Category Archives: Biscuits, Cookies and Traybakes

Chili Cheese Hearts

My Chili Cheese Hearts are the perfect treat for that special someone in your life that is more in love with cheese than chocolate. They also have a subtle chili kick because everyone needs a little spice!

 
I know a fair few people that love cheese more than anything. Those people shouldn’t miss out on Valentine’s Day and make do with chocolate. They want cheese so that is what they should get!

I’ve been making cheese straws for as long as I can remember. They were one of the first thing I remember baking as a child. They are incredibly easy to make because you don’t need a mixer because it is easier to make them by hand. My Chili Cheese Hearts are an elevated version of the original recipe which is even more addictive.

These are incredibly moreish and you will find it very hard to stop yourself from eating the whole batch. If you are making these for  group of people, I would definitely recommend doubling the batch as they will be gone in the blink of an eye. 

These have a warmth of chili – they aren’t too spicy but you can taste the chili which is the whole point! If you use a large red chili, then this will be milder than using a smaller chili. Also you can dictate how spicy the Chili Cheese Hearts will be by the chili powder that you use. I used guajillo chili powder which is quite mild but you can use a hotter chili power if you are a fan of spice.

Although I have cut these into hearts on this occasion, when I made them at Christmas I cut them into stars. When you are rolling the dough, make sure you handle it as little as possible as the more you handle it the higher risk of it becoming tough. If you didn’t want to cut them into any shape at all, just roll the dough out and cut it into rectangles. 

The size of you cutter will obviously dictate how many hearts you will make. I used a medium sized cutter and made 22 hearts. These will keep in an airtight container for a couple of days; but lets face it, they will be gone the day you bake them!

100g self raising flour
½ tsp salt

¼ tsp mustard powder
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
¼ tsp chili powder
50g margarine 
100g stong cheddar cheese, grated
1 red chili, finely diced

1 egg 
Splash of milk 

  1. Heat the oven to 180ºC (fan assisted or 200ºC non fan) and line a baking tray with baking paper or a silicone mat 
  2. Mix together the flour, salt, mustard, cayenne pepper and chili powder

  1. Add the butter and rub into the flour mix using the tips of your fingers and your thumbs until you get the consistency of breadcrumbs 

  1. Stir in the half of the diced chili and cheese keeping roughly 15g of the cheese back. Add enough egg to form a stiff dough – depending on the size of your egg, you may not need to use all of it so add a little at a time


  1. Lightly dust your surface with flour and roll the dough until it is a couple of millimeters  thick
  2. Using a heart shaped cookie cutter, cut out hearts and lay them on the prepared baking tray

  1. Gather up and re-roll the dough as few times as possible but also cutting out as many hearts as possible 
  2. Once all of the hearts are on the baking tray, brush them with what is left of the egg. If there isn’t much, or none at all, use a splash of milk 

  1. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top of each heart and then finish by sprinkling the remaining chili
  2. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes or until golden 

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Mincemeat Pinwheels

Mince pies but without all of the cutting and assembling. My Mincemeat Pinwheels are really quick, very easy but still everything you want from a mince pie. 

 

There is lots of food that is synonymous with Christmas here in the UK with mince pies being one of them. For those of you that aren’t familiar with mince pies, they are shortcrust pastry filled with mincemeat which is a sweet mixture of raisins and other dried fruit with suet. It might sound a little strange but it is very tasty. 

I love a mince pie, but making them can be a bit fiddly even using shop bought pastry. Maybe it’s just me being lazy, but you have to cut out rounds of pastry and put them in the tin, fill them with mincemeat and then cut out the lids from pastry. I know what you’re thinking, this is by no means complicated but when you are making lots of them and with all of the other baking and cooking at this time of year, it can feel like a bit of a chore. 

Due to my laziness, I am always looking for new ways to still get my festive mincemeat fix, but in a more simple way. Last year I made Frangipane Mince Pie Slices, and this year I came up with these Mincemeat Pinwheels. 

