Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas Cookies

I've wanted to make Christmas Cookies for years, and today I finally got around to it!

Packaged in cellophane and ribbon, these festive cookies make a great gift! 

The cookies take about half an hour from scratch to baked and about ten minutes of decorating. This Christmas Eve it was time well spent! I used a wine glass and a Santa cookie cutter I received last Christmas, plus some royal icing, chocolate chips and leftover Snowman decorations.

There's not much more I can say about these, except I'm sure Santa will love them!

You will need:
1 cup Butter (softened)
1/2 cup Granulated Sugar
2tbsp Light Brown Sugar
2 cups Cream Flour
  1. Line two baking trays and preheat oven to 175 degrees Celcius.
  2. Mix all ingredients until sand-like in consistency.
  3. Keep beating until they form a dough (if you're not getting the desired result, add an egg to the mix!)
  4. Roll out on a floured worktop to 1/4 inch thick.
  5. Cut out desired shapes.
  6. Bake for 12-15mins, until slightly darker than raw colour.
  7. Allow to cool on baking tray.
  8. Once cooled, decorate using royal icing and any available extras.
  9. Enjoy!

Stay sweet and Happy Christmas! x

Amazing Double Chocolate Cookies

I always think my own cookies are too sugary... They crumble upon touch and sometimes taste too much like the raw ingredient. What these cookies lack in sugar they make up for in sweetness, and consistency thanks to condensed milk! Don't think about calories, just make them, and enjoy them!

These beauties are from Mary Berry's Baking Bible- a truly excellent book which any baking enthusiast would appreciate this Christmas!!

They look quite like my Three Ingredient Nutella Cookies  but they are so much more superior... In every way! Perfect for a gift, these will please any sweet tooth! What are you waiting for?? Go bake! :)


Makes 2-3 dozen cookies

You will need: 
200g Plain Chocolate (I used 70% cocoa solids but she suggests 39%)
50g Butter
1 can CondensedMilk
225g Self-Raising Flour
1 Packet White Chocolate Buttons

  1. Line 3 baking trays. Break chocolate and melt with butter in a heat-proof bowl over a pan of simmering water, stirring occasionally. 
  2. Stir in condensed milk and allow to cool.
  3. Mix in flour and chocolate buttons.
  4. Chill until firm to handle.
  5. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celcius.
  6. Place large spoons of mixture, spaced well apart on the trays.
  7. Bake for 15 minutes. As always, cookies will look soft, but take them out!!
  8. Place to cool on a wire rack.
  9. Enjoy with a glass of milk or steaming hot tea!
By leaving these out for Santa, I guarantee you'll get a heap of presents under the Christmas tree!

Stay sweet! x

Christmas Cupcakes

My sister's fiancée had a Bake-Off in work last week, where he got landed with the awkward category of Muffins. He added an extra teaspoon of baking soda to my Nutella cupcake recipe and lo and behold we had muffins!

Since these are sweet enough he dusted icing sugar ontop using a stencil I had, and I made some quick Christmas goodies out of different coloured fondant! The end result was fab!

You might guess where he works! 

Stay sweet! x

Christmas Treats

Christmas Eve is my favourite day of the year! I love the anticipation of Christmas, and if I'm honest, the day itself can be anticlimactic so for me  Christmas Eve trumps it every time!

It's the perfect day for baking, since you can give your goodies as gifts, or just have something scrumptious on hand in case of visitors.

I'm going to share with you some of my favourite recipes that I've made this year, and previous years: Christmas Cupcakes, Amazing Double Chocolate Cookies and Christmas Cookies.

To get you in the mood here are some Christmas figures I made under the tutelage of my neighbour and sugarcraft expert! Meet Pierre the Snowman, the Christmas tree and the Beatles-Wannabe Choir Boy!

Happy Christmas everyone!! Thank you for a wonderful year here on the blogosphere, where I passed the 100th post mark! 

