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Triple Chocolate Peanut butter Cookies

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So the new idea in my house is that we mustn’t buy any form of cookies, but I must bake large batches for us to nibble on. Firn goes through a large amount of snacks in a week, because of how much she rides, so I need to bake quite a lot at a time. This recipe is really nice and easy, with the added bonus of a mountain of cookies.

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The original recipe calls for 1 cup of dark chocolate chips, but I felt it needed a sweetness kick to cut through the richness of the chocolate and peanut butter. You could use which ever is your favourite or just leave the chips out all together.

Triple Chocolate Peanut butter Cookies

  • 1 ½ cups cake flour
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • ¾ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ cup (114g) soft butter
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup smooth peanut butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • ½ cup dark chocolate chips
  • ½ cup white chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Sieve together the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt and mix well. In a separate bowl, cream together the butter, sugars and peanut butter until it’s creamy and the mixture lightens slightly. Add the eggs and vanilla, beating until well combined. Stir in the flour mixture with a wooden spoon, only until everything is incorporated. Gently fold in the chocolate chips (both kinds). Scoop out the mixture with a tablespoon and gently press onto a lined baking sheet. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. The cookie will be soft when you take it out, but will harden when cooling.

Note: I always use a tablespoon to measure out cookie batter otherwise the cookies become to big, and it also gives a very nice uniform size. However, if you enjoy larger cookies, I’ve found that using a 25ml measuring cup (which everyone seems to have but never use) works as well.

Makes roughly 3 dozen cookies

Here's another photo to convince you to make them!

Here’s another photo to convince you to make them!

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Chococcino Muffins

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A lovely kick of chocolate and caffeine in one delightful little parcel

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Nine out of ten people like chocolate. The tenth one always lies

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I like this teapot

Chococcino Muffins

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups cake flour
  • ¾ white granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¹/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 cup water (at room temperature)
  • ½ cup of oil, sunflower or canola
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 tbsp vinegar
  • 1 ½ tsp coffee granules mixed with 1 tsp hot water
  • 3/4 cup chocolate chips (optional)
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional)

Preheat oven to 350ºF / 180ºC. Sift together all the dry ingredients, flour, sugars, cocoa, baking powder and salt. In a jug beat together all the wet ingredientsr, oil, vanilla, vinegar. Leave out the coffee. With a wooden spoon, beat together the wet ingredients and the dry ingredients. Add the coffee and first measurement of chocolate chips, stirring only until combined. Line a muffin tin with muffin liner or lightly spray with a non-stick spray. Fill each muffin cup about two thirds full with the batter. Sprinkle the second measure of chocolate chips over the batter. Bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes or until it springs back when lightly touched. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before placing muffins on a wire rack to cool completely.

 

Enjoy! Be hyper!

Enjoy! Be hyper!

The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

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*drools*

*drools*

Is there anything better than warm chocolate chip cookies and a glass of fresh, full cream, farm milk? Probably. But not many things. I absolutely love this recipe, the cookie is soft and sugary and you don’t have to go looking for chocolate chips.

The only walk through this recipe needs is how to scoop out the cookie so that they are lovely and even. To those of you who know how to do this, congrats. To those of you that don’t, it’s something useful to know, that up until recently I didn’t.

Using a tablespoon measuring spoon (for this recipe it makes nice sized cookie), scoop out a spoon full of dough, pressing against the side of the bowl to jam pack it. Use a normal teaspoon to get the batter out, sliding it along the inside of the tablespoon to keep the dome shape. Drop onto the cookie sheet, dome side up. Press down lightly on the dough with the palm of your hand to make a fat disk instead of a dome. Tada! Perfect, even cookies!

IMG_4179Before baking…

IMG_4180… and after baking!

As usual, the recipe is below. Unfortunately there isn’t the handy little “print” button (I haven’t figured out how to do that)

Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 2 cups and 2 tbsp cake flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 cup butter (170g)
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 whole egg plus 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375ºF / 190ºC. Sift together flour and baking soda, and set aside. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugars. Beat in egg, egg yolk and vanilla. Slowly mix the flour mixture in the butter mixture, beating well until everything in incorporated. Add the chocolate chips and mix in well to ensure even chocolateyness. Using a tablespoon (the measuring kind), scoop out the dough and set on a baking paper lined cookie tray. Squash a little with the palm of your hand. Refrigerate for at least half an hour, for up to a day. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until the edges are just brown. You’ll want to take them out when they still look undone, because they’ll continue cooking even after you take them out.

Note: at the refrigerating stage, you could also freeze on the cookie sheet (without baking paper as it will stick). Once fully frozen take off of the baking sheet and place in a container. When you want to bake them, place on a baking paper lined cookie sheet and allow to defrost for an hour before placing in a pre-heated oven. Bake as usual.

