Closest thing to Millie’s

Millie's cookies

Well the sad thing with this is that the cookies taste DIVINE, but unfortunately don’t look divine.  The good news however is that yours will not look like this.  Why I hear you ask? Because I didn’t have chocolate chips so used chunks of a bar of chocolate instead, but you all will use chocolate chips which will look loads neater.  Add the cup of milk for an even more fabulous experience (cookies and milk – yum!).

I made these because I fancied Millie’s but wasn’t about to drive all the way to get some and spend a fortune.

After trying many recipes I’d say this one definitely comes closest to the Millie’s taste and it is helpfully called ‘Millie’s cookie recipe’ on the BBC website (obviously not the ACTUAL recipe which I would imagine is a closely guarded secret).  They are absolutely delicious, hope you enjoy.

  • 125g softened butter
  • 100g light brown sugar
  • 125g caster sugar
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 225g self-raising flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 200g chocolate chips
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C, gas mark 4
  2. Cream the butter and sugar together and then stir in the egg and vanilla.
  3. Sift in the flour and salt, then add the chocolate chips.
  4. Roll into walnut size balls/
  5. sausage shape and slice to make neater looking cookies.
  6. Place on ungreased baking paper. If you want  the real Millies experience then bake for just 7 minutes, until the cookies are just setting – the cookies will be really doughy and delicious. Otherwise cook for 10 minutes until just golden round the edges.
  7. Take out of the oven and leave to harden for a minute before transferring to a wire cooling rack.
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Peanut butter chocolate crispy squares

Peanut butter square - one Peanut butter chocolate squares
I LOVE peanut butter and when my cousin in Israel recently sent me this recipe I had to try it straight away.
Separately, a good friend of mine who has been living in New York for the past year and thus had access to a regular stash of Reese’s cups which she absolutely loves, came home a couple of weeks ago to London, moaning about the expense of buying Reese’s here.  I gave her some of these squares and she said they were as good as Reese’s and she’ll happily eat these instead!
350g chocolate
1 jar peanut butter
1 1/4 cups honey
7 cups rice krispies
350g white choc
100g bitter choc
On a low light, melt the chocolate and half of the jar of peanut butter with three tablespoons of water until the mixture is smooth.
Then add the rice krispies and honey.
Spread this on baking paper on a baking tray and then put in either the fridge or freezer while doing the next bit (I put in the fridge).
Melt white chocolate with rest of the peanut butter on a low light until smooth and then spread the mixture over the first layer (the one currently in the fridge).
I didn’t actually do this last bit as I didn’t have bitter chocolate but you are supposed to then melt the bitter chocolate in the microwave and drizzle over the top in a pattern.  It is however, absolutely delicious without said bitter chocolate!
Place the finished result in the fridge until hard.  Then cut into small squares and either put into little cases to serve or freeze (as it makes loads) until needed.

Carrot cake with cream cheese frosting

Carrot cake

I work in a very large corporate firm and about a year ago it was decided to split my huge department into what they call ‘PODs’ which are in effect, social teams.  The idea is that each team competes against each other in various different social settings.

A couple of months ago we were told that there would be an inter-pod bake off, and my POD leader emailed round to see if anyone was interested in baking the entry for my team.  I was on holiday at the time, and after seeing the email on my BlackBerry decided that I couldn’t be bothered to do it.  Many emails in response to my POD leader flew around for the rest of the day between the team which I ignored.  However, later on that day one caught my eye from said POD leader simply stating that “carrot cake always wins a bake off”.

This caught my attention because one of my cousins had recently sent me a carrot cake recipe. I had always wondered why anyone would eat a cake with vegetables in it and it may surprise you, given that this is a baking blog, to learn that I had in fact never had a slice of carrot cake in my life!  I was also baffled as to why “carrot cake always wins a bake off” (surely chocolate cake or something else would?!) and so I decided to find out for myself.

I made the cake, loved it so much that I actually did end up entering it for my team in the bake-off and won the competition (which I was NOT expecting)!

Chief judge actually told me all the judges (the partners) thought I’d bought it and asked me to tell them the recipe to prove I’d made it.  Flattering, but I was a bit taken aback!  People who don’t normally like carrot cake at work told me they really enjoyed the cake and my little brother, a harsh critic, loved it too so I hope you will also all enjoy this very easy but delicious recipe.

I made my cousins recipe, changing it very slightly, and used a cream cheese frosting which I adapted from the Hummingbird Bakery cookbook.  I decorated the cake with little carrot decorations I found from Sainsburys, but intend to make my own decorations in the future.

I made the cake again today to freeze for the Xmas holidays when I have lots of friends coming round for tea.

Ingredients

1 1\4 cups oil
2 cups demerara sugar
4 eggs
2 cups plain flour
2 1/2 tsps baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
3 cups grated carrots
walnuts, raisins, sultanas…2.handfuls – if you wish or you can leave this out

For the frosting:

300g icing sugar
50g unsalted butter – at room temperature
125g cream cheese

Method

Mix the oil and sugar, beating well.
Next add the eggs to the oil and sugar mixture and beat well.
All the flour, baking powder and cinnamon to the mixture followed by the carrots and nuts/raisins/walnuts.

Pour mixture into greased baking tin (I use calorie free cooking spray to grease the tin) and bake for an hour (in a medium oven) – adjust as appropriate or simply leave until risen, golden brown and a skewer comes out clean.

To make the frosting:

Mix the icing sugar and butter together until well mixed.  The recipe advises using a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment, but I did it by hand and it turned out absolutely fine.  Once icing sugar and butter is well mixed, add all of the cream cheese and beat together until completely incorporated and continue beating until the frosting is light and fluffy.  It took me about five minutes.

Top with the carrot decorations or whatever you’d like to use to make the cake look pretty!

The beginning

I was born at 8.55am, just in time for breakfast.

Ever since, I have loved eating food, looking at food, talking about food, dreaming about food and generally having as much do with food as possible.

I always wanted to do something involving food, food tasting / writing reviews, but with no relevant experience had bizarrely enough never considered a food blog.  Until this week when not one, but TWO people told me about the concept.  I took this to be a sign…

I hope you enjoy my blog,

Ilana