Sunday, 9 October 2016


Recipe of the week... CPBP Cookie Bars!

Ingredients: 175g butter (plus a bit extra for greasing), 200g soft light brown sugar, 100g golden caster sugar, 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract, 2 large eggs, 250g plain flour, 1 teaspoon of baking powder, a pinch of salt, 2 splashes of milk, 150g dark chocolate, 100g chunky peanut butter, about 24 small salted pretzels.

Time taken: About half an hour or so. Then 40 mins in the oven. Then ten mins to decorate. Call it an hour and a half from start to finish.

Hi readers,

Hope you’re well today! How’s your week been?? Have you been achieving big and living it large?? Did you catch the first episode of the Apprentice on Thursday? I did! TV gold! Hope you all are well and having a grand time crunching leaves and turning on the heating.

As I write this, sat in my armchair with a gigantic bowl of pretzels it’s a fairly normal Sunday in Sheffield. It’s quiet out. The weather’s very Octobery. Bit cloudy but no rain. Bit chilly but not cold.

Next door have been having a birthday party in the back garden today and a gigantic bouncy castle is up. I spotted it earlier out of my bedroom window and the child in me was like ahmagaaaaaaad!! A bouncy castle so close to our house!

But I am quite hungover today. The motion involved in bouncing, I feel, would be a bad idea. Today is a day for small victories like climbing stairs, digesting food, and showering standing up. Taking deep breaths and, on a very regular basis, putting the kettle on. And then tomorrow will be a better day.

No regrets about getting into such a sorry state, though! I think for a first attempt at a night out, following Sober September, things could have gone a lot lot worse! I didn’t fall over, didn’t take my shoes off, didn’t lose everyone, wasn’t sick, wasn’t weepy. A result. Lots of people are just over a week into Stoptober and I don’t think you anticipate just how much you lose your tolerance you’ve built up for drink, if you give it up for a month. It’s alarming.

In fact, we had a good dance last night. I remember the music and remember it being good. Managed to come back less than £20 lighter. Made it home by 3am for tea and toast.

Didn't send a single idiotic drunk text. None of that! So, all in all, a great night. 

And it’s none of that stuff that made it a great night… it’s just having fun with your friends! Spending time with the best people and having fun together. Meeting new people. Ordering more cocktail pitchers than there are people. Taking silly pictures together and dance-shuffling away from the creepy boys and talking at length about off-brand butter. More nights like these, please!

Here's me clowning around last night.

So, my recipe this week, readers, which is undeniably one of the main achievements of my hangover today, comes from a recipe suggested to me by one of the besties, Floss. Sent over to me on the basis that I love chocolate. And I have a definite peanut butter addiction. And I suffer an unfortunate weakness for pretzels… this is a chocolate-peanut butter-pretzel recipe!! There is such a thing!

The recipe comes from BBC Good Food and it’s for ‘Chocolate, peanut butter and pretzel cookie bars’. You can find the original recipe HERE. I’m like…. who invented this recipe??? It’s so much fun! No special ingredients required really, just everything you hopefully already have in your cupboard (if the diet’s off!), and no difficult steps just a straightforward recipe for an indulgently sweet and salty traybake.

Does this sound amazing?? Of course it does! Here’s how you can bake your own CPBP Cookie Bars in just 18 simple steps…

1. Heat your oven to 180C, and get all your ingredients out, along with a mixing bowl, a wooden spoon, your weighing scales, some baking paper and a 20cm-ish square baking tin.

2. Grease your baking tin with butter and line with baking paper, then set aside.

3. Chop 100g of your chocolate into small chunks. 

ChefBeHere Top Tip: If your chocolate comes in little bite-sized squares like mine, then I recommend using a sharp knife to chop each square into quarters. That’s the kind of size you want for your chunks. Just a bit bigger than choc chips.

4. Tip the butter, sugars and vanilla extract into a bowl and beat with your wooden spoon until smooth and creamy.

ChefBeHere Top Tip: If your butter doesn’t feel all that soft, then I’d pop it in the warming oven for 30 secs to take the edge off. Or you if it isn’t softened you WILL be beating your mix for a long time. A very long time.

5. Crack your eggs into a small bowl and whisk them up a bit using a fork.

6. Add half of your egg mix and half of your flour to the main mixing bowl. Stir it up.

7. Then, add the rest of your eggs and your flour. Stir it up again.

8. Add your teaspoon of baking powder, a pinch of salt and a couple of splashes of milk to the mix. Then, you guessed it… stir it up.

9. Add your chocolate chunks. And stir!

10. Spoon half the mixture into your square baking tin, and use your spoon to spread it about so it covers all of the bottom of the tin.

11. Add the peanut butter, in dollops, to cover the surface of the mix.

12. Then top with the remaining mixture, and once again use your spoon to spread it out all around the baking tin. Don’t worry about it looking too neat.

13. Arrange the pretzels on top of your mixture and pop it in the oven. 

Ready for the oven!

ChefBeHere Top Tip: This is prime time for getting your dishes done now. Do not delay! Get washing up.

14. Bake in the oven for 40 minutes until your dough is set and crisp on the surface. Then carefully remove from the oven and switch this off.

15. Leave your baking to cool in the tin just at room temperature, before cutting up into bars.

16. Melt the remaining 50g of dark chocolate in a bowl over a small pan of gently simmering water, or in short bursts in the microwave.

17. Drizzle melted chocolate over your baking and then leave the chocolate a while to set.

18. When set, remove the bars from the tin and either scoff straight away or store in a Tupperware for a few days.

And that, my readers, is all there is to it.

Fresh from the oven... my CPBP Cookie Bars!

Honestly if you’re the kind of baker looking to present something beautiful-looking on a china plate, to the Queen, and hold lengthy conversations about its aromas and textures… this isn’t the recipe for you.

If yours end up anything like mine did, then CPBP Cookie Bars come out gooey inside and flaky on top. Once you’ve cut them up and spatulad them out of the tin they aren’t exactly thing of beauty! But what they lack in looks, they do make up for in scrumptiousness.

You should give them a go! CPBP Cookie Bars might not look neat, but they’re a lot of fun to bake and to eat. And just chuck some custard on top if you’re that bothered. This is a recipe you should definitely not miss out on.

Keep me posted, readers! Let me know how it goes you give these a try! A cheffing success? A flavoursome failure?? I’d love to hear how you get on with CPBP Cookie Bars!

Best of luck in the kitchen and have a brilliant week everyone.

Induuuuulge safely,


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