Chinese New Year treats!!

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CNY treats!!! Yum!

It is Chinese New Year this week and I wanted to make something quick and simple treats to bring into work. Plus nothing to big as I still need to get on the public transport! Chinese new year desserts are quite traditional and the taste is quite strong. I wanted to make something a bit traditional but also a bit western as well! So came up with Christine’s lemon almond cookies, chocolatesuze.com’s melt in your mouth peanut cookies and Lorraine Pascale’s peanut butter squares. My other Chinese colleague brought some white rabbit sweets which taste like milk sweets and some pandan cake.

The treats went down really well!!! I was pleased with them myself! The peanut cookies were so simple to make and I ended up making 2 batches as they were so addictive to eat! They looked traditional and tasted ever so crumbley!! I will blog her recipes once I get the chance! I have made the peanut butter squares previously but the texture was very powdery! This time, it turned out really nice and compact. Maybe I left in them in the fridge all night and made them more set!! My husband kept eating them all so I had to take them into work earlier before he gobbles them all up!!!

Hope all my family and friends have a fab chinese new year and wish them happiness and good health!!!

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Peanut cookies

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Lemon almond cookies

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Peanut butter squares

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Happy Father’s day!!!

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Biscuitbox

It’s Dan’s first Father’s day and unfortunately I didn’t have time to bake him anything as we had friends coming round for lunch yesterday. And we had a family dinner booked for this evening!

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Yummy!!!

I was looking at this website biscuitbox for christening favours and they made special biscuits for Father’s day which looked really cute! I ordered the star one as u can see from the pic…Dee was enjoying munching the packaging!! As he is 6 months now, he was allowed to have some crumbs to share with father!!! The biscuit was iced beautifully and tasted delicious with a cup of tea!!!

Wishing u all a Happy Father’s Day!!!

MacMillan Coffee Morning! :)

MacMillian Coffee Morning Bakes

MacMillian Coffee Morning Bakes

It was the MacMIllan Coffee Morning this weekend and i course baked some goodies for sale!!! From M&S, they were selling the ‘Little Book of Treats’ for Β£4.99 and I decided to make the Fruity Flapjack biscuits – courtesy of Kate Harries and Peanut Butter Brownies, Dame Maggie Smith’s recipe.

They were simple to make and tasted delicious! I also made the pistachio cake as well as it always goes down a treat! πŸ™‚ Apparently from the staff, they said it was the 1st cake go so I was really pleased! πŸ™‚

Hope you guys did some baking for this event too! πŸ™‚

Fruity Flapjack Cookies

Fruity Flapjack Cookies

Peanut Butter Brownies

Peanut Butter Brownies

Pistachio Cake

Pistachio Cake

MacMillian Coffee Morning Bakes

MacMillian Coffee Morning Bakes – Yum! πŸ™‚

MacMillian Coffee Morning Bakes

MacMillian Coffee Morning Bakes!

 

Football Healthy Snacks Part 2!!!

Here’s part 2 of the football healthy snacks as I made Tesco’s Flapjack cookies and Energy Bites from BBC Good Food.

The energy bites was really simple to make, slightly messy but quick to do! πŸ™‚

Ingredients:

  • 100g Pecans
  • 75g Raisins
  • 1 x tablespoon of flaxseeds – i didn’t have this so I used mixed seeds
  • 1 x tablespoon of cocoa powder
  • 1 – 3 x tablespoon of honey
  • 50g Desiccated coconut (to finish)
  • 3 x tablespoon of peanut butter

Method:

11) Put the pecans into the food processor, blitz to crumbs, then add the everything else and pulse to combine.

11) Put the pecans into the food processor, blitz to crumbs, then add the everything else (not the desiccated coconut) and pulse to combine. If the mixture seems too dry, add some more honey or peanut butter to make the mixture more moist.

2) Shape the mixture into golf sized balls and roll them into the desiccated coconut to coat. Put in fridge to firm for 30 minutes. They will last for 3 - 4 days.

2) Shape the mixture into golf sized balls and roll them into the desiccated coconut to coat. Put in fridge to firm for 30 minutes. They will last for 3 – 4 days.

I also made flapjack cookies using Tesco’s recipe. Although, I was not really impressed with the outcome and I wouldn’t make this again! I thought the biscuits were quite thin and tasted quite sweet. The recipe was on the back of the Demerara sugar packaging.

Here’s the ingredients:

  • 175g Butter
  • 175g Demerara sugar
  • 100g Golden syrup
  • 75g wholemeal plain flour
  • Half teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
  • 250g Oats
  • 1 x teaspoon of cinnamon powder
  • 100g Raisins
  • 100g Dried cranberries
  • 1 stem ginger finely chopped
  • 1 x egg beaten
  • 2 x tablespoon of boiling water
  • Preheat oven to GM4 (180c) and line 2 x trays with parchment paper

Method:

1) Heat the butter, sugar and syrup until melted.

