Merry Christmas!!

I certainly hope Mr Clause was good to you all? He certainly was good to me sending a beautiful Kitchenaid food processor down my chimney! No more bashing biscuits with a rolling pin for me, no sir!!

Although santa was a very nice man this year, I feel he didn't do his research as he brought me a present I already have in my possession!

Yep, he brought me another copy of the wonderfully creative book Hello Cupcake! Whatever shall I do with my second copy I hear you ask, well dear reader, I thought I'd be as kind as the fat man himself and pass this treat directly to you!! Yes you, wherever in the world you may be!!

How do you enter? Well, read on!!

1. Comment on this post telling me what you got for Christmas. Yep, I'm nosy, what of it!
2. Tweet about this post and link back to my blog. Post another comment telling me you've done this.
3. Click that lovely little button over there *points* that says follow and again, post a comment and let me know!

That's 3, yes 3 ways you can win this brilliant book!! You have until the 31st of December to enter this one and the winner will be announced on Jan 2nd (new years day hangover you see).

Good luck my puddings!

All I Want for Christmas

When a company asked me to a great foodie gift on a budget I knew exactly what to choose! I've been eyeing this beautiful Le Creuset Heart Casserole for months and seeing as it's been reduced to a mere £20 it's perfect for those shopping on a budget.

I'm in love, total love! I simply can't wait to cook up my first casserole!And please visit VoucherCodes, they can help you save on cookware with many different voucher codes, including Amazon :D

MSC Christmas!

Is there anything better than the smell of gingerbread at Christmas? No, that's the answer, no there isn't! That aromatic fug that fills every room with festive delight leaves me with nothing but joy in my heart! With this in mind I'd like to thank Kayte over at Grandma's Kitchen for choosing these amazing gingerbread cupcakes for this months Martha Stewarts Cupcake Club.

I made these cupcakes for an event a friend and I were asked to hold a stall at so unfortunately I didn't get to try any of these adorable treats. Saying that, they were some of the first to sell out and everyone that walked by commented on how sweet they were. I'll definitely be making these ones again!!

Oh Nigella

One thing I love about TV in December is all the celebrity chefs Christmas specials. Some days I can hardly drag myself off the sofa, as long as I have a steaming mug of tea, a cat on my lap and the Sky remote, I'm a happy wookie. One of my very favorites is Nigella's Christmas, I mean, who doesn't love Nigella?! I watched them last year, I'm watching this year and will probably watch the very same series next year too :) I just can't get enough.

One thing I loved about Nigella's Christmas was these Christmas Chocolate Cookies. I adore the homemade style of these biscuits, how the icing dribbles any which way it pleases taking the festive sprinkles with it. Just perfect with your morning cup of tea or just something to keep you going while braving those dreaded Christmas crowds.

Nigella's Christmas Chocolate Cookies

250g unsalted butter softened
150g caster sugar
40g cocoa powder
300g plain flour
1/2 tsp bicarb
1 tsp baking powder

For the topping:
2 big tbsp cocoa powder
175g icing sugar
60ml boiling water
1 tsp vanilla extract
Christmas sprinkles

Preheat the oven to 170C and line a baking sheet with baking paper.

Cream the butter and sugar together till light and fluffy. Beat in cocoa powder, once mixed in add the flour with the bicarb and baking powder and mix until combined.

Once dough is formed pinch off walnut sized lumps and roll into balls. Place them upon the prepared baking tray spacing them well apart.

Bake them for 15 minutes, the biscuits should look dry and slightly cracked on top. Place cookies onto a wire rack with some newspaper underneath to catch any drips from the topping.

To make the topping place all the ingredients in a pan and place over a low heat, whisking till everything is combined and smooth.

When the biscuits are cool drizzle each one with a spoonful of the topping giving them a delicious uneven, dribble look. After you've topped 6 of the cookies scatter with Christmas sprinkles, if you try to top them all before sprinkling you'll find the cocoa 'glue' will have dried and the sprinkles won't stick.

Primrose Cupcakes

Sorry guys, no SMS yet again! I can't abide coffee or coffee flavoured things (with the exception of coffee revels which are divine) so this weeks selection of chocolate espresso cheesecake just didn't rock my world. I'm sure the coffee lovers found this one to die for so as usual check out their blogs for unbiased testimonies.

Instead I fancied something a bit sunnier and much lighter than a cheesecake so I decided to test out the lemon cupcake recipe from the Primrose Bakery Cookbook. I've used this book quite a few times and I just can't decided whether I prefer it to the much loved Hummingbird book so I pit it against one of my favorite HBB recipes, a simple lemon cupcake.

I have to admit, I much prefer the Hummingbird cupcake, they just weren't lemony enough for my tastes but the frosting from Primrose was far superior. Mainly because I didn't have to make a double batch to ice my cakes. Put them together and I think I have a winner! Lovely!

Snow Flecked Brownies

It's the first of December, my advent calender has been opened and eaten and a morning browse through my Google reader reminded me that it was also the day for the delightful Sweet and Simple Bakes to be posted. This was another Sweet and Simple bake I just couldn't bear to miss, snow flecked brownies from the one and only Nigella Lawson. I've made these decedent treats many times before but I'm always looking for an excuse to bake up a fresh batch!

I love how they look with a delicate dusting of icing sugar settled upon the crispy crust, doesn't it just look like Christmas?

Check out the Sweet and Simple Bakes homepage from the 2nd December for everyone elses brownies.
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