Friday, 29 November 2013

The Vanilla Diaries Week 1

So, I'm at the end of week one of making my own vanilla extract. I'm still as excited as ever about it and I reckon it is looking pretty good. As good as chopped up vanilla pods in vodka can look anyway. There isn't much to say but I wanted to post an update because I'm so looking forward to using this when it is ready. Here's a picture comparison - a pretty big change I'd say!
Week 1

Week 0
This probably isn't very exciting to anyone except me but that doesn't change how mightily pleased I am. The only thing I'm more excited about right now is the fact that tomorrow I am finally, FINALLY getting to go to the BBC Good Food Show in Birmingham. Alright, so I'm going on my todd because no-one else wanted to go but that isn't going to stop me having an immense about of fun and spending a stupid amount of money. I've even opened my coin can which is strictly for adventures only. I cannot wait! If I manage to not act like a child in a sweet shop already high on sugar and Coca Cola then I'll post some pictures but no promises on that one I'm afraid.

Happy baking!

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Biscuit Barrel November 13 Round Up

Wow is all I can say. I have been completely overwhelmed by all the wonderful entries this month where the theme for the Biscuit Barrel challenge has been 'festive and party'. I couldn't be more pleased and grateful for the support and entries and I have loved each and every one of them. I'm going to let the entries speak for themselves so here we go.
First off the mark was Michelle from Utterly Scrummy Food for Families with these Chocolate Orange Cranberry Cookies. Containing complementary flavours of chewy dried cranberries with the chocolte orange raided from her husband's stash, Michelle has created something that is perfect for occasions from lunchboxes to parties.
Next was Rebecca from BakeNQuilt with these Raspberry S'More Cookies which are a wonderfully innovative combination of a graham cracker (close to a digestive biscuit) base, a dome of raspberry marshmallow filling and a shiny chocolate coating. The picture makes me want to reach out and take one or six.
Next we have my entry of Apricot and Walnut Shortbread Fingers. Shortbread features big in my house at Christmas time but with my inability to not meddle I had to test out a version with extras in. They have proved to be very popular for sure!

Karen from Lavender and Lovage shared these Soul Cakes with the Biscuit Barrel and I'm so glad she did because I'd heard of them before but not read about them in much detail. Packed with currants and mixed spice and a dainty cross for decoration these would be ideal to share round with a cup of tea between friends. Pop over to Karen's blog for the history. 

Now we have Janine from Cake of the Week's Sprinkletastic Cookies. Janine decided to tidy out her sprinkles stash and came up with these fun cookies using her standard cookie recipe. And did I mention there is white chocolate chunks in there too? It's no wonder they were popular with her flatmate!

Alexandra from The Lass In The Apron entered these Mocha-Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Cookies which adults will be glad to know are best not shared with children because of the strong hit from the espresso powder. Oh dear, what a hardship that would be to not have to hand the plate over to my nephews if I made these when they were visiting! (I do love them , honestly!) The sugar coating makes them sparkle prettily too.

Corina from Searching for Spice had success with these Mince Pies and is already planning more batches. A sweet, buttery shortbread like pastry encases the filling and Corina suggests duting with icing sugar to make them that little bit more special.

Elizabeth from Elizabeth's Kitchen Diary has been very creative this month with these Oreo Button Cookies for her daughter's Coraline themed birthday party. A dark chocolate biscuit holding a creamy white filling, I'd prefer these over shop bought Oreos any day. This clever design only needs a cutter, a glass rim for the button indent and a straw for the holes. 

I have wanted to make hanging biscuits for the Christmas tree for some time now but have always dismissed the idea except now that Chiocolette from Chocolate Log Blog has posted these Chilli Christmas Shortbread Biscuits I want to give it a go all the more! Chocolate describes them as a chilli lovers delight with a rich buttery flavour and they are delicious with a ornge filling too. Very festive I'd say!

How clever are these Puff Pastry Roses with Plums by Alida from My Little Italian Kitchen? Made from simple ingredients these pretty treats come together in no time and Alida has even included a step by step tutorial to help. Roses are my favourite flower and I love pastry too so I might have to try and persuade my mum to give them a go this Christmas.

I think it is safe to say many of us bakers have been interested in tuiles ('tweels') since watching the Great British Bake Off, or if that didn't spartk an interest, it reinforced one. If so, then Grace from Life can be simple has the ideal recipe for you with these Cocoa Tuiles. I don't know how she has managed to get them so thin but well done and even more well done for choosing a chocolate version - that makes them look even yummier to me!

