Rosewater, Pistachio, Cranberry, Blueberry & White Chocolate Oat Cookies

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Wow! That’s a mouthful of a recipe title for sure! However, it does tell you exactly what’s in the cookies I made, doesn’t it?

Inspired by the original recipe by the finalist of the Great British Bake Off, Holly Bell, which is incredibly versatile and can easily be altered, depending on your mood and fancy.  Last night, I decided to go a little Persian with some wonderfully fragrant Nielsen Massey Rosewater, some delicious green pistachios from Sainsbury’s, along with some cranberry & blueberry mix which I’d bought from Holland and Barratt and some creamy chunks of Callebeaut white chocolate.  The recipe made about 21 cookies (I forgot to count before we started eating them, still slightly warm from the oven, sorry!)

 

  • 250g Butter, room temperature
  • 150g Soft brown sugar
  • 1½tsp Nielsen Massey Rosewater
  • 150g Self Raising flour
  • 230g Quaker Porridge Oats
  • 100g Cranberry & Blueberry mix
  • 100g White chocolate chunks
  • 100g Pistachios, chopped

Rosewater, Pistachio, Cranberry, Blueberry & White Chocolate Oat Cookies

  1. Preheat your oven to 160ºC.
  2. Line your baking sheets with parchment paper (I used 4 baking sheets and baked them in pairs).
  3. Cream the butter and sugar, along with the rosewater until light and fluffy. (I was watching The Fall on BBC iPlayer as I was baking, can you tell?!)  It’s much easier to use a hand mixer when creaming your butter and sugar, and I use my Kenwood K-Mix one.

Rosewater, Pistachio, Cranberry, Blueberry & White Chocolate Oat Cookies

  1. Add in the flour and oats and stir to combine fully.
  2. Gently stir in the cranberries, blueberries, chocolate chunks and chopped pistachios.

Rosewater, Pistachio, Cranberry, Blueberry & White Chocolate Oat Cookies

Rosewater, Pistachio, Cranberry, Blueberry & White Chocolate Oat Cookies

  1. Take out plum sized balls (I used a level table spoon measure for my cookies).
  2. Place the cookies on to your baking tray and flatten them out roughly to about 1cm thick.  You need to leave about 2cm between them to allow them to spread a little.

Rosewater, Pistachio, Cranberry, Blueberry & White Chocolate Oat Cookies

  1. Bake for 16 minutes.
  2. The cookies will still be soft when you remove them from the oven, so allow them to cool on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes.

Rosewater, Pistachio, Cranberry, Blueberry & White Chocolate Oat Cookies

  1. Remove the cookies to a cooling tray and leave until cold.
  2. Store in an airtight container, but you won’t be able to resist them for too long!

Rosewater, Pistachio, Cranberry, Blueberry & White Chocolate Oat Cookies

This recipe uses Nielsen Massey rosewater which had previously been sent to me as a gift, along with other vanillas and flavourings.

Book Review & Giveaway – Holly Bell’s Recipes from a Normal Mum

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I’m a huge fan of the Great British Bake Off and even applied to take part in the series a couple of years back.  Obviously, you haven’t seen me on it, as I didn’t get accepted onto the show!  Nevertheless, I still watch it and admit that I do cringe at some of the ‘creations’ and mistakes that are made at times.

Holly Bell was a finalist on the Great British Bake off and runs her very successful blog Recipes from a Normal Mum.  Being relatively locally based to Holly in neighbouring counties, I attended one of her cupcake decorating classes a couple of years back, followed by her bread class too.  Being so local and getting on so well (same cheeky sense of humour), I also popped over to help her out and ease her burden by being her ‘sous chef’ on a few classes too.  I feel very lucky to have kept in contact with this lovely lady since that time as Holly is one of the most genuine (& naughtily funny) ladies that I know.

Based on the roaring success of Holly’s blog and being a finalist on the Great British Bake Off, she has written a book of the same name as her blog that’s jam pack full of fabulous recipes, amazing photographs and little snippets of stories telling where the recipes have come from and hints on how to demystify and simplify the art of baking ‘Holly Style’.

I was recently invited to receive a copy of Holly’s book to review.  Along with my review copy, I was kindly sent an additional copy that I could offer as a giveaway on my blog.

There’s recipes in chapters such as ‘The More the Merrier’, ‘Feeding Goldilocks and Baby Bear Too’ as well as ‘Recipes for Chefs in the Making’ and ‘Presents from the Heart’. The simplicity of some of Holly’s recipes, along with the tasty, tried and tested recipes makes this every good cookery bookcase’s staple addition.

