Category Archives: Biscuits, Cookies and Traybakes

Mincemeat Thumbprint Cookies

All the tasty flavours you’d expect from a mince pie but quicker and easier! These Mincemeat Thumbprint Cookies are the perfect treat to rustle up over Christmas.           I love mince pies but whenever I make them I am always slightly disappointed. They don’t live up to my expectations. This is probably because I always try and fill them with too much mincemeat and then they don’t end up looking as uniform as I’d like!

Traditional mince pies also are quite fiddly with all of the rolling out and cutting of the pastry. Last year I made Frangipane Mince Pie Slices which were very popular and a great alternative to Mince Pies. This year, I wanted to come up with an even easier recipe. 

As we all know the build up to Christmas is such a busy time for everyone with the present buying and food prep. This is why any time saving Christmas recipes are always a win in my book!

These Mincemeat Thumbprint Cookies could not be easier. You don’t need a mixer which means there’s not even extra washing up! They aren’t anything fancy, they are just simple and tasty. 

5 from 5 votes
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Mincemeat Thumbprint Cookies

All the tasty flavours you'd expect from a mince pie but quicker and easier! These Mincemeat Thumbprint Cookies are the perfect treat to rustle up over Christmas. 

Course Cookie
Cuisine British
Keyword Mincemeat, Cookie, Biscuit, Christmas
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 16
Calories 137 kcal
Author Curly

Ingredients

  • 200 g self raising flour
  • 100 g caster sugar
  • 100 g margarine
  • 1 orange zested
  • 1 egg beaten
  • ¼ tsp almond extract
  • 4 tbsp mincemeat

Instructions

  1. Heat the oven to 170ºC (fan assisted, 190ºC non fan). Rub the flour, sugar and butter together until you have a breadcrumb texture

  2. Add in the orange zest and almond extract before adding in enough egg to create a stiff dough – you may not need the whole egg

  3. Shape the dough into a tube and cut into slices approximately 1cm thick

  4. Put them on a baking tray lined with baking parchment make sure you leave enough space between each biscuit for them to expand when they bake
  5. Make a small indentation in the middle of each biscuit with the back of a ½ tsp measure and spoon in a small amount of mincemeat in the centre of each cookie

  6. Bake for 10-15 minutes until they are golden brown

  7. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack 

Recipe Notes

Don't be tempted to use too much mincemeat or else it will run down the side. 

Keep for up to two days in an airtight container. 

Nutritional information is given as a guide only.

Nutrition Facts
Mincemeat Thumbprint Cookies
Amount Per Serving
Calories 137 Calories from Fat 45
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 5g 8%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Cholesterol 10mg 3%
Sodium 91mg 4%
Potassium 33mg 1%
Total Carbohydrates 20g 7%
Sugars 10g
Protein 2g 4%
Vitamin A 5.1%
Vitamin C 5.3%
Calcium 0.9%
Iron 0.9%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Chocolate Orange Cookie Bars

Chocolate orange can (and definitely is) eaten throughout the year, but chocolate orange and Christmas go hand in hand in my opinion. What better way to enjoy it than these Chocolate Orange Cookie Bars?

Chocolate orange is one of my favourite types of chocolate and flavour combinations in general. I’m not a massive fan of fruit and chocolate, but orange and chocolate is the exception. Last year I made Chocolate Orange Rocky Road so this year I wanted to step it up a notch. 

I have wanted to make cookie bars for quite a while now. I love cookies – especially soft cookies. For me crisp cookies are a waste of a cookie. You need the soft squidginess in a cookie. Which is why these Chocolate Orange Cookie Bars are so good! 

Apart from their delicious softness, these Chocolate Orange Cookie Bars are also really easy to make. Don’t get me wrong, cookies aren’t difficult to make, but they take a little bit of time to portion up and then I usually have to cook them in batches. With these, you just tip all of the batter into the tin with no faffing at all – perfect!

Time saving steps like this is great at any time of year, but especially at Christmas when everyone is so busy. These don’t take long to make or bake which is another advantage. And if I haven’t convinced you to make these yet, they are also delicious!

As I have mentioned, I like a soft centred cookie so I recommend baking these for twenty minutes. This means you get the gooey centre and the chewy goodness around the outside. If however you like a firmer cookie, bake these for an extra five minutes. 

I would always pick a middle square of cookie – which would you pick?

5 from 7 votes
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Chocolate Orange Cookie Bars

Chocolate orange can (and definitely is) eaten throughout the year, but chocolate orange and Christmas go hand in hand in my opinion. What better way to enjoy it than these Chocolate Orange Cookie Bars?

