Want to make Christmas cookies this year? Then this is the post for you


I try not to make Pinterest bakes but sometimes the season calls for a little cheesy goodness, or in this case, chocolately goodness in the form of Christmas cookies.

This adventure all began from a vlogger who I am slightly loathed to share because she’s so down to earth and untouched by ‘vlogger fame’ and just plain wonderful that I don’t particularly want to spoil it and yet at the same time, I think she’s amazing so here goes, Rhiannon Ashlee Vlogs alerted me to the christmas pudding cookies and I knew from that instance that I just had to make some myself!


Knowing the bakes that I like, I knew instantly that I wanted to make a christmas pudding cookies. To do that I wanted to use a tried and true Nigella Recipe! The only issue I hit was that it said it made 14 cookies and I was making mine for at least ten people so figured I would simply double the recipe. What should have been 28 cookies, made 64 so as you could imagine just one style was not enough, so instead I went full on Pinterest.

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Firstly I created two types of christmas puddings. One with Royal icing leaves and one with piped icing straight onto the Rolo (pushed into the centre whilst the cookies are still hot to create an xmas pudding) then I wrote on some of the plain chocolate chip and M&M cookies first with peoples names and second with ‘merry’ and ‘Xmas’. Then of course I made Reindeers…


Things I’ve learnt about myself during this experience? When doubling the recipe to include 600grams of flour, know that you probably won’t just make 28 cookies.

Two packs of 365grams of chocolate drops is at least four packs of m&ms. Speaking of M&M’s, taking out just two colours makes the rest of the bag look strange and with that in mind, it made me realise I never want to be responsible for fulfilling celebrities riders, you only want red and green M&M’s? its called, you work it out.

My work counter is too short for spending ages decorating things and surprisingly I am pretty patient when dealing with three trays in and out of the oven.

Making cookies is not as messy as marmalade. Although creating holly leaves out of Royal Icing was a nightmare.


You’ll be glad to know the cookies went down a treat so I can definitely attest to Nigellas recipe being amazing even if it makes a regular baker like me and you into a full scale operation. Honestly if we had a serving hatch in our kitchen I would have set up a shop. Don’t ask me about how I would get customers into our house at half one in the morning, because yes I was making royal icing holly leaves well into the next morning, but it was worth it. Right?

If anything this is why we don’t use Pinterest. It makes you make weird things into the morning and creating front room bakeries.

Happiness is … time for baking


Fudge topped brownies 

(Who just needs brownies when you can have fudge sauce on top as well? Also I made both of these with pre mix because I just didn’t have time for full on stuff! I have zero judgement for using pre mix)

I can have the most insanely filled weekends but fitting in, baking or watching a girlie movie or even reading a magazine can instantly turn busy insanity around to a relaxed weekend.

With a wedding on the horizon our weekends are getting more and more jam packed (especially once we add in gardening!) but this weekend we had my lovely sister in law around and Joshes best friend in the world Paul around meaning in the course of one day we managed to get some shopping in, a frappe stop off, pick up some of the suits for the wedding as well as de weeding the front garden and of course baking fudgy brownies and cookies…


These are my particular favourites. I mix nigellas recipe for double chocolate cookies and then I either put a caramel button in the centre or this time a piece of malteasers chocolate. They taste amazing and are also ridiculously fun and relatively simple! Next time I am tempted to add popping candy (Joshes favourite thing) so this is what happiness looks like this week, baking cookies and watching the second season of Grace and Frankie on Netflix (love this show so much!)

Baking | Wednesday, weekend baking


“No more excuses for uneaten food in the bin. I’ve made muffins from nothing more than porridge oats, bananas and greek yoghurt! Granola held together with bananas alongside every seed in the house and cupcakes with only egg yolks . . . “

I can no longer leave food uneaten in our house. I dread the idea of chucking perfectly good, healthy food uneaten. So much so that I have begun a baking revolution of finding ways to use things up and banana loaf is my all time favourite example of this.

I always end up with bananas that are going more than a little brown around the edges and for me thats a no go in terms of regular eating however as a binding agent? As banana loaf I am all in.

This last weekend I decided to make a different type of banana loaf which used Maple Syrup and Cinnamon in the mix. It sounds a little odd perhaps but a little odd is always a lot better than a little common, don’t you think?

I grabbed the recipe from here+ and only changed it by using slightly less maple and more cinnamon and of course, chocolate drops. Who could say no?

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p.s if you received this post in error (potentially three times) You have my apologies as WordPress got in a funk and decided that the 9th was in fact last week . . . to receive day to day updates and future post apologies please find me on Twitter+

therealjlow bakes | Golden Bites.

Golden Meringue bites.

I’ll be honest these started out as meringue kisses. The only problem? They need a piping bag and no cutting the corner off of a fold over sandwich bag is going to cut it. However these (which only need a spoon and spatular – and a little bit of creativity) look almost better. Like little chunks of gold.

My original ideas were to match the colour choices in our dining room and living room, copper/gold accents with the delicious, bitesize easyness of a sugary snack. Not to mention these look even more perfect stacked in a tall kilner jar on your table!

So what do you need? Uber simple all you need is,

3 large egg whites

175 grams of caster (or fine) sugar

and decoration of your choice! (I choose metallic dark gold food colouring and edible gold glitter) 


1st – Separate your egg whites. If you are a nervous egg breaker do this into a separate bowl and empty the good whites into your mixing bowl after. Whilst warming the oven at 140degrees.

