Category: Biscuits

Coffee and Caramelised White Chocolate Cookies

Coffee and Caramelised White Chocolate Cookies

So last week I did a post on how to make yourself some delicious caramelised white chocolate – now it’s time to know how to use this ingredient in your baking! These cookies are really easy to make and can be frozen as a dough, so you can make a huge batch and then just bake them as and when you want so you always have fresh cookies! (And who doesn’t always want fresh cookies?) If you’re a bit short on time you don’t have to use caramelised white chocolate, this also works really well with normal white chocolate. That said, I would recommend giving the caramelising process a go if you can because it brings a new flavour dynamic which is well worth the effort!

In other news I’ve just moved into my student house for the year which is really exciting because I now have a gorgeous kitchen to cook in all year round! It’s gonna take a little while to find my bearings and get everything sorted, but hopefully I’ll soon start getting out some content from there so keep an eye out for that – and as always any requests just throw them my way!

Recipe

Makes 12

Time: 2 hours (plus chilling time)

Ingredients

  • 170g White chocolate (30-32% cocoa solids), roughly chopped
  • 105g Unsalted butter
  • 1 ½ tbsp Instant coffee granules
  • 200g Plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • ½ tsp Baking powder
  • ¼ tsp Baking soda
  • 100g Light brown sugar
  • 75g Caster sugar
  • 1 Large egg
  • 1 Large egg yolk
  • 1 tsp Vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract)
  • Flaked sea salt, for sprinkling

Method

  1. Begin by making the caramelised white chocolate. Pre-heat the oven to 120˚C. Spread the roughly chopped white chocolate on a shallow baking tray lined with baking paper and put it into the oven for around 10 minutes.
  2. Take the tray out, stir the white chocolate with a spatula until evenly mixed and then put it back into the oven. Repeat this mixing every 10 minutes for the next 30-50 minutes until golden and caramelised.
  3. Leave the caramelised chocolate to set on the baking paper. (It can then be wrapped in baking paper and stored like this for up to 2 months if you don’t want to use it straight away).
  4. Now start making the cookies. Put the butter into a small pan and melt it gently over a medium heat. Once melted add the coffee and stir until dissolved. Then leave this to one side until needed.
  5. Next mix the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda in a bowl.
  6. In a separate bowl whisk together the butter, sugars, egg, egg yolk and vanilla until fully combined. Add the flour mixture to these wet ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon until a smooth dough starts to form.
  7. Break the caramelised white chocolate into pieces and add it to the dough.  Then mix everything together until the dough is smooth and the chocolate is incorporated. Wrap the dough in cling film and then leave it to chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours.
  8. Pre-heat the oven to 180˚C and line a couple of baking trays with baking paper.
  9. Roll the dough into 60g balls and place them on the lined baking trays, making sure they’re spaced out by a couple of inches to prevent them from spreading into each other during baking.
  10. Sprinkle the cookies with a little sea salt and then bake in the oven for 15-18 minutes until golden brown and starting to crisp around the edges. Leave the cookies to cool for 10 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely. These will keep in an air-tight container for up to 5 days. Enjoy!

Thanks for reading!

Emma x

 

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Choco-nana-offee Rocks

Choco-nana-offee Rocks

Ok, so I know these look more like something from a sci fi film than something from the kitchen, but bare with. As you know I’ve been trying out the ‘healthy’ lifestyle to help me get some consistency back in my life, however, even the healthy eaters need some comfort food sustenance every now and then. This started as all things do, with good intentions. “I’ll just make a chocolate cookie” I said to myself. Innocent enough. Little did I know that by the time I’d finished I’d end up with a bubbling tray of molten salted caramel, dotted with floating bananas, and sandwiched between two layers of warm chocolate cookie-shortbread. Eyo.

That said, I have no regrets! This was 100% about food to feed the soul and boy did it do that. I know it’s not traditional in the food blogging-sphere to see things that look less that perfect. Even rustic home food is preened and touched up to get the perfect shot these days, however when getting these out of the pan it was clear there was no hope in making them look beautiful. But hey, looks aren’t everything, right? Whop them on a board, snap a few shots and then make the most of the best bit – the eating!

After some time in the fridge these work really well as on-the-go bars, however they do become a bit more gloopy and unpredictable the warmer they get. I think this is because the shop-bought caramel I used for the filling was more of a pouring-consistency than a block one, which had both ups and downs. On the one hand it made for the ultimate gooey masterpiece, on the other it was a bit hard to handle. Therefore I’ve found these bars work at their best as a deconstructed splat in a bowl – looks: 0, taste: 10. Alternatively you could make your own caramel or find a thicker one so you can actually slice these into nice, neat squares… But seriously though, if you’re looking for comfort food in a bowl, this is your guy!

Just one last note – the name. Yeah… um… wasn’t sure how to christen these as there was so much going on in them and for something so much about the taste a long description of it’s component parts seemed too resturant-like. Hence choco-nana-offee rocks. Quick, to the point, leaves more time for the eating. Any other ideas welcome though!