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Key-Lime Pie with a Chocolate crust

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Before we get started, I have to admit…. This is an adapted Nigella recipe. Long story short, a friend of mine visited and kept on raving about this pie, so I had to make it. And when in doubt, find the easiest recipe!

I suddenly feel like baking another one...

I suddenly feel like baking another one…

My pie isn’t quite as green as I would have liked it to be, but we couldn’t find real limes. I used a lime cordial that Dad found (After freaking out because I thought it was an alcoholic drink). Please excuse the very un-pie dish, my actual pie dish is still at our neighbours

And now, Mom loves it… Guess what I’ll be making every Saturday

 

Key-Lime Pie

For the crust:

  • 250g plain digestive biscuits
  • 100 grams butter
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa
  • 75 grams chocolate chips
  • For the lime filling:
  • 1 can (about 400 grams) of sweetened condensed milk, chilled
  • 4 limes (or 1 lemon and eight tablespoons of pure lime juice)
  • 300 ml cream
  • Dark chocolate for decoration

 

You will need a nice pie dish, roughly 23 cm

Crush the biscuits until they have a sandy texture, using either a food processor or a ziplock bag and a rolling pin. Place the butter in the microwave, and melt until it’s liquid. Mix together the crushed biscuits, butter, cocoa powder and chocolate chips. Tip the mixture into your favorite pie pan (not one like mine). Press into the base and up the side about 4-5 cm. Put into the fridge to chill while making the filling.

Open the tin of condensed milk and pour into a mixing bowl. Zest two of the limes into a separate bowl (this is for the decoration at the end). Squeeze all the juice of all the limes into the bowl of condensed milk. Whisk together and enjoy the heavenly smells. It’s easier to use an electric mixer for this recipe, but a hand whisk will also work. Add the cream and beat together for about two minutes, until the mixture is thick.

Spoon the filling into your chilled pie base using the back of a spoon to smooth off the top. Chill in the fridge for a minimum of six hours, preferably for eight hours or overnight. When the filling looks solid, and you are about to eat the pie, sprinkle the lime zest (or lemon zest) ontop of your pie. Grate the dark chocolate over that. You don’t want it to cover the pie like a topping, just a little for some pizzaz

Makes one pie

 

 

 

 

 

Moist Chocolate Muffins

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Yeah, I’ll admit it. I have a thing for muffins, but really. These are so squishy and chocolaty,and the best part? You don’t need chocolate. Only cocoa.

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Since it’s the first time I made this recipe, I decided not to take pictures encase it was a huge flop. Seeing as there is no way I’m remaking these muffins, try to make them without the step by step. And no, it’s not because I don’t like them. I just like being skinny (kind of hard when chocolate muffins are on the table).

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I iced them with a basic chocolate butter-cream. I usually make the icing by taste, so just use your favorite icing. Or eat them as is. It’s just as good. As usual the recipe is below, and apologies that you can’t just click a button and it prints…

Yes, it did taste good

Yes, it did taste good

 

MOIST CHOCOLATE MUFFINS

  • ½ cup white sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ¾ cup + 2 tbsp flour
  • ¼ cup + 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¾ tsp baking soda
  • ¾ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup milk
  • ¼ cup oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ cup boiling water (make sure it’s boiling)

Preheat your oven to 350ºF/180ºC. Line a muffin/cupcake tin with paper liners, or grease well. In a big mixer bowl, sift together all the dry ingredients. Beat together the egg, milk, oil and vanilla.

Using an electric beater, combine the dry and wet ingredients. Scrape the sides of the mixer bowl. Add the boiling water, making sure the water has just boiled. Mix until smooth.

The batter will look very watery and liquid. Don’t worry about this, as it is what makes the cupcake so moist. Pour the batter into your lined or greased tin. Bake for 20-25 minutes in the preheated oven. When muffin springs back to the touch, and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the middle of the muffin, remove from the oven. Leave the muffins in the tin for about 5-10 minutes. Then, turn out onto a cooling rack. Allow muffins to cool completely before icing with a basic chocolate butter-cream icing.

Makes about 12 muffins

 

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Peanut-butter Muffins with Peanut-butter Buttercream and Peanut topping

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This stuff is awesome. Peanut-butter is perfection, especially if it’s the only thing to put on your bread at a week long horse camp.

Coming back from an outride

Coming back from an outride

That’s right people, we went to Mooikrans. Mooikrans is a horse riding holiday farm that offers homeschoolers camps, every March and September. Now, you might wonder why I’m sprouting on about this. The reason; I wanted to bake something to remind us of Mooikrans. Mission Accomplished

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Don’t you just want to bite into one?