These are so easy it is almost cheeky to call them a recipe. I make them even easier by using shop bought ready rolled pastry. You can obviously buy the pastry in a block and roll it yourself, but rolling pastry has never been a skill of mine. 

You can also make your own mincemeat if you plan ahead, but if you haven’t already made some, you’re too late now so get yourself down to the shop and buy some! 

These will keep in an airtight container for at least 3-4 days. 

Makes roughly 22

375g puff pastry, ready rolled 
260g mincemeat
Orange zest, half orange (optional)

1 tbsp milk or 1 egg
Spray oil 

  1. Unroll the pastry and using a rolling pin, roll until it is 2-3mm thick keeping it on the baking paper it comes with 
  2. Spread the mincemeat evenly over the pastry leaving roughly one centre of pastry uncovered on one of the long sides

  1. Scatter some orange zest (if using) across the mincemeat
  2. Starting from the long end closest to you, tuck the pastry over as tight as you can. Then using the baking paper roll the rest of the pastry up to create a long roll

  1. Leave to chill in the fridge for 10 minutes 
  2. Preheat the oven to 190ºC (fan assisted) and spray 2 trays with oil 
  3. Take the pastry out of the fridge and slice into rounds around 1cm in thickness
  4. Place the pinwheels on the oiled baking trays and brush with the milk or egg 

  1. Bake for 17-20 minutes until the pastry is golden brown

  1. Allow to cool on a wire rack

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Cranberry & White Chocolate Cookies

Soft cookies crammed with dried cranberries and chunks of white chocolate. These Cranberry & White Chocolate Cookies are delicious at any time of year, but especially at Christmas. 

I am not typically a fan of white chocolate, I find it quite sweet. But there are instances when it is the perfect chocolate of choice and makes me realise it is actually quite tasty! 

These are an adaptation of my go-to cookie recipe which I wanted to make a little festive. Cranberries are an obvious choice for Christmas and can be a little tart which I thought would work really well with the sweet white chocolate. 

I made the cookies and photographed them ready to write up my recipe and that is when I saw that a few people already have recipes for cookies with cranberries and white chocolate. Although I haven’t come up with a new flavour combination,  that doesn’t matter because it means you’ll just have more variations of a similar recipe to try and see which one you prefer!

The reason why I like this cookie recipe so much is because of the soft cookies it makes. I have always been a soft cookie fan. I want a squidge to my cookie and for it to have a soft bend not a crisp snap like some do.

One of the secrets behind a soft cookie is not cooking them for too long. After being baked, they will be soft to touch in the middle and you may be tempted to bake them for a few minutes longer thinking they aren’t quite done – but don’t! They will harden up slightly as they cool making the perfect soft cookie. 

These cookies will keep in an airtight container for at least 4-5 days. As they get older, they will become slightly more crisp on the outside which is another reason to make sure you don’t cook them for too long in the first place!

This recipe is really simple and quick to make which is another reason why it is great for Christmas. You can make a batch of these cookies and keep them for when people pop in over Christmas, because people always pop in! They would also make a really lovely present as people do love a homemade gift!

I wanted these cookies to look rustic and obviously homemade which is why when I was shaping them I didn’t smooth them. This gives them a slightly rougher and more textured look to the edges. If you did want them to look a bit more ‘perfect’, smooth the balls of cookie dough between the palms of your hand to smooth them before putting them on the baking tray. 

 

Makes roughly 40 cookies 

125g butter or margarine
100g light brown sugar
125g caster sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
225g self raising flour
½ tsp salt
100g white chocolate chunks or chips
100g dried cranberries

  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Line baking trays with greaseproof paper or silicon liner and set aside
  2. Cream the butter and the sugars together until light and fluffy don’t be afraid to keep it mixing for 5 minutes or so
  3. Add the egg and vanilla and mix until combine
  4. Add the flour and salt and mix before then adding the dried cranberries and white chocolate

  1. Shape into equal sized balls. To do this I use a tablespoon measure to scoop out the mix. You can then put the mix onto the trays as they are or roll them between your palms to create a smoother ball. Leave a good gap between each cookie to allow for spreading whilst cooking

  1. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes so they are just turning golden. They will still feel very soft so allow them to cool on the baking tray for a couple of minutes
  2. Carefully transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely 

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Chocolate Orange Rocky Road

Christmas isn’t Christmas without Chocolate Orange. This Chocolate Orange Rocky Road is the perfect festive treat filled with as much chocolate orange as possible!

