Food, Recipes

Coconut + Cranberry Cookies

It’s been aaaaages since I last shared any of my recipes with you, so I thought it’s about time I do just that. Last night I baked some cookies and just on the off chance that they may turn out delicious, I did my best to document the process. It wasn’t without a few bumps along the road though. The recipe that I used as a base to change to suit my taste had all the measurements in cups, but I’ve never been very good at following said measurements, so I wanted to convert it to grams. Which I did. With some ingredients… And completely forgot to weigh the others. Sooooo yeah. I did manage to get all the measurements in grams by the end, and even though it was quite a lot of hassle, I’d say it was worth it. I have a recipe! Woohooo!

Coconut + Cranberry Cookies

  • 100g of coconut oil (it should be soft, but ideally not quite liquid)
  • 100g of brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 100g of flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 100-150g of coconut flakes (depending on how coconutty you want it)
  • 50g of dried cranberries

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Step 1 – Mix the soft coconut oil and sugar together. It shouldn’t take any real effort to be honest. It should feel like they’re long lost lovers who have just been reunited, know that they belong together and then they merge to form a blob. Hmm, I need to work on this particular story I think. In any case, in a perfect world the ‘blob’ should be nice and smooth but as I’m not always the brightest of bakers, my sugar had quite a few lumps in it and I couldn’t really get to all of them so I decided to just go with it. It worked out in the end so I wouldn’t worry too much about lumps.

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Step 2 – Add the egg and vanilla and just keep on mixing. You can see my mixture still has quite a few sugar lumps here but hey, there are worse things in the world so once again I just let it go (although I did manage to crush a few more of them at this stage – as they were more visible, it was a bit easier).

Step 3 – Add the flour and baking powder and just keep mixing, just keep mixing, mixing, mixing. Also, you’re ‘supposed to’ add the flour gradually, but I just went for it and added all of it in one go. Now, there’s one occasion where I’d advise against adding it all at once, and that’s if you want your cookies to be chewier. If you add the flour gradually you can stop if it looks too dry for your liking. If you’re a bit of a devil-may-care baker like me, then at this stage it may start to feel a bit too dry, but it’s not. It’ll all work out in the end, I promise.

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Step 4 – Add the coconut and cranberries. You probably already know what else to do at this stage without me having to repeat it. To be on the safe side though – just keep mixing, mixing, mixing. It’ll look and feel drier still, but it’s fine. You’ll soon find out how it’s going to work out and what kind of sorcery it is.

Step 4.1 – Chill the mixture for about 30 minutes. Also, turn your oven on. I had mine at gas mark 5/375°f/191°C, but if your oven is not an uncooperative maniac, you could probably get away with it being at gas mark 4/350°f/177°C, to make sure they don’t over bake.

Step 5 – That’s where the magic happens. As the coconut oil in the dough is now chilled and quite solid, the dough will be pretty hard. However, as the melting point for coconut oil is super low, once you’ve spooned out a seemingly crumbly and dry piece of dough, just place it on your hand and quickly press it together to form a flat ball shaped dough blob. The heat from your hands will melt the oil on the surface of the ball and help it stick together. To not let all the hard work of chilling the dough go to waste though, try to make the actual human contact with them as brief as possible and if you do need more time to form the balls, you can just pop them back in the fridge for a bit.

Step 5.1 – Pop them in the oven for 10-15 minutes. This step actually makes me quite frustrated. My oven is really old and I never know what temperature it actually is in different parts of the oven, so my first lot were in for 20 minutes, but second lot only for 15 minutes. So I think with a normal oven it should take around 10-15 minutes to bake them enough that they’re still a bit soft and chewy. It will also depend on how flat you make them. The thinner they are the quicker they bake.

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Step 6 – Enjoy your freshly baked coconut and cranberry cookies!

