Tag Archives: Baking

The Frugal Kitchen: Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

IMG_20140617_180410It isn’t often, at the moment, that I’m getting a sweet craving; but when I do…I need it NOW!  I’ve taken to keeping a few bars of Lidl dark chocolate in the house, just in case the baking mood overtakes me! And on Monday…it sure overtook me!

I make no secret of the fact that I potentially view Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups as one of the greatest creations of the modern day.  I love those things, the familiar orange, garish packaging, the satisfying crunch that leads to a smooth hit of peanut butter.  If you’ve seen Fifty First Dates and you’re anything like me, then that scene when Adam Sandler is given a huge box stuffed to the brim with Reese’s is a bit like porn!

Anyway, with a taste for peanut butter and about half a jar left milling around in my cupboard, I decided to try my hand at a cookie homage to my favourite sweet.  I tried a basic peanut butter based recipe and dipped half the cookies in melted dark chocolate for an extra hit.  As usual, I rustled these up from bits hanging around in the kitchen cupboards – and the choice of Lidl chocolate is only 35p per slab, an absolute bargain!  Try them if you dare…

Ingredients (To Make Approximately 8 Large Cookies)

100g Golden Caster Sugar

100g Demerara Sugar

140g Plain Flour

120g Butter (softened)

1 Large Egg

1 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda

1/2 tsp Salt

Approx 3 heaped tbsps Smooth Peanut Butter (crunchy is an option)!

100g Dark Chocolate

Method

Preheat the oven to 170 C /150 C for Fan Oven.  Grease a flat baking tray and line with greaseproof paper.IMG_20140617_180513

In a mixing bowl, cream together both sugars and the butter until light and a little fluffy.  Then add your egg and beat until combined.

Follow this by adding the dry ingredients to your mixture – the flour, bicarb and salt.  Mix with a spatula and ensure that the mixture is all incorporated.  Finally, dollop your peanut butter in and mix until combined.

Using a dessert spoon to roughly measure, separate your dough into 8 equal sized balls and place on your prepared baking tray.

Place the cookies in the oven for approximately 20 minutes – the cookies should be golden brown in colour but not hard.  Remove and leave to cool.

Meanwhile, over a pan of boling water, heat your dark chocolate in a bowl.  Once the cookies have cooled, dip one side of each cookie in the melted chocolate, place onto a cooling rack and allow to harden.

Go put the kettle on, relax and enjoy a cuppa with your new favourite frugal cookie!

IMG_20140617_180449Stay Peachy x

The Frugal Kitchen: Avocado Brownies!

mixtureAVOCADO…what now?!?!  Yup, that’s right…and guess what?? They are deliciousness personified!

It’s been a little while since I got creative in the kitchen, I’ve been busy readying meals for me and D, plus trying to eat healthily and shed a teeny bit of weight.  When the chocolate cravings call though, one must act – so I decided to try something a little different!

I’ve had an interest in this amazing cross-genre baking for a while, I tried sweet potato brownies a while back, which were gorgeous and cakey, and low in calories!  avocadoAfter reading several sweet recipes using avocados, I decided to try my hand at a quick, simple and healthier alternative to a full-fat brownie!

When it comes to a bit of frugal baking, I like to use as little ingredients but without sacrificing taste.  A classic brownie recipe should be fuss-free, gooey and satisfying.  We keep avocadoes in abundance in our house; D loves them and I am on a continued quest for long, ebony Priscilla-locks, so they do their bit for me as well!  The recipe below took about ten minutes to mix (once the chocolate had melted) and about 20 minutes in the oven.  The result?  Beautifully rich, gooey, chocolatey goodness and (if you’re a calorie counter – which I, sadly, am) they come in at abotu 272 calories for a large slice!  Go on…give ’em a go!

