Today’s post is basically about what we’ve been up to lately. The last couple of months have absolutely flown by and I feel like we’ve lots track of things quite a bit here. So with that in mind I decided to share all the foodie wonders that Fi and I have experienced lately. It’s mainly pictures, because let’s be honest pictures are the best!
Lunchtime park picnics from Pret
Pimms – the perfect summer cocktail
Afternoon tea in the garden – chocolate cake, marshmallow crispy, coffee and walnut cake, banana muffins and chocolate chip cakes.
Borough Market treats
Homemade Chinese chicken
Raw Cookie Dough
Double chocolate chip cookies
Lunch at The Pepper Tree in Clapham
Homemade turkey burgers and sweet potato fries
Sunday breakfast at The Delaunay
So there we go. You’ve all been caught up on our recent foodie lives. Wasn’t that just a bundle of fun? All I know is that I am now hungry from looking at all that food!
For some inexplicable reason I’ve realised that we haven’t discussed biscuits that often on this blog. How absurd is that. I mean I love biscuits and cookies, whether they’re chocolate or raisin, plain or covered in chocolate they’re a staple in my diet and life is always that little bit better when you have a full tin of them. Hooray for the fact that we replenished our rich tea stocks today – anyone else partial to a hot chocolate and rich teas of an evening? Tell me that’s not just me?!
Anyway I plan to rectify the lack of biscuit chatter today by sharing some biscuits we’ve made recently. They were discovered over on Amanda’s blog Rhyme and Ribbons a while back and we finally found an occasion to make them about a month ago when we headed off to meet gorgeous baby Isabella. We didn’t in fact take them in the end, but more on that after the recipe! When I first discovered them I knew I’d need to make them soon, mainly due to the name – soft monster cookies. Awesome name right? Thankfully they’re just as tasty as the name suggests and I think everyone will be had pressed not to eat three per sitting – go on I dare you not too!
As ever you can of course follow the recipe that Amanda shared, or you can follow our slightly amended one – I imagine either recipe will result in scrumptious biccies!
So first up you will need:
1/2 cup butter/margarine
1/2 cup soft brown sugar
1/4 cup caster sugar
3/4 cup crunchy peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla essence
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup M&Ms
1/4 cup chocolate chips (a mix of white and milk chocolate)
Now get combining and baking like so for delicious cookies.
Mix together the butter/marg and both sugars
Next add the peanut butter (make sure you have a sneaky snack of PB at this time, you know in case it’s gone off…), egg and vanilla and mix everything up
Now add the flour and baking soda until all combined and it’s looking delicious!
Finally fold in the chocolate chips and M&M’s (next time I might add raisins to get a bit of a fruity mix in there – just a thought for you all)
Line your baking tray and plop the balls of dough onto the tray, pressing them down gently
Bake for 10 minutes or so on 180⁰C before removing them, letting them cool (just a little) and eating three whilst they’re warm. Yummy!
One very key piece of advice, from someone in the know… don’t drop the floppy silicone baking sheet you’re using on the floor as you take them out the oven too soon. As the biscuits will land on the floor and you’ll only end up with eight biscuits and not the planned 16. And if you only have eight and two days before you go to your friend’s house you know you’re going minus the biscuits as they’ll be in your tummy in less than 24 hours! Or so I learned anyway!
Consider it a lesson that I learned that you now don’t need to experience, you can can just learn from my pain – aren’t you lucky! Anyway hands up if you’ll be baking biscuits soon – come on you know you want to! Happy baking!
Before I launch into the recipe for these biscuits I just need to tell you of my total obsession for oatmeal and raisin cookies. It all started back in 2007 when I was on my five month once-in-a-lifetime travelling trip around the world. When we were on our America leg there were Starbucks’ on every corner (and in every airport), as we had very little money left by that point we frequented them a lot (it’s super cheap and you can spend hours there). Once of my discoveries at Starbucks was their version of oatmeal and raisin cookies – they are literally amazing! In the space of six weeks I must have eaten about 50 of them. Ever since that time I’ve been trying to recreate them, as sadly the same version aren’t available in the UK – sad times indeed. I’ve not had much luck, although these cookies are scrumptious and yummy, they aren’t quite on a Starbucks level. But hey I still wolfed down four in one sitting, so they can’t be all that bad!!
Oatmeal and Raisin Biscuits
The other great thing about these cookies is they are one of those amazing recipes that can be created in advance, then frozen and sliced up when you want them. So in theory you can make a roll and then just slice off two cookies at a time (yeah because that’s going to happen in reality isn’t it!?!?). Anyway the biscuits are from a Good Food recipe which you can find here, or you can just look below. To make these yummy morsels, you will need:
Back in January we headed up to Sheffield to stay with our little sister who is up there at University. She’d just finished her exams so it was the perfect opportunity for us all to hang out together and for Lau and I to get a guided tour of the city having never been there before. About a week before we went up I received a text from her which included two photos, both were pages from a recipe book with the text: ‘These are amazing, you should make them one day’. It didn’t take a genius to realise that she meant – I want these. Make them for me when you come and stay. Or else you can sleep on the floor. Well maybe she wasn’t quite that rude and I may have assumed the sleeping on the floor bit, but none-the-less we decided we should probably give them a whirl! After all the cookies sounded delicious and the only thing that would improve a catch-up with siblings is biscuits. We did make a few amends to the recipe as we have a little sister who’s not a fan of pecans and we didn’t have any white chocolate to hand, but I think the changes work really well and you end up with a beautifully moist and chewy biscuit – perfect with a mocha and a chat!
So to make about 30 biscuits you will need:
150g plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
75g rolled oats
125g soft butter
75g dark brown sugar
100g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
75g dried cranberries
50g hazelnuts – roughly chopped
150g chocolate chips
Mix the flour, baking powder, salt and oats in a bowl
In another bowl beat together the butter and both sugars until creamy and then add the egg and vanilla extract and beat again
Slowly beat the flour mixture into the egg mixture
Fold in the cranberries, chcolate chips and nuts
Roll tablespoonfuls of mixture between your hands to form balls and place on a lined baking tray
Squish the balls with a fork (be warned we used four trays when making these!)
Cook for 15 minutes at 180°C. The cookies should be a pale golden colour and too soft to lift off the tray immediately so leave to cool for five minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack
I think these would also be good with raisins, marshmallows and almonds, so I might try a different combination next time. Any thoughts on what else might work?