Plain White Flour – self raising can be substituted but don’t add the extra baking powder.

1tsp Baking Powder

For the Chocolate Buttercream

300g/11oz  Icing Sugar – sifted

150g/5oz Unsalted Butter – softened

175g/6oz Milk Chocolate

2 packets of Cadbury’s mini eggs

Dark chocolate curls, or Cadbury’s flake (x2)

Method: Preheat the oven to 160C/140C, gas mark 3, 325F

Making And Baking The Vanilla Cupcakes

  • First of all place the butter and sugar into a bowl and whisk/beat until pale and fluffy.
  • Add the vanilla extract and whisk/beat until incorporated.
  • Next add 2 eggs, the sifted flour, baking powder and salt.
  • Whisk/beat slowly until all the ingredients are just combined.
  • Using a metal spoon stir the mixture 2-3 times to ensure everything is combined.
  • Place 12 cupcake wrappers into a cupcake pan.
  • Scoop just under a dessert spoonful of cake batter into each cupcake wrapper.
  • Place the cupcakes into the centre of the oven and bake for 20 minutes.
  • The cupcakes are cooked when they are a golden brown colour and spring back from a light touch.
  • As soon as they are baked remove the cupcakes from the oven.
  • If using tulip cupcake cases, as I have, allow to cool completely in the tin, if not cool for 5 minutes in the tin and then transfer to a cooling rack.
  • Transfer cupcakes in tulip wrappers to a cooling rack once cold.
RT Vanilla Mini Egg Nest Cupcakes
Vanilla Mini Egg Nest Cupcakes ready for frosting.
  • While the cupcakes are cooling make the buttercream.

Making The Frosting And Decorating The Cupcakes

  • Break up the chocolate, place in a microwaveable bowl and heat on medium power for 30 seconds at a time, stirring in between, until the chocolate is completely melted. Set to one side.
  • Whisk the sieved icing sugar, butter and vanilla extract until pale and smooth.
  • Add the cooled chocolate, whilst whisking. Continue whisking until you have light, fluffy, buttercream.
  • Fit a piping bag with a large star tip.
  • Fill the piping bag with the chocolate buttercream.
  • Pipe a single swirl around the outside edge of each cupcake.
  • Repeat, piping another swirl on top of the previous one.
RT Vanilla Mini Egg Nest Cupcakes
Vanilla Mini Egg Nest Cupcakes the nests are almost ready for their eggs.
  • Sprinkle dark chocolate curls, or broken up Cadbury’s flake around the swirls of chocolate buttercream.
  • Add mini eggs to the centre of the cupcakes.
  • I kept my colours the same, for impact, however, they also look very natural when the colours are mixed – let you creative juices flow!
RT Vanilla Mini Egg Nest Cupcakes
Vanilla Mini Egg Nest Cupcakes I kept my mini eggs all the same colour.

These Vanilla Mini Egg Nest Cupcakes are such an easy bake, yet look a lot more complicated – I can keep a secret if you can 😉.

A Savvy Purchase

Just a quick note about the tulip cupcake cases: they can be quite expensive, so I buy mine in bulk from Amazon UK. The price per wrapper is much cheaper. Better still, get together with a baking buddy and split the package and cost. I bought 100 a couple of years ago and still have plenty left!!

FF Vanilla Mini Egg Nest Cupcakes
Vanilla Mini Egg Nest Cupcakes

A delicious gift for anyone at Easter time, taking around an hour to make, bake and decorate. These can still be made in time for tomorrow.

As I said at the start of this post, Easter symbolises new birth. For me, as a Christian, that happened when I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Saviour. If you would like to know more please see Important Stuff.

How you ever considered the true meaning of Easter and what it means to you?

If you have enjoyed these Vanilla Mini Egg Nest Cupcakes here are some other mini egg recipes:

Chocolate Monster Mini Egg Cookies

Smartie Chocolate Monster Mini Egg Cookies
Chocolate Monster Mini Egg Cookies a delicious treat.

Golden Egg Chocolate Sponge Cake

FF Vanilla Mini Egg Nest Cakes
Golden Egg Chocolate Sponge Cake

Chocolate Mini Egg Brownies

Smartie Chocolate Mini Egg Brownies
Chocolate Mini Egg Brownies served with a few extra eggs!

I love reading your comments, so please keep them coming and seeing all your makes and bakes on Twitter/Instagram. Please pop a photo up and tag me in?

Wishing you all a very happy, healthy and blessed Easter.

Sammie xx

No part of this post may be reproduced or duplicated without the written permission of the owner. Please see my Disclosure Policy.

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Chocolate Monster Mini Egg Cookies

Since Easter is fast approaching I decided to take advantage of the range of chocolate eggs available and bake with some. These Chocolate Monster Mini Egg Cookies are the perfect large cookie. Soft, chewy, buttery cookies with whole Smarties mini eggs baked into the batter.

FF Chocolate Monster Mini Egg Cookies

I am thoroughly enjoying the lead up to Easter this year. Especially as last year I was unwell and in hospital over Easter, see Living With Seizures which really sucked. Although I still have seizures every day, at least I am at home, with my family.

Baking up a treat

Baking these Chocolate Monster Mini Egg Cookies is a great way to share with our children, nephews, nieces, family and friends. I love seeing the excited look of anticipation. What has mummy baked today. Also, in spite of my health issues, it gives me real joy to see the pleasure a treat brings to someone else.

Smartie Chocolate Monster Mini Egg Cookies
Watch out, these Chocolate Monster Mini Egg Cookies are very tempting!

As well as these delicious cookies, Smarties mini eggs have also made there way into Chocolate Mini Egg Brownies so I am definitely feeling the mini egg love this Easter!

I absolutely love Cadburys mini eggs and may well have polished of a packet or three whilst in hospital last year! They will feature in a recipe I have planned, but the colours of the Smarties mini eggs really grabbed my attention. Especially as they keep their shape while baking, yet soften a little. Resulting in a combination that works beautifully in this cookie recipe.

Smartie Chocolate Monster Mini Egg Cookies
Chocolate Monster Mini Egg Cookies perfect for every Cookie Monster, including me!

If you are a regular reader of this blog, you will know that I am a self confessed Cookie Monster. While I find no shame in admitting this, you should know this recipe makes 12 Chocolate Monster Mini Egg Cookies. Absolutely perfect for cookie lovers like me!

Mindful of moderation

Due to their size these cookies are most definitely not a one bite and they’re gone. In fact I had one for my lunch today with a hot cup of tea and I have to say, I was one very happy bunny (see the Easter pun there 😉).

Obviously these are intended as a treat and that’s part of the reason I give so much of my baking away. It wouldn’t be very healthy if we ate all of every batch of say Marshmallow Frosted Mango Cupcakes that I bake.

So by sharing the love, I also share the calories, that are balanced out in our home with lots of fruit and vegetables.

Smartie Chocolate Monster Mini Egg Cookies
Chocolate Monster Mini Egg Cookies a delicious treat.