Chocolate Orange is delicious anytime of year, but it is almost essential at Christmas. For as long as I can remember, we have always bought my Mum a Terry’s Chocolate Orange at Christmas. Then as my sister and I grew up, we each bought her one so she ended up with quite a few to keep her stocked for the rest of the year!

Chocolate orange is one of my favouite flavour combinations. I’m not generally a fan of fruit and chocolate but there is definitely something about chocolate orange that makes it irresistible. There are lots of chocolate orange flavoured chocolates and biscuits available, even more so around Christmas. If you can’t find one of the ingredients below though, just substitute it with something you fancy or increase the quantities of another ingredient. 

Rocky Road is such a simple and delicious treat that anyone can make. This is a great recipe for children to help with as they only need supervision melting the chocolate as the biscuits can be crushed and broken by hand. It only takes a couple of minutes to assemble and then can be kept in the fridge in an airtight container for at least a week. This is a great recipe to make when you have a spare minute over Christmas which can be stored ready to bring out when you have guests. 

People tend to get a lot of chocolate at Christmas, and if like my Mum you get a few chocolate orange’s, this is a good way to use them up if you don’t just want to sit there and munch your way through them. 

This is one of the recipes I photographed with the help of Mr Curly’s friend. He brought his DSLR camera over for me to have a play with as I have asked Santa for one this year. We had a great time playing with food styling. Neither of us are very creative but I like the cute reindeer and his suggestion of ‘snow’ definitely helped create a festive scene. 

200g chocolate orange 
100g milk chocolate
100g butter, unsalted
150g golden syrup
125g chocolate orange KitKats
100g orange Matchmakers
100g digestive biscuits
50g marshmallows 
Mini chocolate orange segments and sprinkles to decorate (optional)

  1. Line a 20x20cm tin with parchment paper
  2. Add the chocolate orange to a heatproof bowl along with the milk chocolate broken into chunks, the butter and golden syrup

  1. Melt in the microwave in short bursts, stirring after each burst
  2. Cut up the KitKats and Matchmakers into small chunks and break the biscuits up. Add them to a bowl 

  1. Add the marshmallows to the cut up chocolate and then pour over the melted chocolate
  2. Mix until everything is covered in the melted chocolate 
  3. Tip it all into the prepared tin and level out. Add a few mini orange segments and sprinkles 

  1. Put in the fridge to set for at least a couple of hours, or overnight 

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Nutella Pinwheels

Crispy pastry with layers of sweet Nutella and roasted hazelnuts, these Nutella Pinwheels are great as a canape at a party or if you just fancy a sweet treat. 

More than at any other time of year, Christmas is a time when you see family and friends. Well that is what it’s like with my family. Everyone makes more of an effort to meet up and spend some time together over the festive period. This means that you always need to be prepared to whip up something quickly as it is quite possible you will not receive much notice before your guests arrive. Also because it is such a busy time of year, you don’t want to be the person stuck in the kitchen whilst everyone else is having fun.

That is where the idea for these pinwheels came from. I wanted something quick and really easy that was sweet. Pastry always makes me think of Christmas for some reason – probably because of mince pies; and when I needed an idea for a filling, obviously Nutella sprang to mind. 

These pinwheels really are quick and easy to make; especially if you use not only shop bought pastry, but ready rolled pastry too. Now I know this may seem really lazy to some people, but I often buy shop bought pastry because it is so much easier than making it yourself. The ready rolled pastry obviously makes things quicker, but it also means you get a perfect rectangle. Unfortunately my rolling skills are not good enough to achieve a perfect rectangle just yet, so ready rolled is the safest option for me. If you did want to make your own puff pastry or use shop bought pastry in a block and roll it yourself, please do.

