I am an absolute cookie monster but I won’t accept any old cookie. I am what you might call, a cookie connoisseur! It has to meet my certain criteria or quite frankly, I shan’t waste the calories on it (my waistline is becoming much more susceptible to soaking up excess podge in my old age to allow a bad biccy to destroy it). I have preached many a time about the qualities of a good cookie, crunchy on the outer rim then getting chewy, almost fudge-like near the middle (hell, I even prefer mine to be under baked so they still have a ting of cookie dough about them. I’m sure it’s not health and safety friendly but what the heck?! I’d risk food poisoning for cookie nirvana). I had yet to find a perfect texture when using spelt flour as it doesn’t get that crunch or chew that I was searching for…. UNTIL NOW! I like spelt, it has much more flavour than regular flour plus it has some health benefits apparently to kind of balance out the sugary naughtiness.
It’s pretty obvs that I love cake. It’s probably not surprising that I love baking as long as it doesn’t involve marzipan (If I was ever on Saturday Kitchen it would deffo be marzipan. Or celery. Celery wrapped in marzipan… Ultimate nightmare). So today to be a bit crazy, just for today, Hollylovesbiscuits! These hobsnobs are the best sellers on my market stall. They are buttery, chewy, chocolatey, crunchy and perfect with a cuppa. You can mix things up with these depending on what you have in your cupboard, spelt flour would work just as well in this recipe. If you have no honey, golden or maple syrup can work too. Perhaps experiment using a mix of jumbo and fine oats? I have used dark chocolate on these hobnobs but I have used milk, if you are feeling really mental, why not try white chocolate! Heck, every throw in a spoonful of cinnamon. I stress it is important you use a good quality salted butter in this recipe as the flavour really comes through and the salt balances out the sweetness. Take a box of these with you next time you get invited round for dinner, you will be super popular and everyone’s new BFF.
Its pretty obvs that I love to bake and there is nothing better than dedicating an entire day to produce a bouncy billowing sponge cake to order. Some cakes can take a couple of hours to produce, some take whole days. However, it is possible to have too much of a good thing (butter cream being the exception to this rule. And Fox’s Crunch Cream Biscuits. And Milkybars. And possibly custard). After spending 10 hours on a cake order on Friday I was covered in icing sugar (but then everything in my entire kitchen has a constant layer of shimmering icing sugar), there was butter in my hair and I had devoured so much cake mix I felt rather nauseous (seriously, why bother baking the cake when the mix tastes so frikkin shamazing?!). I just wanted to sit down with a cuppa and watch Supersize Vs Superskinny. Alas, I still had more baking to do, my brother needed something to take to his charity cake sale at work. I obvs offered my services being the wonderfully kind and thoughtful sister I am (it was also out of the eternal guilt I feel from when I pushed him down the stairs when I was 5). However, after my massive all day bake-a-thon, the last thing I wanted to do was spend more time in the kitchen. Sometimes, you want to produce something gorgeously tasty with minimal effort possible, when you don’t have time for technique or decoration, no faff but impressive results.
I am a sugar queen and I can take or leave savoury food stuffs (Always dessert over starter. Always.). Because I’d rather eat a jam tart over a sausage roll, I tend not to cook. I bake. I really struggle with putting flavours together and I lack the ability to pick up what is missing out of a dish when making a meal. I am the master of bland stir frys and over cooked omelettes. Therefore it was a blessing to spend an hour or two with Tess Ward (www.theyeschef.com). Tess is a talented chef who trained at Le Cordon Bleu after finishing her History degree. She now passes on her wisdom and knowledge through teaching several different cooking programmes and writes for several publications and her own shamazing blog. Tess uses fresh seasonal produce in her cooking and my class with her was no exception. She took inspiration from the food market she had visited that day and on the menu was sweet potato gnocchi with kale and bacon plus a mango, carrot and radish salad. Tess talked me through the process of preparing and cooking the ingredients. She also taught me a great lesson on how to chop and slice properly instead of being perilously close to chopping my finger tips off at any moment! We chatted and drank tea as we prepared dinner. The best bit was rolling the gnocchi which involved getting elbow deep in flour and mashed sweet potato to roll little sausages ready to be chopped up for the pan. I loved this bit as the generous use of flour all over the kitchen table resulted in a mess similar to the icing sugar explosion that appears to happen in my kitchen whilst baking (except in Tess’s kitchen I don’t get told off). We discussed foodie blogs, boyfriends and books with great recommendations from Tess on books and blogs she thought I would enjoy. Before I knew it, it was time to sit down and enjoy all my (ok, ok, it was a joint effort) hard work