Showing posts with label cookie. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cookie. Show all posts

Monday, May 26, 2014

Cake Club Baking - Lime and Black Pepper Chip Shortbread Cookies

At my brother’s work, they have a monthly ‘Cake Club’. A monthly morning tea where they take turn to bring in a few baked goods for everyone to share. Mike has been known to bring in some ‘weird’ treats – things that are delicious but have a bit of an unusual ingredient in them. He’s taken in the Mexican Hot Chocolate Snickerdoodles, Peanut Butter and Bacon Choc Chip Cookies – things like that. Since that’s what he’s known for, now he goes out of his way to provide the weird treats. With this in mind, I tried to come up with something both delicious and weird. Something that they’d probably never had before – and the combination of which would blow their minds.

And so I present Lime and Black Pepper Chip Shortbread Cookies. A tangy, salty, sweet, crunchy cookie that’s so confused, but so delicious. With citrusy chocolate drizzled on for good measure It’s like a chocolate margarita biscuit. Now, this cookie is not everyone’s cup o’ tea. But it’s definitely mine.

I spent the weekend baking with him and today his work will get some Snickerdoodles, some of my pumpkin muffins with candied bacon and this Lime and Black Pepper Shortbread. These really are best the day you make them, because you want them crisp and crunchy, but you can store them in an airtight container for up to a week.

For the biscuits:
(makes approx 30 mini muffin tray sized) 1 large bag Red Rock Deli Lime and Black Pepper Chips
5 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup finely shredded coconut
1/3 cup sugar
Zest of one lime
A few grinds of black pepper

For the chocolate ganache drizzle:
50g dark chocolate, chopped
1 tsp tequila
2 tsp coconut cream
Zest 1 lime

Preheat oven to 170 degrees.

Pulse the chips in a food processor until it forms a fine crumb. Mix the chip crumbs with the flour, sugar, zest, pepper and coconut in a bowl, then mix in the melted butter. Press tablespoonsful into the base of a mini muffin tray. Compact with your fingers, or the back of a spoon.

Bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes, until golden brown. Leave to cool completely in the pans, then use a knife to run around the outside of each biscuit and carefully remove from the tray.

To make the drizzle, melt the chocolate in a glass bowl in the microwave in 30 second bursts until melted. Stir through the coconut cream, tequila and lime zest. Pour into a ziplock bag, cut the tip off and drizzle the chocolate ganache over the top of the cookies.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Hot Chocolate Ice Cream Sandwiches

I recently entered a Summer Bake-Off competition run by Nestle to win a Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer. I’m sure I’ve said a bunch of times how much I want one, so the competition was just too good an opportunity to not enter! It’s currently in the judging stages, so I’ve crossed everything that I win…but in the meantime, this is the recipe I entered. I recruited some votes from work colleagues, so as thanks, I brought some in to work for them to try. And then charged them a gold coin donation to go towards my work’s Movember team. If you don’t know about Movember, check out their website, and all of the great work they do for various Men’s Health Charities.

Please note, the filling here makes more than enough for the biscuit recipe – but it’s difficult to halve a tin of sweetened condensed milk. So either make a few batches of the Snickerdoodles, or cheat and use pre-made biscuits to use up the rest of the ice cream filling. I normally use Arnott’s Malt-o-milks. Make a layer on a baking tray, spread the filling over the whole lot, top with another layer of biscuits and then freeze. When frozen, they ‘snap’ into individual biscuits.

Hot Chocolate Ice Cream Sandwiches
Mexican Hot Chocolate Snickerdoodles

Ice Cream Filling
600mL whipping cream
1 can Nestle sweetened condensed milk
2 tbsp Nestle malted milk powder

Follow the recipe in the link for the Snickerdoodles – making sure you flatten the biscuits well when shaping. Allow to cool completely.

In a bowl, use a hand beater to whisk cream until fluffy peaks form. Add the malt powder and beat further until fully incorporated. Then mix in the condensed milk.

