Peanut Butter Cookies

Screen Shot 2016-09-20 at 22.44.44.png

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar, preferably light
  • 2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup peanut butter, creamy or crunchy (though we all know crunchy is better)
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon hot water

DIRECTIONS

  • 1. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • 2. In the bowl of a stand mixer using the paddle attachment, beat the granulated and brown sugars and butter on high until light and fluffy. Add the peanut butter, eggs, and vanilla, reduce the speed to medium, and beat until thoroughly combined.
  • 3. Mix the flour and salt together in a small bowl. With the mixer on low, slowly add the flour and salt to the peanut butter mixture and blend thoroughly. Combine the baking soda and hot water in a small bowl and add it to the cookie dough, mixing until just combined.
  • 4. Drop the dough in heaping tablespoons onto the parchment. Gently press a fork into each cookie, first vertically, then horizontally, to create the classic peanut butter cookie crisscross. (If an extra sparkly, extra crunchy cookie is desired, dip your fork in a little granulated sugar prior to pressing it into the dough.)
  • 5. Bake for 8 to 12 minutes, until the cookies have barely begun to turn golden at the edges. Let the cookies cool for a minute or more on the baking sheet, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool at least a little. (The cookies will get crisper the longer they cool.) Store the cookies in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

Recipe taken from;

Peanut Butter Cookies

Best Vanilla Cupcakes

Make these 2 to 3 days in advance for when you actually need them as the flavour and texture gets better the longer you leave them. I’ve made many vanilla cupcake recipes in the past and this is the best one I’ve found so far. The cupcakes have a  light and fluffy texture and are not overly sweet.

Recipe taken from Natsha’s Kitchen
Serving: 15 cupcakes

Ingredients

For the cakes:

  • 1¼ cups cake flour or Canadian bleached all-purpose flour
  • 1¼ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1½ tsp pure vanilla extract
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • ½ cup buttermilk

For the frosting:

  • 1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, at room temp
  • 1.5 cups powdered sugar
  • 1.5 cups cold heavy whipping cream
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract

Method:

Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a cupcake/muffin pan with cupcake liners.

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together 1¼ cups cake flour (or Canadian flour), 1¼ tsp baking powder, ½ tsp baking soda and ½ tsp salt. Set flour mix aside.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat 2 eggs with the whisk attachment on medium speed (15-20 seconds).
  3. Add ¾ cup sugar and continue to beat on medium speed (30 seconds).
  4. Add vanilla and oil and beat on medium speed (1 minute)
  5. Reduce mixer speed to medium/low and slowly add about half of the flour mixture. Add half of the buttermilk, then the rest of the flour mix and the rest of the buttermilk. Beat until just combined and smooth, scraping down the sides of the mixing bowl. The batter should be thin.
  6. Pour batter into a lined muffin pan. Fill to about ½ full.
  7. Bake for 12 -14 minutes at 350°F. Let them cool in the pan for a couple minutes, then remove.
  8. Once the cupcakes are cooled to room temp, pipe on the frosting.

For the Frosting

  1. Whip the cream on high speed (1-2 minutes) until thick, fluffy and spreadable.
  2. In a second mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and powdered sugar (start on low speed unless you want to be standing in a cloud of powdered sugar), then beat in ½ tsp vanilla extract
  3. Fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mix. Keep it covered in the fridge until ready to use on these cupcakes.

 

 

Notes

A note about the flour: all-purpose works, it just does won’t produce a cupcake quite as soft as cake flour or Canadian Flour.

To make your own cake flour, take one cup of plain flour and remove two tablespoons of it. Then add 2 tablespoons of cornflour and sift the mixture 4/5 times to make sure everything is thoroughly combined.
If you want to make the frosting before hand and freeze it, you can do that too.

Cappuccino Cake Squares

This is a simple cake for everyday, it’s so easy to make and the coffee flavour is subtle so even the non coffee drinkers will like this one.

