Mini Egg Easter Nest Cookie Cups

Only 6 sleeps until Easter Sunday! I love this time of the year, dafodills, spring weather, family time and of course chocolate! With all the different Easter chocolates and sweets in the shops its the perfect excuse to bake someting to celebrate. So why not try these Easter cookie cups?

A soft baked cookie base with a hidden Mini Egg centre, topped with a chocolate nest filled with more Mini Eggs. Not only do they look super cute but they also taste bloomin delicious and are easy peasy to make! Enjoy 🙂

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Ingredients (makes 8 Easter cups)

For the cookie cups
125g unsalted butter (at room temp)
75g light brown sugar
50g caster sugar
150g self-raising flour
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg (cold from the fridge)
12 Mini Eggs

For the Easter Nests
200g milk chocolate
3 large Shredded Wheat biscuits
1-2 bags Mini Eggs

Method

Make your cookie dough by first creaming together the butter and two sugars until light and fluffy. Now add the vanilla extract, crack in the egg and mix. Fold in the flour fold until the mixture has formed a wet dough. Cover with cling film and chill in the fridge for a minimum of 1 hour (leave over night for best results).

Whilst your cookie dough is chilling, make your Easter Nests by melting 180g of the chocolate in the microwave in 10 second blasts. Once melted, crush in the Shredded Wheat and stir until covered in the chocolate. Take a large teaspoon of mixture and put it in a small cupcake case, use the back of the teaspoon to make a little indent in the middle and fill with 3 Mini Eggs. Repeat this for all 8 nests. Chill the nests in the fridge for at least an hour.

Once your cookie dough has been chilled, remove from the fridge and leave to rest for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180°C and line a 12 hole muffin tray with 8 cupcake cases.

Take approx. 1 tbsp of dough and flatten in the palm of your hand. Now place a Mini Egg in the middle and wrap the dough around the egg until completely concealed, now place it in a cupcake case. Repeat this for all 8 cookie cups. Bake in the oven for 13-15 minutes. Keep checking on them, you want the edges to be slightly browned and the middle cooked through but still pale in colour. Remove from the oven and leave to cool.

Once your cookie cups are completely cool and your Easter nests are set remove the nests from the fridge and peel of the paper cases.  Finally, melt the remaining 20g milk chocolate in the microwave and use this as ‘glue’ to stick your nests on top of the cookie cups.

Double Chocolate Love Cake

Valentines day is approaching! Which means you have the perfect excuse to bake a super indulgent cake for the one you love.
This ‘love’ cake uses cocoa powder and melted dark chocolate to create a rich chocolate sponge, which is then smothered in velvety white chocolate buttercream. Don’t forget to decorate your cake using your favourite sprinkles… in this case I used love hearts and pink sugar- cute!

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Ingredients (makes 1 heart cake)

For the sponge:
115g Stork tub, cold from the fridge
115g caster sugar
115g self-raising flour
1 1/2 tbsp. cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 eggs, at room temperature
100g dark chocolate, broken into pieces

For the buttercream:
110g unsalted butter, soft at room temp
250g icing sugar
150g white chocolate, broken into pieces
2 tbsp. milk
Red/pink food colouring

To decorate:
sprinkles, coloured sugar, edible glitter, love heart sweets etc.

Method
Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a square 20cmx20cm baking tin with greaseproof paper.

In a large bowl start to make your sponge mixture by creaming together the butter and sugar until soft and fluffy. Crack in one of the eggs and mix until combined. Now crack in the other eggs and mix. In a separate bowl combine the flour, cocoa powder and baking powder. Now fold this in to the creamed mixture.

Melt the broken dark chocolate in a bowl in the microwave, 10 seconds at a time, until smooth. Now fold this  into the mixture. Transfer the mixture to your baking tin and bake for 20 minutes (a toothpick inserted into the centre should come out clean).

Leave your cake to completely cool before following the steps below to cut your cake into a heart. Rotate your cake into a diamond shape and trace a heart using the tip of a sharp knife. Cut through the top of the cake to create a heart shape.

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With the left over cake use a heart cutter to cut out a smaller heart.

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Now make the buttercream but creaming the butter until super soft. Sift in half the icing sugar and add 1tbsp milk, beat the mixture until smooth. Repeat this process with the remaining milk and icing sugar. Melt the broken white chocolate in a bowl in the microwave, 10 seconds at a time, until smooth. Now fold this  into the buttercream. If the mixture is feeling a little stiff, don’t be afraid to add a little more milk to soften it.