Stay sweet! x

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Apple Cinnamon Rolls

As promised, here is the real deal! I caved and used yeast here- there's no getting away from it I think! This recipe was surprisingly easy, and the results were ridiculous! I'll never buy a cinnamon roll again!

Bonus points: kneading by hand is exhausting!! Well, for me it was! Anyone who goes to the gym might actually be up for the task! After all that elbow grease I felt I deserved to scoff these bad boys!

I think these would be perfect to bring to a friend's house over the Christmas holidays, or just to make to munch on while wrapping gifts or watching your favourite Christmas movies! A winner in my book, I think they'd be fab for Christmas morning breakfast!

I found this recipe on The Baker Chick, I know a lot of people slather these beauties with caramel or cream cheese frosting but I dusted a little cinnamon on them and they were perfection!

Follow Audra's superb recipe below (with a few of my own teeny adjustments and notes) to find out how to make these delicacies! Melting the butter and milk was a strange experience, but it worked, so I won't question it! Have you done this before?

FYI, I got two dozen cinnamon rolls from this quantity, whereas Audra's yield was 12 so keep an eye on your own batch! Here's my roll with the 12" baking dish for a comparison!

You will need:
1 cup brown sugar
2-3 apples (Granny Smith's)
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
5 tbsp butter (melted)

3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup butter
3 1/4 cup cream flour
1 package instant yeast *I used Tesco own brand*
1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup water
1 egg

  1. Heat milk and butter in the microwave until combined (approx 1.30min on full power).
  2. Add this, along with water and egg to the yeast, sugar, salt and 2 1/4 cup flour in a mixing bowl. Beat with mixer until incorporated *using the dough hook attachment, not the paddle*.
  3. Add remaining flour gradually (dough gets increasingly tougher to mix, will probably have to use your hands to knead this! Do so on a floured worktop).
  4. Continue kneading for five minutes, until dough springs back lightly when touched. I had to add quite a bit of extra flour to get to this stage as my dough was quite sticky!
  5. Cover dough with a damp cloth and allow to rise for 10 minutes in a warm area.
  6. Mix cinnamon, sugar and butter together to form crumble. 
  7. Core, peel and chop apples into 1/4 inch pieces.
  8. Flour your surface and roll out the prepared dough which has risen considerably.
  9. Cover with cinnamon sugar mixture, and sprinkle with apple pieces.
  10. Roll the rectangle into a cylinder (Audra suggests starting at the shorter end, which is a great tip!)
  11. Using non-flavoured dental floss slice the dough into rolls.
  12. Grease a baking dish and place rolls spaced 2inches apart.
  13. Cover with a damp cloth and allow to rise in a warm area for half an hour.
  14. Pre-heat oven to 190degrees Celcius.
  15. Bake for about 30 minutes, or unti golden brown on both top and bottom *glass oven dishes are super for this!*
  16. Allow to cool in the dish- I joke, eat one right out of the oven with a cup of steaming tea.
  17. Enjoy!

I hope you liked the Winter Warmers mini-series!

This week will be as full as Santa's sleigh with Christmas recipes so don't miss out! Keep an eye on Milis!

Stay sweet! x

Apple Cinnamon Roll Pudding

Confession: these were intended to be actual cinnamon rolls but, due to a lack of spacial awareness and sheer laziness of not getting another bowl out I crammed all of these beauties into the one oven dish and they came out in a mush of cinnamony- apple goodness! 

Still amazing, I'd recommend following my steps for a lovely Sunday dessert that everyone has to dig into! If penicillin was discovered accidentally, maybe this is a new creation I've stumbled upon? Once can only hope!

I followed Lori Lang's recipe (minus the obligatory spacing of rolls and plus chopped apples!) and was impressed with the results as there was no yeast in this recipe! 

Although, with every substitution comes a consequence! I wasn't a fan of the baking powder induced tacky pallet after-taste, but that's just me! 

