Sausage Dog Cookies

Sausage dogs are by far the cutest dogs (well in my opnion anyway) so when my friend got me a sausge dog cookie cutter for my birthday I just couldn’t wait to make some adorable cookies. I have used the same recipe as the dinosaur cookies I made a while back because I found it worked well with using a cookie cutter and still had lots of flavour. Please make sure to send me photos if you recreate this recipe, I’d love to see all the creative designs!

Ingredients for about 30 sausage dog biscuits

175g unsalted butter, softened

200g caster sugar

1 egg

½ tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp baking powder

275g plain flour, plus extra to dust

55g custard powder

pinch salt

Method

  1. Cream the butter and sugar together using a standing mixer or hand whisk.
  2. Add the egg and custard powder and continue mixing until just combined.
  3. Then add the remaining ingredients and gently stir them together to form a sticky dough.
  4. Using your hands, bring the dough together to form a ball and wrap in cling film. Leave the dough to chill for 1 hour in the fridge.
  5. Meanwhile preheat the oven to 180°C/ 355°F and line 2-3 baking trays with baking paper.
  6. Remove half of the chilled dough from the fridge, keeping the remaining half in the fridge to keep cool whilst you work on the rest.
  7. Roll out the dough to roughly 5mm thick and then using your cutters, cut out as many as you can, swapping between each half of dough until you have used it all up.
  8. Bake the biscuits in the preheated oven for 10 mins or until slightly golden in colour. Leave the biscuits to cool on a wire rack.
  9. Once the biscuits have fully cooled, you can ice your creations. I used chocolate flavoured icing that comes pre-mixed in little tubes, however feel free to make your own with icing sugar, water and food colouring.

Great British Bake Off Party and Dinosaur Biscuits

So, ‘The Great British Bake Off’ returned to our screens on wednesday and I’m sure I wasn’t the only avid baker keenly anticipating the new series. To celebrate the return of the much loved baking programme my friends and I had a small Bake Off party, all baking a little something we could snack on whilst enjoying the first episode.

As far as Bake Off episodes go, this one lived up to all our expectations introducing a range of new contestants, differing in style and personality all demonstrating some great baking skill. My friends and I are rooting for Tamal and Alvin, hoping they might make it to the end of the competition. I really liked the look of Tamal’s ‘Pistachio and rose Madeira cake’ and with the recipe on the BBC website I might have to give it a go at some point this summer. It was great fun watching the Bake Off with my friends, sadly we won’t be able to watch the final together, all (hopefully) being at different universities across the country but I’m sure we will avidly discuss it in the coming weeks. I might try and write a little something about each episode on here depending on whether I have time each week.

As I previously mentioned, we all baked something to share (all seen in the feature photo) I decided I would try out some fun 3-D dinosaur biscuits, using the cutters my friend Georgia bought for me. Although I ran out of time to decorate them really well I think they looked quite cute as a fun celebration biscuit.

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INGREDIENTS FOR ABOUT 12 LARGE BISCUITS

175g unsalted butter, softened

200g caster sugar

1 egg

½ tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp baking powder

275g plain flour, plus extra to dust

55g custard powder

pinch salt

Method

  1. Cream the butter and sugar together using a standing mixer or hand whisk.
  2. Add the egg and custard powder and continue mixing until just combined.
  3. Then add the remaining ingredients and gently stir them together to form a sticky dough.
  4. Using your hands, bring the dough together to form a ball and wrap in cling film. Leave the dough to chill for 1 hour in the fridge.
  5. Meanwhile preheat the oven to 180°C/ 355°F and line 2-3 baking trays with baking paper.
  6. Remove half of the chilled dough from the fridge, keeping the remaining half in the fridge to keep cool whilst you work on the rest.
  7. Roll out the dough to roughly 5mm thick and then using your cutters, cut out as many as you can, swapping between each half of dough until you have used it all up. If you are using similar 3-D cutters, ensure you have enough parts for each biscuit, i.e. legs for dinosaur bodies.
  8. Bake the biscuits in the preheated oven for 10 mins or until slightly golden in colour. Leave the biscuits to cool on a wire rack.
  9. Once the biscuits have fully cooled, begin to make the icing.
  10. With icing I find it best just to make as much as you want, sifting icing sugar into a bowl and then adding water until you have made a thick icing. I used a range of decorations and used a purple gel food colouring to make my dinosaurs look vaguely pretty.

