Smarties Cookies

Smarties Cookies Collage

I haven’t made cookies in a long time. Cookies and biscuits require a steady and controlled oven temperature, so now that we have a new (normally functioning) oven, I decided to try out a recipe that my good friend Alex introduced me to.
The original recipe is from the BBC Good Food website, although Alex had substituted M&Ms for the chocolate chips, and I liked it a lot! Sadly, our local shops seemed to be completely sold out of original M&Ms last week, so Smarties was the next best thing!

These cookies are sweet, a little crispy on the outside and deliciously chewy on the inside, with a generous chocolate hit from the Smarties! Also, not far away from Millies Cookies in taste and texture… result!

The Recipe

Ingredients

  • 125g unsalted butter, softened
  • 100g light brown soft sugar
  • 125g caster sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 225g self-raising flour, sifted
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 125g Smarties or M&Ms
Method
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Using a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugars for 3-4 minutes until smooth and pale.
Mix in the egg and vanilla extract.
Add the flour and salt and mix until smooth.
Then add in your chosen candy and mix until distributed throughout the dough.
Roll the dough into little walnut-sized balls, and place on baking paper on a baking sheet. I baked 9 at a time to allow for spreading (this recipe made 28 cookies).
Smarties Cookies Method Collage
Bake in the oven for 8-10 minutes, until just golden round the edges.

Cool for a few minutes on the tray, and then transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool completely.

Smarties Cookies 2

Store in an airtight container.

Yum yum yum!

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Birds Of A Feather Photo Shoot – Cakes & Cookies

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Just over a year ago I received an email from a group of wedding professionals explaining that they were planning a post-wedding celebration photo shoot for Mandy & Mark. They asked if I would be interested in providing a cake for the shoot.

The theme for the shoot was to include birds and subtle shades of Spring/ Summer.
After looking through the mood boards that the girls had come up with I decided that the colour palette lent itself well to a romantic, peachy, floral two-tier wedding cake, complemented by some pretty cupcakes decorated with doves and delicate flowers.
I also decided to attempt some iced cookies, as I had recently found a beautiful dove cookie cutter which I thought would complement the theme nicely.

The Cake

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Bird Shoot Cake Details Collage

I love this soft peach colour, and the cascading flowers – so romantic!
This was my second attempt at creating a rose with Florist Paste, using the skills I picked up from my cake decorating classes with Mrs Jones.

The Cupcakes

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As for the cupcakes, I thought these little dove cutters were just perfect for the theme of this shoot.
To tie in with the cake, half of the cupcakes were adorned with the same flowers as the tiered cake.

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The Cookies

This was my first attempt at iced cookies… The hearts with polka dot decoration were pretty easy to do, and am pleased with how they turned out.

Birds Photo Shoot - All images Kristin Mitchell © Struve Photography

I love these little dove cookies – so sweet.

LifeLine - Birds Of A Feather - 102

Bird Shoot Cookies Details

I had a great day at the photo shoot, and really enjoyed meeting such a lovely bunch of friendly, creative people.
Thankyou to you all for asking me to be part of this shoot.
A special Thanks to the photographers, Kristin & Hannah, for letting me use their beautiful photos.

To see more photos from this beautiful shoot, take a look at this blog post on We Fell In Love… Stunning dresses, beautiful flowers, fantastic styling and gorgeous make up!

Oh, and please take a look at this beautiful behind the scenes video of the shoot by the very talented Steven of Gryffe Weddings.

IMAGES COPYRIGHT OF STRUVE PHOTOGRAPHY & LIFELINE PHOTOGRAPHY

Chocolate Orange Chunk Cookies – The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap

So, at the end of October this year, the Twitterati started tweeting about The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap, organised by food bloggers Love & Olive Oil, and The Little Kitchen.

In the words of Lindsay from Love & Olive Oil, here’s how it works…

“The premise is this: sign up. Receive the addresses of three other food bloggers. Send each of them one dozen delicious homemade cookies. Receive three different boxes of scrumptious cookies from other bloggers. Eat them all yourself (or, you know, share. If you want. No judgement either way.) Post your cookie recipe on your blog. See everyone else’s cookie recipes. Salivate. Get lots of great ideas for next years’ cookie swap. Rinse and repeat.”
 

Now, I have to be honest, up until this point, I haven’t a great deal of experience in baking cookies. However, I thought that the Cookie Swap was a lovely way to have some contact with those people on Twitter that I follow, and seem to have so much in common with, beyond the 140 word limit of Twitter.

So, the big question was what cookie to bake?
I decided to turn to my new cookery book, Darina Allen’s Ballymaloe Cookery Course.

This is a fabulous book, like a cookery bible really. My Mum had this book at home, and I have always wanted my own copy. So big Thanks to my lovely husband for buying me my own copy recently.

On page 464 I came across a recipe for Chocolate Chip Cookies.
I decided to add some orange zest to create a chocolate orange flavour (one of my favourite flavour combinations – think Chocolate Orange Matchmakers… yum).
I did a trial run and was thrilled with the results.
One of my husband’s colleagues even declared that this was his favourite bake of mine, high praise indeed!

So on a recent rainy Sunday in Glasgow, I set about baking the cookies for the Swap.
This time I added some orange blossom water to the recipe, and I think this really helps to bring out the orange flavour.

Once the cookies were baked and cooled I packaged them up for posting…


I was thrilled to receive some lovely feedback from my three matches, and was over the moon to read Amy’s blog post and Jules’ blog post about my cookies.

So, if you fancy trying these out for yourself, here’s the recipe…

The Recipe

Ingredients


  • 225g unsalted butter
  • 200g light soft brown sugar
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • zest of 2 oranges
  • 1 tsp orange blossom water
  • 350g plain white flour
  • 1 level tsp baking powder
  • 1 level tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 175g dark chocolate (I use Bournville), chopped

Method

Preheat the oven to 170°C.

Sift the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, and salt into a large bowl.

Using a freestanding mixer beat the butter until soft, add the sugars, and beat until light and fluffy.

Gradually add the eggs, a little at a time, and then the orange zest and orange blossom water.

Add the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, and salt, and beat on a slow speed until well combined.

Finally, add the chopped chocolate and mix in.

Roll a small amount of the mixture (~20-25g) into a ball using your hands, and place on a sheet of Bake-O-Glide on a baking sheet.

Remember to leave enough space between the balls of cookie dough to allow for spreading of the mixture during the bake. I do 9 at a time.


Bake for about 8 minutes, or until just starting to brown slightly at the edges.


Cool for a few minutes on the tray, and then transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool completely.

Store in an airtight container.

This recipe makes around 48 cookies.


Enjoy!

So far, I have only received 2 batches of cookies, am thinking the Postman couldn’t resist the smell from my 3rd package.

Big Thanks to Laura from Aga Girls for her double chocolate chip cookies… delicious!
Also Thanks to Mrs Iles for her lovely chocolate covered shortbread.

Finally, many Thanks to Lindsay and Julie for all their hard work in organising this cookie swap – ♥.