Get your Bake On: Chocolate Chunk Shortbread Rounds

I love shortbread.

My nan used to make the best stuff I’ve ever tasted and, despite being in possession of her handwritten recipe for it, I cannot get it to taste the same. I even use a butter knife and my hands to combine it like she did, not the KitchenAid (my nan would never have used a KitchenAid…though I do love mine) and it still isn’t right.

More. Practice. Required.

That said, my kids weren’t lucky enough to taste my Nan’s so they know no better (the poor devils) – ignorance is bliss as they say – and so when they badgered me to make some the other day, I threw on my apron and tried my best. And do you know what, they weren’t too shabby. Not perfect, but pretty good even if I say so myself.

These shortbread rounds have chocolate chunks in. Slightly more indulgent than your regular shortbread but truly scrumptious with a cuppa to wash it down.


Get Your Bake On: Fried Egg Easter Chocolate Slab

With Easter hopping it’s way towards us, I have gone into panic mode and realised the Easter Bunny (aka, muggins here) hasn’t bothered to get my children any Easter Eggs yet. Oops.

This is entirely on purpose however, because I am literally incapable of storing chocolate in the house and not eating it. It’s for the sake of my waistline and bank balance folks, honest, and not just because I am disorganised.

As much as Easter Eggs and Easter themed treats can be a bit of a swindle money wise (yep, that solid bar of dairy milk contains way more chocolate for your bucks than that novelty easter egg) there is a fun novelty about them that’s guaranteed to put a smile on your kids faces. Oh ok, and mine. I’m also a sucker for an easter egg or twenty.

As I’m not at all religious, I like to think of Easter as a special time for family and friends to be able to spend much needed time together and also to celebrate new life and the hard work our farmers do, especially at this time of year with lambs being born. Spring truly is a wonderful time of year. Flowers are out, trees have woken from their slumber, newborn farm animals are in the fields and Creme Eggs are in the supermarkets. Happiness is.

If you don’t have the cash to splash on a swish chocolate egg or novelty chocolate ‘slab’ (like they sell in Hotel Chocolat) fear not, I have a simple recipe here guaranteed to make family and friends hoppy with EGGcitement (sorry, I had to throw at least one egg yolk in there. Oh, and another!)

All you need is a couple of bars of chocolate and some food colouring!

This Fried Egg Easter Chocolate Slab will make the perfect handmade gift or, if you’re not into sharing, just scoff it yourself.

Easter chocolate slab easter egg

Get your Bake On: Traditional Farmhouse Cake

With Easter edging ever closer, our minds start being filled with visions of mounds of chocolate eggs for the next week or two – yes, I might have been counting Creme Eggs to get myself to sleep some nights. I know they aren’t quite the same anymore but I am still a sucker for one. Or 5.

*On that point, they seem to have shrunk again this year don’t they? I think by next year we might as well by their Mini version because they will probably be bigger than the proper Creme Egg. Sad times).

That said, if you’re not a chocolate fan, or you know someone who isn’t (I wish I wasn’t, as does my shapely behind) I’m here to lend you a helping hand and offer a non-chocolate alternative. It’s a recipe for a traditional ‘Farmhouse Cake’ (which in my world is a simple, lightly spiced, raisin filled cake) which would make a lovely alternative easter gift for someone – delivered in a nice cake tin along with a box of tea bags would be my suggestion – and the fact it’s been lovingly homemade has to be a winner.

When we were on holiday in Dorset last week, we were greeted at the holiday cottage with a freshly made one of these and it was so lovely to have a just baked cake to welcome us for the week. The lovely cottage owner had baked it and it was truly delicious. It’s one of those cakes that often gets overlooked because it’s not gaudy or particularly eye-catching, but it has to be up there in my top 5 cakes of all time. You can’t beat well baked simplicity sometimes.

As I said, if you serve this cake with a nice cup of tea, I guarantee it’ll go down a storm.

Farmhouse cake


Pick your Poison: Gin & Juice Cocktail

“Sippin’ on gin and juice, laid back (with my mind on my money and my money on my mind)”

Golly gosh, I sound so down with the children isn’t it?

Totally gangster and shizzle.

Oh, who am I kidding? I don’t really ‘do’ rap music but I couldn’t write a cocktail post about Gin and Juice without referencing the Snoop Dogg Classic now could I?

I have no idea what the Gin and Juice is that Snoop refers to (hopefully it’s not code for something else!) but I thought I would make up my own Gin and Juice recipe as a little weekend pick me up.

Fruity, zingy and refreshing; this cocktail is made with just a few ingredients that you will all be able to lay your hands on easily.

Here goes!

 Gin and Juice Recipe Card

Enjoy Knutters!

Head on over to my Drinks Cabinet and my ‘Pick your Poison’ section to find more drink recommendations and cocktail recipes.

Get your Bake On: Malteser Cookies – #GoodLookingCooking

My kids love freshly baked giant cookies.

The smell of them baking, the squishy and slightly chewy texture of scoffing them whilst they’re still warm, all washed down with a cold glass of milk. Yum.

Luckily for my kids, homemade giant cookies are one of my forte’s (though to be frank, I don’t have many!) and I do make some every couple of weeks as a treat. The dough will also keep really well in the fridge for up to a week if you wrap it well in cling film (and don’t scoff it!) – it’s a great thing to have on standby if you have unexpected guests pop in or you forget about an upcoming bake sale.

My nan was the best baker, I aspire to be as good as she was but, to be honest, I don’t stand a chance. She was brilliant. She used to bake every other day and would make things like Shortbread fingers, Viennese whirls with a dollop of Jam in the middle and Cheese Straws.

If I close my eyes, I can still clearly visualise her kitchen with her twin tub washer, her little oven, the wooden kitchen units and I can see myself kneeling up on a dining chair at the worktop under her kitchen window so I could help weigh and mix the ingredients on the old counter-weight weighing scales. I know my nan aspired to have a larger kitchen, with more room for her baking things and probably a nice big cooker, like the kitchen range cookers from Belling UK to bake in, but she made do with what she had and her baking was still wonderful. You don’t need a posh kitchen to bake well. Happy days and marvellous memories. You can read more about my nan and see more of my recipes in my, “Not quite Mary Berry” section.

Maltesers are a bit of a favourite in our house. We all love them (mummy and daddy included) and we had somewhat of a ‘glut’ at Christmas. 3 boxes to be precise! So, to cull a few in one go (and to stop me from eating all 3 boxes by myself!) I came up with this recipe for Malteser Cookies.

They’re malty, soft, chocolatey and delicious. Get the kids involved, it’s a really simple recipe, and have some fun together in the kitchen!

Malteser Cookie Recipe

 Happy cooking folks! And feel free to share your favourite recipes using the hashtag #GoodLookingCooking

Malteser cookies recipe

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post for Belling and their #GoodLookingCooking campaign. All words, photos, ideas and opinions are my own.