Baking

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

I have hundreds of recipes pinned on my Pinterest Boards but I have never actually made any of them. Its been more of a case looking at the photos for inspiration. I thought it was about time I tried when I came across a recipe yesterday for Peanut Butter M&M Cookie Bars from A Kitchen Addiction

 

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In the UK we sadly don’t have peanut butter M&M’s  only a few specialist sweet shops sell them for twice the price they should be. I used to work for an airline and was able to get hold of them all the time and they are amazing! There is something so heavenly about chocolate and peanut butter together, my favorite being Reeces Peanut Butter Cups. I had to swap the peanut butter M&M’s for normal chocolate chips but they still turned out yummy!

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Another novelty about this recipe for me was that as it was an American recipe the ingredients were in Cups, so it was the first time I got to use my lovely new measuring cups.

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Recipe

1/4 cup butter                                                 1 cup plain flour

1/3 cup brown sugar                                     1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1//4 cup caster sugar                                    1/2 cup of chocolate chips

1/3 cup smooth peanut butter                    1tsp vanilla extract

1 egg

I also added 1/4 tsp of cream of tartar which gives it the cracked effect

 

Preheat oven to 180’C and grease and line a 8in (20cm) square tin

Cream together the butter and sugars

Add the peanut butter the egg and the vanilla extract and beat until smooth

Sift the flour into the mix with the bicarb, and cream of tartar, finish by adding the chocolate chips or if you are lucky enough to have peanut butter M&M’s use those.

I pressed the mix into the tin making sure it was evenly spread. And added a finishing touch of a few more of the chocolate chips and a small sprinkle of some brown sugar.

Bake for about 15mins or until the edges are golden brown. Cut into slices and serve, I guarantee this won’t last long! :)

The best thing about these is because they are quite thick as it does rise in the oven it’s that are lovely and soft and gooey. I think next time I will double the ingredients and make a bigger batch, as they have nearly gone already, they are so moreish!

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I will be trying more recipes from my Pinterest Boards so watch this space. Have a look at my boards here. And let me know if there is anything you would like to see.

I hope you are enjoying the weekend and keeping warm indoors away from the snow!

x

Baking

Mini Cakes

The Mr asked me to make some cakes for his Table Tennis team as it is their last game of the season tonight. I was going to do a big cake, but instead decided to do a selection of mini cakes, which would be easier for the team to serve and eat.

I borrowed a mini sponge tin from my mum and after the results today I will definitely be purchasing one of my own!

 

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Classic Victoria Sponge, one with jam and buttercream filling and the other with a lemon curd and buttercream filling.

 

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And finally Coffee and Walnut Cake

 

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I hope they go down well!

Baking

Sunday Smores

Sundays are always a perfect day for baking. I was in the middle of making the wedding invites when the Mr put the F1 on. I knew it was time to take a break and disappear off into the kitchen!!

I wasn’t entirely sure what to bake, I bought a new traybake tin the other day so thought it would be good to give it a try.  I couldn’t decide between vanilla or chocolate so I went with both :)

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So I sort of made this up as I went along, lol.  I thought it would be fun to add some fudge chunks to the chocolate cake batter which turned out to be not such a good idea as most of them sank to the bottom and stuck to the baking parchment :/

Once the cake was cool, I halved it through the middle and filled with a chocolate fudge frosting. And then well this is where I think I went a bit too far. On the top I put another layer of frosting and then melted marshmallows over the top under the grill. The result was yummy but way too sickly sweet.  It would work as a pud with a bit of ice cream but for me and the Mr it was too much so I needed to rectify it quickly before it was another bake destined for the bin. In the end I scraped off the melted marshmallow.

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As you can see where I scraped the marshmallow off it took some of the first layer of cake, so the top is a sort of cakey frosting mix. I know it doesn’t look pretty but it did taste good. We still have the melted marshmallow on the side that is gradually being nibbled :)

Happy St Patricks Day! x

Baking

Apricot and Almond Flapjacks

I had a bit of a baking disaster yesterday, I was trying to make a roulade, and well it completely collapsed! I vaguely remember making a swiss roll at school (not quite the same I know) so thought if I could do it then, then surely 18 years later I can do it now! It appears not!