Coconut, Cherry and Chocolate Granola Bars

I always like to make granola bars, ensuring I have quick and fairly healthy snacks in the cupboard. For these granola bars I used a similar recipe to the one I created for Almond, Apricot, Cranberry and Chocolate Granola Bars using the base recipe and changing a few ingredients to add a whole new flavour to the bars. I love the flavour combination of coconut and cherry and it really works well in a granola bar. I made these ones slightly bigger than the other ones to experiment with sizing and achieving a good portion size. This recipe makes about 12 but you can easily cut it into as many squares or slices you would like.

Ingredients for 12 Granola BArs

2 ½ (213g) cups rolled oats

½ cup (50g) desiccated coconut

½ cup (75g) sunflower seeds

½ tsp vanilla extract

3 tbsp (40g) unsalted butter

⅓ cup (113 g) honey

¼ cup (55g) light brown sugar

pinch of salt

½ cup (100g) glacé cherries

50g plain chocolate chunks

METHOD

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 175°C/ 350°F and line a roughly 8×6 inch tin with baking paper.
  2. Melt the butter, honey, sugar, salt and extracts in a medium sized saucepan, remove from the heat and add the oats, coconut, seeds, cherries and roughly half the chocolate chunks and mix well.
  3. Pour into the tray, scatter the remaining chocolate chunks over the top and press down with the back of a spoon.
  4. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.

Almond, Apricot, Cranberry and Chocolate Granola Bars

I made these granola bars when I was looking for a vaguely healthy snack one afternoon, using a range of ingredients I found in the cupboards and fridge. I really love the combination of almonds, cranberries and chocolate but feel free to substitute with any nuts or dried fruits you want. I have also used cups in this recipe but have provided the measurements in grams as well.

Ingredients for 12 squares

2 ½ (213g) cups rolled oats

¼ cup (40g) chopped almonds

¼ cup (30g) flaked almonds

½ tsp almond extract

½ tsp vanilla extract

3 tbsp (40g) unsalted butter

⅓ cup (113 g) honey

¼ cup (55g) light brown sugar

pinch of salt

½ cup dried cranberries

½ cup dried apricots, roughly chopped

75g plain chocolate chunks

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 175°C/ 350°F and line a roughly 8×6 inch tin with baking paper.
  2. Melt the butter, honey, sugar, salt and extracts in a medium sized saucepan, remove from the heat and add the oats, almonds, dried fruit and roughly half the chocolate chunks and mix well.
  3. Pour into the tray, scatter the remaining chocolate chunks over the top and press down with the back of a spoon.
  4. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.

Triple Chocolate Cookies

Cookies are one of my favourite things to bake, I really love creating exciting new combinations to make healthy, and of course chocolatey, new biscuits. I usually stick to the same Super Easy Cookies recipe  as it is so easy and produces really nice results however, I thought I would change it about a bit and adapt a recipe from ‘Love Tanya’ by Tanya Burr. I have seen these cookies all over youtube and they always look super tasty so I thought I would try and make them myself. The addition of the Daim bars made the cookies extra gooey, especially whilst they were still warm. The recipe makes 10 cookies, so that is how many I created however, I think they were a bit too big so I would make 15 to 20 smaller cookies in the future using the same amount of mixture.