Screen Shot 2016-09-19 at 18.08.06.png

From the Big Book of Baking

Ingredients:

  • For the cake
  • 225g Self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cocoa powder
  • 225g butter
  • 225g golden caster sugar
  • 4 eggs beaten
  • 3 tbsp instant coffee granules dissolved in 2 tbsp hot water cooled

For the White Chocolate Frosting

  • 115g White Chocolate
  • 55g butter
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 175g icing sugar

Method:

Preheat oven to 180degrees celsius and line 28x18cm shallow cake tin with baking paper

Sift the flour, baking powder and cocoa into a bowl and add the butter, caster sugar, eggs and coffee. Beat well, by hand or with an electric whisk, until smooth, then spoon into the prepared tin and smooth the top.

Bake in  a preheated oven for 35-40 mins, or until risen and firm. Leave to cool in the tin for 10 mins, then turn out onto a wire rack and peel off the lining paper to cool completely.

To make the frosting, place the chocolate, butter and milk in  a bowl set over a saucepan of gently simmering water and stir until the chocolate has melted. Remove the bowl from the pan and sift in the icing sugar. Beat until smooth, then spread over the cake. Dust the top of the cake with cocoa powder, then cut into squares. 

Coconut oil Chocolate Chip Cookies

These cookies are delicious, chewy and not overly sweet and have a subtle hint of coconut.

img_4641

Recipe taken from: Gimme some oven

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, softened but not melted
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed,
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tsp vanilla ( I use the  Preema brand)
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 tsps cornflour
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup milk chocolate chips

Method:

Cream together the softened coconut oil, sugars egg and vanilla on medium- high until light and fluffy around 3 mins.

Add in the flour, cornflour, bicarb of soda, and salt and beat until combined. Fold in the choc chips by hand until just combined.

Line the baking tray with some greaseproof paper then take 1 tbsp of the mixture and roll into balls. Place in the fridge to chill for 2 hours

Bake for 10-12 mins until the edges just start to brown.

img_4646

Cake pops

These do take a while and can be quite fiddly but they are so fun and different. Have them at your next event to impress your guests.

Screen Shot 2016-09-15 at 20.22.46.png

Recipe taken from Bakerella

YOU’LL NEED

130g  cake (Make this the day before to save time. You can also use a box mix to make it even more convenient)

85g  tub ready-made frosting
350g chocolate or cake covering
12 lollipop sticks

Stryofoam block, or some sort of construction that will hold the cake pops upright as they dry

.

MAKES 12 CAKE POPS

  1. Take your preprepared cake and crumble it into a large bowl. You should not see any large pieces of cake. Mix in the frosting with a large metal spoon until thoroughly combined.
  2. The mixture should not be too dry or too moist. If it’s too dry add some more frosting. The mixture should be moist enough to roll into 1 1/2-in (4-cm) balls and still hold a round shape. After rolling the cake balls by hand, place them on the prepared baking sheets and let them rest for about 20 minutes before chilling.
  3. Cover the baking sheets with plastic wrap and chill for several hours in the refrigerator, or place them in the freezer for about 15 minutes. You want the balls to be firm but not frozen.
  4. Melt the chocolate in a bowl in the microwave, do this is 30 second intervals as you do not want the chcolate to burn. The melted chocolate will be used for dipping.
  5. Now you’re ready to dip. Take a few cake balls out of the refrigerator or freezer to work with, keeping the rest chilled. If they’re in the freezer, transfer the rest of the balls to the refrigerator at this point so they stay firm but do not freeze.
  6. One at a time, dip about 1/2 in (12 mm) of the tip of a lollipop stick into the melted candy coating, and then insert the lollipop stick straight into a cake ball, pushing it no more than halfway through.
  7. Holding the lollipop stick with cake ball attached, dip the entire cake ball into the melted candy coating until it is completely covered, and remove it in one motion. Make sure the coating meets at the base of the lollipop stick. This helps secure the cake ball to the stick when the coating sets. The object is to completely cover the cake ball and remove it without submerging it in the coating more than once. If you do resubmerge the cake pop, the weight of the candy coating can pull on the cake ball and cause it to get stuck in the coating.
  8. The thinner the consistency of your coating, the easier it will be to coat the cake pops. (If you find that your coating is too thick, add some vegetable oil or paramount crystals to help thin it and make the coating more fluid.)
  9. When you remove the cake pop from the candy coating, some excess coating may start to drip. Hold the cake pop in one hand and use the other to gently tap the first wrist. Rotate the lollipop stick if necessary to allow the excess coating to fall off evenly, so one side doesn’t get heavier than the other. If you didn’t completely dunk the cake pop, this method of tapping and rotating generally takes care of that. The coating will slowly slide down the surface of the cake ball until it reaches the lollipop stick.
  10. If too much coating surrounds the base of the lollipop stick, you can wipe the excess off with your finger. Simply place your finger on the stick right under the cake ball and rotate the pop, allowing any excess coating to fall off and back into the bowl. When most of the excess coating has fallen off and it is no longer dripping, stick the cake pop into the Styrofoam block.
  11. Repeat with the remaining cake balls and let the pops dry completely in the Styrofoam block.
  12. Enjoy!

