Day 12: The Christmas Eve Wrap-Up (12DaysofBlogmas)

It’s Christmas Eve, the day before the day we’ve all been waiting for, and, wow, has it been a crazy week or what!

So, my morning was spent helping out my local dogs trust, and then, I came home, got in to my pajamas (at like 10.40am) and watched ‘The Santa Clause’, one of those classic films you just can’t miss out on! It’s one of those that really warms your heart, and is definitely one of my favourites!

However, following that, instead of watching HP & The Chambers of Secrets like I wanted to, the brother had to be picked up from work; and it was the last time I could get out to the shop before they all closed! The worst thing was, that it meant I had to get out of my pajamas!

Anyway, at the shop, a last minute present was bought, a pack of batteries for brothers ”mouse trap” present was bought and some chocolate, because, why not! I also got some baking paper, which, after yesterdays fiasco with the poor ‘thing’ I tried to create, it’s most certainly needed!

Back home, (and back in my pajamas) the presents were wrapped and put under the tree, and the baking commenced! Using the big old cook book, I created something that resembles a chocolate yule log!

A lot of breakages happened, but, with enough cream, and chocolate icing – the bit where it sort of broke in to three pieces, was fixed – and it actually came out looking like a log fo a tree!! A pale one, but still a log! It might not look completely right, but everything tasted good on it’s own, so I’m sure, that when it’s cut in to tomorrow, it’ll taste amazing!

Here’s hoping anyway.

I may have put a little bit too much chocolate in to it…

It’s Christmas, you can never have enough chocolate, right?

But, anyhow, the presents are done, the food that needs to be defrosted is being defrosted, the cheesecake set beautifully! And, I spent the day in my pajamas watching movies!

Anyway, the last twelve days of this Blogmas have been crazy! I had most of it planned out, but, the last few days got rough and posts got rambly! I guess that’s just Christmas for you though, right?

I had more plans and more blog posts for this whole thing, but, nothing really went to plan, and I guess, if anything, there’s still next year, isn’t it!

If anything, its been fun! I’ve enjoyed making myself write a little everyday, if anything, it proved to myself that I could do it!

Although, my book has suffered these last few weeks! I’ve worked on it in some way a little everyday, and I’ve even wrote two short stories about it! One, I posted on here for Day 3 of Blogmas, when Ryan met Rudolph, and another – that’s still in my drafts – and concerns Url and his want to runaway to bard school, both of which were inspired by my 12 Days Of Promptmas prompts! Which I think have been the funnest to do! It’s made some of these blogmas posts so much easier to do!

It’s also let me get to know my characters even more than I thought I could, and I think, if anything, it’s kept my mind on them when the reality of Christmas is trying to take me away from it!


Today Promptmas (and the last one) is:

My characters would most probably resent the fact that they had to invite me in the first place! I’m not nice to any of them, and they’d probably try to poison me with wine or something like that!

But, say I did survive the whole initial thing. I would see Derrick, Tobin and Rhys (who are the least likely to poison me with turkey, thank god) cooking the food, Mel would probably be trying to help, but most likely, she’d just be sat there scoughing her face with chocolate!

As for presents, apart from a knife in the back (or the front, depending on the character), I might get some that don’t include trying to kill me!

Lauryn – A story she’s written

Aran – A drawing of some animal

Harry – The ‘dagger’. (I’m sorry Harry, it’s not real if that makes you feel better, it’s just a story, you’re not real either)

Albert – A book, probably a memoir cause he likes them

Mel – A fruit bar, because it’s the only thing she’ll give up

Jerry – A cloak, a real nice, fine one as well, because he likes them little luxuries

Rhys – He thinks himself a story-teller, so I guess, he’d really enjoy telling me a story. (Whether this story includes my death is another post for another day)


And, just for the sake of it, here are the eleven other Promptmas prompts!


To end this off, I hope your all ready for Christmas, and that the rest of the eve is spent drinking hot chocolate, eating food and watching movies! Or, if it’s nice and hot where you live, that you’re sitting by some pool with a beer or a coke!

I’m gonna end mine with the Anchorman! The Legend of Ron Burgandy!

Until next time,

Just keep writing,

Jade x

The Perfect Cookie for the Sitter-Downers (PEANUT BUTTER COOKIE RECIPE)

I’m not a big lover of peanut butter, but these cookies are absolutely amazing! 

I found the recipe when wanting cookies, but not having any butter or oil! They just turned out to also be great for the sit-downers of the world! With some low fat peanut butter, they are considered Skinny Cookies.

Take away the chocolate – uhm – and they’d be even ‘skinnier cookies’, but the chocolate is obviously the best thing!

