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Chocolate and Coconut Cake with Cream Cheese Coconut Frosting

25 Jan

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Ok first of all I have to say a huge apology for not posting anything in months! Being at school is even more hectic then I could have imagined and I rarely have time to just sit and take a deep breath let alone cook something delicious, photograph it and write up a whole post. But it was my birthday on Wednesday and I made an amazing cake (Yes, I made my own birthday cake… Some may call this sad others may see it as a fabulous afternoon of eating cake batter!). Nevertheless, here is the recipe and I would love to say, I’ll be posting more recipes soon but it all depends on the amount of time I may be able to muster together, again my apologies!

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So one of my favorite flavor combinations ever is chocolate and coconut. It is just a glorious marriage of rich and creamy delight that I don’t see how anybody can reject it. I researched a bucket load of recipes and yes, wasted many hours drooling over Pinterests vast array of coconuty delights but finally chose this beauty of a cake and and invented a sumptuous frosting of my own.

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The cake is not too sweet I would even admit that you could jack up the quantity to 3/4 cup if you have quite a sweet tooth but I personally adored it as is. The cake is light yet incredibly moist and the tangy cream cheese coconut frosting is out of this world, no universe! This amount of frosting is enough to sandwich in between the layers and to put a nice layer on top but I think it would be even more delicious with a snuggly layer around the sides as well!

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Chocolate and Coconut Cake with Cream Cheese Coconut Frosting (Serves 4)

3/4 cup plain flour

1/3 cup cocoa powder

1/2 cup light brown sugar

1tsp baking soda

1/2tsp baking powder

1/4tsp salt

1/2cup coconut milk

1/4cup coconut or vegetable oil

1 egg

1tsp vanilla extract

1/2cup coffee, made with 1tsp instant coffee

Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting:

200g cream cheese, room temp

50g butter, softened

icing sugar

1/2 cup desiccated coconut, or to taste

  • Preheat the oven to 180ºc/350ºf and grease and flour a 7inch round springform tin. You can also line the bottom with baking parchment if you want.
  • Sieve the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl.
  • In another bowl, whisk together the coconut milk, coconut oil, egg and vanilla.
  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and whisk until just combined.
  • Add the hot coffee and again whisk until combined, it will be quite runny.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake for 25-30 mins until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out with sticky crumbs on it.
  • Let cool for 15mins in the tin then remove and let cool completely.
  • Meanwhile whip up the frosting. Beat the butter and cream cheese in a bowl until smooth, add enough icing sugar to reach the desired consistency and taste (This requires a bit of frosting taste testing but I’m sure that won’t be a problem!). Add the desiccated coconut and stir through.
  • Slice the cake in have horizontally with a sharp knife (and a steady hand!) then spread half the frosting on one layer, place the other layer over it and spread the remaining frosting over the top.
  • Decorate with extra desiccated coconut and flaked chocolate.

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Salted M&M and Pretzel Cookies

17 Nov

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Chocolate chip cookies in any form have to be one of my favorite foods on this earth. Raw, cooked, in other desserts, as a dip…. It just always tastes crazy delicious. Then I went and added pretzels and m&m’s to the mix and it blew my mind! The saltiness of the pretzels balanced the cookie making it slightly less sickly… This leads to the ability to eat even more cookies! Bonus!

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The m&m’s add color and crunch to the cookie and makes them just look generally adorable. Like most chocolate chip cookie recipes, these are pretty basic to throw together and will have you sneaking spoonfuls of the raw dough in no time… I’m afraid I’m extremely guilty of this! So once you can restrain yourself from devouring the dough, the hard part is over and you’ll have perfect cookies in no time 🙂

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Salted M&M and Pretzel Cookies (Approx. 16)

115g butter, softened

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup caster sugar

1 egg

2tsp vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups plain flour

1/2tsp baking powder

1/2tsp baking soda

Salt

1 cup m&m’s, preferably mini

1/4 cup pretzel sticks, roughly broken

  • Preheat the oven to 180°c/350°f and grease and line two baking sheets with parchment.
  •  Cream the butter and two sugars together with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
  • Beat in the egg along with the vanilla.
  • Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda and a pinch of salt and mix to combine then stir in the m&m’s and pretzel bits.
  • Roll into about 16 balls and place well spread out on the two trays.
  • Press down lightly on each cookie to flatten the top slightly.
  • Chill in the fridge for 20mins then bake for 8-10mins until golden brown.
  • While still hot sprinkle lightly with salt then allow to cool on the sheets until firm. Transfer to a cookie rack.

