Muesli Cookies

Since returning home from our holiday, we have been trying to eat well in an attempt to lose the unwanted Christmas gift of a couple of extra kilos.  There are still times though when we do feel like something a little special, and these cookies fit the bill.

I’ve been giving Donna Hay’s Modern Classics 2 a bit of a workout over the past week. It had been awhile since I’d sat down and really read through it, and there have been quite a few recipes that have jumped out at me to try.  As always, I have made a couple of substitutions and additions to the original recipe.  To start with I reduced the sugar content, and used wholemeal spelt flour instead of plain flour.  I also just used what I had in the pantry, the recipe suggest 1/4 cup dried apricots and 1/4 cup dried apples – both chopped and 1/4 cup sultanas.  I debated whether to add the malted milk powder, but went along with it and I ended up with a yummy, chewy biscuit – which I do love.    As always my big boy was happy to be a taste tester and has also given them his tick of approval.

Muesli Cookies

1/2 cup rapadura sugar (recipe suggest 1/2 cup brown sugar and 1/4 cup caster sugar)

125g butter – softened

1 egg

1/2 cup malted milk powder

1 1/4 cups wholemeal spelt flour (you can use plain flour instead)

1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

1 cup rolled oats

1/4 cup shredded coconut

2 tablespoons chia seeds

2 tablespoons wheatgerm

1/4 cup currants

1/2 cup goji berries

1 teaspoon cinnamon

* Preheat oven to 170 degrees

* Beat together the sugar, butter and egg in a bowl until smooth – if using rapadura sugar you will see some small sugar crystals throughout the mixture.

* Add all other ingredients and mix together until combined.

* Roll tablespoons of the mixture into balls, place onto baking trays and flatten slightly.  Make sure you leave room for the cookies to spread.

* Bake for 15 minutes until beginning to brown on top – cool on trays for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.

 

Hazelnut and Caramel Slice

Caramel Slice is one of my FAVOURITE treats, especially Donna Hay’s version which is made with 2 tins of condensed milk to give it a truly decadent caramel layer.  After our 1600km car trip, we were greeted with plate of this slice to for morning tea.  I didn’t think Caramel Slice could be improved, until I tried a piece of my Mum’s slice – instead of plain chocolate on top, she instead used hazelnut chocolate….. yum!!

This Caramel Slice recipe is from Donna Hay’s Modern Classics 2, next time I make this recipe at home, I will be definitely be using hazelnut chocolate.

hazelnut and caramel slice

1 cup plain flour

1/2 cup coconut

1/2 cup brown sugar

125g melted butter

1/3 cup golden syrup

125g melted butter

2 x 400g tins of condensed milk

220g block of cadbury hazelnut chocolate

3 teaspoons vegetable oil

* Combine plain flour, coconut, brown sugar and 125g of melted butter and stir together. Press into a slice tin, fully lined with baking paper hanging over the sides

* Bake in 180 degree oven for 15 minutes – remove and allow to cool

* Combine 125g melted butter, golden syrup and condensed milk in a saucepan over a low heat and stir for approx 7 minutes until mixture has thickened slightly

* Pour caramel mixture over the top of base and bake for 20 minutes, remove from oven and put into the fridge until slice has completely cooled

* Place chocolate and vegetable oil in a microwave safe bowl and cook in 30 second bursts until chocolate has melted.

* Pour over slice and place in the fridge until almost set – it’s much easier to cut into slices when it isn’t fully set.

Enjoy!

Summer Peach Cakes

Last Friday we had a busy morning out and about, catching up with Liam’s friends for a playdate.  He was on the go the whole two hours that we were out, so was understandably exhausted when we  got home.  Normally I’m lucky if he sleeps for an hour to an hour and a half hour during the day, but when he had been asleep for two hours, I decided to make the most of it and get some baking done!

There were two peaches sitting all alone in the fridge which I wanted to use before they turned bad (and I’d also paid $8 a kilo for them and couldn’t stand the thought of throwing them out).  It had felt like awhile since I’d made anything from my Donna Hay recipe books, so I looked through her Simple Essentials – Fruit for some ideas.  This recipe is based on ‘Summer Nectarine Cakes’ and I followed the ingredients, apart from substituting the nectarines for pears (you could use any summer stone fruit though), and using approx 1/4 cup of hazelnut meal as I didn’t quite have enough almond meal for the 1 cup required.  These little cakes we so light and tasted divine.  I also really liked the taste of the hazelnut meal, it gave them a really nice flavour.  These will definitely be going on the ‘make again’ list.

These are too cute!

These are too cute!

3 egg whites

1 cup almond meal (I used approximately 3/4 cup of almond meal and 1/4 cup of hazelnut meal)

1/2 cup icing sugar, sifted

1/4 cup self raising flour

50g melted butter

1 tablespoon finely grated lemon rind

1 large nectarine, halved and thinly sliced (I used 2 medium sized peaches)

* Preheat oven to 180 degrees

* Place egg whites, almond meal, sugar, flour, butter and lemon rind in a bowl and mix to combine.

*Spoon 1 tablespoon of the mixture into 12 lightly greased, 1/4 cup capacity patty tins and top with slices of nectarines/peaches etc.

* Bake for 15 minutes or until puffed and golden

Breakfast Bars

Don’t let the name fool you, although this recipe is called ‘Breakfast Bars’ (from the lovely Donna Hay), I dare you to try to resist these throughout the day!  Instead of making the muesli slab into bars, I cut it into small slices, which are perfect for morning tea.

