Vampire Cookies

If you’re having a Halloween party this year, fancy making something fun with the kids or are just craving some cool looking cookies, this is the recipe for you!

Soft baked chocolate chip cookie ‘mouth’, sandwiched together with red icing ‘blood’, marshmallow ‘teeth’ and white chocolate button ‘fangs’. Even Dracula himself will want to sink his teeth into this bake!

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Ingredients (makes 12-14 cookies)

160g unsalted butter
100g caster sugar
200g light brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 medium egg
1 egg yolk
250g self-raising flour
100g milk chocolate chips

Decoration 

White mini-marshmallows
Milky-bar buttons
Red icing (made from icing sugar, water and red food colouring)

To make the cookies…

Preheat oven to 170°C and line two baking trays with grease proof paper.

Melt the butter in 20 second blasts in the microwave until it turns to liquid. Now mix the melted butter with the two sugars.

Add in the vanilla extract, egg and egg yolk and mix together.

Fold in the flour until the mixture comes together to form a dough. Now fold in the chocolate chips.

Take a heaped tablespoon of cookie dough and drop the mixture onto the prepared baking tray. Do not flatten the dough. Repeat this step, leaving about 8cm between each cookie, until all the cookie dough has been used up*.

Bake the cake in the centre of the oven for 12-14 minutes, until the cookies are lightly browned on the edges (the middle will still be soft). Cool for 1-2 minutes on the baking tray, then transfer to a cooling rack.

*You may have to bake in batches depending on the size of your oven and baking trays. I  had four cookies on each baking tray to allow enough room for them to spread out when baking. 

For the decoration… 

First create the ‘fangs’ by chopping a chocolate button into thirds. Discard (or eat) the centre third, leaving the two outside thirds as your pointy ‘fangs’.

Cut a cookie in two halves.

Bottom half: Spread red icing all over one of the cookie halves and place marshmallows around the edge of the cookie for the ‘teeth’. For additional support, place marshmallows behind the teeth.

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Top half: Line the edge of the other half with red icing.

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Now place the top half on top of the bottom half.

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Insert the chocolate ‘fangs’ into the line of marshmallows (I left about 4 marshmallows between each one). If you have trouble getting them to stick, dip the edge in the icing and replace.

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Peanut Butter Oreo Cupcakes

Anyone dipped Oreos in a jar of peanut butter before?

Guilty!

For me this combo is also a winner and what better way to celebrate it then in the form of a delicious cupcake.

For all the Oreo PB lovers out there and for the newbies to the party, this recipe will not let you down..

Chocolate fudge sponge with a secret Oreo biscuit base, frosted with creamy peanut butter icing and decorated with the cutest Penguin Oreos!

For 12 cupcakes you will need

1 pack of Oreo cookies

80g self-raising flour

65g cocoa powder

1tsp baking powder

100g golden caster sugar

100g granulated sugar

2 large eggs

80ml vegetable/extra-virgin olive oil

1 tsp vanilla extract

120ml buttermilk

For the icing/decoration you will need….

250g smooth peanut butter

375g icing sugar, sifted

100g unsalted butter, at room temperature

4-6 tbsp whole milk

1 pack of Oreos – if you want to transform your Oreos in adorable penguins check out my simple step by step recipe here!

Let’s get baking…

Preheat your oven to 180C and line a 12 hole cupcake baking tray with your favourite liners.

Sift the flour, cocoa powder and baking powder into a bowl. Stir until combined.

In a separate bowl, mix together the eggs, two sugars, oil and vanilla extract until smooth.

Now pour half of the dry ingredients into the wet, followed by half of the buttermilk. Mix together until combined. Repeat this step until all the ingredients are fully incorporated.

Place an Oreo in the bottom of each cupcake liner and fill each one with the cake mixture just over half way.

Bake in the oven for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre of one comes out clean. Leave to cool.

Now for the icing…

Beat together the butter and peanut butter until smooth.

Now beat in half the icing sugar, half of the milk and the vanilla extract.

Beat in the remaining icing sugar and milk until the buttercream is smooth and creamy. If the mixture feels too stiff add another 1/2 tbsp of milk at a time until you have the right consistency.

Decorate your cupcakes with the buttercream (I used a star shaped icing nozzle and piping bag) and finish by placing an Oreo on top.

Chocolate Fudge Cake with Milk Chocolate Buttercream

Have a look at this….

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…these are the hundreds of left over chocolate eggs after our Easter Egg hunt last weekend! And, this was after we had overloaded as many as possible to family/friends/friends of friends/friends of friends of friends! So I was sat staring at the bowl thinking ‘I can’t possibly eat any more chocolate’ and began daydreaming of chocolate recipes.