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White Chocolate Halloween Bark

10 Nov
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Bark is such a versatile treat. It can be any flavor, any color and have anything stuck to it. Simple as a,b,c and after all that “hard” work you end up with a sumptuous treat that is completely addicting (Just a warning!). The measurements for the toppings of this recipe are quite rough and you can of course leave things out or add things in. I try to go for a range of colors when deciding on toppings but it’s completely up to you.
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400g white chocolate

5-6 oreos, roughly chopped

1/4 cup pistachios, shelled and roughly chopped

1/3 cup yellow, orange and brown m&m’s or reeses pieces

1-2tbsp mini chocolate chips

1/3 cup pretzel sticks, roughly broken

  • Melt the chocolate in the microwave in 30sec bursts, mixing between each burst until melted and smooth. You could also use a double boiler if you prefer.
  • Spread the chocolate out on the lined baking sheet. The thickness is also up to you, I generally make it fairly thing so I can fit as many toppings on as possible.
  • Scatter the toppings over making sure each one has contact with the chocolate so it will stick. Try not to overload the chocolate.
  • Leave to one side and allow to set, about 2-3hrs.
  •  Break into pieces and dive in! 🙂

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Lemon Poppyseed Drizzle Squares

4 Nov
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This cake is just wow and it literally is the easiest cake I have ever made, like ever! As anyone with taste buds knows, lemon and poppyseed is a taste sensation between the zesty sweet lemon and the crunchy texture of the poppyseeds. Usually the glaze for a lemon cake is made out of icing sugar but here I made it out of caster sugar, heated to make a basic syrup with the lemon juice. This makes it thick and glossy giving the cake a delicious moist top layer.
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Lemon cake is a great dessert or tea time treat if your looking for something light and refreshing. I do love chocolate but sometimes a zesty treat is more appropriate and equally delicious. I haven’t attempted it but you could also probably bake this in two small round tins and sandwich them together with some lemon curd and softly whipped cream. You get a decadent, homemade dessert for minimal effort! Always a bonus 🙂
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Lemon Poppyseed Drizzle Squares 

255g self raising flour

1tsp baking powder

A pinch of salt

225g caster sugar

2tsp vanilla extract

225g butter, softened

4 eggs, lightly beaten

4tbsp milk

Zest of 2 lemons

20g poppyseeds

For the lemon syrup glaze:

175g caster sugar

Juice of 2 lemons

  • Preheat the oven to 180c/350f and grease and line a 9 x 13inch baking tray with baking parchment.
  • Sieve the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar into a large bowl.
  • Add in the vanilla, butter, eggs, milk, lemon zest and poppyseeds. (Yes you really are just supposed to put everything in one bowl!)
  • With an electric mixer beat everything together until smooth and fully combined, about 2mins.
  • Transfer to the baking tray and bake for 30-40mins until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  • Let cook for 5-10mins. Meanwhile make the lemon syrup.
  • Place the lemon juice and caster sugar in a small saucepan and heat over a medium heat and whisk continuously until the sugar is dissolved.
  • Prick holes all over the cake with a skewer and slowly pour over half the syrup. Leave for 2-3mins to allow that to soak in then pour the rest of the syrup over. Making more holes with the skewer if the syrup is pooling.
  • Allow to fully soak in them remove from the tray and cut into squares. Enjoy!

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Nutella Stuffed Chocolate Chip Muffins

1 Nov

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First of all I’m so sorry I haven’t posted anything in so long, I have been extremely busy. Also Happy belated Halloween! I hope everyone had a suitably frightening and indulgent night, while I was tucking into these heavenly muffins. These muffins are insane! Nutella isn’t really my thing but baked into a muffin and I could eat it all day. These muffins are light and moist from the yogurt and once you reach the chocolaty centre, your brain will just explode from the awesomeness!