Recipe: Makes 12 Chocolate Monster Mini Egg Cookies

225g/8oz Soft Light Brown Sugar

150g/5oz Unsalted Butter- at room temperature

2tsp Vanilla Extract – I use Nielsen-Massey

1 Large Free Range Egg – plus

1 Large Free Range Egg Yolk

275g/10oz Plain White Flour

1/2tsp Bicarbonate of Soda

Pinch of Salt

2 Packets Smarties Mini Eggs (2x100g)

Method: Preheat oven to 170C/150C fan, gas mark 3, 325F

Making the cookie dough

  • First of all, place the sugar and butter in a large bowl and whisk/beat for 5 minutes until pale and creamy – whisking for 5 minutes here and then after adding the eggs is very important to the finished texture of the cookie.
  • Add the vanilla extract and the eggs and continue whisking/beating for a further 5 minutes.
Smartie Monster Mini Egg Cookies
This is how light and fluffy the mixture should look now.
  • Sift in the flour, bicarb. and salt.
  • Add both packets of Smarties mini eggs
  • Fold all the ingredients together until you have uniform cookie dough.

Shaping the cookies

  • Using an ice cream scoop, scoop mounds of cookie dough onto baking parchment lined baking trays.
Smartie Chocolate Monster Mini Egg Cookies
Chocolate Monster Mini Egg Cookie dough mounds.
  • I place 4 scoops per baking tray as these cookies do spread.
  • With clean damp hands, use your fingers to press down and flatten the mounds.
Smartie Chocolate Monster Mini Egg Cookies
These cookies are ready for the oven!

Baking The Chocolate Monster Mini Egg Cookies

  • Place the cookies in the preheated oven and bake for exactly 15 minutes.
  • Once baked the cookies will be golden but still very soft. Remove from the oven and let the cookies cool completely on the baking tray. The cookies harden on cooling.
  • When cold store in an airtight container for up to 5 days. There is no way that they ever last that long in our house!!
Smartie Chocolate Monster Mini Egg Cookies
Chocolate Monster Mini Egg Cookies

These Chocolate Monster Mini Egg Cookies are utterly irresistible and so satisfying to eat, due to their size.

They are sure to be a hit with whoever you share them with.

If you have enjoyed making these Chocolate Monster Mini Egg Cookies here are some more cookie recipes:

Golden Egg Chocolate Sponge Cake

FF Golden Egg Chocolate Sponge Cake
Golden Egg Chocolate Sponge Cake

Vanilla Mini Egg Nest Cupcakes

FF Vanilla Mini Egg Nest Cupcakes
Vanilla Mini Egg Nest Cupcakes

Chocolate Mini Egg Sponge Cake

FF Chocolate Mini Egg Sponge Cake
Chocolate Mini Egg Sponge Cake

If you make any of these, or my other recipes I’d love to know how you get on. Please leave a comment and/or post a photo on Twitter/Instagram? I love seeing your makes and bakes.

Wishing you all a very happy and healthy Easter.

Sammie xx

@sammiefeasting Twitter/Instagram/Pinterest

Also entered for the month of March Simply Eggcellent over at Belleau Kitchen

simply eggcellent linky

 

 

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Cheese Bacon Breakfast Muffins

Are mornings busy in your house? They certainly are here. I always ensure there is a good breakfast on offer as it is the most important meal of the day and today I am able to share these delicious Cheese Bacon Breakfast Muffins with you, my lovely readers.

FF Cheese Bacon Breakfast Muffins

The recipe for these Cheese Bacon Breakfast Muffins was given to me Jackie Heaton, she is known as The Baking Nanna.

These delicious muffins take under 30 minutes from start to baked. Especially good for weekend and holiday breakfast baking, or as I did today, make a batch, 5 minutes in the oven to warm through the next morning and breakfast is ready.

How easy is that!

BN Cheese Bacon Breakfast Muffins
Cheese Bacon Breakfast Muffins utterly delicious warm from the oven.

The Twitter Baking Community

I met Jackie through Twitter and she is now one half of #TwitterBakeAlong. A group baking challenge run on Twitter.

This morning, when I baked these muffins, within the hour we had people on Twitter baking these delicious breakfast treats. While everyone  had a slight variation, others were coming up with ideas for future bakes. It was honestly so much fun. We laughed, smiled, shared and most of all enjoyed the fact that these Cheese Bacon Breakfast Muffins had brought us all together.

BN Cheese Bacon Breakfast Muffins
Cheese Bacon Breakfast Muffins fast food that is good for you!

I baked these muffins without cases (I couldn’t lay my hands on any white ones – it was early!), I was confident a quick spray with Wilton cake release and my British Bakeware muffin pan would be more than up to the non stick job in hand.

By all means use muffin cases, I probably will next time, just as soon as I can find my plain white ones!

As well as eating these warm, for breakfast, they also make a great addition to packed lunches and picnics. The Baking Nanna also puts them on the top of stews and casseroles aren’t they the same thing wrappers removed, in place of dumplings.

Recipe: Makes 12 Cheese Bacon Breakfast Muffins

4 Rashers Streaky Bacon – I used unsmoked. Use whatever bacon you prefer.

300g/11oz Plain White Flour

1tsp Baking Powder

100g/4oz Sharp Cheddar – grated

2 Large Free Range Eggs

200ml Whole or Semi Skimmed Milk

3tbsp Vegetable Oil

Pinch of freshly ground black pepper

Method: Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan, gas mark 6, 400F

Making The Muffin Batter

  • First of all cook the bacon until it is just crispy. I used a skillet on the hob but you can grill or bake the bacon. Place on a plate to cool then chop into pieces.
  • Sift the flour and baking powder into a large bowl.
  • Add the chopped bacon, grated cheese and pinch of black pepper to the flour and stir through – dry ingredients.
  • In a jug measure the milk. Add the 2 eggs and vegetable oil and stir with a fork to combine – wet ingredients.
  • Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until everything just comes together.
  • Muffin batter is meant to be lumpy, if you over mix you will have tough muffins.
BN Cheese Bacon Breakfast Muffins
Lumpy batter makes the lightest muffins!

Portioning And Baking The Muffins

  • Scoop the muffin mixture into the cases/pan.
BN Cheese Bacon Breakfast Muffins
These muffins are ready for the oven.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes until they are golden brown and firm to touch.
  • As soon as they are baked remove the muffins from the pan and place on a cooling rack.
BN Cheese Bacon Breakfast Muffins
Cheese Bacon Breakfast Muffins they smell as good as they look!

Such an easy recipe, that produces amazing muffins – you’ve got nuffin to lose!

These muffins are best eaten within 24 hours of being made. Store in an airtight container. They can be frozen for up to one month. Fully defrost and reheat before eating.

BN Cheese Bacon Breakfast Muffins
Cheese Bacon Breakfast Muffins perfect for feasting on in the morning.

Do you find mornings hectic?

Do you have a strategy for getting everyone up, feed and on their way?

If you love the idea of these Cheese Bacon Breakfast Muffins being a great way to grab breakfast on the go, take a look at these other ideas:

Cranberry Walnut Flapjacks 

BN Cranberry Walnut Flapjacks
Cranberry Walnut Flapjacks – perfect for sustained energy release.