Gently spread a decent amount of the ice cream mix onto a biscuit and place on a baking tray. Lay a second biscuit on top to make a sandwich. Continue until all the biscuits are used up. Freeze for at least 4 hours to set the ice cream. Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

You Only Get One - Mexican Hot Chocolate Snickerdoodles

These are my husband's favourite biscuits. We both love the choc/chilli combination, so when I came across this recipe a few year's back on MlovesM blog, I gave it a go almost immediately. From first bite, my husband was obsessed. I've told you before that he takes biscuits to work for lunch - well, this is the biscuit that started it. He would call me from work and claim I hadn't given him any, because he'd eaten them all before lunch time. He would tell everyone that would listen that these were the most amazing biscuit in the entire world, that you'd have one and just constantly want more. That he was torn, between wanting the wholed world to taste them, but wanting to keep them all for himself. So he came up with a compromise - you only get one.

Just before he'd give someone one of these biscuits he'd tell them he was going to give them the best biscuit ever, but you only get one. You will only ever get one. And that's all they ever got. So, if you want more than that, you'd best make them yourself.

These are best baked just until cracking point, that way when they cool, they are slightly fudgy on the inside and crisp on the outside. My husband told me to point out that these biscuits are also one of the few he's ever eaten that are best eaten cold, not warm from the oven. This last batch I made with spelt flour, to increase the nutritional value. I haven't used spelt much before, but have read that you need to be a bit more careful with it, so when mixing the wet and dry, do it gently and stop as soon as it's completely mixed. Taste, texture and cooking-wise, they were identical.

As a disclaimer, I don't necessarily think these are the *best* biscuit in the entire world, but they are in my husband's world and they are pretty delicious!

Mexican Hot Chocolate Snickerdoodles
(makes about 24)
1 and 2/3 cups spelt flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder (I use Cadbury Bournville Cocoa)
1 tsp bicarb soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup grapeseed (or other neutral) oil
1 cup white sugar
1/4 cup pure maple sugar
3 tbsp milk
2 tsp vanilla

Sugar coating
1/3 cup white sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 170C

Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, bicarb soda, cinnamon, cayenne and salt.

In another bowl, whisk together oil, sugar, maple syrup, milk and vanilla. Pour this mixture into the dry ingredients, stirring gently with a wooden spoon until just combined.

In a small plastic container or jar with a lid, combine the cinnamon and sugar and shake to combine. Your biscuits will be dunked in this, so if you can't use it straight from the container, spread it back out in a shallow dish. I always have a container of cinnamon sugar ready for making these snickerdoodles!

Roll dough into small balls, then gently flatten into discs around the size of the biscuits you want. Gently push one side of the disc into sugar coating. Then place sugar side up onto lined baking trays. They spread a little, so give them room.

Bake until the cookies have spread and are crackly on top, around 9-12 minutes. Cool, then eat!

These also make amazing ice cream sandwiches!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Rituals - Quinoa Cookies

Love is in the everyday, in the rituals. My husband and I have developed and perfected various routines for our day-to-day chores and tasks. And mornings are more sort of my domain. When the alarm goes off, I get up and get my husband toast, bring it in on the best plate ever, and pack his lunch while he gets dressed. His lunch has changed over the years to something super easy for me to pack. 

He works with a lot of tradies, and doesn't really like the state of the kitchen in his lunch room, so he was never a fan of preparing, or even storing his food there. And working outside in an Australian summer restricts what he wants to bring in for lunch. His current food of choice for lunch is biscuits. Nutritious, right? But he often doesn't get a proper lunch break, so he likes things he can snack on here and there. Enter quinoa. These cookies are the perfect mix of healthy, extended energy, bite-sized and delicious to work perfectly as a lunch biscuit. Something I don't feel too badly about giving him. Make sure that you use natural peanut butter (the only ingredient should be peanuts), because the texture helps them stick together. I found the original recipe here, but changed the mixing method slightly and added vanilla.

But knowing I make these biscuits for his lunch and help him get off to work every day makes him feel loved. Like when he gives me a back rub when it's my turn to do the dishes. It's the little things.