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Okay, so first of all, find all your ingredients. You need cake flour, white sugar, baking powder, salt, eggs, milk, sunflower oil, butter and smooth peanut-butter. The last one is kind of essential. I did use chunky peanut-butter, but it didn’t work as well.

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Sift together the dry ingredients; flour, the sugar, baking powder and salt.

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Now beat together the eggs, milk, oil, butter and peanut-butter. This is where you are glad if you used smooth peanut-butter.

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Gently add the egg mixture to the dry ingredients with a wooden spoon. Mix until it is all incorporated. The batter will be slightly sticky and lumpy.

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Isn’t this muffin tin cute? I just had to use it

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Spoon the sticky batter into your cupcake/muffin pan until about three quarters full. Bake in a 180ºC/350ºF oven for 20-30 minutes. The muffins will be a rich golden brown.

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Now you can eat them just like that… Or you can make a delicious peanutty icing to go with.

You will need butter, icing sugar and smooth peanut-butter. Now you cannot get away with the chunky stuff. It’s gotta be smooth.

For the icing, beat together the butter and peanut-butter with an electric beater until smooth. Slowly add the sifted icing sugar, beating until the mixture is fluffy. Good. Now taste it. Add more peanut-butter if need be. Ice the cupcakes with a thick layer of the stuff. Next time, I’m going to do half with this icing, and half with a Nutella icing….

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Onto the Crispy Peanut Topping. I didn’t make it, cause we didn’t have whole peanuts in the house. You know how it is, living on a farm and all. We can’t exactly drive half an hour in and out for peanuts…

Anyway, start by finding some unsalted, lightly crushed peanuts. 175g of them. Heat some white sugar in a pan until melted, DO NOT STIR. I know this sounds and feels scary, but just trust me! Remove from the heat and add the peanuts, all in one go. Stir well, making sure all the peanuts are covered in sugar. Pour into a lined baking tray (cookie sheet) with an edge. Leave it to cool for a few minutes, at least five minutes. Break into pieces.

Now pile it high on your Peanut Butter Butter-cream lathered Peanut Butter Muffins.

Now I’m wishing I made some topping…

I admit it, I took a picture of the book I got the topping recipe from...

I admit it, I took a picture of the book I got the topping recipe from…

 

Peanut Butter Muffins

  • 2 ¾ cups cake flour
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 eggs
  • ¾ cup/175ml milk
  • ¼ cup/50ml sunflower oil
  • 4 tbsp/50g butter
  • 200g smooth peanut butter

Heat oven to 180ºC/350ºF. Place muffin cases in a muffin tin, or grease tin well. Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt into a large mixing bowl. Beat together the eggs, milk, sunflower oil and smooth peanut butter until combined. The batter will be slightly lumpy. Bake in preheated oven for 20-30 minutes, until golden brown. Leave in the tin for 5 minutes, then place on a cooling pack. Allow muffins to cool completely.

Makes about 18 muffins

Peanut Butter Butter-cream and Crispy Peanut Topping

For Peanut Butter-cream

  • 150g smooth peanut butter
  • 115g/1 stick butter, at room temperature
  • 90g icing sugar

For Crispy Topping

  • 1 cup/200g sugar
  • 175g unsalted lightly crushed peanuts

Peanut Butter-cream

Whisk together the icing sugar and peanut butter, until fluffy. Slowly add icing sugar. Add more peanut butter or icing sugar to taste. Spread thickly onto your muffins/cupcakes.

Crispy Peanut Topping

Melt the sugar in a pan over a low heat. Do not stir. Remove completely from the heat. Add the peanuts in one go, stirring well. Make sure that all the peanuts are coated in sugar. Pour into a lined baking sheet with an edge. Leave to cool until set, no longer that about 15 minutes. Break up into pieces. Pile high onto your muffins.

 

 

Death by Chocolate: Firn Style

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If you read my blog, Ballet and Bullseye, you will know that Firn’s 17th birthday was on the 24th of Febuary. Well, last weekend I made Firn her birthday platter. And she wanted chocolate. Lots of chocolate.

So what if the cake is a little cracked? Still tastes good

So what if the cake is a little cracked? Still tastes good

Chocolate Galore

So there are three recipes; chocolate mousse, chocolate ice-cream and chocolate lava cake. I didn’t take any photo’s while I was making the recipes, all three recipes are quite easy.

First of all make the ice-cream. The ice-cream I used, I must admit, was bought. I did make ice-cream, but then dropped the bowl, which smashed… So, here is the recipe I would have used (am I the only who sees too many ‘ice-creams’ in the paragraph?)

