Mini-Egg Cookies

Mini-Egg Cookies

If you’re sick of the sight of eggs, these delicious cookies make for the perfect alternative treat over the Easter break. They are quick and easy to make meaning they are perfect for baking with the kiddos. Our favourite part of the process is bashing the mini-eggs with a rolling pin. Happy breaking…I mean baking!

You Will Need
150g Butter
150g Soft brown sugar
1 medium egg
190g Self-raising flour
200g Mini eggs (crushed)

Method
Start by beating the butter and the sugar together in a mixer until pale in colour, light and fluffy.
Add the egg and mix again.
Before adding anything else, give the mini-eggs a good bashing with a rolling pin until they are crushed into nice chunks. There is no exact science. Just give them a good whack!


Fold the flour and the crushed mini-eggs into the butter, sugar and egg.
Once you have folded in all of the flour, scoop dollops of the mixture onto a baking tray lined with parchment.
Make sure you leave enough room between each cookie for them to spread.
Again, there is no exact science, if you prefer a smaller cookie, use a smaller spoon. If you like a big cookie, use a bigger dollop of the mixture.
Bake the cookies in the middle of the oven at 180C/160Fan/Gas Mark 4 for 8-10 minutes until golden.
The cookies will still be slightly gooey when they come out of the oven but will harden as they cool.

Other Ideas
If mini-eggs are not for you, try using smarties or M&Ms instead.
Another alternative is to use Aero Mint Bubbles which give a delicious peppermint cookie flavour.

Christmas Cinnamon Biscuits

Christmas Cinnamon Biscuits

These biscuits are great for baking at Christmastime. They are cheap to make, extremely easy to do and make your house smell wonderful.

You Will Need

200g Margarine

150g Caster sugar

400g Plain flour

2 egg yolks

2 tsp cinnamon

For decorating:

Green fondant icing

Red fondant icing

1 tbsp icing sugar

Water

Writing icing (optional)

Method

Mix together the margarine and the caster sugar until light and fluffy. Rub in the flour until you have ‘breadcrumb’ texture.

Lightly whisk the eggs with the cinnamon and add to the dry mixture. Mix together until you have a dough (the dough with be slightly sticky at first – mine always is).

Tip the dough onto a floured surface and lightly knead. Roll the dough out to 5mm thickness.

Cut out whatever shapes you wish to use. We chose gingerbread men, Christmas trees and hearts. Place them onto a baking tray lined with parchment or baking paper.

Bake in a pre-heated oven at gas mark 4/180c/160 fan for 10-15 minutes or until pale golden brown.

Allow to cool.

Once ready for decorating, roll the fondant out and cut out the same shapes as the biscuits. Mix 1 tbsp icing sugar and water together to make a paste. Brush onto the biscuit and place fondant gently on top.

If you wish you can decorate them further with writing icing.

Enjoy!

Other Ideas

For other festive flavours you could replace the cinnamon with ginger, vanilla or nutmeg.  

To jazz up your decorating you could cut strips of different coloured fondant and line them up to make a festive stripe effect, or let the kids loose with writing icing and see what kind of crazy decorations you end up with.

Mud Pit Chocolate Bark

Mud Pit Chocolate Bark

This Spooktacular recipe is great for Halloween. While it looks like a huge pile of mud, I assure you it tastes divine. The quick and easy recipe is cheap to make and will be the perfect treat for your little monsters.

You will need:

4 100g bars milk chocolate (I used the 30p bars from Morrisons simply because they were cheap, whether you choose to use branded or baking chocolate is a choice I will leave up to you)

1 pack Oreo cookies (I use Aldi’s own brand which me and wonder husband have dubbed pooreos – they taste exactly the same and cost a matter of pence)

1 bag fizzy cola laces

1 bag chocolate covered raisins

1 pack munchies

Note: The above listed sweets are simply the ones I chose to use, you can add any sweets in any quantity – which is the best thing about this recipe!

Method

Break the chocolate into a large bowl and melt. I usually melt my chocolate in a heat proof dish over a pan of boiling water. You may choose to microwave your chocolate. If you do decide to microwave, I would recommend 30 seconds to start then stir and continue to microwave at 10 second intervals stirring in between and repeating until the chocolate is smooth.

Pour the melted chocolate onto a sheet of parchment or baking paper and spread evenly until you have a thick layer of chocolate.

Cur the fizzy laces into 3cm strips and sprinkle over the melted chocolate along with the chocolate raisins and the munchies.

Gently grate 1 or 2 Oreos over the melted chocolate.

Allow to cool slightly and then leave in the fridge until set.

Once all the chocolate has set, roughly chop into shards.

Other Ideas

So. Many. Options!

You can literally top your bark with anything. The options are endless. You might want to try using white chocolate with red sweets to create a bloody effect. You can also add candy sticks as bones or draw faces onto marshmallows and use them as ghosts. Be as creative as you like.

Cupcakes

Cupcakes

Cupcakes are such a simple delight. This straightforward recipe is so cheap and easy to do. The best part is that cupcakes are delicious served either with a basic frosting or used as a base taste and jazzed up with extra flavours. Be as crazy as you like!

You Will Need

6oz/170g butter

6oz/170g caster sugar

3 eggs

6oz/170g self-raising flour

1 tsp vanilla essence (for vanilla)

1oz cocoa powder (for chocolate cupcakes)

Method

Beat the sugar and butter together until pale (I use a stand mixer however an electric hand whisk would also be suitable)

Add the eggs and whisk again (careful not to curdle the mix). Once you have a smooth mixture add the flour and vanilla essence or cocoa powder (whichever you’re using) and whisk again.