Rituals - Quinoa Cookies
Rituals - Quinoa CookiesRituals - Quinoa Cookies

Quinoa Cookies

Makes around 30 small cookies
2 cups cooked quinoa, cooled
1/2 cup natural peanut butter (I like chunky)
1 tsp vanilla
3 tbsps maple syrup
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (or cacao nibs if you're feeling especially virtuous)

Preheat oven to 180C
Line a baking tray with baking paper
Combine quinoa, salt, coconut, chocolate chips and oats in a large mixing bowl.
Stir in coconut and chocolate chips, make sure it's evenly distributed.
Add peanut butter, maple syrup and vanilla and mix it all in really well.
Very lightly oil your hands (to stop the mix sticking too much!)
Mix round balls, forming together tightly and push to flatten slightly. They do not flatten/spread themselves.
Bake for around 20 minutes until golden.
Cool completely before storing.

These are also delicious with dried fruit - cranberries, sultanas and the like!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day : Castle Gingerbread

I like the idea of Valentine’s Day, because I think all things love and romance should definitely be celebrated. Love is infectious!  But I find the reality is that when you have a partner, it can be more of an obligation than a loving thing. And not necessarily from your partner! Everybody judging what you’ve spent, how much effort has been put in.  My husband and I have never celebrated Valentine’s Day, instead celebrating the days that are significant to us throughout the year, and spontaneously showing our love to each other with gifts and dates. But it never hurts to show your love and appreciation to the special people in your life. Who doesn't love getting chocolates and flowers!

In the interests of spreading the love and joy and all the good parts of Valentine’s Day, I am going to tell you a story with this recipe of my first birthday with my partner. Hopefully it will make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. If I bring a smile to your face this Valentine’s Day, then I will consider it successfully celebrated.

Early on in our friendship, my husband learnt two pertinent facts about me.
1. That I was moving to Scotland (to live in a castle) and
2. That even as an adult, I still adore the movie “Labyrinth”.

Fast forward about 7 months later and I moved to Scotland, briefly, before moving home again. We then started dating and moved in together. One afternoon on the couch he tells me nonchalantly that he wants to throw me a masked ball, like in the Labyrinth, for my birthday. He’ll host it at his parent’s house, but it will mean him moving home for a few weeks before the party so he can do the gardens up, and prepare and decorate. The set-up is to be a surprise. We plan various things for the party over the next few months, we build a Zoltar machine, we send out invitations, we make our masks. He moves back into his parents’ house, and eventually the party is upon us. When I arrive, I am escorted outside. The garden has fairy lights everywhere, there is a throne for me to sit on and there are hundreds of our friends and family all in masks, looking amazing.

Then it is time for the “ceremony”. He plansed an elaborate presentation (again, based on the movie) in which this wonderful gingerbread Labyrinth castle is revealed to me. The whole thing is edible (minus a few props) and reflects different scenes from the movie. Everything it is made from had special significance to us and our relationship. It took him 3 weeks to bake and assemble the whole thing, and that was working 16 hour days. He took 3 weeks off work to do it! He is not a baker or caterer or anything like that by trade, he just got this wonderfully sweet idea in his head and decided to make it happen for me. For scale, I am a touch shy of 6'2".

So now, I present to you his recipe for  Castle Gingerbread. His notes for this are – heap the spoons of ginger, and best to make a double batch. Maybe you can spread the love and give your special people some gingerbread made from the heart.

Happy Valentine's Day.
Castle Gingerbread
125g butter
½ cup brown sugar
1 egg yolk
2 ½ cups plain flour
1tsp bicarb soda
3tsp ground ginger
2 ½ tbsp. gold syrup

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy
Add egg yolk, beat well until lighter in colour
Gradually add sifted dry ingredients alternated with golden syrup
Mix well, knead lightly
Roll out on a lightly floured surface to desired thickness, cut shapes
Place on baking paper on trays
Bake approx. 10 minutes at 180C
The 'Firies', the bog of eternal stench, the worm
The robot door man
Who can forget Hoggle peeing in the pond at the start of the movie?!