1) Heat the butter, sugar and syrup until melted.

2) Addall  the other dry ingredients. Then add the egg and water - mix thoroughly . Leave until cool to handle

2) Add all the other dry ingredients. Then add the egg and water – mix thoroughly . Leave until cool to handle.

3) Dampen your hands and shape into flattened balls. Allow space to to spread.

3) Dampen your hands and shape into flattened balls. Allow space to to spread and they do spread by quite a fair bit. I used a small ice cream scoop for the balls.

Bake for 12 - 15 minutes until golden brown. Leave to harden and then transfer to a wire rack.

Bake for 12 – 15 minutes until golden brown. Leave to harden and then transfer to a wire rack.

I am glad everybody at work enjoyed the healthy snacks, but I prefer to bake lovely and fattening cakes and desserts! πŸ™‚

Football Healthy Snacks Part 1!!!

My internet connection was down for 2 weeks so I was unable to blog any posts! Unfortunately at my work place, wordpress is banned!!! Very annoying!

So, going back to week commencing 9th September, I was asked by one of my work colleague to bake something healthy for the company’s football charity event! All the stuff that I normally bake is quite unhealthy and indulging so I thought ‘healthy’ bakes would be a challenge!!! πŸ™‚

I decided to make a variety of healthy snacks – Cranberry & Pecan Oaties, Flapjack cookies, Honey & Peanut Booster bars and Energy Bites! I think at times, I might be abit too ambitious with my baking!!!

From the feedback, the honey and peanut booster bars and cranberry & pecan oaties were a hit so I was pleased! πŸ™‚ I actually nearly burnt down my kitchen making the cranberry & pecan oaties as the baking parchment caught on fire in the oven! Luckily, my hubby was around to put it out and I still had some mixture left!!! πŸ™‚

Here’s the recipe for the Honey & Peanut Booster Bars from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall:

Ingredients:

  • 125g Unsalted butter
  • 150g soft brown sugar
  • 125g crunchy peanut butter
  • 75g honey and a little more to finish
  • Finely grated zest of 1 orange
  • Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 200g porriage oats
  • 150g dried fruits ie apricots, raisins, cranberries, blueberries
  • 150g mixed seeds ie pumpkin, sunflower, poppy, linseed
  • Preheat the oven GM3 (160c). Grease and line a 20cm square tin

Method: Make 16 pieces

Put the butter, sugar

1) Put the butter, sugar, peanut butter, honey, grated zests into a deep saucepan over a low heat.

2) Leave until melted, stiring from time to time

2) Leave until melted, stirring from time to time.

3) Stir in the oats, fried fruits and 3/4 of the seeds into the mixture

3) Stir in the oats, fried fruits and 3/4 of the seeds into the mixture until combined. Spread the mixture into the tin and smooth the top.

4) Scatter the remaining seeds and drizzle the top with some honey.

4) Scatter the remaining seeds and drizzle the top with some honey.

5) Bake for 30 minutes and leave to cool and cut into squares.

5) Bake for 30 minutes and leave to cool and cut into squares.

Here’s the recipe for Cranberry & Pecan Oaties:

Ingredients:

  • 175g Plain Flour, plus extra for dusting
  • Half teaspoon of baking powder
  • 85g Porriage Oats
  • 175g Golder caster sugar
  • 1 x teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 140g Butter, chopped
  • 70g dried cranberries or blueberries
  • 50g Pecans, roughly broken
  • 1 x egg beaten
  • Preheat oven to GM4 (160c) and line 2 trays with baking parchment paper

Method: Makes 12 – 16 cookies

1) Tip the flour, baking powder, sugar and cinnamon into a bowl and mix well with your hands.

1) Tip the flour, baking powder, sugar and cinnamon into a bowl and mix well with your hands. Rub in the butter. Stir the cranberries and pecans, add the egg and mix well with a wooden spoon until it all comes together in a big ball.

2) Stir

2) Lightly flour the work surface, then roll the dough into a fat sausage about 6cm across. Wrap in cling film, then chill in the fridge until solid.

3) Unwrap the cookie log, thickly slice into discs and arrange on baking sheets. Make sure you leave space around each one as they do spread. I used a small ice cream scoop to place them.

3) Unwrap the cookie log, thickly slice into discs and arrange on baking sheets. Make sure you leave space around each one as they do spread. I used a small ice cream scoop to place them.

4) Bake them for 15 - 20 minutes or until golden. Leave on the trays to harden and then cool completely on a wire rack.

4) Bake them for 15 – 20 minutes or until golden. Leave on the trays to harden and then cool completely on a wire rack.

