Cherry Bakewell Biscuits

There’s no time like the present for… well most anything really, as long as you do it from the comfort and safety of your own home. Baking is definitely high on this list, as is updating a blog that hasn’t been touched in over 4 years!

I was introduced to this recipe by a lovely lady called Cathy who runs sewing workshops in the Peak District. You can find her original recipe on Pinterest here. The beauty of it is both the simplicity and the adaptability, it’s so easy to make both gluten free and dairy free, and change the flavours to anything you fancy (or anything you have in your cupboards!) – we made a delicious chocolate orange version at the start of lockdown. You may notice a new addition to the photos in the form of a toddler… this recipe is perfect for kids and adults alike as it’s super easy.

Many people are struggling to get hold of flour at the moment, but you can be creative with what you’ve got. To make my biscuits gluten free I used a base of oats, ground in the food processor (oat flour if you like), ground almonds to get the bakewell flavour, and rice flour to make up the numbers. As long as you keep the total quantity of dry ingredient the same (275g total) you should end up at the right consistency. To keep the bakewell flavour you could also use almond extract instead of ground almonds.

Making oat flour in the food processor


175g butter (or dairy free spread)
85g sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract or almond extract
150g oat flour (can use plain flour)
100g ground almonds
75g rice flour (can again use plain flour)
100g glacé cherries, chopped


– Melt together the butter and sugar.
– In a large bowl mix together the dry ingredients and cherries.
– Add the melted butter/sugar to the dry ingredients along with the extract and mix until well combined.
– Your dough will be a little sticky but needs to be fairly stiff, so you use your judgement and add a little more flour if needed.
– Lay out a large piece of cling film ( at least 30cm long) and spoon the mixture on top. From the underside of the cling film, shape and roll the dough into a log. Tuck in the ends to wrap all the dough up.
– Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. You can also make ahead and keep in the freezer.
– Once chilled, chop into rounds approx 1cm / quarter inch thick.
– Bake at 180 degrees for 10-12 minutes until turning golden at the edges.
– Leave to cool on the tray for a few minutes as they will crumble if you remove to soon. Finish cooling on a wire rack and enjoy with a large cup of tea!

Shaping the dough into a log

What have you been baking during lockdown? Are there any ingredients you’re struggling with, or substitutions that have worked well?

Keep in touch and have a Happy Easter!

Chocolate Milkshake Shortbread Biscuits

chocolate milkshake biscuits shortbread recipe using sugar and crumbs flavoured icing

Following on from my Chocolate Orange Fudge a couple of weeks ago, this is my second review of the new chocolate icing sugar range from Sugar and Crumbs.

And this week – Chocolate Milkshake icing sugar! With a smooth, creamy taste, it’s great for all in one recipes to add a perfect milky chocolate flavour.

sugar and crumbs chocolate milkshake natural icing sugar recipe and review

For this I used a simple shortbread recipe – that would work just as well with one of the other flavoured icing sugars.

Chocolate Milkshake Shortbread (makes 12)

120g plain flour
50g cornflour
50g chocolate milkshake icing sugar
120g butter

– mix together the dry ingredients together in a large bowl
– cube the butter and very gently rub into form a breadcrumb-like mixture, you can do this in a food processor if preferred
– add water a few drops at a time, and press together into a smooth dough

chocolate milkshake shortbread dough flavoured sugar and crumbs icing sugar
– refrigerate for at least half an hour, before rolling out and cutting into shapes (I used a cardboard template to cut mine into glass-shaped pieces)

chocolate milkshake flavour glass shaped biscuits shortbread recipe method
– bake at 180 degrees for 15 minutes

Once cool, I used a thin glaze made from the chocolate milkshake icing sugar, to brush all over the biscuits and give them a sticky, chocolatey shine:

painting chocolate milkshake shortbread biscuits with flavoured icing sugar glaze

They were simply finished with a piped milkshake ‘froth’ of vanilla buttercream, and of course a piped chocolate straw!

piped vanilla icing small stars with chocolate straw milkshake biscuit cookie

chocolate milkshake taste and look shortbread biscuit

Simple and very tasty – another lovely product from Sugar and Crumbs 🙂

chocolate milkshake shortbread biscuits cookies recipe and method decoration

And they certainly went down well with Rob – he couldn’t eat them fast enough!

enjoying chocolate milkshake biscuits

Creme Egg Cookie Pizza

creme egg minis cookie pizza white and milk chocolate recipe for easter

Ah Easter. That one time of the year when excessive chocolate consumption is not only allowed, but positively encouraged. A four day weekend with little else to do but gorge on milk, white and dark goodness. Perfect!

