Sunday, 14 September 2014

Recipe: Chunky chocolate cookies

I do love a nice versatile cookie recipe, don't you? Here's a basic chocolate cookie recipe, adapted from Sugarbelle's sugar cookies.

YUM, right?
To make 18 generous cookies (or about 25 if you roll them out and cut them into big flat round cookies), you'll need:
  • 1 egg
  • 227g butter or margarine
  • 175g sugar
  • 35g cocoa powder
  • 390g plain flour
  • 2tsp baking powder
  • 2tsp vanilla essence
  • half a pinch of salt
  • 50g chocolate chips
If you have some kind of kitchen mixer, either a hand mixer or a stand one (like a KitchenAid) that will really help, but I made these by hand and although it took a bit longer than it might have to mix in all the ingredients, it was quite satisfying. 

First, cream your butter and sugar together, then mix in the egg, in a big mixing bowl. In a second mixing bowl, mix together your dry ingredients (except the chocolate chips), then add them slowly to the wet ingredients, mixing as you go. 
Lastly, mix in the chocolate chips.

If you want big chunky cookies like the ones pictured, now simply use a big eating spoon to get dollops of mixture onto a baking parchment-lined baking tray. The cookies don't spread much, so don't worry about that.

Bake at 180 degrees Celsius for 8-10 minutes, until they're dry on top rather than shiny. 


Thursday, 11 September 2014

I'm Back! (picture heavy post)

So, bit of an unexpected hiatus there. I was just about keeping up with weekly Favourites and then a lot of (fun) stuff hit me at once, and then for the last couple of weeks I was a few hundred miles away from my laptop.

I feel duty bound to tell what I've been doing this summer instead of blogging. Well... I've been in Edinburgh doing an internship in financial services.

There has been a lot of delicious food:

(Inspired by Diana's biscuit train I attempted cocoa and vanilla pinwheels... they didn't go too well)
(Now these chunky chocolate cookies were excellent, and a full recipe post is coming up - hence the arty photography)

Some stunning views:

And a lot of train travel, including, most excitingly, coming back to London on the Caledonian Sleeper:
The sleeper, by the way, was totally excellent. Ridiculously subsidised but totally worth how excited I was for it. 10/10 would go again.

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Great Food Day: Baked Huevos Rancheros, and Lovecrumbs

Today was a great food day (It was a good hair day, too, but I'll get to that later).

I lazed around for a while before going for my run this morning, so when it was time for brunch I wanted it to be a good one. And it was.

I made a kind of baked variation of huevos rancheros (ranchers' eggs) - recipe below.

Later this afternoon I headed out to Lovecrumbs, a nearby cake shop that I walk past every day on my way to work. It was as good as I'd envisaged it to be.

Peanut butter & caramel tart, with hot chocolate. It was so good, not too sweet like some dishes involving caramel can be. (By the way, I use the app Picstitch to make these collages). It totalled £5.90, which is about what you'd pay in Starbucks for a far less quality treat. I'm definitely going back to try their other cakes; there is a different variety every day, but I hope they have the cream-cheese brownies that were out today next time I go in, as they looked pretty amazing. They also have free WiFi, which is worth knowing if you're visiting the city.

I'll see you again soon, Lovecrumbs!

Today looked like this:

Not the best day for Birkenstocks :( Mine are the Relax 100s, which I got at TK Maxx - as well as being affordable, it's the only place in the UK which stocks the narrow-fitting ones. My jeans are the Next 'Sexy Skinny' high-waisted jeans, and I was also wearing a Boden Breton top (oh my gosh, just seen the new Autumn/Winter colours... be ready, Debit Card!) and an open Gap cardigan (old). Comfy but still fairly put together.

See what I mean about the good hair day? I had actually blow-dried my hair for once (I know! Effort!), scrunched in some Fudge Urban Messy Stuff blow dry creme, and smoothed in a little John Frieda Secret Agent Touch-Up Creme. On my face: No7 Superlight Foundation (Warm Ivory), Bourjois Healthy Balance Powder (53 - beige clair), Bourjois Cream Blush (01 - Nude Velvet), Body Shop Bronzer (02 - fair matte), and Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara (no comment!).

Anyway, my baked no-tortilla take on Huevos Rancheros (to serve one):

Preheat your oven to 200 degrees Celsius, and put 10 grams of butter/ margarine (I like the Sainsbury's own version of Lurpak) in a frying pan on a low/medium heat to melt while you chop up one red onion. Let the onion heat through and begin to smell all caramelized and delicious - it will take about ten minutes (not to fully caramelize, just to get soft and yummy), during which you can put on a few of the songs from Frozen and dance around the kitchen. Just me then? Okay.

Once the onion smell is making your stomach rumble, tip half a tin of red kidney beans into your frying pan and whack the heat up. I like to add a few generous shakes of paprika at this stage, but you could also use chili, basil, or garlic. Once the kidney beans have warmed through, add half a tin of chopped tomatoes and stir well to combine.

Then tip this entire delicious mess into an enamel pie plate or some other generous-portion-sized-oven-safe receptacle. Make three slight wells in the mix, and break three eggs into those, before putting the entire thing in the oven.

After about ten minutes, take it out and shake 30 grams of grated cheese (I have mozzarella at the moment) over the top, then return for another five to seven minutes.

Eat straight out of the pie plate. Yum.

Nutrition: 565 calories, 35g carbs, 31g fat, 38g protein.
(You could make this a more everyday meal by using only two eggs and less cheese - for me today it was breakfast and lunch)


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