Beer and Bacon Cookies

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Fathers Day is right around the corner, the shops are full of novelty socks and hilarious mugs sporting Darth Vader's face. If, like me, it makes your skin crawl to purchase such throwaway tat, then I've got you covered with a bad ass way to show your beloved dad the appreciation he deserves.  Take a simple chocolate chip cookie and pack it full of candied bacon and beer.  

Forget about the usual boring pair of socks, treat your dad to these beer and bacon cookies this Fathers Day.

It might sound like a bit of a strange combination, but trust me, these cookies are just amazing.  The beer keeps the bite light and chewy while the bacon adds the most delicious salty kick you've ever tasted.  I must have munched my way through a good four cookies before they even had a chance to cool down.

Forget about the usual boring pair of socks, treat your dad to these beer and bacon cookies this Fathers Day.

Forget about the usual boring pair of socks, treat your dad to these beer and bacon cookies this Fathers Day.

You might be tempted to skip the overnight chilling, but don't.  These cookies really benefit from that time in the fridge.  Without their little night time chiller session your cookies will come out mega flat and crispy. Not what you want at all. Keep em chewy and chill that dough.  Don't forget, as usual the dough can be frozen and stored in your freezer for 6 months. Freezer cookies are everyone's best friend.

Forget about the usual boring pair of socks, treat your dad to these beer and bacon cookies this Fathers Day.

Forget about the usual boring pair of socks, treat your dad to these beer and bacon cookies this Fathers Day.

Beer and Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies
(Recipe slightly adapted from Donal Skehan)


Ingredients
  • For the candied bacon :
  • 250g smoked, streaky bacon
  • 4tbsp light brown sugar

  • For the cookie dough :
  • 275g light brown sugar
  • 225g caster sugar
  • 250g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 large, free range eggs
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 4tbsp dark stout, I used a coffee porter
  • 475g plain flour
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 300g dark chocolate, chopped
  • sea salt for sprinkling
Cooking Directions
  1. To make the candied bacon, preheat your oven to 200°C and line a baking tray with parchment paper. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of brown sugar. Lay the smokey bacon on top and cover with the remaining brown sugar. Place in the oven for 20 minutess. Allow to cool completely and, slice into 2cm pieces and set aside.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer beat the sugars and butter until light and pale. Break in the eggs one at a time, mixing between additions and pausing to scrape down the sides with a spatula. Mix in the vanilla extract and stout. Add the flour and baking powder and mix until just combined, mix through the chocolate chunks and bacon pieces. Bring the dough together and split into two chunks. Place each half on a sheet of cling film, roll up and form into a thick sausage shape, sealing the ends.
  3. Pop your sausages into the fridge and allow to chill overnight. The following day, take the dough out of the fridge, unwrap and slice each sausage into eight pieces. Place the slices onto a lined baking sheet, allowing room for spreading and sprinkle each cookie with a little sea salt.
  4. Preheat the oven to 180°C and bake for 20 minutes or until they are golden brown on the edges and ever so slightly pale in the centre. Allow to cool slightly before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
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Caramac Cupcakes

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As a child of the 80's I have eaten more than my fair share of Caramac bars.  The caramelised white chocolate candy was a bit of a sweetheart during the decade and you could find the iconic red and yellow packaged bars on most sweetshop shelves. Fast forward to 2017 and the beloved Caramac is almost unheard of. A retro treat reserved for people over the age of 30. Well guys, I'm here to tell you it's flipping delicious and you should hightail it to your local supermarket and treat yo'self to this sweet and caramelly delight.

A retro treat turned cupcake, Caramac's have never tasted so good.

As you've probably noticed by now, I enjoy transforming my favourite flavours into cute cupcakes, so of course Caramacs were always going to get the same treatment.  I've used a simple vanilla cupcake as the base with a simple switch, light brown sugar for caster.  This gives the most subtle caramel flavour, perfect when paired with the velvety Caramac frosting.

A retro treat turned cupcake, Caramac's have never tasted so good.

If you decide to give these, or any other of my recipes a whirl be sure to tag me in any photos you post. I love to see what you guys whip up.  Find me at Instagram Katie_Petlamb, Facebook and Twitter.  

A retro treat turned cupcake, Caramac's have never tasted so good.