Ingredients for 10 large Cookies

200g unsalted butter, softened

300g caster sugar

1 large egg

275g self-raising flour

50g cocoa powder

a dash of milk

200g chocolate of your choice (I used white and dark)

3 Daim bars

MEthod

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 200°C and line two baking trays with baking paper.
  2. Cream together the butter and the sugar until it is smooth and well combined.
  3. Then add the remaining dry ingredients (excluding the chocolate) and egg into the mixture and blend together. If the mixture appears to dry, add a dash of milk.
  4. After the mixture forms a dough, break the chocolate into chunks and add to the dough.
  5. Using your hands, separate the dough into as many balls as you want cookies, aforementioned I made 10 however, 15 or even 20 would work well. Place the cookies evenly spaced on the pre-prepared trays.
  6. Put the trays into the oven and bake for about 10 minutes for 10 cookies and 6-7 minutes for smaller cookies. Leave the cookies for about 30 minutes to cool and enjoy!

Chocolate and Hazelnut Cookies

Firstly I’m very sorry I haven’t posted recently but I have had so much revision and coursework to get done in these past few weeks. I have been baking but just haven’t had the chance to get anything up on this blog. This is another Ruby Tandoh recipe (I am in love with her book) which has a slight twist to conventional cookies. I am used to using the same cookie recipe (previously posted) and simply change the flavours slightly so therefore I thought I would give this recipe a go. These are traditionally vegan cookies, containing no dairy milk or butter but soya milk and nut oil (although I used semi-skimmed milk). They tasted really great with the same flavour as nutella and had a crunchy outer and chewy centre.

Ingredients for 15-17 cookies

100g soft brown sugar

100g caster sugar

100ml hazelnut or almond oil

60ml milk (or soya milk)

1 tsp vanilla extract

200g plain flour

¼ bicarbonate of soda

¼ salt

75g dark chocolate chips

75g chopped hazelnuts

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°/ gas mark 4 and line several large baking trays.
  2. In a large bowl, beat together the sugars and oil until the mixture has emulsified and fully combined before stirring in the vanilla extract.
  3. Then add the flour, bicarb of soda and salt and stir into the mixture gently until combined until smooth.
  4. Fold in the chopped hazelnuts and chocolate chips.
  5. Using a tablespoon, spoon the mixture into roughly 15-17 large balls on the prepared trays, spread evenly apart.
  6. Bake in the pre-heated oven for about 15-20 minutes depending on how you like the texture of your cookies. They are ready when the edges begin to slightly brown.

Cinnamon Cashew Flapjacks

I love flapjack, so I have no idea why I haven’t made some to put up on my blog yet! I found this recipe in a Good Food magazine, it’s a basic flapjack recipe but contains added seeds, nuts and spice to give it an extra flavour. Flapjack is a really easy thing to bake so this is great for first time bakers.

Ingredients for 15 flapjacks

140g unsalted butter

140g light brown soft sugar

2 tbsp set honey

1 tbsp ground cinnamon

140g porridge oats

85g desiccated coconut

85g sesame seeds

50g sunflower seeds

1 tbsp plain flour

85g cashews

Method

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 160ºC/ 140ºC fan/ Gas mark 3 and grease and line 20x30cm cake tin with baking parchment.
  2. Melt the butter in a large pan, add the sugar, honey and ground cinnamon, and stir with a wooden spoon over a low heat for 5-10 minutes until all of the sugar dissolves.
  3. Remove from the heat and stir in all the remaining ingredients until the dry ingredients are fully coated.
  4. Tip into the tin and press down until it’s level and bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes until golden in colour. Leave to cool for 5 minutes then mark into squares, leave in the tin to fully cool.

Almond and Apricot Biscuits

As I have previously mentioned, I really want to experiment with baking this year and try different types of baking as well as creating my own recipes. I admit this recipe probably isn’t the most exciting but I just wanted to experiment with my own flavour combinations using a simple biscuit recipe. I received some really cool biscuit cutters for christmas I which I really wanted to use to make these biscuits, however, I had some issues with cutting the biscuits due to the pieces of apricot, but never mind they turned out alright.

