White Chocolate, Macadamia and Coconut Cookies

Last year, Nestle bought out a book ‘Australia’s Sweet Baking Favourites’ as part of a promotion when you bought a few of their products.  Being the recipe book collection/addict that I am, naturally I got it.  There are some great traditional favourites in this book, but I was eager to add my own spin to a recipe. I settled on the White Choc Chip and Macadamia Cookie recipe since I had a few organic (read expensive) macadamias left over from a slice I’d made a few days before.  Naturally, it only seemed right to add coconut to this mixture to make these taste even better.

We LOVED these, and it just adds further proof (not that I needed any) that coconut makes everything taste better.  Enjoy!

white choc chip macadamia and coconut cookies

125g softened butter

3/4 cup brown sugar

1 egg

1 3/4 cup sifted self raising flour

1 cup white chocolate bits

3/4 cup coarsely chopped unroasted macadamias

1/4 cup shredded coconut

* Preheat oven to 170 degrees and line two baking trays with paper

* Beat together the butter and sugar until pale and creamy, then add the egg and beat until just combined.

* Stir through the flour, white chocolate bits, macadamias and coconut until combined

* Roll tablespoons of mixture into balls and place on trays – leave approx 3cm gap between cookies, and press down on them gently to lightly flatten

* Bake for approximately 15 minutes until golden. Leave to cool on trays for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack

Throwback Thursday – Rock Cakes

Earlier this week, Liam had one of his little friends come over for a play.  I’d had the best intentions of tidying up the night before, but it just didn’t happen.  That morning I was madly racing around trying to make the house at least semi presentable, Liam on the other hand seemed to be following me around unpacking everything I had just put away.

I’d wanted to do some baking for the kids morning tea, but when it was apparent I was quickly running out of time, I thought about making some scones, but changed my mind at the last minute and made Rock Cakes.  This recipe is from my old McAlpins baking book, so I knew it was going to be easy to put together.  When adding the dried fruit I decided to go with currants and chopped dates which were super yummy.

These tasted great straight out of the oven.  If you wanted to, you could cut them in half and add butter or jam, but we were happy to eat them on their own.  The kids enjoyed them, as did Saxon (our dog), who always does well when the kids are outside eating!

Simple & Delicious

Simple & Delicious

2 cups self raising flour

90g unsalted butter, chilled & cubed

1/2 cup caster sugar

1/2 cup mixed dried fruit (I used currants and dates)

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1 egg

1/4 cup milk

* Preheat oven to 200 degrees and line 2 baking trays with greaseproof paper

* Sift the flour into a large bowl and rub in the butter with your fingertips until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.

* Stir through the sugar, dried fruit and ginger.

* Whisk together the egg and milk in a bowl and add to the dry ingredients, mixing until a dough forms.

* Drop rough heaps of mixture (I used a soup spoon) onto the trays and bake for 10 – 12 minutes (I found mine were ready after 10 minutes).

* Transfer onto a wire rack to cool

Trail Mix Cookies with Carob and Goji Berries

Once again I started out with the best intentions of following this recipe to the letter, but I just couldn’t stop myself.

We’ve been a bit muesli crazy at our house lately, and instead of making yet another muesli slice I wanted to try something different.  I started with a recipe from Great Family Favourites by The Australian Women’s Weekly for Cruchy Muesli Cookies.  I followed the recipe for the first two ingredients, but then I let myself get carried away.  I did start with good intentions, as I thought the amount of caster sugar seemed too much and it just went from there.

I may have gone a bit overboard with the amount of ingredients I added, I was a bit worried when I was rolling the mixture into balls that they just wouldn’t hold together, but luckily they managed to hold themselves together.

I really enjoyed these, and they reminded me a little of the breakfast bars I made a little while ago.  The boys also enjoyed them too, luckily I wrote down what I was putting in them as I went so they can be made again!  Enjoy xx

Trail Mix Cookies with Carob & Goji Berries

1 cup rolled oats

1 cup spelt flour

1/2 cup caster sugar – I think you could get away with reducing this even further, or omitting completely.