Stuart from Cakeyboi has delved into his archives to share these Eggnog Spice Cookies with us this month which I'm particularly glad about because I was amongst those who didn't know what eggnog was. A dairy based drink with sugar, eggs, rum and nutmeg I'm not surprised these flavours worked well in a cookie. 

For those amongst you who need to avoid gluten I urge you to try these Chewy Toffee Apple Cookies by Kate from The Gluten Free Alchemist.  Apple sharpness combines with rich caramel toffee to produce something that even actual toffee apple haters will change their minds for. Plus, I really want those sprinkles!
Another entry now from Grace from Life Can Be Simple with these Chunky Lola Cookies.  Coconut, pecans and chocolate combine to make these big cookies oozing with molten chocolate chunks which are an adaptation/recreation of a popular bakery cookie.
These Almond, Chocolate Chip and Berry Mix Oat Cookies are up next from Ros from The More Than Occasional Baker. Crumbly, buttery, dried fruit and crunchy almonds, Ros was onto a good thing when she created these for several challenge entries and also proved the use of a cookie recipe that is infintiely adaptable. A winner all round!

In a very festive post, Jen from Blue Kitchen Bakes has shared with us these Christmas Biscuits this month with the most adorable icing toppers. Pop over to frind instructions on how to make each design. I like them all but if I'm allowed a favourite it would be the penguin. Very cute. Although there is the snowman too and the beauty of the traditional designs...

Vohn of Vohn's Vittles sneaked in just before the closing time this month and I'm so glad she did because these Dr Who Biscuits are perfect for any fan. They could be used for a themed party for a variety of occasions and although I've never really watched the show before, seeing these biscuits, one decorated for each time lord, I really want to now.

Phew, all done and I'm sure you'll agree that the selection is amazing. Don't forget to let me know what you think and pop back soon to see the next Biscuit Barrel challenge for December. If you have any ideas for themes for next year, be sure to make a suggestion. You can find me on Twitter @MustBakeCakes or on Facebook on my I'd Much Rather Bake Than... page or just leave a comment on a post. I love reading them all!

Happy baking!

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

The Vanilla Diaries Week 0

Alright, so I'm posting this slightly late considering that I actually started it last week but never mind. Homemade vanilla extract is something I've wanted to have a go at for a few months now and to be perfectly honest I'm not sure why I put it off. Then when I finally made the decision to give it a go I keep forgetting to order the pods. It took me spotting some vodka on offer in Sainsburys to force me to get on with it and even then it took me another week to order the pods but finally on Thursday of last week when I was so tired there was no chance of me getting on with work after I'd got back from uni, I got it going. It serves me right for not getting it started sooner because I had wanted to have it ready to use in the Christmas baking but now I will be pushing it. Like I said,  don't know why I didn't get on with it sooner. It's so easy.

Here is the worlds worst picture so you can see for yourself.

There's not much point in me giving you a proper recipe for this, just some general instructions.  I read a fair few blogs that had had a go at this and although they followed the same general trend, there were some little difference so in the end I decided not to follow any particular one and just went for it. What's the worse that could happen right?

  • Get yourself a bottle with a good seal. I like the look of Kilner jars so I went for a 250 ml one. Wash it with soapy water, rinse and pour boiling water into it then pour out again once it is cool enough to handle. Also pour boiling water over the knife you will be using to slice the pods. This won't properly sterilise your equipment but it is a good start.
  • For the 250 ml bottle you'll need about 10 vanilla pods. I used these extract grade ones which I bought from here. Slice each one down the centre, scrape out the seeds and add to the bottle. Then slice each pod into 4 pieces and add to the bottle.
  • Fill the bottle with vodka. An expensive one isn't important but don't go for a really cheap one either. I'm no spirits expert but this is th egeneral consensus. 
  • Seal the bottle and give it a good shake. Shake everyday for a week, then every few days for another five weeks. After six weeks your vanilla extract will be good to go.
That's it. No rocket science involved. There's nothing more to say for now but I'll keep you informed of progress. Fingers crossed!

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Whisky and Chocolate Raisin Blondies

It is a well known fact amongst my friends that I don't drink because I don't like the taste of alcohol unless it is in food. Specifically baking then it's every foodie for themselves and I pour in as much as possible. Whisky or champagne truffles are possibly my favourite sweet things to have alcohol in but then again I've done some nice whisky cakes in the past, including these Chocolate Whisky Cakes with Ganache Topping (don't laugh, I wrote that post in the early days of this blog!) I haven't had chance to bake with whisky in so long but I've had an idea in my head for these for even longer and now is there time to shine.