Ingredients for 16 biscuits

150g unsalted butter, softened

75g caster sugar

50g ground almonds

175g self-raising flour

1-3 drops of almond extract (optional)

50g chopped apricots

Method

  1. Cream the butter and sugar together using an electric hand mixer in a large bowl. Then add the flour, ground almond and chopped apricot and mix together to form a dough.
  2. Press the dough into a disc shape, wrap in cling film and leave to chill in the fridge for 30-60 minutes. Preheat the oven to 190°C/ 170°C fan/ gas mark 5.
  3. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface until about 4mm thick, then using a round cutter (roughly 3 inches in diameter) cut the dough into circles and place on a lined baking tray.
  4. Bake the biscuits for 10 minutes. Leave the biscuits to cool on the tray for about 10 minutes and then transfer onto a wire rack to completely cool.

Rudolph Gingerbread

This week I baked some super cute Rudolph gingerbread biscuits. I saw a picture of these on Pinterest and thought I would give them a go using gingerbread. I don’t normally decorate bakes using icing as I am such a perfectionist it takes forever to get them right! However, these looked really cute and quite easy so I thought I would try and bake them.

Ingredients for 16 gingerbread biscuits

125g unsalted butter

100g dark brown muscovado sugar

4 tbsp golden syrup

325g plain flour, plus extra for dusting

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

2 tsp ground ginger

Ingredients for decorations

1 tsp of icing sugar

small amount of water

50g dark chocolate

red m&m’s / smarties

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 170º and line 2 baking trays with baking parchment.
  2. Melt the butter, sugar and syrup in a medium saucepan on a low heat, then remove from heat.
  3. Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda, and ground ginger into a large bowl, then stir the melted ingredients into the dry ingredients to make a stiff dough.
  4. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and roll out into a thickness of about 5mm.
  5. Stamp out as many circles as you can using a cutter or upturned glass, I made 16 discs, about 10cm in diameter. Feel free to make them whatever size you would like.
  6. Place the discs onto the lined baking trays and bake for about 9-10 minutes until golden brown. Leave to cool completely on a wire rack.
  7. Mix the icing sugar together with a splash of water to make a thick paste. Use this to stick the red coated chocolate sweets near the edge of the biscuit.
  8. Melt the chocolate using a ban marie and leave to cool for about 10 minutes. Then using a piping bag pipe on the eyes and antlers (as seen in the photo). Leave to cool and enjoy!

Millionaires’ Shortbread

I would firstly like to say I’m not too pleased with the presentation of these. The white chocolate was quite poor quality which lead it to discolour when it was left to set. Also, the caramel was fairly runny, which meant they turned out quite sloppy looking. I think this might be because I didn’t leave the caramel to become thick enough in the pan. However, it tastes absolutely brilliant and the marbled chocolate looks really effective.

Ingredients for shortbread

250g plain flour

75g caster sugar

175g softened butter

Ingredients for caramel

100g butter

100g light muscovado sugar

two cans condensed milk

Ingredients for topping

100g plain chocolate

100g white chocolate

Method

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC/ Fan 160ºC/ Gas 4. Lightly grease a 33×23 cm swiss roll tin.
  2. Begin the shortbread by putting all of the ingredients in a large bowl and rubbing in the butter with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  3. Knead the mixture together until it forms a dough, then press into the prepared tin. Then prick the shortbread lightly with a fork and bake in the oven for about 20 minutes, until lightly golden brown in colour. Leave to cool in the tin.
  4. To make the caramel, measure the butter, condensed milk and sugar into a pan and heat until the sugar has dissolved. Bring it to the boil, continuously stirring, then reduce the heat and simmer gently, still stirring. You must keep stirring to prevent the caramel from sticking to the pan and spoiling.
  5. Then pour over the shortbread and leave to cool (preferably overnight).
  6. For the topping, melt the plain chocolate using a ban marie and pour over the cold caramel in spoons only covering sections. Then melt the white chocolate using the same method and pour to fill in the gaps. Using a skewer to marble the edges of the chocolate together. Leave to set.
  7. Cut the bake into squares or bars.