Vanilla Fork Biscuits

Yesterday I made vanilla fork biscuits as a quick and easy thing to do. It only has 4 ingredients and is made it a few simple steps. This is the easiest biscuit recipe I have seen so far and bakes very fast.

You will need:

  • 115g soft butter
  • 55g caster sugar
  • 14og self-raising flour
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract/essence

Method:

1. cream together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.

2. Add the flour and vanilla, combine together (this is pretty much the hardest bit). Preheat oven to gas mark 6/ 400*C/ 200*F. Grease a baking tray.

3. Roll mixture into Walnut sized balls and place on the baking tray. Press down slightly with a fork and bake for 7-8 minutes (told you it was fast). Enjooooooy.

Vanilla Fork Biscuits

 

Red Nose Day Cakes

Abbie made these for red nose day for a competition at St John ambulance cadets. I make my cakes from a recipe my mum gave me, weigh the eggs you are going to be using, my 4 eggs (in the shells) weighed 260g, then we weigh the same amount of sugar, flour and butter. This works for any amount of eggs in your recipe.

Ingredients:

4 Eggs

260g Caster Sugar

260g Self Raising Flour

260g Butter

Vanilla Essence

Milk

250g Icing Sugar

Food Colouring

Method:

Cream the sugar and butter until soft and fluffy Add one egg and a quarter of the flour and mix in, continue with the other 3 eggs and the rest of the flour. When it’s all mixed in add the vanilla essence to taste (I use around 1 teaspoon) and milk until the mixture will drop easily off the spoon.

Divide the mixture into cake cases, mine made 18 cakes. Cook at gas 4/350 F/180 C for around 15/20 minutes until lightly browned and the tops are ‘spongy’.

To decorate the cakes we made 3 colours of icing – see here – covered the cakes tops with circles cut from the red icing and then cut out the facial features from the red and black icing.

Red Nose Day Cakes

 

 

Fondant Icing

Fondant icing is so easy to make, all you need is 2 ingredients.

250g Fondant Icing Sugar

Water

Put the icing sugar in a bowl and make a well in the middle. Add water 1 tablespoon at a time, mix until it becomes firm and it gets really hard to mix.

When the consistency is right roll it up it a ball and knead for a few minutes until smooth. Then dust the surface where you will be rolling out with some icing sugar and roll until it’s the right thickness. Use as required.

If you want coloured icing it’s best to buy a paste or Gel Icing Colour Kit as this wont make the fondant as wet as liquid food colouring plus the colour will be sharper and you use less colour.

Simply get a cocktail stick and dip it into the colouring and then put drops into the fondant. then just knead it so the colour spreads evenly.

 

 

Chocolate Chip Cookies With Apple Sauce

After I made the Cranberry & Oat Muffins I had half a jar of apple sauce left over. Now, being somebody who hates waste I had to make something else with apple sauce to use it up, hence this recipe. I know apple sauce isn’t a normal ingredient of chocolate chip cookies but I think you will be pleasantly surprised if you try them.

Ingredients:

275g Plain Flour

1/2 teaspoon of Bicarbonate of Soda

1/2 teaspoon Cornflour

1/4 teaspoon Salt

40g Castor Sugar

90g Brown Sugar

50ml Sunflower Oil

65ml Apple Sauce

1 teaspoon Cinnamon

1 Large Egg

1 teaspoon Vanilla Essence or Extract

100g Chocolate, drops or chunks

Method:

Combine the flour, bicarbonate of soda, cornflour and salt in a bowl. In another bowl mix the sugars, oil, apple sauce, cinnamon, egg and vanilla. Next mix the dry ingredients (flour etc) in with the wet ingredients and finally add the chocolate chips and stir thoroughly. I used chunks of white chocolate as that was what I had in but you can use whatever type of chocolate you want to.

Chill the cookie dough in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, but it can be left overnight if required.

Once chilled form the dough into small balls, I made them the size of walnuts but it depends what size you want your cookies, and then flatten slightly onto a non-stick baking tray.  Preheat oven to gas mark 4 (350 F; 180 C) and cook for about 10 minutes.

