Easter Rocky Road

One more quick Easter recipe for you. Yes, it’s basically just Rocky Road – but the Easter version. So it’s automatically even greater. And it takes ten minutes to put together. And very little skill. And I’m tired, okay, so unfortunately for you, this lazy recipe is all you get today. The Hot Cross Cookies were a slightly more respectable attempt at Easter baking.


I barely ever make Rocky Road actually, because a) James loves it, and b) I am lukewarm about it. This makes me sound very selfish, but truly, James doesn’t really want me to make it often because it means I’ll come home one day and find him sitting on the floor in the kitchen with chocolate all over his face, an empty tin clutched in his sticky fingers, and a wild look in his eyes. I’m being cruel to be kind.


I don’t quite know what’s so joyful about Easter eggs, but they’re magical. Even if it’s completely standard chocolate that you wouldn’t normally look twice at, somehow having it in an egg shape makes it incredibly appealing. This follows through to mini eggs too. I don’t know why, but I find them totally irresistible. So, even though I am lukewarm about Rocky Road, I ate quite a lot of this batch.



I’m not going to pretend this is a particularly inventive or difficult thing to make. It’s just normal rocky road plus Easter eggs. You can substitute anything else when we’re not in Easter season.


125g butter
300g chocolate – dark, milk, or a mixture depending on your taste
3 tbsp golden syrup
200g oat biscuits (or whatever biscuits you like)
100g marshmallows (cut them in half if they’re big ones)
150g mini eggs
2 tbsp icing sugar (for dusting)


  1. Line a 20cm square tin with baking paper and make sure you have space to fit it in your fridge.
  2. Put your butter, chocolate, and golden syrup in a large saucepan and melt over a medium heat. While everything is melting, put your biscuits in a freezer bag and bash them with a rolling pin to break them up a bit, leaving some chunky pieces. When the chocolate mix is melted, stir the biscuits and marshmallows into it.
  3. Reserve a handful of your mini eggs, then roughly chop the rest and mix them into the chocolate. Spread the mixture out evenly in your lined tin and flatten the top. Push your reserved mini eggs into the surface of the rocky road, then pop the whole thing in the fridge to set for a couple of hours.
  4. When it’s set, dust the top with icing sugar, cut it into squares, and serve.

Hot Cross Cookies

Let’s get the obvious thing out of the way first. I suck at piping white chocolate. Try to ignore how messy these look, and appreciate that hot cross cookies are an excellent addition to the Easter baking roster. I am a big fan of Easter brownies, and generally go for the ‘add creme eggs and mini eggs and it’s a done deal’ school of Easter baking.


But sometimes, you’ve got to mix it up. I love hot cross buns passionately, but there’s no denying they’re a bit of a faff to make. They’re not stupidly difficult or anything, but as with most breads you have to wait for things to rise and prove and so on. And sometimes (okay, often) I am just too impatient for such things. Enter: hot cross cookies.



This recipe makes around 20 generously sized cookies.

If, like me, you live in a two person household, and don’t want to bake 20 cookies at once because you know you will just eat them all, I have a solution for you. Freeze all the cookie dough (i.e. get up to the end of step 2 in the recipe), then bake the cookies off in batches of two or four or whatever is manageable for the next few weeks. You will have delicious freshly-baked cookies in fifteen minutes in small batches.


250g butter, softened
200g light brown sugar
100g caster sugar
3 large egg yolks
325g plain flour
1 tsp fine sea salt
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp allspice
100g mixed peel (should come diced but chop it finely if not)
100g raisins or sultanas
75g white chocolate


  1. Line a baking tray which will fit in your freezer with parchment paper. In your largest bowl or in a stand-mixer, beat the butter and both types of sugar together until just combined and even, then beat in the egg yolks – all at once is fine. Add your flour, salt, bicarbonate, cinnamon, and allspice. Mix to form firm dough. Finally, fold in your mixed peel and sultanas.
  2. Using a small ice cream scoop (or spoons, or your hands…) scoop the dough into golf ball sized rounds and pop them on your lined tray. Freeze for an hour, or up to a month.
  3. Heat your oven to 180C/ 160C fan/ gas 4, and take the cookies out of the freezer. Spread the frozen dough between three or four lined baking trays – you need to give them a lot of space to expand.  Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the outsides of the cookies are baked and crispy, but the insides still feel soft and underbaked. Let them rest on the counter to firm up for at least 10 minutes. Remove to wire racks to cool completely before piping on your chocolate.
  4. Melt your white chocolate however you see fit (in a bowl over a pan of simmering water is safest, but I often just microwave on medium power in short bursts for such small amounts). Pop it in a piping bag (or a sandwich bag), snip off the end, and pipe crosses onto your cool cookies. Alternatively, skip the cross thing and just drizzle them recklessly with chocolate. Less Easter-themed, but slightly easier.