Tips:

  • Bake the cake the day before, and let it cool overnight. Then just dip and decorate the following day.
  • Use a toothpick to encourage the coating to cover any small exposed areas or to make sure it surrounds the lollipop stick.
  • Make sure the cake balls are chilled and firm when you dip them. If they are room temperature, they are likely to fall off the lollipop sticks into the melted candy coating. You can always place them back in the freezer for a few minutes to quickly firm them up again.
  • Poke holes in the Styrofoam block before you start dipping. Just use one of the lollipop sticks to make holes about 2 inches apart.
  • For fun, experiment with different colors of candy coating and drizzle pops with a second color to decorate
  • You can also make cake pops in different shapes. Just roll them into balls, place in the freezer or refrigerator to firm, and then mold into your desired shape.

 

Chocolate and Orange Cake

I love this combination of flavours, I think it’s such a classic combination and it works so well.

Screen Shot 2016-09-15 at 20.22.14.jpg

Recipe taken from Ali imdad bakes

Ingredients:

For the cake: 

  • 250g Margarine
  • 250g Caster sugar
  • 4 medium eggs
  • 200g self-raising flour
  • 50g cocoa powder
  • 100g dark chocolate
  • 1 large orange

For the Icing:

  • 300g dark chocolate
  • 300 ml double cream
  • 60g butter
  • 1 large orange

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 180°c or 160°c for a fan oven

Cream the margarine and sugar until light and fluffy, then beat in the eggs one at a time. Add in the orange zest of the entire orange and the juice of half an orange. Fold in the flour and cocoa powder, then fold in melted dark chocolate until everything is combined.

Put the mixture into the tins and bake for 25-35 mins until a skewer inserted comes out clean and when the cake springs back when lightly pushed .

To make the icing

Melt all the ingredients in a bowl in the microwave including the zest and juice of one orange (Do it in 1 min bursts to avoid the chocolate burning). Once they have all melted, taste to see if the icing needs more orange zest. Once you are happy with the flavour put the icing in the fridge to set for an hour until it has firmed up and is of a spreadable consistency.

Ice the cake and decorate with terry’s chocolate orange like I did or decorate as desired.

Flaky Biscuits

Isa has an Eid party at nursery tomorrow so I thought we’d make some biscuits for him to take in. They were great fun to make and he loved getting involved in the whole process.

 

Ingredients:

  • 175g butter
  • 125g sugar
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 250g plain flour

Makes around 18 biscuits

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 160°c and line 2 trays with bakig paper
  2. Mix the butter and the caster sugar with an electric whisk until blended. Add the egg yolk and vanilla and mix until combined. Stor in the plain flour until the mixture comes together
  3. Wrap the dough in some cling film and place in the fridge to chill for around 30 mins.  This will make the dough easier to work with
  4. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to around 4mm thick. Use a cutter to cut out your shapes or use a knife to cut finger shapes.
  5. Transfer to the baking trays and cook for around 14 mins or until light golden brown.
  6. Leave to cool before decorating as desired.

 

 

 

 

Sunflower cupcakes

These cupcakes look so bright and summery and taste lovely too.