2 teaspoons cinnamon

2 teaspoons raw carob powder

250g of trail mix (or you could use any combination of nuts/fruit that you have)

2 tablespoons goji berries

1 tablespoon chia seeds

2 tablespoons shredded coconut

1 tablespoon wheatgerm

125g butter

2 tablespoons golden syrup

1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

1 tablespoon boiling water

* Preheat oven to 180 degrees & cover two oven trays with baking paper

* Combine all dry ingredients (except bicarb soda) in a large bowl

* Melt butter with golden syrup in a small saucepan over a low heat.  Add combined bicarb soda and boiling water mixture.  Pour into dry ingredients and mix until well combined

* Roll tablespoons of mixture into balls & place onto trays, allowing approx 4cm space between balls.  Flatten the balls slightly with your hand/back of a spoon

* Check biscuits at 15 minutes – they should be starting to brown on the edges. You can cook for longer if you prefer a super crunchy cookie.

* Leave to cool on trays for 10 minutes before transferring to rack

Banana and Rolled Oat Muffins

I know there has been an influx of banana recipes lately – but hey when they are just $1.29 a kilo, who isn’t going to buy in bulk?  We again had some bananas which needed to be used up, and I was after a simple recipe Liam could help me with.  Muffins are always great to make with a little helper, there are lots of jobs for them from mixing the ingredients together, to putting the paper cases into the tin – the problem can then be getting them to leave the paper cases in the tin!

For this recipe I turned to taste.com.au.  It’s always such a trap visiting this site, whilst I go there with the best intention of searching for just one recipe, it’s just so easy to get sidetracked and end up with a whole list of things that I want to make (just now after visiting the site for the recipe link, I want to make today’s featured recipe – raspberry, chocolate & almond cake!).

A yummy snack

A yummy snack

It took all of 15 minutes to make these – admittedly it would be a lot quicker without a little helper, but where is the fun in that!  They tasted great, I liked the rolled oats mixed in, next time I think I’d add some chopped walnuts or pecans to give a little extra flavour.  Liam liked them (surprise surprise!) so I’ve stashed a few in the freezer for him.  Alas the next morning when I tried to bribe him with one of these muffins if he would let me cut his hair, he wouldn’t come to the party….

Liam's favourite job!

Liam’s favourite job!

2 cups self raising flour

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

1 cup rolled oats

1/2 cup brown sugar

2 eggs

3/4 cup plain low fat yoghurt

1/4 cup canola oil

2 bananas mashed

* Preheat oven to 200 degrees and line a 12 hole muffin tin

* Sift flour, cinnamon and bicarb soda into a bowl, add the rolled oats and sugar and stir to combine

* Whisk eggs, yoghurt and oil together, add mashed banana and stir to combine

* Pour into bowl with dry ingredients and mix with a wooden spoon until just combined – mixture will still be lumpy

* Spoon into muffin tin and bake for approx 20 minutes or until lightly golden and cooked through.

* Leave to cool in cases for 5 minutes and then remove from tin.

** These can also be frozen.

Pear, Goji Berry and Almond Loaf

After making a couple of purchases from the Maggie Beer stand at the Good Food and Wine show over the weekend, I was super keen to use the dried Duchess Pears that I had bought.

I was initially thinking of making a muesli slice, and just adding the pear to it. After opening the pack and smelling their delicious sweet scent, I knew I needed to make them the star of the dish (OMG I sound like a Masterchef judge with that comment!).

Searching on the Lifestyle Food website, I came across a Bill Granger recipe for Apple, Dried Cherry and Almond Loaf (from his ‘Every Day’ book) that I thought I could adapt.  Whilst I was confident the Pears alone would give enough flavour to the loaf, I wanted to add a little something extra. It was a decision between Goji Berries and Cranberries and I’m very happy with the decision I made!

This is soooo good...

