Valentine Heart Biscuits Recipe

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These biscuits were what me and my husband made together for fun for Valentine’s Day last year. I wasn’t really planning on making a blog post out of them at the time and so I didn’t really take many good quality photos of the decorating stages. Plus we decorated them at night which meant the lighting was bad in any photographs I took of the finished biscuits. However as Valentines Day is coming up again I decided to share them with you to help give people some inspiration. You can decorate these biscuits in any way you like, and the possibilities are endless. For ours we used rolled out icing in different colours, added some writing icing and a few random cake decorating sprinkles.

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Ingredients

  • 200g unsalted butter allowed to reach room temperature
  • 150g granulated sugar
  • 300g self-raising flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence or other flavouring of your choice
  • Gel food colouring in colours of your choice. We used lilac, green and a small amount of red to make pink
  • Medium sized packet of white roll out icing (a 500g packet should be more than enough)
  • Various coloured tubes of writing icing. We used some glitter writing icing tubes from our local supermarket
  • Various baking decorations and other decorating sprinkles of your choice
  • Icing sugar (for dusting only)

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Method

For the Biscuits:

1. Start by weighing out your sugar and adding it to a bowl.

2. Then weigh out your butter. Cut it into cubes and add to the bowl.

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3. Add your vanilla essence and cream the butter and sugar together fully with a fork.

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4. Weigh out the flour and sieve it into the bowl.

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5. Add a pinch of salt and fold everything together into a dough using your hands.

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6. Put the dough into the fridge to chill for 30 mins.

7. Dust your work surface with flour and remove the dough from the fridge.

8. Start to preheat your oven on gas mark 5 and grease a baking tray with butter.

9. Roll out the dough to just under 1cm thick and use a heart shaped cutter to cut out the biscuit shapes.

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10. Remove the excess dough and put it to one side to reuse later.

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11. Carefully move the biscuits over to the baking tray, making sure that there is room for any expansion in between.

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12. I placed them in the over near the higher side of the middle of the oven for 10 mins.

13. After I turned the tray around and left them for a further 5 mins.

14. Once cooked, I removed them from the oven and carefully removed them from the tray and left to cool. Don’t worry if they seem a bit soft as they will harden as they cool.

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15. Repeat steps 9 – 15 in order to use up the remaining dough.

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For the Decoration:

1. We started by taking sections of the roll out icing and kneading it to get it pliable. Then we used a little gel food colouring and kneaded this into the icing fully to colour it to the colours of our choice. This was repeated with the other colours so we was left with different sized balls of different coloured icing.

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2. Next dust your work surface with some icing sugar and roll out one of your balls of icing into a layer that is a few mm thick. Use the same heart cutter you used for the biscuits to cut out heart shapes. Repeat this with the other colours until you have one heart of icing per biscuit. My husband made a few multicolored icing hearts by placing a few blobs of different coloured icing next to each other and then rolling them out. He also made a marbled effect for some by kneading a few colours together very briefly so that they were mixed together, but not enough for the colours to blend together.

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3. Place the icing hearts onto your biscuits. You might need to use a tiny bit of water on the back of the icing to get it to stick to the biscuit. Alternatively you could use some of your writing icing as if it were glue. As the biscuits expand in the oven, there will be a nice border of biscuit showing around the icing. For some biscuits we did not cover them with an entire heart of icing. Instead we cut the icing hearts in different ways to cover only certain parts of the biscuits.

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4. All that is left to do now is to decorate on top of the icing on your biscuits in any which way you like. The possibilities are endless so just have fun! The below list is a few ideas of different things that we did to ours.

  • We used writing icing to draw lines and patterns on our biscuits.
  • We used writing icing like glue to stick many different sugar decorations onto our biscuits.
  • We used the roll out icing in different colours to make and mold different shapes such as flowers and leaves.
  • We used a table knife to make indent lines in the icing to make a quilted like effect.

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Popping Valentine’s Heart Chocolates

This is the perfect idea for someone who wants to make their better half something personalised for Valentine’s Day, but who doesn’t really have much surplus time to spend.