Don’t get too carried away with the Nutella. I know as well as anyone that it is easy to add to much but you are really just looking for a layer 1-2mm in thickness so that when you roll it, it doesn’t squidge out of the sides. You also want to make sure you roll the pastry as tightly as possible so you get a nice number of swirls in your pastry. 

For the photos below, I used half a pack of ready rolled pastry for this recipe and the other half for another recipe. You can always cut the pastry in half as it may be easier to roll up as two separate sheets of pastry rather than one large piece. 

These will keep in an airtight container for 3-4 days. 

Makes roughly 22 

375g pre-rolled puff pastry
160g Nutella 
4 tbsp hazelnuts, roasted and chopped 
1 tbsp milk or 1 egg
Spray oil 

  1. Unroll the pastry and using a rolling pin, roll until it is 2-3mm thick keeping it on the baking paper it comes with 
  2. Spread the Nutella evenly over the pastry leaving roughly one centre of pastry uncovered on one of the long sides
  3. Scatter the hazelnuts evenly over the Nutella

  1. Starting from the long end closest to you, tuck the pastry over as tight as you can. Then using the baking paper roll the rest of the pastry up to create a long roll

  1. Leave to chill in the fridge for 10 minutes 
  2. Preheat the oven to 190ºC (fan assisted) and spray 2 trays with oil 
  3. Take the pastry out of the fridge and slice into rounds around 1cm in thickness 

  1. Place the pinwheels on the oiled baking trays and brush with the milk or egg 

  1. Bake for 17-20 minutes until the pastry is golden brown

  1. Allow to cool on a wire rack 

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Unicorn Rocky Road

Colourful, chocolaty and deliciously sweet. This tasty treat will hopefully make you smile both because of its taste and also because of it’s bright and fun look.

Unicorn Rocky Road is the perfect treat for fans of white chocolate or sweet things in general. I initially came up with the recipe thinking it would be great for children because of all of the bright colours and sprinkles, but it turns out adults love it too – Mr Curly being one of them!

Unicorn inspired food is very popular at the moment and when thinking of how I could come up with an original recipe inspired by this trend, rocky road was the first thing that jumped into my head. 

For years I have been making rocky road, especially around Christmas time to give as gifts. In the past few months I have been adapting my recipe to create even more delicious ways to enjoy it. Check out my Caramel Rocky Road for another yummy way to enjoy this tasty treat. 

I love rocky road because it is so versatile and easy to make. You can tailor make it to include all of your favourite things using a base recipe. Once you have chosen your ingredients and mixed them with the melted chocolate, it is then as easy as letting it chill in the fridge. This also makes it a great recipe to get the kids involved with as they would only really need supervision and help melting the chocolate.

When I first made this, I had some sparkly white chocolate M&Ms which Mr Curly had brought back from a work trip to America for me. I’m always jealous of the huge range of chocolate and candy available in America that we don’t get here in the UK. If you live in America and are lucky enough to have these, leave out the white chocolate buttons and add the white chocolate M&Ms instead. 

I feel the need to say that this recipe won’t be for everyone. If you aren’t a fan of white chocolate or very sweet things, then this recipe unfortunately won’t be for you. It can be quite sickly – well that is my opinion because I always find white chocolate very sweet; so I do recommend cutting the rocky road into relatively small squares. 

Unicorn Rocky Road would be a great gift for someone; I put it in cellophane bags and tie with ribbon. Homemade gifts always go down well in my opinion because they can be more thoughtful than other gifts.

This rocky road can be kept in a sealed container in the fridge for at least a week. But I’m not going to lie to you, it won’t stay in your fridge anywhere near that long because it will mysteriously disappear before your eyes. 

