This recipe is from Nigella Lawson’s Nigella Christmas. These chocolate biscuits taste a lot like chocolate shortbread and their so easy to make. The video below is of Nigella Lawson cooking the chocolate biscuits.



For the top of the cookies you can use Nigella's festive topping but I just used melted milk chocolate.



Nigella Lawson's Christmas Chocolate Biscuits

Ingredients
250g soft butter
150g caster sugar
40g cocoa powder
300g plain flour
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 teaspoon baking powder

For The Festive Topping
2 x 15ml tablespoons cocoa powder
175g icing sugar
60ml boiling water, from a kettle
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Christmas Sprinkles
Smarties (optional)

Method
1.      Preheat the oven to 170̊C/ gas mark 3 and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
2.      Cream the butter and sugar in a bowl and, when you have a light, soft whipped mixture, beat in the 1/3 cup cocoa powder (sifting if it is lumpy) and, when that's mixed in, beat in the flour with the baking soda and baking powder. Or just put everything in the processor and blitz, if you prefer.
3.      This mixture is very soft and sticky and I find it easiest to form the cookies wearing my disposable vinyl gloves, so pinch off pieces about 1 tablespoon in size, roll them into balls, then slightly flatten into fat discs as you place them, well spaced, on your cookies sheet. You should get about 12 on at a time.
4.      Bake each batch for 15 minutes; even though the cookies won't feel as if they've had enough time, they will continue to cook as they cool. They will look slightly cracked on top, and it's this cozy, homespun look I love.
5.      Move the cookie sheet to a cold surface and let it sit for 15 minutes before transferring the cookies to a wire rack, with a sheet of newspaper under it (to catch drips while topping them).
6.      To make the topping, put the cocoa powder, confectioners' sugar, water and vanilla extract into a small saucepan and whisk over a low heat until everything is smoothly combined. Take off the heat for 10 minutes.
7.      When the cookies are cool, drizzle each one with a tablespoonful of chocolate glaze—it will help "glue" the sprinkles on in a minute. Use the back of the spoon to help spread the mixture, though an uneven dribbled look is part of their charm.
8.      After you've iced 6 cookies, scatter with some of the Christmas sprinkles and continue until all the cookies are topped. If you ice them all before sprinkling, you will find the cocoa "glue" has dried and the sprinkles won't stick on.






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This is another recipe from The Good Mood Food Blog. This banoffee pie is really nice. The base is simple. It’s just mixing digestive biscuits and butter together! I find the flavour of the banana in the banoffee pie is a bit strong, but it’s still nice.


Donal Skehan's Crunchie Sticky Banoffee Pie

Ingredients
Serves 6 
1 can condensed milk (
297g)
230g digestive biscuits, about 16 crushed finely
115g butter, melted
3 bananas
250ml of cream
3 crunchie bars, roughly chopped


Method
1. In a small high sided pot, cover the tin and boil the unopened can of condensed milk for 2 hours, keep an eye on it making sure the water level is always above the top of the can.
2. While the can is boiling, prepare the base of the pie.
Mix together the crushed digestive biscuits with the melted butter until they are combined and then spread the mixture evenly over the base of a 18cm cake tin with a removable base.
3. Cover and chill for 2 hours in the fridge.
When the can has finished boiling remove from the water and allow to cool. When the can is cool to the touch, open and spread the caramelised condensed milk over the biscuit base.
4. Slice the bananas evenly and arrange over the caramel.
Whip the cream until it is just about stiff and spread on top of the bananas.
5. Sprinkle the crunchie bar over the top of the cream as artistically as you feel necessary! Cover and refrigerate until you are ready to serve.


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This recipe is adapted from one of my Mam’s cookery school recipes - Killachonna Cookery School. This makes a perfect supper on a cold winter’s night. It’s as simple as a toasted sandwich but it tastes better! In this recipe you don’t need to put in the ham or chives but you can add extra ingredients (onions, salami etc.). My Mam loves brie (I love it too!!!) and my Mam always puts it in her pan-fried sandwich.

Pan-Fried Ham and Cheese Toastie

Ingredients
25g (2oz) butter
4 slices wholemeal bread
100g (3oz) cheddar cheese, grated
1 teaspoon snipped fresh chives
100g (3oz) ham, chopped

Method

1. Butter the bread and arrange the cheese and ham over half of the slices, buttered side down.
2. Sprinkle over the chives and cover with the remaining slices, buttered side up.
3. Preheat a frying pan and cook the sandwiches for 2 mins on each side, until golden brown and the cheese has melted.
4. Cut into triangles and serve.
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Whenever my Mam sometimes brings me to a coffee shop and I always order a hot chocolate. When I make my own hot chocolate, I always use this recipe, This is the nicest hot chocolate I've ever tasted. It’s really chocolaty, sweet and delicious.

Extra Chocolaty Hot Chocolate

Ingredients
Serves 3
15 mini marshmallows
80g milk chocolate
2 tablespoons drinking chocolate powder
600ml milk
To Serve
whipped cream
a few mini marshmallows
cocoa powder for dusting
Method
1.     Put all the ingredients into a small saucepan over a low heat.
2.     Keep stirring until all the ingredients are well combined. Pour into a mug.
3.     Top with a spoonful of whipped cream, a few mini marshmallows and a dusting of cocoa powder.
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This recipe is from Neven Maguire's Neven Cook's 2. This would be one of my favourite chicken dishes.

Neven Maguire's Chicken Korma

Ingredients
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 onions, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 teasp finely grated root ginger
1 green chilli,seeded and finely chopped
1 teasp garam marsala
1 teasp ground turmeric
1/4 teasp chilli powder
14oz/ 400g can chopped tomatoes
1 teasp tomatoe puree
4 chicken breasts
1/4 pint/ 150mls cream

To Serve
2 tbsp roughly chopped fresh coriander
salt and freshly ground black pepper
cooked basmati rice
warmed naan bread

Method
1. Heat the oil in a pan and fry the onions and garlic for about 10 mins until golden brown. Stir in the ginger and chillli and cook for 1 minute, stirring.
2. Add the garam masala to the pan with turmeric, chilli powder and a pinch of salt and cook for another minute, stirring.
3. Add the tomatoes, tomato puree and 1/4 pint / 150ml of water, stir well to combine. Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 mins until the sauce is so well reduced that it is almost sticking to the bottom of the pan and the oil has separated out on the surface, stirring occasionally.
4. Add the chicken to the pan with a few tbsp of water to the reduced sauce.
5. Slowly bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer gently for about 20 mins or until the chicken is completely cooked.
6. Stir in the cream and simmer gently for a couple of mins. Season to taste.
Serve with a scattering of fresh coriander, boiled basmati rie and warmed naan bread.
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I love smoothies. I have tried out many different combinations of fruit and yogurts and this one is lovely.


Tropical Super Smoothie


Ingredients
1 Banana
1 Small Mango
1 Frozen Yoplait Melon and Orange Yogurt (125g)
1 teaspoon honey
500ml orange juice (freshly squeezed if possible)


Method
1. Peel and chop the banana and mango. Put into the blender and add the yogurt honey and the Orange Juice.
2. Whiz in the blender until the mixture is smooth, thick and smooth. Taste a little, add some more honey if it isn't sweet enough or a squeeze of lemon if too sweet.
3. Enjoy Straight Away!
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