With a family joint birthday party just a few weeks away, I thought what better excuse to make a huge chocolate fudge cake with chocolate frosting – particularly as I could freeze it until the day of the party (more about this in the recipe below).

And so I present to you two layers of rich, moist chocolate fudge cake sandwiched together with creamy milk chocolate frosting (tastes like Milkyway!) and decorated with chocolate shards. For me the chocolate sponge is the star of the show, it’s super indulgent, rich and moist. If you’re a faint of heart chocolate cake person, then apologies as this is not the cake for you. BUT if you’re a chocoholic, like myself, then stop everything your doing and bake this cake! Pictures of the inside will be uploaded after the party 🙂

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Ingredients (makes 1 large cake)

For the cake:
250g self-raising flour
400g caster sugar
88g unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon espresso powder
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
250ml semi-skimmed milk
250ml boiling water
2 large eggs
110ml sunflower oil

For the milk chocolate buttercream:
170g milk chocolate, chopped into chunks
85g dark chocolate, chopped into chunks
340g unsalted butter, at room temperature
312g icing sugar
2 tablespoons semi-skimmed milk, to loosen

For the decoration:
Milk/dark/white chocolate (I used left-over Easter eggs!)

Method

Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Prepare two 8-inch cake pans by first spraying with baking spray or brushing with butter and then lining with greaseproof paper (see below for instructions).

  1. Start by making the cake:
    Add the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder and espresso powder to a large bowl. Use a whisk to mix the ingredients until they are well combined.
  2. Now add the milk, sunflower oil, eggs and vanilla extract to the bowl and use an electric whisk set to a medium speed to mix all ingredients together until well combined.
  3. Now reduce the speed and carefully add the boiling water bit by bit. **Do not worry if the mixture looks very runny, once baked the cake will be super fudgy and moist** Finally, beat on a high speed for 1 minute to add air to the mixture (little bubbles should start to form on top!).
  4. Distribute the cake mixture evenly between the two prepared cake pans. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and leave to completely cool.
  5. Once the cakes are cool remove them from the tins and begin making your buttercream. Melt the dark and milk chocolate together in the microwave, 20 seconds at at time stirring in between blasts, until smooth.
  6. In a separate bowl beat together the butter and icing sugar with a wooden spoon/electric whisk until fluffy and smooth. Now fold in the melted chocolate until fully incorporated. If the buttercream is starting to feel a little stiff, add a tablespoon of milk at a time and mix into the buttercream to loosen it.
  7. Take one layer of your cake and place it on a serving plate. Spread a thick even layer of buttercream on top and then place the second cake layer on top upside down. Now spread a thin layer of buttercream all over the top and sides of the cake and place in the fridge for 30min-1hour to set*.
  8. Once set, spread the remaining buttercream across the top and sides of the cake and use an icing palette or blunt knife edge to give a smooth finish. Finally, break up the decoration chocolate into shards and decorate the top of the cake by pushing them into the icing**.

*This is called a crumb coat and is meant to be messy, so don’t worry about being too perfect as it will just act as a smooth base for the next layer of buttercream. 

**I decided to freeze this cake in preparation for a birthday party, so I wanted to quickly share my instructions on how to freeze a cake properly so that it will still taste delicious once defrosted.  Firstly, place the iced & decorated cake on a plate and put it in the freezer uncovered until it has completely hardened (at least 4 hours). Now securely wrap the cake in 2 layers of clingfilm, ensuring there are no gaps, and repeat with 2 layers of aluminium foil. The cake will keep in the freezer for up to 2 months. Be sure to defrost the cake for at least 24 hours before consuming. 

How to line a round cake tin with greaseproof paper

  1. Place your baking tin on a piece of greaseproof paper and draw round the tin with a pencil. Use a pair of scissors to cut it out.

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2. Cut out a long thick strip of greaseproof paper about 60cm long and fold one long edge of the strip. Make little cuts along the folded edge roughly 1 inches apart.

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3. Grease the tin with a little butter or baking spray and fit the long strip around the inner edge of the tin with the cut edges flat down on the bottom of the tin. Place the circle of paper on top of the cut edges in the base of the tin and flatten down.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cupid Love Pies

Ah Valentines Day…Single or Taken?

Who cares! Everyone knows that February 14th is just an excuse to eat loads, so Ive created these adorable mini love pies for you to indulge in. Heart shaped homemade flaky pastry (fear not – its easy peasy!) filled with sweet sticky Cherry jam and sprinkled with sparkling sugar. Now doesnt that sound delicious?

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For my top five tips to achieving flaky, buttery pastry perfection head over to my post on Home Style Online by clicking here or to skip straight to the recipe by clicking here.

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