300g white chocolate
100g golden syrup
100g unsalted butter
125g white chocolate fingers
80g mini marshmallows
85g jelly beans
100g white chocolate buttons

60g sprinkles

To decorate
1 tbsp popping candy
1 tbsp mini jazzies 
1 tbsp sprinkles

  1. Line a 20x20cm square tin with baking parchment 
  2. Break the white chocolate into chunks and put them in a heatproof bowl along with the butter and golden syrup
  3. Melt the ingredients either in the microwave or over a pan of simmering water. If you use the microwave, use short bursts of power and stir in between each burst. If you are using a pan, make sure the water doesn’t touch the bottom of the bowl
  4. Once the chocolate has melted, set it aside while you prepare the rest of the ingredients
  5. In a large bowl, break up the white chocolate fingers and add the mini marshmallows, jelly beans and sprinkles 
  6. Add the melted white chocolate mix to the other ingredients and stir through
  7. Tip the mix into the tin and spread out as evenly as you can

  1. Sprinkle the top with the popping candy, mini jazzies and sprinkes

  1. Leave to set in the fridge for at least a couple of hours or overnight. Once completely cooled, cut into small squares 

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Caramel Brownies

Rich fudgy brownies with the delicious sweetness of caramel. These are seriously moreish!

I love a brownie, but not all brownies were created equal. I’m sure you have all had something that calls itself a brownie and looks promising, but then when you bite into it, it’s more like chocolate cake. Disappointing is an understatement. 

For a brownie to really be a brownie, you  need a slightly crisp exterior with the most deliciously fudgy moist middle. When you have had a really good brownie, you will never be happy with an average brownie again!

Brownies are so versatile for adding extra yummy things. Usually I add chocolate bars to the mix before they go in the oven which is a really tasty way of making them even more exciting. But at the moment I seem to be going through a caramel phase, so obviously I needed to incorporate this into brownies!

As I have said before, I am not the biggest fan of caramel, well until recently apparently. Since I have been making my own caramel, it has definitely made me like caramel more. Although when you are add the caramel to the brownie mix it looks like quite a lot, the taste isn’t too strong or sweet. Compared to how much caramel is in the recipe, it is quite subtle – but don’t panic you definitely know it is there!

When adding the caramel, I would recommend leaving at least a one centimeter boarder around the edge of the mix. If you don’t it is my no means the end of the world, but if you do not leave the boarder, some caramel may seep out during cooking. If it seeps out, it tends to become quite solid and chewy once you have taken them out of the tin. This is only really a problem if you eat them on the same day they were baked. The next day any caramel that has escaped will have softened. 

One fantastic thing about brownies are because of their moistness, they keep really well. As long as you keep them in an airtight container, they will keep well for up to five days. 

I usually cut the try of brownies into 12 squares, but they are quite rich so you would be fine cutting them into smaller pieces. 

I have adapted Nigel Slater’s recipe. I love how he talks about brownies and food in general. 

Makes 12

For the caramel 
58ml water
120g caster sugar
½ tsp sea salt
113g double cream

For the brownies
300g golden caster sugar

250g butter
250g chocolate 
3 large eggs plus 1 extra egg yolk
60g flour
60g cocoa powder
½ tsp baking powder

  1. Start by making the caramel. Add the water, sugar and salt to a pan on medium heat and stir until it comes to the boil 
  2. Without stirring, allow the it to bubble away until it becomes a light to medium amber colour which should take 5-6 minutes
  3. As soon as it gets to the right colour, pour in the cream and then stir continuously for around 5 minutes until it becomes thicker and darker, or reaches 110ºC
  4. Pour into a heatproof container and any extra caramel can be keept in the fridge for up to one month
  5. Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a 23cm x 23cm tin with baking parchment
  6. Beat the sugar and and butter for at least 5 minutes until white and fluffy

