Friday, 21 October 2011

Monkeying around

It's a friend's little boy's first birthday today and in keeping with the cake she has made, I decided to make him a monkey birthday card. I have a set of jungle die-cutters with a very cute monkey which I have made several time before. It looks very complicated, but I am always pleasantly surprised by how quick and simple it is to make.
I made it on a green card initially before deciding I didn't like it, so cut the decoration out of the card, keeping a wider green border which I then fixed onto a white card, and then added 1 today in green. I don't have any number cutters so I used an upside down lowercase L for the number 1! I finished with a touch of glitter paint.
The other animals in the jungle collection are a lion, giraffe and elephant. I have used these on other cards and embellished them with a "funky" square surround and some foliage. So cute ...

© 2011 Nicola Noble

Friday, 14 October 2011

Cookie dough truffles

I have recently become addicted to Pinterest. For those of you who haven't yet discovered it, it is a virtual pinboard where you pin links to things you like/love/aspire to create. There are so many talented people out there with such fantastic ideas and I find myself frequently lost in a daydream of creativity. But I am learning that it is very easy to pin things but not so easy to find the time to actually have a go at creating some of them.

So when I came across a recipe for cookie dough truffles (here), I knew I was on to a winner. Sophie has been bugging me for absolutely ages to make cookie dough "not to cook but to eat". These truffles fitted the bill perfectly.

The cookie dough doesn't include egg so is fine if you are worried about eating raw egg. I made the balls a little too big and they would have been nicer slightly smaller. I also didn't let them chill enough so that when I came to coat them in chocolate they kept falling off my skewer which meant they got a bit messy. I might think about investing in a dipping tool which would help if I come to dip truffles etc again.

I used chocolate coating rather than "real" chocolate as it is easier to melt and also makes very little difference to the taste as the coating is very thin.

Overall the truffles were yummy - albeit a little (!) sickly and Sophie was very pleased that she got to make the cookie dough to eat raw!

Chocolate chip cookie dough truffles

Makes: 30+

375g plain flour
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
220g butter or margarine, room temperature
170g granulated sugar
150g brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
75ml milk or soy milk
100g mini chocolate chips
300g chocolate/ chocolate flavour cake covering (for coating)


Beat the butter and sugars with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy then add the milk and vanilla. Stir in the flour, baking soda and salt and mix on a low speed (or by hand) until incorporated. Stir in chocolate chips. Cover and chill dough for 1 hour.

When the dough is firm enough to handle (it may help to lightly flour your hands), form the dough into 1" balls and arrange on a baking sheet lined with waxed paper. Place the sheets in the freezer and let chill for 30 minutes.

Melt chocolate coating in a bain-marie (place a bowl over hot water but make sure it's not touching the water) or in microwave according to package directions. Dip the cookie dough balls into the chocolate to cover, remove any excess coating by lightly tapping, and return to the waxed paper-lined baking sheets. Chill until set. Store, chilled, in an airtight container for up to 1 week.