My Cadbury Creme Egg Cheesecakes – Two Ways are incredibly popular at this time of year, being the most popular post on the whole blog for at least the past couple of months. This year I wanted to use those gooey orange and white filled shells for something equally as amazing, combined with an early with an early birthday treat for Rob.

As soon as I saw this fantastic cookie pie recipe from Averie Cooks, my mouth started watering and brain whirring. I loved the way she sliced it into pizza-style slices, and with Rob’s love of everything biscuits and cookies, I was onto a sure-fire winner.

Jazzing up the recipe with extra chocolate, and of course those mini creme eggs was as easy as converting to UK measurements. The ultimate Easter indulgence!

110g butter
130g light brown sugar
1 tablespoon golden syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
200g plain flour
1 egg
100g chocolate chips

To top
1 pack mini Cadbury Creme Eggs
2 squares each milk and white chocolate

– Melt together the butter and golden syrup, try not to over-heat
– Stir in the sugar and vanilla essence, add the egg and mix well
– Add the flour and chocolate chips (reserve a small handful for the topping), and mix until just-combined – this is some seriously good cookie dough that’s rather moreish eaten raw!
– Spoon into a greased, lined tin, I used a large pie dish with silicon lining for easy removal, flatten evenly
– Grate over the white and milk chocolate squares, sprinkle the remaining chocolate chips
– Lightly press in the Crème Eggs – either whole or halved, I used a mixture of the two. They are easy to cut in half if slightly warm
– Place the cookie pizza in the oven at 180 degrees for 20 – 25 minutes. Check it’s done by inserting a cocktail stick / small skewer in the middle and seeing if it comes out clean
– Allow to cool in the tin / pie dish before removing and slicing into pizza segments

pie tin greased and lined for cookie pizza dough recipe


cookie pizza dough chocolate chip recipe uk


chocolate cookie pizza grated white and milk chocolate topping


creme egg chocolate cookie pizza topping ready to bake recipe

creme egg cookie pizza chocolate toppings milk and white chocolate chips

freshly baked chocolate creme egg pizza cookie

creme egg cookie pizza chopping board easter baking easy ideas recipe

creme egg cookie chocolate pizza cutter easter

chocolate pizza slice creme egg cookie giant


creme egg cookie pizza slice recipe

As easy as (pizza) pie – pure Easter indulgence in every bite. How do you eat yours? Very quickly in this case!

mini creme egg giant cookie chocolate pizza easter baking recipe ideas

Coffee Biscuit Bites

coffee biscuit bites butter sable recipe using coffee flavoured icing sugar

Last night I donned my apron to whip up these little biscuit bites, for a number of very good reasons. Firstly, I need to start saving egg whites to make meringues at the weekend. Secondly, I wanted to try out another of the lovely products that Sugar and Crumbs sent me to review, and thirdly, probably most importantly, we need some sugar in the office to get us through the week.

The Coffee Icing Sugar for Sugar and Crumbs was lovely to work with, a silky white powder and perfect for this adapted Sable biscuit recipe. The 125g pack was the ideal size to make both this biscuits and icing.

sugar and crumbs natural flavoured coffee icing sugar recipe and review


75g coffee icing sugar
100g plain flour
100g butter
1 egg yolk

To ice
50g coffee icing sugar
Warm water

– Mix together the icing sugar and flour, and rub in the butter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs
– Add the egg yolk, and knead together to form a smooth paste. If the mixture is too sticky don’t be afraid to add some more flour, you want to be able to roll it without sticking
– Roll the mixture into small balls, spread out evenly on baking sheet. They do not need to be space too far apart, as the biscuits won’t spread much during cooking
– Using a fork dipped in boiling water, gently flatten the top of each biscuit
– Bake at 180 degrees for 10-12 minutes until firm to touch and golden brown
– When cool, mix the remaining icing sugar with a little water, to form a thick paste. Cover the top of each biscuit using a pastry brush, and leave to set.- Enjoy with your favourite cup of Joe! Or, as we did in the office – dipped into a cup of tea!