The filling was also a bit ick, I followed the ingredients for the filling but something was not quite right, I’m kinda thinking there may have been some typos, it was a bit of a cream cheese overload! We had a taste of the collapsed roulade after all it is the taste not the appearance that counts but to be honest it wasn’t very nice, the filling was weird tasting. So sadly although I hate to see food wasted it ended up in the bin.

I was surprisingly OK about having a baking disaster, I was able to laugh about it, I guess as I was making it for pleasure rather than for an occassion or for someone special it took the pressure off, otherwise it may have been a lot of panic.

Even though I had a bit of a confidence knock yesterday I woke up feeling up for an experiment. Something I never do. I normally look through my cook books pick a recipe and follow it to the very last gram and letter.  The ingredient that inspired me was some dried apricots I had left over, I had some oats so decided to make flapjacks.

 

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I knew I would have to make some adaptions when I realised I didn’t have any golden syrup or brown sugar.  I love almonds and thought it would be a great addition to the recipe, I used both ground and flaked almonds. Instead of golden syrup I used honey, and instead of brown sugar I used regular granulated sugar.

I melted the butter, honey and sugar in a saucepan, and then added the oats, dried apricots, ground and flaked almonds. Once it was all mixed in I pressed into a 20cm square cake tin sprinkled some flaked and (a little) ground almonds on the top and baked it on 180’c for about 25 minutes.

The outcome was delicious! I loved the nuttiness of the almonds combined with the sweetness of the apricots and the honey. I loved the taste of the honey rather than the golden syrup and will definitely use that as a replacement and it gave the flapjacks a lovely  moist gooey taste. The test was the Mr, and when he came home he gave the thumbs up and seemed to really enjoy them, I know because they’ve nearly all gone! :)

 

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Okay so for some of you serious bakers out there my experiment may seem a little simple, but I am pleased with my first step into the world of experimenting and creating and adapting recipes to make my own bakes. The Mr is always on at me to try it and throw out the cook book, and seeming as these worked out quite well I have the confidence to try experimenting again. So with the roulade disaster behind me and a brand new recipe in my own cookbook you can watch this space :)

 

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(P.S Thank you for the new likes and follows, I really appreciate it, its nice to know people are stopping by and I’m not just talking to myself :) )

Baking

Happy Mother’s Day

I hope you all enjoyed your Mothering Sunday, to all mum’s I hope you were all really pampered. Our Mother’s Day plans had to change as my mum was taken into hospital on Thursday. I’d planned to make a fancy cake, but decided to change it to cupcakes to make it easier serving it at the bedside.

So how about Cookies and Cream Cupcakes?

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The magic of these are they have cookies added to the cake batter before baking. So the sponge is chocolate and once you have spooned the batter into your cases, you get one shop bought cookie (like Maryland or Oreos) and break it into quarters, you then add it to each cake.

The frosting is a simple butter icing with about 8 more of the cookies bashed up and mixed through. I wanted to pipe these but because of the biscuit crumbs it was almost impossible to do. So instead I piled the icing on with a pallete knife. To finish sprinkle some more of the biscuit crumbs. These I warn you are so yummy you will not want to stop at eating just one. The crunch of the biscuit in the icing and in the cake is amazing!

 

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Here they are all boxed up for mum.

 

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Got to be better than hospital food!

Baking

Lovely cookies!

I had a wonderful day yesterday, I had my make-up trial for the wedding, and I went to try my wedding dress on as it has just come into the shop! It is  a surprise though and I am giving nothing away! :)

Let me tell you instead about this delicious cookies I made. Peanut butter and Jam Pinwheel Cookies, this is another recipe from the new Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook.

