Marshmallow Chocolate Mud Cookies

So today I found out I would never be able to have a cookbook because I just can’t name recipes. I can’t. I don’t know how people come up with creative yet still descriptive titles. Mine are all either too abstract that they could be anything or just downright boring. For the sake of clarity I stuck with the boring because these cookies are so delicious that they don’t need much creativity to sell. DSC_2325

I am not a cookie person, but if I am going to eat cookies I prefer them homemade (who doesn’t) and these cookies are the only recipe I come back to over and over again when I want something delicious to tackle my ever-present craving for chocolate but not waste a whole day in the process. I almost always make these with my two little brothers which demonstrates how easy and fun they are to make (and even more fun to eat).

Team work

Team work

Let me give you a quick sales pitch (although you could just glance at the photos and I am quite confident you will be sold). These cookies hit all the right spots for me, chewy and moist on the inside, crispy on the outside, rich chocolate taste as well as extra little bites of chocolate pieces and topped with some gooey caramelised marshmallows…because if you are going to indulge you may as well have it all (I haven’t mastered moderation at this point in life).

ingredients

  • 1 – 1 and a half cups of chocolate chips (I love a mixture of dark chocolate and white chocolate but hey, go crazy)
  • 1/2 cup more of chocolate set aside (this can be in any form as you’re going to melt it anyway/eat it)
  • 1/2 cup of softened butter
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp of vanilla (I really love vanilla essence so just add 1 tsp if you aren’t such a big fan)
  • 1 1/2 cups plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 bag of mini marshmallows (don’t worry, there will be plenty for snacking on)

method.

  1. Microwave your half cup of chocolate in a small microwave safe bowl until smooth. I check the chocolate every 30seconds and give it a good stir before continuing because too many times have I been fooled when microwaving chocolate and there is nothing more disappointing than ruining perfectly good chocolate. Whilst microwaving set your oven to bake at 180 degrees celsius.
  2. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a separate bowl and ignore all the dishes that will need to be done after this is over.
  3. Cream the butter and sugar until creamy and fluffy. Make this easier on yourself with a electric mixer unless you enjoy the challenge of doing this by hand. Once this is creamy add the eggs one at a time, beating after each egg is added. Lastly beat in the vanilla and the melted chocolate.
  4. Gradually add the flour mixture into the chocolate, folding in gently but thoroughly so the air doesn’t escape. Add in the chocolate pieces (after taste testing a few to make sure they are worthy of your mixture).
  5. This is where it gets messy. Roughly roll teaspoonful balls of dough onto paper lined trays (chocolate is going to get all over your hands, but don’t worry the mixture tastes almost as good at this point as it does in approx 15 minutes). DSC_2267
  6. You can add your marshmallows now or in around 5 minutes depending on how well done you want the marshmallows to be. I add mine after a little bit of cooking just so that they don’t get too brown. Put roughly 3 mini marshmallows on top of each cookie or 4 if there is space and you haven’t already eaten too many.
  7. Bake at 180 degrees celsius for around 15 minutes or until they look evenly cooked/set. They will be pretty soft so once out of the oven leave to cool before transferring to a wire rack. Enjoy your hard work with a well earned cookie and glass of cold milk.

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Let me know if you give these a go (preferably in advance so I can come over and eat some) and if you have any amazing cookie recipes please throw them my way so I can expand my very narrow cookie repertoire. Link me up in the comments or on Twitter or Facebook 🙂

 

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Flick doesn’t understand why we bake things which she cannot eat and is thoroughly disappointed because these smelt so good.

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Moist Chocolate Cupcakes (that time I fell in love with a recipe)

You know when you meet someone again after a really long time, and you should remember their name but you don’t. You feel uncomfortably awkward because they act like they know you (and they seem to have remembered everything about you including your hatred of asparagus and your second-cousin’s ex-wife’s love of water-polo) and yet you remember nothing and have no idea how to interact with them.

Ok so maybe I am the only one.

Well thats what I feel like now. Coming back after a several month long hiatus of blogging where I was in a bit of a transitional period of life, busy with work, family and friends (but not busy enough that I can really use that as an excuse for abandoning myfoxycorner as well as myfoxytravels; two blogs=twice the guilt).

