Piñata Cookies

Cinco de Mayo pinata sugar cookies

After seeing this recipe on SHEKNOWS, I knew that had to make them.

But unfortunately, mine didn’t turn out quite like the one on the website!

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My problem was my horse cookie cutter.  The legs were too thin so as soon as I tried to pull the cutter out of the cookies, the legs stuck in the cutter and pulled off.

So I broke them into small pieces and served them like that.  They still looked interested and tasted great.  My colleagues ate them all so that’s positive!

** INGREDIENTS **

1 cup sugar
1 cup icing sugar
1 cup butter
1 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
5 cups flour
1 tablespoon vanilla essence

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** METHOD **

1. Cream sugars with butter.

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2.  Beat in eggs.

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3.  Add oil.

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4. Combine dry ingredients together and gradually add to the mixture.

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5.  Mix in vanilla essence and almond extract.

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6.  Split the dough into five, even-sized balls.

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7. Add food colouring to each of the dough balls until desired colour is achieved.

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8.  Use a container the same width as your cookie cutter and line it with food wrap.  Split your coloured dough in half and begin layering the dough in the container.

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9.  Cover the dough and freeze for four hours or overnight.  (I froze overnight.)

(At this stage I realised that I didn’t make nearly as much dough as I needed to.  So I had to use what I had already layered and put on top of itself.  It really spoiled the layering.)

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10.  After freezing, unwrap the dough and cut into slices.  Put them on a baking tray lined with baking paper.

Bake at 180°C for 12 minutes.

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11.  Immediately after taking them out of the oven, use your cookie cutter to cut the cookie shapes.  For each completed cookie, you need three (one needs the centre cut out to form the hidden pocket).

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This is where my method ends.  I managed the patience to cut only one shape when I decided to serve them in small pieces instead.

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Unfortunately I won’t attempt these again.  There was too much effort involved and disaster was evident.  Next time I’ll make rainbow/swirl sugar cookies.

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Ice-Cream + Flour = Bread?

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A friend of mine posted this recipe on Facebook.  I waited for him to post his final product online but I became impatient so decided to make it myself.

It tasted surprisingly less sweet than I was expecting.  It was almost bland.  I think next time I’ll use a stronger flavoured ice-cream.  The crust was golden, crunchy and very nice.  I was very impressed with the output, considering how “strange” the combination seems.

** INGREDIENTS **
2 Cups of Ice-Cream (any flavour – I used boysenberry)
1.5 Cups of Self Raising Flour

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** METHOD**

1.  Put 2 cups of ice-cream into a mixing bowl.

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2.  Add 1.5 cups of self raising flour.

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3. Mix until all of the flour is moistened.

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4. Place the mixture into a greased bread tin.

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5. Bake for 45 minutes at 180°C.  (Mine only needed 35 minutes.)

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6. Cool and then enjoy!

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Simply Marvellous

It’s no secret that I love the Cadbury Marvellous Creations range.  After finding out that there are two new flavours, I rushed to my local Woolworths to give them a go.  Unfortunately the flavours weren’t available in bars, so I had to buy the big blocks.

The new flavours are:

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And just because I hadn’t tried it yet, I also bought:

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So what did I think?

Clinkers, Gummi Bears, Choc Biscuit

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This is a great chocolate.  The gummi pieces were generous in size and really tasty.  I’m not very familiar with Clinkers candy but I found that it tasted similar to Crunchie pieces.  (If it hadn’t been for the colour, I would have guessed Crunchie.)  The cookie pieces were scarce but pleasant.  All in all, I would definitely recommend this chocolate, especially if you like gummi candy.

Clinkers, Raspberry Chips, Marshmallows

marshmallow

Another great chocolate.  The marshmallow pieces were small but tasty, and once again, the Clinkers tasted like Crunchie pieces.  I see that “Raspberry Chips” is in the name but I can’t say that the taste stood out to me.

Peanut, Toffee, Cookie

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Although this flavour has been out since the Marvellous Creations range hit Australia, my dislike of peanuts had made me reluctant to try it.  But today I decided that it’s time to put aside my issues with peanuts and give it a go.  This variety of Marvellous Creations is definitely not my favourite.  The peanut taste is very evident (bad for me but good for some) and I found it surprisingly sweet.  (Sweeter than the previous two types if you can believe that!)  The cookie pieces remind of Malteasers and were really nice.  While “toffee” is in the name, I didn’t taste anything resembling toffee.

So in conclusion, I am very happy with the new Marvellous Creations flavours.  I will have to say that the gummi bears one is my favourite of the two.  I managed to grab the last one in the shop so it looks like it might also be a consumer favourite.  I hope that these new flavours are available in bars because my purse and figure can’t handle too many of the larger blocks.