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Supplies

  • 200g bar of milk chocolate
  • 200g bar of white chocolate
  • Small tub of edible gold food shimmer/glitter
  • Tub of popping candy
  • Small foil heart shaped chocolate cases
  • Silicone mould for making chocolates in heart shapes

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Instructions
1) Lay out your chocolate cases onto a tray and your silicone mould onto another. Having them on a tray makes them easier to transport before they are set.

2) Take the edible shimmer and a small clean brush. Use the brush to coat the inside of the silicone mould with the edible shimmer.

3) Take 2 saucepans of water with a heatproof bowl over the top of each. Make sure the water level is low enough to not touch the bottom of the bowl. Put them on full heat and break up the milk chocolate into one of the bowls and the white chocolate into the other. Stir them until melted fully, making sure not to burn the chocolate.

4) Remove them both from the heat and quickly stir in plenty of the popping candy into each. Try not to over stir it as you will loose some of the popping as you stir.

The rest of the instructions are pretty flexible, so I will just discuss what I did and then you can decide for yourself how you want to do things.

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5) Into the silicone moulds, I filled each heart shape only half way with milk chocolate. I then put this into the fridge straight away.

6) Meanwhile I filled half of the foil heart cases fully with milk chocolate and the other half with white chocolate. I put these into the fridge to set.

7) I removed the silicone mould from the fridge and topped up the remaining half of the mould with the white chocolate. I put this back into the fridge to set fully. This results in chocolates half white and half milk chocolate.

8) When the chocolates in the foil cases had set, I removed them from the fridge and used the brush to place some of the edible shimmer on the top of each one. When the chocolates in the silicone mould had set I carefully removed them from the mould.

If you feel a little more adventurous, you could experiment with adding other things to the chocolates, for example some finely chopped nuts. Think about what flavours your better half likes and experiment and have fun!

Valentine’s Morning Pancakes

This month is not only a leap year month, but we have both Pancake Day and Valentines Day coming up. I thought I would share with you all the pancake breakfast I did for me and my husband for last years Valentine’s Day morning.

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Equipment you will need:

  • Small frying pan
  • Mixing bowl
  • Whisk
  • Rubber heart shape pancake/egg mould (you can normally find these in supermarkets around valentines day).

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Ingredients you will need:

  • 250ml milk
  • 100g flour
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Olive oil
  • Nutella chocolate spread
  • Punnet of strawberries

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What to do:

  1. Wash the strawberries.
  2. Cut off the stems by making a rounded ‘v’ shape in the top of the strawberry.
  3. Then cut each strawberry into slices to make heart shaped slices. Keep to one side.
  4. Next, add the milk, flour, egg and salt to a mixing bowl and whisk together to make a batter.
  5. Leave the bowl in the fridge for 10 mins.
  6. Remove the bowl from the fridge and whisk again.
  7. Heat a little oil in the frying pan on a medium heat.
  8. Place the rubber mould in the pan and pour in the batter to fill the heart shape. Don’t go too fast with the batter as it will start to run out from under the mould. If this happens just push it down in the areas where it is leaking from. You want the pancakes to be around 5mm thick maximum.
  9. As soon as the batter is almost fully solid on top, you can remove the mould without it running everywhere.Be careful when touching the mould as it will be hot.
  10. Repeat steps 7 – 9 until all the batter has been used up.
  11. Spread each pancake with Nutella and place a slice of strawberry on top.

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You can use any left over strawberries to make a strawberry milk shake like I did. The pancake batter recipe I used just follows the standard British pancake recipe my parents have always used for pancake day. Enjoy!

Pink Dotty Pattern Nails

I really had no idea what to name this design. I wanted to do a pattern using dots, that was focused at the base of each nail in a half circle shape, which went around a rhinestone.

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I started by painting all nails in 2 coats of a shimmery pastel pink shade.

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Next I took a raspberry shade and a large dotting tool. I placed a large dot in the centre of the base of each nail. On top of this I placed a pink rhinestone.

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Next I took a medium sized dotting tool and placed 3 dots going around each of the large dots I had previously placed.

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I then took a small dotting tool and used this to make each of my medium dots into a kind of tear drop shape. I then placed small dots in between the gaps where I had placed the medium sized dots.