Caramac Cupcakes

Ingredients:
  • 175g (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 175g (3/4 cup) light brown sugar
  • 3 large, free range eggs
  • 175g (1.5 cups) self raising flour
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 50ml whole milk
For the frosting:
  • 125g (1/2cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 300g (2 1/3cups) icing sugar
  • 100g Caramac chocolate
  • 1tbsp whole milk (if needed)
  • Caramac buttons to decorate
Cooking Directions:
  1. Heat your oven to 170C and line a 12 hole cupcake tray with liners. Set aside.
  2. The the bowl of an electric mixer whip the butter and sugar together till light and creamy, around 3-5 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time mixing between each addition. Add half the flour and mix, add the milk followed by the rest of the flour and the baking powder. Mix till combined the mix in the vanilla extract.
  3. Using an ice cream scoop fill each cupcake liner to 2/3 full and bake for 20 minutes until risen and springy when touched. Allow to cool in the tin for 5 minutes before removing to a baking rack to finish cooling.
  4. To make the frosting first melt the Caramac chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan 1/4 full of simmering water. Set aside. Mix the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer until pale and soft. Add the icing sugar and the melted Caramac. Turn the mixer on low and gradually increase the speed. Whip for 5 minutes, if the frosting looks too stiff add a splash of milk until you reach a nice piping consistency.
  5. Once the cupcakes have cooled fill a piping bag, fitted with an open star nozzle, with the Caramac frosting and pipe a cute swirl on each cake. Top with Caramac buttons or sections of the Caramac bar.
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Stove Top Vegetarian Lasagna

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I'm always on the search for a good, simple weeknight meal that can be knocked up in less than no time. This Stove Top Vegetarian Lasagna certainly falls into that category, you'll never believe how easy it is to make.  You'll have this piping hot dish on the table in less than 40 minutes and feel super smug at the mountains of veg hidden within the folds of pasta.  The best thing about this dish, is it's cooked entirely on the hob.  No baking for hours on end, just 30 minutes on the gas burner and you're good to go. What a treat!

A fantastic, quick midweek meal made without even switching on an oven.

I absolutely love making this lasagna, it's such an undemanding dish and can be customised with whatever veg you have lying around.  My favourites are mushroom, peppers, courgettes and aubegine. 

A fantastic, quick midweek meal made without even switching on an oven.

If, like me, you have a bit of a weakness for crispy cheese, you can pop the lasagna under the grill for a few minutes before serving but it's completely up to yourself. There's no need to turn the oven on at all. Perfect for when the nights get warmer and the thought of switching on the oven fills you with dread.

A fantastic, quick midweek meal made without even switching on an oven.


Stove Top Vegetarian Lasagna
(Recipe addapted from Two Peas and their Pod)


Ingredients
  • 1tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 courgette, chopped
  • 250g mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 aubergine, chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2tsp dried basil
  • 1/2tsp oregano
  • 5 lasagna sheets
  • 2 tins of chopped tomatoes with herbs
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 125g ricotta cheese
  • 150g mozzarella
  • 25g Parmesan, grated
Cooking Directions
  1. In a large casserole dish with a lid, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onion, pepper, courgette, mushrooms and aubergine, and cook for 10 minutes or until the vegetables are just tender, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic, dried basil, dried oregano, salt and pepper.
  2. Snap the lasagna sheets into large pieces and fit them into the casserole dish, overlapping and piling them up a bit. Pour tomatoes over the pasta sheets making sure all the pasta is covered with the sauce. Reduce the heat to medium and cover the dish with a lid. Cook for 25 minutes.
  3. Remove the lid and dot ricotta cheese around the dish, cover with torn chunks of mozzarella and replace the lid and cook for a further 5 minutes until the cheese has melted. If you like a crispy top pop the dish under a preheated grill for 5 minutes until the cheese is bubbling and delicious. Serve piping hot with grated Parmesan cheese.
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Double Chocolate Banana Bread

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Banana bread is one of life's great pleasures. I love everything about this simple little loaf cake, the intoxicating fug it creates while baking is enough to make me weak at the knees.  I'm guilty of buying bananas with the sole purpose of allowing them to go black and gooey, just so I can mash em up and bake them into my absolute favorite cake. There's a reason we rarely serve up a banana bread in Pet Lamb, it's because I'll eat it all. No lie!

