Christmas Cookies

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After seeing how easy it is to make gingerbread men I purchased a new cookie cutter and along with some little gingerbread cookies made this sweet tree.  May have got a bit fancy with the icing baubles, it felt nicer to leave it all white rather than have smarties stuck to it. Next attempt with be smartie cookies!

– Lauren

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Blueberry Muffins

blueberry muffins

Once I attempted to make muffins without muffin cases in a shallow cupcake baking tray…as you can probably guess that turned into a messy disaster with no muffins to show. I recently attempted again to make them as I love muffins and buying four for a pound is a bargain but not when you could make 12 a little extra at home!

I have a shallow cupcake baking tray as I haven’t ever thought to buy a muffin one if I know I can’t make muffins, SO I lined each little crater with a muffin case. Made the mixture, split it between the 12 and voila! I made blueberry muffins!

The major tip I think that helped this be a success was Mary Berry suggested the mixture shouldn’t be handled too much, maybe about twenty folds maximum by hand, it should still be fairly lumpy and runny. I put complete trust into that lady and did what she said, and she was so right. I must admit I did think I was being set up for a second disaster as runny lumpy mixtures aren’t usually what you aim for in a cake mixture!

A couple of faults with these were that I followed the fruit ratio to the gram, meaning I had big juicy blueberries overpowering my muffins, although they didn’t bleed too much, there were just too many in a mouthful, so next time I will half the amount I fold in. I also feel like the muffins were shallow, even though they rose lovely. This is where a deep muffin tray might make better results as they will grow up rather than up and very very outwards!

Another tasty treat ticked off the list, I usually hate cooked fruit but in a muffin it’s quite irresistible. Now looking for suggestions for another new bake please!

Lemon Drizzle Traybake

lemon drizzle

I haven’t been on here for a while, mainly because life has been very hectic and I have just moved into my own flat with the boyfriend!! Of course, life is never too hectic for a spot of therapeutic baking!

My latest sweet treat that has been an absolute hit with myself and others is a lemon drizzle tray bake…which turned out to be a lemon drizzled massive square muffin! I got the recipe from Mary Berry of course as her traditional methods work well for me. It was also the first time I tried making a drizzle icing, so easy and simple so I am not sure why I haven’t done it before. I couldn’t resist licking the spoon either, so sugary and sweet.

It was also a first for me to use lemon zest! Normally I ignore this part of recipes and just squeeze the life out of some lemons. I thought as this was supposed to taste lemony I best follow it well, so I grated two skins of lemons, amazing! I can’t wait to give this a go with all different citrus fruits to add more taste to my future bakes.

My issue is always that I get a good rise on my bakes, it sounds so arrogant but I just follow recipes or stick to the classic ‘same weight as eggs’ method and my pots and pans can’t cater for the amounts! I always take a risk pouring all of the mixture into a tin and hope it bakes well, so next time I think I will try and split my mixture into to tins and make two bakes?

If you want to give this bake a try, you can find the delicious recipe in Mary Berry’s ‘Cookery Course’ book which is full of amazing ideas and methods. This has become a kitchen staple of mine and it was a bargain for only £9.99 from £25 in my local TK Maxx!

Nutella and Banana Loaf

Another big muffin type loaf cake. Filled with ripe bananas and Nutella, sweet and melt in your mouth goodness!

Ingrediants:
220g self raising flour
220g caster suger
220g butter
3 medium eggs or equivelant to 220g
Splash of milk
2 mushed bananas
3 tablespoons Nutella or any chocolate spread.

Literally throw it all in a bowl and mix mix mix! It helps to mix the banana and Nutella in at the end as the mixture will be soft and whippy.

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Bake in a loaf tin and try to avoid over filling which is something I have a real problem with. My solution would be buy a bigger tin or bake two loafs in one sitting!

The best thing about waiting for it to bake of course is the spoon licking. Something I have always loved since a young age, no wastage here!

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Excuse the bare face and tired eyes!

As you can see this loaf was soo full and continued to rise, so much so I had to move the oven tray half bake because it had reached the top shelf!

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Despite all of the sugar and Nutella, it still tastes like a healthy bake due to the chunks of banana! You could leave the sugar out of the mixture and just use Nutella if you want to be a bit healthier.

Served warm with a layer of Nutella. Yum.

Banana Bread

Today I fulfilled my urge to make some Banana bread. Having never attempted this before I am very pleased with the results!

I actually didn’t follow a particular recipe and avoided an electrical whisk because we don’t get on in the kitchen. So to get this end result made me super happy! And my tummy is very satisfied.

Next up is a strawberry Jam tart!

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