Hot Cross Buns 

BN Hot Cross Buns
Hot Cross Buns – good to grab and go.

Cherry Bakewell Waffles

AJ Cherry Bakewell Waffles
Cherry Bakewell Waffles

I hope I’ve given you some ideas to take some of the stress out of busy mornings.

Please tag me in on Twitter/Instagram? I love to see what you are baking and making.

Sammie xx

@sammiefeasting Twitter/Instagram/Pinterest

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Boozy Berry Sauce

If you want to vamp up your desserts I have the perfect Boozy Berry Sauce to do it with. Raspberries, strawberries and morello cherry conserve, mingle together with a decent splash of Framboise, to make a very classy fruit sauce.

Waffles Boozy Berry Sauce
Boozy Berry Sauce delicious with Vanilla Bean Waffles.

This Boozy Berry Sauce is the work of moments, however, your dinner party guests won’t know that. We’ll just keep it a secret between us. Ok?

I firmly believe that if you can make a couple of sauces really well, it can transform your dessert menu. Pour this intensely fruity sauce, with it’s little hint of raspberry liquer, over good quality vanilla ice cream and you have yourself one extremely tasty after dinner treat!

I developed this recipe to go with my Vanilla Bean Waffles it was a fantastic pairing, what surprised me more was how well it went with my Chocolate Waffles.

Waffles Boozy Berry Sauce
Boozy Berry Sauce perfectly compliments these gorgeous chocolate waffles,

I should have realised that raspberries and chocolate are a classic pairing and this Boozy Berry Sauce with it’s delicious raspberry flavour, only need be poured over a chocolate waffle for the magic to happen. A taste bud party that you won’t want to end!

This rich fruity sauce is also perfect poured, warm, over a pavlova, piled high with whipped cream and fresh berries. Ooh crunchy meringue with marshmallow inner, fresh fruit, cream and this glorious Boozy Berry Sauce, that is one dessert I must make – soon!

Waffles Boozy Berry Sauce
Boozy Berry Sauce perfect to make ahead and keep in the fridge.

You can of course substitute the raspberry liquer, for it’s blackcurrant counterpart Cassis, ooh that would be delicious. Of course you can leave the alcohol out altogether, in which case I’d recommend adding pomegranate juice, for it’s deep purple colour and intense flavour.

I do love a recipe that is versatile. With this sauce I actually used frozen raspberries. I see no reason why other berries can’t be substituted, providing the quantities are kept the same.

For the ‘boozy’ part of this sauce, if you have both Framboise and Cassis to hand, I’d say keep with the colours and flavour – so if you make this whilst blackberries are abundant  add Cassis, for red berries and cherries I’d stick with Framboise. That said it is all a matter of taste and preference. I would advise against adding a stronger spirit, for example brandy, as it would completely over power the fruit flavour.

Recipe: Makes 6 servings of Boozy Berry Sauce

300g Raspberries

300g Strawberries – hulled and quartered

100g Morello Cherry Conserve

3tbsp Caster Sugar

1tsp Vanilla Extract- I use Nielsen-Massey

3tbsp Framboise – raspberry liquer

1tsp Corn Flour – also known as Corn Starch

Method:

Waffles Boozy Berry Sauce
Add the raspberries, sugar and Framboise to a small, heavy based pan.

Bring gently to a simmer and stir to dissolve the sugar.

Once the raspberries are gently bubbling add the cherry conserve.

Waffles Boozy Berry Sauce
Next add the morello cherry conserve to the saucepan.

Stir to mix the cherry conserve with the raspberries.

When the sauce is bubbling add the strawberries.

Waffles Boozy Berry Sauce
Add the chopped strawberries to this delicious smelling Boozy Berry Sauce.

Stir and leave to bubble away on a gentle heat for 15 minutes.

In a small bowl add the teaspoon of cornflour to 2 teaspoons of cold water.

Mix together and then pour into the sauce.

Stir until the sauce thickens – less than one minute.

Allow the Boozy Berry Sauce to continue bubbling gently on a low heat for 5 more minutes.

Allow the sauce to cool until warm before using.

Once cooled it can be poured into airtight containers and kept in the fridge for 3 days.

When needed, add the cold sauce back to a saucepan, over a medium heat bring the sauce up to simmering point.

Allow to cool slightly before serving.

Waffles Boozy Berry Sauce
Boozy Berry Sauce alongside a delicious caramel sauce.

What will you pour your Boozy Berry Sauce over?

The Caramel Sauce can be found here.

I do hope you try my Boozy Berry Sauce with or without the booze! It really is delicious and will turn any dessert into a taste adventure.

If you have enjoyed making my Boozy Berry Sauce then you’ll love these:

Blackberry Nectarine Tart 

Blackberry Nectarine Tart Sauce
Blackberry Nectarine Tart the simplest of desserts.

Raspberry Chocolate Pavlova 

Raspberry Chocolate Pavlova Sauce
Raspberry Chocolate Pavlova everyone’s favourite.

Have fun whatever you make and send me a photo via Twitter/Instagram, I really love seeing what you make.

Sammie xx

@sammiefeasting Twitter/Instagram/Pinterest

 

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Cranberry Walnut Flapjacks

Gosh mornings are busy. So much to do, yet so little time. Besides that awe are supposed to make time for the most important meal of the day – breakfast. Well I have a solution right here for you my friends –  Cranberry Walnut Flapjacks.

Cranberry Walnut Flapjacks
Cranberry Walnut Flapjacks perfect for breakfast on the go.

Breakfast, is just that – breaking the fast. Our bodies have just been starved for 6-7 hours (I’m being optimistic here), whilst we sleep. Eating a good breakfast helps kick our bodies into GO. If you are anything like me, I need a kick start in the morning!

That’s where these yummy Cranberry Walnut Flapjacks can help.

Packed full of good-for-you, slow release energy oats, one of these bars will keep you going until lunchtime. And, because it’s the morning and let’s face it eating anything can be a struggle, I threw in crunchy walnuts and chewy, slightly tart cranberries.

Yes there’s a squiggle of rich, dark chocolate on top of these beauties – it’s breakfast people, we need all the caffeine flavour we can get!!

Cranberry Walnut Flapjacks
Cranberry Walnut Flapjacks the perfect start to your day.

The beauty of these flavour and texture packed bars is that you make them ahead.

Making and baking ahead

Imagine this? It’s Sunday afternoon, you spend 15 minutes in the kitchen, whipping up a batch of these Cranberry Walnut Flapjacks and you have breakfast and snacks for the whole week.

Am I the only one who gets that mid afternoon dip around 3-4pm?

Thought not!

Also these bars also make a great mid afternoon snack and stop you grabbing for that chocolate bar/doughnut/cookie. Because we all know these give us an instant feel good sugar hit, only to slump in hunger again half an hour later. Therefore, why not wrap an extra one of these, in baking parchment and take it to work? It’ll keep those hunger pangs away until dinner time.

Cranberry Walnut Flapjacks
Wrap up one of the Cranberry Walnut Flapjacks and take it with you.

