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

Arrgh… It’s another packet mix!

I’ve sure started something now! After my success making Adriano Zumbo’s Salted Caramel Macarons, I took up the Betty Crocker Facebook Challenge to make her Chocolate Fudge Cake using only the materials from the box – the winner will have their cake featured on the side of the box.

Ready to go!

Ready to go!

I must admit, my entry was a bit rushed.  I would have loved to have had more chocolate icing to play with, as I wanted to ice the middle as well as the top of the cake.  Unfortunately I just ended up with a super thin layer in the middle and not as much icing as I would have liked on the top.  I was planning to take the cake to a morning tea, so I prettied it up with chocolate freckles and vanilla frosting.

Very plain :(

Very plain 😦

I resisted the urge to taste this cake, by all accounts though, it tasted great and when I halved the cake, I could tell it was really moist.

Would I make it again?  Not sure… One of the main reasons I bake is for the ‘experience’. I find it relaxing and I really enjoy creating beautiful and delicious goodies (well at least I hope they are!).  I still enjoyed making it, but the ‘baking experience’ was over so quickly. At least with the Zumbo mixes, there is a little more involved.  I’m now thinking I may have to work my way through the rest of the Adriano Zumbo mixes available….

choc fudge cake

Salted Caramel Macarons

When it comes to packaged foods/mixes I am a bit of a snob.  I think it goes back to when we were kids and Mum and Nan would always say ‘packet mix’ cake/biscuits/meals were never as good as the real thing.

When looking through my sister’s pantry, I came across a ‘packet mix’ for vanilla cupcakes, and to be honest, they looked really good! As she is one of the least domesticated people I know, I offered to make them for her, until I noticed the expiry date was two years ago.

This then inspired me to checkout the packaged goodies at the supermarket earlier this week.  It was a strange feeling, I actually felt guilty standing in front of them, and could hear Mum and Nan commenting already!

The ones that caught my eye were by Adriano Zumbo. Like many people, I was introduced to him and his crazy recipes through MasterChef. I can remember watching the contestants attempting to construct his macaron tower and thinking it was an impossible task – especially since I have never made macarons!  Spying a box for ‘Salted Caramel Macarons’ I made the decision to take the plunge.

The dreaded 'packet mix'

The dreaded ‘packet mix’

These were SUPER easy!  I’d also like to think my years of watching MasterChef have paid off.  Whilst the instructions were excellent, I remembered it was important to let them sit before putting into the oven and to not over mix.  The template was a great idea, and I was so proud when an army of perfect little domes came out of the oven.  He suggest cooking time of 14 – 18 minutes, I found 14 minutes was plenty of time in my oven.

Adriano also says the addition of sea salt to the caramel is optional….  I went for it and am so glad I did.  Even Scott my toughest critic was impressed!  The mixture made around 22 complete macarons. I would have had a couple more, except a little boy I know stole a couple from the tray whilst I was distracted feeding his brother – when a toddler goes quiet, you just know something bad is going down…..  They were so good that I even broke my ‘one piece rule’ and went back for a second!!  Now my next challenge will be making them from scratch….

These are fantastic - so happy with the result

These are fantastic – so happy with the result

Throwback Thursday – Butterscotch Biscuits

This week I decided to try a few recipes from the ‘McAlpin’s Test Kitchen Recipes’ book passed down from my Nan.  I’m not sure of the exact age of the book, but it’s likely from the 1950’s.

One of our family heirlooms

One of our family heirlooms

IMG_7224 IMG_7225

It’s an interesting read, with some great classic recipes, as well as some strange ones.

Over the next few weeks I’ll be posting some of my other attempts at recreating these recipes.

All measurements are in ounces and ‘teacups’ please click here for Australian metric conversion table

Butterscotch Biscuits

4 oz (1 teacup) self raising flour

Pinch of salt

3 oz butter

3 oz brown sugar

1 egg

Vanilla Essence (no amount is specified, I used 1 teaspoon)

12 blanched almonds

  • Sift flour and salt
  • Melt butter in a saucepan, add sugar stir until it dissolves
  • Cool and add beaten egg and vanilla essence, mix in sifter ingredients.
  • Place on a greased tray in teaspoonfuls, allowing room for the mixture to spread (The mixture is quite runny)
Yummy biscuit mixture

Yummy biscuit mixture

  • Put a piece of almond on each biscuit and bake in a moderate oven 10 to 15 minutes

** I baked my biscuits at 160 degrees (fan forced oven) for 11 minutes

End Result

End Result

Happy Birthday Nan

Whilst browsing through the Myer Spring/Summer homewares catalogue, I came across a mixing bowl that instantly reminded me of one that my Nan used to have.  I can remember sitting in her kitchen watching her mix cakes and other goodies by hand.  Over the weekend when I just happened to find myself in a Myer store, I was very excited to find the bowl and find it was also 30% off!

 

My new 'Nana Bowl' and one of her recipe books

My new ‘Nana Bowl’ and one of her recipe books

 

Today would have marked her 106th birthday (she passed away in 2007 shortly before her 100th birthday), and to honour this I’m sharing her recipe for homemade pasties.

This pastry is super easy to make, and well worth the effort.  The original ingredients for the filling are pretty simple, and I’ve added a few extra things to give them some more flavour.

 

Pastry (short pie crust)

4 oz self raising flour (1/2 cup)

4 oz plain flour (1/2 cup)

pinch of salt

4 oz of butter/marg/lard (this sure shows the age of this recipe!)

4 tbsp water

 

* Sift all dry ingredients together in a large bowl

* Rub in butter until mixture resembles bread crumbs

* Add half of the water and stir through using a knife, continue to add water until dough forms

* Knead dough until smooth, let it rest in the fridge for 15minutes

 

Filling

500g of mince (can use either beef or lamb)

2 grated potatoes

1 grated onion

1 grated carrot

1/2 cup of frozen peas

1 tablespoon of dry mixed herbs

1 clove of garlic

2 tablespoons of tomato relish/sauce

salt and pepper to taste

1/2 cup of milk for glaze

* Roll out pastry and cut into rounds the size of a saucer and brush edges with a small amount of water to moisten

* Add filling mixture to centre of round

* Bring sides of pastry together at the top to enclose filling. Pinch the pastry together to secure

* Top with milk glaze an bake in a 190 degree oven for 35 minutes or until golden and cooked through

** Makes approx 6 pasties.

Nan's Pasties

Nan’s Pasties

 

Linking up for mummy mondays with the fabulous Multitasking Mummy .  Please check out the other posts and blogs involoved.
Happy Monday

x