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Chewy peanut butter brownies

Chew peanut butter brownie

These brownies are, very literally, my personal brownie points. Because, as I’ve previously mentioned when making peanut butter choc chip cookies, I don’t like peanut butter.

So when I make something with peanut butter in it for you, I feel this is the epitomy of where I should earn some brownie points. I baked this with love, and I won’t even eat any.

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Intermission

Ladies and gentlemen, Clever muffin will be taking a brief intermission while your friendly blogger takes a quick reprieve in to the world of community theatre.

As some of you lovely people may remember from previous posts, I sometimes go and dabble in the world of community theatre. It’s great. I love it. It’s how I find my balance between loving the theatre but also wanting an income, so having a full-time job.

It also means that for the next six weeks or so this blogger is calling intermission.

So please, help yourself to a cup of tea, I can’t recommend the raspberry and white chocolate chip muffins enough, I’ll be back later.

In the meantime I’m really looking forward to catching up on my fellow bloggers cooking. Check out my blog roll to the right for eye candy and witty repertoire.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oXgUPsaGwHg&w=420&h=315

Off to my trailer…

Love,
Aimee

Polenta in a fight to the death

Lemon polenta biscuits

Five reasons why polenta would beat you in a fight TO THE DEATH!

  1. Stealth: almost impossible to find in the supermarket and never in the same place twice. Will it be with the polish food? In the Jewish section? I’ve seen it with the pasta and the flour. No one knows.
  2. Camouflage: it’s cornbread, no, it’s a pizza, no, it’s a deep fried side, then while you’re off to get a napkin it’s GONE!
  3. Skills: Polenta can easily fluff up with a bit of hot water, but in a biscuit can keep its form and stay crunchy. Even though it’s baked. Brilliant.
  4. Alliances: Vegetarians, tick. Coeliacs (in it’s basic form), tick. Unsuspecting children, tick.
  5. You will underestimate it: derived from grain mush, classed as peasant food, even called gruel, it knows how to play down play it’s abilities until it’s too late for you…

When I get in to something I really get into something. And lately I’ve been reading the Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. I’ve polished off two books in seven days and am just starting the third.

Consequently my entire being has been overtaken with thoughts of terrible fights to the death, corrupt governments and evil survivor style games. I’ve walked in to people in the tube in my refusal to put my kindle down and cooked a whole risotto while reading.

Considering I usually cover my eyes during surgery scenes in Grey’s Anatomy, I’m shocked at myself.

And as far as polenta goes. I’m just saying. Watch your back.

I modified this recipe from a little unknown chef called Jamie Oliver.

Now if you excuse me, I have a book to read.

Just a side note, a week after publishing this I finished the series. As I say in this post I was really taken in by the first book and beginning of the second. But in this bloggers’ humble opinion, the third book completely let down the series. But in the words of Ben Folds “some guy on the net says I suck, and he should know he’s got his own blog…”

So make up your own mind!

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups medium non-instant polenta or yellow cornmeal
170 grams (1 1/2 sticks or 6 ounces) softened butter
3/4 cup sugar
2/3 cup flour
2 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest
Pinch of salt
2 eggs

Method
Note: the below method is from the original Jamie Oliver recipe. I just mixed it by hand (didn’t use a food processor) and never chilled it in the fridge. It was fine.

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°. Line several baking sheets with greaseproof paper.
  2. In a food processor, combine the polenta with the butter, sugar, flour, orange zest and salt and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal.
  3. Add the eggs and pulse just until the dough comes together. Transfer the dough to a bowl and refrigerate until slightly firm, about 1 hour.
  4. Using two teaspoons, drop slightly rounded teaspoons of the dough onto the prepared baking sheets about 2 inches apart. They will spread, so make sure you give them space.
  5. Bake the biscuits for 15 minutes, or until golden around the edges and on the bottoms.
  6. Let the cookies cool on the sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer them to wire racks to cool completely. Makes 36.

Healthy: 80 calories a biscuit.

Gluten free: swap out the flour and it is.

Storage: The cookies can be stored in an airtight container for 1 week or frozen for 1 month.

Bricks are being thrown, I can’t talk about muffins

This is how I was going to start my blog post today:

“These muffins remind me of warm apple porridge with cinnamon on a cold winter’s morning.

Though, I’m actually in London, on a mild summer’s day surrounded by idiotic 11 year olds stealing plasma TV’s.”

I have sat in front of my computer twice to write a blog post.

I have photos of my baked foods and have a nice little recipe all written out.

But I end up squishing up my face and looking at my computer screen like I’ve eaten a lemon. On my walk to work I pass shops in Brixton that have their windows covered in chipboard after having bricks thrown through them – talking about muffins feels wrong.

I sat on my couch on the third night of the riots watching the shops in Clapham Junction being burnt down and people abandoning their apartments with just a backpack.

I don’t live on the main road in Clapham, but it did make my boyfriend and I think about what we’d do in the case of fire. Grab the passports, the computer (for the photos) and go. That was the plan. How strange. How surreal.

These riots disgust me. I understand the need for peaceful protests, but kids, running around and laughing as they ruin people’s livelihoods, where did this come from?

How did these little snots miss the fundamentals of right and wrong, respect for others and the consequences of actions?

If you’d like a good Riots 101, Sarah from Bean and Gone has written a good blog post about it which you can read here. As she writes, the small good that has come from this is watching the community come together to clean up the mess. Help the victims.

I’ve especially been liking following the hash tag #riotcleapup and hearing stories of public generosity to rebuild the uninsured’s businesses, like the campaign to Keep Aaron Cutting.

In the meanwhile the streets around my house are eerie. Shops still shut early, the pubs are quiet compared to a usual summer night.

I just hope the words my mum spoke to me when I was a teenager and had my heart broken for the first time apply here as well: this too, shall pass.

I love London, I hope it passes quickly.