You can certainly mix up the fruit and nut element. Dried apricots with almonds, or dried figs with pecan nuts. Really the possibilities are endless, I would keep the weights the same, as the flapjack needs to hold together.

I have deliberately not used the word ‘healthy’ for these Cranberry Walnut Flapjacks, as I am aware of the sugar/butter content. I am not a nutritionist, although I would rather pop one of these bars into my daughter’s hand as she heads off for college, than have her grab a muffin or doughnut from a coffee shop!

Recipe: Make 16 Cranberry Walnut Flapjacks

250g/10oz Unsalted Butter

100g/4oz Golden Syrup (light corn syrup)

125g/5oz Light Brown Sugar

325g/11.5oz Rolled Oats (not quick cook) I use Waitrose essential oats

150g/5oz Dried Cranberries

100g/4oz Chopped Walnuts

50g/2oz Dark Chocolate (70% cocoa is ideal)

Method: Preheat the oven to 180/160C fan oven, 350F, gas mark 4

Making and baking the Cranberry Walnut Flapjacks

  • First of all, grease and line a 8″ x 11″ – 20cm x 28cm swiss roll tin/shallow baking tin, with butter and baking parchment.
  • Into a large bowl add the golden syrup.
  • Into a medium saucepan add the butter and sugar. Warm over a medium heat, stirring until melted.
  • Pour the melted butter/sugar mixture into the bowl containing the golden syrup. Stir continuously until combined.

Cranberry Walnut Flapjacks

  • Add the oats, cranberries and walnuts to the bowl.
  • Stir until all the oats, walnuts and cranberries are thoroughly coated in the melted butter/sugar.
  • Tip the mixture into the lined tin.

Cranberry Walnut Flapjacks

 

  • Using the back of a metal spoon press the mixture into the tin, forming an even layer.
  • Place the tin into the oven and bake for 20 minutes until golden brown.
  • Remove the tin from the oven and allow the Cranberry Walnut Flapjacks to cool in the tin.
  • The flapjacks will be very soft at this stage, but will harden on cooling.
Cranberry Walnut Flapjacks
When the flapjacks are slightly warm, remove from the tin.

Cutting and decorating the flapjacks

  • Using a sharp knife cut down the centre of the flapjacks. Then cut across the middle. Cut each quarter in half again. The flapjacks will still be slight soft.
  • Leave the flapjacks on the baking parchment to continue cooling and setting.
  • As soon as the Cranberry Walnut Flapjacks are completely cooled they can be drizzled with chocolate.
  • Break the chocolate into small pieces and melt in a heatproof bowl, in the microwave, using 30 second bursts. Stir well and when the chocolate is nearly melted keep stirring and the inherent heat will melt any solid pieces left.
  • You can use a teaspoon to drizzle the chocolate over the flapjacks or pour the chocolate into a disposable icing bag, snip the corner off and pipe the chocolate on.
Cranberry Walnut Flapjacks
Chocolate drizzled Cranberry Walnut Flapjacks
  • Allow the chocolate to set and then store in a tin.
Cranberry Walnut Flapjacks
Store layered with baking parchment in a tin.

While Cranberry Walnut Flapjacks are perfect anytime of day, they are especially handy to have, when time for breakfast disappears in the morning. Just grab one and eat on the go!

An added bonus, which does rely on checking the packaging, is that oats are gluten free. So even more people can enjoy a delicious, easy breakfast.

If you enjoyed these Cranberry Walnut Flapjacks then try these:

Bakewell Shortbread Bars 

FF Cranberry Walnut Flapjacks
Bakewell Shortbread Bars

Macadamia Apricot Flapjacks 

FF Cranberry Walnut Flapjacks
Macadamia Apricot Flapjacks

Lemon Drizzle Cake Bars

FF Cranberry Walnut Flapjacks
Lemon Drizzle Cake Bars

Why not bake a batch of these flapjacks and take them to work? Since I’m sure they would be appreciated. Especially by those who have skipped breakfast!

Whatever you are making, baking and creating in your kitchens, have fun preparing and sharing your feast.

Sammie xx

No part of this post may be reproduced or duplicated without the written permission of the owner. Please see my Disclosure Policy.

 

 

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Roast Chicken Noodle Soup

How good does this delicious Roast Chicken Noodle Soup look? And it tastes even better.

FF Roast Chicken Noodle Soup

Since it’s not very often I mention the words ‘low calorie’ or ‘low fat’ here, on feastingisfun, yet it would seem, I may have put on a few pounds. And I’m guessing I may not be the only one. Am I right?

Roast Chicken Noodle Soup - delicious, easy to make and virtually fat free! www.feastingisfun.com
Roast Chicken Noodle Soup – delicious, easy to make and virtually fat free

So, I’ve come up with a delicious way to help you save money and keep your weight in check, my Roast Chicken Noodle Soup.

Seriously, one roasted, chicken breast, a few veggies and this soup feeds 4 people. Also it can easily be doubled, if cooking for a crowd, or kept in the fridge, waiting for a quick, thorough re-heat, after a long day at work.

What’s not to love?

FF Roast Chicken Noodle Soup
Roast Chicken Noodle Soup

I roasted a chicken breast quarter for this recipe, but leftovers from a Sunday roast would work perfectly. Also we are having roast turkey today and I intend to make a batch of this soup with a little of the leftovers, for the week ahead.

And did I mention this soup is virtually fat free. One teaspoon of olive oil, to sauté the vegetables, is all the added fat there is.

While you could poach the chicken, instead of roasting it. Yet that would rule out leftovers AND all the flavour in this Roast Chicken Noodle Soup comes from roasting the meat, at the start.

Since I’m happy to defer to the Barefoot Contessa, Ina Garten in these matters. Because she has been cooking chicken, for her husband Jeffrey, for many, many years and if she says roasting chicken imparts the most flavour, well who am I to argue?

Why The Need For Homemade Soup?

Also have a confession to make. Because I have never liked, pre-made, chicken noodle soup. Since it is what is know in our family as ‘headache food!’ And don’t ask me how it got that name, it just did.

So, in the interests of clarity, I’m talking packet soups. You know the flat packets that when ripped open reveal powder and dehydrated vegetables. Never liked the chicken noodle one – loved minestrone though!

Freshly made Roast Chicken Noodle Soup – not a packet mix in sight!

So creating this recipe was a double challenge. Firstly to see if I could make a Roasted Chicken Noodle Soup with very little fat and secondly, to see if I could eat it (without getting a headache) and enjoy it and make it taste way better than the packet soup from my childhood. That’s three things – never mind!

Anyway, I totally scored on all points. This Roasted Chicken Noodle Soup is delicious, low-fat nutritious and no headache!!!!

This is how to make it:

Recipe: Serves 4 portions Roast Chicken Noodle Soup

Approx 225g/8oz Roast Chicken – deboned, skin off and shredded – leftovers are fine

1tsp Olive Oil

1 Medium Onion – finely diced

3 Carrots – finely diced

2 Celery Sticks – finely diced

1/2tsp Fresh Thyme – strip the leaves from the stalk (halve if using dried)

1 Chicken Stock Cube – I use Knorr dissolved in 1.2l/2 pints boiling water

100g/4oz Vermicelli or other small, dried pasta

Salt and Pepper to season

Method:

Making The Roast Chicken Noodle Soup

First of all, roast a breast quarter of chicken, at 200C/180C fan, gas mark 6, 400F for 30-40 minutes, until cooked through, if not using leftover roast chicken.

