Awesome recipes: Oreo Brownies

As I mentioned last week I had a bit of a baking session on Wednesday when I discovered a recipe for Oreo Brownies, they sounded so good to be true I really had to give them a whirl. For any of those interested, below is the recipe. It’s a recipe from Lorraine Pascal’s Baking Made Easy recipe book, which is fast becoming one of my favourites. I can honestly say that these are not only super easy to make, but they also taste absolutely scrumptious. I was initially concerned that the brownies were too sloppy once they came out of the oven, but after popping them in the fridge overnight they were a lot more stable and more brownie-like. It’s not surprising they were quite squidgy as you don’t add massive amounts of flour to the mixture, so it is quite runny when you pop it in the tin.

You will need:

  • 165g butter
  • 200g dark chocolate – finely chopped
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 165g soft light brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 154g Oreo biscuits – broken into quarters

And all you do is:

  • Melt the butter and chocolate together
  • Whisk the eggs, egg yolks and vanilla essence in a large bowl until they are light and fluffy
  • Add the sugar a bit at a time, whisking after each addition (make sure you pour the sugar round the side of the bowl so as not to knock out the air you’ve whisked in)
  • Once the mixture has stiffened pour in the chocolate mixture (pour round the sides again)
  • Next add the flour, cocoa powder and a third of the Oreos and stir until combined
  • Pour into a greased and lined tin (21cm square)
  • Sprinkle the rest of the Oreos over the top and press them into the mixture slightly
  • Bake at 180⁰C for 25-30 minutes until the middle is gooey.
  • Leave to cool in the tin before removing, cutting up and scoffing them all!

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See I told you they were simple to make and to be honest the very small effort is totally worth it as they are scrumptious, with just the perfect brownie texture – I promise you’ll love them! Let me know if you make them, I’d love to hear how they turned out!

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Shenanigans in Leeds and being back at work!

This week I’ve…

  • Somehow managed to survive five days of work and man was it HARD. Eurgh there’s a reason people bring sweets back from holidays, you need something to keep you going when you’re stuck in the office for hours and not sat on a beach! Thankfully I made it through the work week, due to lovely people and lovely coffee.
  • Not run at all, oops. I kept finding excuses to go for a long walk instead of a decent run. Oops, but the thought was there – hopefully that means next week I’ll be better…
  • Finally finished watching The West Wing with my friends. It’s taken us eighteen months but we’ve finally done it, we’ve got through seven series’ of epic episodes. Thankfully I still love it as much as I ever did and I can’t wait to start watching it again.
  • Had some really productive and useful work meetings – I’m rather excited about the next few months if the things we’re planning come to fruition!
  • Eaten lots of Pringles and had a lot of biscuits – sometimes you have to embrace it, or at least that’s been my plan this week!
  • wished so many times that I was still on a beach or in the middle of nowhere, seriously Wales seems so long ago.
  • Finished the first book in Charlie Higson’s The Enemy series, and it was brilliant. I’ll write a review of it soon – promise.
  • Enjoyed a lovely weekend in Leeds with awesome friends
  • Had two train journeys: one was ridiculously unpleasant (overcrowded, smelly and loud) and the second was nice (first class, good food, lots of space and quiet time)
  • Bought the most amazing new pj bottoms (circus patterned) new bag and new shoes!
  • spend a bit too much on baby clothes in Gap, it’s good preparation for Christmas and all the new babies that seem to be appearing in my friends’ and families lives
  • Had a lovely walk around Roundhay Lake in Leeds before a scrumptious lunch in the park. It was only slightly chilly.
  • Ate scrumptious Thai food in Chapel Allerton – such a cute village and such delicious food
  • Made turkey burgers for the first time ever and they were actually super-easy and delicious. I will definitely be making them again, although next time I think I’ll try this recipe to make them a little more interesting, as let’s be honest BBQ is a welcome addition to any form of meat!
  • Watched some epic cheesy films – Music and Lyrics and The Prince and Me. Is there anything better than watching some of your favourite films with good friends and chocolate?!
  • Discovered a new magazine (Mollie Makes) it’s really interesting and has some really great crafty tutorials and ideas. I could feel my creative juices flowing as I read it on the train
  • Made myself happy by trying a new belt tying thing – it’s something simple but it’s really cheered me up! Small things.