Place muffin cases into a muffin tin and spoon the mixture evenly between the cases.

Bake in the oven on Gas mark 5/190C for 10-15 minutes (or until springy and golden)

Allow to cool.

Decorate however you like and enjoy.

Other Ideas

Once your cupcakes are cooled, try filling the centre with your favourite jam. Simply cut a hole from the centre, fill with a tsp jam and replace the cut-out piece. Frost over the top and enjoy the flavours of the delicious filling.

These cupcakes are a great base for any flavour of frosting.

With vanilla cupcakes you might try lemon frosting with a curd filling or a white chocolate frosting with a raspberry jam filling.

For chocolate cupcakes you can add chocolate frosting. You can jazz it up even more with a drizzle of caramel sauce and a pretzel.

You may also wish to vary the cupcake flavour altogether. To make a Bakewell flavoured cupcake, substitute the vanilla flavouring for almond, fill with a cherry jam and decorate with white icing and a glace cherry.

Chocolate Chip Caramel Fudge Cookies

Chocolate Chip Caramel Fudge Cookies

These cookies are an absolute delight, they are easy enough to make so are a fun recipe to share with children. They make a great addition to movie night treats or can be enjoyed with a nice mug of tea, coffee or hot chocolate.

You will need

75g (3oz) butter (at room temp is best)

75g (3oz) caster sugar

75g (3oz) light brown sugar

1 egg (beaten)

175g (6oz) self-raising flour

100g (3 ½ oz) milk chocolate chips

100g (3 ½ oz) fudge chunk pieces – these are sometimes sold as ice cream toppings (if you can’t find them you can buy some cheap fudge and chop It into small chunks).

Method

Put the butter and sugars together into a mixing bowl and beat together until fluffy and pale. Add the flour and the egg and mix until smooth.

Stir in the chocolate chips and fudge pieces. Taking small bits of the batter, making them into balls (about the size of a walnut). Place these onto a baking tray lined with non-stick baking paper. Make sure you leave enough room between the balls to allow the cookies to spread.

Bake in a pre-heated oven (Gas mark 4, 180c, 350f) for 10-12 minutes until golden.

Once you have removed them from the oven, leave on the baking tray to harden for a few minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

ENJOY!!

Other Ideas

If you can’t find or don’t want to use fudge, try replacing it with raisins or chopped glace cherries. This adds a fruity twist to the flavour and texture.

You could also swap the milk chocolate chips for white or dark chocolate to mix it up even more.

Vanilla Fossil Biscuits

Vanilla Fossil Biscuits

These delicious biscuits are great for baking with children. They require few ingredients and are extremely easy to do. This recipe has been used in my family for generations. One of the great things about the simplicity of these is that you can vary your shape and design for any occasion.

You Will Need

200g Margarine

150g Caster sugar

400g Plain flour

2 eggs

½ tsp vanilla essence

Method

Mix together the margarine and the caster sugar until light and fluffy. Rub in the flour until you have ‘breadcrumb’ texture.

Lightly whisk the eggs with the vanilla essence and add to the dry mixture. Mix together until you have a dough (the dough with be slightly sticky at first – or at least mine always is).

Tip the dough onto a floured surface and lightly knead. Roll the dough out to 1-2cm thickness.

Cut out whatever shapes you wish to use and place them onto a baking tray lined with parchment or baking paper. For a fossil effect, press small dinosaur and other toys into the biscuits to create prints in the dough.

Bake in a pre-heated oven at gas mark 4/180c/160 fan for 15 minutes or until a pale golden brown colour.

Allow to cool and enjoy!

Other Ideas

If you don’t want to make fossil biscuits and instead chose to keep your pattern plain, here are a few ideas for you.

When not making fossil effect biscuits, we usually use icing made from icing sugar and water and top the biscuits with sprinkles.

You can add 100g of currents to the dry mix before adding the egg to make current biscuits.

You might want to try dipping the biscuits into chocolate for an even sweeter treat.

You could also experiment with different flavours in place of vanilla. For a zesty twist, try adding the rind of 1/2 a lemon and 1/2 tsp lemon essence.

Cinnamon Swirls

Cinnamon Swirls

These are a great as a weekend breakfast treat or as an addition to your morning cuppa. With only a few ingredients, they are really cheap to produce and so easy to make. An added bonus is that as they bake, they make your house smell AMAZING!

You Will Need

1 packet ready rolled puff pastry

2 tbsp soft brown sugar

2 tsp cinnamon

1 tbsp Icing sugar

2-3 tsp water to mix

Method

Mix the soft brown sugar and cinnamon together.

Lay the sheet of pastry onto a flat surface lined with parchment paper.

Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mix onto the pastry.

Roll up the pastry lengthways until you have a long sausage shape.

Cut the party into 2-3cm thick slices and lay each piece onto a lined baking tray.

Bake in the oven at 200C/180C fan/gas 6 for 10-15 minutes or until golden in colour.

Mix the icing sugar with the water until you have icing with a consistency that you can drizzle.

Once the pastries have cooled, drizzle with the icing and leave to set for 10 minutes.

Other Ideas

If cinnamon isn’t your thing, try substituting the cinnamon sugar for Nutella for a whole new flavour!