One delicious roasted chicken breast quarter.
One delicious roasted chicken breast quarter.
When slightly cooled, remove the skin and shred the chicke, discarding any bone.
When slightly cooled, remove the skin and shred the chicken, discarding any bone.

Alternatively shred approximately 225g/8oz of roast chicken or turkey.

Place a large pan, over a medium heat and add the oil.

Add the diced onion, carrots and celery to the pan.
Add the diced onion, carrots and celery to the pan.

Saute the vegetables until just softened, approx 7 minutes.

Add the shredded chicken and fresh thyme to the pan.

Pour over the chicken stock.
Pour over the chicken stock.

Weigh out the noodles of your choice.

I used broken up vermicelli.
I used broken up vermicelli.

Add the noodles to the soup.

Taste for seasoning. And add salt and pepper as necessary.

Simmer for 5 minutes, or until the noodles are cooked.

Serve immediately.

Roast Chicken Noodle Soup add some parsley to garnish and serve. www.feastingisfun.com
Roast Chicken Noodle Soup add some parsley to garnish and serve.

And to make a hearty meal out of this soup serve with some thick, crusty bread like my Wholemeal Cob Loaf or Wholemeal Loaf.

Also, if you want to avoid carbs altogether, you could add shredded cabbage, or spirilized courgette (zucchini).

This Roasted Chicken Noodle Soup is absolutely delicious, quick to make, fab for using up leftovers and feeds 4 people for very little. Resulting in a win-win recipe and one that I make frequently.

If you love this Roast Chicken Noodle Soup then you might want to have a look at these –

Carrot Soup also low fat,

FF Carrot Soup
Carrot Soup served with crumbled Stliton cheese.

Leek and Potato Soup leave out the cream and you will lower the calories in this delicious soup!

Leek and Potato Soup velvety comfort.
Leek and Potato Soup velvety comfort.

Roasted Garlic Butternut Squash Soup.

FF Roasted Garlic Butternut Squash Soup
Roasted Garlic Butternut Squash Soup just add crusty bread!

Soup is one of my comfort foods. Whether it’s full of chunky veggies or blitzed to a smooth velvety texture I can always count on a bowlful to make meal feel better. Also if the recipe is quick and easy that simply adds to the pleasure of making soup. Leaving me feeling relaxed and nourished.

So whatever you are baking, making and creating in your kitchen, have fun preparing and sharing your feast.

Sammie xx

No part of this post may be reproduced or duplicated without the written permission of the owner. Please see my Disclosure Policy.

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Chocolate Christmas Pudding Cookies

Chocolate Christmas Pudding Cookies. Just think on the deliciousness that is these chocolatey wonders.

Chocolate Christmas Pudding Cookies utterly delicious Christmas treats. www.feastingisfun.com
Chocolate Christmas Pudding Cookies utterly delicious Christmas treats. www.feastingisfun.com

Hello everyone how is the run up to Christmas going for you?

This time of year can be completely manic and overwhelming for me and strange as it may seem, a day spent baking and creating, although a luxury, is a great way for me to chill out and really enjoy the festive season.

I have baked these Chocolate Christmas Pudding Cookies twice now, the second batch was larger because they disappeared so quickly the first time!

Chocolate Christmas Pudding Cookies baking these is the perfect way to get into the festive mood, or escape the seasonal mayhem. www.feastingisfun.com
Chocolate Christmas Pudding Cookies baking these is the perfect way to get into the festive mood, or escape the seasonal mayhem. www.feastingisfun.com

Giving Cookies As Christmas Gifts

Ah the look on our little (teenagers but still my babies) cherubs face as I give these cookies away is priceless! I thought I’d done a pretty good job as a mum, teaching them to share. Apparently not!!! Because I’m sure these cookies would be kept in a locked safe if our children had their way.

Rich chocolate cookies, with a hint of brownie flavour, topped with melted white chocolate and sprinkles. Utterly divine, decadent and delicious.

The chocolate smell as these cookies bake will have people knocking at your front door, drawn by the aroma. If it could be bottled, the chocolate smell would be a hit. As it is, we get to bake the cookies and then eat them – sharing of course!

Due to their popularity, I would highly recommend making a double batch of the cookie dough. Since it’s hardly any extra effort and you can choose to bake all the cookies in one hit, or leave half of the dough in the fridge for up to a week.

Chocolate Christmas Pudding Cookies perfect to make, bake and decorate with children. www.feastingisfun.com
Chocolate Christmas Pudding Cookies perfect to make, bake and decorate with children. www.feastingisfun.com

My Chocolate Christmas Pudding Cookies make perfect presents. Pop a few in a cellophane bag, tie with pretty ribbon and hand out to friends, family, neighbours, the postman. I honestly don’t think a gift made with love by ourselves can be beaten.

Chocolate Christmas Pudding Cookies a great gift for anyone who live cookies - like me!!! www.feastingisfun.com
Chocolate Christmas Pudding Cookies a great gift for anyone who loves cookies – like me!!! www.feastingisfun.com

Making these cookies is a whizz! Since the cookie dough comes together in moments, then rolled into a log, wrapped in cling film and refrigerated until it is firm. The chocolate, dough log is then sliced and the slices are baked. As soon as the cookies have cooled spoon on white chocolate, add sprinkles and wait to set.

Recipe : Makes approx 25 Chocolate Christmas Pudding Cookies

225g/8oz Unsalted Butter – at room temperature

150g/5oz Light Soft Brown Sugar

1 Large Egg Yolk

1tsp Vanilla Extract – I use Nielsen-Massey 

1/4tsp Salt

225g/8oz Plain White Flour

50g/2oz Cocoa Powder – I use Callebaut 

100g/4oz White Chocolate

Sprinkles for the top of the cookies, I’ve used holly leaves and berries which I found on Amazon.

Method:

Making the Chocolate Cookie Batter

Place the butter and sugar into a large bowl. Whisk until light and fluffy.
Place the butter and sugar into a large bowl. Whisk until light and fluffy.
Add the egg yolk, vanilla extract and salt. Whisk until fully incorporated.
Add the egg yolk, vanilla extract and salt. Whisk until fully incorporated.
Sift the flour and cocoa powder into the bowl. Mix slowly until you have all the ingredients are combined.
Sift the flour and cocoa powder into the bowl. Mix slowly until you have all the ingredients combined.
You now have a bowl of the most delicious chocolate cookie dough!
You now have a bowl of the most delicious chocolate cookie dough!

Wipe your work surface with a clean, damp, cloth. Lay a good length of cling film onto the damp surface – the water ‘sticks’ the cling film in place so that it stays flat and doesn’t move.