Chocolate Chip Cookies With Apple Sauce Chocolate Chip Cookies With Apple Sauce

Cranberry & Oat Muffins

Cranberry & Oat Muffins

Another attempt at making a delicious muffin while keeping the calories a little lower I tried these as a follow up to the very successful Apple & Oatmeal Cookies. Myself and the children really liked them but my husband isn’t a fan of cranberries so wouldn’t even try them, oh dear that means we get 4 each not 3 😀

Ingredients:

 

140g Rolled Oats (Porridge Oats)

85g Plain Flour

85g Plain Wholemeal Flour

50g Caster Sugar tsp

2 ½ tsp Baking Powder

1 tsp Cinnamon

½ tsp Nutmeg

½ tsp Salt

250ml Water

125ml Sunflower Oil

125ml Apple Sauce

2 Eggs

40g Cranberries (I had a packet of the ready to eat ones in the house)

Method:

Preheat oven to Gas mark 4 and either spray a 12 hole muffin tin with a cooking spray or use muffin cases (so much easier).

Put oats, flours, sugar, baking powder, spices, and salt in a bowl.

Then in a separate bowl whisk water, oil, apple sauce, and eggs until well mixed.

Next add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and add cranberries and mix well.

Place the mixture into muffin cases, (mine made 12 decent sized muffins). Bake for approximately  30-35 minutes until the tops are lightly browned and a skewer or toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Cranberry & Oat Muffins

Savoury Potato Cakes

 

Ingredients:-

1 lb cold mashed potato

4 rashers bacon (diced)

3 oz button mushrooms (chopped)

1 small / medium onion (finely chopped)

1 egg (beaten)

4 tablespoons fine oatmeal

Oil for frying

Salt / pepper to season.

Method

Prepare the potatoes and boil until tender then drain and mash them well before setting aside to cool.

Next place the bacon, onion and mushrooms into a frying pan with a little oil and cook gently until the onion and mushrooms have softened, when this is done set aside to cool as well.

When everything has cooled combine the bacon, onion and mushroom with the mashed potato, season to taste and mix well. Next take a large tablespoonful of the mixture and shape into a flat cake approx. 6 to 9mm thick (1/4 to 3/8 inch), dip into the beaten egg, and coat with oatmeal. Fry in hot oil until lightly browned on both sides. Serve hot.

This makes 8-10 potato cakes, depending on the size.

Sausage Casserole with Cobbler Topping

Sausage Casserole

INGREDIENTS:-

Casserole:-  

Oil for frying

1lb sausages

2 onions (sliced)

4oz streaky bacon (diced)

1oz plain flour

1 400g tin chopped tomatoes

2 tablespoons tomato puree

1 tablespoon Worcester sauce

1 tablespoon mushroom ketchup

3oz button mushrooms (sliced)

½ pint beef stock

Salt and pepper to taste.

Cobbler Top:- 

8oz self-raising flour

2oz butter (softened)

1 teaspoon dry mustard powder

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 egg (beaten)

milk

pinch of salt

 

METHOD.

Fry or grill the sausages until brown then cut into 2 or 3 pieces transfer to a dish and keep warm, next fry the bacon and onions until soft add the plain flour and fry for another minute. Add the tomatoes, tomato puree, beef stock and the sauces, season to taste and bring to the boil whilst stirring. Lastly add the mushrooms and previously cooked sausages, and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, then transfer to an ovenproof dish.

Meanwhile make the cobbler topping.

Mix the self-raising flour, baking powder, mustard powder and salt in a bowl then rub in the softened butter, add the beaten egg and sufficient milk to mix to a soft dough, place on a floured surface and roll out until it reaches ½ an inch thickness, cut into small scone size circles with an appropriate cutter, and place these around the edge of the sausage mixture in the dish overlapping them a little, then bake the whole lot in a pre-heated oven gas mark 7 (220*c) for about 15 minutes until the cobbler circles have risen and are golden brown.

 

Tuna Sweetcorn Fishcakes!

We all like fishcakes, so we found a recipe and it looked perfect! We eat tuna mayo sweetcorn sandwiches and thought this recipe would be ideal to try! We made it into 4 (HUGE) cakes but they were a pain to cook, I suggest making them into 8.

