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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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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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Homemade Tortilla Wraps

11 Sep

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If, like me, you have always marveled at the magic of a tortilla then look no further. These are honestly so easy to make, not even any tricky yeast in these to catch you out. So there is no reason not to give it a whirl. These are best served hot from the pan as they are still very soft and easy to fold then but will keep for up to three days if you keep them airtight. These don’t have the same leathery feel as some shop bought tortillas, they are much softer and are actually more durable when folding, wrapping and generally over loading your tortillas. They only have to be rested for 30mins and will have all family and friends astounded by your culinary expertise.

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Homemade Tortilla Wraps (Makes about 10)

3 cups plain flour

1tsp salt

1/2tsp baking powder

1/3 cup vegetable oil

1 cup hot water

  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and baking powder.
  • Drizzle in the oil and use your fingers to work it through the flour until it resembles crumbs.
  • Make a well in the middle and pour in most of the hot water. Mix until it forms a soft ball adding the rest of the water if needed.
  • Place in a clean bowl, cover with a tea towel or cling film and let rest for 30mins. It won’t rise as there is no yeast only baking powder, so don’t worry if you come back and it is the same size.
  • Divide the dough into ten balls and roll each one out into a thin disc on a well floured surface.
  • Heat a large frying pan over a medium/high heat and cook the wraps for 1-2mins or until brown and blistered then turn and repeat on the other side.
  • Serve warm, also suitable for freezing.

Mature Cheddar and Sage Scones

19 Aug

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There is something soothing about going into the kitchen early in the morning and turning simple, everyday ingredients into something magnificent. It really relaxes me and always ensures I have a really calm and happy day. Things are so hectic at the moment because of the Florence trip (I’m soooo excited!) so I really needed something to chill me out, this was the perfect answer. Not only did I have a great baking “therapy” session to start my day but I ended up with these fantastic scones and believe me nothing smells better coming out of the oven then super cheesy scones!

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The sage and mustard are subtle but compliment the cheesy flavors well. The one thing I would highly recommend is that you use really tangy mature cheddar so that you have a real sharpness from the scones. These are great as is or used to accompany loads of different meals such as scrambled eggs for a decadent brunch, a steaming bowl of soup for lunch or alongside a meaty main for dinner.

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Mature Cheddar and Sage Scones (Makes 5-6)

225g plain flour

1tsp cream of tartar

1/2tsp baking soda

a pinch of salt

50g butter, cold and cubed

70g mature cheddar, grated (Plus extra for the top)

1 heaped tsp dried sage

21/2tsp mustard powder

a pinch of salt and pepper

1/4 pint milk, plus a drop extra for glazing)

  • Preheat the oven to 230°c/450°f.
  • Sieve the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt into a large bowl. Add the cubed butter and rub into the flour using your fingertips until it resembles breadcrumbs.
  • Stir in the grated cheese, sage, mustard powder and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Make a well in the centre and add most of the milk. Mix together with a wooden spoon, add the remaining milk if necessary until it forms a soft dough.
  • Turn out onto a floured surface and roll out to about 1inch thick, cut into roughly five rounds.
  • Place the rounds on a baking sheet lined with baking parchment. Brush with some extra milk and top with more grated cheese.
  • Bake in the oven for 10mins until golden.

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Homemade Digestive Biscuits

18 Aug

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I’m seriously on a homemade biscuit role between the oreos, jammy dodgers and now these. I love it! It is so cool being able to recreate classic favorites at home and being able to present a box of delectable tea time treats to visitors with their cup of steaming tea. Now that is something that will really make somebodies day.

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Digestives are actually just a sort of wholemeal shortbread biscuit and of course I covered mine in chocolate to make them completely irresistible. These are easy cookies to make but really time consuming so it’s a recipe to make when you have a few hours to settle into the kitchen and enjoy an afternoon of biscuit smells wafting through the house and several cups of tea being consumed!

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Homemade Digestive Biscuits

1 cup plain flour

1/2 cup ground flaxseed (You can sub in any of the following: Wheat germ, Oat bran, Finely ground bran cereal or a mixture)

1/2tsp baking powder

1/4tsp baking soda

1/4tsp cream of tartar

pinch of salt

30g butter, cold and cubed

2tbsp vegetable oil

90g light brown sugar

3tbsp light cream

1tsp vanilla extract

iciong sugar for dusting

100-150g milk chocolate

  • To a food processor, add the flour, flaxseed (Or substitution), baking powder, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt and whizz to combine.
  • Add the butter, oil and sugar and whizz again to combine making sure there are no butter chunks left.
  • Finally add the cream and vanilla and whizz again. It should resemble a soft but not wet dough. If you think it is a bit wet, turn it out onto a well floured surface and knead a few tbsp flour into it. Wrap up in cling film and place in the fridge for at least 30mins or preferably the freezer for about 15mins until firm.
  • Preheat the oven to 180°c/350°.
  • Cut out two large sheets of baking parchment and dust both lightly with icing sugar. Roll the dough out to about 1/8inch thick between the two sheets and peel the top sheet off.
  • Cut into circles and remove the excess dough, transfer to a large baking sheet and bake in the oven for about 15mins. Let cool on the tray.
  • Repeat with the rest of the dough until it is all used up.
  • Once all the cookies are cool, melt the chocolate in the microwave in 30sec bursts, stirring between each interval until smooth.
  • Dip the cookies in the melted chocolate, using a knife to spread it out evenly then get a clean toothpick and draw several lines across the biscuit then draw similar lines in downwards motions on the biscuit creating the traditional digestive look.
  • Let the chocolate set then have a tea party!

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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.

 

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