With the busy Christmas season upon us and the New Year of 2015 only days behind, what better time to choose than now to win yourself a copy of Holly’s book. Come January, you too could be baking like one of the best bakers that the Great British Bake Off has introduced us to, with the aid of Holly’s fabulous book.

In order to win this copy of Holly’s book, simply email me at blog@freycob.co.uk with the answers to the following questions.

1. What year was Holly a contestant and finalist on the Great British Bake Off?
2. In Holly’s recipe for Sweet Potato Chips on her blog, how long do you need to bake them in the oven for?
3. In Holly’s recipe for Healthier Fish and Chips recipe on her blog, what fish does Holly recommend using?

All answers can be found on Holly’s blog Recipes from a Normal Mum. The closing date for this giveaway is 6pm on Sunday 28th December 2014.  I will announce the winner shortly afterwards and will post out the winning book to reach the lucky recipient that week.  Due to the weight of the book, postage will be to the UK only.

I’m off to the kitchen to try out Holly’s Hex Family Stollen recipe. Catch you later!

I was sent a review copy and an additional copy of Holly’s to give away book free of charge.

Cupcakes, creatures and Holly Bell!

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This isn’t a recipe today, but I HAD to share with you my day out yesterday with none other than the very lovely Holly Bell.
I had a truly amazing day yesterday (29th). Two reasons; it was my mum’s 74th birthday and we had a family meal out, but before that I attended a course on cupcake decorating with Holly Bell (one of the finalists from the Great British Bake Off).
The theme of the day was creatures & flowers. We were welcomed by the very smily (and very genuinely warm & friendly) Holly at Bridge 67 Cookery School in Smeaton Westerby, Leics. We enjoyed a bite of breakfast over coffee, tea and juice, where we introduced ourselves and were presented with our itinerary and the most comprehensive & detailed set of instructions you could hope for.
Our day in the kitchen then began with a demonstration of Holly’s recipe to make the cupcakes. Then it was our turn to make ours. 12 cupcakes made & cooling later and it was on to making the fondant decorations.
Following a demonstration and with the aid of the wonderfully detailed set of instructions, we first cut some butterflies, flowers & leaves, formed them & left the to dry. (Forgot to photograph these, sorry!)
Next came the cutest little snails. I was surprised that mine did actually look like snails and not just strange slugs, but they really did! *happy dance*
We moved on to ladybirds & rose buds, followed by tortoises and plant pots. By now we were all flying with confidence under Holly’s expert guidance.
A break for lunch brought us beautifully crafted & presented sandwiches, crisps and home made biscuits to die for! There was even a glass of wine for those who wanted it!
Back into the kitchen afterwards we made buttercream that was as smooth and light you could float away as if on a cloud.
Now the assembly began! The buttercream was tinted as green as grass in the sunniest of meadows and our we ‘planted’ our roses and sat our ladybirds down in the sun beside them.
We rolled fondant & impressed a wood grain effect ready to place our snails; complete with a leaf or two to munch on.
Green fondant became grass on which our tortoise sat beside a pretty little plant pot of blooms.
A white full moon background became home to our owls; resting on a branch being all wise and seeing.
While others made ducks, I made robins and sat them on the sea of a swirly blue bird bath.
Holly taught us to pipe ‘roses’, ‘swirls’ and ‘high hat’ with buttercream on which we ‘landed’ our butterflies before we painted, glitzed and embellished them to shine & sparkle.
We were given lovely gold cake boxes into which we brought our creations home to share with our loved ones.
Mine came with us to the restaurant (complete with my cake stand) as a centrepiece for mum’s birthday. Mum loved them & they also received admiring glances and complimentary remarks from the waiters & waitresses too.
We sadly had to leave Holly and the cookery school at 5:15pm, but not before we were each given a bag of her wonderful homemade biscuits to enjoy later with a cup of tea.
Armed with the wonderful memory of a fantastic day with a fabulous teacher in the company if some truly talented and lovely ladies, not to mention incredibly detailed notes for our future creations, we hugged and sadly said our farewells. Not goodbye but see you again in the future!
Holly, I wish you the best of everything I would hope for myself. You have a wonderful personality, a kind nature & a skill in presentation & teaching that many would envy! May your future take you to the moon & back. Your butterfly wings have grown; let them unfurl and you will fly!
Love, hugs and thanks xxx