23 December, 2017
The festive season is around the corner and it’s that time of the year when friends and relatives visit each other with a whole lot of cookies. Christmas, parties, and vacations a season to be merry and not to mention lots of food! It is probably the best time for you to show your baking skills too, after all, who will not love homemade cakes and cookies? Here are some easy to do recipes. Try your hand at them and surprise your grandchildren!
Crispy Chocolate Squares
4 chocolate bars with caramel, 10g butter, Rice Krispies or toasted nuts.
Melt the chocolate bars and the butter over a gentle heat in a big saucepan. Make sure the mixture doesn’t burn. This might take some time. Stir in the rice crisps or nuts when done. When they are well coated, pour them into individual cake cases or chocolate cookie molds and lightly press down. Alternatively, you could pour them into a brownie tin and cut into squares when cooled. Crunchy choco-bars are ready!
140g unsalted butter, softened, 100g castor sugar, zest ½ lemon, 2 large eggs, lightly beaten, 140g self-raising flour
For the buttercream icing
85g butter, softened, 175g icing sugar, zest and juice ½lemon, sprinkles or sweets, to decorate
Beat the butter and sugar in a big bowl until it is really soft, then add the lemon zest. Stir in the eggs, then fold in the flour until it is all combined. Use teaspoons to scoop the mixture into cupcake tins and bake for 18-20 mins at 180C until the cakes are golden and springy when you touch them. While you wait for the cakes to cool, make the buttercream icing. Beat the butter until it is really soft. Gradually beat in the icing sugar, lemon zest, and juice until it is thick and yummy. Spread the buttercream on top of the cakes with the back of a spoon, then decorate with sprinkles or sweeties.
125g self-raising wholemeal flour, ½ tsp baking powder, 2 tsp ground cinnamon, 75g sultana, 50g butter, melted, 2 tsp vanilla essence, 1 egg, 1 tbsp milk, 3 ripe banana, mashed, drizzle maple syrup or honey when you serve.
Mix the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and sultanas into a bowl. Mix the butter, vanilla essence, egg, milk and mashed bananas in another bowl with a small balloon whisk or fork. Pour the ‘wet’ banana mixture into the ‘dry’ flour mixture and combine thoroughly with a wooden spoon. Pour the cake mixture into a prepared tin and bake for 30 – 40 mins at 180C or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Remove from oven, cool and serve with honey or maple syrup.
Chocolate Chip Cookie Ice-Cream Sandwiches
280g light soft brown sugar, 225g granulated sugar, 250g butter, 2 large egg, 1 tbsp vanilla extract, 450g plain flour, 2 tsp baking powder, 300g good-quality milk chocolate, roughly chopped into chunks, vanilla ice cream, to serve
Blend the sugars and butter in a large bowl until smooth and creamy. Carefully break in the eggs, one at a time, mixing well between each egg and pausing to scrape down the sides with a spatula. Mix in the vanilla.
Sift in the flour and baking powder, then mix well with a wooden spoon. Stir in the chocolate chunks. Use your hands to squeeze the dough together in 1 big lump, roll in a cling film so that they form thick sausage shapes, then seal the ends. Put them in the fridge and chill for at least 3 hrs or overnight. Take the dough rolls out of the fridge, unwrap and use a small knife to slice into round pieces. Place the slices on a baking tray lined with baking parchment. Bake for 20 mins or until the cookies are golden brown on the edges but still pale in the centre. Allow cooling slightly before lifting them onto a wire rack to cool completely. Sandwich the cookies together with ice cream and serve.
Here is another recipe, a quick easy one to bake in a microwave!
Easy Microwave Chocolate Cake
3 tablespoons butter - softened, 1/4 cup white sugar, 1 egg, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1/4 cup milk, 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, 2 tablespoons cocoa powder, 1/4 teaspoon baking powder, 1 pinch salt.
Spray a medium microwave-safe bowl with non-stick spray and set aside. In a mixing bowl, combine the butter, sugar, egg, vanilla extract, and milk; blend together. Combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt; blend into the mixture until smooth. Pour into the greased bowl. Cover and cook in the microwave on high for 2 to 2 1/2 minutes, or until cake springs back when touched. Since all microwaves cook differently, adjust the cooking time to accommodate your machine. To serve, let the cake cool five minutes, then cover the bowl with a plate and turn both bowl and plate upside down so the cake falls onto the plate.
Go ahead, Show off your baking skills and watch those happy smiles on the kid's faces, as they relish these homemade goodies!
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