tilly makes & bakes

Always striving to achieve a state of domestic bliss!


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Best flapjacks

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I have made a fair few flapjack recipes over the years. Although I love shop-bought ones, I could just never get them right at home. They were either too crumbly or too crunchy. I have tried making them less sugary and less fatty- to no avail. I finally came across a very simple recipe  on a lovely blog called Tales from a happy house. I made the recipe and added chocolate chips and they really are delicious! Buttery, sugary and almost cakey, nom nom nom.


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Rachel Allen’s soda bread

If you have some buttermilk in your fridge and you don’t know what to do with it, make this soda bread! It is so simple: you sift the dry ingredients together and then mix the buttermilk in. Done. No waiting around for dough to rise, no kneading, no worrying. It bakes in 45 minutes.  I have made it several times already and it comes out nice and crispy on the outside and perfectly done on the inside each time. I like the dense, cakey texture of soda bread. We have eaten it as sandwiches all week. Oh, and it’s amazing with Nutella (shhhhh).

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Oaty fridge cookies

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I was looking for a cookie or biscuit recipe that my four year old could mostly cope with herself and I knew that rolling out dough and using cutters would need too much input and help from me. Whilst looking for a recipe (Hello Pinterest!), I came across several different versions of so-called ‘fridge cookies’. Ah yes, I remembered cutting discs from chilled logs of dough as a child – anyone for checkerboard biscuits? Perfect for tiny hands. As my ‘big’ little girl is starting school in September, I am trying to make the most of our now counted days of weekday freedom. I really will miss all our mornings of pottering, crafting and baking.

Oaty fridge cookies

150g soft butter

150g brown sugar

5 drops orange essence

2 medium eggs

200g rolled oats

150g ground almonds

1teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Method:

1. Whisk the butter and sugar until creamy. Add orange essence and one egg at a time.

2. Mix the dry ingredients in a separate bowl and gradually work the dry and wet ingredients together until a dough forms.

3. Split the dough into two and roll each half into a sausage shape about 30cm long. Wrap in baking parchment and refrigerate for at least an hour or two.

4. When you are ready to bake, roll each dough sausage in some coarse sugar (Demerara is good), before cutting each sausage into half centimetre thick disks.

5. Place the cookies on a lined tray and bake in a preheated oven at 180 degrees C (160 if using a fan oven) for about 12 to 14 minutes.


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Pizza Picnic bread

Roll on summer and picnics in the park! In the meantime, why not have a go at this gorgeous stuffed bread and have a February picnic indoors while it pours (and pours) outside. I found the recipe here (Can’t ever go wrong with that website!). I basically needed to finish off an open jar of pasta sauce and some slices of salami, so I altered the recipe only by changing the ingredients that went inside the bread. That is what I love about this kind of recipe- just chuck all your leftover bits and pieces in.  I also used my loaf tin so that it would keep its shape and that really worked well.

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As you can see, the layer of filling is really quite thin so next time I would try to overstuff the dough to give it even more flavour. It felt like a lot of filling when I was rolling it up, but then I suppose as the bread dough rises and puffs up whilst baking, the proportion of dough to filling changes.

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Apologies for the Christmassy backdrop in this last photo- I made the loaf in the early days of 2014 when my decorations where still up. So much for being a more frequent blogger in the new year.


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Fairy princess castle cake

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Tadaaah! Here is my little girls’ fourth birthday cake,  hand baked and decorated by yours truly. I know it’s by no means perfect but it was made with love. 🙂

I also craftily managed to incorporate my first ever sugar craft figurines by popping little crowns on their heads! Don’t they look right at home in their fairy castle?