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White Chocolate and Sour Cherry Cookies + a competition with Dr Oetker!

30 November 2016

Last week, Dr Oetker invited me to a decorating masterclass with the wonderful Juliet Sear to help launch WeBake.co.uk. I had so much fun learning from Juliet, who shared some of her favourite decorating techniques with us and was totally lovely too.

For those of you who might not know, We Bake is a brand new online platform built specifically for home bakers. It's a little like Instagram, but is also packed with recipes, tips and advice from both Dr Oetker and the community of bakers. I've found so much inspiration from all the creative ideas that everyone is sharing. You can sign up for yourself here

Dr Oetker, synonymous with sprinkles, essences and writing icing, sent us home weighed down with a whole plethora of goodies from their new product line to try at home. I have had a lovely few days closeted up in my kitchen and experimenting with glitter sprays, designer icings and Dr Oetker's chocolate range. 

And I'm excited to say that one of you lucky lot will be able to try the new product range out for yourself too! Dr Oetker have kindly given me a gorgeous hamper to giveaway on Pudding Lane. All you need to do is hop on over to We Bake, sign up and post a recipe or entry to one of the community competitions (why not Bake a Bauble or have a stab at winning the Cupcake Championship?). Just share a link to your post in the comments section below, and I'll enter you into the draw to win the hamper. What are you waiting for guys? 

I tested this recipe using Dr Oetker's white chocolate chips, which are specifically developed so that they chunks don't melt, but maintain their shape when baking. The sweetness of the chocolate is the perfect match to zingy sour cherries. 
75g unsalted butter
40g light brown sugar
60g caster sugar
1 egg
110g plain flour
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/4 tsp fine sea salt
100g Dr Oetker white chocolate chips
75g sour cherries

Line two baking trays with parchment, and ensure that all of your ingredients are at room temperature before you begin. 

Cream together the butter and sugars in a large bowl. Once smooth, mix in the egg. 

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, bicarbonate of soda and sea salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet, and mix until just combined. Stir through the white chocolate chips. Dry and dice the cherries, then add these to the cookie dough too. 

Use an ice cream scoop to scoop 8-10 cookies onto the trays, then refrigerate for an hour. 

Heat the oven to 170°C / 150°C fan. Bake the cookies for 8-10 minutes, or until they are golden and just cooked in the centre. Cool for 10 minutes on the baking trays, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. 

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PBJ Thumbprint Cookies {Dairy Free}

24 November 2016

The last week in November brings with it the American holiday of Thanksgiving. While Thanksgiving is likely descended from religious tradition, this eponymous public holiday is honoured and celebrated by those of many different faiths and creeds. It brings with it a rare but important opportunity to stop, take stock and to truly feel thankful for everything that we have.

While Thanksgiving isn't officially celebrated in the UK, the meaning behind the holiday is undoubtedly a welcome one. Today, my Instagram feed has been awash with pecans, pumpkins, persimmons and pies (so many pies!), and - as if by osmosis - I feel included in the joy and familial spirit of Thanksgiving. As I watch my American friends and colleagues prepare for this special evening, I've been reminded of just how much I have to be thankful for.

And so, in honour of my friends across the pond, a recipe inspired by the genius flavour combination that is peanut butter and jelly. While not specific to this holiday perhaps, it feels fitting to give a small nod to the many bountiful feasts that will be cooked up over the long weekend.

Peanut butter is a wonderful ingredient to bake with. Aside from the fact that it's completely delicious, it can also be used as a substituted for fat or flour in certain recipes. These cookies are quick and easy to make, and are also dairy-free to boot.

Jelly - or jam - brings just the right amount of sharpness to cut through the rich, nutty biscuit. Whether they're smeared on toast of baked into tiny thumbprint cookies, PB and J truly are a match made in heaven.

To my US and non-US based readers alike, I wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving. How will you be celebrating this year?
120g plain flour
40g light brown sugar
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
120g smooth peanut butter
2 eggs
120g jam

Heat the oven to 180°C / 160°C fan, and line two large baking trays with parchment. 

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar and salt. Add the peanut butter and eggs, and beat until combined and smooth. Using your hands, roll around 20 small balls and place them on the lined baking trays. 

Lightly oil the end of a wooden spoon, and push into the centre of a cookie until you just feel the base of the tray. Remove the spoon, and repeat until each of the cookies has an indentation - or 'thumbprint' - in the centre. 

Bake the cookies for 8-10 minutes, rotating them halfway through. They should be just firm to the touch. Remove from the oven, and then use a spoon or piping bag to divide the jam between the cookies. Return to the oven and baking for a final 3-4 minutes. 

Allow to cool completely before eating.

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