They were originally supposed to be brownies using the sample bottle of the new chocolate Baileys that I have but I decided I wanted the whisky to be the star of the show and not the chocolate for once so off I toddled to buy a bottle and attempt to not look like an alcoholic while walking round the supermarket with it.

To aid with keeping the whisky in the spotlight I changed my mind to blondies and threw some chocolate raisins in there instead. It's the first time I've had success with blondies but even though I'm really pleased with the flavour of these I know I have to make them again with my own method. That's just the way I bake I'm afraid!
So blondies. Oh so moist and squidgy carrying a punch of whisky and caramel highlights from the brown sugar with another level of chew and flavour from the chocolate raisins. They are good and I can't wait to make them again.

I'm ever so grateful to Janine from Cake of the Week for setting this months theme for Baking with Spirit as whisky because otherwise these blondies might have had to wait many more months to be made. I've been dying to enter this blogging challenge for months now so it gives me great pleasure to finally be able to enter something. Go have a look at Janine's blog - there are some fantastic recipes on there.

print recipe

Whisky and Chocolate Raisin Blondies
Golden chewy cake surrounding nuggets of chocolate and raisins entirely infused with whisky and hints of caramel.
  • 114g butter
  • 175g dark soft brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 125g plain flour
  • 100g chocolate raisins
  • 5 tbsp whisky
  • 1 heaped tsp demerara sugar, for sprinkling
1. Grease and line a 8" square cake tin and set the oven to 180 C/160 C fan. Melt the butter in the microwave then whisk in the sugar until it is well blended and there are no lumps.2. Mix in the egg followed by the vanilla then flour then raisins. Stir in the whisky a bit at a time until evenly mixed in.3. Pour into the tin and level off. Bake in the preheated oven for about 25 mins until there is just a slight wobble in the centre. 4. Sprinkle on the demerara sugar then leave to cool on a wire rack before turning out and slicing.

Friday, 15 November 2013

Chocolate Orange Pumpkin Muffins

By writing this blog post I feel like I've gone through some sort of bakers right of passage. I've finally cooked with pumpkin. When I first got addicted to Pinterest it didn't take me long to realise that pumpkins were a very popular ingredient in baking but I still wasn't convinced. It just didn't seem... right to me. Carrot cake yes, courgettes fine. Even parsnip. I've had very good results with parsnips in cake. But pumpkin? Questionable. I knew so many people couldn't be wrong but after making butternut squash soup and finding it quite simply nasty, the thought of making something with such a similar vegetable (ok, botanically a fruit) didn't get me overly excited. However, that has all changed. Enter...

Pillowy soft and deliciously moist. Studded with Terry's chocolate orange and boosted with zest. And the topping. Oh the topping. Nothing less than Nutella. Why bother diluting it? Even though I wasn't convinced initially I still couldn't wait to dig in. Don't worry, my Nutella quality control was very thorough. 

If you are a purist and believe that muffins should not have an icing of any sort then by all means go with your heart but just so you know, this is a good look too...

Uni work is getting a bit mad now, especially with how distracted I get in the evenings so I'm trying to cut down my blog ramblings. There is no way in hell thoough that I'm giving this blog up because I love it  too much. It would be like me trying to give up strawberries or chocolate. So with that in mind I'm going to leave you with a recipe credit and the challenegs I'm sharing these with.  Sally of Sally's Baking Addiction came up with the recipe and of course I meddled a little with it but hers is still one of my favourite blogs that I discovered thought Pinterest. Go have a nosey round. I  must make some of her cookies soon. 

The orange in this recipe from the zest and the Terrys chocolate means I can enter them into the AlphaBakes challenge, this month hosted by Caroline of Caroline Makes but a joint venture with Ros from The More Than Occasional Baker. The letter of the month is O.

Also, I'm sharing these with the Treat Petite challeneg which is between Stuart from Cakeyboi and Kat from The Baking Explorer. The theme this month is America and pumpkin is a very typical American ingredient I believe. (Though having said that, I think I have seen it growning in popularity here in the UK.) Kat is our Treat Petite host this month.