Cadbury Creme Egg Brownies

Happy Easter everyone!  It’s finally the day for me to try out the Cadbury Creme Egg Brownie recipe that I found all those months ago on the Cadbury (UK) Facebook page.

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I had to make a few variations to the recipe as I couldn’t find Cadbury Bournville chocolate here, and I also didn’t have the necessary equipment to melt the chocolate and butter over a pan of simmering water.

So this is my version of the recipe:

** INGREDIENTS **

150g Unsalted Butter
200g Cadbury Old Gold Dark Chocolate
100ml Strong Espresso Coffee
250g Caster Sugar
2tsp of Vanilla Bean Paste
3 Medium Eggs
100g Plain Flour
4 Cadbury Creme Eggs

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** METHOD **

1. Melt the butter and chocolate in a pan on very low heat, stirring frequently.

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2. Once melted, transfer the mixture into a mixing bowl.

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3. Stir in the caster sugar, vanilla bean paste and espresso coffee. 

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4. Beat the eggs with a fork and mix into the mixture until smooth.

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5. Sift the flour and fold into the mixture.

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6. Transfer the mixture to a tin which has been greased and lined with baking paper.

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7. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes at 180°C.  (I have a gas oven so did not need to preheat it.)

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8. While the mixture is baking, cut the Cadbury Creme Eggs into halves.

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9. After 15 minutes, remove the half-cooked mixture from the oven and push in the Cadbury Creme Egg halves.

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10. Put back into the oven for another 10 minutes until the mixture is set, but still a bit sticky.

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11. Leave to cool completely before slicing into squares and serving.

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Chocolate Ganache

Well yesterday I added buttercream icing to my white chocolate mud cakes, so I decided today to make some chocolate ganache.  This is my first attempt ever and it did not turn out very well.  The ganache broke/split but I couldn’t let good ingredients go to waste so I used it anyway.

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This is how I did it:

** INGREDIENTS **

1/3 Cup Cream
250g Dark Chocolate
250g Milk Chocolate

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** METHOD **

1. Put the chocolate and cream in a saucepan over very low heat.

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2. Stir frequently, and remove from heat when chocolate has just melted and mixture is smooth.

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I poured the split ganache into another container and let it cool before using a knife to spread it onto the pieces of chocolate mud cake.

I now have my two iced flavours of mud cake ready to freeze.  The cakes taste fantastic and I’m undecided as to which is my favourite.

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Failcake!

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It’s safe to say that there will be no Rubik’s Cube cupcakes for my birthday this year!  It took absolutely forever to cut the square white chocolate mud cake into 5cm x 5cm cubes.  It then took even longer to try one roll out one sheet of black fondant (it was my first time).

The cake itself is delicious though and I’ve decided to make cupcakes instead (using the same recipes as I did before).

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I didn’t want to waste all of the cubes that I cut out so I decided to make some buttercream and ice them.  There are far too many for my small family and I to eat so I’ve put them in the freezer.

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White Chocolate Mud Cake

Sunday’s Chocolate Mud Cake was so good that I decided to make the White Chocolate Mud Cake from Exclusively Food.

I actually think it’s better than the chocolate version.  I am really happy with how it turned out and it will definitely be part of my “30th Birthday Rubik’s Cube Cubecakes” batch.

Here’s what I did:

** INGREDIENTS **

600g White Chocolate
400g Butter
500ml Milk
330g Caster Sugar
1 Tbsp Vanilla Extract
4 Large Eggs
200g Self-Raising Flour
300g Plain Flour

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** METHOD **

1. Place chocolate, butter, milk and sugar in a large saucepan over low heat, stirring frequently.  Remove from heat when chocolate and butter have melted, and stir mixture until completely smooth. Allow mixture to cool at room temperature for 15 minutes.

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2. Add vanilla and eggs to chocolate mixture and stir until well combined.

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3. Stir flours together in a large bowl. (I accidentally sifted my flours and it came out fantastic.  I’ll be sifting them again when I make the cubecakes for real.)

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4. Add one cup of chocolate mixture to the flour and stir until a smooth paste forms.

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5. Add remaining chocolate mixture and stir until mixture is smooth. T his gradual method of combining the wet and dry ingredients helps prevent lumps.

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6. Pour mixture into prepared pan.  (Cooking spray and baking paper on the base.)

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7. Bake at 150°C (fan-forced) for 1:45 hours.

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8. I covered my cake with a tea-towel and refrigerated overnight.  (The slight bump in the middle fell, which is exactly what I wanted.)

9. I then covered in tin foil and put into the freezer.  (I also cut off a piece to taste.  It was amazing!)

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