  1. Chop the remaining 50g of chocolate into small chunks and set aside

2014-10-16 20.36.43

  1. Break the eggs into a bowl and beat lightly. Sift the flour, cocoa and baking powder along with a pinch of salt. Turn the mixer back on to a low speed and add the egg a little at a time. As you add the egg, speed the mixer up
  2. Remove the bowl from the mixer and add in the melted and chopped chocolate and stir with a large metal spoon
  3. Fold in the flour and cocoa mix gently making sure you don’t knock the air out. This can take a couple of minutes to ensure the ingredients are fully combined

  1. Scrape half of the mix into the prepared tin and smooth out. Add a good layer of the caramel and spread out making sure you leave roughly a 1cm gap around the edge

  1. Add the rest of the brownie mix on top and spread out 

  1.  Bake the brownies for 30 minutes. Test the brownies with a cocktail stick – it should come out sticky but not with raw mixture. If it does, put back in the oven for 3 minutes. Remember the brownie will solidify as it cools

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Individual Peanut Millionaire’s Shortbread

Crisp shortbread with delicious caramel sauce, topped with peanuts and rich peanut buttery milk chocolate. Oh and it’s an individual portion just for you! 

My lovely friend went on a weekend away to Paris and brought me back a Milka Peanut Caramel chocolate bar. My initial thought, after obviously how nice it was that she had brought me a present, was that I didn’t think I would like it. I am usually not a fan of caramel, especially in my chocolate bars. But because I am a trooper, I decided to take one for the team and try it. Oh. My. Goodness. It was definitely one of the best chocolate bars I had ever had. It didn’t taste very much like caramel, but the most delicious peanut butter covered in chocolate. 

When coming up with the idea for this recipe, I didn’t want the peanut butter to be too strong, just a subtle hint which is why I only included a small amount in the chocolate layer. The peanuts add a crunch to the soft caramel layer which makes it even tastier too! You can also add more or less salt depending on your own taste. I personally love chocolate and salt, but if you don’t just use a small amount or none at all. 

I wanted to make individual portions because I think they look even and precise. I find when I make Millionaire’s Shortbread in one large tray that when you cut it, no matter how careful you are, the chocolate always seems to crack in one place or other so you don’t get the perfect neat edges. This is why I wanted to make individual portions because there is no cutting or messy edges involved.

I used a 12 hole loose based sandwich tin which does make quite generous portions, but sometimes that is the only sized portion you need! You obviously can use any size mini tin, but I do recommend using one with a loose bottom to make it easier to get the shortbread out once they have chilled. 

I find making caramel can be quite hit and miss. I make it the same every time and follow the same steps, but every once in a while it all goes wrong. I’m sure there is a scientific reason for this and someone might be able to tell me what that is, but I wanted to mention it encase it all goes a little wrong for you too! It did also make me feel better that the bakers on last night’s episode of The Great British Bake Off all seemed to struggle at one point to make their caramel, so I’m not alone with this!

If you have any caramel left after making these, it will keep in an airtight jar in the fridge for up to a month. You could always use any leftover caramel to make my Caramel Rocky Road

Makes 8 

For the shortbread
112g plain flour

88g unsalted butter
38g caster sugar
Spray oil

For the caramel sauce
58ml water
120g caster sugar
½ tsp sea salt
113g double cream

For the peanut & chocolate
3 tbsp unsalted peanuts

Sprinkle of sea salt 
100g milk chocolate
30g smooth peanut butter 

  1. Preheat the oven to 150ºC and spray a mini loose bottomed sandwich tin with oil
  2. Put the flour and butter in a bowl and rub together with your fingertips until you have a fine breadcrumb texture add the caster sugar and mix again
  3. Divide the mixture between 8 of the holes (roughly 25g per hole) and press down to make a flat surface. You may want to use a back of a teaspoon to do this 
  4. Bake the shortbread for 30 mins, it should be a very light colour. Set aside to cool slightly and make the caramel

  1. Add the water, sugar and salt to a pan on medium heat and stir until it comes to the boil 
  2. Without stirring, allow it to bubble away until it becomes a light to medium amber colour which should take 5-6 minutes
  3. As soon as it gets to the right colour, pour in the cream and then stir continuously for around 5 minutes until it becomes thicker and darker, or reaches 110ºC