What you need is as follows:

  • 200g golden caster sugar/soft brown sugar/demerara sugar (used all, taste good)
  • 200g peanut butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 100g flour
  • 100g oats
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp baking powder/soda
  • 125g chocolate (chopped, drops, whatever)
  • Or raisins or whatever else you want instead of the chocolate! 

Firstly, preheat your oven to gas mark 4/180C.

Then, mix your sugar and peanut butter! Its best to do this with a blender or electric whisk, but if your not worried about a bit of graft, you can mix it yourself, just make sure its blended well! 

Now, add in your two eggs one at a time and it should turn nice and smooth! Add in your vanilla essence at this point and mix it in well!

Now, prepare your dry ingredients – flour, oats, baking powder and cinnamon and mix the two together! It get’s really stiff at this point so it’s probably best if you add in the chocolate at the same time as all your other dry ingredients so the mixing of it is a little easier! I didn’t, but just used my hands to knead the chocolate in at the end and it turned out the same!

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This is when you make sure you take a little taste to make sure it’s up to standard before you put in on a baking tray and in to the oven. Or just eat it all raw… Because everyone does that right?

If you still want to bake it, line a baking tray and scoop up little balls (I used a ice cream scoop) and push them down in to cookie shapes.

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Now, put them in the oven for 15 minutes and leave them to cool for about 15 minutes, turning them over to let the underside air out after ten.

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Use a spatula or cake slice to slide them off the baking paper once they’ve cooled a bit and transfer to a wire rack.

Lastly, make sure your cat(or dog, or hamster) doesn’t try to eat them and eat them yourselves!

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They taste amazing and are perfect for the office workers, the writers, the editors, the readers and just about everyone really!

Remember guys!

Just keep writing,  with cookies at your side!

Failing at Chocolate Covered Shortbread…

I love to bake, I really, really do, but often times, the most simplest of recipes can illude me.

This time. It was shortbread.

It has three ingredients:

  • 4oz (softened) butter
  • 2oz caster sugar
  • 6oz flour

So, all you need to do is mix it together well and knead in to a dough. Then roll it out, probably to a 1cm thickness and cut it in to shapes. Then, throw it in to a pre-heated oven at gas mark 5/190° for about 15 to 18 minutes. Keep checking, once its a nice browned colour, take it out and cool it!

It sounds so simple, but the first time I put all the ingredients together, I used butter from the fridge because the recipe said nothing about it needing to be softened.

Lets just say that it didn’t work and it all got thrown in the recycling bin.

Next, I melted the 4 oz butter in the microwave and got a fluffier consistency when I mixed it with my sugar. Great!

Then I added in the flour. It all went well, but when I needed to knead it, it all fell apart in my hands. So, instead of giving up, I melted another oz of butter and folded it in as best I could.

Once the dough was done, all I had to do is roll it out  and cut them in to shapes. Most people do fingers, but I just used a cookie cutter to make some circles! I have no patience when it comes to making it all one level, and mine were too thin, so the baking times were completely off!

All I had to then is poke them with holes using a fork and put them on a tray backed with some baking paper!

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I tried to make a man but as you can see, the dough was too dry and he died…

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My first batch went in for 18 minutes and came out like this. I added a sprinkle of sugar to try and save them, but you can see the result…

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It’s probably because they weren’t 1 cm thick, and so baking times were completely off, but hey how, they still tasted nice, just slightly more crunchy.

My next batch went in for 15 minutes and came out a better colour. The first batch is in the background for reference.

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Also, as is the norm in my house, I always have a little ‘taste tester’ by my feet. Sometimes there’s also a cat, and a shihtzu, if I’m making a chicken curry, but Caden is forever there, making sure to clean up if I drop something.

Next, to help me save them the best I could, I melted some chocolate and covered them in it. I’m honestly a person who thinks chocolate can save most things!

The process is the same as my wagon wheel chocolate covering, and more pictures of that can be found on this post.

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Once their covered, put them in the fridge for the chocolate to set!

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They may be a bit more crunchier than a normal shortbread biscuit, but they still taste just as good!

Double Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

Saturday treats!

These cookies are definitely for the people out there that love chocolate!

For this recipe, your going to need:20170407_191030-1

  • 170g of milk chocolate
  • 130g of dark chocolate (like the one pictured, but comes in different flavours (mint, orange, etc.)
  • 50g butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 50g cocoa powder
  • 50g plain flour
  • 1tsp baking powder

Pre-heat the oven to 160°/Gas mark 3 before you start.

So to begin, melt the milk chocolate and butter together in the microwave or over the hob. Then, beat in your eggs one at a time before adding in your sugar and mixing it all together. Next, sift in your dry ingredients (flour, cocoa, baking powder) gradually, folding it all in as you go.

Chop your dark chocolate up and fold it in to your mixture.

