Sunday, July 24, 2016

White Chocolate and Caramel Brownie Recipe and a giveaway

White Chocolate and Caramel Brownies - recipe at below

I'm back home living with my parents whilst my new house undergoes some renovations.

So when I received a box of goodies from Nestle to join in the #Bakeityours challenge instead of reaching for the chocolate like I normally would I decided to make something with white chocolate and add in one of my dad's favourite lollies Jersey Caramels to come up with a treat he would appreciate.


The resulting brownies were dense and a little chewy which I liked and quite sweet. I think they improved after a day losing some of the initial sweetness and improving in texture.

Anyway onto the reason Nestle sent out the box of goodies is to let y'all know they have a new Nestle Bakers' Choice range. I like the suggestions on the front of the packets that say things like 'for coating and decorating' or 'for adding and pouring' and found the white chocolate to be quite a nice creamy texture which melted quite easily.

To help celebrate this they have offered Bubble and Sweet Australian readers the chance to win a lovely baking package valued at around $100 which includes products from the new Bakers' Choice range and and some baking products. Enter below using rafflecopter (Entry only available to Australian Residents aged 18 and over no purchase necessary):

You can enter up to 3 times, however you do not need to follow all 3 steps for your entry to be valid.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Best of luck



White Chocolate and Caramel Brownies
(makes 12 store in air tight container in fridge for up to 3 days) Wilton 195 piping tip used for decorating.

150 g ( 5 1/4 oz) butter
200 g ( 7 oz) white chocolate
3 eggs lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup lightly packed brown sugar
1 2/3 cup plain flour
220 g (7 3/4 oz) Jersey Caramels chopped
Whipped jersey caramel topping (see below)
6 Jersey Caramels cut into half extra for decorating

Line a rectangle slice tray approx 18cm x 28cm ( &" x 11") with baking paper

Preheat oven to 180 C (350 F)

Melt butter and white chocolate in a microwave safe dish for 2 minutes on medium low heat. Mix (the mixture will not be soft yet) and then heat for another 2 minutes at medium low heat. Whisk until no lumps remain.

Add eggs and vanilla and whisk until just combined.

Fold through the flour and then the jersey caramels and spread the mixture into the prepared tray.

Bake for 30 minutes until the brownie is golden and cooked through in the middle.

Cut into triangles and pipe a dollop of whipped ganache into the middle of each brownie and top with half a jersey caramel.

Jersey Caramel whipped ganache topping

5 jersey caramels
1/2 tsp water
100 g (3 1/2 oz) white choc
25 g (7/8oz) cream

Melt the jersey caramels and water for 60 seconds at low rest and stir and then heat for another 60 seconds in the microwave and mix until smooth.

Melt the white chocolate and cream together at medium low heat 2 minutes and mix until smooth. Add in the melted caramel mixture and allow to cool to room temperature.

Whip with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.



Linda Vandermeer is a blogger, baker, mother, owner of The Biscuit Cafe and author of the children's cookbook Sweets on a Stick: More Than 150 Kid-Friendly Recipes for Cakes, Candies, Cookies, and Pies on the Go! Published in the US in 2011 the book is still available online at Amazon and other online book stores.

Affiliate links may earn me money and contribute to supporting this blog

I love when people share my blog ideas and give credit. All posts contain original ideas, photography* and recipes by Linda Vandermeer-McCubbin unless otherwise credited. Please feel free to link back to my blog for non commercial purposes.

I was sent a box of nestle product to assist in the development of recipes for this blog post. No sponsorship or financial incentive was received.


Sunday, July 17, 2016

Islands in my dreams that is what they are


I'm dreaming of kitchen islands in the new house.

I've been pinning my self silly with pictures of white light New Hampton style kitchens and sending them to the kitchen designer.

*not my kitchen this is from my pintrest board which links back to Better Homes and Garden

We can do it if I want...... if I have the money and time but that is where I'm falling a teensy bit short at the moment.

Also I am short a lifestyle when my whole life can be on display as I have a real family with active kids and while I like the idea of walking into the house and seeing my amazing kitchen and beautiful living area, the reality will be piles of school shoes, bags and sporting equipment if I don't plan storage accordingly.

Anyhoo that is the subtle but totally worthwhile advice I got from the kitchen designer when we met on site to measure up the space. She came up with some great ideas for a beautiful kitchen with an island which included removing walls and opening up the whole space.

