Tag: baking powder

Dark Chocolate Oatmeal Lace Cookies

These delicious cookies are light, crisp and chewy, made with basic ingredients like oats, flour, butter, sugar and spices– then once baked they are sandwiched together with melted dark chocolate. If you’re baking cookies for Holiday parties, or just to leave Santa, these are a must!

Holiday traditions in my family always included baking cookies with the kids. My Mom did it with my brother and I, and she still does it with my children. To ease some of the guilt, I try to include some lighter cookie recipes in the mix and these lace cookies are one of my favorites. Of course, I do practice restraint and tracking (and exercise) helps keep me in check this time of the year.

One thing to keep in mind when baking these cookies is the batter will spread once baked so don’t put them too close together on the cookie sheet. Once baked they will keep well in an airtight container.

Dark Chocolate Oatmeal Lace Cookies
Servings: 22 • Size: 1 sandwich • Old Points: 2 pts • Points+: 2 pts
Calories: 66 • Fat: 3 g • Protein: 1 g • Carb: 10 g • Fiber: 0 g • Sugar: 7 g
Sodium: 7 mg • Cholesterol: 6 mg


  • 1/2 cup sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tbsp 1% milk
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 oz dark chocolate, melted (calculated with 1 oz only)


Preheat oven to 375°F. Line two baking sheets with Silpats or parchment paper; set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, salt, and oats; set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine melted butter, milk, honey, and vanilla. Mix until smooth. Slowly add in the dry ingredients and mix to combine.

Drop 1 level teaspoon of batter onto prepared baking sheets leaving space in between, placing only 12 cookies on each sheet because the cookies will spread in the oven.

Bake for 7-9 minutes. Remove from oven and let cookies cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes. Carefully transfer cookies to a wire rack and cool completely.

Spread one cookie with a thin layer of melted chocolate and sandwich with another cookie on top. Repeat with remaining cookies. You will only use about 1 oz of chocolate, I calculated accordingly.

Sweetie tray bake


For the cake:

  • 200g butter
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 4 medium eggs
  • 200g self-raising flour
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • Zest of 1 medium orange
  • 2-4tsp orange food colouring

To decorate:

  • 200g white chocolate
  • Smarties, M&Ms, Maltesers, Haribo, Dolly mix, sugar strands, chocolate buttons

The kids are going to love this delicious orange and white chocolate tray bake covered in melted chocolate and a variety of their favourite sweets.

This tray bake is really easy to make and only takes 25 mins to cook and 20 mins to prepare.

It is best stored in an airtight container and eaten within 3 days. This tray bake should serve 6-8 people.

This sweetie tray bake would make the perfect birthday cake and you don’t have to be neat when it comes to decorating – you could even get the kids to help you. From dolly mix to crunchy Maltesers, you can top this tray bake with pretty much anything you fancy.

Swap the orange for lemon or try making a chocolate orange tray bake instead by substituting some of the flour for cocoa powder instead – the possibilites are endless!


Step 1

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4 and line a small square baking tin (9in x 9in) with greaseproof paper.


Step 2

Mix all of the wet ingredients together with an electric hand whisk. Once combined add in the flour, baking powder, orange zest and orange food colouring and mix again.


Step 3

The mixture should be smooth and orange in colour. If you’re not happy with the colour of your cake mix add in some more food colouring and beat with a wooden spoon.


Step 4

Pour the mixture into the tray and bake for 20-25 mins until golden. Turn out onto a wire rack and leave to cool. Once cooled, cut the edges off the bake using a bread knife. This will show off the colour of the sponge inside.


Step 5

Place your cake onto your chosen serving plate or board. Next, melt the white chocolate in a microwavable bowl and spoon over the cake and leave to cool.


Step 6

Spoon the rest of mixture on top of the cake letting it run down the edges. Giving your cake two coats of white chocolate will make sure there are no crumbs. Leave to cool a little, but not too long as you don’t want it to set.


Step 7

Cover in different sweets like M&Ms, Smarties, Haribos and leave to set on the side or in the fridge until it’s ready to be served.


  • Small square tray, 9in x 9in (1in/3cm height)
  • Greaseproof paper
  • Spatula
  • Bread knife

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A Birthday Cake

A small personality flaw both my husband and I display is haste. We fuck up otherwise simple tasks just by going at them fast, angrily, drunk, twenty minutes before we have to leave the house.

There are people in the world who do not do this. They plan everything out, get all the bits out of the box, remove all the plastic, smooth out the instructions, turn off their phone, put Classic FM on and proceed with great care and thought until the thing is done to a craftsman’s standard.

I find these sort of people quite annoying. I am usually hovering in the background shrieking “Just shove it all in and turn it on! It’ll be fine!”

Occasionally great haste doesn’t mater. You CAN do something in eight seconds flat and it works out well. I have never planned a piece of writing, for example, and neither has my husband. We both attack our keyboards in a great fury, writing as if we’re running after a bus on which we have left our wallet, phone, keys and firstborn. It’s always worked okay for Giles. I admit that I am more of a work in progress – but what I will say is that any variance in quality in my writing never has anything to do with how long it took me.