I'd also like to thank Elizabeth from Elizabeth's Kitchen Diary for giving me the courage to finally have a go at baking with pumpkin. Her pumpkin loaf post describes such a simple way to make your own pumpkin puree I was spurred into action.

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Chocolate Orange Pumpkin Muffins
A moist and super soft pumpkin muffin studded with orange zest and chocolate, toppped with Nutella glory.
  • 110g plain flour
  • 0.5 tsp baking powder
  • 0.5 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 generous tsp mixed spice
  • 50g dark soft brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 114g pumpkin puree
  • 60ml vegetable or sunflower oil
  • 40ml milk
  • 0.5 tsp vanilla extract
  • 45g Terrys chocolate orange, chopped
  • Zest of one orange, finely grated
  • Nutella (optional)
1. Set the oven to 180 C/160 C fan. Line a muffin tray with 6 muffin or cupcake cases.2. Sift together the first 4 ingredients the rest except the chocolate together in a jug or small bowl. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry then mix together until almost combined then stir in the chocolate.3. Divide the mixture between the 6 cases, level and bake for 18-20 mins until a cake tester inserted into the centre of a cake comes out clean. 4. Leave to firm up for a few mins then remove from the tin and cool fully on a wire rack before decorating as desired.

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Apricot and Walnut Shortbread Fingers

Thank God for shortbread is all I can say. A success to soften the blow of being stuck once again on a stupid Physical Chemistry assignment. I've found this one really difficult to get on with anyway especially with how distracted I've been lately but I really don't know how I'm going to get past this question. If anyone knows how I can determine how th bond length of HCl varies as the molecule vibrates, I'd be ever so grateful if you could let me know. I don't need to do the actual calculation, just how to figure it out. I'll be eternally grateful and I'll repay you would these yummy biscuits.

I've been planning these since reading Choclette's post for Chocolate Apricot and Walnut Tortes. I just knew the combination of apricots and walnuts would be a good one and I've had a yearning to make shortbread for a while now. Some people would argue that shortbread should be left unadulterated but I disagree. Yes, a classic shortbread done well is a beauty to behold. I've argued before that there is possibly nothing better than a shortbread biscuit but as an experimental baker I consider shortbread to be the perfect base to play with. I cannot lie, I have no regrets with these. Soft, meltingly buttery comfort with the crunch of the walnut pieces and the slight tang and chew of the apricots all finished off by the sweetness of the Terrys chocolate. I'm having to try really hard not to pelt down the stairs to get another right now. 

These weren't originally going to have chocolate on. I had considered it but then gave myself a stern talking to that I should stop trying to coat everything with the good stuff. Then I spoke to my mum and that all changed. I'd say it was her fault but I was not forced. It was mearly a suggestion that made me revert to previous ideas. Just let's not go into how much of the Terrys orange I ate while finishing off these biscuits.

I did consider using a 70% cocoa solids chocolate for the drizzle but went for the Terrys because I thought the orange flavour would complement the apricots. I totally was right but go with whatever you fancy. It's all good. White chocolate maybe?
Shortbread is so easy to do that yo can easily make up two lots in one go then split the batch and make different flavours. This is what I did here, making the apricot and walnut ones and the classic plain ones. Mum makes loads of this sort at Christmas (I learnt it from her, hence why the recipe is in ounces again) and we cannot go visiting family without taking them some. Mum even has a special tin she makes it in which is old and battered and scratched where she has run the knife round the edge to release the disc before cutting up. It goes against all the books that say a warped tin or baking sheet will give shoddy results but they haven't tasted my mum's law defying shortbread. They really should.

I'm sharing this recipe with a few baking challenges which I enjoy entering so much. First of all is We Should Cocoa, the brainchild of Choclette from Chocolate Log Blog and this month hosted by Rebecca from BakeNQuilt. Rebecca has chosen the theme of cookies for this month and whether you call them a biscuit or a cookie, I think these shortbread fingers fit. 

Next is my own Biscuit Barrel challenge. Novembers theme is 'festive and party' and seeing as shortbread is a staple of Christmas in our house they definitely fit. I trully cannot wait for my mum to start making the batches she does every year.
Happy 2nd birthday to Tea Time Treats now where the theme this month if dried fruit. Karen from Lavender and Lovage is hosting this month and next month will sadly be co-host Kate's (from What Kate Baked) last month. The apricots in these were surprisingly moist for a dried fruit but I promise they were dried and not fresh ones!