You will need:

  • 450g potatoes cut into small chunks
  • 2 tsbp mayonnaise
  • 310g tinned tuna, drain
  • 200g sweet corn
  • A small bunch of snipped chives
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • 100g dried bread crumbs
  • Sunflower oil
  • Salt & pepper

Method:

1. Cook the potatoes in salted boiling water until soft. Drain and tip into a colander and steam dry. Put the potatoes into a separate bowl, mash and season with salt and pepper to taste.

2. Mix in the sweetcorn, mayo, chives and tuna until well mixed. Shape into as many cakes as you want (I would recommend 8, 4 was WAY to big) and chill in the fridge until firm(er).

3. On a big plate, pour out the eggs. Do the same with the breadcrumbs on a separate plate.

4. Once the cakes are ready, take out and dip into the eggs. Allow to drip off any excess and cover in the breadcrumbs. Fry in the sunflower oil on each side (2-3 minutes) until golden brown. Enjoy!

 

Mashed Potato Pie

This should be eaten with meat or something as a meal or fancy mash as a side dish! Not the easiest thing to make, but then again, not the hardest. It was nice apart from the fact it needed more seasoning, something to keep in mind for next time!

You will need:

  • 1kg peeled potatoes cut into smallish pieces (have to be about same size)
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 100g shelled peas, fresh or frozen (and thawed)
  • 30g unsalted butter
  • 250ml milk or cream (or a bit of both if you prefer)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 50g ham, sliced into thin ribbons
  • A small bunch of fresh chives, snipped into small pieces
  • 90g cheddar, grated
  • salt & ground black pepper

Method:

1. Put potatoes in a large saucepan and add water to cover. Add a few pinches of salt to taste. Boil for about 20 minutes until you can easily put a knife into them with much effort.

2. Heat the oil in a frying pan, add the onion an a pinch of salt and cook until browned ( 5-7 minutes). Put the peas in a owl and add water to cover, put in the microwave and microwave on a high setting for 3 minutes.

3. Drain the cooked potatoes, mash and add the butter, milk/cream and salt. Mix in the egg until well blended. Pre heat oven to gas mark 5/190*C/375*F. Prepare a large dish.

4. Stir in the onion, peas, ham , chives and half the cheddar. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to dish and sprinkle with the remaining cheddar and bake until browned, 40-45 minutes. Enjoy.

Mashed Potato Pie

Bacon & Cheese Quiche

I LOVE quiche and thought it would be a good thing to make. So I found a recipe for it and got cracking! Everyone liked it and it was gone as soon as it was cool enough to eat! Tip: DON’T butter the base of the tin to much… because we had a soggy bottom in ours. This was surprisingly easy to be honest, I was expecting it to be way harder than it actually was.

Pastry:

  • 220g plain flour
  • 120g cold butter
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Filling:

  • 200g streaky bacon, cut into small pieces (but not to small because they will shrink while cooking)
  • 1 chopped oinion
  • A bit of olive oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 200ml semi-skimmed milk
  • 80ml single cream
  • 130g grated cheese
  • salt & ground black pepper to taste
  • A small amount of chives (optional)

Method:

1. First, do the pastry: Put all the pasty ingredients into a bowl and, using your hands, rub together until it looks like bread crumbs. Add water a tablespoon at a time until it come together in a dough. Put it in the fridge for about 10 – 15 minutes.

2. While the pasty is in the fridge, put the onion, bacon and oil into a frying pan a fry until onion looks soft and bacon is cooked. Put aside.

3. Beat together the eggs, milk, cream, salt & pepper and chives (I didn’t but optional). Pre-heat the oven to gas mark gas mark 4.

4. The pasty should be done by now so roll out a floured surface until enough to line a flan tin (10 in). Cut off any over-hanging bits. Blind bake for 10 – 12 minutes.

5. Its done, take out a leave to cool for a few minutes. Turn up the heat to gas mark 6. Put half the cheese in the bottom of the pastry, then tip in the onion and bacon and spreading out evenly. Tip the rest of the cheese of top of the bacon and onion then pour in the milk mixture over it all. Bake for 30 minutes or until top is going firm. ENJOY!

Some herbs can be added to the egg mixture if you wish. chives or parsley  work well.

Bacon & Cheese QuicheBacon & Cheese Quiche Slice