Pinterest Corner #23 – Fishy Pesto Lasagna

When it comes to pasta I’m a bit of a fiend. It’s one of (the many) foods that I could eat all day every day and not get bored with. My go-to dinner when nothing else is in stock is pasta and pesto, which makes it even more ridiculous that I’ve never considered a pesto version of lasagna – ridiculous right? Anyway when I saw (via the medium of Pinterest) that Sorted had created a fish pesto lasagna recipe I knew I needed to give it a whirl and boy was I glad I did it. This recipe is not only super easy peasy (not just easy peasy), it is also full of flavour – a sure-fire hit whoever you’re cooking for.

To create this wondrous dish, simply follow the below seven simple steps. I can promise you will not regret it! If you want to check out the original recipe it’s over on Sorted’s site, here.

  • Chop up the fish into fat meaty chunks (about 200g of fish for two people)
  • Fry some leeks in soy sauce
  • Make a white sauce (the usual way, you know, with butter, flour and milk)
  • Add the pesto (2tsps), leeks and fish to the sauce. Stir together and heat for five minutes
  • Layer the sauce and lasagna sheets and finish with an extra spread of pesto on the very top. Note to self: you really should add extra sauce on the top or else it’ll burn. We didn’t. 😦
  • Bake at 200˚C for 20 minutes
  • Eat and wonder at the fact you’ve never made this before in your life – a travesty or what!

What on earth do I know that’s share-worthy?

So for day two of Jenni’s Blog Every Day in May challenge, the task is to educate others on something you know a lot about or are good at. To be honest I’m struggling somewhat on this one as I’m not sure I have anything that’s worth sharing with you lovely people. Last night I had a bit of a brainstorm about what I know a lot about and what I’m good at and below is the list that I ended up with:

  • I know all the lyrics to every song in every Disney film released between 1990 and 2005
  • I’m pretty good at working out the number of degrees of separation between various obscure celebrities – go on I dare you, test me
  • Singing the Wicked soundtrack at the top of my lungs, not even slightly on key
  • I am fairly knowledgeable about the calorie content of lots of foods: Barbecue Popchips = 95, a jacket potato = equal to its weight, cup of spinach = 7, a ready salted Pringle = approx. 10
  • I’m good at buying new books when I already have 100 to read
  • I’m pretty skilled at losing 6 hours of my day to social media
  • I can recite word for word the entirety of Ocean’s 11, North and South, Love Actually, Notting Hill and *whispers* Ocean’s 12
  • Being stubborn
  • I can spend an entire day on the sofa without getting bored
  • Baking (anything and everything)
  • Waffling – in person, on the phone, via email or on social media (Twitter is sometimes a nightmare for me, I’m not good at being succinct)
  • Losing my willpower where a pair of shoes or a bar of chocolate is involved
  • Sarcasm – I blame my Dad
  • Getting competitive when there’s an Evans family board game night

So looking back at that list in the cold light of day I realise that the one thing that I could impart knowledge and that might potentially lighten and brighten up your day is my baking skills. For those that don’t know I have a second blog – cookbakeandeat.wordpress.com – where I share all my foodie ramblings as well as a fair few recipes, so in the cold light of day (i.e. when my brain has engaged) it seems logical to share one of those recipes with you. So after much deliberation I’ve gone with the scrumptious Sticky Gingerbread cake recipe from the blog, which is a little out of season as it’s quite a Christmassy recipe BUT I don’t care as it’s one of my favourite treats so I’m guessing you might all like it.

20121216-214403.jpgSo for a cake that’s super soft, squishy, rich, moist and one that has a yummy treacly gingerbready taste simply grab the following ingredients:
150g Butter
200g Golden Ssyrup
200g Black Treacle
125g Dark Muscovado Sugar
2 tsps Ground Ginger
1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Ground Cloves
1 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda, dissolved in 2 x 15ml tbsps warm water
250ml Full-Fat Milk
2 Eggs, beaten
300g Plain Flour

and then…

  • Melt the butter, sugar, syrup, treacle, ground ginger, cinnamon and cloves all together on a low heat
  • Remove from the heat and add the milk, eggs and dissolved bicarbonate of soda along with its water
  • Beat the flour and all the liquid ingredients together until well mixed
  • Pour the mixture into a tin lined with baking parchment. We used a tin that was approximately 30cm x 22cm x 7cm)
  • Bake on 170°c for 50-60 minutes until the cake has risen and firm on top
  • Once cooked leave to cool in the tin before cutting into squares (we made about 30 squares of cake)

This is originaly a Nigella Lawson recipe , so I can’t take any of the credit when I introduce this too you but I do hope you agree that I have imparted worthwhile knowledge. I think this recipe was definitely an improvement on any other tip sharing that I could have done, as they would have been related to sarcasm, book buying or Disney songs – so I think you got a good deal in the end!



