Happy Friday friends! How has your week been so far?
Autumn is really starting to come into full force around here! I spent some time in the garden this past weekend tidying up and weeding. I’m still a terribly poor gardener, but at least things aren’t so messy now!
I also picked up some cute pumpkins to decorate my autumn mantlepiece – I’ll share some pictures of my house decorated for Halloween in next Friday’s post! I noticed that Dr Oetker now have gel colourings on sale in supermarkets – has anyone tried them to make a Rainbow Cake yet?
Oh and I finished off the weekend with Pecan Pie at The Bean (a great local coffee shop!) and Practical Magic – SUCH a great Halloween film.
Blackie helped me to write my latest blog post – she wasn’t scared of my rice krispie ghosts! Neither were the team at Hotel Chocolat – they tried them out this week too! Check out how they decorated their ghosts!
This week we got a delivery from amazon, so the box and packing paper has been the cats favourite toys – who knew a kitten adventure playground could be so cheap to make! They’re also very fond of a large blue ikea bag.
This week I’ve had TWO delicious meals at Hungry Pumpkin in Nottingham too. If you’re ever in my city you have to try it out. They really care about their food and it’s all gorgeous. The fish finger sandwich was the size of my head and soooo good!
Oh, and another thing I like about them is they serve breakfast all day. If you want scrambled eggs on toast at 2pm, you got it! Why don’t more places do this? Breakfast for dinner – it’s a thing!
What are you doing this weekend? I’m heading to the Bramley Apple Festival in Southwell, and on Sunday I’m attending Halloween Cake Club! Lots of baking and cake this weekend – I’m pretty sure there’ll be a cake hangover come Monday!
Ooh have I got a treat for you this Wednesday! Bookmark this page now, because you’re going to need it come birthdays, period weeks and in general ‘messed up at a job interview and walked home in the rain’ type situations.
Before we delve in, let me just say that I am firmly in the gooey brownie camp. At my house we raise the gooey brownie flag and sing the gooey brownie battlesong. Cakey, dry, or frosted brownies (unless it’s a gooey brownie frosted with cookie dough… yum!) have no place in my world. NONE. AT ALL, EVER.
They are not okay.
So with that in mind, the brownie recipes I’m featuring are all on the deliciously gooey, melt in your mouth, chock full of melted chocolate, side of things!
And, even better, they’re all recipes that I’ve tried, tested, and absolutely loved!
I made these a while ago so forgive my somewhat awful photography! But I still remember vividly how amazing they were. Perfectly fudgy, and delicious – and the peanut butter cups work SO well! Make these, now!
A chewy brownie topped with cream cheese and raspberries? Yes please! Believe me when I say that these are oh. so. good! The tartness of the raspberries cut through the cream cheese and chocolate perfectly.
Decadent fudgy brownies topped with salted caramel and baked, before being drizzled with even MORE salted caramel and sprinkled with flakes of sea salt. You could make your own caramel, or to make it even easier, use tinned.
A brownie meets a rice krispie treat. Definitely not just for kids!
This famous recipe by Baked in Brooklyn is incredibly similar to the base recipe I use for all of my brownies – it’s foolproof, it’s so gooey it should be illegal, and it tastes amazing.
I made these brownies for a friends wedding and never got a great photo of them, but they’re too good to not share with you! The recipe uses less chocolate than some other brownies, but they’re still epically fudgy with a crackly crust. And the layer of cookie dough on the top… unbelievably good!
These beauties are a guaranteed pick up to a bad day. And if you want to add some rum, even better! Obviously if you don’t look bounty’s, you can substitute the chocolate bar of your desire, you coconut hating monster.
Oh lordy. Now we’re getting into it. You know sex? Tthese brownies are like that, but with more calories. They’re all you’ll want to eat for the rest of your whole life.
I made some Nutella Brownies that I hoped to share with you for a Cake Club a few months back. Despite being almost too gooey to handle (and too ugly to photograph), they were a massive hit! Lesson learned, always give brownies enough time to cool, especially if you want underdone, gooey brownies that don’t fall apart. And make these nutella brownies, stat!
These are just SO gorgeous! Decadent, fudgy chocolate brownies with big peanut butter swirls and pretzels, all topped with a sprinkling of sea salt. The perfect sweet/salty combo that will leave you wanting more!
If you’re interested in the science of brownies (brownies have science too!), check out this guide.