Using an icing palette knife spread the buttercream over your large heart cake until covered (if the buttercream is starting to pick up crumbs try dipping the palette knife into a glass of hot water – this will stop the knife from sticking).

Once the cake is covered, add a tiny drop of food colouring to the remaining buttercream and mix until it has turned pink. Place your small heart cake on top and now ice this cake with the pink buttercream. Finish by scattering your favourite sprinkles, sweets, glitters on top.

Lightened Up Banana Blueberry Cinnamon Muffins

These muffins are naturally sweet, fluffy and did I mention guilt free!
This recipe uses wholegrain Spelt flour, mashed bananas instead of sugar, olive oil instead of butter and are packed full of juicy blueberries. I also added cinnamon for a little Christmas spice. Who’s says healthy can’t be delicious!?

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Ingredients (makes 12 muffins)
2 medium very ripe bananas
1 medium egg
125ml water
125ml extra virgin olive oil
250g whole grain spelt flour
1 ½ tsps baking powder
pinch of salt
2 tsps ground cinnamon
200g fresh or frozen blueberries

Method 

Preheat the oven to 200°C and line a muffin tin with 12 paper cases.

In a bowl combine the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon and set aside. In another large bowl mash the bananas until all lumps are removed. Now add the water, egg and oil and mix together.

Add the dry ingredients into the wet and mix until just combined. Finally, fold in the blueberries until completely coated in the mixture (be careful not to overmix as this will make the muffins tough.)

Divide the mixture evenly between the paper cases and bake in the oven for 16 minutes until the tops are golden brown and a knife inserted in the middle of one of the muffins comes out clean.

Chocolate Marshmallow Fudge

If you’re looking for an easy peasy recipe which will give you the most amazing tasting fudge ever, this is it!

This recipe will take you no more than 10 minutes, simply throw all the ingredients in a saucepan and stir. The fudge tastes rich and velvety, and the sprinkle of sweet mini marshmallows on top really makes this a delicious treat.

Wrap your fudge up in treat bags like mine* or place them in cute boxes for the perfect gift for your friends and family this Christmas.!

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*as a side note, I must tell you that I bought these from Poundland! They are adorable and well, you may of guessed, only a pound for a pack of 20. 

Ingredients (makes 38 fudge pieces) 

500g milk chocolate, roughly cut into small chunks
14oz/397g (1 can) sweetened condensed milk
1 tbsp cocoa powder
2 tsp vanilla extract
30g mini marshmallows

Method

Line a 9x9inch/22x22cm baking tin with aluminum foil.

Over a medium low heat, pour the condensed milk into a small saucepan. Now whisk in the cocoa powder.

Add 1/2 the chocolate chunks and stir consistently until well combined. Add the remaining chocolate and stir again until combined. Now stir in the vanilla extract – the mixture will be very thick!

Pour into the pan and spread out into one even layer, scatter the marshmallows on top and gently press them down into the mixture.

Refrigerate for at least four hours before removing from the tin, peeling  off the foil an cutting into …. squares.

Store in an airtight container at room temperature, or in the fridge, for up to two weeks.

Mince Pies with Cinnamon Pastry

I have something to tell you… These are the quickest mince pies you will ever make.
I also have a confession…the reason for this is mainly due to the fact I didn’t make my own mincemeat!
Next year I promise to be more prepared and will make delicious mincemeat well in advance, but for now let’s cheat a little an if you don’t tell anyone they will never know!

Personally, I like my mince pies on the smaller size so they can be popped in the mouth in one go. Plus, because of the size you can have 2 and technically still be having 1, now doesn’t that sound good!?

This Christmas classic is a staple in the festive season; so follow my simple recipe and bake your own delicious mince pies this year.

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Ingredients (makes 12 large/18 small pies) 

110g slightly salted block butter, cubed
175g plain flour
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tbsp cold water
250g good quality mincemeat
1 egg, beaten

Method

Preheat the oven to 200°C. Lightly grease a 12 holed muffin tray (or two trays if you are making 18) – I used cooking spray.

In a large bowl, rub the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs, then add the cinnamon. Slowly add the mixture and work the pastry into a ball.

Lightly dust a clean worktop surface and a rolling-pin with flour. Roll the pastry out to 1/2cm thick and cut out 12 circular disks with a large round pastry cutter (use a medium-sized cutter if you are making 18). Place the disks into the tin cups and push down lightly. Now divide the mincemeat evenly between the pies.

