Marbled Millionaire’s Shortbread

Crumbly shortbread, sticky caramel and smooth chocolate… three layers of pure indulgence. Buying caramel from the shop will make this recipe super easy, however I decided to make my own and see what all the fuss was about. I’m not going to lie, it wasn’t particularly difficult but it was pretty time-consuming and stirring for 20 minutes continuously can be a bit tiring, but I would definitely recommend giving it a go as it tasted absolutely amazing! For the chocolate topping I used a combination of milk and white and created a delightful swirly pattern (very easy to do), however you could try different types of chocolate; fruity, dark or even salted.

This classic bake is a real crowd-pleaser; it’s rich, hence the name Millionaire’s, super sweet and the different textures are a superb combination. Whoever you decide to make these for you will be loved!

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Ingredients (makes 12 large/16 small bars)

For the shortbread base:
250g plain flour
75g caster sugar
175g unsalted butter, at room temperature and cut into chunks

For the caramel layer:
100g unsalted butter
100g light muscavado sugar
2 x 397g cans condensed milk

For the chocolate layer:
200g milk chocolate, broken into chunks
100g white chocolate, broken into chunks

Method

Pre-heat the oven to 180°C. Lightly grease a 23x23cm baking tin.

Start by making the shortbread base by mixing together the sugar and flour in a bowl. Now add the butter and using your fingers, rub the butter into the dry ingredients until it resembles breadcrumbs. Knead the butter until it forms a rough dough and transfer it to your baking tin, pressing it down into the tin to form an even layer.

Prick the shortbread all over with a fork and bake in the oven for 20 minutes, until lightly browned and firm to the touch. Leave to cool completely in the tin (approx. 1 hour).

Once the shortbread is cooled, begin making your caramel by measuring the butter, muscavado sugar and condensed milk in a medium sized saucepan. On a low heat melt the ingredients gently until smooth and the sugar has dissolved (make sure there are not only lumps of sugar, if there is then removing them with a fork).

Now turn up the heat and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring all the time. Reduce the heat and simmer the mixture, stirring continuously, for approx. 15 minutes until it has thickened slightly. Turn off the heat and leave the caramel to sit for 5 minutes to thicken up. Now pour the caramel on top of the shortbread and leave to completely cool (approx. 30 minutes).

Once the caramel is firm and cooled, melt the milk chocolate either in the microwave in 10 second blasts or, in a bowl set over simmering water. Spread half of the melted chocolate on top of the caramel and leave the remaining half in the bowl.

Now melt the white chocolate and dollop this on top of the milk chocolate, do the same with the remaining milk chocolate. Using a skewer, gently swirl the chocolates into each other (taking care not to touch the caramel underneath) to create a marbled pattern.

Finally, cover the baking tin with foil and put in the fridge to set for at least 2 hours before cutting into 12/16 bars. Store in the fridge and remove for 10 minutes to soften before eating.

Rolo-stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies

So this may not be a Christmas related bake but…. it is a blooming delicious one!

I have wanted to make caramel stuffed cookies for ages, but always thought the whole caramel stirring business would defeat the point of cookies being quick and easy to make. That got me thinking about caramel chocolates and in particular Rolo’s! I haven’t eaten them in years but they couldn’t have been more ideal for this recipe.
What doesn’t sound good about a gooey melted Rolo encased by soft-baked chocolate chip cookie dough!?

Chilling the dough is essential as it gives you that delicious chewy texture in the middle with a slightly crunchy edge. Also, don’t be tempted to flatten your cookies before baking, roll them into balls and bake them as they are for thick soft cookies.
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Ingredients (makes 20 cookies)

125g unsalted butter (at room temp)
75g light brown sugar
50g caster sugar
150g self-raising flour
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 medium egg (cold from the fridge)
200g milk chocolate chips
20 Rolo’s (I bought a sharing bag)

Method 

Preheat oven to 180°C. Line three baking trays with greaseproof paper.

In a bowl cream the butter and two sugars together until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla extract, crack in the egg and mix.

Add the flour and chocolate chunks and fold together until the mixture is combined and has formed a sticky dough. Cover the bowl with clingfilm and place in the fridge for at least three hours (you can leave it over night if you wish).

Once your cookie dough has chilled, take a teaspoon of the cookie dough and roll it into a ball. Now use your thumb to make an indent into the ball and put a Rolo inside it*. Take another teaspoon of dough and use this to cover up the Rolo, now place it onto the baking tray (do not flatten it out as it will expand in the oven). Repeat this for all 20 cookies leaving roughly 3 inches between each one on the tray.

Bake in the oven for 8-10 minutes until the edges are a pale brown but the middle still looks slightly uncooked. Remove from the oven and leave to completely cool (the cookies will continue to cook and harden a little as they cool).

*see photos above 

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!

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.

Terry’s Chocolate Orange Christmas Cookies

7 days, 15 hours and 8 sleeps until…….. CHRISTMAS DAY! If you are a Scrooge then your probably won’t enjoy this post, but if you love everything Christmas then carry on reading.
So we are now in the final week before Christmas and if you are a baking fanatic, like myself, then you are probably thinking of some festive goodies that you could whip up. Well, I’ve got a recipe for you!
When I see the first Terry’s Chocolate Orange in the shops I immediately feel Christmasey. Why is this? I’m not sure when it came about, but for me Terry’s Chocolate Orange is only ever eaten in the festive season. So what better way to eat it than in a soft baked chewy cookie overloaded with sprinkles!
And trust me, there really is no better way. These cookies are insanely delicious, packed full of Terry’s chocolate chunks with extra chocolate drizzled on top and covered with Christmas sprinkles. You have to try them!

