Posts Tagged ‘biscuits’

What I cook when I have no time to cook

Whoops. Did I have a blog I was supposed to update? My bad.

I’m in a play again (see below for some sneak preview shots). Which means I am as time poor as they get. It’s not that I stop baking when I’m time poor, a woman needs to eat, I just reach for the classics instead of trying new recipes.

So I thought I’d share some of my staple go-to’s that I posted when I’m pretty sure my readership consisted of me, and my family members I made sign up.

Chocolate carrot muffins:

chocolate carrot muffin

Heavy as a rich chocolate cake, RIDICULOUSLY low in calories. High GI (OK, I don’t actually know what that means, but with the oaty-carroty goodness I’m sure it is). I literally have one next to me as I type this. (more…)

Afghan biscuits

Afghan biscuit on a plate
An Afghan biscuit is a traditional New Zealand biscuit made from cocoa powder, butter, flour and cornflakes, topped with chocolate icing and a nut. Like any decent thing that comes from New Zealand, we Australian’s like to claim it (you can have Russel Crowe back now). (more…)

Passionfruit melting moments

Through extensive research over the past 25 years it is apparent that everyone loves melting moments. The buttery goodness, with or without icing, is always a favourite.

Here’s the proof:

Case 1: as a young’n’ my Grandma used to make them to take to the oldies home that she volunteered at. And those oldies used to play seriously competitive bingo to win a parcel of them.

Case 2: as a young’n’ I used to go to the oldies home with my Gran and my brother and I would play seriously competitive bingo to try and win a parcel… even if afterwards my Gran made me give them back to the oldies.

Case 3: A semi-young’n’ I used to make them for my dad to take to work in exchange for a bit of pocket money, and the guys in the factory love them on smoko (for non Australians, smoko = morning tea break).

Yep, this is a biscuit for the oldies, young’n’s and the everyday man. Word.

I think there is something in that for all of us.

It should be noted that my Gran’s melting moments had a cocoa based chocolate icing in between them. My Dutch Grandfather had to have chocolate with everything. Not a bad thing. And then my Mum’s melting moments had a melted-chocolate based chocolate icing.

And now I bring you passionfruit.

Ingredients

250 grams butter
½ cup icing sugar
½ cup caster sugar
½ cup custard powder
2 cups plain flour
2 teaspoons of vanilla essence
1 ½ tablespoons of water

Icing

2 passionfruit
Tablespoon of butter
Approx 2 cups of icing sugar – have more on hand.

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees, line cookie trays with baking paper.
  2. Beat the butter and sugars together.
  3. Add custard powder, flour, vanilla essence and water, mix well. The dough will be hold-it’s-own-shape thick.
  4. Take a teaspoon of mixture and roll into a ball. Get them round, you’ll need them a uniform shape for icing. Place on cookie trays and then squish down hard with fork.
  5. Bake for 8 – 10 mins until just golden on the bottom (check by lifting one up with a spatula).
  6. Cool on rack.
  7. To make icing: scoop passionfruit insides into a bowl, add a tablespoon of margarine. Add enough icing sugar so it’s as hold-it’s-own-shape as the dough was. This will be a lot.
  8. To ice, you should be able to put some icing on one biscuit, then roll in between two biscuits to make the icing round, then squish it. This will give it a nice shape.

Note: I did end up with a bit of left over icing, which suits me fine as it freezes well. It’s hard to the quantities just right. If you do, let me know and I’ll update the above.

Quantity: Makes 42 individual biscuits, so 21 sandwiched with passionfruit icing.

Healthy? *snort* maybe in opposites land. One of the biscuits is 86 calories. For the whole thing with icing it is about 223 (depending on your icing quantity).

Storage: No eggs, so they will last. Store in airtight container.

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.

White chocolate and macadamia cookies

More is more. More is better.

There are some times in life when less is more. Like with Justin Bieber. But generally speaking, I err on the side of more.

Let’s think about white chocolate and macadamia cookies, sure, that’s good. But now let’s think about white chocolate and macadamia and coconut AND oat cookies? Better.

You know what I don’t get? The four Ingredients or less phenomenon. I get especially mad when one of those ingredients is a jar of korma sauce. That’s not an ingredient. That’s a jar of korma sauce.

It’s not that I think simplicity is bad. Home cooking is good cooking. (My the view is nice from up here on my soap box.) The books annoy me because I like to put A LOT of ingredients in. And I don’t like it when people actively encourage others to put less in.

So when a girlfriend gave me her mum’s recipe for white chocolate and macadamia cookie with LOTS of stuff in. I knew it was going on the blog.

Rant over.

Cookie time.

Waiting to be cooked.

Ingredients
125 grams butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 egg
1 cup plain flour
1/2 cup SR flour
1 cup macadamia nuts (about 100 grams), chopped
1 cup coconut
3/4 cups oats
1 cup (200 grams) white chocolate chips

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 200C, line a couple of baking trays with baking paper.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar with electric beaters in a large bowl. Or, soften the butter in the microwave (on defrost!) then beat them together by hand with a whisk if you don’t have beaters. Mix in the vanilla essence and gradually add the egg, beating well.
  3. Add both types of flour, your chopped macadamias, coconut, oats and chocolate chips. Fold in to the batter until well combined. You’re not really in danger of over mixing them, so make sure you get all those flour pockets out. The mixture will look quite crumbly.
  4. Roll into balls, then squish them in your hand or with a fork when they’re on the tray. These cookies don’t spread so you need to help them out during this phase.
  5. Bake for 10 minutes, turning the tray around half way through. They’re done when the bottom of them is just turning brown. They’re nice soft, so don’t overcook. Cool on a wire rack.

Makes: 30 cookies

Healthy? 170 calories a cookie.

Gluten free? No, I haven’t tried with this recipe.

Storage: In an airtight container. Then take them to work and win friends.

Source: My friend’s mum.

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