Double Chocolate Banana Bread, the best way to use up over ripe bananas.

There are so many versions of this cake all over the internet, it's amazing how versatile banana bread can be. This double chocolate version is so totally indulgent and rich that I only try to bake it on special occasions, I seriously have no control when it comes to this baby. 

Double Chocolate Banana Bread, the best way to use up over ripe bananas.

This particular loaf was whipped up so I could have an extra naughty birthday breakfast of dippy eggs followed by a slab of double chocolate banana bread, heated up in the oven of course.  Get that chocolate all nice and melty, it's no fun unless you get it all over your chops.  The perfect fuel for a busy day.

If you're a banana bread addict like me, check out my other favorite incarnation Hazelnut Chocolate Chip Banana Bread. It's a more sophisticated take on this loaf but equally as delicious!

Double Chocolate Banana Bread, the best way to use up over ripe bananas.



Double Chocolate Banana Bread

Ingredients
  • 50g (1/4cup) Butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 60ml (1/4cup) Sunflower oil
  • 3 Over ripe bananas, mashed with a fork
  • 150g (3/4cup) Light brown sugar
  • 1 Large, free range egg
  • 1tsp Vanilla extract
  • 125g (1cup) Self raising flour
  • 60g (1/2cup) Cocoa powder
  • 1tsp Baking powder
  • 1/2tsp Salt
  • 150g (1cup) Chocolate Chips
Cooking Directions
  1. Preheat your oven to 175C and grease a loaf tin and line with baking parchment.
  2. In a large bowl mix together your mashed bananas, melted butter, oil, sugar, egg and vanilla extract until combined. Sift your flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt over the wet ingredients and stir until just combined. Stir through 3/4 of the chocolate chips and pour the batter into the prepared tin. Sprinkle over the remaining chocolate chips and bake for 60 minutes until a skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out mostly clean. Remember there are chocolate chips in there so you may have to test the cake in a few places to ensure you're not just hitting melted chocolate.
  3. Allow to cool in the pan for 20 minutes before removing from the tin and placing on a wire rack to finish cooling. Slice while still warm and sticky, enjoy and try not to eat the whole thing.
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Nutella Swirl Cookies

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A few weeks ago I was browsing the cookbook section of my local bookstore, something I do pretty damn often if I'm honest.  Normally I'll browse, fall in love with a book before dragging myself away, remembering I have a library of cookbooks at home sat begging to be used.  This time I caved, I'm a little embarrased to admit that the book that broke me was the baking book of world famous vlogger Tanya Burr, Tanya Bakes.  I felt like a thirteen year old girl handing it over to the casheer but I have to admit, some of those recipes are pretty amazing, and the one that really got my heart rate going was for these Salted Nutella Cookies. 

These giant salted nutella cookies from Tanya Bakes are the king of cookies.  Give them a try and see for yourself.

Let me start off by saying that these cookies are insane! Not only are they swirled with the godly nectar that is Nutella, but they're bloody giant.  I'm not kidding, these bad boys are two handers. In my eyes, that is never a bad thing.

The thing I love most about these cookies, more than the lashings of Nutella, is the fact the dough doesn't need to be chilled before baking.  That means you can have freshly baked cookies in he timne it takes to boil your kettle.  OK, I may be over exagerating there but you get the jyst, they're fast!

These giant salted nutella cookies from Tanya Bakes are the king of cookies.  Give them a try and see for yourself.



Salted Nutella Cookies


Ingredients
  • 200g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 300g soft brown sugar
  • 1 large, free range egg
  • 325g self raising flour
  • 200g Nutella
  • 1tbsp flaked sea salt
Cooking Directions
  1. Preheat your oven to 180°c and line 3 baking trays with baking parchment.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy
  3. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the egg, mixing till combined. Add the flour and salt and mix into a crumbly dough.
  4. Marble the Nutella through the dough using a metal spoon and roll the mixture into 10 large balls and flatten slightly with your hands. Place the balls of dough on the baking trays leaving space for the cookies to spread. Sprinkle each cookeswith a little extra sea salt and bake for 13 minutes until set around the edges.
  5. Allow to cool on the tray for 10 minutes before transfering to a wire rack to finish cooling. Or eat them warm with icecream if you know what's good for you.
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