Strawberry & White Chocolate Shortbread

Now the last time I made shortbread I baked my Chocolate, Orange & Caraway Shortbread. They were so moreish and disappeared pretty fast. I found that they had a biscuit/cookie texture, which actually worked out extremely well.

However today I want to try a different method (creaming the butter and sugar together and then adding the flour – rather than rubbing the butter into the flour and sugar). I also want these to be a little more dense and creamy, thus I’m adding more butter and sugar this time, as well as some cornflour to thicken up the dough.

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Of course we all know it’s the strawberry season (if you have somehow managed to miss this, check out my yummy Strawberry n’ Cream Muffins – they are insane!), and so I must include some delicious fresh strawberries. Dried fruit would definitely be easier to work with in this sort of recipe, however I like a challenge and love the pinky streaks the fruit creates in these shortbreads (I’m one of those weirdos who likes imperfection)

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Just a word of warning: because fresh fruit has a lot of moisture, you may need to add a little more flour to this dough when ‘knocking up’ and rolling, but don’t be afraid of a moist dough, it just means your hands will get extra messy and sticky, but your shortbread will be extra creamy and juicy when you hit a strawberry crunch!

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As we all know my recipe cannot go without a little chocolate; today I’m in the mood for a creamy white chocolate chip, to complement the texture and flavour we’re going for today.

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After walking round my garden and picking some fresh lavender I had a little thought of using lavender flavouring in my next batch. I really really like crisp and light flowery tastes in biscuits.

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 These are a big hit and are great for nibbling on a warm sunny day with a cup of Yorkshire tea (what else?!)

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Enjoy ❤

Strawberry & White Chocolate Shortbread (makes around 40)

200g unsalted butter, softened

100g caster sugar, plus extra for dusting

200g plain flour, plus extra for dusting

100g cornflour

Pinch of salt

75g white chocolate chips

75g finely chopped strawberries (dried fruit would work best however I used fresh – just prepare for the colour to run a little)

  1. Lightly grease and line your baking trays
  2. Cream together the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy
  3. Sift the flour and cornflour into the bowl and then add the salt. Mix together until smooth and combined
  4. Add the strawberries and chocolate then gently fold
  5. Tip onto a lightly floured surface and knead to form a soft dough
  6. Roll out between 2 pieces of baking parchment to around 1cm thick. Prick the dough and cut into whatever shapes you desire
  7. Place the shortbreads onto your trays and chill for around 45-60 minutes.
  8. Preheat your oven to 170 degrees and bake shortbreads for around 15-20 minutes, until just golden brown. Leave on the trays for a few minutes to cool and then place on wire rack to cool completely.
  9. Dust with sugar and hey presto you’re in! These keep for around 5 days…. Enjoy!

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Old School Oatmeal Cream Pies

After a busy week of working I desperately needed a pick me up, and these did just that. I had some vanilla and toffee buttercream left over from the Cappuccino Cake I made a few days ago, as well as half a bag of oats from my Healthy Flapjacks. These Oatmeal Cookies (transformed into cream pies) were a lifesaver and WARNING – they are pretty moreish.

Perfect for your children or entertaining guests, they are very simple to bake and very yummy to eat.

Enjoy 🙂

Oatmeal Cream Pies (makes around 30)

230g unsalted butter

230g dark brown sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 eggs

210g plain flour

3/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda

pinch of salt

1/2 tsp cinnamon

150g rolled oats

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and line your greasing proof paper
  2. Cream together the butter and sugar and then add the vanilla extract and eggs
  3. Sift in the flour, bicarbonate of soda, salt and cinnamon into the bowl and stir to combine. Stir in the oats
  4. Form your balls and place the dough onto your sheets – using tips from my Classic Cookie mix to make the perfect shape
  5. Bake for around 8-10 minutes (again look at my tips!)
  6. Leave to cool slightly before placing on a wire rack to cool completely
  7. For the buttercream click here for various recipes – go wild!


              

The King of the Cookies

*ALERT* 

I have discovered THE BEST COOKIE RECIPE EVER!

I won’t try and pretend that I made this recipe up. Like with everything, you take inspiration from various people and their recipes – today it was from one of my favourite food bloggers Sally’s Baking Addiction.

I love how Sally explains each and every ingredient and the reason why she has decided to include it. I’ll give you the lazy overview of what Sally says:

  1. Underbaked cookies are the secret to softness (that’s pretty general knowledge)
  2. Using more brown sugar than white sugar results in a moister, softer cookie (something I’ve only recently discovered, and couldn’t believe I’d never realised… I’ve never looked back!) 
  3. Adding an extra egg yolk increases chewiness (new to me – she’s definitely right)
  4. Rolling the cookie dough balls to be taller than wider increases thickness (yep got that one – that’s more preference that anything)
  5. Using melted butter (and slightly more flour) increases chewiness (to be honest I always melt my butter anyway – I never realised I was on to something amazing) 
  6. Chilling the dough results in a thicker cookie (every cookie monster knows this one!)

BUT the most important point I discovered was using a thickener. Sally uses Cornstarch, I used Arrowroot.

This is my secret ingredient (not so secret anymore). I can’t emphasise enough how this completely transformed my cookies!

Everyone agrees that these are very ‘cookie’ cookies. In other words: they are just like bakery style cookies you buy from a supermarket, cafe or bakery.

They are SOOOOOOOOO soft and SOOOOOOOO chewy and SOOOOOOO thick and just SOOOOOOOOO tasty – just like a cookie should be.

I’m seriously excited about these, can you tell?

So along with my Brownies, this recipe has made it in to my royal hall of all time classics and favourites.

