Spooky Halloween Biscuits: Boo!

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Happy Halloween (for tomorrow)! It's that time of year when we can have all have some scary fun wearing fancy dress and filling up on sweeties and toffee apples. It was definitely an excuse for me to enjoy myself baking and decorating these Spooky Halloween Biscuits for kids or big kids. Keep reading for a quick and easy recipe adapted from here.

You will need:
For the biscuits...
100g unsalted butter (softened)
100g caster sugar
1 egg
275g plain flour
1 tsp vanilla extract

To decorate...
Icing sugar
Food colouring
Strawberry or raspberry jam

Pre-heat the oven to 190C/375F/gas 5 and grease or line baking trays (how many you need will depend on the size and shape of your biscuits). Beat the butter and sugar together, then beat in the egg and vanilla extract a little at a time. Stir in the flour (the mixture will start to become sticky and hard to stir), until it comes together as a dough.

Roll the dough out onto a floured surface and use Halloween-style or normal cutters (or just improvise) to cut biscuits out of the dough and place onto your baking trays.

Bake for 8-10 minutes or until your biscuits look a pale golden-brown, remove from the oven and set aside to cool.

Then it's time for the fun part! You can decorate your Halloween biscuits however you like, but make sure they're super spooky (I know, mine are terrifying). 

I used icing sugar mixed with a little water to decorate the skull biscuits and added blue food colouring for the monsters. I also made holes in some of the biscuits for the eyes and sandwiched them together with jam for a creepy twist on Jammie Dodgers. 

Boo! Muahaha....

Country Cottage

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Last weekend, I went away with my parents and boyfriend to West Sussex and stayed in a lovely country cottage. Last year was the first time we went on a UK weekend away in October and now I hope our autumn weekend breaks become a yearly tradition. It's so nice to get away and explore new places, I know Candy (that happy fluffy dog above) loves her little holidays. Our excitable big soppy kid just couldn't wait and wanting to make sure she wasn't left behind, jumped into the car boot over 20 minutes before we even left. What a sweetie pie! 

The owners didn't realise a Golden Retriever was coming to stay...

After a more muddy and dangerous walk than we'd expected, walking down the side of a busy road dodging cars, we went out for some pub grub. We all treated ourselves to a burger and chips...

And then I treated myself again to a sticky toffee pudding with a bit of help from my boyfriend (I had that pudding on my mind before we'd even ordered the main course).

Then we went back to the cottage to snuggle up and I showed off my cosy new slipper socks from Primark. It was mild for October but I get cold easily, especially my tootsies.

The next day we went for a very windy (and wet for Candy) walk along the beach in Bognor Regis.

Of course we had to stop off at a seaside sweet shop to buy some rock to take home.

After a hot chocolate and slice of my Chocolate Olive Oil Cake, we went to explore Amberley Castle, a unique luxury hotel which I would love to stay at!

"Lord of the manor!"

A shy peacock...

Have you ever seen so many different kinds of pumpkins?

We carved our own pumpkin when we got back to the cottage, being slightly more ambitious this year. I always forget how hard it is to carve one though.

We had maple syrup flavoured pancakes with golden syrup and blueberries on top for breakfast before setting off for another walk, a safe one with no busy roads this time.

What an action shot!

I look forward to our next countryside adventure!

Chocolate Olive Oil Cake

Monday, 28 October 2013

Everyone loves chocolate cake, but have you ever tried a slice with a salad dressing as it's key ingredient? I hadn't, or even thought olive oil would create the perfect chocolate cake. I was watching a bit of Nigellissima the other day and tuned in at the right time to see Nigella Lawson's chocolate cake with a twist. It's dairy free (if you don't add any chocolate, unless that's dairy free too) and wheat free if you follow her recipe using ground almonds. As I was about to go away for the weekend, I decided to bake my own Chocolate Olive Oil Cake to take with me. I was definitely curious to see how it would turn out! I used plain flour and decorated my cake with chocolate as luckily my family, boyfriend and I have no intolerances. 

You will need: 
150ml regular olive oil
50g cocoa powder
125ml boiling water
2 tsp vanilla extract
125g plain flour
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 pinch of salt
200g caster sugar
3 eggs
Icing sugar and chocolate to decorate

Pre-heat the oven to 170C/325F/gas 3 and grease a 20-23cm tin (you may need to line the base of the tin). Sift the cocoa powder into a bowl or jug, add the boiling water and whisk until you have a smooth and runny mixture. Then whisk in the vanilla extract.

Combine the flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt in a separate bowl. Whisk the olive oil, sugar and eggs together in another bowl.

Slowly beat in the cocoa mixture before tipping in the flour mixture. Pour the mixture into the tin and bake for 40-45 minutes, you want the very centre of your cake to still look slightly damp. Remove from the oven and leave to cool.

Once your cake has cooled, decorate it however your heart desires. I dusted mine with icing sugar and grated dark chocolate on top as this was enough as it was lovely and moist. As your cake will hopefully be lovely and moist too, you might want to do the same or serve it with ice cream.

 And there you have it, chocolate cake with a health-boosting ingredient!

Pretty Flowers

Tuesday, 22 October 2013


I spent last weekend visiting my boyfriend in Bournemouth and what a lovely relaxing weekend it was! Due to the miserable weather, our weekend consisted of being lazy piglets (weekends are definitely for treating yourself). My outfit above is what I wore out to dinner on Saturday night, my new floral printed wrap top was a little find in the New Look sale.

Gotta love a bargain!