Tuesday, 16 March 2010

If you can't sleep, make cookies

The other weekend I woke up early and couldn't get back to sleep. So I thought making cookies would be a profitable use of that extra time. As a massive peanut butter fan, I made peanut butter cookies from the Magnolia Bakery cookbook.

The mixture is a gorgeous, shiny sweet gloopy mess. I was so distracted by it that it wasn't until I'd dolloped out my first batch that I realised I'd forgotten to add the Reece's Pieces which I was adding instead of the stated 'peanut butter chips' (just because I randomly had the Reece's Pieces in my cupboard and have no idea what peanut butter chips are anyway). So I just stuck them into the top and then threw the rest into the remaining mixture.

It worked really well, the cookies get more firm as they cool and are a slightly chewy texture, which turns to satisfying slightly sticky peanut-butterness in your mouth as you chew. Highly moreish and perfect with a cup of tea to wash them down, from preparation to eating took about 20 mins and they made a yummy breakfast!

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Amazing cakes!

What's better than a cupcake? A GIANT cupcake of course!

These were made some February birthdays in my family by my sister, Jackie - I know a day (or two) of hard graft went into making these with incredible results:

My grandad's (the yellow one) was vanilla topped with marsala wine icing, crystallised violets and chocolate covered blueberries (!); mine was strawberry flavour and Chloe's was vanilla flavour - we both had gorgeous chocolate covered strawberries on ours. Truly outstanding.

For more spectacular cakes - though not necessarily in a good way like these - amuse yourself at the Cake Wrecks: 'When professional cakes go horribly, hilariously wrong'....

Monday, 1 March 2010

Sparkly Sherry Trifle

A traditional British dessert, like my nan used to make (well, almost)... with a space-age twist.

What food stuff can't be improved without a little spinkle of edible glitter?

Trifle-making tips: don't skimp on the sherry, the sponge cake absorbs it, well, like a sponge and the bottom of a trifle is disappointing if it's not sweetly infused and mushy enough. Also panic arose as I poured the jelly in on top of the sponge layer, as the increasing liquid displaced the sponge from their rightful place at the bottom of the bowl and they started floating upwards. Doesn't affect taste, granted, but sort of ruins the pretty layered effect. A tip from the internet suggests letting the jelly begin to thicken and set on its own slightly before you tip it into the trifle. Custard tip: for a truly thick set custard don't mess around with the homemade stuff, make up some classic Bird's custard with a couple of extra tablespoons of powder!