I am trying to pretend like I remember how to do this, when in reality I don’t think I ever really got the hang of blogging in the first place. So instead of just awkwardly dancing around the fact that I have been missing for a while, I will just be upfront with how hard it is to try and re-introduce myself to this little corner of the world.

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I could give you a rundown of all the exciting for me, mundane for you, updates in my life. Or I could fall back on an easy yet delicious cupcake recipe and save all that for when I can be bothered.

This cupcake recipe is one I have wanted to blog about for ages and for some reason never have. The reason why eludes me; these cupcakes are my soul-recipe. They are fool-proof (or rather Lizzy-proof). The evidence in this lies in many failed attempts at following a half remembered recipes, forgetting to set timers and then forgetting about the oven contents, and a couple of accidental grillings (how hard is it to make sure you set the oven to bake?, you ask).

Throughout all of these mistakes, these cupcakes have been like my parents. Supportive, forgiving, persistent, reliable and (end of parent comparison) just down right delicious. They are speedy and don’t use anything fancy that isn’t normally lying around my well-stocked cupboard (when it is well-stocked and not just full of pasta and chickpeas). They are the recipe I fall back on for anything and everything, including the ever common scenario I find myself in where I have to (want to) make something delicious and impressive for the next day but it’s already 9pm at night.

These chocolate cupcakes have everything I could want in a chocolate cupcakes. They are moist but still fluffy, rich but I can still eat several at a time, chocolatey but not overly sweet. Satisfying and reliable, like an old episode of the Simpsons.

So without further ado, here it is, the 1 recipe I would take with me to a desert island (or a more appropriate dessert island).

The easiest but most delicious chocolate cupcakes (adapted from hersheys.com “Perfectly Chocolate” Chocolate Cake):

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  • 2 cups of Sugar (I like using mostly white with a little bit of brown sugar thrown in for some giggles)
  • 1 3/4 cup standard flour
  • 3/4 cups cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water (I add a tsp of instant coffee but this is optional)

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius and prep your muffin tins with some appropriately beautiful cupcake liners
  2. Add all of the ingredients to a mixing bowl except the boiling water (and coffee). Sift in some stuff if you want but there is no need to get flour all over the sifter and then hate yourself afterwards.
  3. Beat by hand until the batter is completely combined, smooth and lump free.
  4. Add the coffee to the boiling water and then the coffee/boiling water to the mixing bowl. Whisk until this is just blended in. I’ll be honest here and warn you that its going to look like a chocolate soup (which does not look as delicious as it sounds). This is normal and great so just carry on, you’re doing an awesome job.
  5. Evenly pour the mixture into your liners, 3/4 full maximum to avoid spillage and angry regretful tears. Bake for around 20 minutes but around 15 minutes I start testing with a skewer. Once it comes out clean, take them out.
  6. Try to not eat them long enough for them to cool and then ice with what ever takes your fancy. My favourite icing for these at the moment is a baileys and cream cheese concoction, but a simple vanilla buttercream is also a perfect accompaniment. As is peanut butter. Or a dash of icing sugar, so that time that could be used for eating isn’t wasted on icing.

So there they are, deliciously simple and forgiving, these cupcakes are always a star at the workplace as well as with friends, family and even enemies. These were the first cupcakes I ever made and were so easy that I thought I must be amazing at all cupcakes. This misconception was cleared up when I tried to follow a different cupcake recipe (poorly) and realized I was not the natural cupcake superstar I had envisaged. But damn, these chocolate cupcakes do a good job of helping me pretend I am.

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With Baileys and Cream cheese icing (plus some Malteasers). I think this is when I realized I had fallen in love with a cupcake.

Give them a go and let me know how much you love them. Just remember to turn the oven to bake (or don’t, they will still taste amazing).  And hey, I’m very happy to be back. Sorry I can’t remember your name.

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Not Your Average Brownie (Gluten-Free)

Hey Guys!

So just a quick post today featuring one of my favourite gluten-free recipes ever. I am a big fan of brownies and my ultra-rich recipe is one I turn to a lot but when I was doing my gluten free trial I tested out this recipe and found it to be equally as delicious and just as easy to make. Compared to the my usual brownies these aren’t quite so rich but still chocolatey with less cocoa, more chocolate and the addition of cranberries and caramel drops (which add a little bit of a black-forest spin to a simple brownie recipe). This recipe makes about 18 little muffins (which I think are kind of adorable) or you can make about 18 slices using a tin.

