Rosemary + Sea Salt Shortbread

I cannot possibly be the only person who thinks November has just flown by. With only 32 days left until Christmas the countdown is officially on. I know these next few weeks are going to go by pretty quickly so here I am with an easy (and delicious) Christmas cookie recipe that can be made weeks in advanced as shortbread only gets better with age. The beauty with these cookies is that they're both sweet and savoury, thanks to the inclusion of finely chopped rosemary and sea salt. You can also bake them for five or so minutes longer to get a crisper, almost cracker-like cookie. These are the perfect addition to either a cookie tray or a cheese platter.

I closely followed this recipe, but doubled the ingredients. The end result is fantastic and the best part? There are no eggs in this recipe so you can help yourself to as much cookie dough as you fancy (it's so unbelievably tasty).

Ingredients -

1 cup of unsalted butter, softened at room temperature

1/2 of a cup of white sugar
1 and 1/2 teaspoons of finely chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 of a teaspoon of sea salt
2 cups of flour 

Method -

In the bowl of your stand mixer cream together your butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add in your rosemary and sea salt. Gradually add in your flour, scraping down the sides of your bowl after every addition. Once combined, divide your dough into four equal balls and loosely wrap with plastic wrap. Shape the dough into four logs, trying to get them as even as possible. Put the dough in the fridge for at least one hour. 

When you're ready to slice and bake your dough, preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit an line your baking trays with parchment paper. Slice your dough, I like a nice and thin cookie so I cut mine 1/8th of an inch thick. Place your rounds on your cookie tray and bake for about twelve minutes, or if your cookies were cut a little bit thicker they made need an extra minute or so. Keep your eye on them whilst they're baking to ensure you don't overdo it. If you would like a crisper cookie bake for a total of fifteen minutes (once again this depends on how thick you cut your cookies). This will result in the colour of your shortbread getting darker but will give you an almost cracker-like result. Shortbread only gets better with time so if you can try to store them for a while before enjoying. These can also be frozen and thawed when you're ready to devour. 

I hope that you are all as excited for the holiday season as I am. Be sure to check back frequently as I'll be posting more delicious Christmas recipes. As always, thank you for reading!


Pretty in Pink

I am a sucker for a pretty package, I'll admit it. If it is pretty, shiny and pink - I want need it. This very often times leaves my drawers filled with quite a few beautiful, yet incredibly disappointing products. However sometimes I will find something that is just gorgeous and it works wonderfully and I feel like I've hit the jackpot. You know the feeling. So, I've put together some of the most lovely bits that I've been reaching for a lot lately to share with you all.

Benefit High Beam Liquid Face Highlighter - I have had this for a while now but it only just recently made it's way back into my most reached for products. High Beam is a pearly pink liquid highlighter and it gives me a beautifully ethereal glow. When I first started using this, I would just dot it along my cheekbones and blend it in but now I prefer mixing it with my Nars Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer and applying it with my Real Techniques buffing brush to give myself an overall dewy complexion.

Buxom Full-On Lip Polish in Leah - This is my new favourite lip gloss of all time. It is so long lasting, it's crazy. I can put this on before I leave for work, work a seven hour shift and come home and I've still got it on my lips and it doesn't get all gross and white in the corners of your mouth. Insane! This is also a plumping lip gloss and while I don't really notice any plumping actually going on, it does give you an almost cooling and tingly sensation. I got this in the shade Leah which is a gorgeous pink champagne colour. Another huge bonus is that this stuff comes in 99 (YES, 99!!!) shades and all of them have girls names. You can bet my next purchase will be in the shade Emily (because who doesn't want a lipgloss that shares your name?!) I will say that it is a bit sticky, I'm not too bothered by that but if you really despise a sticky lipgloss this wont be the one for you I'm afraid. 

Clinique Almost Lipstick in Pink Honey - I have been a fan of Cliniques Black Honey lipstick for a few years now and when I saw they released a new shade I just had to have it. I am always very fussy with lip products, my lips can get incredibly dry and some products will settle into lines and just look like a mess. This lipstick is so moisturizing that I don't have to worry about any of that. The colour is very pretty as well, it is a soft nudey-pink kind of like my natural lip colour but better. Perfect for days when you prefer a softer and minimal makeup look.

