Strawberry Santas

I’ve been spending a little time on Pintrest lately…. ok, maybe a LOT of time.  It’s totally justified of course, Liam’s 2nd birthday is next month and I’ve been looking for party ideas.

I’ve come across photos of these cuties a few times, both on Pintrest and Facebook, and our Mum’s group Christmas Party on the weekend seemed like the perfect opportunity to give them a go.

There really isn’t much too them: Strawberries (the bigger the better), Whipped Cream (I add vanilla extract and icing sugar to mine) and dark chocolate chips.

Simply cut the strawberry in half, add a dollop of whipped cream (I used a piping bag), put the top of the strawberry back on (Santa’s hat) and add a couple of chocolate chips for his eyes.

These are super easy and yummy, and are a perfect snack on a hot day.

Too cute to eat!

Too cute to eat!

Chocolate Wheaten Cookies

During my pregnancies, there have only three things that I have really craved, McDonald’s chicken nuggets (with sweet and sour sauce of course!), Berri fruit ice blocks and chocolate coated wheat biscuits.  Luckily I have only recently come across this recipe, I think if I’d known about whilst pregnant, I would have ended up the size of a bus!

These cookies taste great.  In an effort to be good, I only added chocolate bits to half of the cookies, and still really enjoyed them.  To be a ‘true’ chocolate wheaten biscuit, you could dip the back of the cookies in melted chocolate – as suggested in the book. I decided against doing this, as it would have made them even harder to resist.

This recipe comes from an Australian Women’s Weekly book – Cupcakes, Cheescakes and Cookies.  It’s filled to the brim with lots of yummy treats, and has given me lots of ideas…. if only there was enough time to make them all!

Chocolate Wheaten Cookies

90g butter softened

1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1 egg

1/4 cup desiccated coconut

1/4 cup wheat germ

3/4 cup wholemeal plain flour

1/3 cup white self raising flour

1/4 cup dark chocolate bits

* Beat butter & sugar together until smooth, add egg and beat until well combined. Stir in coconut, wheat germ and sifted flours

* Roll sought between 2 sheets of baking paper until it’s around half a cm thick.  Place in fridge for approx 30 minutes

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

* Using a round cutter, cut into dough and place on baking trays approx 3cm apart.  Bring off cut dough together, cover again with baking paper and roll out to make more cookies.

* Lightly press chocolate bits into the top of cookies & bake for 12 minutes.

* Allow cookies to cool on trays for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack

Chocolate Goodness – Choc Chip Butter Cake

Continuing my journey through Donna Hay’s Simply Essentials Chocolate book, I decided to make this butter cake – with choc chips of course!  After I had made a different version of butter cake over the weekend, I was keen to try another recipe.

This cake is incredibly moist and has a great vanilla/buttery flavour.  I didn’t have any sour cream, and substituted with natural yoghurt which worked well.  I also used a whole bag of cadbury dark chocolate chips instead of chopped dark chocolate.  I love dark chocolate and thought it complemented the cake brilliantly, but others said they would have preferred milk chocolate.  After having a big weekend, I’m back on the straight and narrow and have eaten well today. However the temptation of warm cake was too much and I gave in and ate a whole piece…  it was worth it though!  I will now be setting the alarm early to go for a walk in the morning!

 

185g butter softened

1 1/4 cups caster sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 eggs

3/4 cup sour cream

2 1/3 cups plain flour

1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder

3/4 cup chopped dark chocolate

 

  • Preheat oven to 160 degrees
  • Place butter, sugar and vanilla in bowl of mixer and beat for 8-10 minutes or until light and creamy
  • Add the eggs and sour cream and beat well
  • Fold through the flour, baking powder and chocolate
  • Spoon the mixture into a 20 x 30cm slab tine lined with non stick baking paper
  • Bake for 40 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer
Yum!

Yum!

Chocolate Craving – Triple Chocolate Brownies

The boys and I are spending some time down in Victoria while we eagerly await the arrival of my sister’s first baby.  While we were enjoying some of our Mum’s chocolate cake for afternoon tea, in the time it took me to get my camera to take a photo, I lost a chunk of my piece to my sister.  I asked her since she was obviously craving chocolate, would she like some brownies for dessert.  An online search of the Donna Hay website found a chocolate brownie recipe.  To satisfy Tiff’s chocolate craving, I also added white and dark chocolate chips to the mixture.  We took the brownies out of the oven just before we had dinner, by the time we were ready for dessert, they were still nice and warm and went perfectly with vanilla ice cream.  If you are after a big chocolate hit, try these.  These brownies are so deliciously rich, you only need a small piece… as easy way to justify eating them warm with ice cream!