Recipe

Makes roughly 16 squares/rocks/blobs

Time: 1 hour

Ingredients

  • 340g Butter
  • 220g Caster sugar
  • 240g Icing sugar
  • 1 tbsp Vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract)
  • 490g Plain flour
  • 55g Cocoa powder
  • 400g Caramel sauce (I used 1 can of Carnation’s caramel)
  • 1 Banana
  • A large pinch of Salt

Method

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180˚C and line a baking tray with butter and baking paper.
  2. Beat together the butter and sugar with a wooden spoon until smooth and creamy. Then mix in the vanilla and icing sugar until smooth. Finally mix in the cocoa powder and flour until a dough has formed.
  3. Split the dough in half and wrap one half in cling film and put it into the fridge.
  4. Take the other half of dough and press it into the base of the tin to fill it evenly. Bake the base in the oven for around 15 minutes until starting to to look baked on top.
  5. Pour the caramel over the base and then scatter over the chopped bananas in an even layer. Finally sprinkle over the remaining dough in a sort of crumble. Return to the oven and bake for another 20-25 minutes until the topping is crispy and the caramel is bubbling.
  6. Take the tray bake out of the oven and leave it to cool to room temperature. Then put it into the fridge until set (about an hour should do it).
  7. Cut the traybake into 16 squares (or blobs) and enjoy!

Alternatives

Another great thing with these squares is that you can try all sorts of different swaps and alterations to make them perfect for you! Why not try…

  • Swapping 100g of the butter with 100g of nut butter (like peanut butter) to get a nutty biscuit top and bottom?
  • Swapping the cocoa powder for 70g Plain flour to make vanilla flavoured dough?
  • Adding fresh berries instead of bananas?
  • Adding 50g chopped chocolate to the dough to make it chocolate chipped?

Thanks for reading

Emma x

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Wholegrain Crackers with Homemade Hazelnut Butter and Strawberries

Wholegrain Crackers with Homemade Hazelnut Butter and Strawberries

Last week I made some delicious hazelnut butter, now it’s time for something to it with! I’ve found it really good as a sandwich filler, a porridge topper and a yoghurt pal, however if you want to make something specific to pair with your creation look no further than these delicious wholegrain crackers.  These can taste a little bland on their own, but they’re the perfect carrier for all kinds of toppings from caramel, to nutella to this nut butter.

I’ve also found by topping it all with some fresh berries you can end up bringing some sweetness to the package which makes a great little healthy, filling snack!

Recipe

Makes 18 biscuits

Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients

For the crackers

  • 160g Whole-wheat flour
  • 55g Sesame seeds
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • 60ml Olive oil
  • 4-5 tbsp Water

To top

  • 3 tbsp Homemade nut butter (see last week’s recipe for how to make your own!)
  • 4 Fresh Strawberries
  • A few Mint leaves to garnish

Method

  1. Begin by making the crackers. Pre-heat the oven to 180˚C and line two baking trays with baking paper.
  2. Mix the flour, sesame seeds and salt in a large bowl. Then add the oil and mix it in with a fork to make a crumbly texture. Add the water and then mix with your hands until a smooth dough comes together.
  3. Roll the dough out between two sheets of baking paper until the thickness of a 1p coin. Cut rounds out of the dough with a cookie cutter, transferring the crackers to your lined trays as you do. Make sure to space them out enough so they’re not touching.
  4. Bake the crackers in the oven for 10-15 minutes until golden brown and crisp. Leave to cool completely.
  5. When cooled spread your nut butter over the crackers. Hull and slice the strawberries and arrange them on top of the crackers. Garnish with a little mint and then serve!

Alternatives:

Why not try topping the crackers and nut butter with…

  • Sliced banana and chocolate shavings
  • Fig quarters and a drizzle of honey
  • Raspberries and white chocolate

Thanks for reading!

Emma x

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Strawberries and Cream Jammy Dodgers

Strawberries and Cream Jammy Dodgers

So it’s been a while since my last post as I’ve been taking a rest from everything. I’m one of those people who will try and do everything and then a little bit more on top, which is great fun until you realise you’ve burnt yourself out. But now I’m feeling refreshed and ready to start going crazy in the kitchen again, fully in the knowledge that I will inevitably crash in the short term future – but hey, you’ve got to make the most of your productive times as and when they hit you right?!

These beauties are in homage to my all time favourite British biscuit – the Jammy Dodger! Generally I’m not a biscuit person, but give me one of these and I’m instantly taken back to happy childhood memories of packed lunches and picnics in my back garden. I’ve fancied these up a little by using a rich clotted cream shortbread as the biscuit component. Essentially by using clotted cream as well as butter you end up with an even richer, melt-in-the-mouth biscuit than your regular shortbread (it’s pretty good if I say so myself!).