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Make sure you don’t leave out the coarse sugar sprinkled on top as this adds an amazing crunchy texture to contrast the delicate muffin.These muffins rise really well and create a perfect dome shape making them really impressive looking. They are robust enough to be good when traveling as a lunch dessert or just whenever, you really don’t need an excuse to make these other then to experience their crazy deliciousness! I really can’t put the superbness  of these muffins into words so I’ll leave you guys with this simple advise… Go, run and make these muffins as fast as possible! 🙂

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Nutella Stuffed Chocolate Chip Muffins

1 small jar of nutella, approximately

3 cups plain flour

1tbsp baking powder

1/2tsp baking soda

a pinch of salt

145g butter, softened

1 1/4cup caster sugar

2eggs

1tsp vanilla extract

1 1/2cups vanilla yogurt

1 cup white and milk chocolate chips

2-3tbsp mini chocolate chips, for sprinkling

2tbsp coarse brown sugar

  • Line a baking sheet with baking parchment and drop roughly 16 spoonfuls of the nutella onto the tray. Pop in the freezer until the nutella is frozen solid, about 2-3hours.
  • Preheat the oven to 180°c/350°f and line about 16 muffin cups with paper liners.
  • In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  • In a separate large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time followed by the vanilla and vanilla yogurt.
  • Mix in the dry mixture and chocolate chips alternately in batches until fully combined.
  • Divide the mixture between the muffin cups leaving about 4tbsp for the top.
  • Push the frozen nutella discs into the muffin mixture and top with the remaining batter to cover where the nutella went in. sprinkle each one with mini chocolate chips and coarse sugar. Bake in the oven for 20-25mins until golden brown.
  • These are best when served slightly warm but really they’re just delicious all round! Enjoy 🙂

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Breakfast Cookie

6 Oct

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I know, most of you are probably a bit baffled by the title of this post and I just want to say, just try it before you judge. You will be convinced the moment the first bite hits your lips. This cookie is not like your run of the mill refined, calorie laden, generally terrible for you but oh so delicious cookie. It has eliminated all the bad and happily been left with just the oh so delicious! The oats are a great slow release energy that keep me going even when I am faced with maths first thing in the morning!

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I personally don’t add any sweetener because I don’t usually like sweet oats but it’s completely up to you. The vanilla protein powder lends it a lovely cookie smell and taste and it feels ridiculously indulgent after adding choc or pb chips even though it isn’t! There is nothing more exciting then biting into melting chocolate chips at any time of the day let alone breakfast time. Children will love this and it is an interesting change up to add to any breakfast collection.

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Breakfast Cookie (Serves 1)

1/3 cup rolled oats

1 level tbsp vanilla protein powder (Or flavor of choice)

1/2tsp cinnamon

1/2tbsp chia seeds

1/2 banana mashed

1tbsp milk

honey or choice of sweetener, to taste (optional)

Toppings:

chocolate chips

coconut flakes

peanut butter chips

raisins

chopped dates

nuts (almonds, pecans etc) roughly chopped

  • Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl including any chosen toppings except chocolate or peanut butter chips.
  • Scoop out onto a microwavable plate and shape into a cookie.
  • Microwave for 1min then sprinkle the chocolate or pb chips over the cookie and return to the microwave for 25sec.
  • Add sliced banana or berries to the top and enjoy!

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Moist Baileys Espresso Layer Cake

25 Sep

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It was my moms friends birthday a while back and I was asked to make a cake for the occasion. As per usual, I pounced on the opportunity to concoct a decadent cake with some delicious flavor combination! Both my mom and her friend adore baileys and have a slight addiction to coffee so I just had to inject these flavors that always work so amazingly together. I really wanted the baileys flavor to shine so I weakened the coffee and really amped up the baileys.

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And of course I had to smother it with a crazily indulgent cream cheese baileys frosting… Because what would any cake really be without its glue? 🙂 The cake I presented at the end was completely drool worthy and thank god it was for somebody else or I would have scoffed the lot! It was a light and airy cake but insanely moist. It was pitch black in colour which contrasted beautifully with the light and fluffy frosting. If you or any loved ones likes baileys and/or coffee whatsoever, go make this for them and you will forever be worshiped. Happy reining!