So, this is part 1, part 2 to follow! πŸ™‚

 

Sunday Treats! Peanut Butter Squares

Sunday Treats! :)

Sunday Treats! πŸ™‚

The weather is hot and it is Sunday afternoon, I don’t feel like baking but I feel like I need to make something!!! A treat of some sort without using the oven! A couple of weeks on TV, I saw Lorraine Pascale making some ‘Peanut Butter Squares’ and it looked really simple to make with only a few ingredients! I decided to give this recipe a go as I had all the ingredients at home! I used Hobnobs Oaty biscuits instead of digestive biscuits and I used a foil tin tray for this as I couldn’t find my square tin. They were so yummy and it goes well with a nice cup of tea!!! πŸ™‚

Here’s the ingredients:

  • 200g melted chocolate, you can use dark or milk or a combination of both
  • 150g melted butter in a pan
  • 250g digestive biscuits
  • 200g soft light brown sugar
  • 300g crunchy peanut butter
  • 1 x tsp vanilla extract
  • 20cm / 8 inch square tin lined with parchment paper

Method:

  1. Melt the butter in a large pan
  2. Melt the chocolate either in the microwave or in a bowl over simmering water
  3. Blitz the digestive biscuits and brown sugar in a food processor to give fine crumbs. Tip them into the melted butter. Stir in the peanut butter and vanilla extract and mix together so everything is combined
  4. Tip the mixture into the lined square tin and press it down with the back of the spoon. It needs to be really compact and tight. Then pour over the melted chocolate, tilting the tin back and forth until the whole thing is evenly covered
  5. Pop in the freezer for 30 minutes to firm up or in the fridge for an hour
  6. Once the chocolate is set, remove it from the freezer or fridge and lift it out of the tin with the help of the baking parchment. Remove the paper and then use a sharp warm knife and cut into 16 squares. Normally, you can store them in a jar or tin but as the weather is quite hot, I have left them in the fridge! πŸ™‚
All the ingredients!

All the ingredients!

Biscuits and sugar ready for blending!

Biscuits and sugar ready for blending!

All mixed in!

All the ingredients mixed in!

Pressed into the foil tray

Chocolate poured on top ready to set in the fridge!

Chocolate poured on top ready to set in the fridge!

Bake the Stylist Front Cover!

Stylist Mag competition

Stylist Mag competition

I picked up a Stylist magazine a couple of weeks ago and they have got a competition to bake an original version of their front cover for an upcoming issue. This is timed to coincide with the return of The Great British Bake Off. I love this programme!! πŸ™‚ It is opened to all amateur bakers and you can make your design out of any baked goods: cupcakes, pastry, bread or a combination of all. The theme is ‘things that make you happy’ and the deadline is the 7th August.

I really wanted to enter this competition but I wasn’t sure what to bake according to the theme! It can be a place, person or concept. I thought it would be too cheesy to use the theme of love as everybody would do this. So, I had to really think hard of what I was going to bake. Then, I had the inspiration of having a collage of things that makes me happy and putting them into one shot!!!

Love, Family, Friends and Baking are all important elements in my life that makes me happy! :)

Love, Family, Friends and Baking are all important elements in my life that makes me happy! πŸ™‚

I spent my last weekend baking for this and things that me happy are a combination of things: Love, Friends, Family and Baking! πŸ™‚ I must say, it did take longer than I thought and especially with icing biscuits. I have never iced biscuits before, from the recipe book, it looks so simple but when actually doing this, it is quite messy and the piping just went all over the place with the royal icing! I definitely need more practicing and to have more patient with icing biscuits! I baked heart-shaped biscuits to represent love, cupcakes to represent friends, a raspberry torte cake for family and a pistachio loaf cake for Baking.

I wouldn’t say my entry would have the best presentation as such as I had a terrible time with icing the biscuits and I couldn’t find a great backdrop to the picture but at least I had fun in baking everythingΒ  and it kept me occupied!!!

In the end, I took the pistachio loaf cake to my hubby’s family as my mother in law loves this cake! I took the cupcakes and raspberry torte cake to work and I left the biscuits at home for us to eat! It just looked so ugly and I didn’t want anyone else to have them! My hubby said they looked pretty and just have a ‘unique’ look to it so I think he was trying to comfort me! πŸ™‚

Heart-shaped biscuits - it is important to have love in your relationship and I love my hubby! :)

Heart-shaped biscuits – it is important to have love in your relationship and I love my hubby! πŸ™‚

Raspberry torte cake - I love my families! :)

Raspberry torte cake – I love my families! πŸ™‚

Pistachio Loaf Cake - I love to bake! :)

Pistachio Loaf Cake – I love to bake! πŸ™‚

The Stylist Winner! :)

The Stylist Winner! πŸ™‚

The front cover was published on the 28th August and here is the winner! I really love it! I think we had similar idea and her pipping skills is amazing! Well done to Pamela Giles! πŸ™‚