But anyway, because about 70% of the time, great haste doesn’t do you any damage, it’s never been a flaw I’ve sought very hard to correct. But in cooking, especially cooking things for the first time, that great haste can get you in the most serious amount of miserable shit. Haste and a new recipe do not work well together – an awful lot of stuff ends up in the bin, down the sink and you are left exhausted, eating mousetrap and crackers for dinner. Be as hasty as you like with something you’ve done a thousand times, but you rush a new foe at your own peril.

Like this birthday cake, which I made for Kitty’s 2nd birthday party this weekend. The base was a chocolate cake from Edd Kimber’s excellent book Say It With Cake. It is a terrific cake: it is plain, but delicious and not too sweet. I was very concerned that it would have a too grown-up, almost bitter flavour (due to all the 70% cocoa solids specified),but it went down very well with the six children under six at Kitty’s birthday tea.

The cake is also nice and solid, so takes icing and decoration well – and it keeps brilliantly and is completely edible for days afterwards, unlike a bloody sponge, which crumbles to dust within 24 hours and is fit for nothing but the bin.

The drawback is that it is not a dump-and-stir, there are various different moving parts, which require your attention for a few hours and must not be combined with drunkenness, childcare of the under 5s or a pressing need to be somewhere soon. It is not hard, you understand, but you do need to concentrate.

So here we go

For the cake
30g cocoa powder
50ml strong hot coffee (I used instant, which was fine. If you are very touchy about caffeine for children, just use hot water or decaf)
50ml hot water
200g butter
200g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids – I used Green & Blacks cooking stuff)
300g soft light brown sugar
4 eggs
175g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder

For the chocolate buttercream
NB – I baked the cake in one tin, rather than in 2 sandwich tins, so this quantity of buttecream was too much. If you are baking this in one tin, rather than two, I’d say to halve the buttercream quantities, or at least reduce buy a third.

100g dark chocolate, chopped
175g butter at room temperature
75ml double cream
375g icing sugar
a pinch of salt

1 Set oven to 180 and then grease/line either 2 x 20cm shallow sandwich tins or just one deep 20cm tin. Square or round, doesn’t matter.

2 Put the cocoa in a little bowl and pour over the hot coffee AND hot water and mix it to a sort of creamy liquidy consistency and then set to one side.

3 Set a heatproof bowl over a pan of water on the hob – so just not a metal one. The bottom of the bowl should not touch the water and the pan ought to be on the lowest setting of your smallest plate or burner. Now pile in the 200g butter, cut into chunks and the chocolate, chopped.

Now just leave this alone. Don’t turn the heat up, even if it looks like it’s not doing anything for ages and ages. Butter-and-chocolate splits incredibly easily and when it does, it’s completely unusable. I have seen otherwise excellent and competent cooks split butter-and-chocolate so it’s not just me being a bellend. So just let it sit there melting very slowly. It might take about 20 mins but that’s just too bad. You can stir it round a bit at the end just to encourage it to melt entirely.

An unsplit chocolate and butter mix

4 Whisk the sugar and eggs together until pale. Pour in your melted chocolate and butter and whisk to mix.

(NB do not bother to wash up this bowl now – just scrape it clean with a spatula because you might as well use it for the buttercream later)

5 Sift the flour and baking powder over this mixture and fold together until the flour has disappeared. Now stir in the cocoa mixture that you set to one side at the start of this little adventure.

6 Either divide this between two tins or put it in your one big one.

7 Two tins will take 30 mins to cook but one big one took nearly an hour. Start off with 40 mins and then keep testing with a skewer every 10 mins thereafter. Balance a sheet of foil over the top of the cake if you worry that your oven is too vigorous and that the top might burn.

8 To make the buttercream, melt the chocolate in your already-used heatproof bowl using the method described above. In a separate bowl whisk the butter for a few minutes until it is approximately “light and fluffy”. Pour in the double cream cautiously and whisk all this together.

9 Add the icing sugar, one large tablespoon at a time. I have never found a way of doing this that doesn’t leave your kitchen looking like a rock star’s dressing room – you might be more clever about it. Add the pinch of salt and continue to beat until it all looks like buttercream – about a minute or so. Now pour over the melted chocolate and beat a bit more. Quite hard on the old arms, this, if you are using a hand mixer.

Rock star dressing room? No, my kitchen while buttercream is in progress

10 To put this together, you can either sandwich the two halves together with the buttercream or just slap the buttercream all the way round one big one. Leave the buttercream to set for a bit on the cake before you lay the icing over.

11 I have never used this Playdoh-like icing (sometimes called “sugarpaste”) before, and I assumed it would be a nightmare, but it was quite straightforward. I bought one pack of white pre-rolled stuff, which was brilliant and one pack of ready-to-roll stuff, because I wanted to knead some food colouring into it.

Kneading food coloring into ready-to-roll is actually pretty easy BUT I found rolling it out in order to lay over the cake not so straightforward. It’s possible that it was because it was a bit warm from having the colour kneaded into it and needed to be chilled before the final application. I found some icing sugar dusted on to my worksurface helped.

So you just splosh or scatter over food colouring and knead the icing like you would knead dough

Decorate at will.

Anyway so like I said: not a cake to do in a hurry, but excellent for any birthday girl or boy of any age.

NB: all decorations for this Peppa Pig cake came from Waitrose – including wafer daisies, sugarpaste, food colouring and sugar butterflies. Peppa Pig herself is a fridge magnet that came free with a magazine.


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