With their fiery flavour and tooth-breaking crunch, ginger nuts – sometimes known as ‘snaps’ – regularly come top of ‘dunkability’ experiments. If you don’t have a cup of tea to hand but prefer something softer, a shop-bought ginger nut can be gently warmed in the oven or microwave. Just be careful with the timings or you’ll end up with incinerated biscuits, a wailing fire alarm and an angry university warden (I’m speaking from experience).
This year January has taken its cue from Christmas with gluttonous ease. Rather than observing an abstemious month of little or no alcohol, fewer desserts, low-fat-this and diet-that, we’ve eaten and drunk our way round London, Paris and Yorkshire. A birthday was celebrated several times over with rounds of cake and cocktails, an anniversary with an epic ice cream pie (more on that next week, just you wait) and Paris passed by in a blur of macarons, garlic butter and a Paris Brest the size of a tyre (albeit an elegant, pastry cream-filled one). Today we’re not going completely cold turkey, but these Apple, Maple & Walnut Cookies are at least a step in the right direction.
‘Any soft drink plus popcorn only £7’. That was the sign we passed as we ascended the escalator to the cinema on Saturday night. Everywhere I looked, people were filling up on sweets from the pick and mix, tiny tubs of ice cream and those slightly scary looking nachos with their lurid toppings and takeaway odour. If you’re in the market for making money, cinema food is a serious business.
As you read this I’m on my way to Bali on honeymoon with my favourite person in the world. In my absence, two of my favourite bloggers have stepped in with a wonderful recipe all of their own. First up is the amazing Kathryn from London Bakes. I’d quite like to set up camp in her kitchen so I could eat all the amazing food that comes out of it, but as that might be a little odd (and I imagine my brand new husband might miss me), the recipe for these cookies is the next best thing. Enjoy!
I’m so thrilled to be here today filling in for Kate while she and her new husband enjoy their first few days of married life. My blog and The Little Loaf were started on almost exactly the same day 2 ½ years ago and I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know Kate over the last few years and watching her blog develop into something really quite special.
I know that we share a very similar outlook on food (right down to our mutual hatred of wet, gravy-logged food) and that we both love baking treats using wholesome and feel-good ingredients. Both of us are big fans of using coconut oil and coconut sugar in baking and I think these cookies show just how wonderful these ingredients can be. Continue reading
Today’s is a recipe inspired by breakfast.
Breakfast is possibly my favourite meal of the day. I’ve described before my love of waking up after the enforced fast of a good night’s sleep, deciding exactly what it is that I want to eat, pottering around preparing the ingredients then sitting down to start the day. Sharing breakfast with loved ones is ideal, but a solitary bowl of bircher muesli or slice of homemade toast can be just as enjoyable: a good meal setting you up for an even better day. Continue reading
Food bloggers – in fact most people in the food world in general – tend towards exaggeration.
Every day we’re presented with the smoothest, creamiest ice cream, the crumbliest bars, unbeatable cookies and incredible bread, each recipe a must-make, a life-changer and better than anything that’s ever been eaten before.
Crisp little cookies packed with milk & white chocolate chunks
One of the things that makes me happiest is a big baking project. Whether it’s a birthday, researching recipes for this blog, a celebration cake or a big family party (for recipes from our recent engagement do, click here and here), I love everything about the process from planning it all in and thinking up new ideas through experimenting in the kitchen to the look on peoples’ faces when they taste my food.
When people ask about our upcoming wedding, one of the first things they always want to know is whether I’ll be baking my own cake. Although it’s something I did initially consider, I’ve since explained my reasons against the idea so many times that I’m pretty positive that I’ve made the right decision not to. Continue reading
Peanut butter and jam. A classic combination of salty and sweet, crunchy and smooth, fruit and nut. A mixture which shouldn’t really work, but somehow really does. Continue reading
Brutti ma buoni – ‘ugly but good’ hazelnut meringue biscuits
Don’t judge a book by its cover.
Despite this age old idiom, evaluating things by their appearance is sadly second nature in so many circumstances in life. Appearance influences the big decisions – it is said that in an interview, you have just seven seconds to make a good impression – but also the little ones: the quality of an apple, the content of a book, how delicious a dessert is going to be.
I’ve talked before on this blog about the pitfalls of style over substance when it comes to food. Incredible wedding cakes covered with beautifully crafted decorations concealing bland or dry sponge; slicks of sauce on a plate so small as to make little contribution to flavour; an artfully placed sprig of mint that you have to push to one side without eating.
Sweet, crisp & rich with dark brown sugar – a homemade version of the US staple
When we were little, one of my brother’s best friends was Canadian.
Coming from another country, there were numerous things about this boy which we found fascinating: his Mum made incredible chocolate chip cookies on a regular basis (I’ve explained before that mine was more of the raisin and apple offering inclination); his family had a BBQ the size of a small car in their back garden (which they’d brave even in winter weather to cook the most incredible slabs of meat on); at nine years old his school had never allowed him to use a knife to eat with (bizarre, but true). Continue reading