With the remaining pastry, cut out 12 (or 18) stars to top the mice pies and lightly brush with the beaten egg. Bake your pies in the oven for approx 12-15 minutes until golden brown, remove from the oven and allow to cool.

Best served warm with a splash of double cream!

Healthy Chocolate Covered Snowballs

I’ve always found this time of year incredibly difficult to eat healthy. Christmas chocolates, sweets, cake, biscuits (the list is endless) are sat in every shop window, waiting patiently to be gobbled up. Now believe me when I say that this recipe will help you resist temptation and stick to your pre-Christmas diet!

This delicious sweet treat is truly guilt free and will help curb those stubborn sugar cravings. The ‘snowballs’ themselves are made of desiccate coconut, vanilla extract, agave syrup and coconut oil. Desiccate coconut is high in fiber, iron and copper, which helps support brain function. Coconut oil is extremely good for you as it can help promote fat loss, improve blood cholesterol levels and reduce hunger.

They are then coated in a dark chocolate and hardened in the fridge. Dark chocolate is incredibly nutritious, not only is it a powerful source of antioxidants but it can help lower blood pressure and is loaded with soluble fiber.

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Ingredients (makes 18 balls)

4 tbsp agave or maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
5 tbsp coconut oil
200g desiccated coconut
100g good quality dark chocolate, broken up (I used 70% Green & Black’s)

Method

In a bowl combine together the syrup, vanilla, desiccated coconut and coconut oil*. Put the mixture in the fridge for 10 minutes so that it can harden a little.

Remove from the fridge. Take a tsp of the mixture, roll it into a ball and place it on a plate. Repeat this process until you have 18 balls. Put the snowballs back in the fridge for 30 minutes to firm up.

Meanwhile, melt the chocolate in the microwave in 10 second blasts until smooth. After 30 minutes, remove the snowballs out of the fridge and one by one, using two forks, roll the ball in the melted chocolate until fully coated. Repeat this process until all snowballs are coated.

Finally, put them back in the fridge to harden. Store in the fridge.

*if the coconut oil is solid then melt it first in the microwave before adding the other ingredients

Terry’s Chocolate Orange Brownies

December 1st has finally arrived which means only one thing….Christmas Baking! To kick off the month I have whipped up a beautiful brownie recipe using my favourite Christmas treat, Terry’s Chocolate Orange.
Fudgy rich brownies packed full of chocolate orange chunks, smothered with melted chocolate and decorated with Christmas sprinkles. Now if that doesn’t sound good then I don’t know what will!

This recipe is super easy, quick and ever so rewarding. So bake up a storm this festive season and start with these delicious brownies!

 

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Ingredients (makes 12 brownies)

150g unsalted butter (at room temp)
170g 70% dark chocolate
225g caster sugar
2 medium eggs (at room temp)
150g self-raising flour
280g Terry’s Chocolate Orange chopped into small chunks (I bought two bags of the Terry’s mini chocolate segments)

Method

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Lightly grease and base line a 23cm square tin.

Gently melt the butter and chocolate in a bowl over a pan of water at a low heat. Once melted leave on the side to cool.

In a separate bowl whisk together the sugar and eggs. Now pour in the cooled chocolate mixture and the flour and stir until just combined. Finally fold in 200g of chocolate chunks until you have a thick brownie batter. Now  pour the mixture into the prepared tin and smooth it out with a knife.

Bake for 25-30 minutes until the top is starting to crack. (Depending on your oven they may take a bit longer, test the brownies by inserting a knife into the middle and if it comes out covered in chocolate put them back in. If the knife comes out almost clear and the top of the brownies are cracking then remove from the oven and leave to cool- brownies will continue to cook a little as they cool). Leave to cool completely before cutting into 12 brownies.

Melt the remaining 80g of chocolate chunks in the microwave in 10 second blasts until smooth. Spread the melted chocolate over the top of each brownie and decorate with your favourite Christmas sprinkles.

Epic Chocolate Easter Cake

 

Easter has been and gone but what to do with all the leftover chocolate? I have an idea…
make a huge chocolate cake and cover it in your Easter goodies!
A giant three layer chocolate cake, sandwiched together with velvety white chocolate buttercream and sprinkled with Mini Eggs and Malteser Bunnies. Just use this recipe as a base and top it with whatever you fancy… enjoy!