I couldn’t resist adding to the original recipe, I used it more as a base to start from and then added various ingredients we had in the pantry.  I added the honey as due to the extra ingredients I had added, I felt it needed a bit more help to bind together.

I LOVE these, even Scott and Liam were also impressed.  Liam even swiped a piece whilst I was taking photos of the slice and I found him sitting back on the couch quite happy with himself.  After cutting the slice, there was a bit of leftovers on the baking paper – these were awesome mixed with vanilla yoghurt and strawberries!  I’m now thinking of even making this combination up as a muesli mix.

Enjoying afternoon tea

Enjoying afternoon tea

3/4 cup rolled oats

1/4 cup flaked almonds (I used blanched almonds)

1/4 cup sunflower seeds

1/4 cup quinoa flakes

2 tablespoons wheat germ

2/3 cup plain whole-wheat flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

2/3 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup dried cranberries

I also added:

Replaced 1 cup of dried cranberries with 1/4 cup goji berries and 3/4 cup dried cranberries

2 tablespoons coconut

2 tablespoons LSA mix

2 tablespoons chia seeds

1/4 cup pepitas

1/4 cup honey/or honey substitute if you would prefer

* Preheat oven to 160 degrees

* Place oats, almonds, sunflower seeds, quinoa (and pepitas if using) on a tray lined with baking paper and bake for around 10 minutes until golden

* Place the wheat germ, flour, baking powder, brown sugar and cinnamon in a bowl and stir to combine (add coconut, LSA mix and chia seeds also if using)

* Add the oil, egg, honey (if using) and vanilla and stir until smooth

* Add the oat mixture and the cranberry/goji berry mixture and stir to combine

* Spoon mixture into a slice tin lined with baking paper and push down using the back of a spoon. Bake in over for 25 – 30 minutes until golden brown.

* Cool in tin for 10 minutes before turning onto a rack to cool further, then cut into bars/slices and enjoy!

breakfast muesli bar

 

Linking up with the Multitasking Mummy for Mummy Mondays

Chocolate Goodness – Chocolate Cake with Orange Syrup

It’s a Sunday afternoon and I’ve got time on my hands.  Little Aiden is sound asleep and Liam is being entertained outside by his grandparents.  I stop myself from sitting down with a coffee (I’ve already had 4 today) and instead decide to do some baking.  Luckily Mum has a huge stash of fresh eggs, following a delivery from my Uncle’s chooks (will miss the fresh eggs when we head back home next week) as this cake needs 8 of them.

This is a Donna Hay recipe (from Simply Essentials – Chocolate) so it is pretty straightforward.

I found the syrup took around 20 minutes to thicken to the consistency that I wanted.  Also I only added zest from two oranges (they were super sized), as there weren’t enough to have 1/2 a cup – which seems like an excessive amount.  Unfortunately the cake had cooled quite a bit before I had the chance to pour on the syrup as it was then dinnertime and both the boys were vying for my attention (I always go to the one crying the loudest).  It still absorbed the syrup, but it would have been a lot better if it was added whilst still warm.

Mum and I loved the combination of orange and chocolate – and didn’t feel it needed the extra zest in the syrup. I also drizzled some left over syrup over our piece which made the cake super moist.

Adding extra syrup makes this cake super moist

Adding extra syrup makes this cake super moist

8 eggs

1 1/3 cups caster sugar

2/3 cup cocoa powder sifted

1 cup plain flour sifted

75g butter melted

Orange syrup

1/2 cup orange zest

1 cup water

1 cup orange juice

1 1/2 cups sugar

  • Preheat oven to 160 degrees
  • Line a deep 20cm round cake tin with non stick baking paper
  • Place the eggs and sugar in bowl of mixer and beat for 7-8 minutes until the mixture is light and fluffy
  • Add the cocoa, flour and butter, folding gently until just combined
  • Pour mixture into the cake tin, bake for 1 1/4hrs or until cooked when tested
  • While cake is cooking, make the syrup
  • Heat the zest, water, juice and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved
  • Allow the syrup to simmer for 8 minutes or until thick
  • Cool the cake in the tin for 5 minutes, turn out and place on serving plate.
  • Pour the syrup over the top of cake and serve warm
Yum - eat warm with ice-cream!

Yum – eat warm with ice-cream!

Linking up with the Multitasking Mummy for Mummy Mondays

Raspberry Spiked Chocolate Brownies

Over the last few weeks I have been hooked on brownies and blondies.  Each recipe I have made, I’ve thought it to be the winner.  However I think this combination of rich dark chocolate brownie with raspberries literally takes the cake (pun intended).  These are sensational, the brownie is so rich and chocolatey, and the raspberries are such a great contrast.  The centre is quite soft, and is GREAT warm with vanilla ice cream.  My little helper enjoyed licking the bowl…. I know just award me mother of the year now.

yummy

yummy

Recipe from Donna Hay Simply Essentials – Chocolate

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 1/2 cups raspberries – fresh or frozen

  • 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
  • Pour into a 23cm greased square cake tine lined with non stick baking aper
  • Top the mixture with the raspberries and bake for 45 minutes or until set.
  • Brownies should be very fudgey in middle
You MUST try this!

You MUST try this!

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!