Recipe

Makes 12

Time: 90 minutes

Ingredients

For the biscuit

  • 100g Cold butter
  • 100g Clotted cream
  • 100g Caster sugar
  • 300g Plain flour
  • 1 Egg yolk

For the filling

  • 4-5tbsp Strawberry jam

Method

  1. Put the butter, clotted cream and sugar into a bowl and beat together until smooth. Then add the flour and rub the sugar/butter mixture into the flour until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  2. Mix the egg yolk with 2 tsp water and then add this to the main bowl. Mix together again until a smooth ball of dough forms. Split the dough into 2 equal balls and then cover each one in cling film and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes – 1 hour.
  3. Pre-heat the oven to 180˚C and line two baking trays with baking paper.
  4. Take one of the balls of dough out of the fridge and put it onto a lightly floured surface. Roll it out to about 5mm thick and then cut out 12, 6cm circles using a round cookie cutter. Place these discs on a baking tray and then gather up and re-roll the dough until it’s all used up.
  5. Roll out the other block of dough to the same thickness and repeat the cutting out of circles. Then take a smaller cookie cutter (diameter about 1cm) and stamp out the middles of the second batch of biscuits to create doughnut-like rings.
  6. Bake the biscuits in the oven for around 15 minutes until golden brown and just starting to crisp. Then leave to cool completely on wire racks.
  7. To prepare the filling put the jam into a bowl and mix a little with a small spoon to loosen it up. Turn over the cooled base biscuits (the full circles) and spread a little of the jam over the base of each one. Top with the biscuits with the holes in the top and then enjoy!

Thanks for reading!

Emma x

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Turtle Cookies

Turtle Cookies

So funny story about how I found these. I was originally searching on google images for pictures of turtle shaped cookies as I found pictures of the idea on pinterest and I wanted to make some of my own. However, the first things that came up when I searched ‘turtle cookies’ were tonnes of these treats, and they looked so mouthwatering I knew I had to try making some myself! They’re essentially rich chocolate biscuits, rolled in pecans (although I’ve used hazelnuts as I think they’re a superior nut) and then filled with salted caramel and drizzled with melted chocolate. I mean what’s not to love eh?

As you may or may not know it’s currently mental health awareness week – this year focusing on the very key issue of body image so I thought I’d briefly touch on this. We all have bodies and we all have varying opinions of them. Personally I’m not as positive about my body as perhaps I should be. I’m a little too round, too squidgy, too ‘curvy’, whatever is the most pc. I’ve also had an annoying conflict of interests between my passion for baking and my want to be healthy and slim for a really long time. I now find myself constantly swinging between being miserable because I’m not baking in an attempt to eat healthily, and disliking my body because of all the baked goods I eat. Of course there is something called self control, but I’ve never been very good at applying that to myself when it comes to baked goods.  But although I’ve not quite got to the point of accepting my roundness I have started to get to the point where I can accept how I look and not let it affect my mental health which is something for now. So if you’re in a similar position I just want you to know that if you’re insecure about your body firstly know that you are gorgeous, even if you can’t see it,  and secondly that there is so much more to life than how you look. So don’t let size get you down – there’s so much more to focus on and enjoy in life, and having a little extra padding won’t stop you from doing any of it!

Recipe

Makes 20

Time: Around 90 minutes

Ingredients

  • 80g Unsalted butter
  • 140g Caster sugar
  • 1 Large egg, separated
  • 2 tbsp Milk
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 140g Plain flour
  • 40g Cocoa powder
  • 200g Chopped hazelnuts
  • 200g Caramel
  • 1/2 tsp Table salt
  • 25g Milk chocolate to decorate

Method

  1. Begin by making the cookies. Pre-heat the oven to 180C and line two baking trays with baking paper.
  2. In a large bowl cream together the butter and sugar with a wooden spoon until pale and creamy. Add the egg yolk, milk and vanilla and mix again until combined.
  3. Stir the flour and cocoa powder into the mixture to make a soft dough. Then wrap the dough in cling film and chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
  4. Take the egg white and whisk it until it’s frothy. Then put the chopped hazelnuts into another bowl.
  5. Take the dough out of the fridge and roll it into 20 equally sized balls. Then dip each one in the egg whites followed by the chopped hazelnuts. Place the balls on a lined baking tray.
  6. Using a round measuring spoon (like a 1/2 teaspoon) press into the centre of each ball to make a dip.
  7. Bake the cookies in the oven for around 10 minutes until just set. They will harden more when cooled so don’t wait for them to crisp.
  8. Leave the cookies to cool completely on wire racks. Meanwhile put the caramel into a bowl and stir in the salt. Transfer the caramel to a pipping bag and leave in the fridge until needed.
  9. Pipe the caramel into the centre of each cooled cookie and then leave for 5 minutes to set.
  10. Meanwhile melt some chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water. Spoon the chocolate into a disposable piping bag and cut a small round hole in the bottom. Then pipe a drizzle of chocolate over the top of each cookie. Leave again to set and then serve!

Alternatives to try:

  • Fill the middle with a berry coulis instead of caramel, and then drizzle with dark chocolate.
  • Roll the biscuits in chopped peanuts (or any other nut you’d prefer).
  • Flavour the dough with the zest of 1 lemon/orange and fill with lemon curd/chocolate ganache.

Thanks for reading! For more info on Mental Health Awareness week click on the link here

Emma x

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