Christmas is just four days away. Is anyone else getting really excited for it? I’ve eaten so many mince pies and Christmas tree chocolates in the last few weeks. I’ve drunk every mulled beverage you can think of. Carols and Christmas songs have become the soundtrack to my life. I have gone Christmas crazy. I haven’t watched any Christmas films though, which seems a bit ridiculous. I’ll need to remedy that soon! To spread the Christmas cheer I decided to make some wintery shortbread. If you read the blog you’ll know I make shortbread more often than I should. I followed a simple shortbread recipe but I snuck in cinnamon, lots of cinnamon. I even went the extra mile and decorated my snowflakes, admittedly messily, with white chocolate.
They are the perfect accompaniment to mulled wine but also a great festive nibble to eat when snuggled up with Jane Eyre.
It’s been a while since I shared any tasty treats, but I can’t pass up the opportunity to swoon over these amazing delights. I came across the Little Macaron Shop in Waterloo on my lunch break one drizzily afternoon and I’ve been back there three times, subsequently emptying their display cases. Everytime you visit their freshly-baked pastries are completely different but one of my favourite things is the maclair. I don’t think I’m exaggerting when I say they are the best things you will ever eat. The maclair has the delicate shoehorn pastry and cream of an ecalir but instead of a chocolate ganache it has a macaron topping. The ones above were madagascan vanilla. There were fights in my house over them. Fingers were very nearly lost.
You can also stay in and have a coffee if you can’t quite part with the maclairs straight away. It’s warm, friendly and there are no judgements made when you walk out with two boxes full of pastries with no intentions of sharing them.
This may be the first time I’ve blogged about a Bookish Bite that wasn’t baking related, but don’t be alarmed! These veggie fajitas are so good that I had to share them. They may not come in cookie form but they are just as good! I found the recipe on my old friend BBC Good Food and I’ve made them so many time that I don’t even bother to read the recipe anymore. I have it ingrained in my head somewhere between Stephen Chbosky quotes and random dates from history that I know should be important but I can’t quite recall their significance. I usually add a bag of Quorn chicken style pieces just to add some protein and tonnes of cheese. They are perfect for dinner and you can add any fajita sauce you fancy. I’m a delicate individual but I image they’re just as good with an extra spicy kick to them.
I’m half-tempted to make some right now…
When you’re a serious reader sometimes you need serious reinforcements, and honestly what’s better than a zesty biscuit to refresh your weary mind? Lemon flavoured bakes seem to have slowly infiltrated my life but I can’t bring myself to mind all that much. The recipe for these tasty little numbers can be found on Martha Stewart’s website. Get your mixing bowls out and try them! You won’t regret it.
Welsh cakes are not to be confused with drop scones. I’m serious. It’s something we are prepared to fight over. Call them anything other than what they are and they may be withheld from you. You’ve been warned.
If you haven’t had one, Welsh cakes are heaven bundled up into one delicious mouthful. Sprinkled with sugar and dotted with raisins they are sweet, sugary and the perfect accompaniment to a cup of tea. Some people have them with butter, cream or jam (heathens) but I think they are better on their own. These were made by my grandmother from a family recipe that won many a school Eisteddfod competition in their time. I’m hoping she will pass on her wisdom, because they are honestly the best Welsh cakes I have ever had the privilege of scoffing.
Oh no, more tea. I could pretend to be repentant but I’m really not. I got this eclectic mix of teas from two separate TK Maxx stores on the same day for bargain prices. So everyone knows, I didn’t go on some wild search for tea. It just happened, which might sound like the reasoning of an addict, but is actually true. Anyway here are the teas I picked out:
- High Ground Kenyan Loose Leaf by Williamson Tea
- Classic Ayurvedic Spice Infusion by Yogi Tea
- Natursan Alla Vaniglia (vanilla) by La Via Del Te
I am particularly excited about the Kenyan tea. I’ve wanted a Williamson elephant tea caddy for so long and I’ve been looking to try some Kenyan tea for a while too so this will tide me over until I get my hands on the elephant! I’ve tried the Yogi tea already and it’s so good. It has an amazing kick of cardamom that perks you up. Each teabag also has a little mindfulness quote on the label which was a nice surprise. I can’t wait to get into the rest!
If you’re a baker and you haven’t visited Sally’s Baking Addiction then you probably haven’t lived (in culinary terms). It is a revelation, packed full of the most amazing recipes from three tier brownies to blueberry muffins. I’m not sure how I haven’t ballooned in size or given myself diabetes after discovering the website because my willpower is frankly non-existent when it comes to glorious sugary treats. Continue reading “BOOKISH BITES: Coconut and Lemon Cake”
I love shortbread and I love lemon drizzle, so I decided to combined the two in one tasty treat. I found a basic shortbread recipe on BBC Good Food, adding lemon zest to the batter and then made a drizzle from the juice and sugar. I was worried the drizzle would make the shortbreads too moist and they would crumble apart but after leaving them to cool and dry they were ready to eat. The sharpness of the lemon combined well with the sweet dough – they seemed to go down well with everyone else as well!
I have been happily making my way through Whittard’s Spiced Imperial loose leaf tea recently. I’ve collected quite a selection over the last few months, but like all addicts when something new comes along it doesn’t matter how many tea bags or leaves you have stuffed away in the cupboard- you have to buy them. I went to Chesire Oaks with the foolish expectation that I wouldn’t end up spending any money, only to discover they have a Whittard store. Not only that, but they had a selection of their Easter and Valentine’s themed teas and treats on sale. I wasn’t strong enough to resist. The White Chocolate tea comes in a bright geometric caddy and although I haven’t tried it yet, I have to say it smells heavenly.
I tried to resist buying the tote bag, successfully made it out of the shop and then before we left the car park my resolve crumbled and I ran back to buy it. Still, it will be handy for collecting more tea-related treats!
I would challenge anyone who says there is something more heavenly than a coconut cake. Its one of my favourite treats when I’m settling down with a cup of tea. Its one of my favourite treats most of the time if I’m honest! I found the recipe at BBC Good Food last year, and after baking it decided that it had a permanent place on my baking repertoire. I improvised the drizzle using coconut milk, caster sugar and desiccated coconut, but the cake is just as tasty without! I took this into uni for one of my writing workshops and although I admit I had a fair few pieces, it did seem to go down well!