Easter Brownies Two Ways

Childhood Easter egg hunts are the very stuff of dreams, no? They’re one of those experiences that are utterly magical when you’re small, and it’s the sort of magic that, sadly, cannot be replicated as an adult. Never again will dashing around the garden, crazy high on sugar and looking for your next hit, basket clutched in sticky hands, hold the same delight. Now I am unlikely to run for anything unless being chased by something genuinely dangerous, and I have the means to simply go out and buy chocolate of my own accord. These developments are welcome, but they sadly come at the expense of the exhilarating Easter egg hunts I once knew.


Just a quick post today with a very simple idea: Easter brownies for kids and adults. I love brownies and I go on about them on here all the time, but so far I have only posted one recipe, so now it’s time for me to start slowly expanding my archives. Here, I’ve taken one basic brownie recipe, inspired by the standard in my Leiths textbook, and have suggested two completely different variations. For kids, a lighter chocolate, pieces of toffee, and an assortment of bright eggs. For adults, rich and dark 85% chocolate, homemade marzipan, cherries, a hefty dollop of kirsch, and some white chocolate drizzle. I mean, in theory, one was for kids and one was for adults, but there’s nothing to stop adults eating the kid version, as James proved when he took them into the office. Er, maybe kids shouldn’t eat the adult version though, because they’ve got quite a bit of booze in them.


So it’s just a quick post today, because I have eaten a horrifying and wonderful amount of chocolate and I need to go and have a lie down. Whatever you are up to on this Sunday which is both sunny and stormy (somehow), I hope you’re having a lovely time and enjoying some shameless decadence.


Source: My base recipe is adapted from the one in the Leiths book, which I use on a daily basis.

Notes: This recipe will work best in a 20cm x 20cm square tin. They keep very well and freeze excellently (simply zap a frozen brownie in the micowave for 30 seconds in a chocolate deprivation emergency and enjoy a gooey treat). I always undercook my brownies so that they are fudgy and delicious and, when hot from the oven, almost spoonable, but feel free to leave yours in the oven for an extra 5 minutes if you are looking for something a little bit more robust.

The method is the same for both versions, with slightly different additions.


200g chocolate (60% for the kid version, 85% for the adult version)
140g butter
225g golden caster sugar
2 large eggs, plus 1 extra yolk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp salt
90g plain flour for kid version, 120g plain flour for adult version

For kid version

2x 90g packets of little eggs (I have used Cadbury and Galaxy here, but anything will work), half left whole and half chopped roughly
3 Creme Eggs cut in half (I find a knife dipped in hot water best for this)
50g toffee pieces

For adult version

100g marzipan, cut into roughly 2cm chunks (I made my own but shop bought is fine – let me know if you want a home made marzipan recipe and I am happy to post one)
4 tbsp kirsch
100g pitted cherries, chopped roughly (I used tinned here)
50g white chocolate



  1. Break your chocolate into pieces and chop your butter into rough cubes and place them both in a glass or metal bowl over a pan of gently simmering water and leave them to melt, stirring occasionally. Preheat your oven to 180C/160C fan/ gas 4. Grease your square tin. I line the base too, because, you know, belt and braces, but if you have a good non-stick tin or one with a removable base then you can get away with not doing that.
  2. While your chocolate and butter melt, mix your eggs with your extra yolk and your vanilla, and weigh out your sugar. Chop and prep whichever additional ingredients you are using. When your chocolate and butter have completely melted, beat in your sugar (I use an electric hand whisk), followed by your eggs. Sift the flour and salt over the mixture and then beat that in too. For the kid version, stir through some chopped and whole eggs and half your toffee pieces. For the adult version, stir through your cherries, marzipan, and kirsch. Pour the mixture into the tin, smooth the surface, and bake for 25-30 mins or until done to your satisfaction. You want a crisp and crackly top, but remember they will firm up a bit as they cool.
  3. For the kid version, grab your brownies out of the oven 5 minutes before they are due to be done and press the Creme Egg halves and remaining mini eggs into the surface of the mixture, then continue to bake for 5 mins until they are slightly melted into the surface. For the adult version, melt the white chocolate while the brownies are cooking and let them cool for five minutes before drizzling it over the finished product.