Dior Crème de Rose Smoothing Plumping Lip Balm - I am absolutely obsessed with this. Not only does it come in the sweetest little white plastic pot that would look great displayed on your dressing table, but it smells gorgeous. Just a faint rose smell that may not be for everybody but I am definitely a fan. It isn't too overpowering, just quite pleasant. Appearance and scent aside, I really love this stuff. My lips can get so dry and when I apply some of this before bed I wake up and immediately notice a difference in the appearance of my lips. They are smooth and look much plumper and healthier. It also gives a very subtle wash of colour and shine. I definitely want to buy another to keep in my handbag (and maybe a few more for Christmas gifts!).

Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat Blur Perfector - And finally, onto the prettiest product of them all. I have seen a lot of mixed reviews on this but I thought what the hell, I'll give it a try. The Sephora website describes it as a blur perfector compact that perfects the skin while retaining its luminous glow. I use this as a primer and I really have noticed it reduces the visibility of my pores and it makes my skin feel so smooth, it's wonderful. It starts off as a balm but once you apply it to your skin it becomes sort of powdery. This can be also used to set makeup or reduce shine, I haven't used this to set my foundation but I can say that it does help minimize shine (and coming from someone with such oily skin, this is amazing!) While it is beautiful and it feels so luxurious to apply, I don't think I would repurchase this again simply because the steep cost at $55. Even though it does work exceptionally well for me, I'm sure I could find something just as nice for less money. Until then I am happy to use this and even happier to display it on my dressing table. 

So that's everything I have to share. What are some of your favourite pretty products? Thank you for reading! x


Cannoli Tart

I've had this recipe pinned on Pinterest (follow me *here*!) for ages now and after much deliberation I decided that today was the day! I was finally going to attempt to bake this glorious cannoli tart. If you don't know what a cannoli is then please let me offer you my most sincere condolences, because they are wonderful and you need to try one. A cannoli is a dreamy, little Italian pastry that is made with a pastry dough shell filled with a creamy ricotta filling. Absolutely lovely!

What I really like about this tart is that it isn't too sickly sweet. The light and fluffy ricotta filling adds a rich creaminess that pairs quite well with the crispy cinnamon crust. The recipe is simple to follow and it doesn't take too long to put together.

I followed this recipe but made a few minor changes.

Ingredients -

1 cups of sifted all purpose flour
1/2 of a cup plus 1 tablespoon of white sugar
1/2 of a teaspoon of salt
1 heaping teaspoon of cinnamon
1/3 of a cup of cold butter, cut into cubes
1 egg
1 tablespoon of milk

2 and 1/4 cups of ricotta
1 egg
3 teaspoons of sugar
2 teaspoons of almond extract (recipe originally called for Amaretto, but I didn't have any)
1/2 of a cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips

1/2 of a cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted
icing sugar

Method - 

In a large bowl add your sifted flour, sugar, salt and cinnamon and whisk to combine. Using a pastry cutter, cut in your butter until the mixture is nice and crumbly. Add in your egg and milk and use your hands to knead it all together until the dough forms a ball. Between two sheets of parchment paper roll out your dough to fit your pie pan, I used a 9 inch pie plate. Carefully lift your dough and press into your pan. Refrigerate your crust whilst you make your filling and the oven heats up.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In the bowl of your stand mixer add your ricotta, egg and sugar. Blend until smooth and creamy. Fold in chocolate chips and pour into your crust, smoothing over the top with a rubber spatula. 

The original recipe calls for 25-35 minutes in the oven. I baked mine for about 40, so keep your eye on it as it may need to bake for a while longer. When it's done the crust should be golden brown and the filling should be pale yellow in colour. Once out of the oven allow to cool completely, you can pop it in your fridge to quicken the process. Before serving melt some chocolate chips and drizzle over your entire tart and sprinkle generously with icing sugar. Cut into nice large slices and enjoy!

I do hope you give this one a try, it truly is so tasty! As always, thank you for reading! x