I’d also like to ask you guys for your brownie tips! Do you have an amazing flavour combination I should try? AND do you have a recipe for brownies which still tasty fudgy and chocolatey, but use less melted chocolate?
Why hello and happy Monday! It’s getting closer and closer to Halloween… have you decided what treats to make yet? I’ve got pumpkins on my mantlepiece, apple cinnamon candles burning, and last night I even convinced Lee to watch Practical Magic with me! He described it as ‘not good, but watchable’. I’d describe it as ‘awesome’ and definitely in my top three halloween films, along with Hocus Pocus and Scream. And I will never stop wanting to live in this house. I want it to be a real house so bad!
These Halloween Ghost Rice Krispie Pops are sooo cute! They’re an easy no-bake treat for Halloween, made from a marshmallow rice krispie mixture with a white chocolate topping. Best of all, they taste really yummy too!
They couldn’t be simpler to make either, all the ingredients are ones that you probably have in your cupboard right now!
I think this is just the perfect Halloween treat to make with kids. There’s no cooking involved, just a bit of melting in the microwave. You can make them as scary or as friendly looking as you like when you decorate them. Kids would love icing funny faces on too! I used writing icing to give my ghosties red eyes, so it’s as simple as can be.
The perfect no-bake treat for an autumn day or Halloween party!
As well as the ingredients to make the treats, you’ll also need some lolly sticks and a vaugely ghost shaped cookie cutter to make these. I used a bell cutter – I love how easy it is to repurpose them to other uses! If you don’t already have a bell cutter, this set is great value!
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 20 white marshmallows, or 4 cups / 200g mini marshmallows
- 160g / 6 cups rice krispies
- 150g / just under a cup white chocolate
- Writing icing or royal icing, if you prefer
- Alright! You're not going to believe how easy it is to make these! First, prepare a 8x8" pan by greasing the bottom and sides with vegetable oil and set aside.
- Simply combine your butter and marshmallows in a large heat proof bowl and heat in the microwave. Heat on 30 second intervals, stirring vigorously in between, until the marshmallows are completely melted and you're left with marshmallow goo. Stir in your rice krispies and pour the whole lot into your tin. Push down firmly until they're evenly compacted - I like to use a spatula greased with vegetable oil to do this. Let them firm up for 15 minutes on the countertop.
- Next, take a vaugely ghost shaped cookie cutter (I used a bell shape) and use it to cut out segments of rice krispie treat. Get them as close to each other as possible so you can get lots of ghosts! Sadly, you'll need to eat the excess rice krispie treats...
- Set your ghost shapes on a flat surface or cookie tray lined with parchment paper, and smush them into a more ghostly shape. Stick in your lolly stick - it will seem like the treats want to fall apart, but the great thing is that they're so sticky, so it's easy to mould them back into shape. Leave to set for another hour.
- Melt your white chocolate in the microwave, on 15 second bursts, stirring between each interval, until fully liquid. I used a palette knife (you could also use the back of a tablespoon) to drizzle and spread white chocolate onto my ghosts, or you could also dip them into the chocolate. Allow the chocolate to cool and set.
- To decorate: Use writing icing or similar to draw on eyes, a scary face, or a friendly face!
I’m entering these cute ghosts into this months We Should Cocoa – the theme is Halloween!
Don’t forget to tag your ghosts #kerrycooks on Instragram if you make these – I’d love to see how your ghosts turn out!
Happy Friday, friends! How are you doing?
Last Friday I headed to dinner at Edin’s in Nottingham, and enjoyed a delicious dinner of baked goat’s cheese with salad. It was so yummy – I highly recommend Edin’s for dinner if you’re ever in the East Midlands! I also had a brownie which was a bit disappointing – nowhere near as delicious as mine (modest, moi?) and it had frosting on – pretty wrong, in my book.
Afterwards I went to see Gone Girl with three friends, none of whom had ever read the book or knew anything about the story (I read the book last year). I won’t mention any crucial plot points in case you’re yet to see it, but they were very shocked and possibly slightly traumatised!
On Saturday we took a whole bunch of donations – mainly of old clothes and gifts – to our local PDSA charity shop. They need things like old towels too as they can use them in their animal rescue centres. It feels SO good to get rid of stuff cluttering up the house. We have a third attic bedroom where stuff tends to get chucked, but I try to keep on top of it. I like keeping a box or bag to pop things for charity into that’s on the go for a while, then when I have enough stuff I take it along on a shopping trip!