You Will Need (To Make 10 Large Brownies):

100g Dark Chocolate

4 Eggs

100g Dessicated Coconut

100g Caster Sugar

100g Demerara Sugar

2 tsp Vanilla Extract

70g Cocoa Powder

Handful of Flaked Almonds

1 Large Avocado – mashed

ready to bakeMethod

Over a pan of boiling water, melt your chocolate.  Preheat your oven to 180 C and grease a baking tin (ideally square).

In a bowl, mix your flour, sugars, cocoa powder and vanilla extract.  Pour your melted chocolate and add the eggs and mix until combined.

Finally, add in your mashed avocado and continue to mix until your batter is combined, brown (!) and fairly smooth!

Transfer to your prepared baking tray, sprinkle with flaked almonds and bake for approximately 20 minutes.  Your brownies should be very dark in colour and slightly gooey on the inside.  Remove and leave to cool – or shovel one in straightaway!

finishedStay Peachy x

 

Frugally Ever After: Salted Caramel Cupcakes

Cupcake FinishedWhat’s life without a little sweet treat every now and then?  I might have been treating us all with a little too much sweetness of late…BUT here’s another lovely recipe and an idea for The Big V.  I’ve been trying to watch the cals this year and, to be honest, I’m missing baking something chronic!  So, with Mr J’s Birthday at the start of the month, I took this as perfect timing to try a new recipe – inspired by old-fashioned movie dates, teamed with a love of a good cupcake! I give you…Salted Caramel Cupcakes!

The sponge is a basic recipe I use for all my cupcakes and cakes.  It’s light, fluffy and easy to add to – not to mention the use of simple ingredients makes them relatively cheap as well.  For this recipe,  I’ve used tinned caramel and added my own rock salt for a really nice, contrasting tang; you can of course make your own caramel too, but tinned caramel is sold in most large supermarkets costing £1.59 for one tub.  These are a great twist on the old caramel popcorn taste – so I’ve tied them in with the idea of a stay-in movie date!  Fancy giving them a go??

Ingredients (to make 12)

For the Sponge:

280g Golden Caster Sugar

240g Self Raising Flour

80g Soft Salted Butter

1 tsp Natural Vanilla Extract

240g Semi Skimmed Milk

2 Large Eggs

Pinch of Salt (optional)

Approximate 100g Tinned Caramel

For the Frosting:

500g Icing Sugar

140g Soft Salted Butter

Approx 35-40g Tinned Caramel

25ml Semi Skimmed Milk

Pinch of Salt

(Remaining Tinned Caramel for drizzling)

Method

Preheat an oven to 160 C (approximately 150 C for a fan) and line a 12-hole muffin tin with cases.

In a mixing bowl, using a food mixer, whisk the sugar, flour, pinch of salt and butter, until combined into a breadcrumb consistency.

Cupcakes CollageIn a separate bowl, mix the eggs, milk and vanilla extract and pour, slowly, into the dry mix.  Mix until combined and smooth.

Using a scoop or deep spoon, fill each cupcake case about 1 third full.  Then spoon about a teaspoon of the tinned caramel into each case, finishing by filling the cases with the rest of the cake mix.  The cases should be about 2/3 full.  Pop in the oven for 15-18 mins, remove when the cakes are golden brown and springy to touch.  Oh, and they pass the knife test! Leave to cool on a cooling rack.

To make the frosting, use the food mixer to beat the icing sugar and butter together until sandy-textured with no big lumps.  In a jug, mix the milk and tinned caramel and slowly add to the icing mixture, combining until the icing is creamy but can stand stiff in peaks.

Once the cakes have cooled, use a piping bag and medium nozzle to pipe the icing on each cake.  Using a smaller, writing nozzle, pour the remaining tinned caramel into a separate bag and drizzle lightly over each cake – don’t be too precious about this, perfection isn’t necessary!  Finish by sprinkling with a little salt (rock salt adds a wonderful crunch).

Serve in retro candystripe tubs with a choice of your all time favourite movies!!  Snuggle on the sofa and eat to your heart’s content!  This Frugal Valentines Day, it really is the little things!

Stay Peachy x