This is soooo good…

50g rolled oats

300ml milk

240g self raising flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

180g dried pears (original recipe is 125g dried cherries and 50g diced dried apple)

75g brown sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

3 tablespoons honey

1 lightly beaten egg

3 tablespoons of roughly chopped almonds & additional 1 tablespoons of extra chopped almonds

* Place oats in a bowl with milk and soak for 30 minutes

* Preheat oven to 180 degrees and grease and line a loaf tin

* Sift flour and baking powder into a bowl, stir in rolled oats mixture, dried fruit, sugar, cinnamon, honey, egg and almonds

* Spoon into tin, level the top and sprinkle extra almonds over the mixture.

* Bake for 45 minutes or until golden and cooked through. Allow to cool in the tin for 5 minutes before transferring to wire rack.

Snickerdoodles

I have heard of snickerdoodles, but having no idea what they really were (I thought they contained snickers bars!), I’d never thought about making them.  Whilst looking through Nigella Lawson’s ‘How to be a domestic goddess’ I came across this recipe – it looked easy & not many ingredients were needed, so I gave it a go.

OMG….. What have I been doing waiting so long to make these????  They tasted incredible, just like a cinnamon doughnut.  There was no way I could stop at trying just one, and I will admit to devouring 4 of them…  Oh well, looks like I’m off to the gym tonight!

Try stopping after just one of these beauties...

Try stopping after just one of these beauties…

250g plain flour

1/2 tsp nutmeg

3/4 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

125g butter at room temperature

100g + 2 extra tbsp of caster sugar

1 large egg

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tbsp cinnamon

* Preheat oven to 180 degrees and line two baking trays with paper

* Combine the flour, nutmeg, baking powder and salt and set aside

* On a small plate, combine additional 2 tbsp of caster sugar and cinnamon

* Cream the butter with 100g of sugar until light and fluffy, gradually beat in egg and vanilla extract

* Add the dry ingredients and stir through until a smooth dough forms

* Using a tablespoon, form a small ball of dough and then roll in cinnamon/sugar mixture.

* Place on baking tray and bake for around 15 minutes – they should be turning golden brown at this time.

* Cool on trays for a couple of minutes before transferring to a wire rack.

Dense Chocolate Loaf Cake

It feels like it has been awhile since I have made something truly decadent.  When searching for a recipe to rectify this, there is no better book to turn to than ‘How to be a domestic goddess’ by Nigella Lawson.  This is now the second recipe I have made from this book, where she suggests leaving the cake for a day or so for the flavours to develop (see lemon and almond cake), and while this is VERY frustrating for me – I like the instant gratification baking brings, it it truly worth waiting!  This cake is extremely moist, and although I used a mixture of milk and dark chocolate to make up the 100g required, it was still very rich.
I highly recommend putting the cake tin on another tray, as even though I used the cake tin suggested, it still leaked over the sides…. and yes, I will admit to eating the overflowed cake pieces!

Chocolatey Goodness x

Chocolatey Goodness x

225g soft unsalted butter

375g dark brown sugar

2 large eggs, beaten

1 tsp vanilla extract

100g dark chocolate – melted

200g plain flour

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

250ml boiling water

* Preheat oven to 190 degrees and fully line a 23 x 13 x7cm loaf tin.

* Cream the butter and sugar, then gradually add the eggs and vanilla, beating together well

* Fold in the melted chocolate, being careful not to over beat

* Gradually add the flour, alternating with the boiling water which you need to add the bicarb soda to – the batter will be quite runny

* Pour into the lined tin – it’s also a good idea to place tin on a baking tray lined with foil/baking paper as there will be drips!

* Bake for 30 minutes, then turn down oven to 170 degrees and continue to bake for a further 15 minutes.  When you test the cake it will still be quite moist, so a skewer won’t come out completely clean

* Leave cake in the tin to completely cool before turning out.  It can even be left for a day or so as the flavour will improve.  Also don’t worry – the middle of the cake will sink, as it’s so moist, this just adds to it’s charm!