The sugar here makes you crave more, and I guarantee you will!

You will need:
3-4 chopped apples
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp table sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

1 cup brown sugar
4tbsp butter (at room temp)
3tsp cinnamon

2 cups cream flour
2 tbsp table sugar
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
3 tbsp butter (at room temp)
3/4 cup milk
1 large egg (beaten)
1 tsp vanilla extract

  1. Grease dish and preheat oven to 200degrees Celcius.
  2. Core, peel and chop apples.
  3. Fry apples in the pan with butter, sugar and cinnamon for 3-5 minutes until golden and slightly softened.
  4. Mix brown sugar, butter and cinnamon with your hands to form crumble.
  5. Mix butter into dry ingredients to form a dough, using your hands.
  6. Add milk, vanilla and the beaten egg and stir to combine.
  7. Roll the dough on a floured surface to a 1/4 inch thick. 
  8. Spread crumbled mixture on top of dough, followed by cooled apples.
  9. Roll the dough into a cylindrical shape.
  10. Slice using unflavoured dental floss to get a clean cut.
  11. Place rolls in baking dish (quite close together to create this pudding effect).
  12. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden.
  13. Enjoy!

Stay tuned for actual cinnamon rolls!
Stay sweet! x

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Caramel Apple Cinnamon Cake

Confession: I made this cake back in September using apples from my Nana's apple tree. Despite the fact that apples might have gone out of season, these will still be delicious with Granny Smith's from the the supermarket!

This recipe is ridiculously simple- basically throw everything into the mixer, waiting to add the apples at the end! The only tedious part (for me!) was peeling the apples, but that was more my lackof patience! Browning the apples makes the cake moist, so is definitely worth the step! 

The cinnamon gives the cake a hearty colour and to your kitchen, an amazing aroma!

I saw this recipe on The Baker Chick using a cream cheese frosting, which I'm not a fan of! So I took the sweeter, easier option, and coated this beauty with dulce de leche straight out of the can! (There's no butter in this, so don't feel too guilty!) The recipe is Martha Stewart's originally, so you know this one will be good! Give it a whirl, and let me know what you think! 

You will need:
1 1/3 cup vegetable oil
3 cups cream flour
1 tablespoon cinnamon *yes, TABLEspoon!*
1 tsp baking soda
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
3-4 apples, peeled, chopped and cored
1 can dulce de leche (if you don't have any, place a can of condensed milk in simmering water for 3-4hours)

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees Celcius.
  2. Grease a 9x9 inch oven dish (think lasagne dish).
  3. In a large frying pan, melt 1 tablespoon of butter. Add 1 tablespoon table sugar and 1 tsp cinnamon. Add your apple pieces and cook for 3-5 minutes to caramelise the apples and soften slightly.
  4. Mix oil, sugar, vanilla and eggs on a medium speed in mixer.
  5. Add dry ingredients gradually, mix until incorporated. 
  6. Fold in the apples (don't mix as this will break them!)
  7. Pour batter into dish.
  8. Bake for about an hour, or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
  9. Allow to cool in the pan.
  10. Spread dulce de leche onto cake and serve (with ice-cream!)
  11. Enjoy

I hope you like this cake as much as my family and friends did!! Stay tuned for more scrumptious cinnamon recipes tomorrow!

Stay sweet! x

Weekend Winter Warmers

Major apologies due for my hiatus! I started working in November so my spare time decreased significantly! Nevertheless, this being my 100th post I wanted to share with you something special!

Now that my favourite time of year is upon us, I'm here to bring you the best of Winter baking! This weekend I'll be sharing some apple and cinnamon recipes to ease you into the festive season. They're easy, yummy, and perfect for an evening in front of the fire, safe from the roaring winds outside!

From Monday onwards, I'll be posting some Christmas baking ideas- perfect for gifts, so you'll have them in time for December 25th! 