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Beautifully crumbly like shortbread, with a hint of peanut butter in the cookie, and a yummy jammy swirl running right through it. Can’t go far wrong with these!

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I only got to eat one, the Mr took them to his Table Tennis match and came home with an empty box so they went down a treat!

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Right now I feel I have to share the recipe with you so you can enjoy these as much as we did!

Ingredients

60g Smooth raspberry Jam

1tsp Cornflower

100g Unsalted butter (softened)

100g Smooth Peanut Butter

180g Caster Sugar

1 Large Egg

2tbsp Whole Milk

340g Plain Flour

1/2 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda

1/4tsp Salt

Makes 16 – 20 Cookies

1) Get ready two pieces of baking parchment, each about 38cm x 25cm (15in x 10in)

2) In a small bowl, mix the raspberry jam and cornflour together until smooth and the cornflour has dissolved.

3) Cream together the butter, peanut butter and the sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and milk.

4) Sift in the flour, bicarb and salt, mixing on s slow speed until well incorporated and the mixture forms a dough.

5) Place the dough on one of the prepared parchment pieces. Press the dough out slightly using your hands, then top with the second sheet of baking parchment. Gently roll the dough out to reach the edges of the paper. Remove the top sheet of baking parchment and spread the jam evenly over the dough, leaving about 1cm (1/2in) around the edge.

6) Carefully loosen the edge of the dough on the long side of the paper. Using the edge of the paper as a handle roll the dough up swiss-roll style, making sure to seal the seam and keeping it on the underside of the roll. Wrap the roll in cling film. Place the roll in the fridge and allow to set for a couple of hours, preferable  overnight.

7) Preheat the oven to 170C (Gas Mark 3) and line two to three baking trays with baking parchment.  Once set slice the roll into 2cm (3/4in) thick slices.

8) Place the slices on the baking trays about 5cm apart. Bake for approx 10 – 12 mins (mine took a little longer!) or until golden brown. Allow to cool completely before serving.

9) Enjoy!

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xx

Baking · Chatter

Where has the time gone!

Ok so my last post was a complete age ago! I do apologise. I suppose life got in the way, not just that but I lost my focus on the blog, posting pretty pictures of other peoples photos of weddings and from other blogs was really nice but it wasn’t me, it wasn’t my words. When I started the blog I didn’t plan for it to be a wedding blog, although to be fair I wasn’t engaged when I started the blog! I want to get back to writing about me and my life and my hobbies that I get up to. Of course the wedding is still being planned so there will be updates on that too!

So whats been happening? Well rather than boring you with details of the past few months, I am going to start a fresh from today.

I haven’t done much baking the past 3 months, both me and the Mr have been on strict diets for the wedding, I am glad to say I have lost 3 stone! I do however really miss baking and now that I have almost reached my target weight that I set for the wedding I feel like I can start enjoying baking again, but of course being careful NOT to put the weight back on! The great way to do that is to give the majority of what I bake to family and friends. I am actually planning a vintage tea party for my hen do, but more about that another time.

I recently bought the new Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook – Home Sweet Home. I already have one other of their cookbooks Cake Days. I love these books they are full of recipes that I can’t wait to try, the recipes are easy to follow and taste delicious!

The first recipe I tried from the new book was the Strawberry Milkshake Cupcakes, and my do they taste good they really do taste like strawberry milkshake!

 

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If you are familiar with the Hummingbird Bakery you may know that they tend not to pipe their icing preferring to smooth it on with a pallete knife, I however cannot resist a bit of piping I think it gives it a great finish to a cupcake. I decided to pipe little peaks rather than a swirl as it kinda makes it look more like a strawberry, I also added some freeze dried strawberries sprinkled it onto the top to finish it off.

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As I am starting to really get back into baking I had to treat myself to some measuring cups.

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I didn’t have any before and when I saw these on the John Lewis website I HAD to buy them. It means all the recipes I bypass because of cup measurements  I can now give them a try!

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xx