  1. Take off the heat and allow to cool for 5-10 mins. Be careful – hot caramel burns
  2. Add a few peanuts to on top of each caramel layer and sprinkle with a few flakes of sea salt 

  1. Melt the chocolate and peanut butter together for short blasts in the microwave, giving it a stir between each blast 
  2. When the chocolate and peanut butter are melted, stir to completely combine and then spoon over each dessert. Once you have added the chocolate, using a spoon smooth out the chocolate. Sprinkle with edible glitter if wanted
  3. Allow to cool completely in the fridge for at least 2 hours

 

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Caramel Rocky Road

My Caramel Rocky Road is a must for caramel lovers. Tasty caramel treats covered in chocolate then drizzled with decadent caramel sauce.

Who doesn’t like Rocky Road? The traditional recipe has been one I have been making for years and has been incredibly popular. When thinking of ways to elevate it and make it extra special caramel instantly came to mind, and voila my Caramel Rocky Road was born!

One great thing about Rocky Road is how easy it is to adapt the recipe to include more of what you want and less of what you don’t. For example if you don’t like marshmallows, leave them out and add more popcorn or digestives. It really that simple. 

You can also make this and use bought caramel sauce to drizzle on the top if you don’t want to go to that extra bit of effort to make your own. But as someone who doesn’t usually like caramel, this caramel sauce was pretty damn tasty, so I would recommend making it if you have the time. 

The caramel sauce is quite runny when warm but gets quite firm when cold. If you are using this from the fridge, I would heat a couple of tablespoons of it in the microwave which will then make it far easier for you to drizzle – just be careful as hot caramel burns!

Rocky Road makes a great gift wrapped up in cellophane bags. Each year I usually make a few batches to give as gifts at Christmas because people really like a homemade gift. I have already had requests from people asking for some for this Christmas!

This Rocky Road will easily keep in an airtight container for a week. I haven’t managed to test if it would keep for longer because it’s always eaten far too quickly for that! I took my first batch of this to a little get-together we had for my husband’s birthday and the whole lot went in no time at all. That’ when you know you’ve come up with a good recipe!

The quantities below make a lot more caramel sauce than you will need for this recipe but it keeps for up to one month in the fridge and is so versatile. 

If you are making your own caramel sauce, start by making this before the actual Rocky Road. 

For the Caramel Sauce
115ml water
240g caster sugar
½ tsp sea salt
225g double cream

For the Rocky Road
300g milk chocolate
150g golden syrup
100 unsalted butter 
100g digestive biscuits
80g toffee popcorn
150g caramel wafer bars (5 bars), chopped
50g mini marshmallows
60g caramel buttons
Sprinkles to decorate 

  1. Add the water, sugar and salt to a pan on medium heat and stir until it comes to the boil 
  2. Without stirring, allow the it to bubble away until it becomes a light to medium amber colour which should take 5-6 minutes
  3. As soon as it gets to the right colour, pour in the cream and then stir continuously for around 5 minutes until it becomes thicker and darker, or reaches 110ºC
  4. Pour into a heatproof container and keep in the fridge for up to one month

  1. Line a square 20x20cm tin with parchment paper and set aside
  2. Add the chocolate, butter and golden syrup to a heatproof dish and melt in short bursts in the microwave, stirring between each burst
  3. While the chocolate is melting, add the digestive biscuits to the bowl and crush using something like a rolling pin. You can do this in a food processor, but you don’t want them to be broken into a fine crumb. Plus why create more washing up than you need to?