Course Tray Bake
Cuisine British, International
Keyword Chocolate Orange, Cookie Bars
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 16
Calories 262 kcal
Author Curly

Ingredients

  • 125 g margarine
  • 100 g light brown sugar
  • 125 g caster sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ tsp vanilla extract
  • 225 g self raising flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 200 g chocolate orange chopped

To finish

  • 100 g small chocolate orange segments (16 segments)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC (fan assisted, 200ºC non fan) and line a 20x20cm tin with baking paper 

  2. Cream the butter and the sugars together until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla and mix until combined

  3. Add in the flour, salt and chopped chocolate orange and mix until combined

  4. Tip all of the mix into the prepared tin and smooth the top until it is level. Place the small chocolate orange segments at regular intervals across the cookie dough 

  5. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes for a soft cookie and 25 minutes for a firmer cookie 

  6. Allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before leaving to cool completely on a wire rack. Cut into 16 equal squares 

Recipe Notes

Keep for up to two days in an airtight container. 

Nutritional information is given as a guide only.

Nutrition Facts
Chocolate Orange Cookie Bars
Amount Per Serving
Calories 262 Calories from Fat 54
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 6g 9%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Cholesterol 10mg 3%
Sodium 152mg 6%
Potassium 29mg 1%
Total Carbohydrates 24g 8%
Sugars 13g
Protein 2g 4%
Vitamin A 5.9%
Calcium 1.1%
Iron 1.2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Dark Chocolate, Almond & Cherry Fudge

Rich dark chocolate fudge studded with cherries and almonds. This Dark Chocolate, Almond & Cherry Fudge would make a fantastic Christmas gift or you can always keep it for yourself!

I don’t know about you, but every year I find it harder to think of gift ideas for people. This is why I like giving people homemade goodies. Not only do people seem to really enjoy them, it is also a thoughtful gift as people appreciate that you have spent time making something for them. 

I first made fudge about five Christmases ago. I used Nigella’s recipe for her Chocolate Pistachio Fudge and absolutely loved it. So this year, I have tweaked her recipe to come up with this Dark Chocolate, Almond & Cherry Fudge. 

I love the simplicity of this recipe. Whatever your cooking ability, you will definitely be able to make this. It is also something that keeps really well. You can make it well in advance and freeze is wrapped in baking paper in a Tupperware box. You can then have a nibble whenever you fancy some and you don’t even need to let it thaw first! 

My Dad was my chosen taste tester for this Dark Chocolate, Almond & Cherry Fudge. He is the resident dark chocolate fan in our family as well as being rather partial to almonds and cherries too! I sent some his way for him to enjoy as a preview and to let me know what he thought. His response was that it was that it was very moreish! This, along with Mr Curly and I giving it the thumbs up meant it was ready to be photographed. 

5 from 8 votes
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Dark Chocolate, Almond & Cherry Fudge

Rich dark chocolate fudge studded with cherries and almonds. This Dark Chocolate, Almond & Cherry Fudge would make a fantastic Christmas gift or you can always keep it for yourself!

Course Snack
Cuisine British
Keyword Fudge, Dark Chocolate, Almond, Cherry
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Chilling time 5 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 54
Calories 68 kcal
Author Curly

Ingredients

  • 350 g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids)
  • 1 x 397g tin condensed milk
  • 30 g unsalted butter
  • pinch sea salt
  • 80 g dried cherries
  • 85 g blanched almonds

Instructions

  1. Line a 20x20cm tin with baking paper and set aside

  2. Put the nuts in a bag and bash them with a rolling pin to break them up slightly so you have some smaller and larger pieces

  3. Break the chocolate into a heavy bottomed saucepan. Add the condensed milk, butter and sugar and melt over a low heat making sure you stir every so often 

  4. When everything is melted, add the dried cherries and crushed nuts. Stir until mixed through

  5. Pour the fudge into the prepared tin and smooth the top until level. Leave to chill in the fridge for at least four hours but overnight is best 

  6. Once the fudge is completely chilled, cut it into equal sized pieces

Recipe Notes

Keep in the fridge for up to a week. 

Freeze by wrapping in baking paper ad then putting in a Tupperware box. Keep in the freezer for a couple of months. 

Nutritional information is given as a guide only.