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Quick steps:

  1. Combine coconut oil and sugar
  2. Add egg and vanilla. Mix until smooth and fluffy.
  3. Add flour and baking powder (gradually if looking for chewier result)
  4. Add coconut and cranberries
  5. Chill dough for 30 minutes
  6. Preheat oven to gas mark 4/350°f/177°C (or equivalent, if you have a pain in the neck oven that’s never the right temperature)
  7. Form flat balls from the dough
  8. Bake for 10-15 minutes

That was my last night’s impromptu baking extravaganza. My SO said he thinks they’re the best cookies I’ve ever baked. I mean, he says it almost every time I bake/cook something, but I do believe him still. I think I just get better with practice, like we all do. Right? Right?! Well, that’s what I choose to believe anyway.

They’re all gone now by the way. To the last crumb. Omnomnom.

G.

 

Beauty, Reviews, Unboxing

You Beautiful Thing

This month I thought I’ll try out You Beauty Box. It is another monthly subscription box, HOWEVER, there’s quite a big difference between this and other boxes that I’ve tried so far. You see, usually it’s a surprise what I get in a box. With this one though, you get to choose what you want from a pre-selected list of options. It depends on your subscription type how many products you get to choose and there are some other little bits to it as well. You can get more info about the different subscription options on their website.

I decided to go all out and go for their Gold membership, which means I got to choose 4 items and got 2 extras on top of my chosen ones.

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Jurlique, Rosewater Balancing Mist. That’s the first thing I went for as I love face mists and body mists and anything misty, really. Plus I’m really liking the rose theme this spring as well. It’s a ‘light and hydrating mist rich in Rose Essential Oil and powerful botanicals to refreshen and enliven skin and senses’. I’ve used it quite a bit now and I find it lovely. I like the scent of it and how refreshed it leaves me feeling.

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Balm Balm, Tea Tree Lip Balm. Ok, I may have been swayed towards this one by my fiance’s great love for anything tea tree. However I’m very happy with it, it leaves my lips soft and ‘fresh’ feeling. Is that a thing? Anyway I do like it. Plus it’s 100% organic!

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Bee Good, Youth Enhancing, Smooth & Prime Serum. As if I didn’t have enough face stuff, I went for more. I’ve always loved Bee Good products and the little line ‘Made by British Bees’ as that just has me picturing a field of wild flowers with bees hard at work buzzing and bumbling away. It’s suppose to even skin tone and deliver intense hydration to skin. I’ll see if that’s true once I get round to using it, but bees wouldn’t lie, would they?

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SKN-RG England, Organic Cellular Repair Moisturiser (Normal/Combination). At this point I panicked and didn’t know what else to get. Sooooooo I went for yet ANOTHER moisturiser. I don’t know what I was thinking. However, I’ve tried it out and it is great. It’s quite light so it leaves my skin soft and not overly greasy. I quite like it. Plus it’s vegan, so if you’re after skincare that would suit your lifestyle then this could be it.

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The Organic Pharmacy, Marigold & Comfrey Hand Cream. That’s one of the extra items that I got in my box. I love it. It smells great (but not too strong), isn’t too greasy (I have somewhat dry hands though, so if you don’t suffer from that, it could be a bit too much I think) and it’s a nice size, too. Not too small so it’ll last me for a while but not too big so I won’t get bored of it before it runs out. Perfect!

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Pip & Nut, Coconut & Almond Butter Squeeze Pack. To be honest, I don’t know how I’m going to use it yet, so I haven’t opened it. It says you can spread it on a banana, swirl it into porridge or simply squeeze straight from the pouch. I don’t know guys… I guess I’ll have it in my porridge or something. I don’t think I’d want it straight and I usually just have my bananas as they are. Will see. If you have any ideas on the different uses of coconut & almond butter, let me know.

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That’s my box and I’m quite happy with it. I do like choosing my own stuff at times and if you’re after specific type of products to try out, then I think that You Beauty Box would be a great option to go for. 🙂

G.

