Life’s Too Short

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Is there anything nicer than coming home to freshly baked cookies after a stressful day?

Unfortunately, I have no recipe: it was a mix-and-match-and-hope-for-the-best one of Mark’s from various cookie recipes. Whatever it was, it worked.

Over the last few days, I’ve been thinking more and more that life is by far too short not to be doing what I want to be doing. My mother always used the phrase to justify not doing things like ironing. Non-iron shirts are much more sensible.

Me, I’m trying to use it as a spur to get on with making my vague plans and ideas become something a little more than just notes. It’s all very well to have dreams, but what’s the use of them if you never do anything about making them come true?

Life is simply too short not to enjoy it.

(Almost) According to Delia: Chocolate Chip Cookies

It’s been a while since I’ve had the opportunity to bake. To be fair, actually, making these cookies was Mark’s idea, and he did most of the work. He wanted biscuits, I found the recipe. We had to scavenge ingredients from the cupboard because he decided to bake at 10pm. I think he turned into the Cookie Monster. Oh, and he didn’t manage to make the 28 Delia suggests the recipe makes. Mark made a whole 6.

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Ingredients:

110g softened butter – we used just under 100g melted cacao butter

150g soft light brown sugar – we only had the dark

1 large egg, beaten

1 tsp vanilla essence

175g plain flour

1/2 tsp bicarb. of soda

75g chopped hazelnuts – we skipped these: none in the cupboards

100g chocolate chips, mixed or single variety your choice

How to:

Pre-heat the oven to 180C/Gas Mark 4.

Make your man read the recipe. You might want to too, just in case.

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Mark didn’t. He put everything bar the egg and melted butter in a bowl and then poured in the butter as I stirred. Then we beat in the egg.

You’re supposed to beat the butter and sugar, then add in the egg and vanilla essence, then fold in the flour and other ingredients.

However you choose to do it, then you put blobs of mix on your baking tray and flatten them slightly.

Bake for approx. 15 minutes until golden brown and feel firm in the centre when pressed lightly.

Testing these shortly after they were done, and before they were sufficiently cooled leads me to suspect it doesn’t matter if you follow Mark’s or Delia”s method of mixing ingredients. Most tasty, and definitely the sort of chewy cookies supermarket bakeries offer. Actually, very tasty with the still-melted chocolate chips in the middle.

Treacle Gingerbread

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These I *might* have slightly overdone. Only might, though…They’re the darker biscuits.

Ingredients:

350g plain flour

1tbsp ground ginger

1tsp bicarb. of soda

1tsp ground cinnamon

175g unsalted butter

150g demerara sugar

4tbsp treacle (or golden syrup, if you prefer)

How to make:

Gently melt the butter, sugar and treacle/syrup. When melted, sift in the flour, cinnamon, ginger and bicarb. Stir thoroughly until it forms a firm dough. Allow to cool and then knead into a ball and wrap with cling film and set in a fridge for about half an hour.

Preheat the oven to 180c/350F/GasMark 4. Choose a cookie-cutter shape you like, roll out the dough and cut away! Arrange on baking trays and continue cutting until you’ve used up all the dough. Bake for about 8-10 minutes (this is where I went wrong; I became distracted).

Allow to cool before decorating or eating.

To Relax :-)

Ah! The end of the week. A moment to rest and relax.

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And what better way than with a good hot chocolate topped with ice cream? I’d say when eaten with cookies, but the only ones I’ve made this week have been peanut butter ones, and I’m not a huge fan of peanuts…(the things one does for one’s partner!) I’ll let you have the recipe when I’ve adjusted it for non-peanut eaters…

I don’t often drink hot chocolate. I don’t normally like drinking milk (call it an eccentricity) but sometimes I indulge myself. I prefer to use cream (double, if possible) but that’s not a fridge essential. 

How do you relax at the end of the week?

(This is only so short because I’m behind in my NaNoWriMo word target for this week…)

Banana Strawberry Cookies

Apparently I’ve worked out the “sweet” things, instead of cheesey things. So it’s lots of bananas. 🙂 They make a good base for cakes and cookies. Anyway. I’m still trying to make the camera work (I ate all the flapjack, sorry! It was just so good with yogurt…I’ll just have to make some more late…Oh no, oh shame…) so photos may follow. They will do. Eventually.

So. You need an oven at 180C/350F/gas mark 4. A tray or two needs lining and/or greasing, as per normal.

  • Mash 3 medium, ripe bananas. Lots of potassium, so good for you :-P.
  • Beat in 1 medium egg.
  • While you’re doing that, melt 3.5oz/100g unsalted butter over a low heat. Once melted, pour in with the ‘nanas and mix. Add a drop or two of vanilla essence.
  • Hull and dice 5oz/150g fresh strawberries (I actually used 250g; doesn’t seem to have done anything adverse…). Stir into the mix.
  • Sieve 5oz/150g self-raising flour (or plain + baking soda) into the mix and stir well. Until doughy.
  • Drop spoonfuls onto the baking tray. They don’t seem to spread too much, but they’ll need their space. Bake for approx. 10-15 minutes.
  • Let them cool. Or not. Your choice. They should be a tad cakey. I expect if they’d been flatter they’d be more like the cookies you buy.

For alternatives: I reckon they’d be fantastic with little drops of chocolate in. Either really dark (like cacao nibs) or white. But these are good cookies 🙂 Enjoy!