Nutrition Facts
Dark Chocolate, Almond & Cherry Fudge
Amount Per Serving
Calories 68 Calories from Fat 36
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 4g 6%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Cholesterol 1mg 0%
Sodium 1mg 0%
Potassium 56mg 2%
Total Carbohydrates 4g 1%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Sugars 2g
Vitamin A 1.4%
Calcium 1%
Iron 4.7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Lemon & Thyme Drizzle Traybake

This Lemon & Thyme Drizzle Traybake is a traditional British recipe with a twist. The fresh thyme leaves are delicious with the lemon – give it a try, you’ll love it! The Great British Bake Off is back and this week was cake week. The signature challenge was a traybake which made me question every other tray bake I had made! Firstly I had recently started referring to traybakes as sheet cakes because I thought this better described what they were. I thought of traybakes as things like flapjacks and rocky road and not cakes.

After watching GBBO, traybakes can clearly be cakes too and I think sheet cakes is more of an American term. I still like calling them sheet cakes so I might use both names to spice things up!

Other than the name, I was also using a different sized tin than used for traditional traybakes. I was using a 20cm² tin which is typically used for brownies. It meant I could make nine deeper squares of cake – who doesn’t want a bigger slice of cake?! However again I don’t think this is traditionally what traybakes look like. 

So after reevaluating everything I thought I knew about traybakes, I thought I should go back to basics. When I think of a traybake, I instantly think of a lemon drizzle traybake. This is slightly strange though because I’m not keen on lemon drizzle traybakes! I don’t like the crispy sugar topping at all; the  actual cake is tasty though! Because of this, I can’t remember the last time, or if I have ever made one. 

Therefore I decided it was time to make a variation of a lemon drizzle traybake that I did like. I’ve wanted to make a cake flavoured with lemon and thyme for quite a while now. I have a book that I write down all of my recipe ideas in and it has been in there for ages, just waiting for the perfect time to make it. 

After I’d decided on the flavours, I knew the best place to find a recipe to adapt was no other than the legend that is Mary Berry. She had to have lemon drizzle recipe that I could tweak; and she didn’t disappoint! 

After a few tweaks, my Lemon & Thyme Drizzle Traybake was made! Most importantly, my Lemon & Thyme Drizzle Traybake doesn’t have a crisp sugar topping, and instead a lovely soft but sharp drizzle. I finally have a lemon drizzle traybake that meets my preferences!

5 from 7 votes
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Lemon & Thyme Drizzle Traybake

This Lemon & Thyme Drizzle Traybake is a traditional British recipe with a twist. The fresh thyme leaves are delicious with the lemon - give it a try, you'll love it!

Course Cake
Cuisine British
Keyword Lemon, Thyme, Traybake, Sheet cake
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 24
Calories 173 kcal
Author Curly

Ingredients

For the cake

  • 225 g margarine
  • 225 g caster sugar
  • 275 g self raising flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 tbsp semi-skimmed milk
  • 2 lemons zested
  • 3 tsp thyme leaves

For the drizzle

  • 100 g icing sugar
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • ½ tsp thyme

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 160ºC (fan assisted 180ºC non fan) and line a  traybake or roasting tin with baking paper

  2. Cream the butter and sugar together for a couple of minutes until light and fluffy

  3. Add the rest of the cake ingredients and mix until combined

  4. Tip into the prepared tin and spread to flatten the top. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a cocktail stick comes out clean

  5. Leave the cake to cool on a wire rack

  6. Once the cake is completely cooled, make the drizzle by combining the lemon juice with the icing sugar. Add a little at a time because you may more need it all 

  7. Drizzle over the traybake and scatter with the fresh thyme leaves. Cut into squares and serve. 

Recipe Notes

Add the lemon juice gradually as you may not need to add it all. You want the drizzle to be thin enough to actually drizzle over the cake, but thick enough so it is visible on the cake. 

Nutrition Facts
Lemon & Thyme Drizzle Traybake
Amount Per Serving
Calories 173 Calories from Fat 72
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 8g 12%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Cholesterol 27mg 9%
Sodium 100mg 4%
Potassium 71mg 2%
Total Carbohydrates 22g 7%
Sugars 13g
Protein 2g 4%
Vitamin A 7.6%
Vitamin C 0.8%
Calcium 3%
Iron 1.6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

These Peanut Butter Cup Cookies are one of the best cookies I have eaten. Incredibly soft and delicious cookies packed with Reece’s Peanut Butter Cups. Pure heaven. 

I don’t blow my own trumpet very often, but with these Peanut Butter Cup Cookies I really need to. When I think of a recipe in my head, I always hope it will turn out to be a tasty recipe but this exceeded my expectations.

These Peanut Butter Cup Cookies are everything i look for in a cookie; soft, chocolatey and big! In my opinion, cookies need to be soft. I find a crisp cookie very disappointing. If I wanted something hard I’d chose a biscuit! I also like my cookies packed with delicious goodies and in this case I’m talking about Peanut Butter Cups. 