sable biscuit dough balls coffee butter recipe

flattening biscuit dough with fork dipped in hot water method and tips

cup of coffee with bite sized butter sable biscuits recipe and easy method

And how did the coffee flavour come out? Well it was a lovely subtle tone in the icing sugar that really came through in the combination of the biscuit and icing. And aesthetically pleasing to have a coffee flavoured treat without the normally associated rather dark brown colour!

sugar and crumbs coffee icing sugar natural flavourings sable biscuit recipe

Disclaimer – Products were provided by Sugar and Crumbs for review. However the opinions are entirely my own.

Silver Spoon Designer Icing – Review

Last week the lovely folks at Baking Mad contacted me to ask if I’d like to test out some of their products, and no sooner than I’d sent them and emphatic yes, the postman brought me a great package the very next day.

bakingmad gift set silver spoon designer icing colour creator choco beans recipe book

I decided to start on with the Designer Icing – big, toothpaste-sized tubes, filled with ready mixed, pipeable icing.

silver spoon colour create ready to use icing review chocolate and blue piping nozzles

Each pack comes with a set of three piping nozzles, so you have everything needed in the one kit.

silver spoon icing nozzles designer ready to use writing reivew

The nozzles are very easy to use, and simply screw onto the end of the tube once the lid is removed. They fit tightly and snugly so there’s no chance of any leaks or splodges, even for messy bakers like myself!

silver spoon blue designer icing fitting piping nozzle easy twist on review

First up I tried the slatted nozzle which had a slight cross shape.

silver spoon slanted cross piping nozzle italic calligraphy lines effects icing

This was great for making slanted and angular lines:

silver spoon blue designer icing slanted nozzle review lines

And also for calligraphy style writing:

silver spoon blue designer icing review creating calligraphy letters J

Moving onto the star nozzle, which I used to pipe ridged lines and waves – this blue colour would be perfect for depicting the sea!

testing silver spoon designer writing icing review star nozzle lines waves sea effect

The star nozzle is also perfect for creating that perfect swirl for cupcakes or biscuits alike.

piping with silver spoon designer icing ridged swirl using star nozzle

Last but definitely not least, the thin round nozzle can be used for all kinds of intricate detail, spots, stripes and patterns…

silver spoon thin round pointed nozzle testing on biscuits icing polka dots and lines

…and making your own mark with careful lettering.

silver spoon designer icing review using to write on biscuits cookies and cakes

Because the icing comes out of the tube fresh and sticky, you can easily add extras to it – such as these sugar sprinkles / nonpareils.

bake writing on cookie adorned with sugar sprinkles using silver spoon blue writing icing

To test out the chocolate icing, I whipped up a quick back of cupcakes.

Again the pack came with the same three nozzles, however I found the texture of the chocolate to be a bit more sticky (such is the nature generally, of chocolate icing!), and as such did not hold its definition as well. You can see the centre of this cake didn’t hold the design as well –

chocolate cupcake swirl icing baking silver spoon designer icing review

It certainly didn’t detract from the flavour though – a thick fudge icing. Yum!

biting into cupcake with thick chocolate fudge icing ready made from silver spoon

Allowing some time to set in between layers (using the fridge to speed things up), an intricate swirl pattern is still more than possible.

chocolate swirl icing on cupcake

Or, using a combination of the nozzles, an intricate pattern out of spots and stars.

flower decorated chocolate cupcake easy how to using silver spoon designer icing

With the small round nozzle – an abstract pattern:

abstract design chocolate cupcake icing using thin piping nozzle and silver spoon designer icing

Or more text – not that explanation is needed!

cake writing on cupcake in chocolate icing silver spoon decorating

So how would I rate these kits? Well they are a fantastic pick-me-up to have on standby, icing quickly and easily with no mess whatsoever. What’s more you can easily rinse out the nozzles and screw on the cap so it will keep for use another time.
The only downside I found was the consistency of the icing; it was quite thick to squeeze out of the tube in the first place, even after some considerable kneading – after all that piping my hands were positively aching! I do think that having them in a warmer kitchen may help a little.

