Baking

  • Recipe: Devilicious Halloween Cookies

    These devilicious cookies are the perfect treat for your ghoulish guests this Halloween!  Use our cookie cutters to create spooky shapes then get creative with your icing to really make these cookies spooktacular!

    Preparation time: 1 to 2 hours

    Cooking time: 10 to 30 mins

    Serves: 20

    Ingredients

    • 250g/9oz unsalted butter, softened
    • 250g/9oz golden caster sugar
    • 2 free-range eggs, lightly beaten
    • ½ tsp vanilla extract
    • 500g/1lb 2oz plain flour
    • red and black food colouring (optional)
    • 1 tsp baking powder
    • Halloween-themed cookie cutters
    • red, white and black writing icing
    • 200g/7oz ready-to-roll fondant icing
    • 1 tbsp apricot jam, warmed with 1tsp water

    Method

    1. Beat together the butter and sugar in a large bowl, preferably using an electric mixer, until the mixture is light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs and vanilla extract. (If the mixture looks a little curdled, add a spoonful of the flour.) If you’re using food colouring, add a few drops to the mixture.

    2. Sift together the flour and baking powder in a separate bowl. Stir the flour into the butter mixture and work into a dough using floured hands. Turn onto a floured work surface and knead into a ball (the dough will be quite wet). Divide the dough into two portions, wrap in cling film and leave to chill in the fridge for at least one hour.

    3. Preheat the oven to 170C/325F/Gas 3. Line two baking trays with greaseproof paper.

    4. Roll the dough out to a 0.5cm/¼in thickness on lightly floured work surface. (It’s best to roll out one portion of the dough at a time, leaving the remainder in the fridge.) Cut shapes out with the Halloween cutters. Take a few limbs and heads off the gingerbread man for added gore.

    5. Place the cookies onto the baking tray, leaving a gap between them in case they spread a little.

    6. Bake for 12-15 minutes, leave on the tray for 10 minutes and then move to a wire rack to finish cooling.

    7. Once cool, let your imagination run wild. Use the red writing icing along the edges of the missing limbs and heads as blood. For the skeletons and mummies, roll the fondant icing out to a 0.5cm/¼in thickness on a work surface dusted with icing sugar and cut out shapes using the same cutters as the cookies. Brush the cookies with the warmed apricot jam and stick the icing onto the cookies. Decorate with the white and black writing icing.

    Recipe credit: BBC Food

  • Grocery Shopping Made Easy With Poundstretcher’s Grocery List

    Grocery shopping is, for the most part, a daunting task where money is concerned. A lot of emphasis is placed on the average cost of a weekly shop for a family of four, and sometimes it's tough to know what to buy.

    With the start of the academic school year upon us, the need for adding new packed lunch items starts to show itself on our shopping lists. There is even more to buy and the cost seems to go up and up.

    What if there was an easier way? A guide or list of grocery products to give you an idea of what you could be looking for, all for an affordable price? Well, that's what this blog post is all about!

    Breakfast

    Now, we all know breakfast is the most important meal of the day. So why not get the whole family eating something truly delicious and nutritious. You need a boost to get you through the morning, no, not just the morning, but the entire day. It all starts with a hearty dose of these Grain Classic Wheat Biscuits, they're great for everyone and go great with a splash of milk. Those and these Weetabix Weetaflakes are a great way to Carpe Diem.

    What if you need your breakfast on the go? Maybe you just wish to have it in the office later, or perhaps just want to feel the warm oaty taste of Oatburst? Here we have 3 delicious instant porridges for you to sample: original, golden syrup, and apple & blueberry.

    Work/Packed Lunch

    Whether it's for a child or adult, these items are all fantastically affordable that will make any lunch satisfying and filling.

    Let's start with some sandwich fillers. For a tasty treat that's bursting with delicious chocolatey goodness, why not give this Twix Chocolate Spread a try in a sandwich? Nothing screams a special lunchbox treat like some chocolate between bread.

    Or if you wish to go for something a little healthier you can try a sandwich with some Ocean Best TunaGreen Giant Sweetcorn, Baxters Beetroot, or Harwards Silverskin Onion inside, with a good dollop of Hellmans Mayo of course.

    Next, you should really have some fruit thrown in. These Del Monte Peach Halves (or Apricot if you prefer) are great for getting 1 of your 5 a day, that or this Del Monte Light Fruit Cocktail.

    Want a snack in there too? These Wagon Wheels come in a pack of 6 with 2 free, whilst these Higates Flapjacks come in 4 great flavours (white chocolate, original, chocolate, and coconut & cherry). And to top it all off, have these classic Space Raiders to give you that final treat you all deserve. Both the standard pickled onion and the beef flavours are still loved across the recent generations.

    Last, here come the drinks. Get hydrated with these fruity Perfectly Clear Spring Waters, coming in summer fruits, strawberry, and lemon and lime flavours. If water isn't really what you're looking for, then try these Maja Juice Drinks in either orange or multi-fruit. They come in a great pack of 10 and will last the entire week which equates to great packed lunch filler.