Sophisticated Deep Red Tip Nails

I really think I made a good choice when I decided to pair this deep dark red shade with the gold flakie glitter. I think it gives it a sophisticated look, like something you would wear with an evening gown.

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I started by painting all my nails in 2 coats of a nude shade to improve the look of my plain nails.

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Then I took a dark red shade and painted 2 coats going on a diagonal line across the bottom halves of each nail. I made sure that the tips of my natural nails could not be seen through the nude base colour.

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I then took a chunky flakie glitter that was mainly gold with a little bit of rose gold flakes in it.

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I placed this over the line where the red meets the nude shade to cover it and make it look more tidy. I found it was easier to use the corner of a make up sponge in order to apply it.

Silk Polka Dot Nails

For this design, I started off by painting all nails in 2 coats of a shimmery white shade from the Barry M Silk collection called ‘Pearl’.

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Next I used a purple shade from the same silk collection called ‘Orchid’. I painted 2 coats of this to the bottom half of each nail only.

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I then used the white shade again and a small dotting tool. I placed polka dots over the purple area on each nail.

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Once this was dry, I used gold coloured striping tape across the line where the white and purple background colours met in order to make it look ‘cleaner’.

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I finished off the design by placing a gold nail art stud on the middle of each nail on top of the striping tape.

Blueberry Cupcakes

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I’ve been wanting to try blueberry cupcakes for a while. I wanted ones that had both blueberries inside and a blueberry flavoured icing. However I’ve never seen blueberry flavouring before in the shops. From my research online it seemed people either didn’t make the icing blueberry flavoured, or they used some sort of freeze dried blueberry powder. But that seemed a bit expensive and hard to get a hold of for what it was. I knew I couldn’t use fresh blueberries, as that would add too much liquid to my icing. However I noticed that my local supermarket sold dried blueberries. So I decided to give that a go, and I can say that it was quite successful providing you blend the dried blueberries into tiny pieces. Don’t make the mistakes I made the first time around by having big lumps of blueberry get jammed in the end of my piping nozzle lol.

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Ingredients

For the Cupcakes:

  • 300g Self Raising Flour
  • 2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 225g Caster or Granulated Sugar
  • 14 tbsp Corn or Sunflower Oil
  • 4 tbsp Milk
  • 4 Eggs
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla Essence
  • 200g Frozen or Fresh Blueberries

For the Icing/Frosting:

  • 250g Unsalted Butter (softened to room temperature)
  • 600g Icing Sugar
  • 80g Cream Cheese
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla Essence
  • 100g Dried Blueberries
  • Lilac and Baby Blue Gel Food Colouring

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Method

For the Cupcakes:

1) Preheat the oven to 180°C or Gas Mark 4.

2) Sift the flour into a bowl and add to it the baking powder, salt and sugar.

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3) In a separate bowl, add the oil, milk, eggs and vanilla. Whisk everything together.

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4) Gradually add the dry mixture to the liquid mixture and beat together until everything is evenly mixed.

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5) Add the blueberries to the mixture and fold in gently with a spoon in order to avoid damaging them too much.

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6) Line a muffin tin with cupcake cases and spoon between 2 – 3 tsp into each case making sure you get some blueberries into each. You want the cases to be around 1/3 to 1/2 of the way full as the mixture will rise while cooking.

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7) Put them into the top/middle of the oven for around 25 – 30 minutes. Test that they are cooked using a toothpick. If it comes out clean then they are ready. Afterwards remove them from the muffin tin and leave them on a wire rack to cool. I found the easiest way to remove them whilst still hot was to poke a toothpick down the side in between 2 folds in the cases, and then use it to pry the cupcake onto its side to that I could grip it and lift it out.

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For the Icing/Frosting:

1) Sift the icing sugar into a bowl. Add the cream cheese. Cut the butter into smaller pieces and add to the bowl as well.

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2) Cream everything together fully into a paste using a fork.