On Saturday evening we headed to Rock City in Nottingham to see two bands, including Lonely the Brave. Lee had bought the tickets and needed someone to go with!
I headed to my FIRST EVER first birthday party on Sunday! Finley is a whole year old! I got him an adorable little outfit, a story book about a cat named William solving an art heist (brilliant) and some bath toys. Erin put on a delicious spread of food, and she baked a fab Neapolitan layer cake, with strawberry, vanilla and chocolate layers! There were sooo many cute children there, running around and having fun.
I won’t lie – this week has been pretty epic in terms of baking! I’ve been making some delicious Halloween treats which I’ll be sharing with you shortly, plus some Bonfire Night themed crunchie chocolate doughnuts AND Chocolate Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Bars! Sadly the rice krispie bars recipe won’t be appearing here for a while (too many Christmas recipes first!).
This week I also took advantage of the Oasis sale to pick up this skirt, which I’d been eyeing up before it was reduced to half-price! I also got three Yankee Candles from Boots, as they’re now selling a small selection in their Christmas shop and so they’re on 3 for 2, which makes them just £13.33 each instead of £19.99! I got clean cotton (amazing!), Snowflake Cookie (a bit sweet but not too sickly) and Christmas Eve (smells like Christmas Eve!).
Blogs I’m loving this week: This week I’ve been catching up on Annie Bean’s blog, as well as loving Annie’s Eats (another Annie!) October loves post. Her fashion taste is impeccable! I also signed up for the Nottingham bloggers Secret Santa next month – looking forward to it!
Books I’m loving this week: I’m currently reading Into the Forest, which was the City WI book club for October. Book club has come and gone, but I’m still reading it! It’s a fascinating look at our (teutonic European peoples) relationship with forests and the stories we weave around them.
Happy October! It’s nearly my favourite time of the year – Halloween!
I LOVE hosting Halloween parties (I’m having one this year!) and baking cute and colourful treats. Not for trick or treaters you understand, all for me (and my friends!). Needless to say, all of these Halloween Treats would go down particularly well with kids!
I prefer sharing ideas that I think are simple enough for most people to do – the Halloween Bark is super easy, you just need some Silver Spoon orange candy melts, which you can get in Sainsburys. I also love the cat and ghost cupcakes – they’re both really easy to do! The bat cookies would require a small cookie cutter, or you could cut out a small bat template and cut around it with a sharp knife.
As for me? Well I’ve got a few more tricks and treats coming up between now and the end of the month! And I’m dying to make this M&M pumpkin cake! I’d need to get some of these hemisphere pans from Lakeland but how awesome does it look!
Happy Halloween baking, I hope I’ve given you some useful inspiration!
There’s nothing scary about this Colourful Halloween Layer Cake, it’s just extremely bright, but still yummy! It’s really easy to make too, and a super fun project to do with kids this Halloween!
This Colourful Halloween Layer Cake has been on the cards to bake for a while! Over the last few years I’ve seen examples of Halloween Layer cakes, like this one, this one, and this one, but for some reason I put off giving it a try. I think I always forget just how ridiculously easy my rainbow cake is (which this cake basically is, just halved!).
The recipe is simplicity itself, it’s actually my Rainbow Cake recipe, cut in half! This gives a more normal sized cake with three vivid layers, rather than six as in my Rainbow Cake. I chose a vibrant orange, a neon green, and a ghastly purple for my colours, and I used very bright gel food colouring. The colours I used were Americolor’s Electric Orange, Americolor’s Electric Purple, and Asda Home 2 Bake’s Green. Since Asda have now stopped selling their gel colours, I’d try this one or this one.
The other awesome thing about this cake is that it really does taste delicious! The sponge is soft and tender, and the cream cheese frosting is to die for! I divided my cream cheese frosting into three and added a little gel colour to each bowl, so that it would give an ombre (ish!) effect, similar to the colours of the inside of the cake.
It would also be really effective to cover the outside of the cake in either white or black frosting and either leave plain or decorate with ghoulish Halloween sweets and candy – no one will know what’s inside! I think kids will LOVE the funny colour it makes your mouth as you’re eating it too!
Please note, you’ll need to make the cream cheese frosting by using my new, foolproof method – it will give you perfect results every time – I promise!