Shaping the Cookie Dough

Place the dough onto the cling film in a rough sausage shape.
Place the dough onto the cling film in a rough sausage shape.
Wrap the dough up and roll the dough into a sausage shape approx 1.5"/3.5cm diameter.
Wrap the dough up and roll the dough into a sausage shape approx 1.5″/3.5cm diameter.

Place the dough log into the fridge for at least 2 hours (it will keep for a week, well wrapped). The dough log needs to be cold and firm before you can slice the cookies.

Preheat the oven to 180/160C fan, gas mark 4, 350F.

Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper (you may need to cook the cookies in batches). Remove the chocolate dough log from the fridge. Dont worry if the bottom of the log has flatted slightly, it just adds to the christmas pudding look.

Slicing and Baking the Cookies

Unwrap the cookie dough and slice into individual cookies approx 1cm/0.5" thick.
Unwrap the cookie dough and slice into individual cookies approx 1cm/0.5″ thick.
Place the uncooked cookies onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet, allowing room for expansion between each cookie.
Place the uncooked cookies onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet, allowing room for expansion between each cookie.

Place the baking trays into the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, depending how thick/big your cookies are. My cookies took 20 minutes to bake.

It is difficult to tell when the cookies are cooked, due to their colour! They are baked when the surface looks dull however, they don’t set hard until cooled.

As soon as the cookies are baked remove from the oven and allow to cool for at least 15 minutes on the baking tray (it is fine to leave them to cool completely on the tray) you can then move them, using a palette knife to a cooling rack. If after 10 minutes cooling they break  when trying to transfer them, pop them back into the oven for another 5 minutes.

Chocolate Christmas Pudding Cookies place onto a cooling rack to cool completely before icing. www.feastingisfun.com
Chocolate Christmas Pudding Cookies place onto a cooling rack to cool completely before icing. www.feastingisfun.com

Once the cookies have completely cooled it’s time to get creative and frost them WITH CHOCOLATE!

Decorating the Cookies – Childs Play!

Chop or break up your white chocolate and place into a heat proof bowl. Either place the bowl on top of a saucepan as I did here  Chocolate Sparkle Cake , or melt the chocolate using a microwave, on medium setting, in short 20 second bursts, stirring after each zap! Remove the bowl just before the chocolate is completely melted and stir continuosly, the heat already in the bowl will melt the remaining chocolate.

Note: When making these cookies with children, if the bowl is hot, decant the melted chocolate into a cool bowl before decorating the cookies.

Melt the white chocolate.
Melt the white chocolate.

Using a teaspoon, place the melted chocolate on the top of the cookie, encouraging it to ‘drip’ down the ‘christmas pudding’ with the back of the spoon.

Place the chocolate covered cookie onto parchment paper, sprinkle on your chosen decoration and leave to set.
Place the chocolate covered cookie onto parchment paper, sprinkle on your chosen decoration and leave to set.

The effect is so easy, yet incredible. These Chocolate Christmas Pudding Cookies really do look like the real thing with cream dripping down from the top.

Chocolate Christmas Pudding Cookies a double batch production!! www.feastingisfun.com
Chocolate Christmas Pudding Cookies a double batch production!! www.feastingisfun.com

Storing and Packaging the Cookies

Chocolate Christmas Pudding Cookies last for a week in an air tight container. I used a tin to store ours in and placed a piece of parchment paper between each layer, to keep the cookie’s presentation perfect. This is good advice if you are cooking alone and making these ahead of time.

When baking and decorating these with children, to be completely honest, you will be very lucky to even see the chocolate set!! So it’s rather a nice idea to have some already made and packaged in small cellophane bags, tied with ribbon. This way the children can take home extra cookies to share with their families.

I’m assuming everyone bakes with their children and their friends, when they come round for tea?

If you are a teacher/teaching assistant/child minder or Sunday school teacher, making the undecorated biscuits ahead of time and then letting little and big kids alike decorate their own, is a wonderful pre-Christmas activity.

 

Chocolate Christmas Pudding Cookies simply delicious www.feastingisfun.com
Chocolate Christmas Pudding Cookies simply delicious www.feastingisfun.com

Whatever you do and whoever you bake the with and for, I hope you have lots of fun and the Chocolate Christmas Pudding Cookies bring smiles from all who see and eat them!

As well as these Chocolate Christmas Pudding Cookies you may like these other Christmas Bakes:

Cream Cheese Pastry Mince Pies

FF Cream Cheese Pastry Mince Pies
Cream Cheese Pastry Mince Pies can you stop at one?

Sparkling Snowflake Cake

FF Sparkling Snowflake Cake
Sparkling Snowflake Cake edible diamonds and a dusting of flavoured icing sugar set this cake off www.feastingisfun.com

Peppermint Candy Cane Topped Brownies 

FF Chocolate Christmas Pudding Cookies
Peppermint Candy Cane Topped Brownies

Please post photos of your cookies on Twitter/Instagram and tag me in @sammiefeasting. I would love to see what fantastic decorations and creations you bake?

Do you enjoy the build up to Christmas or dread it?

Sammie xx

No part of this post may be reproduced or duplicated without the written permission of the owner. Please see my Disclosure Policy.

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Chocolate Madness Muffins

Well hello lovely people. I’ve got mayhem happening in the kitchen today, in the form of Chocolate Madness Muffins.

FF Chocolate Madness Muffins

 

Yep see what I did there? Got straight into the photos of these chocolate masterpieces. Amazingly light chocolate sponge, studded throughout with milk and white chocolate chunks and chips.

Ooh then I pressed extra chocolate chips into the top of the batter before the Chocolate Madness Muffins hit the oven.

Just in case there is any doubt about how madly, chocolatey, delicious these muffins are, I scattered a few extra chocolate chips over them, after they are cooked, because, why not??

Bring the Chocolate Mayhem on!!!

Chocolate Madness Muffins for the chocoholic in you!! www.feastingisfun.com
Chocolate Madness Muffins for the chocoholic in you!! www.feastingisfun.com

 

It’s good to shake things up once in a while, well not fizzy water – but that’s another thing entirely!

Chocolate Madness Muffins the ultimate chocolate treat www.feastingisfun.com
Chocolate Madness Muffins the ultimate chocolate treat www.feastingisfun.com

 

Traditional muffins are quite dense and usually quite good for you. These Chocolate Madness Muffins don’t tick either of those boxes (RECIPE REBEL!). I was aiming for the cafe style muffins, but better. Big, beautiful, light-as-air sponge, enveloped in these gorgeous tulip style cake wrappers.

As you unwrap your own moment of madness, it really is like having a special chocolate present all to yourself. Unless, of course, you bake these Chocolate Madness Muffins and then invite lots of friends round. Ooh imagine sharing the Madness Mayhem. Now that sounds like my kind of party.

Chocolate Madness Muffins delicious chocolate packed treat! www.feastingisfun.com
Chocolate Madness Muffins delicious chocolate packed treat! www.feastingisfun.com

Muffins are not cupcakes:

Incredibly easy to make, the only difficulty with these Chocolate Madness Muffins is waiting for them to cool. Beautiful though these tulip cake cases are, the trick to them not peeling off as they cool, is to leave the muffins to cool completely in the pan. Once they are room temperature they can be removed from the pan.