Now, line a tray with baking paper and using a scoop – an icecream scoop works perfect for this – place the mixture on to the baking sheet and cook in the oven for 18 minutes


Let them cool on a wire rack for about fifteen minutes before carefully peeling them off the baking paper with a spatula, cake slice or something flattish and lie them upside down on the cooling rack for a little longer.

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You can eat these now, store them in an air-tight container or freeze them!

 

Homemade Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

These are my well-loved Millies style cookies! They taste amazing and is one of the recipes that motivated me to bake more.

For this recipe, your gonna need the following:

  • 125g  softened butter
  • 100g soft brown sugar
  • 125g caster sugar
  • 1 egg
  •  1/2 tsp salt
  • 225g self raising flour
  • 200g chocolate
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

So, to begin, combine your sugars and your butter until its fluffy, and then add in your egg and vanilla extract!

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Next, add in your salt and flour and fold it all in;

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Now, the best bit! Chop up your chocolate in to peices or use chocolate chips and combine it with your mixture.

I used half of the mixture with cadbury chocolate and half of it with terry chocolate orange.

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Now, wrap the mixture in some clingfilm, separating it in to two and put it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. The mixture is quite wet so it will be messy;

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Once chilled, use a good amount of flour as a board and make little clumps of cookie dough and put it on to a tray with some baking paper.

I got about 22 cookies out of the dough, but it depends how big or small you want them to be.

The below picture, I packed the tray a bit tight, but they’ll be easy to cut apart when it’s cooked. It gives them a real homemade look, but if you prefer the rounded shapes, space them out a bit more.

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Now, pre-heat your oven to gas mark 4/180° and leave them in for 15 to 20 minutes, making sure to check them over.

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Let them cool on the rack with the baking paper below it for a couple minutes as taking them off too soon might end up with you losing half a cookie.

Once its cooled a little, use a spatula or cake slice or something else flat to lift the cookie from the paper and place it back on the rack. I find its best if they are put on upside down so the bottom can set more.

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Once their cooled, you can store them in an airtight container and they can last for over a week (If you don’t eat them all by the next day like I do).

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Homemade Jammie Dodger Recipe

These are the best!

You will need:

  • 150g Icing Sugar
  • 225g Softened Butter
  • 2 Eggs
  • 300g Flour
  • Pot of jam! (I used strawberry, but its up to you)

Firstly, cream the icing sugar and butter together before adding in the eggs one at a time.

Next, fold in the flour a bit at a time and then separate the dough in to two.

Wrap them up with clingfilm and put them in the fridge for about two hours.

Right, next, preheat the oven to gas mark 5/190.

Roll out your dough to a £1 thickness and then using a cookie cutter, cut out your biscuits! Now, if you want to, take half and cut out a smaller hole in the middle. I used a little flower fondant tool!

Place baking paper on a tray and lay down your biscuits. Bake them in the oven for 12 minutes and then cool them on a wire rack. One of mine was too close to the flame and burnt a bit!

Once cooled, get your jam and sandwich it between two biscuits! Its up to you how much you want to put between them! They taste amazing!

You can make them as big or as small as you want and as long as you keep to the £1 thickness, the baking time shouldn’t change.

Homemade Super Chocolate Brownies Recipe

I love chocolate! So brownies are one of my favorite things!

This is a recipe tried and perfected:

  • 200g Melted Milk Chocolate
  • 100g  Melted Butter
  • 250g Caster sugar
  • 4 Eggs
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 60g Plain flour
  • 60g Cocoa powder

Firstly, mix the melted chocolate and butter together and then add in the caster sugar and your four eggs, mixing well. This should be followed by the vanilla essence, and then the folding in of your flour and cocoa powder. You should end up with a lovely liquidly mixture. Next, line an 8 inch baking tray with bake paper and pour the mixture in! Bake in a pre-heated oven at 180° for 25 minutes.

 Leave it to cool and slice them in to pieces! (Or just eat as one huge brownie!)

You can decorate with buttercream or eat warm with ice cream.

Ours were decorated for a bake sale with chocolate buttercream and mini marshmallows!

These are beautiful, I hope you enjoy and love them as much as I do!

Terry Chocolate Orange No-Bake Cheesecake Recipe!

I always thought that my mum didn’t like cheese cake because she didn’t like cream cheese! Turns out she’s never even tried it, so we decided to make our own!

Your ingredients are as follows!

  • 50g melted butter,
  • 14 crushed digestive biscuits,
  • 200g soft cream cheese,
  • 280ml double cream (you can use whipped but I prefer double),
  • 2tsp vanilla extract,
  • 150g of melted Terry Chocolate Orange (Or any chocolate you like),
  • Extra chocolate peices to decorate!