Note: This recipe makes one 6 inch three-layer cake. You do need to use 6 inch tins (I like the disposable 6 inch ‘flan tins’ from Wilkinson’s) to get the same tallness of layers as is sh own here. You could also use up to an 8 inch tin, the layers would just be thinner.
- 175g unsalted butter
- 175g golden caster sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 tbsp vanilla bean paste
- 175g self-raising flour
- pinch salt
- 75g unsalted butter
- 200g cream cheese
- 300-400g icing sugar
- Preheat your oven to 160C/gas mark 3/350F and prepare three disposable 6 inch tins by brushing them with melted butter.
- In either a stand mixer or a large bowl, thoroughly beat together your very soft butter and caster sugar. Add the three eggs and the vanilla bean paste, and continue to beat until they're completely incorporated.
- Next, stir in the self-raising flour gently, just until it's all combined. Using two smaller bowls, decant a third of the batter into each bowl. Add gel colouring in your chosen Halloween-y colours, a bit at a time, until it's just as bright as you want it. For a really neon cake, you're probably going to want to add about 1 tsp of gel to each bowl.
- Fill your flan tins, and then use an offset palette knife or the back of a spoon to level out the surface - you want the cakes to bake up really flat.
- Bake in the middle of the oven for 10-15 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean, and allow to completely cool before removing from the tin.
- Use my tutorial for foolproof cream cheese frosting (see link above). To give an ombre effect mirroring the inside of your cake, divide the mixture into three bowls, and add a couple of drops of gel colouring to each. Keep going until you reach the colour you want, and then frost the cake. Leave to set in the fridge before serving.
If you make this cake, tweet me or tag me on instagram #kerrycooks so I can see your version! Happy Halloween!
PS – If for any reason (like a naughty kitten jumping on the kitchen worktop and knocking off bowl of cake batter and smashing it all over the floor and then running off with green footprints everywhere) you need to make another layer for this cake (or maybe you just want four layers instead of three!), it’s simple! Just whip up 60g of butter with 60g caster sugar, add one egg, some vanilla, and add 60g self-raising flour. Voila! Just keep a close eye on those cats… they sure do love cake batter!
Happy Friday, friends! How are you doing today?
This week has been super awesome around here! Well, the weekend part anyhoo! We watched our amazing, wonderful friends Emma and Nial get married and then had a great time celebrating with them at their lovely book-themed reception party!
They wed at the Council House in Nottingham, and then we enjoyed a ride on a vintage 50s Routemaster to a village hall in Ruddington decorated with saris, fairy lights, and books galore!
We had an afternoon tea followed by cupcakes and wedding cake, and then hot dogs later on! It was all delicious!
My Scrabble cookie favours were a hit – what do you think? I didn’t spy anyone actually playing scrabble with them though – a little disappointing!
It was such a lovely day – wish I could go to a friends wedding every day!
Autumn is in full swing around here! And these kitties continue to be pretty naughty… especially little Bella. Brownie seems to have decided that she looks up to her big brother Milo and wants to be well-behaved like him, but Bella is making up for it by being twice as mischevious!
More snaps from this week – Reese’s toast (half spread with nutella, half with peanut butter!, plus a couple of new cookbooks.
I heard this song this week on Jo Whiley’s show – it’s so lovely.
What are you up to this weekend, friends? I’m going to see Gone Girl (have you seen it), and going to a first birthday party – yay!
Sprinkle Bakes made homemade vanilla extract (which is really easy and you should totally do it) but I LOVE the pretty wax-sealed tops she gave them! A really cool idea for Christmas gifts
Halloween is coming and I couldn’t love these bat sprinkles any more!
Would you buy a pink apple? Not a pink lady, it’s pink inside!
This guy is definitely the worlds most down to earth president - a really interesting read
I love this tutorial for everyday curls
Fall is here and with it come autumnal cake wrecks…
Did you know that honey can bring entire armies to a halt? Interesting stuff!
What a gorgeous idea for decorating autumn cakes
Hurrah, it’s the first Halloween post for this year on Kerry Cooks! Today I’m bringing you an incredibly simple and easy recipe for Jack O Lantern Cookies! While I absolutely LOVE the look of decorated cookies like the below, they take up a lot of time and effort for something that is going to be eaten so quickly!
Instead, I thought about something that would be the work of moments, but would still be really effective and cute to do with kids for Halloween! These cookies are cut out in a pumpkin shape (you can either use a pumpkin cookie cutter or use a round cookie cutter, as I did, and slightly smush up the bottom, and push up a ‘stem’ at the top of the pumpkin), and once they’re baked, you simply add on the Jack O Lantern faces using triangles of milk and white chocolate to make a scary face.