It sounded ah-mazing! Exactly what I wanted for my pin-perfect new house.

But I own a cafe now and I don't have time to run around and make sure the house is camera ready and truthfully I never did, only 2 rooms in the old house ever looked that way most of the time.

So some compromise is going to have to occur.

A few different versions have been drawn up for the new kitchen but in the meantime I'll keep on island dreaming.



Linda Vandermeer is a blogger, baker, mother, owner of The Biscuit Cafe and author of the children's cookbook Sweets on a Stick: More Than 150 Kid-Friendly Recipes for Cakes, Candies, Cookies, and Pies on the Go! Published in the US in 2011 the book is still available online at Amazon and other online book stores.

Affiliate links may earn me money and contribute to supporting this blog

I love when people share my blog ideas and give credit. All posts contain original ideas, photography* and recipes by Linda Vandermeer-McCubbin unless otherwise credited. Please feel free to link back to my blog for non commercial purposes.

*this post does not contain my original photography, I have provided a link to the source.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

and then this thing happened.........

I haven't been blogging lately.

Mostly because the blog has always been a reflection of what is happening in my life.

And then this thing happened.........last October my husband of 22 years told me out of the blue and without prior warning he had been seeing someone and was moving in with her that night.

At the time I was floored, we had been living together as husband and wife in all ways and I had no idea, it took me a little while to regroup.

I've shared a few posts since then but because I always share what is happening in my life it felt like the elephant in the room I was avoiding.

It's not really something I wanted to put out there because obviously there are children involved and for their sake I try to deal with the situation with as much grace as possible, But it happened, it's part of my life and it is impacting everything I do.

Hugely and in a positive way as I have decided to turn this situation into an opportunity for me to grow and nurture my needs.

If life gives you lemons

I've sold the family house and although I was sad to see my kitchen and craft area go I am looking forward to creating my own new space in the (much smaller) house I am moving into soon.



I've been spending lots of time with my children, which I always did, but there is a sense of calmness that hasn't been there for a while.

And I've bought a cafe just down the road which is truly so exciting for me.

I hope you can understand my past absence as I have spent time looking after my children and myself and I look forward to continue sharing with you my journey. I hope to share the renovation of my new home and my journey at The Biscuit cafe Springwood.



Linda Vandermeer is a blogger, baker, mother, owner of The Biscuit Cafe and author of the children's cookbook Sweets on a Stick: More Than 150 Kid-Friendly Recipes for Cakes, Candies, Cookies, and Pies on the Go! Published in the US in 2011 the book is still available online at Amazon and other online book stores.

Affiliate links may earn me money and contribute to supporting this blog

I love when people share my blog ideas and give credit. All posts contain original ideas, photography and recipes by Linda Vandermeer-McCubbin unless otherwise credited. Please feel free to link back to my blog for non commercial purposes.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Bunny Love cookies



Ooops is it Easter already and I haven't shared any of the cookies and projects I made up.

Luckily I did take some photo's of these cookies even if I didn't do the process shots because they're pretty cute.


Sweet floral pastel bunnies. I mean really how could you go wrong.

The flowers are teensy little fondant ones with royal icing centers and they each have an edible soft gold ball (from Queen) and then I decorated them with a few royal icing leaves.

I served them with some water color cookies in matching pastel hues (CLICK HERE for last week's post).


Linda Vandermeer is a blogger, baker, maker and author of the Children's cookbook Sweets on a Stick: More Than 150 Kid-Friendly Recipes for Cakes, Candies, Cookies, and Pies on the Go! Published in the USA in 2011 the book is still available at Amazon and many online bookstores.

Affiliate links may earn me money and contribute to supporting this blog.

Original ideas, photography and recipes Linda Vandermeer please do not reuse without permission except for non commercial purposes where you may use 1 image, give credit and link back to original post.



Saturday, March 19, 2016

I love bunny cookies or how to make squiggly cookies


Oh my it's nearly Easter!

How did that happen so fast. I know I've moved house and been keeping busy trying to keep the kids lives as normal as possible with all the changes but seriously......... Easter that's like quarter of the way through the year.

If you're as bewildered as I am these simple bunny cookies might make you happy.

They are modern, easy and fun.


My son, The Destroyer, loves this type of hand painted cookie, he calls them the squiggly ones.