Last but not least is Credit Crunch Munch by Helen at Fuss Free Flavours and Camilla at Fab Food 4 All and this month hosted by Sarah at Dinner with Crayons. I mentioned this recipe was inspired by another I had seen but it was in part inspired by the remaining walnuts I had in the cupboard which turned out to be just enough for what I wanted to do. They could easily be replaced with any nuts if you are wanting to use up what is in your cupboards.

That's it for now - on with the recipe and enjoy.

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Apricot nd Walnut Shortbread Fingers
Rich, buttery shortbread dotted with chopped walnuts and dried apricot pieces finished with a special drizzle of Terrys chocolate orange. Double up the first 4 ingredients if making a plain batch too, then split after the flour and semolina are mixed in.
  • 4oz softened butter
  • 2oz caster sugar
  • 5oz plain flour
  • 1oz semoline
  • 1.5oz walnuts, roughly chopped
  • 1.5oz apricot, roughly chopped
1. Grease a 7 or 8 inch square tin and set aside. Set the oven to 170 C/150 C fan.2. Cream the butter and sugar until combined NOT until light and fluffy like for a cake. Sift in the flour and semolina and mix to combine. Finish with your hands if necessary.3. If making a plain batch, split the base in half at this point and put half in a suitbale greased tin. Level and smooth, mark into pieces and poke with a fork. If not splitting, mix in the apricots and walnuts, bring together, press into the tin, smoothing and levelling as you go. Mark into fingers and make fork holes.4. Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30mins or until a very pale golden brown is achieved and the top is firm to the touch. Check after 15 mins and if the surface has bubbled, touch back down gently and lower the temperature. Cool on a wire rack before turning out and cutting over the lines made earlier.5. Put the kettle on and enjoy.

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Ginger Bonfire Toffee Cake

Am I the only food blogger out there who looks forward to the start of each month to see what the new themes of the blogging challenges will be? Excitement starts to build when the round-ups begin to appear then by the 1st I'm going round the host blogs looking to see if the announcement post is up yet. I'm even so enthusiast I'll admit to making a list of the themes so I can keep them in mind when I'm dreaming up what to make next. I don't mind if that's sad. This month has a lot of awfully brilliant themes and fingers crossed I can enter them all. I didn't manage it last month but I'm super excited for this month. Almost as much as I was super excited to make and then eat this cake.

This cake has been in my mind since I made these Ginger Bonfire Toffee Crinkles which made me think of bonfire toffee from the first taste. I just knew I had to recreate the flavours in cake form. I wasn't sure which recipe to base it on and evenutally went for a parkin recipe which is from a book which still uses ounces (and hence why my mum likes that particular book so much) and I would feel disloyal to it if I changed it to grams for the sake of this blog so ounces it is. I'm pretty sure I've warned you in the passed that this would happen at some point!

I couldn't have got this cake more perfect if I had tried. The original parkin recipe is so good I am going to try and share it with you this month or next but I would like to think the success of the cake is at least in part down to me and getting things just right. It is very gingery, and very, very treacly with the most gorgeous sticky top and moist, squidy crumb. It isn't a cake that needs icing. Icing would ruin it. It is a cake which needs to be left naked and worshipped in all it's sweet, dark glory. Modesty has no place here. 
I left the cake cooling while I went for a wander round town (I almost bought a new cake tin from TK Maxx) and I found myself in a sweet shop. Sadly they didn't have the bonfire lollies I waxed lyrical about in the Crinkles post but I still couldn't resist buying one of the newer version to smash up to go on top of the cake for the pictures. It turn out laying the lolly on one chopping board and hitting it with another isn't very effective. All that happens is one chunk breaks off and shatters into tiny pieces which fly everywhere and you are finding stuck to everything for the rest of the eveing and next morning. A finely serrated knife works better.

If you are wondering why I didn't cut the cake into 10 or 12 pieces it's because the smaller ones are to go with custard while the bigger ones are for on their own. I made this using gluten free flour so my housemate Lauren could have some. Earlier in the day I had suggested we watch Stictly Come Dancing together with this and custard (I did say this cake should be unclothed, but custard doesn't count. Custard, well, it is just good. I'm slightly in love with Ambrosia) but just after 9pm we gave up on Strictly coming on iplayer and we just had cake, custard and tea instead. No regrets from either one of us.

With that in mind, I'm sharing this with one of the aforementioned baking challenges. This months Calendar Cakes has the theme of Puddings. To me, any cake that will go with custard, cream, ice cream or a sauce of some kind is suitable to be called a pudding and hopefully the brains behind the challenge, Rachel from Dollybakes and Laura from Laura Loves Cakes (the host for this month) will agree it is eligible.