Since the cookies are still warm from the oven, the chocolate melts slightly, but still holds its shape, and once they’ve completely cooled, you’ll have simple, but effective Jack O Lantern Cookies! I think this would be such a fun thing to do with kids for a Halloween activity!
The cookie dough is my favourite, simplest sugar cookie dough. I’ve used it to make countless things, including wedding favours for two weddings! They hold their shape really well and are tasty too, but without being too decadent – perfect with a cup of tea! I simply divide the mixture in half and make half of it chocolatey by adding cocoa powder.
- 125g unsalted butter
- 125g golden caster sugar
- 1 tbsp vanilla bean paste
- 1 large egg
- 225g plain flour
- pinch salt
- 30g cocoa powder
- 50g white chocolate buttons
- 50g milk chocolate buttons
- In a large bowl, combine the very soft butter with the sugar, and beat well until completely smooth and combined. Beat in the vanilla bean paste, and egg, and at this point, transfer half of the mixture into a second bowl. To the first bowl, add 125g flour and a pinch of salt. To the second bowl, add 100g plain flour and 30g cocoa powder, sieving it in to avoid lumps.
- (Do this for both bowls!) Keep stirring with a large spatula until all of the flour is incorporated (it may seem that there's too much, but don't worry). Turn it all out onto a sheet of clingfilm, and briefly knead and pat it together into a ball. Cover with clingfilm and pop into the fridge for 15-20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 170C/gas mark 4/350F and prepare three large cookie sheets with parchment paper or non-stick baking mat's.
- After 20 minutes, start rolling out your dough! Ensure that the worksurface is well-floured. Cut into pumpkin shapes if you have a pumpkin cutter, or, as I did, use a circular cutter and use your thumb to smoosh up the bottom of the pumpkin and form a little stalk at the top too! It's pretty easy, and I think mine turned out fairly pumpkin like.
- Bake the cookies for 10 minutes in a preheated oven - they don't need any longer than ten minutes (unless they're right at the bottom of the oven). While they're baking, cut up your chocolate buttons into triangles (I found the best way is to cut them into thirds, but any that go wrong can always be eaten!).
- For the decoration: Once the first tray of cookies is baked, remove it from the oven and start arranging the chocolate triangles on top into scary faces! If your cookies get too cool, just pop them back into the oven for a minute or too and the chocolate will melt.
- Leave to set for about 30 minutes, then enjoy your scary cookies!
I hope you make these for Halloween!
Happy Friday! It’s another beautiful, mild and sunny autumn day here in Nottingham! Since I didn’t bring you a snapshots from my week post last week (I showed you how to put on a three course dinner party instead!), we’ve got photo’s from the last couple of weeks in today’s post! Oddly, since SO much has been happening, I haven’t taken pictures of much, so it’s mainly cats, and cake!
My friend Erin invited us over for Afternoon tea (and a piano recietal!). She made the most amazing eight strand plait bread (from Bake-Off!), as well as delicious chocolate fudge – it’s a similar recipe to the one I like making, which you just make by melting lots of chocolate and stirring in condensed milk.
I baked a VIVID Halloween layer cake to take along – I’ll bring you guys the recipe soon!
And we watched in amazement as her little boy Finley walked around the room (with his push-along cart!).
The rest of my time can be summed up by saying – baking! I’ve now moved on from Halloween to CHRISTMAS! Hurrah! I know it’s still October but I’m always super excited for Christmas, and I think I’ve waited long enough…
And cats! No, I didn’t buy this onesie, it was for children. Part of me is very sad about that.
Good news on the cat front – Milo has decided he DOES want to be a nice big brother and has started playing with, and even grooming the kittens! We’re over the moon that it all seems to be working out so well.
And the rest of my time has been spent nibbling on leftover macarons from Lidl, and another new variety of Dairy Milk (it must be a day ending in y!) – Chips Ahoy. It’s okaaay – the Oreo version is still way better than anything else. But as ever, don’t look at the ingredients list, this ain’t real food!
This weekend I’m SUPER excited to watch my good friend Emma get married tomorrow! The scrabble cookies you can see up above are her wedding favours – personalised for each guest! I’ll post some better pictures of them on my instagram tomorrow once the guests have seen them.
What are you up to this weekend?
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