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Ingredients (makes one 8inch, 3 layer cake)

For the cake:
263g self-raising flour, sieved into a bowl
75g cocoa powder
338g caster sugar
338g Stork tub
6 medium eggs, at room temp and whisked together in a jug
2 tbsp milk (optional)

For the white chocolate buttercream:

250g unsalted butter, at room temp
280g icing sugar
200g good quality white chocolate*
*If you have milk chocolate eggs lying around the house you could substitute the white for milk chocolate.

For the topping:
2 packs Mini Malteser Bunnies (8 mini bunnies)
1 pack Mini Eggs

Method

Preheat the oven to 180°C and line 3 x 20cm/8inch round baking tins with greaseproof paper. Click here for instructions.

In a large bowl cream the Stork and sugar together until light and fluffy. Now pour in a third of the eggs along with a tbsp of the flour and mix. Repeat until all eggs have been mixed in.

Pour in the remaining flour and sieve in the cocoa powder, now fold the mixture together until fully combined. If the mixture is looking a bit thick, add the milk and mix together to loosen it.

Divide the mixture equally between the cake tins, smoothing out the tops with a knife and tapping them on the side to release any air bubbles. Now bake the cakes for 18-20 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave to completely cool.

To make the white chocolate buttercream first cream the butter until fluffy and pale in colour. Sift in half the icing sugar and beat together until combined, now sift in the remaining icing sugar and beat together until light and creamy.

Finally melt the white chocolate in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Once completely melted add to the creamed butter and sugar and fold together.

Dollop a 1/3 of the mixture onto the top of one cake and spread over evenly using a palette knife or spreader. Place your second cake on top spread another 1/3 of the buttercream on top. Finally place the final cake on top and spread the remaining buttercream on top.

Finish the cake by placing the Malteser Bunnies around the edge and filling the middle with Mini Eggs. Cut into 8-10 slices and enjoy!

Smartie Mini Egg Brownies

Let me start by saying that these were meant to be Cadbury’s Mini Egg brownies however, after being in a mad rush on Saturday, I kindly asked my mumsie to pop out and pick me up some Mini Eggs.
She returned with the Smartie Mini Egg’s instead….. ermmm sorry not sorry… these brownies are amazing, and it’s all because of the Smartie Egg. They are fatter than the Cadbury’s eggs, they contain more milk chocolate and their shells are super glossy, colourful and crisp. So thank you to my mum for making the most perfect mistake.
With six sleeps until Easter Sunday you have bundles of time to pick up the goods and bake these brownies. I promise they will not disappoint and will be the perfect Easter chocolatey treat!

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Ingredients (makes 12 brownies)

150g unsalted butter (at room temp)
175g 70% dark chocolate
225g caster sugar
2 eggs (at room temp)
150g self-raising flour
200g Smartie Mini Eggs (remove 12 eggs and keep them in the fridge)

Method

 Preheat the oven to 180°C. Lightly grease and base line a 23cm square/rectangular tin.

Gently melt the butter and chocolate in a bowl sat over a pan of water on a low heat. Now in a separate bowl whisk together the sugar and eggs. Then pour in the chocolate and butter mixture and the flour. Fold together until just combined.

Finally, fold in the Smartie Mini eggs (but not the ones in the fridge) and pour the mixture into the prepared tin. Smoothing it out with a knife.

Bake for 16 mins, remove the brownies and stud the top with the cold Smartie eggs from the fridge. Now put the brownies back in for a further 5-6 minutes until the top is starting to crack. (Depending on your oven they may take a bit longer, test the brownies by inserting a knife into the middle and if it comes out covered in chocolate put them back in. If the knife comes out almost clear and the top of the brownies are cracking then remove from the oven and leave to cool- brownies will continue to cook a little as they cool).

Leave to cool completely before cutting into 12 squares.

The Easiest Easter Treat

Making these was like travelling back in time, to when I was a little girl wearing an oversized apron, baking with my Grandma and getting the kitchen in a state. Honestly, whoever came up with the idea of combining wheat cereal with chocolate to create a nest is a genius. The only difficult part of this recipe is restraining yourself from eating all the mixture and waiting for them to chill in the fridge! Oh and did I mention how amazing they taste!

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Ingredients (makes 12 nests)
200g milk chocolate
3 large Shredded Wheat biscuits
1-2 packs Smartie Eggs/Mini Eggs

Method

Melt the chocolate in a glass bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Once melted, crush in the Shredded Wheat and stir until covered in the chocolate.

Take a teaspoon of the mixture and put it in a small cupcake case, use the back of the teaspoon to make a little indent in the middle and fill with 3 eggs.

Repeat this for all 12 nests. Chill the nests in the fridge for at least an hour before serving.