    Ready Made Lunches

    So, if you're at home instead (or you wish for a warm and quick meal at the office) then you're in luck! At Poundstretcher you can grab great branded products such as some Heinz Simmer Soup Cream of Chicken or their Tomato Chilli Pasta with a 5 minute cooking time, or these Mug Shot Snack Stops (in sweet and sour noodle, chicken noodle, cheese pasta, and tomato pasta flavours).

    Perhaps you're feeling rebellious and want some Pot Noodle in their Bombay Bad Boy taste sensation? Or Uncle Ben's Rice Time, a great quick-and-easy pot of rice with curry sauce (red Thai, green Thai, and Cantonese) that will give you that warm get-up-and-go feeling you need at lunchtime.

    If curry is more your thing there's also the Curry Express that'll take you on a tasty trip to Savouryville! There are numerous stops, such as korma, rogan josh, tikka masala, and jalfrezi, all that can satisfy anyone's hunger.

    Dinner

    Dinners can become a major hassle, deciding what to have, when to have it, etc. However, here Poundstretcher has a list of everything you would want to have for a weekly shop.

    Starting with pasta and spaghetti, it's something for the kids. These Crosse and Blackwell Kids Shapes come in a variety of different characters, such as those from Star Wars and Frozen. For penne pasta, we have Buitoni's very own. With some Amore plum or chopped tomatoes (or using some Ragu Traditional Chunky Bolognese Sauce),  you can have a tasty Italian dish with ease every time.

    Another day why not try something with rice? Blue Dragon Egg Fried Rice to be exact, or maybe Patak's Pilau Rice instead. With your carbs in place, you can start to add Mai Thai Coconut Milk with some herbs, spices, and chicken to make a delicious Thai curry. It's either that or using Patak's Mild Curry Sauce for a delectable Indian-style delight (with naan and poppadoms, of course).

    There are also fast and convenient dinners available to you. Take this Al'fez Moroccan Easy Cook Meal Kit, which has everything you need to make a tasty meal for two. Pair them up (or any other meal) with peas and beans from Bonners and you have yourself a healthier and greener meal.

    There are so many cupboard-fillers that can be used to make great dinners even better. They include Batchelors Mushy Peas, Goldenfry's Dumpling MixYorkshire Pudding & Pancake Mix, and Gravy Beef Mix.

    Not to mention all the condiments and seasonings you could be adding in, like Heinz Tomato Ketchup and HP Garlic BBQ Sauce. Don't forget the Saxa White Pepper and Salt, Vinegar (great with some chips), and everything from Natural Herbs & Spices.

    Also, what cupboard would be complete without some Flora Pure Sunflower Oil, flour (self-raising and plain) and some sugar?

    Snacks & Drinks

    Now onto the treats and drinks. At Poundstretcher you can be assured you will find coffee, tea, biscuits, and more all for an affordable price. Even whilst on a budget you can still enjoy something sweet and indulge.

    For example, why not get your Bake-Off fix with some baking? These adorable Shaun the Sheep cakes can be made using a simple cake mix. What better way to quench the thirst after a job well done than with some Jucee Summer Fruits with no added sugar.

    If you don't want cordial, then there's Lyons gold roast coffee, Typhoo 100 round tea bags, and Pepsi Max in a 1.5l bottle. Add some Carnation Evaporated Milk and then dunk in some delicious biscuits for a great way to spend the afternoon.

    The List

    Like what you see so far? Well then, get a load of this! This printable grocery list is something you could take with you next time you visit Poundstretcher. It's perfect for those on a budget, with a price range of around £30-£40.

    Unsure where your nearest store is? Our Store Finder will help give you directions and show you opening times of your local store!

    Printable Grocery List: Shopping Made Easy With Poundstretcher

    grocery

  • Five Ways To Use White Chocolate

    Five Ways To Use White Chocolate

    To celebrate White Chocolate Day that happened this week, we thought we’d compile a list of all the ways you can use the chocolatey treat  and share our favourite recipes with you! All products mentioned are Poundstretcher worthy and you won’t need to break the bank to buy our stuff!

    BE WARNED YOU WILL CRAVE CHOCOLATE THROUGHOUT THIS POST!

    1. The obvious way is too of course is EAT it! If you fancy a pick me, we have plenty of chocolate waiting to be eaten in our stores at great prices!

    broken up bits of white chocolate

    2) Drink it- We suggest making White Hot chocolate for that creamier finish for those cold nights! You don’t need to stop just there. You can also use it to make the most delish milkshake!

    All you need to make the perfect white chocolate milkshake is:

    85ml of semi skimmed milk

    170ml of vanilla ice cream

    50g of white chocolate chips

    A bar of white chocolate for garnish

    1. Blend milk with the chocolate chips and keep blending until it is smooth
    2. Slowly add scoops of ice cream and blend until it resembles a slightly melted appearance
    3. Grate the block of white chocolate and use to garnish on top of the milkshake and serve!

     

    vanilla milkshake with whipped cream at the top

    3) Make ice cubes- If you want to add a bit of flavour to your drink, these flavoured ice cubes will do just the trick! They are perfect to accompany with milkshakes.