  1. Once the biscuits are crushed, add the chopped caramel wafers, mini marshmallows, caramel buttons and toffee popcorn and mix through
  2. Once the chocolate is fully melted give it a really good stir to fully combine and then add to the dry ingredients and stir through to make sure everything is coated in the chocolate

  1. Tip into the lined tin and spread out evenly 

  1. Add any sprinkles or extra caramel buttons you fancy and then drizzle with the caramel sauce using as much or as little as you fancy 

  1. Chill in the fridge for around 4 hours, or even overnight 
  2. Once fully chilled, cut into squares. Store in an airtight container in the fridge and it will keep for at least one week

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Chocolate & Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies

Soft and chewy cookies sandwiched with deliciously smooth peanut butter filling – these Chocolate & Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies are my idea of heaven. Chocolate and peanut butter are a classic combination of flavours, and one that I am a big fan of! 

Fancy sandwich biscuits aren’t as popular here in the UK as I think they are in the US. They also haven’t been around as long in the UK and are quite new. I’ve just been a bit nerdy and had a google and Oreo’s, which are the best-selling biscuit in the United States, have been around since 1912. We only received these in widespread supermarkets here in the UK in 2008! So all those years, the US have been enjoying the biscuits with us having a Jammie Dodger as our most exciting sandwich biscuit! 

Now don’t get me wrong, I like a custard creme as much as the next person, but they’re not extremely exciting and different, unlike today’s modern sandwich biscuits. 

That then leads me to discuss the difference between a cookie and a biscuit. As far as I am aware, unless you are from the US or Canada you will refer to these crisp sweet treats as biscuits. That is unless they are softer and chewier, then they are referred to as a cookie. Whereas if you’re in the US or Canada, all ‘biscuits’ are cookies to you. Please correct me by commenting below if I’m wrong! 

Whatever you call them, they are delicious and are that bit more exciting than a normal biscuit especially as the filling flavours are becoming more inventive each year. 

I may be going against my British nature to say this, but I am not too much of a fan of traditional biscuits. I don’t particularly like a crisp biscuit because I find them quite dry and again, going against everything that is British; I don’t drink tea so I can’t even dunk my biscuits to soften them. That is why sandwich biscuits are the biscuit for me!

My husband brought me these peanut butter chips back from a work trip to the US. He went straight from the airport to Wallmart where he stocked up on goodies for me – I think they weighed 9kg! I haven’t seen these peanut butter chips in supermarkets here in the UK, but you can buy them online from Amazon. They are a bit pricey so you can easily leave them out and just double the chocolate chip quantity. 

The quantities below will make approximately 40 cookies which will therefore make 20 sandwich cookies. The will keep well in a sealed container for at least 3 days. 

Makes approximately 20 sandwich cookies

For the cookies
125g butter or margarine

100g light brown sugar
125g caster sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
225g self raising flour
½ tsp salt
100g milk chocolate chips
100g peanut butter chips 

For the filling
30g unsalted butter
130g smooth peanut butter
60g icing sugar
½ tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt
1 – 2 tbsp milk 

  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC and line two baking trays with baking parchment or cooking liners
  2. Beat the butter and sugars together until pale and very light; this should take around 10 mins

  1. Add the egg and vanilla and mix briefly before adding the flour and salt. Once just combined, add most of the chocolate and peanut butter chips and mix once more to incorporate the chips. Keep a couple of spoonfuls of chips for later 

  1. Using a tablespoon, scoop out the mix and then roll in your palms to get a smooth, uniform ball. Place on the lined baking tray leaving enough room between each ball to allow for the mix to spread

  1. Stud the balls with a few of the reserved chips before baking in the oven for 10 minutes – they will be slightly gooey when they come out of the oven

  1. Allow to cool for around 5 minutes on the tray before carefully moving to a wire rack to cool completely

  1. Once cooled, match each cookie with another that matches it’s size – find your cookie a twin!

  1. Make the filling by beating the peanut butter and butter together. Then add the icing sugar and mix before adding the salt and vanilla. Add enough milk until you get a smooth mix that is thin enough to pipe but not too runny
  2. Spoon the filling into a piping bag with a round tip and pipe the filling onto one of the cookie pairs, making sure you don’t go too close to the edge. Then add the other cookie on top and press down slightly so the filling squidges to the edges of the cookie

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