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Moist Baileys Espresso Layer Cake 

200g plain flour

200g caster sugar

75g cocoa powder

1 1/2tsp baking powder

1 1/2tsp baking soda

1/2tsp salt

2 eggs

125ml coffee, cooled (espresso or instant)

100ml baileys

1tsp vanilla extract

225ml buttermilk

100ml vegetable oil

For the Frosting:

1 x 300g tub cream cheese

60ml baileys

21/2tbsp cocoa powder

500g icing sugar, more or less depending on your desired consistency

  • Preheat the oven to 180ºc/350°f and grease and line 2 9inch sandwich cake pans.
  • Sift all the dry ingredients together in a big bowl.
  • Whisk the eggs, coffee, baileys, vanilla, buttermilk and oil in a large jug until combined.
  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry, a little bit at a time and whisk together by hand or with a mixer until everything is combined, scraping down the sides as needed. It is supposed to be quite liquidy so don’t worry.
  • Divide between the cake tins and bake in the oven for 20-30mins until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out with just a few moist crumbs on it.
  • Let cool for at least 30mins then remove from tin and let cool fully on wire racks.
  • Meanwhile make your frosting. With an electric mixer beat the cream cheese until smooth then add the baileys and cocoa powder. Gradually add in the icing sugar, beating well after each addition until you achieve the right consistency.
  • When the cakes are fully cooled use about 1/4 or a little more of the frosting to sandwich the cakes together and the rest to cover the top and sides.
  • Decorate however you wish and enjoy eat blissful bite!

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Blackberry and White Chocolate Crumble

8 Sep

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This year we have been absolutely inundated with blackberries, they started ripening about a week and a half ago and they just haven’t stopped since. I have been out picking about four times now and I’d say have at least 6lbs of berries at this stage in the freezer and it is beginning to look at little squished!

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There is just something so fulfilling about getting free food that I just can’t stop myself from picking them. They also make a great mid run snack when you spot a bunch of glistening berries just yearning to be picked.  I have many ideas as to what I want to do with my overflowing store of berries, from dressings to sweets to crumble. Lots of recipes to come will have this star feature. This crumble was actually a bit of a stroke of luck. After my first blackberry picking escapade, I wanted to make something with them and what more classic then a crumble?

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I was going to make a pretty basic crumble but when I was reaching into the cupboard for the rolled oats I spotted the white chocolate and was instantly inspired to incorporate it into my little dessert. It works beautifully with the blackberry and adds a creaminess to the crumble that I have never experienced before. It instantly became a favorite of my mothers and I have made it countless times for her and guests since. I have served mine with ice cream every time as I didn’t have time to make custard but I think that either would work amazingly… When is custard not amazing? 🙂

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Blackberry and White Chocolate Crumble (Serves 2)

70g berries

1tsp light brown sugar

For the Crumble:

70g plain flour

50g butter, cubed

50g white chocolate, cut into small chunks

2tsp light brown sugar

  • Preheat the oven to 200°c/395°f.
  • Divide the berries between 2 ramekins and sprinkle 1/2tsp sugar over each.
  • Place the flour in a small bowl and add the cubed butter. Rub in the butter roughly until it resembles chunky breadcrumbs.
  • Mix in the white chocolate chunks and divide the crumble between the two ramekins.
  • Sprinkle 1tsp sugar over each crumble.
  • Bake in the oven for about 20mins until the top is golden and the berries are starting to bubble.
  • Serve with a scoop of good quality vanilla ice-cream or custard.

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Cake Batter Funfetti Popcorn with Crispy M&M’s

15 Aug

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I love funfetti! It has to be the most adorable baking trend ever and when it is mixed with popcorn it becomes even more adorable. Unfortunately i find it impossible to find really colorful sprinkles here in the West of Ireland which is why mine is slightly dull… If anybody knows where I could get some it would be great if you’d let me know! 🙂 I organised to go to the movies with one of my friends Amy because I haven’t seen her all Summer and we were really due a good catch up.

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She is a pretty darn good baker herself, and I knew she would appreciate a good homemade cinema snack. Not only do I love homemade snacks but cinema food is outrageously priced and there is no way you will ever catch me buying indulgences there! Even with all this complaining about cinema food, I have to admit that I love munching into salty popcorn with my eyes glued to the screen of a good movie so I stuck with my popcorn roots and came up with this baby.

