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Snickerdoodles

snicker

Miss S and I went shopping recently and stopped for sustenance at a Mrs Fields Cookie outlet. It is a well known fact that I intensely dislike shopping and go as infrequently as I can get away with, but I don’t complain as much if there is a food treat somewhere during the excursion.

Anyway, we tried a mixture of cookies, including Snickerdoodles. I liked them enough to find a recipe and make them as soon as we got home. Next time I make this recipe though, I will leave out the nutmeg as it was slightly overpowering.

125gm butter

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 Cup brown sugar

1/2 Cup caster sugar

1 egg

1 and 1/3 Cups plain flour

1/2 teaspoon bi-carb soda

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 tablespoon caster sugar (extra)

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Cream the butter, vanilla extract and sugar, then lightly beat the egg into the mixture.

Stir in the flour, bi-carb soda and nutmeg (if you’re using this). Cover the mixture and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Place the extra sugar and cinnamon into a small bowl.

Roll teaspoons of mixture onto a ball, then roll in the cinnamon mixture to completely cover the balls. Spread the balls on an oven tray (don’t forget, baking paper is your best friend when it comes to washing up afterwards) and bake for 12 to 15 minutes at 160 degrees Celsius.

Cool the biscuits on the tray.

Mrs Fields Cookies are lovely, but can someone who likes shopping please bring me some back next time they go?

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Orange Shortbread

orange

This recipe for Orange Shortbread came from the side of a packet of sugar. It was nice, but slightly too crumbly because I think I had the oven on too hot a temperature.

I might be bragging here, but the pattern I made on the dough with the fork is the best I’ve ever managed. It looks just like a snowflake… (yes, we in Australia cling to our British and European backgrounds when it comes to Christmas traditions – the ones we like, anyway. I for one think that summer and shortbread go very well together).

I’ll make normal Shortbread next week, since we have already eaten all of the Orange Shortbread.

4 tablespoons sugar

125gm butter (I used slightly more)

rind of two oranges -finely grated

1 1/2 Cups plain flour

Cream the butter and sugar, then beat in the orange rind. Gradually add the flour.

Roll into a ball and split into two. Roll both out to a one centimetre thick circle. I did this on baking paper, to prevent having to try to move the rolled-out dough.

Cut the round into eight (imagine you are cutting up a pizza) then press around the edges using the end of a teaspoon, then go mad with the fork to decorate your own snowflake shortbread.

Bake for 15 minutes at 170 degrees Celsius. Let the shortbread cool on the tray before moving it.

Lady Marlene’s Shortbread

short

In the lead-up to Christmas last year, I made my tried and true Shortbread recipe and took some to work for my colleagues. They said all of the right things, but one of my colleagues, whose mother is from Scotland, brought me some of her mother’s shortbread to try. Yum.

I burned the first batch, (you can see in the photo that the Eiffel Tower biscuit is a bit too brown), but the next three batches were better.

125gm butter

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 Cup icing sugar

2 1/4 Cups plain flour

1/2 Cup cornflour

Mix the butter and vanilla extract until soft, then gradually beat in the sugar.

Fold in the sifted flours, then split into four and roll into balls. Press into circles and cut into eight (pizza-style). Otherwise, this is a good mixture for cutting out shapes.

Bake for 15 minutes at 160 degrees Celsius.

Lemon Bliss Balls

lemon-bliss

I read a book about eating sugar-free* recently and after being given a shopping bag full of lemons**, decided to make Lemon Bliss Balls. There were a few ‘exotic’ ingredients, such as Almond Meal and Rice Malt Syrup, which turned out to be readily available from my local supermarket. Rice Malt Syrup turned out to be a ‘fructose-free’ sweetener with a lovely mild flavour. (Don’t ask me about the scientific stuff, I’m a bit sketchy about how fructose/glucose etc works, but to sum up the book I read, fructose = bad. I’m not convinced, but the book is quite popular at the moment).

Anyway, Lemon Bliss Balls are delicious and I can eat twice as many as other Bliss Balls, because they are ‘healthy.’

2 Cups shredded coconut

1 Cup almond meal

1 Tablespoon butter (the original recipe called for coconut oil, but I find coconut oil to be too waxy for my liking. However, if you’re set on making the healthiest version possible, use 1 Tablespoon of coconut oil instead of butter).

2-3 Tablespoons of rice malt syrup

zest and juice of 1 lemon (I also zested part of my finger, but picked the bloody bits out of the bowl).

1/2 Cup desiccated coconut.

Mix all of the ingredients except the desiccated coconut together, then roll into teaspoon-sized balls. Roll the balls in the desiccated coconut, then refrigerate.

*Every time I try going sugar-free I end up having a massive chocolate-binge and putting on an additional three kilos.

**I split the bag of lemon with my mother-in-law, juiced a heap of lemons and froze the juice in an ice-cube tray, and cooked with the rest.

Chocolate Brownie Biscuits

brownie

These Chocolate Brownie Biscuits are so good that I have made them four times over the past five weeks. I hate sharing them…

375gm packet of Nestle dark chocolate melts

40gm butter

2 eggs

2/3 Cup caster sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 Cup plain flour

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

Melt half of the chocolate with all of the butter over a gentle heat in a saucepan and set aside.

Chop up the other half of the chocolate. This is a tedious job, but someone has to do it… the rule at my house is, if I chop up the chocolate, I get to nibble on a few melts as I go.

Beat the eggs, caster sugar and vanilla until it is thick and frothy.

