Saturday, 12 April 2014

The Ultimate {Double} Chocolate Cookies

In our family we've tried a lot of different cookie recipes, all of them claiming to be delicious, and most of them were. But when we found this recipe, it made the best cookies yet! They are richly chocolatey, not over sweet but not bitter either. Texture-wise, they are perfect too: just chewy at the edges, then almost gooey at the centre, even when they're cooled and have been stored for a day. They are so satisfying, yet so more-ish. Guests love them! My younger sister and I have never made any other chocolate cookie recipe since.

I've got a bit of a confession behind this particular batch of cookies. They are not the best I've ever made. You see I wanted to make these cookies so badly that even though we only had caster sugar (and the recipe uses soft brown sugar) I made them anyway. And I didn't use chocolate chunks (we had none of those either.) So although they looked nice, they were, to put it mildly, crisp. Lesson learned: use the right sugar (duh me!) and get the chocolate chunks. These cookies are worth it!  

The Ultimate {Double} Chocolate Cookies
Makes around 20 cookies

125g soft butter
275g brown sugar
1 egg
150g plain flour
35g self-raising flour
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
35g good-quality cocoa powder
150g roughly chopped chocolate
or instead the same amount of m&m’s/peanut m&m's/smarties

   Preheat the oven to 180'C/160'C fan-forced, and line two baking trays with greaseproof paper.
   In a large bowl, beat together the butter, sugar and egg with an electric mixer until smooth. Weigh out the dry ingredients and mix them together, then sift into the butter, sugar and egg and mix to combine. Lastly mix in the chocolate.
   Roll tablespoonfuls of the mixture into balls on the tray, allowing about 5cm space for the mixture to spread. Bake for about 10 minutes. It is important to leave them on the tray for 5 minutes afterwards before you transfer them to a wire rack to cool. 
   Cookies can be stored in an airtight container for a couple of days... if they last that long!

Monday, 7 April 2014

Easter Inspiration

It's been a while ages since I last posted anything as I've been busy (yeah, you guessed it!), and I kind of forgot all about easter until I realised that we are on easter holidays for the next two weeks. So although I haven't made anything for a while, I have been storing up inspiration for you. The following post will be a bit of a mish-mash of pretty, easter-y things, from old favourite bakes to new craft ideas.

Painted Easter Bunny Jars- these look so cute and so effective! Paint and craft cute easter bunnies out of baby food jars and fill them with easter treats to give as gifts.

photo: dotcomgiftshop
Hand Painted Hanging Easter Eggs- another idea for a sweet easter gift, especially as they come in a cardboard egg box and you could hang them out in the garden for an egg hunt!

photo: magpie patterns
Chubby Chirps- use your leftover yarn to create a clutch of chicks nearly as cute as the real thing! They would make such cute easter decorations on the mantelpiece and lovely gifts.

photo: lakeland
Simnel Cake- This is a recipe for a classic easter cake and a favourite in our house and I can't wait to make it again soon.

photo: soulemama
Gratitude Wrap- I know this isn't particularly easter themed, but I was really pleased to receive one of these from my mum a while ago, and I've got into writing letters and cards this spring. pdf here.

Saturday, 22 March 2014

The Jean Repair Method

I thought that I would eventually grow out of making rips in my jeans from climbing trees and falling off my scooter. But even though I've stopped climbing trees, falling off scooters, (or riding them for that matter!) I still manage to rip every pair of jeans I own. Having not the money for a new pair (I spent it on a camera!) enter my cute and (pretty cool) jean repair method! It fixes the rips so that they still look cool and ripped, but they don't gape open and the holes don't get any bigger. Win-win situation here guys! I did try to get a photo wearing them on as they do look better on.

And it's really easy to do. Cut a patch of fabric that will fit over the hole with space all around it, and cut a piece of bonda-web to the same size. Then position your fabric sandwich so that the flattened jeans are first, then bondweb, then fabric face down lined up with it. Iron until stuck. See how you get the rips and the fabric peeping through.

Then taking a colour that goes with the jeans in thread (mine had yellow stitching) and sew running stitch around the edge of the holes. The stitches add some texture so they don't have to be tenny-tiny but if they are too huge they won't hold when you wash them. Pretty and done!