Nevertheless they are perfect for kids and adults alike, and coming in a rainbow of different colours would be great for all kinds of different projects – Halloween cakes and biscuits and Christmas bakes too!

Disclaimer: The products featured in this post were provided to me by Baking Mad for the purpose of review. However the designs and opinions are completely my own.

Quadruple Chocolate Cookies

recipe for quadruple chocolate chunk cookies adapted from bero easy no eggs

Sometimes a little chocolate isn’t enough. Two kinds? Been there. Three sorts? Done that. Four types? Now we’re talking!

quadruple chocolate cookies recipe milk dark white cocoa powder four kinds

For this super simple cookie recipe, I vamped up the chocolate to the the max, with white chocolate, milk chocolate, dark chocolate, and cocoa powder. There’s no such thing as too much chocolate, obviously.

four kinds of chocolate quadruple cookies baking squares recipe

I cut the milk, dark and white chocolate into small chunks. Given that my kitchen was somewhat sweltering (much like the rest of the country), it was like cutting butter and took no time at all. On colder days you could easily pop them into a polythene bag and bash with a rolling pin.

chopped chunks of triple chocolate for cookie recipe white milk and dark

The rest of the ingredients were equally as simple:

basic cookie ingredients original bero recipe flour brown sugar milk butter golden syrup

And the recipe? Well I adapted this one from my trusty Be-ro book. You can find the online version here.
One of the things I like best about this cookie recipe is that it doesn’t contain any eggs, but still makes beautifully soft, squishy cookies.

bero recipe book chocolate chip cookies adapted to quadruple chocolate

The adapted ingredients list:

100g margarine
75g light brown sugar
30ml (2 tablespoons) golden syrup
30ml (2 tablespoons) milk
50g cocoa powder
125g self-raising flour
50g white chocolate
50g milk chocolate
50g dark chocolate

And the method:

– mix all the non-chocolate ingredients together in a big bowl

basic bero recipe plain cookie dough

– add the cocoa and about 3/4 of the chocolate chunks

quadruple chocolate cookie dough with triple chocolate chunks recipe

– roll into small balls, place on a greased baking sheet (or silicon as I used)

– flatten slightly with your fingers, and adorn with the remaining chocolate chunks

I always like to keep some of whatever’s inside, to decorate the top of the cookie, not just for aesthetic reasons, but also because I like the eater to be able to easily see what’s inside. Take for example a cookie I picked up on an event early in the year, “yum, white chocolate chip!”. 2 seconds later I was spitting it back out into my hand as they were actually peanuts, to which I am allergic. Oops. I’m lucky it’s not too serious an allergy and a couple of anti-histamines later I was fine, and lived to cookie another day.

recipe and method for quadruple chocolate cookies rounding into balls and pressing chunks into top before cooking

– bake for 7 – 8 minutes at 180 degrees, or more depending on where you want your cookies on the squishy/gooey/crunchy scale

quadruple chocolate chunk cookies freshly baked biscuits recipe

– if you can possibly resist, let them cool completely before eating. There’s something extra special about that combination of chewy cookie and crunchy chocolate.

quadruple chocolate individual cookie with triple chunks recipe

If by any chance they do last longer than 5 minutes, the cookies are best stored in the fridge in this warm weather, in a sealed container, so they don’t go soggy.

On the other hand, you could just eat one, after another, after another… and give that chocolate craving a big kick!

quadruple chocolate cookies freshly baked white milk and dark

Easy Mid-Week Cookies – Oatmeal Raisin & Double Chocolate

easy midweek cookies double chocolate oatmeal raisin recipe with one egg yolk

Why are they called mid-week cookies? Do you ever get a couple of days into work and feel like it should be the weekend already? These are a great little therapeutic bake and perfect sugary pick-me-up, to make it that little bit easier to get out of bed tomorrow.

The basic recipe will give you yummy plain sugar cookies, but is so easily adapted to whatever flavourings or additions you’d like.


125g butter
30g caster sugar
40g brown sugar
1 egg yolk
1/2 tablespoon golden syrup
Pinch of bicarbonate of soda
Teaspoon of vanilla essence
150g plain flour


Oatmeal raisin
Add 50g oats and 50g raisins, plus 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Use wholemeal plain flour for something that’s bordering on a healthy snack!

