Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Teachers around Great Britain are rejoicing – why? It’s the holidays! That makes me happy as it means more time for baking! One of my bestest friends Rachael has just had a gorgeous baby boy so I thought the family may be in need of some sugary, chocolaty goodness to keep them all going so I decided chocolate chip cookies were most definitely needed!

This is a Hummingbird Bakery recipe from The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook. It’s the same book that the oat and raisin cookies that I’ve previously featured come from. This recipe makes 24 cookies.
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A savoury twist – Cheese straws and Tomato & Gruyere whirls

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I’m not normally a savoury baker – I much prefer sugary, chocolaty treats that are crowd pleasers. However, last Saturday I organised a baby shower for my lovely friend Emma who is expecting a bundle of joy very soon. This called for some savoury snacks. I decided to make cheese straws and tomato and Gruyere whirls. I had made the tomato and Gruyere whirls last year for my 30th birthday afternoon tea and everyone had enjoyed them so decided these would be a good bet. Cheese straws were an entirely new adventure for me! The tomato and Gruyere whirls are super easy and require nothing other than assembling (unless you are feeling brave and want to make your own puff pastry – something I am not quite ready for!)

Both of these recipes come from a Sainsbury’s cooking book I was given as an end of year present by an ex-pupil. I used to bombard them with tales of my cupcake making and even bring baking into my Maths lessons so I was really touched to receive it. It’s called ‘Baking Recipe Collection’ by Sainsbury’s and is out of stock on the Sainsbury’s website but it you look on Amazon you can find second hand copies starting from the bargainous price of 1p (plus postage and packing). I’ve decided to combine the two into one post.

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Marbled Millionaires Shortbread

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As the summer term comes to an end in schools across the country, attention turns to the members of staff leaving for pastures new. We have two amazing ladies leaving us and so are holding a tea party to celebrate their many years of service – so of course I had to offer my baking services!

Tray bakes were the order of the day so after my successful banoffee pie I decided I would try another caramel-based adventure – marbled millionaires shortbread. Not ideal in this baking hot weather but a classic favourite and hopefully a safer bet than cupcakes (icing in this weather – not a good idea!)

I used a combination of a Nigella recipe from ‘How To Be A Domestic Goddess’ and a recipe from the Carnation website which you can find here. The Nigella recipe said to use a 23cm tin and the Carnation recipe a 20cm tin but I used a 21cm and it seemed to be ok.

They were a big hit – it’s just a shame they didn’t survive the weather particularly well – squidgy millionaires shortbread is never nice! If you’re making them in our current heatwave make sure you keep them in your fridge.
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Banoffee Pie

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Summer has finally arrived and it is barbecue season. Our friends Simon and Louisa (and their super cute son Finn) joined us this afternoon for a barbecue in the sunshine and to cheer Andy Murray on (well done Andy!) I was tempted to make Nigella’s Forgotten Pudding or her Strawberry Shortcakes but Mr Birdie requested banoffee pie so banoffee pie it was!

There are hundreds of recipes for banoffee pie on the Internet. After much perusing I opted for a Hairy Biker’s recipe from the BBC website which you can find here. I made some changes such as not putting banana in the cream on top and not putting any banana on the top. It is a simple recipe and it is super tasty. After a few baking disasters recently I was happy to get back on track and enjoy some baking success!
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