IMG_0060.jpg

Makes around 12 cupcakes

Ingredients:

For the cupcakes:

  • 1.5 cups/175g Plain Flour (sifted)
  • 1/2 tbsp baking powder
  • 50g/113g soft butter
  • half a 3/4 cup/175g sugar
  • 2 large eggs at room temp
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup/120ml milk at room temp

For the buttercream:

  • 100g/3½oz soft butter
  • 200g/7oz icing sugar, plus ½ tsp for dusting
  • ½ tsp pure vanilla

To decorate:

  • 1 packet of dark chocolate chips

 

Method:

For the cupcakes 

1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) with rack in center of oven.

2. In a bowl, sift or whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.

3. Beat the butter and sugar together with an electric whisk until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time beating well after each addition then add the vanilla. Alternately add the flour mixture and the  milk  beginning and ending with the flour.  So flour, milk, flour, milk, flour.  Mix until just combined.

4. Line your cupcake pan with your cupcake cases and evely divide the batter between the cases. Bake for 15-20 mins or until a toothpick insertedinto the center of the cake comes out clean and the cake springs back when pressed.

5. Place the cakes on a wire rack to cool, once they are completely cooled you can begin to frost them .

For the buttercream 

Put the butter in a bowl and sift the icing sugar on top. Add the vanilla extract and beat with a wooden spoon or an electric whisk until very light and smooth. Add some yellow gel food colouring and whisk until the colour is all incoroporated.  Spoon into a clean piping bag fitted with a small star nozzle and pipe petal shapes. Finally add some chocolate chips in the middle to create your finished sunflower.

 

Variations: You can make these with chocolate cupcakes too.

Notes: Cupcake recipe taken from joy of baking.com http://www.joyofbaking.com/VanillaCake.html

Buttercream recipe taken from the Hairy Bikers

 

 

Rocky Road Bars

 

screen-shot-2016-09-10-at-16-15-09screen-shot-2016-09-10-at-16-15-22

Notes: You can make these with popcorn instead of biscuits. This would add variety and it’s also healthier too.

Makes: 24 bars

  • 125 grams soft butter
  • 300 grams best-quality dark chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa solids) broken into pieces ( Even though it doesn’t match the description,  I use Cadbury’s Bourneville chocolate as it’s more affordable and I like the taste)
  • 3 tablespoons golden syrup
  • 200 grams rich tea biscuits or any other biscuit you prefer
  • 100 grams mini marshmallows
  • 2 teaspoons icing sugar (for dusting)

Method:

  1. Melt the butter, chocolate and golden syrup in a heavy-based saucepan. Scoop out about 125ml / ½ cup of this melted mixture and put to one side.
  2. Put the biscuits into a freezer bag and then bash them with a rolling pin. You are aiming for both crumbs and pieces of biscuits.
  3. Fold the biscuit pieces and crumbs into the melted chocolate mixture in the saucepan, and then add the marshmallows.
  4. Tip into a foil tray (24cm / 9 inch square); flatten as best you can with a spatula. Pour the reserved 125ml / ½ cup of melted chocolate mixture over the marshmallow mixture and smooth the top.
  5. Refrigerate for about 2 hours or overnight.
  6. Cut into 24 fingers and dust with icing sugar by pushing it gently through a tea strainer or small sieve.

Recipe taken from Nigella Lawson

Perfectly Chocolate Cupcakes.

screen-shot-2016-09-10-at-00-58-16

Recipe taken from:  The Farm Chick

Notes: Make cupcakes without the icing for a great lunchbox snack. These cupcakes are extremely moist and chocolatey .

Ingredients:

  • 1cup sugar
  • 1cup brown sugar
  • 1 3/4cup cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2tsp baking powder
  • 1/2tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup Milk
  • 1/2 veg oil
  • 2tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 Tub Betty Crocker Tempting Chocolate Icing

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180oc and line a muffin tin with cupcake liners
  2. Sift the dry ingredients into a mixing bowl
  3. Add the eggs, milk, oil and vanilla and beat with a mixer for about 2 mins
  4. Add the boiling water and beat until just blended. At this point the batter will be extremely runny
  5. Pour the batter into the liners and bake for 20-25 mins until the centre of the cupcakes pring back when lightly touched
  6.  Once cooled pipe on the chocolate icing if desired.

Link to original recipe: http://thefarmchicks.typepad.com/farmchicks/2009/01/moist-chocolate-cupcakes-with-vanilla-buttercream.html