Salted butter and chocolate chunk shortbread

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I spotted these shortbread via The Little Loaf’s Instagram page and thought to myself – those look good! After a bit of research I found that apparently these had been a bit of a worldwide phenomenon and had in the cookie and biscuit world ‘broken the Internet’. After a bit of research I found the recipe, which is by Alison Roman from her book Dining In. They are very, very good. They’re not quite shortbread but also not quite cookies but just the right mix of both. They are however quite salty so if you’re not a fan of salt it would probably be best to give them a miss.
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Smartie cookies

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So today marked a momentous occasion. My first official bake sale as a mum. Our Baby Sensory class was holding a bake sale for this year’s Children in Need and we were invited to bring a contribution to help raise some funds for a very worthwhile charity. I thought Smarties cookies would be fun and would also link to the idea of ‘spots’ for Children in Need. I found this Martha Collison recipe on the Waitrose website. These cookies would make a good child friendly bake. Not only are they easy to make but they’ll also be popular to eat too. They are soft and chewy and very similar in texture to the multi packs of cookies you can buy in supermarkets. You could of course swap the Smarties for any other sugar-shelled sweets you have such as M&Ms or Minstrels. The original recipes says it will make 30 however I made 18 medium-sized cookies. They must have been a hit as I only brought 4 home with me!
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Chocolate chip, oat and raisin cookies

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It is officially half term – hurray! I made these last week to keep us going through the last week of term. My thinking was that if they have oats and raisins in them that surely makes them healthy?!? This is a Donal Skehan recipe that you can find here. These cookies are chewy and crumbly in texture. If you don’t have any dark chocolate or raisins you can easily swap them for whatever else you have. I think cranberries and white chocolate would make a great combination.
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Chilli chocolate cookies

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Ah the summer holidays. The chance to relax, enjoy the sunshine (sometimes!) and catch up with friends you haven’t seen for a long time. We got back this week from a week in Crete (which was lovely), which is why it has been a little quiet on the blog front. But never fear, I have more than made up for it this week with three bakes over the last few days! I caught up with one of my friends Kathryn on Thursday. She doesn’t eat egg so I always keep my eyes open for egg free bakes which I can make. I’ve made double chocolate shortbread and Mary Berry’s cranberry and white chocolate shortbread for our catch ups before.
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Chocolate gingerbread

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A couple of weeks ago I was in Sainsbury’s when I spotted a giant snowflake cookie cutter. It was only £4 and with Christmas fast approaching I thought it would be perfect for trying out some Christmas biscuits. If you’re looking to purchase one they are available via eBay and other cake related online shops. £4 is a bargain as they can sell for as much as £16! Gingerbread has become very popular at Christmas with gingerbread houses, men and various other Christmas related shapes gracing magazines and shops. I’ll be honest and say I’m not overly keen on ginger. I knew I needed a biscuit dough that I could roll out and cut to use my cookie cutter so had been investigating different spiced Christmas biscuits. I came across this BBC Good Food recipe for chocolate gingerbread and thought that the chocolate might help distract me from the taste of the ginger! The recipe is originally intended to make an advent calendar so makes a good quantity. I made 3 large snowflakes and also made some reindeer (also using a Sainsbury’s cookie cutter).
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Blackberry jam crumble shortbreads

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I received John Whaite’s ‘John Whaite Bakes At Home’ for my birthday in August and until recently had not had the chance to try out any of the recipes. One of the recipes that had caught my eye was this blackberry jam crumble shortbread recipe. I love blackberry recipes and have been disappointed that I’ve been so busy that I’ve not been able to try anymore recipes other than this recipe and the autumn traybake I made back in August.
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Oat and raisin cookies – Take Two

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This week bakers around the country rejoiced – The Great British Bake Off is back! If you watched you will know that next week is biscuit week. Inspired by this and today’s terrible weather I decided today was definitely a cookie baking kind of day. I also decided that it’s time to get back to some of my cookbooks. I am forever pinning recipes I have found on the Internet to my Pinterest pages which means I neglect my stack of cookbooks.
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Rocky Road

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As a teacher the summer term is normally my favourite time of year. Sunshine, sports days, less stress, the count down to the summer holidays. Unfortunately it’s not quite working out like that at the moment. It’s been a busy few weeks so I thought I whip up a batch of rocky road to keep us all going. I also made some banana muffins but these were an EPIC failure (both in looks and taste) so I’m not even going to post them (yes, they really were that bad!)

My introduction to rocky road came about 6 years ago when I used to work with a teacher who made THE most amazing cakes. She would make a batch of rocky road which she’d bring in and they would be gone in minutes. We were pretty much obsessed with them in the staff room and they were always requested. This was my first attempt and I think future attempts will need a little refining. The beauty of it is that it requires no baking. When you look at recipes on the Internet you will find all sorts of different versions with different ingredients. The combinations and possibilities are endless. Do you go for rich tea biscuits or digestives? Milk chocolate, dark chocolate or both? Fruit or no fruit? Nuts or no nuts? I opted for a simple Nigella recipe from the BBC website that you can find here. There is also a Christmas version as well. I decided to add some glace cherries as I had some that needed using up – Mr Birdie was not keen on these and has advised me that in future raisins would be a better addition (this has been noted!)
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Disaster time… Lemon Viennese Whirls

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If Craig Revel Horwood (the nasty man from Strictly Come Dancing if you’re reading this Dad!) had been in my kitchen this afternoon he would have declared it a ‘di-sah-ster dahling’!

I decided that I wanted to make something biscuity this weekend. After trawling through some of my old Olive magazines I found this recipe for marshmallow Viennese fingers. However, Rob wasn’t too keen on the idea of marshmallow and suggested something lemony instead. After a little research on the internet I found a recipe here, which is loosely based on a Hairy Bikers recipe on the BBC website which you can find here.
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