Why is baking so addictive?

I don’t know what it is but I will find any excuse to bake. I will happily admit that I am not the best baker in town but I like to give it a good go. I am guilty of changing recipes based on what I have in the house, which doesn’t always go my way. But I am a firm believer in having a well stocked cupboard and not running to the shops everyday. And I think my purse thanks me for it.

What is it about baking that is so much fun? Is it seeing a bunch of ingredients transform into something warm and delicious? Or is it the feeling of eating something afterwards that you know is slightly naughty? Yes that is probably it. We all have a dark side.

One of my (and my husbands) favourite biscuits are oatmeal and raisin cookies. I’m not sure if this is because the oats and raisins make us both feel like we are being slightly ‘healthy’, but then we are reminded by the butter and sugar in it and slowly come back to reality.

This is a very easy recipe that I got from one of Mary Berry‘s Bake Off books and it was delicious. A perfect combination of ingredients made the biscuit slightly soft and chewy rather than too crunchy.

The recipe is as follows: 125g softened butter, 150g muscovado sugar, 1 large free-range egg, 1 tablespoon of milk, 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract, 100g self-raising flour, 75g raisins, 150g porridge oats.

Cream the butter and sugar together, then beat in the egg, and then place the rest of the ingredients in and fold through. It’s as easy as that! I added a pinch of cinnamon too because I love it, but you don’t have to. Place small dollops (technical term there) on a baking tray lined with baking parchment and bake in the oven for 15-20 mins or until golden. Bake at 180 degrees C/gas mark 4. Let them cool properly on a rack if you can resist eating them straight away. Enjoy!

Baking is good the for soul…go on give it a try.

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Want a healthy snack? Try crispy chickpeas!

Have you ever wanted a bit of a healthier snack than some nuts covered in salt or granola bars filled with sugar? I know I have.

I discovered a few recipes on roasting chickpeas in the oven. So I decided to give it a go! I simply drained a can of chickpeas and patted them with a kitchen towel until dry. I put them in a roasting tray and drizzled a bit of olive oil and sea salt over them, and whacked it in the oven for about 40 minutes. When they came out the oven I sprinkled over some smoked paprika and started munching!

They are great when hot out of the oven, but I will admit they are best eaten sooner than later. The next day they went a bit dry. So it’s a good idea for a small healthier party snack or something to nibble on before dinner. Either way I liked them! Have you got any homemade healthy snack ideas?

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Crispy chickpeas W