I love the tulip cases, but they can be pricey. I’ve found buying online is much cheaper than any of the supermarkets. Also, unless you are going to make huge cupcakes, these tulip wrappers make piping icing pretty tricky. If you want to add frosting it’s easier just to dollop it on with a spoon see my Chocolate Chunk Cupcakes.

Please don’t worry if you haven’t got these tulip cake wrappers, this recipe will make 18 regular sized muffins instead of 12 Mega Chocolate Madness Muffins.

Recipe : Makes 12 mega or 18 regular Chocolate Madness Muffins

225g/8oz Caster Sugar

225g/8oz Unsalted Butter at room temperature

1/4tsp Salt

1tsp Vanilla Extract

4 Large Eggs – I use free range

200g/7oz Plain White Flour

50g/2oz Cocoa Powder – I use Callebaut powder and chocolate chips/chunks

2tsp Baking Powder

100ml/4fl oz Whole Milk

150g/5oz Milk Chocolate Chunks or Chips

150g/5oz White Chocolate Chunks or Chips

Optional – extra chocolate chips for decoration after baking

Method : Preheat oven to 180C/160C fan, 350F, gas mark 4

Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
Add 2 eggs, vanilla extract and then whisk together.
Add 2 eggs, vanilla extract and then whisk together.

 

Place your flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt into a bowl. These are your dry ingredients.

Sift in half of the dry mix. Mix until just incorporated.
Sift in half of the dry mix. Mix until just incorporated.

 

Repeat, adding first the eggs and milk. Then sift in the rest of your dry ingredients and mix until you have a smooth batter.

Add in 100g/4oz of both the white and milk chocolate. Fold gently into the batter.
Add in 100g/4oz of both the white and milk chocolate. Fold gently into the batter.

 

Line a muffin pan with 12 tulip cake wrappers. Using a large ice cream scoop, add a large rounded scoop of batter into each wrapper.

And so the madness commences.
And so the madness commences.
Chocolate Madness Muffins sprinkle over the remaining 50g each of milk/white chocolate chips.
Chocolate Madness Muffins sprinkle over the remaining 50g each of milk/white chocolate chips.

 

If using standard muffin cases, scrape the scoop against the side of the bowl. Add the smoothed off scoop to each case. Then sprinkle with the chocolate chips.

These muffins are now ready for the oven.

Bake for 20-23 minutes (15-18 minutes for standard muffins) until the muffin springs back when lightly pressed.

Chocolate Madness Muffins remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan.
Chocolate Madness Muffins remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan.

 

Once cooled sprinkle over a few extra chocolate chips.

Chocolate Madness Muffins maxing out chocolate mayhem! www.feastingisfun.com
Chocolate Madness Muffins maxing out chocolate mayhem! www.feastingisfun.com

 

To make the most of these Chocolate Madness Muffins I suggest sharing them. If you have chocoholic friends invite them round for a chat and a treat. Once they see these muffins the mayhem will commence. These muffins are most definitely FUN FOOD!

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Chocolate Madness Muffins you may also like these:

Caramac Drizzle Rolo Caramel Brownies

FF Chocolate Madness Muffins
Caramac Drizzle Rolo Caramel Brownies

Chocolate Honeycomb Sponge Cake

FF Chocolate Madness Muffins
Chocolate Honeycomb Sponge Cake

Maltesers Popping Candy Cupcakes 

FF Chocolate Madness Muffins
Maltesers Popping Candy Cupcakes

 

I don’t suggest eating one of these every day, but once in a while, why not let loose?? All food is much more fun when shared.

Do you have a favourite recipe you like to share?

Sammie x

 

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Easy Crusty Baguettes

Hi, so I’ve now had feastingisfun.com for a year! Thank you to everyone who has taken time to read and comment on my blog. I appreciate you more than you could ever know. If I could bake each and everyone of you a cake I would. Instead I have a bread recipe for you!!! I know, I’m all heart – but this is a recipe you will, hopefully, thank me for. Easy Crusty Baguettes.

Easy Baguettes
Easy Crusty Baguettes

 

You may be thinking – “why bake my own baguettes when I can pick them up from the grocery store?”

Well, not everyone can get to a shop, they can be out of stock – but mostly I’m the kinda girl who is inquisitive. If I can buy something, I want to know if I can make it! Personally I get a real kick out of making something that’s so easy to buy – knowing exactly what’s gone into my creation! Easy Crusty Baguettes are so easy to make (if you have a stand mixer with dough hook or a bread maker they are easier still!) and taste so good.

The only ‘special’ piece of equipment I use is a French Baguette Tray.

French Baguette Trays
French Baguette Trays

 

I purchased my baguette from Amazon UK

Swift Faringdon Collection Bakers Pride Non-Stick French Bread Pan Carbon Steel 39 cm x 16 cm x 2.5 cm

by Faringdon Collection

 

I have made baguettes on a baking sheet, they were ok but tended to spread a little. I decided to buy one French Baguette Tray, used it, was thrilled with the results and quickly purchased a second tray. The advantages of using the baguette tray are that they really do hold the shape of the baguette, whilst it’s proving and baking and they are longer than most baking trays so you can put them in your oven at an angle – giving you longer baguettes. These Easy Crusty Baguettes are made using these trays.

Gorgeous imprint on the underside of the baguette from the tray.
Gorgeous imprint on the underside of the baguette from the tray.

 

Recipe : makes 3 x 16″ (40cm) Easy Crusty Baguettes

500g/1lb 2oz Strong White Bread Flour

1 x 7g Sachet Fast Action Dried Yeast

1tsp Sugar or honey

300ml/10floz Lukewarm Water

25g/1oz Unsalted Butter

1tsp Salt

Method :

I use a bread maker to mix, prove and knock back the dough, instructions will also be given for a stand mixer using a dough hook.

Place the water into the bowl. Add the yeast and sugar. Swirl with clean fingers to mix.

Add the flour so that it covers the water/yeast mixture. On top of the flour add the salt and butter.

If using a bread maker set the program to mix and prove.

If using a stand mixer slowly start to mix the ingredients. Once combined increase the speed to medium and mix for 10 minutes. Once mixing is complete form the dough into a ball, place back into the stand mixer bowl, cover with a clean tea towel and leave in a draft free place until doubled in size.

When the bread mixer has finished proving, or the dough in the stand mixer is doubled in size it is time to knock back the dough.

Using the bread maker mix and prover cycle, start again and allow to knead for the mix part of the cycle then stop the machine and remove the dough.

Using a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment as before, remove the towel and start the mixer on low increasing to medium to knock back and knead the proved dough. If the dough doesn’t all pull together, stop the mixer. Using clean hands pull the dough into a ball shape. Knead the dough on a medium speed for a further 10 minutes. Stop the mixer and remove the dough from the bowl/dough hook.

Place the dough on a floured surface.
Place the dough on a floured surface.
Divide the dough into 3 equal pieces - unlike mine!!!
Divide the dough into 3 equal pieces – unlike mine!!!
Roll each piece of dough out to just under the length of your baguette tray.
Roll each piece of dough out to just under the length of your baguette tray.
Place the baguette roll in the tray and using a very sharp knife slash lightly through the dough as in the photo.
Place the baguette roll in the tray and using a very sharp knife slash lightly through the dough as in the photo.