    You will need:

    200ml milk

    50ml water

    1 tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa

    1 teaspoon of sugar

    70g of white chocolate

    Ice Cube Tray

    1. Cut the chocolate into fine pieces and set aside in a heat proof bowl
    2. Add all the ingredients together into a large saucepan and allow everything to come to a boil over medium heat
    3. Pour the mixture over the chocolate and then allow the chocolate to melt for five minutes.
    4. Pour the mixture in one of our ice cube trays and distribute evenly to get enough chocolatey goodness in each hole
    5. Freeze the ice cubes

     

    assorted range of ice cube trays in purple, yellow and red

    4) Dip it- Create a white chocolate sauce by melting the chocolate that can be used as a dip or even as a sauce that can be drizzled on to other treats such as cakes, brownies or other goodies that tickle your fancy!

    image of splashing white milk

    5) Mould it- Why not get creative and use it to create some fancy shapes or use our Silicone Heart Baking Pan and share some chocolate loving!

    1. Melt some white chocolate.
    2. Grab your mould of choice and slowly pour the melted chocolate into the mould
    3. Once filled, tap your mould on to your surface to release any trapped air bubbles
    4. Refrigerate for 20-30 minutes and voila your chocolate mould is ready!

    red heart mould

    With our tips on how to use white chocolate, we hope this gives you an inspiration on what to do with your white chocolate this week!

    Tweet us with how you used your white chocolate today or tag us in your Instagram pictures! Don’t forget to like us on Facebook 

  • Half Term Boredom Hacks

    Half Term Boredom Hacks

    Are you ready for half term?

    Well now you will be with these handy arts and crafts ideas! Getting creative is something anyone can do, even on a shoe string budget.

    And if anyone can do that, it’s your mini humans. Kids are the most creative people in the world with their imagination, curiosity and unique point of view.

    So grab plenty of glitter, your baking kits and potatoes because this half term we’re getting stuck in with these arty activities:

    Mason Jar Madness!
    Mason jars with watermelon smoothies and cucumbers

    I know what you’re thinking: no not another Mason jar blog. These little glass beauties can be used for anything from making snow globes, smoothies, vases, and more! We love making our own mocktails ready for the warm weather – if the sun does appear this half term, we all know what English weather is like! Our favourite recipe is the English Garden which is apple juice, lemonade, ginger, elderflower, cucumber, and water. It’s delicious and refreshing for cooling off on a hot day. If you have a juicer or food processor it can be a fantastic way to get kids to eat their greens with a smoothie. You can make them more appealing by creating your own superhero or princess inspired smoothies like the Cinderella (strawberries, raspberries, bananas,  blueberries and yoghurt) and the Hulk (kale, kiwi, apple, pears, broccoli and bananas)!

    The Great Half Term Bake Off!
    Parents baking with their daughter
    We all deserve a treat now and then so why not bake fairy cakes with the little ones during half term? Replacing egg with banana can make carrot cupcake not only delicious but healthy. That’s right, healthy cakes… apart from the icing, of course. Let this be your cheat day on the diet, we won’t tell!

    You need:

    For the cake:
    1 ripe banana mashed
    1tbsp of margarine
    1 grated carrot
    1 tsp of ground cinnamon
    1 tbsp of baking powder
    4oz of self-raising flour
    A handful of raisins

    Icing:
    Half a tsp of vanilla extract
    1 tbsp of margarine
    3 tbsp icing sugar
    A handful of pecans

    Measure your ingredients with your baking kit, sift the flower then mix all of the dry ingredients together to create a well. Add the wet ingredients and stir until you have a lush smooth batter. Place in your cupcake cases and bake at 180 degrees until your cakes have risen to a nice spongy texture. Let them cool off for the afternoon (try not to eat them… okay we ate 2), then mix together your icing ingredients (apart from the pecans) with a fork. Gently whisk it up in to a sugary thick icing and dab on top of your cakes. Finish them off by placing 1 pecan on top of each iced cupcake. Mmm scrumptious.

    Little Green Fingers
    A little blonde girl watering the garden
    Giving the kids their own little patch of the garden is wonderful for helping them learn about caring for nature and the environment as well as busting that half term boredom. You can teach them about growing food by planting some vegetable and fruit seeds in a corner of the garden or some herbs in a little planter. Get the tots involved by giving them a small watering can and get them to help encourage our bumble bee friends by watering the flowers for them to pollinate.

    Potato Art
    Potato stamps
    Potato stamps are a childhood classic and are a brilliant way to get the kids to make their own art during their half term holidays. Lay newspaper across the table to prevent any spillages then grab some paper and felt tip pens and let your mini start drawing! It’ll be a lovely contrast of pen and paint on their creation! Cut your potato in half then simply get the template – cookie cutters are surprisingly good for this – to cut round. Dab the moist parts of the potato with some kitchen roll then dip the stamp in paint and assist the little ones with gently pressing down the potato stamp. You can also use celery to make some pretty flower petal shapes too and carrots are brilliant for a more textured print!

    What are you up to this half term? Tell us on Facebook and Twitter!

    Want to visit us to stock up your kids activity and crafting supplies? Find your nearest store here.

4 Item(s)