So first, combine your butter and digestive biscuits! Making sure its well mixed before adding it to your cake tin and patting it down! (I used a potatoe masher).

For this recipe, its best to have a cake tin in which the bottom comes out for easier cutting!

Freeze this for thirty minutes!

Next, pour your cream in to a bowl and the two tea spoons of vanilla extract before whipping it in to a peak! Then fold in your cream cheese and melted chocolate (make sure its cooled a bit or the cream may curdle). Now, add your cream mixture to the top of the biscuit base and decorate how you want.

Leave it in the fridge for 2-3 hours until it sets (I made mine quite late and left it in the fridge overnight).

Take it out of the fridge and cut!

This was my mums first delve in to the Cheesecake world and she thoroughly enjoyed it!

Homemade Wagon Wheel Recipe

After buying a packet of wagon wheels from B&M one day, only then realising that I hadn’t had one for years, I couldn’t believe how small they’d got! (Either that or my hands had got bigger).

My mum was on a baking spree at the time so I gave her the challenge of making one or too and she actually came up with a recipe!

The biscuit used for these is a butter biscuit. The ingredients you need for this is:

  • 250g Butter
  • 200g Caster sugar
  • 1 egg and 1 egg yolk
  • 375g Plain flour

For the middle, you’ll need a bag of marshmallows and to cover them, about 400g of chocolate! You can use any sort of chocolate you want for this, Cadburys is extra nice, but some cheap milk chocolate gives you the proper taste of a wagon wheel.

Mix the butter, caster and eggs together, followed by folding in the flour to create a smooth paste. Next, you have to wrap it in some clingfilm and chill it for a good hour in the fridge (This is the worst part!).

 Next, roll out the dough, with the use of some flour and rolling pin,  so it is of one pound coin thickness and cut out circles (or frankly any shape you like), ensuring you have a equal number.

Next, put the circles on to baking trays and bake for twelve to fifteen minutes at 170°. They should be a lovely golden to dark brown color when they come out.

Once out of the oven, the biscuits should be left to cool and then marshmallows placed on half of them (you can use any color of flavored marshmallow you want for this!).

These will go back in to the oven for about five minutes so that the marshmallows melt.

Once out, the other half of your biscuits can be placed on top, which will give you some naked wagon wheels!

Next, heat up some chocolate, either in the microwave or on the stove (time will vary depending on what chocolate you choose). Its always best to use a glass bowl whilst melting the chocolate, it will ensure that the chocolate doesn’t set too quickly and you have time to cover all of your wagon wheels!

Once melted, I just dropped the first of my naked wagon wheels in and using a spoon, covered it in chocolate!

I used a cake slice to pick up my wagon wheel from the bowl, but you can easily use a fork or spatula if you have one of those handy!  

Let the chocolate drip for a moment so there is not a lot of excess! Next, put the wagon wheel down on some baking paper and leave it to set in the fridge.

 They taste amazing and I promise, store bought wagon wheels will never compare! To keep them nice and fresh, store them in an air tight container!

That’s a Samsung Galaxy S4 (5′) and a homemade wagon wheel with pink marshmallow inside!

You can literally make them any size or shape you want, but the butter biscuit can be quite crumbly so make sure its not to elaborate!

Cookie Muffin Recipe

I saw this recipe online (Tasty) which showed a cookie style muffin with kinder chocolate oozing out the center of it!

I don’t have a love for kinder chocolate, so I swapped it for ‘Yorkie’ chunks and ‘Terry Chocolate Orange’ slices.

The recipe needs:

  • 125g Soft Butter
  • 150g Soft Brown Sugar
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 200g Plain Flour

Mix all this together until you get a smooth consistency. 

My mixture was still a bet wet after I’d mixed it all, so I wrapped it in the cling film and chilled it in the fridge for half hour.

 Once chilled, my mixture still felt a tad wet but with the use of flour, I rolled out the mixture and cut out six circles. I put them in the bottom of the cupcake tin so they were like small bowls and to ensure they didn’t stick, I sprinkled flour in the bottom of the tins.

Next, I used two chunks of Yorkie chocolate and one and a half slices of Terry chocolate orange to fill three of each. Once baked, I realised that I could have put slightly more chocolate in the Terry chocolate orange one, but it is up to personal preference! Lastly, I cut out another six circles and layered them on the top, as follows:

 You could probably get another out of the leftover dough, but raw cookie dough is a lovely snack in itself!

They should then go in to a pre-heated oven at 180° for 15 minutes. Once cooked, they should easily pop out of the tins, thanks to the flour that was sprinkled earlier.

 You should end up with a cookie like muffin with a lovely gooey chocolaty center!

You can enjoy these warm or cooled down. You could probably use a range of different chocolate aswell, such as cadburys, milky bar or milkyway stars! Experiment with it!