 

I could have recombined my dough to create three equal sized baguettes. What I did instead was to place the smaller baguette in a separate tray, knowing it would cook a little quicker than the other two! Very lazy I know!!

Place the trays in a draught free place and cover with a clean tea towel. Leave to prove until doubled in size.

Preheat the oven to it’s hottest setting and place a tray of hot water in the bottom of the oven. The steam produced will help give your Easy Crusty Baguettes the super crusty, crunchy exterior that is required in a baguette!

Removing the towel place the baguette trays into the oven diagonally. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the baguettes are golden, with a hard crust. They should sound hollow when rapped on the base with your knuckle.

Easy Baguettes - golden, crunchy, crust.
Easy Crusty Baguettes – golden, crunchy, crust.

 

Remove from the oven and place the baguettes on a cooling rack.

We ate one baguette the day they were made. The other two were stored in our bread tin. 2 days later I sprinkled them with a little water and placed in a preheated, hot oven for 5-8 minutes. Below is the baguette I refreshed in the oven. It tasted as good as the day it was made. Absolutely delicious with a really crunchy crust.

Easy Baguettes - perfect with cheese and chutney.
Easy Crusty Baguettes – perfect with cheese and chutney.

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Easy Crusty Baguettes then you may also like these:

Garlic Rosemary Focaccia Bread

FF Easy Crusty Baguettes
Garlic Rosemary Focaccia Bread

Oat Bran White Bread

FF Easy Crusty Baguettes
Oat Bran White Bread

Cheddar Cheese Thyme Soft Breadsticks 

FF Easy Crusty Baguettes
Cheddar Cheese Thyme Soft Breadsticks

Of course there are times when we all buy baguettes – because, LIFE! If I lived near an artisan bakery I may never have made these. Really I am so glad I tried. For minimal effort, delicious bread is on hand. Easy Crusty Baguettes so worth the few minutes prep time.

Have you ever made baguettes?

I love reading your comments and appreciate you taking the time to write them.

You may also like Crusty White Bread                                                                 Wholemeal Cob Loaf

Sammie x

This is not a sponsored post, item links provided for information purposes only.

 

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Cheer Up Chocolate Chip Cookies

Hi, I’m here to help put a smile on faces today. My Cheer Up Chocolate Chip Cookies are perfect for anyone who is feeling a little unwell, down or just needs a hug.

Cheer Up Chocolate Chip Cookies - perfect with a glass of milk.
Cheer Up Chocolate Chip Cookies – perfect with a glass of milk.

 

Our family had a BBQ over the weekend. All the cousins got together with Aunts, Uncles and Grandparents. Unfortunately I was unable to go, due to still having daily seizures. Although the children went and as always, had the best of times. Everyone had to make their own kebabs, from ingredients laid out before them and then remember which kebab was theirs once on the grill! Our children came home happy, tired and full.

The next day revealed that our eldest had been bitten 30 times by Mosquitos and our other two had a fair few bites between them as well. All in all they were feeling pretty sorry for themselves. Because they were all tired and itchy and apart from administering antihistamines/cream etc. I decided to bake them these Cheer Up Chocolate Chip Cookies!

Cheer Up Chocolate Chip Cookies.
Cheer Up Chocolate Chip Cookies.

 

Mmm these Cookies certainly did cheer the children up and although chocolate isn’t my go-to flavour, I have to say they are delicious. Hubby snaffled one after work and also agreed they were yummy, while reaching for a second one!!

Easy to make, quick to bake, if you need cheer up food fast, these cookies are the way to go.

Recipe : Cheer Up Chocolate Chip Cookies makes approx. 24

225g/8oz Unsalted Butter – room temp.

150g/5oz Caster Sugar

1/4tsp Salt

1 Large Egg Yolk

1tsp Vanilla Extract – I use Nielsen-Massey 

350g/10oz Plain White Flour

100g/4oz each –

Plain Chocolate Chips

Milk Chocolate Chips

White Chocolate Chips

Optional – extra chocolate chips for topping the cookies.

Method : Preheat oven to 180C/160C fan oven. gas mark 4, 350F

Making And Shaping The Cookie Dough

  • First of all line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Place the butter, sugar and salt into a bowl. Whisk until creamed together.
Add the egg yolk and vanilla extract. Beat until light and fluffy.
Add the egg yolk and vanilla extract. Beat until light and fluffy.
Next add the flour...
Next add the flour…
On top of the flour add the three different chocolate chips.
On top of the flour add the three different chocolate chips.
Mix until all the ingredients are just combined.
Mix until all the ingredients are just combined.
I used a 2" ice cream scoop to measure out identical scoops of cookie dough.
I used a 2″ ice cream scoop to measure out identical scoops of cookie dough.
Identical mounds of Cheer Up Chocolate Chip Cookie dough.
Identical mounds of Cheer Up Chocolate Chip Cookie dough.
Lightly press on each mound of dough to flatten it.
Lightly press on each mound of dough to flatten it.
For extra cheer I pressed a few extra milk chocolate chips into the top of the unbaked cookies.
For extra cheer I pressed a few extra milk chocolate chips into the top of the unbaked cookies.

Baking The Cookies

  • Place the baking trays into the preheated oven and bake for 10-15 minutes.
  • As soon as they are lightly golden remove from the oven.
  • While they will still feel soft if overcooked they will be hard.
Allow the Cheer Up Chocolate Chip Cookies to cool and firm up on the baking sheet for 10 mins.
Allow the Cheer Up Chocolate Chip Cookies to cool and firm up on the baking sheet for 10 mins.

 

  • Transfer to a cooling rack to finish cooling.
  • As soon as they were just cooled the children tucked into the cookies.
Cheer Up Chocolate Chip Cookies.
Cheer Up Chocolate Chip Cookies.

 

Since I only baked half of the cookie dough the rest was wrapped up in cling film to form a dough log. This can sit happily in the fridge for up to a week, or double wrap and pop in the freezer. Allow to defrost and then slice and bake your cookies as above. Finally, with the refrigerated dough log I find it’s best to leave it out of the fridge for 15 minutes before slicing.

Cheer Up Chocolate Chip Cookie dough log.
Cheer Up Chocolate Chip Cookie dough log.

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Cheer Up Chocolate Chip Cookies you may also like these:

Extreme Chocolate Cookies

FF Cheer Up Chocolate Chip Cookies
Extreme Chocolate Cookies

Caramac Caramel Cookies 

FF Cheer Up Chocolate Chip Cookies
Caramac Caramel Cookies

Chocolate Dipped Shortbread Heart Cookies 

FF Cheer Up Chocolate Chip Cookies
Chocolate Dipped Shortbread Heart Cookies

While watching the children munch on their cookie big smiles appeared. Although the itching didn’t disappear their focus was on eating. A distraction that did indeed cheer them up.

Do you have a way of cheering people up?

Sammie xx

 

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