GO BAKE THESE!

p.s. obviously you can add whatever you fancy, I threw in some m&ms, smarties and dark chocolate chunks…. go wild 🙂

 Classic Cookie Mix (makes around 24)

280g plain flour

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1 1/2 tsp arrowroot

1/2 tsp salt

170g unsalted butter, melted

135g light brown sugar

100g granulated sugar

1 egg & 1 egg yolk

2 tsp vanilla extract

200g chocolate chunks or your preferred extras

  1. Stir together the flour, bicarbonate of soda, arrowroot and salt in a large bowl
  2. In a medium size bowl, whisk the melted butter, brown sugar, and white sugar together until no brown sugar lumps remain
  3. Whisk in the egg, then the egg yolk. Finally, whisk in the vanilla
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix together. Fold in the chocolate chips
  5. Cover the dough and chill in the refrigerator for around 3 hours
  6. Take the dough out of the refrigerator and allow to slightly soften at room temperature for 10 minutes
  7. Preheat the oven to 160 degrees and grease your baking trays
  8. Roll the dough into balls, make them taller rather than wide, to ensure the cookies will bake up to be thick. Press a few more chocolate chips/chunks on top of the dough balls for great appearance
  9. Bake for around 10 minutes, even if they look soft, they will carry on baking on the tray once removed
  10. Allow to cool on the tray before removing and placing on a wire rack to cool completely

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Chocolate, Orange & Caraway Shortbread

Today I wanted something simple and tasty to munch on with a cup of tea (when do I never want this?!) sooo shortbread was a winner for me.

I love the buttery flavour of shortbread and it’s always been a weakness of mine… I literally don’t know when to stop!

So here is a classic go-to recipe – you can play around with the flavours and be creative, for example switching orange with lemon, or adding lavender, vanilla, honey etc etc… just don’t mix too many different flavours together, I usually stick to fruit or chocolate for texture and a complementing flavour such as orange or lemon.

Enjoy – these are simply amazing! 🙂

Chocolate Orange & Caraway Shortbread

200g plain flour

50g caster sugar

125g unsalted butter, softened

zest of 1 orange

30g dark chocolate, finely chopped

1 tsp caraway seeds

  1. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees and line a baking tray with baking paper
  2. Mix the flour and sugar in a bowl and then rub in the butter (using your thumb and forefinger)
  3. Add the zest of orange and roll into a ball shape
  4. Push or ‘stamp’ out your desired shape, directly onto the prepared tray
  5. Press in the chocolate and caraway seeds and sprinkle over caster sugar
  6. Place in the oven for around 20 minutes (or until a light golden brown)

      

   

Mars Bar, Fudge & Choc Chip Cookies 

Today I cleaned my house, (I’m one of those horrible people who compulsively clean and really really enjoy it – it’s therapy for me), visited my Auntie’s house where I gave her cat Brucey some TLC (this morning and evening), had a telephone interview for a potential job, prepared a pork tenderloin and mushroom sauce and baked some cookies. I feel like I haven’t sat down all day and the soles of my feet have that knawing tooth ache pain because I actually haven’t stopped.

So if you’ve had this kind of day, or will have one similar tomorrow, seriously – bake these cookies…. Or ideally, get someone else to bake them. They have a lot of sugar and chocolate in them and they make me feel good when I eat them (Please have with cup of tea).

You can replace the chocolate bars used for any of your favourites – I just particularly like Mars Bars.

I love baking cookies!

Mars Bar, Fudge & Choc Chip Cookies (makes around 30)

250g unsalted butter

300g light brown sugar

150g caster sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 eggs

310g plain flour

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

Pinch of sea salt

3 mars bars

3 chocolate fudge bars

100g dark chocoalte chunks

Cinnamon sugar for sprinkling

  1. Cream together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs and vanilla
  3. Sift together the flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt in a bowl
  4. Add a spoonful at a time of wet and dry ingredients to the creamed butter, beating until just incorporated
  5. Mix in the Mars Bar chunks, fudge chunks and chocolate chunks
  6. Wrap the dough in clingfilm and refrigerate for around an hour
  7. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and grease your baking trays
  8. Using a cookie scoop or just your hands, place the cookie balls onto the trays
  9. Bake for 12 minutes and leave to cool before eating


        

Brucey the tabby I’m looking after for the week – he’s a cutie ❤

Cappuccino Cookies

Just a quick one today! I haven’t made cookies in a long time… my obsession for muffins and cakes have kind of taken over my baking lifestyle recently. So I thought I’d bake something super easy with few ingredients involved. I needed something with a kick to help me get through the week and these really hit the spot.

If you don’t have cappuccino sachets, just use regular coffee – but the cappuccino style really adds a creamy taste, complementing the white chocolate perfectly. I also loved the switch to white chocolate rather than the usual rich recipes using milk or dark.

You only need one of these as they are super sweet and give you such a burst of energy! I think they look pretty damn cute as well. Enjoy!

Cappuccino Cookies (makes around 30)

2 sachets instant cappuccino

1 tbsp hot water

225g unsalted butter, softened

140g caster sugar

1 egg yolk

280g plain flour

pinch of salt

175g white chocolate

cocoa powder, for dusting

  1. Empty the cappuccino sachets into a bowl and stir in the hot water to make a paste
  2. Cream the butter and sugar together and then beat in the yolk and cappuccino paste
  3. Sift in the flour and salt until thoroughly combined
  4. Halve the dough, wrap in cling film and chill in the refrigerator for 30-40 minutes
  5. Preheat the oven to 190 degrees and grease some baking trays
  6. Roll out the dough and stamp out cookies with a cutter, and then place them on the baking tray
  7. Bake for around 10-12 minutes, until golden brown.
  8. Leave to cool completely and transfer them to a wire rack
  9. Put the white chocolate in a heatproof bowl and melt over a pan of gently simmering water.
  10. Spoon the chocolate over the cookies and dust lightly with cocoa powder