DARK CHOCOLATE ICE-CREAM

  • 50g sugar
  • 125ml (1/2 cup) water
  • 250g dark chocolate
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 400ml thick cream
  • 30ml (2 tbsp) chocolate or coffee liqueur (I used 2 tsp vanilla essence)

Combine sugar and water in a saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring all the time. Boil for three minutes, making sure all the sugar dissolves, then remove from the heat and and leave to cool for 15 minutes. While the sugar water is cooling, start grating the chocolate. You might want to do this before you even start. Add the chocolate to the sugar water, do not stir. Pour into a blender and blend on high speed, or until smooth and well mixed. You can also do it with a hand blender in a large glass bowl. It takes a bit longer. Set the blender at a medium high speed and add the egg yolks, one by one. Blend until the mixture is smooth.

Beat the cream until it forms soft peaks and fold in the chocolate mixture with the coffee or chocolate liqueur.  You can spray plastic moulds with a non-stick spray, fill with the ice-cream mixture, cover and freeze until set. Or pour into a large bowl, cover, freeze until set, then scoop out and enjoy.

The surface is not smooth because I kept poking it to see if it had set

The surface is not smooth because I kept poking it to see if it had set

I had to add a picture of how golden in colour or farm cream is. Dad had taken out our 100 year old cream separator the night before.

Cream at the top, skim milk at the bottom

Cream at the top, skim milk at the bottom

Okay, on to the Mousse. It’s a dense mousse, you could use less marshmallows if you wish. Don’t worry if it’s liquid when you put in in glasses and set it in the fridge. You just need to give it an hour or two to set.

EASY CHOCOLATE MOUSSE

Serves six to eight people

  • 150g white mini marshmallows, or normal marshmallows cut up, or even 100g
  • 50g soft butter
  • 250g good dark chocolate chopped into small pieces
  • 60ml hot water, from a boiled kettle
  • 280ml cream (fresh from a farm is best :D)
  • 1 tsp (5ml) vanilla essence

Place the marshmallows, butter, chocolate (I used half dark and half milk) and water in a saucepan. Make SURE the marshmallows are small, or cut up. Very important. Put the sauce pan on the stove, over a gentle heat, don’t burn the chocolate. Melt the contents, stirring every now and then making sure nothing sticks to the bottom. When everything is melted, remove from heat.

Whip the cream and vanilla together until really nice and thick. Fold in the cooling chocolate mixture until you have a smooth, yummy mixture. Pour into six or eight glasses, cute little milking buckets, or ramekins. Chill in the fridge for 1 to 2 hours until set.

Glasses for the 'rents, milk buckets for us teens

Glasses for the ‘rents, milk buckets for us teens

Just a few tips; don’t skimp on the cream and to a cup. I know it’s close, but you need that extra cream. Also, watch the heat on the stove. Burnt chocolate can start World War III.

Now for the super, yummy, gooey (is that a word?), tantalizing chocolate lava cake. For those who don’t know, a chocolate lava cake is cooked ion the out side, but when you cut in there is still some gooey mixture. It’s awesome and perfect

CHOCOLATE LAVA CAKE

  • 113g dark chocolate, again I used half dark and half milk
  • 113g (1 stick) butter
  • 1 cup icing sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 6 tbsp (90ml) cake flour
  • Heavy cream for topping (if your eating it without the mousse and ice-cream)

Preheat oven to 425°F/220°C, and thoroughly spray four or five custard cups, or something that size that can go into the oven. Chuck the butter and chocolate into a glass bowl. Microwave for 1 minute, the chocolate won’t be melted, and some bits of butter won’t be melted. But do NOT put it in for longer. Whisk together gently and slowly until everything is melted and well incorporated. Add icing sugar, stirring gently until smooth.

Crack in the eggs, and pour in the yolks. Mix until combined, do not over mix. Add flour, stirring to make sure everything is evenly incorporated. Even;y pour chocolate cake mixture into your prepared custard cups. Place them on a baking sheet and bake for 13-15 minutes. Edges must be well set and center slightly soft. Place a plate on top of the cake, and flip over. The cake should fall out. Don’t worry if some goeyness runs out, this makes it look even more awesome.

Hello there

Hello there

Now put all three these chocolate masterpieces on the same plate…. And you will have a plate of chocolate bliss…

That tasted good....

That tasted good….

WARNING: If you eat to much of this, you will feel sick. It’s like that Easter when you where a kid and you ate all your eggs in one go. But this is really the best birthday treat I have ever made. With the possible exception of Mom’s gingerbread house:

The fairy tale house

The fairy tale house