Peanut Butter Cups are my idea of heaven. I’d never eat peanut butter on toast, but I love it combined with chocolate. These cookies don’t just have Peanut Butter Cups in them, they also have actual peanut butter in the cookie dough. This helps elevate the delicious peanut butter flavour and also adds a crunch as I use crunchy peanut butter. 

The trick with these Peanut Butter Cup Cookies is to not over bake them. If you do, they will loose their lovely softness which is the whole point of these! They will seem very soft and you will question me probably more than once, but trust me they will firm up slightly as they cool to become a perfect soft cookie. 
   It is not just me who loves these cookies, I got rave reviews from my trusty taste testers. I took them into work and people couldn’t resist having more than one. When there was only one left, I was too sad to think they were nearly gone so I took it to eat later; must to the upset of my colleague who went looking for it a few minutes later! I love these cookies so much I couldn’t bear to not have one last one! 

If you love peanut butter, you have to try these Peanut Butter Cup Cookies because they really are amazing!

4.75 from 4 votes
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Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

These Peanut Butter Cup Cookies are one of the best cookies I have eaten. Incredibly soft and delicious cookies packed with Reece's Peanut Butter Cups. Pure heaven. 

Course Snack
Cuisine American
Keyword Peanut Butter, Cookies
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 20
Calories 162 kcal
Author Curly

Ingredients

  • 100 g margarine
  • 100 g caster sugar
  • 125 g soft brown sugar
  • 40 g crunchy peanut butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 225 g self raising flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 150 g mini peanut butter cups roughly chopped
  • 50 g milk chocolate chips
  • 75 g mini peanut butter cups (20) to top

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC (fan assisted, 200ºC non fan) and line three baking trays with liners of parchment paper 

  2. Cream the butter, sugars and peanut butter together until light and fluffy, this may take a couple of minutes. Add the egg and vanilla and mix until combined

  3. Add the flour and salt and mix briefly to combine before adding the chocolate chips and chopped peanut butter cups. Stir through until completed mixed

  4. Spoon balls of the cookie dough onto the lined baking trays making sure you leave enough space to allow for the cookies to spread when cooking. Cut 20 mini peanut butter cups in half and add two halves to each cookie, press into the dough slightly

  5. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes 

  6. After 10 minutes take the cookies out of the oven. They should still be soft to touch in the centre. Leave them to cool for 5-10 minutes before gently lifting them to cool completely on a wire rack 

Recipe Notes

I used a small ice cream scoop to measure out portions of the cookie dough. These were approximately 50g per scoop. 

Do not over cook these cookies! They will look soft but they firm up as they cool. 

Nutrition Facts
Peanut Butter Cup Cookies
Amount Per Serving
Calories 162 Calories from Fat 72
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 8g 12%
Saturated Fat 2g 10%
Cholesterol 9mg 3%
Sodium 146mg 6%
Potassium 55mg 2%
Total Carbohydrates 19g 6%
Sugars 10g
Protein 3g 6%
Vitamin A 4%
Calcium 1.4%
Iron 1.7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Mini Egg Rice Crispy Squares

My Mini Egg Rice Crispy Squares are the essential Easter treat for any chocolate fanatic. So easy and incredibly tasty but do not blame me when you can’t stop yourself from eating more than one!

At a quick glance you may think this is a rocky road recipe, but you would be mistaken! 

As a child for me and I’m sure a lot of other people, Easter meant making rice crispy cakes. Referring to them as cakes was a little generous because I made them by literally mixing rice crispies and melted chocolate and spooning this into a cupcake case to set. Highly skilled stuff I’m sure you’ll agree. 

Regardless of how simple they are, they are rather tasty! I made 100 rice crispy cakes for my brother in law’s 21st birthday when I was at uni. My housemates thought I was very strange but the hardest part was asking them not to eat any after I’d filled our fridges with them!

These rice crispy cakes were the inspiration for my Mini Egg Rice Crispy Squares. They are incredibly easy to make which means they are perfect for children to help with. I’ve chosen to decorate these with Mini Eggs, but you could also cut up some Creme Eggs to place on top. 

Even though this recipe is so simple, people really love it. I took them into work most people couldn’t stop at just eating one and went back for multiple squares. So be prepared when you make these Mini Egg Rice Crispy Squares that they won’t last very long and you may want to consider making a double batch!

These keep in the fridge for up to a week to they are great to make in advance. If you do keep them out of the fridge they just become a bit more crumbly which makes them a bit messier to eat. You could also cut the squares a bit smaller if you wanted to not completely spoil your children! 