Beauty, Reviews

My January Favourites

That’s a type of post I haven’t actually done before and I’m a bit apprehensive about writing this. I feel like maybe I use the same products all the time and there wouldn’t be any variety, if for example I decided that I wanted to make this a monthly thing. But then I remembered that this doesn’t have to be about beauty and skincare at all. So prepared to see my favourite leaves and lunch bags, among other things.

To begin with, I wanted to keep it really simple though. So I grabbed the stuff from my bathroom that I absolutely loved throughout January.

1. My number one finds in the beginning of the year were Palmer’s Coconut Oil Conditioning Shampoo & Conditioner. Something funny was going on with my hair and all the sudden my old shampoo & conditioner which were luckily just about to run out, didn’t agree with my scalp at all anymore. This made me very upset (I almost told you what happened but let’s just leave it at ‘it caused a horrid allergic reaction’. Don’t want to give you all nightmares about it.) Anyway, then I got a sample of the Palmer’s Coconut Oil shampoo and I absolutely loved it, so I went and bought the set. The shampoo smells amazingly of coconut and even though the conditioner doesn’t smell quite as nice, it still leaves my hair really soft and easily manageable (and so far no allergic reactions either). Love it!

2. It’s maybe a bit random, but it’s just something I’m really excited about. Weirdly. I think it’s a bit odd to be excited about this. Anyway – Dove Invisible Dry Roll on. Seriously, ever since I tried Dove roll ons, I’ve not bought any others. It just works so much better for me than (almost) any others I’ve ever tried. I absolutely loooooove all the different scents and they’re not sticky at all and don’t ruin my clothes either. Just the best.

3. Essence Light Up Your Face has been my go to highlighter ever since I got it in one of my beauty boxes, however since I started to use makeup more in January (I decided that since I now have so much of it, I best get using it, too!), it’s got a well deserved place on this little list. It’s a beautiful buildable shimmer, suitable for day or night. Easy to apply, too. And affordable. What more could one want?

4. I don’t think this one would come as a surprise to anyone who’s read any of my blog posts about mascaras. Too Faced Better Than Sex remained a firm favourite of mine throughout the beginning of the year. I’m not going to sing any more praises to it than I already have done, you all know how much I love it and if you don’t know it yet, well I’m sure I’ll be writing about it again soon enough.

5. Benefit Gimme Brow is a little brow tool that’s just SO easy to use that even I could do it. I think it was the first bit of brow kit that I got that wasn’t a pencil. So previously I’d only worked with brow pencils and found them somewhat difficult to get right. This however was an eyeopener. I never knew there were so many options for my eyebrows! But yeah, even though I’ve loved it for a long time now, it was still my top brow thing in January. Haha, brow thing. That’s weird. Can’t believe I’m writing about eyebrows. This is just bizarre.

6. Maybe a bit unexpectedly my Marcelle Eyeliner in Mulberry made a roaring comeback into my makeup bag. I got it from my very first beauty box and wasn’t really THAT big of a fan, but all of the sudden I realised how perfectly it suits my eye colour. So then I used it all the time in January. It’s very easy to apply as it just effortlessly glides on and it doesn’t smudge or do anything else weird either.

7. Last but not least is my Lord & Berry Maxi Matte Crayon Lipstick in Intimacy which again I want to say that is no effort to apply but I think that’d just make me sound really lazy. But I do like my makeup to be as little effort as possible. I want to enjoy it. And I’m not very good at it still so anything that can make my life easier is very welcome. Maybe that’s one of the reasons that it was my go to lip thing in the beginning of the year. Love it. Really love the colour as it’s so flattering. And it makes my lips really soft.

Right, these were my seven January favourites. There was a lot more I’d have liked to include, but I thought that’s a good starting point to see if it’s something that I’d want to share with you guys. Turns out that it is. I loved letting you know what I loved. Do I use the word ‘love’ way too much? I think I need to get my thesaurus out. Or maybe I’ll just write from the bottom of my full-sized aortic pump.

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(Chandler knows me too well.)

G.