Play Hard

Cook | Easy and delicious snacks from local chefs

Need some snack inspiration during lockdown? We asked local chefs to let us in on their go-to recipes.

Written by High Life North
Published 09.06.2020

Berry Energy Balls

by Rustic Cup

This quick and customisable energy ball recipe from Whitley Bay’s Rustic Cup is vegan-friendly and gluten-free. It also happens to involve no baking whatsoever — a win-win. We’ve been adding protein powder to ours and snacking them post-workout.Ingredients1 cup of each – oats, almonds, pitted dates1 cup of fresh or frozen berries (leave frozen berries to defrost and pat dry before use)

1/2 tsp vanilla extract1 tsp lemon zest

 Optional extras – 

1/2 tsp honey

1 tsp of chia seeds

1 tsp protein powder

Optional decoration –

Beetroot powder

Shredded coconut

Almond flour


  • Mix dry ingredients in a food processor until they reach a flour-like consistency. 
  • Blend in the rest of the ingredients until you have a sticky dough (add some drops of water or lemon juice if it’s too dry).
  • Shape the mixture into balls with your hands or a small ice cream scoop.
  • Chill in the freezer before serving (try to wait three hours, if you can).
  • Store in an airtight container placed in the refrigerator for up to one week, or up to one month in the freezer.

Whipped Feta Dip

By Graze & Gorge 

This picnic-perfect dip from luxe caterer Graze & Gorge takes moments to make. The brand’s director, Millie, says that it’s “best enjoyed with warm pita bread and crunchy crudités.”Ingredients 200g feta 3 tbsp Greek yoghurt A sprig of rosemary, finely choppedLemon, juice and zest 1 tsp honey


  • Combine the feta, Greek yoghurt, rosemary and lemon juice in a food processor until smooth. 
  • Chill then top with lemon zest, black pepper and a drizzle of honey to serve. 

Nutella Cookie Bars

By R Place

Newcastle-based coffee and donut shop R Place shared this super-indulgent recipe with us. Inspired by Nutella and cookies, it’s a perfect weekend treat for families, or perhaps just for yourself…


280g plain flour1 tsp bicarbonate of soda1/2 tsp salt100g unsalted butter50g granulated sugar120g light brown sugar1 large egg2 tsp vanilla80g chocolate spread180g white chocolate


  • Preheat your oven to 180C and line a 9×9 inch square tin with baking paper.
  • Whisk the flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt together, and leave to one side.
  • In a separate bowl, melt the butter (you can do this in the microwave – two rounds of 30 seconds will work).
  • Next, add the sugar to the melted butter and whisk for three minutes at high speed.
  • When it’s combined, add in the egg and vanilla, and whisk again.
  • Take your dry ingredients from earlier and mix them in by hand using a ‘squishing motion’ until a thick dough is formed.
  • Push your dough into the tin, spreading it evenly into the corners.
  • Bake in the oven for 19 minutes (20 minutes if you like them a bit more crispy), then leave them to rest for 30 minutes before popping them onto a cooling rack.
  • To finish, melt the chocolate spread and white chocolate in the microwave for 30 seconds each (stirring between intervals) 
  • Swirl over the cookie bars and cut into servings, and then, most importantly – enjoy!
Other stories by High Life North
A month in the life of Laura KIngston - editor of High Life North magazine

A month in the life of our editor – November

High Life North
Bistro Greggs Fenwick Newcastle Pop Up Fine Dining Restaurant

Bistro Greggs launches at Fenwick Newcastle

High Life North
Three Mile Gosforth

Christmas is coming at Three Mile, Gosforth. Here are the dates for your diary

High Life North
Pizza Dough Co at Three Mile in Gosforth

Pizza Dough Co at Three Mile in Gosforth is the family-friendly neighbourhood eatery with a new menu to check out

High Life North
Derwent Manor Hotel

A Christmas market, baking with elves and NYE in a Tipi – the festive events at Derwent Manor Hotel this 2023

High Life North
Rest at the Nest County Durham Staycation Lodges

Rest at the Nest – a perfect couple’s staycation in County Durham

High Life North