December 12, 2011

Christmas Cookie Exchange

Tis the season for giving, baking and eating and I have started mine off with a bang!! As part of the IFBA's Christmas Cookie Exchange Farmer Melly and I exchanged our favourite christmas recipes. She sent me her Baileys Irish Cream and Chocolate Cookies recipe  which makes amazing american size cookies and which have a lovely festive kick.

This recipe calls for Baileys but if you dont have baileys you could try it with another liqueur such as creme de menthe, coffee liqueur or whatever you like. I used Coole Swan, an Irish liquer from Co. Cavan. The recipe was given to me in cup quantities so a cup is approximately 225 grams. The recipe is quite dense so use a LARGE bowl and if you have a mixer instead of hand one use that as I really thought my hand mixer was going to die of exhaustion. I actually gave up using it at the end and got the hands in instead. The end result was worth it though and I have been asked all week to make them again!

I also think that this recipe would be quite versatile perhaps leaving out the cocoa and chocolate chips  and adding cranberries and white chocolate which I will have to try out myself this weekend and keep the family happy!!
The cookies also looked wonderful all wrapped up as edible gifts. 
My own recipe was for my Granny Salisbury's Chocolate Coconut Pyramids and if you would like to see how Farmer Melly got on with them have a look at her blog

So if you are looking for something new to add to your Christmas Cookie plate or as impressive edible gifts then this is a great recipe to add to your collection.

Baileys Irish Cream and Chocolate Cookies
  • 3 tablespoons of Baileys Irish Cream Liqueur
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups chocolate chips


  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C).           
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar. Gradually add eggs and Baileys while mixing. Sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt; stir into the creamed mixture. Finally, stir in the chocolate chips.
  3. Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto a cookie sheet. Cookies should be at least 2 inches apart. Bake for 23 to 25 Minutes.  Immediately transfer cookies to cooling rack after baking. These keep well at room temperature or refrigerated.

    December 03, 2011

    National Crafts and Design Fair 2011

    Now I know this is not strictly to do with food but this weekend the National Crafts and Design Fair is taking place at the RDS. So myself and the mother headed down last night to see if we could find any good gift ideas and with over 500 designers, artists, and craftspeople  we were spoilt for choice. Within about 10 minutes of being in the place we had both managed to find gifts that we loved. Gifts for ourselves might I add!! The place is packed with beautiful and unique gift ideas and there is something for everyone's budget. 

    After two hours of oohing and aaghing at many an item in the main hall we made our way to the food hall where over a 100 food producers were present. We executed our plan of action which is basically making our way around the stalls eating the samples! While we loved all the stands, one stand that we were particuraly taken with was The Scullery whom we had never encountered before. From Nenagh in County Tipperary they make wonderful relishes, compotes and glazes and delicious christmas puddings. There is also a packed agenda of cooking demos which covers entertaining at christmas, cooking with leftovers and baking with craft beer to name but a few.

    So if you haven't started your christmas shopping yet or even just have a few hours to spare a visit to the Fair this weekend would be well worth the trip. My mother and I bought 2 hats, a necklace, candles, jam, relishes .......

    For more information on the National Crafts and Design Fair:
    For more information on The Scullery:

    November 30, 2011


    I am a BIG fan of jo'burger and crackbird I love how they have taken one aspect of food and taken it to a whole new funky level - drinks in jam jars, chicken in buckets, spritzy sauce! I am also intrigued by the way that they have used social media to promote the restaurants. So when i found out a third new place was opening in the original crane lane space I hightailed it to Twitter to see what I could find. From previous experience it was here I knew there was the possibilty of bagging myself a free meal!! And EAT FOR FREE we did.

    So on a wet, windy, wednesday evening myself and the boyfriend splashed our way along crane lane to be greeted by the lovely smell of pizzas wafting up the street from Skinflint. This place is as quirky as the others with doors as tables and graffiti covered chairs and the food is just as wonderful and unusual. Skinflint have not gone for the standard dreaded pizza combinations so no ham and pineapple if that's what you're into. I ordered myself an Eithne, which was covered in butternut squash, capers and ricotta while he got a Grainne; an amazing combination of bacon and celeriac. The pizzas are grilled so they are thin and crispy and perfect for sharing. Both our pizzas were delicious who would have thought celeriac would work so well as a topping. They also have a chill honey which they are fermenting themselves that you can dip your pizza into. While this may sound odd it was surprisingly delicious and we were wishing we could have brought some home!  On finishing the first slice of his pizza the boyfriend waved a bit of pizza at me and mumbled 'We are coming here again'!! This time all we had to pay for were our drinks but I give it a week till we are back there again and happily paying full price!!
    The Grainne
    If you would like to see the other delicious pizza combinations on offer at skinflint visit  It also tells you how you can eat for free - they are offering a free meal for 2 people on the half hour of every hour so get following Skinflint on Twitter!! Tell them the Purple Page sent you :)

    Chilli Honey

    November 29, 2011

    Welcome to my Blog

    Food blogs are everywhere, even Marge Simpson has her own these days, and I should know I read a lot of them! I love reading what other people have to say about food, restaurants, baking and everything else in between. I have always loved baking which was instilled in me by my mother and grandmother, but cooking has always been another matter. I am currently striving to learn with a few mishaps along the way but I will get there! This blog isn’t going to be just about recipes though instead I intend to blog about all the wonderful things that are happening with food in Ireland. I love Ireland, I love to live here, am lucky enough to work here and I spend a lot of my holidays here too because you just can't beat what's on offer on our very own doorstep. There is so much happening throughout our wonderful country that celebrates food which I hope to share with you. I hope this blog will inspire you the way I have been inspired countless times by the ones that I follow myself.