Date and Walnut Loaf

You can now definitely tell it’s almost winter. We set the clock back an hour on the weekend, and although this does mean I got an extra hours sleep (yesss) it also means it’s freakin dark by 5 o’clock. My friend was quite amused by my depressed acknowledgement of this fact, as we set off to walk to the bus stop today. The upside: Dark times, call for dark foods.

This date and walnut loaf is easily mixed by hand and baked until a deep amber, crispy, crunchy crust has formed and a hint of golden batter is seen peeking through the cracked top.

It doesn’t rise much, its a dense loaf packed with red wine coloured dates and crunchy walnuts scented with plenty of vanilla extract and brown sugar.

It’s delicious, especially if you try it the rebel’s way; the sweetness balanced with a light swipe of  snow white cream cheese, like yin and yang, along side a steaming hot cup of tea. Make sure you grab a few more slices, it’s dark out, so no one will notice..

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Easiest Overnight Maple-Nut Danish or Croissant Pastry

It’s half term at last! Two weeks of uninterrupted freedom, the only time I have to properly relax until the summer. Mock exams, A-level choices and GCSEs are just round the corner, makes me stressed just thinking about it!

So little time, so much to bake.

Most things I’ll probably be able to fit in: breads, layer cakes, macarons, but complex recipes with a multitude of steps? (yeah, I’m talking about you danish pastries), that’s a no…

…or so I thought!

This dough is so easy to make and use! It’s buttery and light, with a crisp, slightly flaky crust. It provides infinite possibilities; the dough can be rolled into croissants, spiralled into cinnamon rolls or filled and shaped into a coffee cake / danish.

I chose my filling in a heart beat – a nostalgic supermarket classic, maple-nut plaits; and some two-bite croissants.
Sun streaming in through the windows and a warm, yeasty, maple smell  filling the kitchen, completed my ideal lazy sunday morning, as it could yours:

Carrot Streusel Muffins

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Now that it’s getting colder here, it’s always a good idea to have muffins around, especially big, streusely, dome topped muffins. It’s also a great time for baking; Being able to stand by a warm oven and stuff warm food into your face, perfecto!

These are definitely autumnal muffins, with earthy flavors and colors from oat bran, cinnamon and carrots.
The raisins and streusel bring texture and sweetness to the muffins, creating a perfect balance of soft, moist and crunchy.
Of course, just like any carrot cake, you have many ways to make these muffins extra special. You don’t have to just stick with the obvious additions like pineapple, coconut or pecans; Experiment with different spices, dried fruits, zests and glazes. Go wild!

Bite Sized Pop-Tarts

Mini versions of food are so much cooler than normal sized food, you can eat more of them, hold more of them, have more variation and they look adorable.
Seeming I already have experience in making miniature foods, these were pretty easy to make. Luckily I had a friend helping me out so they were faster to make (and eat).

They’re so cute and small, aww, look at the little sprinkles :)
They’re like little gooey filled bits of popcorn and are perfect for snacking on, especially cos you don’t even have to commit to a certain flavor so you can make them fit your craving! We love these flavours

- nutella
- chocolate
- cinnamon + sugar
- raspberry jam
- cinnamon, sugar + raisins

However, the possibilities are endless! You can change up the cookie dough (I opted for a very plain dough so as not to overpower the fillings), e.g. adding cocoa powder, using sugar cookie dough, using pastry, using homemade graham cracker dough, gingerbread, lemon sugar cookies, adding cinnamon etc..

Or change the fillings, use marshamallow fluff, dried fruits, different types of chocolate, frangipane, jams, cookie doughs, lemon curd, nut butters, meringue…

Frost with different things like toasted marshmallow frosting stuff, buttercream, melted chocolate, coffee glaze, maple glaze, finely chopped nuts, grate chocolate, lemon zest

ahh the list goes on and on. Whatevs you be a-wanting, these be a-giving.

Make sure you have someone else to share these with so you don’t end up eating them all, it’s quite easy to end up inhaling more than you first intended…
they all gone now, sad times


*note: these can totally be eaten for breakfast just like cereal, delish!