Because cookies.

It's been a quiet couple of weeks in my kitchen. There was a quick chocolate tart for a fundraiser, and zucchini slice…..oh that giant carrot cake….and the first cake I've ever been paid for, which was the four tier version of my hubby's birthday cake.

I guess I've really just been slack at taking pictures and writing posts.

This morning, while hubby was at work (not a fan of him working Saturdays) and I sipped a cup of coffee with an unexciting sugar-free biscuit I nearly had to slap myself. Its Saturday. I'm not at work, there's no distractions, and I'm eating a store bought cookie? What on earth is going on here?!

So to rouse myself from my biscuit faux pas I made two different types of cookies. They were all laid out cooling on the worktop when sadly hubby knocked an entire tray of salted peanut butter cookies onto the floor….but the recipe made so many that I'll forgive him….this time!

I've made this Frangipane Jam Drop cookies once before, and while they are very soft, they are quick to disappear.

These salted peanut butter cookies are a new find from SmittenKitchen….and I have to admit I was hesitant about the sprinkly of sea salt….but now that I've tasted one (or two, or um anyway) I'm totally sold on the idea. It will be interesting to see how long these last….given how hard it is to not pick at them constantly.

The Salted Peanut Butter Cookies recipe can be found here, and are quick and easy to put together.

The Frangipane Jam Drops are from the Womens Weekly 'Baking Day' (yes the same as those Lemon Squares). I didn't use a wooden spoon though…I used the round end of a metal teaspoon.

Ingredients

  • 125g unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 110g caster sugar
  • 120g almond meal
  • 1 large egg
  • 100g plain flour (sifted)
  • 2 tablespoons raspberry jam

Method

Preheat the oven to 180C. Line two oven trays with baking paper.

Beat butter, extract, sugar and almond meal in a small bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add egg, beating until just combined. Stir in sifted flour.

Drop level tablespoons of mixture on trays 5cm apart. They will spread a little. Use the round end of a metal teaspoon to make a small hole in each biscuit. Fill each hole with 1/4 teaspoon of jam.

Bake about 15mins each, and allow to cool on the tray.

 

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Slab Tray Bake of Coffee Delicious

During one of my many days of sick leave, I gave my mum a call. Mum asked me some questions about this recipe in the latest Donna Hay magazine, and whether or not a recipe could be halved. Of course, once this recipe was brought to my attention……I had to make it too.

Trouble is, as I've said before, I'm a bit very greedy, so I made the full tray bake, but I will admit I cut it into 10 slices, and froze a bunch of them for later on.

The recipe is terribly simple, but when you look at the ingredients, like me, you should be a bit shocked. There is between the cake and the brown sugar filling a scary amount of sugar. It also uses a full 250g of butter, which just seems…..well, over the top.

When I made the cake, it was a on a super tight time frame, so it ended up cooling in a hot oven for something like two hours. I really don't recommend that, because it stuck to the bottom of my tray in the middle, and meant that a chunk of the middle (which thankfully you can't see in my photos) was stuck to the tray. After a lot of cussing and foot stomping (by me), hubby and I stood over the tray and ate the sticky bits.

This is really good warm, its also really good in your lunch box. I'm inclined to think it would be delicious with some warm custard as well!

 

Ladies Trip!

Ha! You thought I’d forgotten my blog again….BUT I HAVEN’T! I have instead spent this past weekend in Sydney on a girls trip with my Mum and twin sister. Which made THE BEST CHANGE from being there for work.

We flew down on Friday afternoon, and after checking into a hotel that was much fancier than we are, took my Mum straight down to The Rocks, so she could see the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House (this being her first ever visit to Sydney). We had the most amazing burgers (truly, dirty smashing experience), shared a bottle of wine before wending our way back to our room.

Saturday morning, after a sneaky coffee in bed (one of the best things about travelling with my Mum, she’s up first and gets the kettle on!) we headed into Darling Harbour for breakfast and a walk around the National Maritime Museum (they had a Shackleton exhibit on!) and my sister getting seasick on the Endeavour replica (it was at dock…..).

Then we headed across to the QVB, because its a beautiful building and I wanted Mum to see it. For the first time ever I found the Zumbo stall….and as you can see it was just amazing.

We bought a cronut, decorated fondant, and some macarons to share. The macarons we ate on the go, but the rest we saved for breakfast Sunday morning.

After a bout of Pitt St shopping we then had our absolute favourite food experience. A late lunch at jones the grocer. We ordered a charcuterie platter, a bowl of hot chips (because we’re human) and a bottle of fizz, which went immediately to our heads.

The pork and pistachio terrine, the mixed meats, the most delicious olives….it was tempting to sit there all evening, with a second platter and another bottle….but we headed out and later bought woodfire pizzas and cheap fizz to have in the hotel room in our pjs.

Sunday (after the cronut of awesome and half the decorated fondant, too rich to eat it all) we headed on the ferry out to Manly, which was just beautiful.

We had fish and chips by the water then headed back across the harbour, and took a bus to an outlet mall. Once we’d had our fill of shopping we headed back into town with thoughts of going back to jones the grocer, but as it was closed we had to settle for Jamie’s Italian. The Plank we had was great, but just not on the same level. (If you have to go and buy more cheap fizz and a packet of crisps after a meal there’s something wrong).

All in all it was a brilliant weekend away, and I’m now researching where to find the amazing olives and antipasti we had at jones the grocer….as well as looking for a pork and pistachio terrine recipe….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chewy, lemon and delicious

For my mums birthday, we got her a cookbook that looked vintagey and fun. So much so that my sister and I bought our own copies as well. Mum started cooking recipes from it, and to our relief, they worked.

Its taken me a while (we bought this in March!) but I finally made the chewy lemon squares that both my mum and sister had already made. I even got lucky and had two fresh lemons from my sisters tree to use.

They worked out perfectly, and cut into 16 squares, 15 of them were wrapped up and frozen to take to work for afternoon teas.

Its worked perfectly. I can't recommend this one enough (and being lemon, I don't have to share with hubby!).

Tangy Lemon Squares (from The Australian Women's Weekly 'Baking Day' pg 115)

Ingredients

  • 125g butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup (40g) icing sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups (185g) plain flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup (220g) caster sugar
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon rind
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons icing sugar, extra

Method

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Grease a 23cm square pan, line with baking paper that extends about 5cm past the edges.

Beat butter and icing sugar together in a small bowl with an electric mixer until smooth. Stir in 1 cup of the flour. Press the mixture evenly into the base of the pan.

Bake for about 15 minutes or until browned lightly.

Meanwhile, place eggs, caster sugar, remaining flour, rind and juice in the bowl. Whisk until combined. Pour the mixture of the hot base.

Bake for a further 20 minutes or until firm. Cool in pan before cutting. If you want, you can dust with the extra icing sugar. I didn't, because I didn't think it needed it.