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It is pure indulgence but the coating to popcorn ratio is perfect so even though the chocolate cake batter flavors are quite rich, it doesn’t make the completed recipe sickly. My favorite m&m’s are the crispy ones that you get in the blue packet but any sort would still be delicious. Amy loved it and I found it so additive that I had all mine eaten before the movie even started (So be warned!)

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Cake Batter Funfetti Popcorn with Crispy M&M’s

1 bag plain, natural popcorn (I use Kelkin)

100g white chocolate

1 1/2tbsp vegetable oil

1/2 heaped cup vanilla cake batter mix from a box

colorful sprinkles

1 large bag crispy m&m’s

  • Make the popcorn according to the packet instructions and tip into a large bowl.
  • Line a large baking tray with baking parchment.
  • Melt the chocolate in the microwave in 30sec bursts, mixing between each burst until smooth. Stir in the oil and cake mix until smooth.
  • Drizzle 3/4 of the chocolate mixture into the popcorn and scatter loads of sprinkles and 3/4 of the bag of m&m’s. Toss with your hands until everything is coated evenly.
  • Tip the popcorn out onto the prepared tray and drizzle with the leftover melted chocolate and scatter more sprinkles and the rest of the m&m’s over to finish.
  • Leave for at least 30mins until the chocolate has hardened then transfer to a bowl or little baggies if your bringing it with you.

 

Homemade Oreos

5 Aug

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Firstly I’d just like to try and convey to you how excited I was making these. It was like a child in a candy shop, a dog with a bone, my mom in a home decor store… Just sheer anticipation and titillation. I’ve seen recipes for oreos before and always, with great intentions, put it on my to-do list but never seemed to get around to it.

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Yesterday, I was bored stiff and looking through Pinterest I spotted a recipe for cookies and cream popcorn which had me day dreaming about oreos. With none in sight and no chance of getting to the shops, I whipped my apron out and the glorious torpedo of flour and chocolate and frosting began. Now this is an easy recipe but it is a time consuming and slightly grueling one. But and this is a big but, it is all worth it, every second you spent mixing and rolling and cutting and frosting.

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All of it, when you hold that first little oreo in your hand, dunk it into a cold glass of milk, take a bite and the biscuit breaks away and molds with the creamy filling and you sit there in utter awe of your creation. That, my friend, makes any arduous kitchen task worth it. So I want any and every oreo lover to give this a shot and experience baking perfection with me 🙂

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Homemade Oreos (Makes about 50)

For the Oreo Biscuit:

225g butter, softened

1 cup granulated sugar

1 egg

1tsp vanilla extract

2 cups plain flour

3/4 cup dark cocoa powder

1 12/tsp baking powder

a pinch of salt

For the Filling:

200g butter, softened

4-5 cups icing sugar, more or less if needed

2tsp vanilla extract, or to taste

  • For the biscuits, beat the butter and sugar together for 3-4mins until pale and fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt.
  • Mix the dry mixture into the wet a little bit at a time, beating on low constantly until all the dry ingredients are incorporated.
  • Divide the dough in half and wrap each half in cling film. Chill in the fridge for at least 1hr.
  • Preheat the oven to 180°c/375°f and grease and line two large baking sheets with baking parchment.
  • Working with one half of the dough at a time, lightly dust the counter with flour and roll your dough out to about 1/4 inch thick. You may have to divide the dough further to make it into manageable pieces if you are finding it difficult to roll.
  • Cut into circles using roughly a 2inch cookie cutter or you can cut it into all sorts of shapes and sizes if you want.
  • Place on the prepared baking sheets, you can place them quite close together as they don’t really expand, and bake in the oven for 12mins.
  • Let the cookies cool completely on the baking sheet.
  • Meanwhile prepare the filling. In a large bowl, beat the butter until smooth and creamy then slowly start adding in the icing sugar until you reach your desired consistency. Add in the vanilla extract and beat to incorporate.
  • Pipe or spread the frosting onto half the cookies and top with the other half, squeezing them gently together so they stick.
  • Pour yourself a big glass of milk and dunk away! 🙂

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