I admit I have a soft spot for them too and have been using them as filler cookies for other sets quite a bit lately. They are even lovelier if you happen to have some edible gold on hand.

I didn't have a chance to make up instructions for the bunny cookies but I have in the past made sweet deer cookies and the process is exactly the same.

CLICK HERE for the link to my post showing how to decorate them yourself.

See below for my cookie recipe.


Happy Baking





Shop the shoot Guide




Confetti Paper Plates from Bash Party Goods (mine purchased at Lark)
Purple spot chalkboard cards part of set from Kmart
Washi tape from Kmart
Purple Marshmallow Puffs - Big Lolly Australia



Sugar Cookie Recipe (makes 24 regular cookies or 60 small)

460 grams plain flour (16 1/4 oz all purpose flour)
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
230 grams unsalted butter (8 1/8oz)room temperature
220 grams caster sugar (7 3/4 oz superfine sugar)# 
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
#use regular white sugar if you do not have caster/ superfine sugar

Sift together flour, baking powder and salt.

Cream butter and sugar in a large bowl using an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Reduce the speed to medium low, add the egg and vanilla and mix until combined. Reduce mixer speed to low and mix in the sifted flour mixture until combined. Wrap the dough in plastic and chill in fridge for 30 minutes or so.

Line a few baking trays with parchment/ baking paper.

Dust workbench with plain flour and using a large rolling pin roll out the dough until around 1/2 cm (1/4") in thickness. If the dough is to hard you may need to work/knead it a bit until you can roll it out.

Cut out cookies shapes and place the cookies on the prepared trays. (Knead and reroll dough as necessary, if it becomes to soft you can pop it back in the fridge.)

Pop the cut cookie dough trays into the fridge to chill again for around 30 minutes until firm (or in the freezer for 10 minutes).

Preheat oven to 160 C (320 F) and cook the cookies until they just start to turn golden, around 15 minutes (less or more depending on cookie size).

Cool on trays for 5 minutes and then carefully lift onto a wire rack to cool completely prior to decorating.

- Cookies can be stored in an airtight container for 1 week.


Hopefully I'll hop too it and type up some instructions for these Bunny Love cookies soon Xx


Linda Vandermeer is a blogger, baker, maker and author of the Children's cookbook Sweets on a Stick: More Than 150 Kid-Friendly Recipes for Cakes, Candies, Cookies, and Pies on the Go! Published in the USA in 2011 the book is still available at Amazon and many online bookstores.

Affiliate links may earn me money and contribute to supporting this blog.

Original ideas, photography and recipes Linda Vandermeer please do not reuse without permission except for non commercial purposes where you may use 1 image, give credit and link back to original post.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Hello Sweetie cutie patootie treats for Valentines Day


Valentines Day is one of my favourite days of the year. I mean how could I not love a day filled with hearts, love and lollies (candy).

This year I have come up with some cute heart cookie faces that were inspired by some Hello Kitty Pez dispensers I picked up at The Reject Shop and using a heart cookie cutter they sent me.

I'm calling them 'Hello sweetie!' My kids thought they were super cutie patootie and of course they adored the Pez dispensers.


I teamed them up with water colour and edible gold leaf decorated heart cookies to make a sweet set. Just add the Pez and some extra lollies and you have a perfectly cute little bundle.

Pink decorating set, pink twist marshmallows and pez from The Reject Shop

I also made up another set of cookies for The Reject Shop savvy blog using some of the baking products they have out at the moment. I was a bit smitten with the pink pastel squeeze bottles for decorating in The Art of Baking decorating set they sent me, pop on over to their blog HERE to read more.

Happy Baking



Hello Sweetie cookies 

Heart Shape Cookies (see cookie recipe below)
Heart Cookie Cutter (mine from The Reject Shop)
White rolled fondant
Violet, red and pink fondant
White food colour
Black edible marker
Pink edible dusting powder
Small Rolling Pin
Ball tool
Veining/Dresden tool
Brush and water
small thin brush
Another dry brush


^fondant dries out quickly, when not in use store in an airtight container or ziplock bag. To use fondant knead until pliable and smooth and roll out on a workbench dusted with cornflour (cornstarch). 

Knead white fondant until smooth and pliable. Dust workbench with cornflour (corn starch) and roll out fondant until quite thin then using the heart cutter cut out a fondant shape.

Brush water onto the cookie and adhere the fondant, use the rolling pin to smooth the fondant into place.