2nd – I’ll give you my grandparents Low trick to the perfect Meringue – whisk your egg whites (preferably with an electric whisk – no one needs a sore arm ok?) until stiff peeks. This means that when you gently pull the whisks free the egg sticks up (sort of like a wave) and the crest doesn’t fall over and failing that, (my grandfather was a daredevil I tell you) carefully tip your bowl. If you can hold it upside down and your mixture doesn’t fall out? You’ve got it. Perfect.

3rd – Fold or whisk in your sugar in small portions at a time. I’ve done both and both methods work perfectly! If you whisk it in however don’t whisk your egg whites as stiffly.

4th – Using a spatular or spoon, spoon your mixture on a tray lined with baking paper in whichever look you want. A piping bag means they can look uniformed when cooked and actually “kisses” will need this method instead of my slapdash one!

5th – decorate! My favourite part. I have used the end of a spoon covered in food colouring and I have also used toothpicks to draw colour through the mixture! Because these are actually also put in the killner in terms of colour (ombre) I have also steadily folded in the food colouring, making the mixture darker as I go as well. Finally sprinkle your edible gold dust across the top for that little bit of glitter!

6th – Cook! These little blighters might take seconds to make but they take far longer to bake! Between 30-40 minutes, keep an eye on them so they don’t burn and to tell when they are done, take them from the oven. Pick them up, if they come away easily and the bottoms don’t break off and you can tap them easily without disaster than voila! they are done! lay them to cool on a cooling rack until fully cold.

Happy Easter Weekend!!

out being silly with Josh!

As its still Easter weekend and we should all be enjoying our bank holiday off I thought I would make today short and catch up with you guys!!

This weekend was pretty awesome for us and its really felt like we’ve had quality time to kick back and relax. The only problem with these types of weekends? Not getting so much blog time, but then again if your real world is awesome how can you worry about endless photos right?

We have gotten an awful lot done this weekend and one of those things? Essential baking, from fruit (currents and cherry) scones to indulgent brownies and banana loaf to finish up some of our blackened bananas. We also got our car cleaned (finally) had our parents meet for the first time in the five years we’ve been together and even possibly finding our wedding venue!!

All things are go in the Hawkins family and theres nothing more exciting than that!

Freezing milky way bites for those bad days post easter!

afternoon tea break!


Therealjlow . . . bakes?



We also like them messy and are too impatient to let them cool. But maybe thats just me!

We made this monster the other week and it was a bit of a on the spur of the moment style bake. Firstly I was only going to make a victoria sponge (with butter cream and icing sugar on top obviously its the only way I like it) but then we decided we wanted to make it chocolate but of course in making it chocolate we also wanted to keep it simple. So we used this recipe, now I’m also not a particularly precise baker or even as a cook, I like things fast and messy. In fact in food tech I was always being told off and docked points for a messy work space (why this meant the food was bad I’d never know!) So normally I would just dock flour for chocolate powder so its perhaps drier than this cake but I never minded. Anyway, this time I went all out and followed the recipe . . .


It was a pretty moist cake in the end and really did well for being left in the fridge for a week to remove some of the sickliness but I was pretty impressed by my first ever chocolate, chocolate cake. The interesting bit came to the filling of course! Strawberry jam? Too plain! So on went the cherry jam! Of course if you’re having cherry jam why not go the whole hog right?


Right. So we added a little bit of gateaux into the mix! Via the Hairy Bikers+ only me being me I didn’t exactly follow that recipe too well either. See I wasn’t too keen on the just whipped cream as filling or the sour cherries so I went and found this recipe+ and added icing sugar to the cream as well cherry brandy so we ended up with a rather nice cherry brandy cream filling! Never the one to be outdone however I decided to add something else . . .


Brandy infused cherries.

See this is why I’m not allowed in the kitchen too often I make over the top sickly concoctions which involve several recipes and me forgetting to set any type of timer and making it up as I went along. On the plus side I didn’t cut or hurt myself this time which is a vast improvement on the knuckle cutting of late March.

To make the mess above all you need is the chocolate cake recipe from here+, the cream from here+ and for the cherries leave them in a bowl over night (at least) to soak in cherry Brandy topped up with juice from the jar.

And who knows maybe you too could add something equally crazy in the mix that’ll work just as well!

Keep an eye peeled for my new favourite dress, a fall back blazer look and maybe a small post on my new white bag! . . .

In Which I realise you can’t escape fate. Or family. Well, unless you run really fast, but even then . . .






I am obsessed. I realised it when I stopped looking at clothing and paid more attention to the fact that we had an entirely too large collection of clear pint glasses. I then decided I needed more coloured glass and that I should probably replace those chipped plates we bought me for uni four years ago.

You know what I’ve realised? I am my mothers daughter.

I kept thinking as a child that I could escape it, but to be honest its just highly unlikely that I will. I am part her after all – who was I kidding to think that I could escape a family that have been in house furnishings for 80 something years that I somehow wouldn’t love furniture and everything else home related? It just wasn’t going to happen.

So recently you may ask I have become pretty single minded after all there is an amazing range of chopping boards we love, glasses from habitat to buy a lamp from asda whose shade I have make over plans for, New bed covers, the cutest kettle in kitchen aid cream that would match its blue counter part toaster we haven’t bought yet . . . the list goes on.

I blame Uni – why? well I have got to be honest I got used to the moving every year. I loved having an entirely new space each year. it was great to make your life over and now for the first time in a long time we are actually staying in one place and me? I’m thinking about painting. Walls, furniture (joshes pine bed has sanding, sealing and painting in its future – it just doesn’t know it yet . . .) and so many other things if i listed them we’d be here for days!

Really though I’d like a house I could paint. I’ve got colours on the brain and a future study to create so whose going to foot the bill? Anyone?