Pinterest Corner #18 – Chewy Cookies

If you’ve ever been round this here blog before then you’ll know that there’s nothing I love more when I have a bit of down time than getting my bake on – in between Nashville and Game of Thrones marathons of course! So as baking is one of my obsessions  I thought this week I’d share one of my new favourite recipes with you: chewy peanut butter and chocolate chip cookies. I found these yummy morsels over on the Tasty Kitchen Blog and knew that one day they’d tickle my fancy so got pinning it to my trusty Sweet Eats board. And they didn’t disappoint, they are absolutely scrumptious and super-easy to make. You can check out the recipe over on Tasty Kitchen or my write up of the recipe over on Cook, Bake and Eat (yeah I’m greedy I have two blogs on the internet – so sue me!)

I think what makes these cookies so brilliant is the combination of chocolate and peanut butter, a combination that I hadn’t discovered before now. Really it seems crazy that I’d never mixed the two flavours before, considering that separately chocolate and peanut butter are two of my favourite items for snacking. It’s ridiculous really that I’ve never put the two together before – what an idiot! Don’t worry though I have learnt my lesson and these yummy cookies will be a staple in my baking repertoire from now on. The other great thing about these cookies? The chewiness. Honestly, your mouth feels like it’s getting a workout equivalent to a five-mile run as you chew – it’s great. Plus I love when you get the chewy, sugary biscuit stuck in your teeth and have to pick it out. The epitome of biscuit perfection in my humble opinion.

Pinterest Corner #9 – Dollops of Spinach Mac ‘n’ Cheese

I pinned these scrumptious looking spinach mac ‘n’ cheese dollops in my very early days on Pinterest as they sounded like a really simple way of making pasta a bit more interesting. Once I pinned the recipe I promptly forgot about them as you do on Pinterest and I would probably never have made them if it wasn’t for last weeks Disney Marathon. My desire to make something savoury and simple, yet interesting (not an easy combo to be honest!) for that night meant I rested all my hopes on my Savoury Yumminess board which is full of yummy looking delights, and voila these were rediscovered. What’s great about them is you will have all the ingredients in the cupboard (except perhaps the Gruyère) and they literally take no time at all.

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All you do is make a cheese sauce (flour, butter, milk, mature cheddar cheese and Gruyère)
Cook your macaroni
Mix the macaroni, the sauce and the spinach in a bowl and dollop into your cake cases
Easy peasy!

The recipe I found from Emily Bites  suggested that you should add egg to the sauce to help the dollops* of mixture bind, but I found that unnecessary as they stayed together fine. But it’s obviously entirely up to you! I cooked about 500g of macaroni and made about 14 mini mac ‘n’ cheeses.

What I loved most about these (apart from the taste) is that you put the mixture in cake cases rather than a big serving dish, I never would have thought of this. It made it so easy to eat them whilst watching Cinderella and it’s also perfect for taking to work for lunch. I wonder what other things you could make in these little cases for a lunchtime delight, mini pies or mini lasagnas perhaps. I may have to investigate a few other options!

*How brilliant a word is dollops? I should use this word more often in everyday life!

Pinterest corner #6 – Granola

I’ve been searching for the perfect granola recipe for a while now. It’s my go-to breakfast every weekday and there’s nothing better (except maybe ice-cold milk and Crunchy Nuts) to get me through a morning. However my favourite Sainsbury’s granola is fairly expensive at about £4 a bag, so I thought it would be great to be able to make my own version. The problem is that for a long while I failed to find a recipe that a) was cheaper than £4 to make and b) didn’t include food items I can’t stand.

So when a few weeks ago a fellow blogger (the brilliant Miss Thrifty) shared her recipe for Honey Nut Granola I just had to pin it to my Pinterest boards as I’d finally found the perfect recipe. It sounded super-easy to make, looked scrumptious and didn’t include any items that I normally balk at – result! Anyway, it’s now two weeks later and I’ve already made this granola twice – yes it’s that good! So I think you’ll agree its high time this life-changing Granola made an appearance on Pinterest Corner.

Miss Thrifty’s original recipe can be found here and the only thing I changed was the addition of cranberries as I had some left over from some homemade Cranberry, Chocolate and Hazelnut biscuits I’d made the week before. I honestly can’t recommend the recipe enough, it’s so scrumptious and is just as good with milk or yoghurt. The second time I made it I added raisins and some hazelnuts which were equally delicious. So I’d definitely recommend playing around with the items you add in.

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The finished scrummy granola

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