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3) Add your dried blueberries to a food processor/blender and process very well so that no large lumps of blueberry remain as this will clog up your piping nozzle. This step is highly important if you are planning to pipe pretty rose shaped onto your cupcakes. I found the easiest way to blend it up was to add a few tablespoons of the icing mixture to the food processor. This seemed to stop the blades from just pushing the blueberries around rather than chopping them up.

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4) Add the resulting blueberry paste to the bowl with the rest of the icing mixture and cream together well until everything is evenly mixed.

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5) I wasn’t quite happy with the resulting colour of this icing so I added a little lilac and baby blue gel food colouring. This step is completely optional. But if you do use the colouring make sure you mix it in evenly.

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6) You are now ready to pipe your roses onto your cupcakes. To do this you need a specific piping tip. The one I used is called a ‘Wilton 2D Tip’. You can find these easily online (I got mine on Ebay for a couple of quid).

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7) Set up you nozzle in a piping bag. Fill your bag with some of this icing and get it ready for piping.

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8) It is actually quite simple to pipe the roses. Hold the piping nozzle upright above your cupcake. Start in the centre and then work your way outwards in a spiral until the entire cupcake is covered. Move your arm rather than your wrist while doing this as you do not want the angle of the nozzle to change. You can find plenty of videos on the internet that demonstrates this.

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9) Repeat this for your remaining cupcakes, refilling your piping bag as necessary. Don’t worry if you mess any cupcakes up. You can gently scrape the icing off with a table knife and reuse it to try again. If you do happen to get your nozzle clogged up with some blueberry pieces, you can use the prong of a fork to try and pull it through. Just be careful to not bend your nozzle out of shape.

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I love all things blueberry flavoured, and these cupcakes are easily one of my favourite. I hope you enjoy making and eating them as much as I did.

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Rose Frost Nails

Originally, I had planned to build up a couple of layers of chunky flakie glitter over the top of this. But after applying the fine glitter I felt it looked too subtly pretty to add anything else to it. The glitter design makes me think of a metallic kind of wintry frost.

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I started by painting all nails in 2 coats of a chrome rose shade.

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Once this was dry, I used a makeup sponge and blobbed a little bit of a fine pink glitter on it.

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I then dabbed the sponge onto the nail. I made sure to mainly focus on applying it to the tip and working upwards to around halfway up the nail in a gradient.

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I then repeated this 2 more times per nail, making sure that the most concentrated area of glitter on each nail was at the tip.

Pyramid Gem Nails

I was short on time this week, so had to come up with something that was quick but not too boring.

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I started by painting all my nails in 2 coats of a deep red shade.

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I then took some triangle shaped rhinestones/nail gems. I only had these in yellow unfortunately, as I would not normally go for this colour. However I think they went OK with the red base colour.

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I placed one triangle in the centre of the base of each nail so that the point was pointing towards the tips.

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To finish the design off, on the ring finger and thumb nails, I placed 2 more triangles on either side of the first one. Then I placed 2 above this facing the opposite direction, and then finally one on top of those facing in the direction of the bottom row. This created a kind of pyramid shape.

Snowman Nails

So for this year’s Christmas nails, I decided on some snowman face nails. I decided to use a glittery white textured nail paint for the background colour, as I felt it would be a pretty way to mimic the texture of real snow. The polish I used is called ‘Lady’ from Barry M’s Royal Textured Glitter collection, which is one of my favourite nail polishes.

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I started by painting this on all nails. As I forgot to use an opaque white underneath before I started, I needed to use 3 coats to get the right amount of coverage.

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On the ring fingers I then added 2 black rhinestones to each to make eyes. On the other nails I used a medium sized dotting tool and some black acrylic paint to make the eyes.

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Then I used the same black and a small dotting tool to add dots to make the mouth for the snowman on each nail. I apologise for the uneven length of my middle finger nails in comparison to the others. I find the nails on this finger are always prone to breaking easily. The one on my right hand got torn off when I was going outside and the wind blew the door out of my hand. I made myself feel better by telling myself that snowmen come in all sizes just like people lol.

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I finished the design off by using an orange acrylic paint and a thin brush to paint a small carrot triangle nose onto each nail. I then tried to add some details to the noses with a slightly darker shade of paint.