Cook’s Corner with Sharon Hearne-Smith

 
 

Chewy Toffee & Salted Cashew Cookies

These cute little cookies have only 4 ingredients and can be prepared in about 4 minutes! They can also be made into fingers by pressing the mixture into a parchment-lined 450g loaf tin (about 10cm x 20cm) and leaving to set before cutting into 16 bars.

M A K E S 22

  • 250g individually wrapped toffee sweets
  • 2 tbsp double cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 300g salted cashew nuts

 

Method

1. Cut a 40cm length of parchment paper, ready for later.

2. Unwrap the toffees and place in a medium saucepan with the cream and vanilla extract. Warm through on a gentle heat, stirring constantly, until the toffees have completely melted into a thick toffee sauce. Remove from the heat and stir in the cashew nuts until completely coated.

3. Working quickly, spread the mixture out with the back of a spoon into a long sausage shape (about 22cm) in the centre of the parchment. Wearing rubber gloves to protect your hands from the heat, roll the paper up to wrap the mixture, massage it into a neat sausage shape, retaining this length, and twist the paper ends to secure. Lift onto a tray and leave to cool for about 30 minutes, before chilling in the fridge for at least 1 hour until set firm.

4. Once set, peel the paper away and use a sharp knife to cut into 22 slices about 1cm wide.

5. Serve in a pretty pile in a paper-lined tin or on a cake stand or in neat overlapping rows on a long platter. Store for 3-4 days, layered between parchment paper in an airtight container in the fridge.

Doughnut Cake Pops

Not only do these super-cute cake pops have very few ingredients, they are also easy-peasy to make, so are ideal for kids to help out with, especially the shaping and decorating part. Serve these at parties or wrapped in pretty packaging as a lovely gift. They can easily be shaped into balls if you prefer.

M A K E S 16

  • 2 x 154g packs Oreo cookies
  • 100g full-fat cream cheese
  • 100g white chocolate
  • 1⁄2 tsp each of four types of edible sprinkles
  • Milk, to serve, optional

ESSENTIAL KIT:

Food processor
16 x 20cm lollipop sticks

Method

1. Line a large tray with parchment paper.

2. Blend the Oreo cookies to fine crumbs in a food processor. Add the cream cheese and blend again to give a really smooth and shiny dough mixture. Divide the mixture into 16 equal-sized pieces (weighing about 25g each).

3. Shape one piece into a ball and flatten it slightly between the palms of your hands. Lay it on the prepared tray and use the end of a wooden spoon handle to punch a hole in the centre. Repeat with all the pieces. Cover with cling film and chill for about 2 hours until firm.

4. Once they are firm, snap the white chocolate into a small heatproof bowl and either melt in the microwave in 30 second blasts, stirring between each go, or over a pan of simmering water, shallow enough that the water doesn’t touch the bowl. When melted, remove from the heat and leave to cool to body temperature.

5. Dip a lollipop stick about 1cm into the melted chocolate and allow the excess to drip off. Then insert this part of the stick into the side of a doughnut, without allowing it to break through to the centre. The chocolate will set and glue the stick in place. Then, with the cake pop lying down, carefully spoon a teaspoon of the melted chocolate over the top, allowing it to dribble a little down the edges to give that classic iced doughnut look. Scatter with a pinch of edible sprinkles. Repeat with the remaining cake pops and then chill in the fridge for 30 minutes until completely set.

6. These are fun served standing upright in small glass bottles of milk. Alternatively, stand them in bunches in tall glasses to serve. They can be stored for a couple of days covered in the fridge.

For a Halloween twist on Sharon’s Doughnut Cake Pops watch her video on Jamie Oliver’s Foodtube

Competition: 

Win a signed copy of Sharon Hearne-Smith’s new book No Bake Baking. To enter simply make one of the two recipes found either in Cook’s Corner overleaf or exclusively on universityobserver.ie and share a photo of the finished dish on twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #UONoBake. The winner will be the one judged best executed by Sharon. Entry closes on 14th November.

 

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