Thursday, 23 January 2014

Piped Biscuits

piped biscuits photo 24db6c1d-17a7-49c9-9994-a0b04f761678.jpgEvery Christmas, my mum gets loads of presents off her clients, and the majority of the time, it's this one tin of Belgian biscuits from M&S, you might know the one I'm talking about. Unfortunately for her (or fortunately for me) she doesn't like them anymore - she's had so many she's gone off them - which means that I only have to share them with my brother.
In this tin, there are a couple of these piped biscuits, which are so yummy; they're similar to shortbread, and then to top it all off, they're then dipped in chocolate. Talk about delish.
Immediately after I ate the last one, I was starting to have withdrawal symptoms, so I had to quickly whip up a batch to make up for it. And OMG, they're even better when they're homemade.
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Ingredients:
250g Unsalted Butter
70g Icing Sugar
225g Plain Flour
75g Corn Flour
2tsp Vanilla Essence
2tbsp Milk (optional)
200g Dark Chocolate

Method:
First pre-heat the oven to Gas Mark 3/ 170C/ 325F, and line some baking trays with some baking parchment. In a large mixing bowl, or a stand mixer, cream together the butter and icing sugar, until pale. Sieve the flour and corn flour together into the mixing bowl, and mix all the ingredients together, before adding the vanilla extract. If the mixture is a bit thick, add a couple of tablespoons of milk. Spoon the mixture into a piping bag with a star piping nozzle, and pipe onto the baking trays in whatever shape you like. Bake in the oven for between 15-18 minutes, until the biscuits are lightly golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Once cool, melt the dark chocolate, and dip the biscuits into the chocolate, and place the biscuits onto some more baking parchment to let the chocolate harden. This can take a while, depending on how warm your house is.
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I made sure to put these biscuits straight into the biscuit tin, and served them with some coffee. Absolute perfection.
Sophie x

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

The Interestings

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Is anyone else taking part in the Book Club over at A Beautiful Mess? It's only just started this month, but I feel like the timing is perfect for me. Just within a few hours of deciding that one of my New Year Resolutions would be to read a load of books, they posted the first book in the series. Coincidence?

Anyway, the first book is The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer, which I've downloaded on my iPad. So far I'm only half way through the book, but I really am enjoying it. Wolitzer is a very captivating writer, and the style of writing is something I've not really read before. She has written some really well developed characters, which she is constantly jumping between; and within the characters themselves she jumps between their past and present stories. But it is done in a very clever way, and I've never found myself lost or confused.

As far as I can tell, the book is mostly based on one character, a girl called Jules Jacobson, who is invited to be part of a group of teenagers whilst at a summer camp in 1974. The story then carries on with them all becoming adults, and follows all of their life experiences. However, this isn't one of those books where all of the characters have their dream jobs and have a perfect life. The book actually shows you that life isn't always perfect, and that things won't turn out as you expect it to. I've also noticed that a main theme within the book is jealousy. Jules has a lot of jealousy when it comes to her friends and their lives, wishing that her life was similar to theirs, even when it seems her life is pretty good.

I personally think that this book can relate to almost everyone, and is quite an intelligent and sometimes humorous read, and I can't wait to finish the book and find out what else happens to the characters. I would definitely recommend you to read it.

Sophie x

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

New Year Resolutions

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Happy New Year everyone! I hope you all had a lovely night celebrating bringing in the new year, and I also hope that your Christmases were great too! (Christmas seems like ages ago now, am I right?)
I've never been too into New Year's, as it's never been a big thing in my family, but as I grew older, I started to see it as a fresh start for your life, letting you see what aspects of your life you want to improve upon. When I was younger, I saw them as a bit stupid, mostly because the most popular one people did (and still do) was to try and go to the gym more. And we all know how that one ends up.

But this year I've decided I will set myself a couple of goals, just some easy ones, to make myself feel a bit better as a person:

My first one is to be better at communication. I'm absolutely rubbish at texting my friends; I'm the type of person that will text someone once in a blue moon. Yes, I'm that bad. It doesn't mean that I don't like them, it's just that I don't need to speak to my friends all of the time. We can go months without having a proper chat, but as soon as we meet, it's like we were never apart.
But even so, I'm going to try and improve that part of myself, and show my friends that I'm always there for them.

My second resolution is to try and read more books. I'm aiming to read at least 24 books by this time next year. That's just two books a month. Seems easy doesn't it. But since becoming employed, my books are just sitting on a shelf gathering dust. And I feel like I'm missing out not reading them. It's also because I bought my mum a kindle for Christmas, and she's found her love for books again. Seeing her reading, something she hasn't really done since I was a small child, inspired me to try harder to pick up my books and remind myself why I can spend hours doing nothing else.

They probably don't seem like much to anyone else, but to me this is what is important at the moment I write this post. There is a very high chance I'll think of something else, and I'll just add it to the list of things that will (hopefully) improve my life.

What resolutions have you decided to try this year, if you are even doing any?

Sophie x