But first, here's my new Advent Calendar! My mum brought it back from a trip to Boston two weeks ago. The Lindt store there sold these felt wall-hanging calendars with bags for Pick'N'Mix! Each pocket holds a different flavour (if you wish!) So far I've had chocolate (red), white chocolate (gold), vanilla white chocolate (purple) and cocoa nibs white chocolate (light blue). A perfect gift for a chocoholic!

Here are the links to an indulgent Caramel Apple Cinnamon Cake, a hearty Apple Cinnamon Roll Pudding and of course the iconic Apple Cinnamon Roll!

Stay tuned and as always, stay sweet! x

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Malteser Chocolate Chip Caramel Cookie Bars

Last week I was heading to a friend's house for a girl's night and I wanted to bring something to show my appreciation. I was stumped, and looked to the remains of the Halloween sweets for inspiration. 

Maltesers had already proved to make delicious cookies and I thought the caramel Chomp bars would be lovely and gooey! Bonus points: these bars take less effort than cookies!

Here's what you need to make a 6x6 tray of cookie bars:
1/2 cup margarine
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup soft brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups self-raising flour
1/2 cup chocolate chips
3 funsize bags of Maltesers
4 funsize Chomp bars

  1. Line a 6x6 tray with baking parchment, snipping at the corners so it fits properly.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180degrees Celcius.
  3. In a plastic bag, bash at the Maltesers with a mallet until broken (not crushed).
  4. Chop Chomp bars into small pieces.
  5. Beat together margarine and sugars until combined.
  6. Add vanilla and egg, and mix until combined.
  7. Add the flour and mix until combined.
  8. On a slow setting, add the chocolate chips and Chomp and Malteser pieces.
  9. Place dough into prepared tin.
  10. Bake for about 50minutes or until cooked through and golden brown in colour.
  11. Allow to cool in tin before slicing.
  12. Enjoy.

Come back for more Autumnal recipes this week!

Stay sweet! x

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Bloody Halloween Cupcakes

To get you in the mood for Halloween, these spookily decorated bloody cupcakes should do the trick...or treat! (Sorry, couldn't help myself!)

Spider, witch's hat, mummy, ghost, bat, tombstone, broom, skull, pumpkin, Frankenstein's monster, bloody fangs and a bone... All in a day's work! 

I made simple sponge cupcakes but before baking dribbled some strawberry jam on top and quickly buried the jam under batter so it would bake nicely.

The toppers are all handmade out of fondant, I didn't follow any designs or stencils I just fiddled around with sugarpaste until I got a shape I liked. I was too lazy to whip up buttercream so I used a glass tumbler to cut out circles of sugarpaste and used these as a base on the cupcakes. FYI, all the materials I used were featured here as well as an oh-so-fancy cocktail stick, and I painted yellow fondant with red food colouring to get a pumpkin orange colour! I also used an edible black felt tip pen which I found in Brussels for writing/pupils.

Ingredients for a dozen cupcakes:
6oz self-raising flour
4oz caster sugar
4oz margarine
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 jar of jam (strawberry or raspberry)
  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celcius, and line a cupcake tray.
  2. Beat margarine and sugar together on a medium speed until combined.
  3. Add eggs one at a time and mix until combined.
  4. Add vanilla extract.
  5. Sieve in flour and beat until combined.
  6. Divide batter between cases.
  7. Add a teaspoon of jam to each case (trail along), cover this over with batter.
  8. Bake for 20mins or until springy to touch.
  9. Allow cupcakes to cool before applying a thin layer of jam on top. Place fondant circle atop.
  10. Brush fondant with clear alcohol to give shine and allow toppers to stick.
  11. Enjoy!

If you're looking for more spooky treats check out last year's post which features a podcast with great ideas from other bloggers!

Looking for costume inspiration? Last year I wrote this article for the UCC Express but I also love Urban Outfitters range! Whatever you get up to, have a great night!

 Happy Halloween, and stay spooky! x