Double chocolate
Substitute 30g flour for 30g cocoa powder. Add in 50-75g of whatever chocolate chips or chunks you have to hand – I had some milk chocolate buttons lying around

– beat together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Trust me it’s worth it. Use an electric mixer for speed/if you’ve had a particularly bad week
– add the remaining ingredients, including any extras, and mix well until everything is combined. If making a drier mix (like oatmeal raisin) you may need to get your hands in there to knead together properly.
– grease a baking sheet well (I use cake release spray), and roll balls or drop teaspoons of your dough on, depending on how wet your mixture is

I shaped the oatmeal raisin into balls, before rolling in a 50/50 brown sugar and oat mix for extra crunch. When on the baking sheet I pressed them out so they were a little flatter.

oatmeal raisin cookie recipe egg yolk rolling in oats and brown sugar easy

For the double chocolate, the batter was wonderful and sticky so I used teaspoons full, well spread, and each topped with another chocolate button.

easy gooey chocolate chunk cookie recipe egg yolk topped with chocolate button

– bake at 180 degrees for 8-10 minutes. Check back regularly and take out as they start to brown, don’t over-bake or you’ll lose the great chewy cookie texture. Allow to cool at least a little, but make sure you try one while they’re still warm!

easy midweek oatmeal raisin golden crunchy chewy cookies egg yolk recipe

double chocolate cookies biscuits with chocolate buttons easy one egg yolk recipe

See – I told you it was easy! Two sets of cookies, mixed, baked and eaten in under an hour!

oatmeal raisin and double chocolate cookies square plates easy recipe

Try not to eat them all at once – calling in sick with a stomach is not the answer to a bad week! Roll on the weekend… 🙂

double chocolate and oatmeal raisin best chewy easy cookies recipe

Mother’s Day Tulip Cookie Pops

cookie pops flower bouquet biscuits hand decorated orange and yellow sugar glitter sugar royal icing

Happy Mother’s Day to my lovely mummy!

My Cake Decorating magazine came a couple of weeks ago with a lovely tulip biscuit cutter and this nifty little cake / cookie pop ‘vase’. I waited patiently and knew mother’s day was the perfect opportunity to use them – not your usual bunch of flowers!

mothers day tulip flower cake pops orange and yellow in cardboard polka dot vase mycakedecorating

After baking the biscuits on the sticks (use paper ones not plastic, and push gently in to at least halfway across the biscuit, before they go in the oven), I decorated in two different ways.

The first – as you can see above, are hand decorated in orange and yellow icing. I covered the large flower surfaces in pastel royal icing, allowing to dry before using a paintbrush to add the finer details and edging in darker orange/yellow. Finally, they were topped with gold soft pearls.

orange hand decorated tulip cookie pop with gold soft pearl decoration

The second – and quicker – used a pastel orange icing and dipping in pink and yellow sparkly/glitter sugar. The icing dried pretty quickly so I did the yellow fronts first, then the pink top, before using the icing alone for the sides. I again used a thin paintbrush to apply all the icing so that it only went on the areas needed.

glitter sugar tulip cookie pops biscuits on sticks flowers for mothers day

Tied with a bow for a beautiful bouquet!

flower bouquet tied ribbon bow tulip cookie pops for mothers day

Merry Christmas! Red Velvet & White Chocolate Santa Cookies


Seasons Greetings to you and yours, hope that Santa bought everything you wanted and more!

These little bites of festivity were cut using a Santa cutter I bought in Hamburg a couple of weeks back (you can see some photos from the Christmas markets here). You could easily find a template online if you don’t have a special Santa cutter!

Hard as I tried I couldn’t find a good recipe with UK weights anywhere – so had to improvise one of my own! It’s based on the butter sable biscuits I’ve made before (like these racing car biscuits), but adapted to get that vibrant red!

100g plain flour
15g cocoa powder
100g butter
60g icing sugar
1 egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
Several drops of red colour paste/gel (liquid colours won’t give the same vibrancy when you bake)

Simply rub the butter into the dry ingredients to resemble breadcrumbs, then mix in the yolk, colouring and vanilla to form a stiff dough. Refrigerate before rolling out, cook for 7-10 minutes at 180 degrees.