You need to be quick when there is a pregnant woman around

You need to be quick when there is a pregnant woman around

 

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200g dark chocolate chopped

250g butter

1 3/4 cups brown sugar

4 eggs

1 1/3 cups plain flour

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/3 cup cocoa powder sifted

1/2 cup white chocolate chips

1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

 

  • Preheat oven to 180 degrees
  • Place chocolate and butter in a small saucepan over low heat and stir until melted and smooth
  • Place in a bowl with the sugar and eggs
  • Sift over the flour, baking powder and cocoa and mix to combine
  • Fold through chocolate chips
  • Pour into a 23cm greased square cake tin lined with non stick baking aper
  • Bake for 40 minutes or until set.
  • Brownies should be very fudgey in middle

Triple Chocolate Brownies 1

Friday Afternoon Chocolate Goodness – choc chip banana blondies

Yesterday I had a wonderful couple of hours to myself at the hairdresser- well Aiden was with me but he slept the whole time.  Since the past week has been crazier than normal, with broken bones/visitors/cranky toddler and a last minute trip to pack for, I took with me the September issue of Delicious magazine to enjoy in peace.  About a third of the way through I came across this recipe and knew I had all the ingredients to give it a go when I got home.

September 2013 issue of Delicious Magazine

September 2013 issue of Delicious Magazine

It was fairly quick to put together, and I baked mine for around 40 minutes.  They came out of the oven just as I was about to leave for dinner out with the girls, so I was able to skip buying a caramel sundae on the way home and tried a piece of blondie instead.  The verdict is – they are GREAT!  I tried a middle piece that was gorgeously (not sure if that’s a real word, but it’s an accurate description) soft and fudgey.  The combination of white/dark chocolate, banana and walnuts is sensational.  Given I’d had a relatively high calorie dinner, I skipped the extra drizzle of white chocolate and just sprinkled it with icing sugar.

 

Happy Friday everyone – try these this weekend!

 

100g unsalted butter chopped

250g white chocolate chopped

250g castor sugar

1 egg lightly beaten

2 bananas, mashed

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/3 cups plain flour

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

3/4 cup walnuts chopped

1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

Icing sugar to serve

 

  • Preheat oven to 180 degrees & grease and line the base and sides of a 20cm square cake pan with baking paper
  • Place the butter and 200g white chocolate in a heatproof bowl which is on top of saucepan of gently simmering water (don’t let bowl touch the water) and stir until melted
  • Remove from heat
  • Transfer chocolate mixture to a large bowl and stir in sugar, egg, banana and vanilla
  • Sift over flour and baking powder, stir to combine, the fold in the nuts and dark chocolate chips
  • Pour batter into the pan and bake for 35 minutes or until golden, cool completely in pan
  • Melt remaining 50g of white chocolate, cut blondies into squares, dust with icing sugar and drizzle with melted chocolate to serve

choc chip banana blondies1

Chocolate Chip, Date & Coconut Lactation Cookies

I had never tried lactation biscuits before having Aiden.  Whilst googling random things during a night feed, I came across ‘low fat’ biscuit recipes on the Lose Baby Weight website.  I have since made a few batches and have added a couple of ingredients and make my cookies smaller (usually getting between 36 – 48 cookies), so I am unsure of the nutritional content.

I snack on these during the afternoon to help boost my milk supply during the early evening when it seems to be at it’s lowest.  A batch usually last up to a week (my husband won’t eat them as he thinks they will make him start lactating!), and I think they have helped my supply – or I may just be telling myself that they are!

 

1 1/2 Cups of Rolled Oats

3/4 Cup of Flaxseed (Linseed Meal)

3 Tablespoons of Brewers Yeast – I use 4 x 5g sachets of brewers yeast

1/2 Cup of Unsweetened Applesauce

1/3 Cup of Maple Syrup – I substitute for Golden Syrup as it’s cheaper

1/4 Cup of Light Oil

1 small Egg

1 Teaspoon of Vanilla Extract

1/2 Teaspoon of Baking Soda

1/2 Teaspoon of Ground Cinnamon

1/2 Cup of Chocolate Chips – I use Cadbury dark chocolate chips… yummo!

8 -12 Pitted Dates chopped up

1/2 Cup of Coconut

  • Preheat oven to 180 degrees (Fan Forced)
  • Line 2 trays with Baking Paper
  • Combine Apple Sauce, Maple Syrup, Oil, Egg and Vanilla Extract and whisk until smooth.
  • Stir in Oats, Flaxseed, Brewers Yeast, Baking Soda, Coconut and Cinnamon until combined
  • Fold in Chocolate Chips and Dates.

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  • Lightly roll teaspoon sized balls of mixture and place on tray – flatten slightly with a fork
  • Bake for 12 – 14 minutes until starting to turn golden brown

I’d love to hear any other lactation cookie recipes that you may have – preferably ones that work!

Finished Product

Finished Product