Take a small amount of red fondant a little larger than the size of a pea and roll into 3 tiny balls. Press the balls flat. Brush a little water on the top corner of the cookie and press 2 of the flat shapes onto the cookie - see picture above for example. Use a ball tool to press an indent in the center of the round shapes to make a bow. Press the third round shape into the middle of the other 2. Pain dots onto the finished bow using the thin brush and white food colour.

Draw eyes onto the cookie using an edible food colour pen. * On some of the other cookies I used black fondant to make bigger open eyes, you can play around and make the eyes however you prefer.

Pinch off 2 very small pieces of pink fondant and shape into lips, adhere to the cookie as per picture making a top and bottom lip. Press the ball tool in the middle to make the lips into a pucker. If necessary use the veining tool to push the lips into shape.

Use the dry brush to gently apply a little bit of pink dusting powder to the cheeks by brushing in small circles.


Sugar Cookie Recipe (makes 12 large cookies)

460 grams plain flour (16 1/4 oz all purpose flour)
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
230 grams unsalted butter (8 1/8oz)room temperature
220 grams caster sugar (7 3/4 oz superfine sugar)# 
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
#use regular white sugar if you do not have caster/ superfine sugar

Sift together flour, baking powder and salt.

Cream butter and sugar in a large bowl using an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Reduce the speed to medium low, add the egg and vanilla and mix until combined. Reduce mixer speed to low and mix in the sifted flour mixture until combined. Wrap the dough in plastic and chill in fridge for 30 minutes or so.

Line a few baking trays with parchment/ baking paper.

Dust workbench with plain flour and using a large rolling pin roll out the dough until around 1/2 cm (1/4") in thickness. If the dough is to hard you may need to work/knead it a bit until you can roll it out.

Cut out cookies shapes and place the cookies on the prepared trays. (Knead and reroll dough as necessary, if it becomes to soft you can pop it back in the fridge.)

Pop the cut cookie dough trays into the fridge to chill again for around 30 minutes until firm (or in the freezer for 10 minutes).

Preheat oven to 160 C (320 F) and cook the cookies until they just start to turn golden, around 15 minutes (less or more depending on cookie size).

Cool on trays for 5 minutes and then carefully lift onto a wire rack to cool completely prior to decorating.

- Cookies can be stored in an airtight container for 1 week.


Linda Vandermeer is a blogger, baker, maker and author of the Children's cookbook Sweets on a Stick: More Than 150 Kid-Friendly Recipes for Cakes, Candies, Cookies, and Pies on the Go! Published in the USA in 2011 the book is still available at Amazon and many online bookstores.

I was provided with product and paid to write the blog post featured over on The Savvy blog. The ideas created and words expressed are my own.

Affiliate links may earn me money and contribute to supporting this blog.

Original ideas, photography and recipes Linda Vandermeer please do not reuse without permission except for non commercial purposes where you may use 1 image, give credit and link back to original post.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Pink and gold celebration cake


I'm moving house which is quite a big thing after living in the same place for 16 years and has not left me a lot of time to post here on the blog.

Eeeek, the stuff I have accumulated over that time ...... It was hard at first but it actually feels good to let go of so many of those things.

So to celebrate (and use up some of my supplies so I don't need to move them) I decorated a cake.

Ok y'all know I pretty much make a cake to celebrate the opening of a letter, but that's a good thing right?

This cake is fondant covered with edible gold then rough buttercream, sixlets and pearls and a single macaron up on top.


It's elegant and beautiful but still a bit fun and you aren't quite sure what is hiding inside. (I recommend either Cookies and Cream Cake or Strawberry Layer Cake)

Because my gold was not on transfer sheets it is a bit textured, which looks great with the added layers of buttercream applied with an offset spatula.

This cake is perfect for hiding any little imperfections on the cake while still managing to look perfectly put together.

Anyhoo I best go pack some more boxes and take some stuff down to charity.




Linda Vandermeer is a blogger, baker, maker and author of the Children's cookbook Sweets on a Stick: More Than 150 Kid-Friendly Recipes for Cakes, Candies, Cookies, and Pies on the Go! Published in the USA in 2011 the book is still available at Amazon and many online bookstores.

Affiliate links may earn me money and contribute to supporting this blog.

Original ideas, photography and recipes Linda Vandermeer please do not reuse without permission except for non commercial purposes where you may use 1 image, give credit and link back to original post.