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Ingredients (makes 12 large cookies)

140g self-raising flour
3/4 tsp cornflour
85g unsalted butter, at room temp
75g light brown sugar
50g granulated sugar
1 medium egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 Terry’s Chocolate Orange (170g approx), cut into small chunks
Christmas sprinkles

Method

Toss the flour and cornflour together in a bowl. In a separate bowl beat the butter and sugars together until fluffy, then beat in the egg and vanilla extract.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix together until just combined. Pour in 100g of the chocolate orange chunks and fold the mixture together until it forms a rough dough. Cover with clingfilm and chill in the fridge for 1-3 hours (the longer the better).

Once the cookie dough has been chilled take it out of the fridge and let it sit for 10 minutes at room temp. Meanwhile preheat the oven to 160°C/325F and line a couple of baking trays with silicone mats or greased baking parchment.

Roll your cookie dough into 12 balls (making them taller rather than wider, check outthis post to see why), approx 2 tbsp of cookie dough for each ball. Place them on your baking trays leaving at least 3 inches between each ball so the cookies have room to expand.

Using about 20g of your Terry’s chocolate orange (a small fist full) poke a few pieces of chocolate in the top of each cookie dough ball. Now bake your cookies for 10 minutes in the centre of the oven. If they look undone don’t worry, still take them out of the oven as they will continue to cook and harden up as they cool. Leave to cool for 10 minutes.

Melt your remaining Terry’s chocolate orange in the microwave in 10 second blasts until it is completely smooth. Take a teaspoon and dip it into the melted chocolate, now in a zig zag motion drizzle the chocolate over a cookie. Sprinkle your Christmas decorations over your cookie so they stick to the chocolate. Repeat this for all 12 cookies.

 

Christmas Tree Cupcakes

What day is it?
December 1st

What does this means?
I can officially post Christmas recipes until my heart is content! YAY!

To start of this festive baking frenzy I have whipped up some cuter than cute Christmas Tree Cupcakes. A deliciously moist chocolate sponge topped with a buttercream tree, sprinkled with edible baubles and finished off with a sparkling Christmas star! You can also find this recipe here on ‘Let’s Knit’ blog as I have provided them with a Jessie Cakes special Christmas bake for their monthly recipe. With all the manic present shopping and card writing, a bit of baking therapy is definitely overdue; so grab your coloured sprinkles and get going!

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Ingredients (makes 12 large cupcakes):
150g Stork tub, straight from the fridge
150g caster sugar
125g self-raising flour
25g cocoa powder
2 medium eggs at room temperature, beaten into a jug
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp semi-skimmed milk

For the buttercream:
320g unsalted butter, room temperature
600g icing sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
A tube of green food colouring in paste or gel form
1 tbsp semi-skimmed milk (optional)

To decorate:
Coloured chocolate balls and/or sweets
Edible silver balls
A large piping bag
A large open star nozzle
Christmas stars:
(If making the Christmas stars, prepare them a few days before use so they have time to harden.)
Yellow sugar paste
Star cutters in various sizes
Edible glue, or icing sugar mixed with a little water
Gold shimmer spray (optional)

Christmas stars:
Dust a rolling pin and non-stick surface with icing sugar and roll out sugar paste until 2mm thick (15X15cm).
Cut out 12 small stars and 12 large stars. Stick the small stars to the centre of the large stars using a dab of edible glue or icing sugar paste.
Finally, spray with gold shimmer spray and leave to harden in a container.

Method

Preheat oven to 180°C and line a cupcake baking tray with 12 large cupcakes cases.

1. In a large bowl, make your cupcake mixture by first creaming together the Stork butter and sugar.In a separate bowl, sieve together the cocoa powder and flour. Next, slowly pour your beaten eggs into the butter and sugar mixture and add two tbsps of flour and cocoa powder. Mix until the ingredients are combined. Add the remaining cocoa powder and flour along with the milk and vanilla extract. Mix again until you have a smooth chocolate batter.

2. Transfer the mixture to your cupcake cases and bake them in the oven for 15 minutes. Once the 15 minutes is up, test your cupcakes by inserting a skewer or knife into the centre of a cake. If it comes out clean then your cakes are done. Leave to cool on a cooling rack.

3. When your cakes are cool, you can begin making your buttercream. Beat the butter and half of the icing sugar together until smooth. Add the remaining icing sugar, vanilla extract and green colouring to preference and beat together until creamy and soft. If your buttercream is too thick, mix in the milk to loosen it.

4. Place the star nozzle into the end of your piping bag, and snip the corner off so only the tip of the nozzle is visible. Transfer your buttercream to the piping bag and when finished, twist the bag at the top and hold in place to ensure all air pockets are released.

5. To achieve the Christmas tree, simply begin by piping your buttercream in the centre of the cupcake and, moving swiftly in an upwards direction, spiral in a circular motion three times.

6. Finally, decorate the Christmas tree’s with your choice of chocolate, sweets or sprinkles, and place your Christmas star on top for the perfect festive finish!