Pizza Box Giant Oatmeal Raisin Cookie


Pizza box oatmeal raisin cookie

Pizza box oatmeal raisin cookie

My lovely nieces recently sent over a pretty sweet surprise parcel from the UK - A Chupa Chups sweet pizza box. The girls were pretty excited (as was Simon) but it did end up lasting over a month. When it was finished we thought it a shame to throw away the perfectly good box, so decided to make a giant cookie for another friend's birthday instead of a cake. It worked surprisingly well and was big enough for everyone to enjoy together.

So, to get you started here's what you'll need (Yes I know, my kitchen equipment is mainly pink! My sister's is all lime green or yellow - I say go for whatever makes you happy in your kitchen and makes you smile as you bake):

Ingredients & Equipment

Ingredients & Equipment

INGREDIENTS:

  • 250g unsalted butter
  • 140g caster sugar
  • 140g soft dark brown sugar
  • 2 free range eggs
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 360g plain flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon 
  • 120g rolled oats
  • 200g raisins

EQUIPMENT:

  • Mixer
  • Weighing scales
  • Nonstick or lined pizza baking tray
  • Measuring spoons
  • Sieve
  • Mixing bowl
  • Cooling rack
  • Wooden spoon/spatula
  • Pizza board & box for presentation (you could always ask your local pizza place for a clean box!) 

Before you get started, preheat the oven to 170 degrees.

1) Put the butter and sugars in the electric mixer and cream until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well and scraping down the sides in between to make sure everything gets combined. Turn down the speed and add the vanilla extract.

2) In your separate bowl sift together the flour, salt, baking soda and cinammon. Add the oats, mix until well combined and then add to the butter mixture. Beat on a low speed until well combined, then add the raisins and mix again till they are evenly spread out.

My little sous chef hard at work - with her favourite blue bowl

My little sous chef hard at work - with her favourite blue bowl

3) Arrange enough mixture on the pizza tray to fill it up but allow a little room for spreading. Bake in the preheated oven for 15-18 minutes until golden brown and relatively firm. Check regularly though to make sure it's not burning and give it an extra couple minutes if necessary.

4) When cooked, let it cool on the tray for a few minutes before sliding off onto the wire cooling rack. Then slide it onto the pizza tray, pop in the box and hey presto, a perfect surprise gift!

The original sweet pizza and box... transformed into a fun gift for a friend 

The original sweet pizza and box... transformed into a fun gift for a friend 

This mixture will make more than you need for the single pizza cookie. You can either bake the rest on baking trays for around 12 minutes, or until golden brown. Alternatively you can freeze it in log shapes wrapped in baking paper or clingfilm, then when you have hungry kids or a friend stopping by on a Sunday afternoon, you can get one out, leave to defrost for a bit (if cooking from frozen just allow an extra 2 minutes), cut into your desired sizes and bake for an instant treat.    

Freezing cookie dough ready for an easy freshly baked treat

Freezing cookie dough ready for an easy freshly baked treat

We baked some this afternoon and they were just as good as the day we made the mixture... A yummy treat with zero mess or effort - Loveliness indeed!

Milk & freshly baked cookies - who could resist?!  

Milk & freshly baked cookies - who could resist?!  

Do you have any fun cookie packaging tips to share? Any lovely ideas we should try? 

Thanks & Happy Baking,

Love Holly x

Baileys Cream Cheese Brownies


Baileys Cream Cheese Brownies 

Baileys Cream Cheese Brownies 

I first made these with my sister Miranda for her baby shower a couple of weeks ago from a recipe she'd found on Pinterest. I tracked it back to the fabulous blog it came from called Butcher, Baker, Baby - which I have just subscribed to. Not being the biggest chocolate fan, one piece is usually enough for me, but I would have happily eaten the whole lot of these! They were absolutely delicious so I was eager to make them again at home to share with you...

Here is what you'll need to get started: (DISCLAIMER - please please please do use proper Baileys, more on this later*.) 

Ingredients & Equipment

Ingredients & Equipment

INGREDIENTS:

  • 110g good quality dark chocolate
  • 110g butter
  • 120g caster sugar
  • 60g plain flour
  • 2 free range eggs
  • Generous splash of Bailey Irish Cream
  • For the cheesecake mixture:
  • 225g cream cheese (Philadelphia really is best)
  • 40g caster sugar
  • 1 more free range egg
  • another generous splash of Baileys

EQUIPMENT:

  • Weighing scales
  • Mixing bowl
  • Microwave jug/bowl
  • Baking Paper
  • 23cm/8in square cake tin
  • sieve
  • Mixing spoon & spatula

To start with preheat the oven to 150 degrees and line the cake tin with baking parchment. Then...

1) Melt the chocolate with the butter. You can use a bain marie, but I have adopted the lazy girls microwave method as I find it much less stressful with kids and no boiling water & hot pans to worry about. Put the chocolate and butter in your jug or bowl, cover and heat for a minute in the microwave at 80% heat. After the first minute I tend to go in 30 second intervals till it's almost melted, then just mix it all together till it fully melts. Add the sugar and stir then leave to cool slightly (if you don’t do this you may end up with scrambled egg brownies).

2) Once the brownie mixture has cooled slightly, beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing until it is glossy. Stir in the Baileys until well combined then gradually fold in the flour and pour into the cake tin .

3) For the cheesecake mixture beat the cream cheese and sugar together. Add the egg and mix then stir in the Baileys until all is well combined. Top the levelled brownie mixture with the cheesecake mixture and using a knife, gently swirl it into the chocolate mixture.

Mix till glossy, pour into the tin, top with the cheesecake mix & swirl into the brownie mixture

Mix till glossy, pour into the tin, top with the cheesecake mix & swirl into the brownie mixture

4) Bake for 25-35 minutes, or until just set in the middle. When you give it a gentle shake it should wobble a tiny bit in the middle as it will set more as it cools. If it is still very wobbly, give it a bit longer. Leave to cool in the tin before cutting into squares and serving. I personally like lots of little bite size squares to serve people after dinner (or to sneak one out of the tin later) but this really is a judgment call, so up to you.

*Now, as promised a little note on Baileys. When I came to make these we had run out of Baileys. I went to the shops to get some more, but as I was paying for it my card got declined... An unexpected bill had come out and I was left with not quite enough for my key ingredient. Not ready to be deterred from my baking project, I decided that I would improvise with an alternative imitation product that was a third of the price and I had enough money for. However, as the Irish Cream I bought instead of Baileys was vodka based and artificially flavoured, all the flavour evaporated during the baking process and left these tasting simply like cream cheese brownies. They still went down well, but I was a little disappointed and should have known better. Never mind, everybody has baking mishaps and they will be all the more more delicious again next time. I thought it was at least a lesson I could pass on though, so please do take note. 

Tiny bites of lovelyness

Tiny bites of lovelyness

What baking wisdom have you learned from experience? Do you have a favourite after dinner tiny treat you'd like me to try?

Happy Baking!

Love Holly x