If you like baking challenges yourself, I'd be so glad if you could join in my own challenge, the Biscuit Barrel which you can have a peep at here.


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Ginger Bonfire Toffee Cake
A moist, sticky cake packed full of ginger and black treacle with the flavour to match bonfire toffee. The long list of ingredients hides how easy the cake is to make.
  • 10oz plain flour or gluten free flour (add 1 rounded tsp xanthan gum for GF)
  • 5oz soft dark brown sugar
  • 2 generous tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 0.5 tsp mixed spice
  • 0.25 tsp nutmeg
  • 120g crystallised ginger, finely chopped
  • 2 balls stem ginger, grated
  • 2 tsp fresh ginger, grated
  • 5oz soft margarine
  • 7oz black treacle
  • 1 tbsp ginger syrup from the jar
  • 1 rounded tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 dsp vingegar
  • 0.25 pint milk
1. Grease and line a large traybake tin. Set the oven to 170 C/150 C fan.2. Sift together the flour, xanthan gum if using, sugar and spices into a large bowl. Over a low heat, melt together the marg, treacle and ginger syrup. Meanwhile distribute the crystallised ginger through the flour.3. Add the fresh and stem ginger to the melted mix and stir into the dry ingredients. Stir in the milk a splash at a time. 4. Working very quickly now, sprinkle over the bicarb and then the vinegar. As quickly but thoroughly as you can, mix everything together to evenly distribute, pour into the prepared tin, level and bake.5. My cake took 40 mins then 10 mins in the oven with it turned off. The time will depend on your oven and size of tin. I'd say check after 30 mins but be very careful with it as this is a cake prone to sinking. A flatter traybake or roasting tin helps. It is worth it, I promise.

Friday, 1 November 2013

The Biscuit Barrel Challenge - November

It's time for another Biscuit Barrel challenge! Since I discovered blogging baking challenges I've eagerly looked forward to the start of each month when I can scour the blogs I follow and make a list of all the challenges and their themes for the month. I was gutted this month that I couldn't enter some that I had planned because I didn't have time. Fingers crossed for November though and if I wish really hard I might even get to enter a couple that I have been keeping an eye on but still haven't even managed to enter for a first time let alone a repeat.

Octobers Biscuit Barrel challenge produced some fabuloous recipes and it was really interesting to see the bakes that you all had bookmarked to make at a later date. For my own part it was also lovely to force myself to actually make a couple of the things I had collected on Pinterest finally. They were delicious too. If you haven't caught it yet, you can find the October round up here.

Onto the challenge for November. I wanted to go with a festive theme because Christmas is fast approaching and I thought it would be nice to see what people want to make in advance, firstly to give you a chance to practise if you want to try something new and secondly so there is still time to make something in December if the other entries inspire you to give them a go. However, I don't want to exclude anyone who doesn't celebrate Christmas for whatever reason so with this in minf the theme for November is...

Yep, anything that fits into a biscuit/cookie container and loosely fits the theme is fine. Whatever goodies you would serve up at a party or for a special occasion, whatever that occasion may be is fine so don't let the time of year limit you. It can be as simple or fancy as you like. I can't wait to see what you come up with so go have fun!

The Biscuit Barrel Challenge rules:
  1. Blog about your recipe that fits in with the theme of the month, linking back to I'd Much Rather Bake Than... Include the logo in your post and add 'The Biscuit Barrel' as a label.
  2. It would be lovely if you could follow I'd Much Rather Bake Than... using the Google Friend Connect Button.
  3. Add the link to your post to the linky tool at the bottom of the post of the month (see above for themes/inks) by the 26th of the month. Don't worry, it's really easy.
  4. The recipe can be your own or someone else, just give credit where it is due.You can also add old posts as long as they have been updated to include the logo/link/label.
  5. You can submit as many recipes as you like and enter your recipe into as many other challenges as you wish as long as it complies with the rules of that challenge.
  6. Don't be concerned about joining in every month. When you have time or when you feel like it is fine.
  7. If you are on Twitter tweet your link to be @MustBakeCakes and use #biscuitbarrel and I'll try to retweet those I see. I'll also pin entries onto the Biscuit Barrel board on Pinterest.
  8. Any questions feel free to ask in a comment or email at or
  9. Most important of all, have fun!