Mr Curly and I give up chocolate for lent each year, not for religious reasons but it’s quite good to test our will power! I usually don’t bake with chocolate during lent to reduce temptation, but this year I bit the bullet and got the chocolate out. 

Mr Curly did have to leave the kitchen when I said I was going to make these Mini Egg Rice Crispy Squares. Because of that I made them quite quickly which explains the lack of photos as I was making them! 

Makes approximately 25 squares

400g milk chocolate 
100g unsalted butter
150g golden syrup
100g rice crispies
100g mini eggs
50g micro eggs
50g mini marshmallows 

An extra 50g milk chocolate and sprinkles to decorate (optional) 

  1. Line a 20x20cm tin with baking paper and set aside
  2. Add 400g of the chocolate to a microwavable bowl along with the butter and golden syrup. Melt in the microwave in short bursts stirring in between until all of the ingredients are completely melted

  1. In a separate large bowl, add the rice crispies, mini eggs, micro eggs and marshmallows. Pour in the melted chocolate mix and stir through to coat everything evenly
  2. Tip the mixture into the prepared tin and level out 
  3. Melt the remaining 50g of chocolate and drizzle over the rice crispies 
  4. Add sprinkles and a few extra mini eggs before putting in the fridge to chill for a couple of hours or over night 
  5. Cut into squares and tuck in!

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Apricot & Almond Flapjacks

Crisp and chewy flapjacks packed with tasty almonds and apricots. My Apricot & Almond Flapjacks make the perfect snack at anytime of day.  

I haven’t made flapjacks in years because they aren’t something that usually peaks my fancy. This is because I find traditional plain flapjacks a bit boring and chocolate flapjacks don’t do it for me either. 

I was talking to my friend Zoe (as we do quite often) about my Blueberry & Lemon Bakewell Cake which lead to us talking about other ingredients that go well with almonds. This conversation brought about the idea for these Apricot & Almond Flapjacks. 

I forgot just how easy making flapjacks is! Another advantage which I hadn’t thought of before but that Zoe pointed out is that flapjacks are naturally gluten free. You just need to check that your oats are gluten free as Zoe pointed out that although oats do not have gluten in them, they can sometimes be prepared in factories that deal with gluten. 

With flapjacks they range from soft and sticky to crisp and chewy. Everyone will have a preference to which they prefer, but I have hopefully made a flapjack that will appeal to most people because it is in the middle. It is still slightly soft but has a delicious chewy texture too. If you did want them to be softer, I would add another 25g butter and another tablespoon of apricot jam. 

According to Mr Curly, these get better each day. They become slightly softer and chewier and each day he has had one. He prefers this as he is definitely in the softer flapjack camp. I have sent him to work with one for the past few days and each day he comes home telling me that they were even better than the day before. So if you prefer a softer flapjack and can resist eating them all on the day you bake them, leave them for a day or so for maximum yumminess! 

You could whip these up on a Sunday evening ready for packed lunches or snacks throughout the week. They are so easy that children could definitely help make these. These should keep in an airtight container for up to a week. I can see myself making these quite often now. I love the nutty flavour the almonds provide along with the soft sweetness from the dried apricots. 

Makes approx 24 flapjacks 

250g unsalted butter
150g soft brown sugar
1tbsp apricot jam
1 tbsp golden syrup
350g porridge oats
150g dried apricots, diced
50g flaked almonds

  1. Line a 20x26cm tin with baking paper and set aside 
  2. Melt the butter, sugar, apricot jam and golden syrup together in a medium pan over a low heat 

  1. Once completely melted, add the porridge oat and diced dried apricots and mix through
  2. Add the flaked almonds and gently mix again to not crush the almonds too much

  1. Tip into the tin and spread out 

  1. Bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes until golden brown 
  2. Allow to cool in the tin for around 20 minutes before cutting them into squares
  3. Leave to cool completely on a wire rack before storing

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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. 

5 from 4 votes
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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.
Course Snack
Cuisine American, British
Keyword Cookies, White Chocolate, Cranberry
Servings 40
Calories 88 kcal
Author Curly

Ingredients

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

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC (fan assisted 200ºC non fan). Line baking trays with grease proof 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
  5. 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

Recipe Notes

Keep in an air tight container for 3-4 days. 

Nutritional information is given as a guide only.

Nutrition Facts
Cranberry & White Chocolate Cookies
Amount Per Serving
Calories 88 Calories from Fat 18
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 2g 3%
Cholesterol 4mg 1%
Sodium 61mg 3%
Potassium 12mg 0%
Total Carbohydrates 11g 4%
Sugars 7g
Vitamin A 2.4%
Calcium 0.4%
Iron 0.6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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