The recipe is taken mostly from a Julian Lelerc recipe for GF brownies (which I cannot find online and which I have a cut out article of which gets increasingly dirty and damaged each time I make these)  and really is incredibly easy whilst being wonderfully tasty and full of chocolate goodness.

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Ingredients:

  • 200g Butter cubed
  • 200g Dark cooking chocolate, chopped roughly
  • 1 1/2 Cups Brown Sugar
  • 4 Eggs, lightly beaten
  • I C Gluten-free flour (available at Supermarkets)
  • 2Tbsp Cocoa powder
  • Roughly 1/2 Cup of craisins and 1/2 Cup of Nestle Caramel Drops (but you could add/substitute with mini marshmallows, almonds, chocolate drops, or anything else that takes your fancy

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180.C and either line your muffin tin or baking tin with muffin cases/baking paper.
  2. Place butter and chocolate into a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Or if you are lazy like me just pop it directly in the saucepan over a very low heat/microwave with 30 second bursts with heaps of stirring in between. Melt until everything is smooth and combined (i.e. the chocolate is melted..)
  3. Sift in the flour and cocoa and stir into the chocolate mixture,
  4. Add in the extra ingredients and stir to combine.
  5. Pour into your chosen baking receptacle and bake for around 10-15 mins in the muffin tin (test after ten mins quite often with a skewer, or in my case a piece of spaghetti past (uncooked!) to test. These will be best if the skewer/pasta comes out almost clean, moist but not completely dry). If using a rectangle brownie tin bake for approx 45-50mins. Remove to cool then enjoy! Or if you can resist long enough sprinkle with icing sugar cause it looks pretty

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These are delicious and moist, rich but also complex with the taste of tart craisins/cranberries and delicious morsels of caramel. These also last really well if you store them in a airtight container. I am sure you could substiture the GF flour for normal flour but I have no idea if it turns out the same. I think the dense nature of GF baking really works for this recipe and creates the perfect little lunchbox treat for work, firm on the outside but deliciously chocolatey on the inside. Definitely give it a try, they are basically fool proof. The only real warning I have is to make sure you  don’t overcook them. These are 100x nicer when they are still a little under on the inside. This is harder to acheive in muffin form but with a little careful testing can still be done.

Give them a try and let me know what you think! Also if you have any other great ideas for additions please share below. I will making this many more times in the near future…

Lizzy Xx

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Made Me Smile

Hi All,

I hope everyone has had a great week. Today I had my second exam (out of 5) and I have another one tomorrow so this post is a 5 minute throw up and hope I don’t make too many spelling mistakes haha (I seem to do those a lot lately). Here are some of the highlights of my slightly boring week of exams and study.

This amazing bunch of goodies was kindly bought for my by my mum! She went to some big sale while I studied my wee behind off and managed to choose products that I totally would have chosen for myself. She knows me so well (especially when it comes to nail polish). I also have a review for the mascara coming up in a wee while as I love trying new ones out.

This week was the week of birthdays with Mr 4 turning into Mr 5 and Dad also celebrating his birthday! These little tarts were my baking gift for dad. Having never ventured into the world of tarts before this was an interesting experience but I was actually really happy with how they turned out. Chocolate orange on the top and lemon curd below. Both rather scrumptious.

A huge highlight of this week was Callie getting her crazy, annoying Elizabethan collar removed along with the stitches on her tail (or rather what’s left of it…awkward). She has been so much happier and more like her crazy self since, as exemplified with this blurry shot of her helping herself to a treat.

Okay so I am not an Outfit of the day kind of person (I generally don’t buy many clothes as a poor student and wear jeans and a top of some description most days) but on Sunday it was birthday party time for Mr 5 and I couldn’t help but snap a photo of this dress as it is definitely one of my favorites!

Mr 5’s birthday party was held at Kelly Tarlton’s, the main aquarium here in Auckland.It turned out to be heaps of fun despite having 12 crazy 4/5 years olds running around high on sugar. The penguins were my absolute favorite  along with the big stingrays as pictured below which for some reason just seem like giant puppy dogs of the sea.