Gently fold in the flour and baking powder, then mix in the melted chocolate mixture and the chopped up chocolate pieces. Leave the mixture to set for about ten minutes.

Drop teaspoons of mixture onto a tray lined with baking paper. Allow loads of room for the mixture to spread.

Bake at 175 degrees Celsius for about ten minutes. Leave the biscuits to cool on the tray.

Honey Biscuits

honey

Honey Biscuits are an old-fashioned type of biscuit. They are a bit sticky and cakey, but the taste will probably remind you of something your grandmother made.

I bought a jar of honey a while ago that I didn’t like the flavour of, so this was a good recipe to use up some of the unwanted honey. Did you know that every bee only makes 1/12 of a teaspoon of honey over its lifetime?

125gm butter

1 Cup brown sugar

1/4 Cup honey

2 eggs

1 1/2 Cups plain flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

Melt the butter, honey and sugar together in a saucepan, then set aside to cool.

Once cooled, pour the honey mixture into a bowl, whisk in the eggs, then fold in the flour and baking powder.

Drop teaspoons of mixture onto trays (use baking paper), then bake for ten minutes at 170 degrees Celsius until they become golden. Let the biscuits cool on the tray so they become crisp.

 

Jelly Biscuits

Jelly Biscuits3

This recipe will left my hands stained with patches of food colour colouring, as if I had attended a B&S Ball.

I’ve never actually attended a B&S Ball, (Bachelor and Spinsters Balls for those of you who are not Australian), but a girl I used to work with loved them. She told me the attendees dress up in formal evening wear, with gumboots if the location is muddy, in order to drink to excess, dance and throw food colouring at each other, then sleep it off in the back of a ute or a swag. She very often turned up at work on a Monday morning stained all over with food colouring saying she had the best time ever at a B&S Ball at some country town or other.

3 and a 1/2 Cups self raising flour
350 gm butter
1 Cup caster sugar
1 egg
1 tspn vanilla extract
4 packets of different coloured jelly (I used Blue Heaven, Passionfruit, Strawberry and Port Wine).
Food colouring if desired.

Cream the butter and sugar, then add the egg and vanilla. Gradually beat in the flour.

Divide the dough into four.

Take each section and knead together with 2 tablespoons of jelly crystals. Add food colouring if desired to enhance the biscuit’s colour. Roll into small balls, then roll in leftover jelly crystals.

Jelly Biscuits

Place on baking tray and leave room to spread. I pressed the first batch down using a fork, but realised this was unecessary and didn’t bother with the other batches and left them as balls.

Jelly Biscuits2

Bake for approximately 12 minutes at 160 degrees Celsius. Leave on the tray to cool slightly before moving the biscuits to a wire rack. The recipe makes about 80 biscuits.

Bliss Balls

bliss

Warning! Bliss Balls are healthy! If you don’t like dried fruit, stop reading right now!

From time to time, I cut down on eating sugar, but since I like my sweets (and baking), jumped on the Bliss Balls bandwagon a few years ago.

You can make these out of whatever dried fruit you like (or have leftover from making last year’s Christmas pudding), just make the adjustments to suit your own taste. I have a food processor, which makes this recipe easier, but if I didn’t have one, I would not make this recipe. Too much chopping.

100gm walnuts

100gm almonds

2 Tblspns LSA (linseed, soy and almond meal)

2 Tblspns pepitas

180gm dates

100gm dried apricots

100gm prunes

1 Tblspn peanut butter

2 Tblspns cocoa

1 Tblspn cinnamon

2 Tblspns honey

100gm desiccated coconut

Chop up the walnuts, almonds and pepitas in the food processor until they are finely crumbed. Add the dates, apricots and prunes and chop, chop, chop. (If the food processor is too small to fit all of these at once, process the dried fruit in batches with a few spoons of the already processed nuts. Don’t do the fruit by itself or it will stick to the blades).

If you still have room in your food processor, add the peanut butter, cocoa, cinnamon, honey and mix some more. If not, use a large bowl and wooden spoon.

Roll into balls and then roll in coconut. Store in an airtight container. Bliss Balls will keep for about two weeks, (it helps that He Who Eats All of Our Leftovers and Miss S won’t eat them). The recipe makes about thirty Bliss Balls.

 

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip Biscuits

peanut

I’m a sucker for the combination of peanut butter and chocolate and this recipe for Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip Biscuits is very good, and they don’t use any flour. These biscuits look a little rough, but the texture is melt in the mouth.

1 Cup crunchy Peanut Butter

1 Cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

1 egg

1 Cup chocolate chips

Beat the peanut butter and sugar together, then add the egg and mix well. Mix in the bi-carb soda and the chocolate chips. (This is a great time to do a taste test, this dough is yummy).

Roll into balls, then press down with a fork or the back of your hand. (Have a look at the photo above as I tried both methods, the forked biscuits are slightly better looking).

Bake for about ten minutes at 170 degrees Celsius. Cool on the tray before moving to a wire rack.

 

Tiny Teddy Racers

tiny

I made these for Little M’s fifth birthday party. Just looking for an excuse to make them really, any occasion would have done.

1 Packet of mini Mars Bars or Snickers or Milky Ways (car chassis).

1 Packet of Smarties (wheels and steering wheels).

I Packet of Tiny Teddy biscuits (racing car drivers).

a little bit of melted chocolate (glue).

Cut the Tiny Teddies in half at the waist, cut some of the Smarties in half to make steering wheels, then melt the chocolate and start assembling. Don’t eat too many Smarties as you go or you will run out of wheels.