To decorate I kept things simple by melting white chocolate and piping a beard, and fur trims for his sleeve, hat and hem.


Ho! Ho! Ho! Merry Christmas 🙂 x

Christmas Gingerbread Houses

gingerbread houses for christmas star front door smartie roof

What could be more Christmassy than the warm spice of gingerbread, sugared with crunchy royal icing and adorned with yummy sweets?

I’d not made a gingerbread house before and decided that was my challenge for this festive season! Using the recipe from BBC good food and tips from Kirstie Allsopp’s version over on C4.

For the construction itself I actually varied the BBC template slightly – their house was quite tall and church-like, I wanted mine to be more of a snow-covered family home. I printed off their templates and trimmed accordingly, making sure the sides that needed to match up and join were the same size as each other.

gingerbread house templates roof side wall front back

After refrigerating the dough for a good half an hour, I rolled it out directly onto the greaseproof baking sheet and cut around the templates. Doing it straight on the sheet means not picking up or moving the pieces, which can easily break them.

gingerbread house rolling out pin paper templates greaseproof baking sheet christmas

gingerbread house pieces dough ready to bake roof side walls end

It took the pieces about 15 minutes to bake in our fan oven, I wanted them quite firm as construction was going to be tricky enough as it was! The recipes recommended using the paper templates to re-trim the pieces into shape after cooking incase they’d spread slightly. Perhaps not so wisely I chose to skip this step as I wanted a ‘rustic’ look to my house… it did make things a little tricky when it came to piecing them together!

I took a great tip from Kirstie Allsopp – to decorate the pieces and let them set over night before assembly. This means piping onto a flat surface and makes it much easier to get the shapes and patterns you want – without trying to do them on sides when it is assembled. The icing is a simple mix of 2 egg whites and 500g of icing sugar, and sets really hard so perfect for the decorations and assembly. It keeps really well in an air-tight container in the fridge so you don’t have to do everything in one go.

For the roof pieces I used a cocktail stick to mark out the pattern for the smarties on a roof top, before gluing them on with generous blobs of royal icing.

marking holes on gingerbread house roof for icing with sweets smarties

gingerbread house roofs ideas decorated with chocolate beans smarties sweets royal icing

Next step – a great time freehand decorating the walls and windows, and plenty of snowy decor!

royal icing piping design close up detail gingerbread house window christmas

gingerbread house vines and plants piping front door christmas baking royal icing

I put the finished pieces aside and left them to dry overnight.

christmas gingerbread house pieces ready to assemble decorate with white royal icing

Next day, when it came to assembly, I’m not going to lie – it was tricky! Pieces sliding all over the place (perhaps something to do with my impatience to get it together). The great thing is the icing doesn’t need to be neat – it all adds to the snowy effect – and nobody is going to know what the joins look like from the inside! I actually employed a spare pair of hands to keep the pieces together while it started to set:

gingerbread house assembly with white royal icing holding up with hands

Rather a lot more icing later and the house was together!

christmas gingerbread house with smarties roof and white royal icing piping

I used the spare royal icing to try to pretty up the joins a little, with snow mounds, and a little added sparkle from some edible glitter.

christmas gingerbread house royal icing piping detail edible glitter chocolate bean roof smarties

You might have noticed some extra pieces in a few of the photos – I had some spare dough after making the big house that I used to make a super-cute teeny tiny version as well.

christmas gingerbread houses back view windows roof beams trailing plants smarties white royal icing

Did you know cats like gingerbread too?And a lot!

grey tabby cat eating christmas gingerbread house festive baking

I was lucky enough to be over in Hamburg, Germany last week, and was determined to find a gingerbread house to see how mine compared. We went to the biggest Christmas market in the city – Rathausmarkt, at the town hall.

hamburg weihnachtsmarkt christmas market rathaus markt2012 germany decorations

With a mulled wine or two to stave off the sub-zero temperatures, I was disappointed to find absolutely no gingerbread houses. What is Christmas coming too! The closest things came were these (very pretty but expensive) china decorations:

gingerbread house christmas decorations hamburg weihnachts markt

And some hand-decorated gingerbread hearts (reading ‘Happy Christmas’ for the non-German speakers reading!)

gingerbread iced hearts hanging decorations frohe weihnacht hamburg rathausmarkt christmas markets