So there’s my week in smiles! Wish me luck in my exam tomorrow 🙂

Xx

Made Me Smile

So last week was the end of my lectures for my last undergraduate semester. Pretty exciting but a bit of an anti-climax to be honest, especially with the looming exams starting this Saturday (yup, even my weekends are victim to the hell that is my 5 exams). I can’t wait for exams to be over. I have so many posts I want to write but am lacking so much time at the moment and these 5 minute posts seem to be all I can muster 😦

Regardless, here are the few small things that kept me smiling all week.

By now I am sure you aren’t surprised to see tea high on my list of weekly highlights. This is a new favorite and I have been completely in love with the sumptuous taste of this ceylon tea. It smells like Turkish delight and  tastes even better. A big pot of this each night has made the study seem a bit sweeter.

To celebrate the end of lectures I made some chocolate cupcakes with my first ever attempt at chocolate buttercream (I know, but I’m pretty new to this cupcake stuff). These were amazing and probably my favorite cupcakes (me-made) so far.

Thursday I received my first ever Sample Bar box. You can read all about it right here! This definitely made a nice break from a week full of Uni and getting something in the mail other than bills is always a true delight!

I dunno where this image comes from but during the week a lovely lady, Mish, sent an email to me with this and some rather fitting (adapted) Police lyrics. This made me giggle in a room full of silent students, studying away, and so I thought it definitely deserved a mention. Owls are pretty awesome (not as great as foxes though).

As usual I arrive late to every great party and these Arizona Tea drinks are amazing!!! Again, Mish told me all about these weeks ago and I was like “oh cool” and that was it. On my last day at Uni I saw them at the Munchie Mart (our awesome Uni dairy thing) and grabbed the most appealing. All in all, the nicest tea drink I’ve tried. Also, the bottles are so gorgeous that I can hardly bear to throw them out. Go get some!

Saturday involved Edd and I indulging in our new favorite treat. Eggs Benedict at St Lukes. Seriously amazing. I almost wish I didn’t enjoy them so much. My wallet would definitely thank me.

Lastly, Sunday saw me baking away with Mr 4 and Mr 10 (banana muffins at the request of Mr 4). This photo captures how Mr 4 is for the majority of our baking time and explains why my post-baking clean up can take quite  a while. He just finds it very exciting 😛 Mr 10 on the other hand takes baking (like all things) very seriously and so coping with a crazy 4 yr old can sometimes be a struggle. Its always a fun experience though 🙂

Here’s the more peaceful image I posted on Instagram. A rare moment of cooperation and tranquility. Don’t worry, this didn’t last long.

Hope you are all having a lovely week! Time to get back to studying (yay…)

Xx

Easy Lemonade Scones!

Hi All!

So today I thought I would throw up a quick recipe! I don’t have a great track record with Scones, I love them yet despite being heralded as an easy thing to bake I tend to end up with rock hard cakes that don’t really taste that great. I’m not sure where I go wrong but after enjoying my Nana’s scones time and time again I finally asked her for her recipe and was pleasantly surprised to receive what appeared to be even easier than other scone recipes. So, don’t b e scared by the use of lemonade as these scones come out amazingly fluffy and tasty. My poor photos aren’t the best communicators of deliciousness but with such cheap ingredients I think you should just give it a try!

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Father’s Day and Cupcake Madness

Hi All!

So today is supposed to be a “made me smile” post but that isn’t going to happen until tomorrow night sadly! I think I may move it to Monday nights as I seem incapable of posting Sundays. So this is a brief one!

Today was Father’s Day here in New Zealand and I am lucky enough to have an amazing Dad who is clever, generous, quirky, loving and most inportantly has great taste in music! To treat him Edd and I took him to see the new remake of Total Recall, an absolute classic sci fi with good ole arnie and some cringeworthy special effects that me and Dad used to love!! The remake surpassed my expectations and I was very pleasantly suprised! The two boys enjoyed it too.

After this Edd and I got home and I got into some crazy mini cupcake baking madness. It’s now 11.16pm and my 40+ mini cupcakes are baked and taste delish! Tomorrow morning = icing!!
Why you may ask did I decide 10pm would be a good time to bake what felt like 100 cupcakes? Tomorrow there is some food thingy on at the University where I go and my mum works and her departments food stall was in desperate need for some vanilla mini cupcakes! Cue baking session. In return I get to feast on all the other food that will be on display, a fair compromise me thinks!!
So all in all a busy night with not much time left for blogging.

Hope everyone had an amazing weekend!!

Xx