Choc Chip Smartie Biccies

So for the better part of the last 20 years I’ve been faithful to the Womens’ Weekly recipe for choc chip biscuits and they have done me proud. But an American friend of mine made some that just seemed better and she gave me the recipe. From what I can tell it is essentially the same recipe but in bigger quantities.

I made them and dotted a few Smarties on the top. And people, I might as well have invented choc chip biccies.


Choc Chip Biccies

  • 1 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 large eggs
  • 21/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 cups choc chips
  • Smarties to decorate
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C and line baking trays with greaseproof paper
  2. Cream the butter and sugar
  3. Add the vanilla and the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition
  4. Add flour and baking powder
  5. Stir through choc chips
  6. Take heaped teaspoons of dough and place on baking trays, leaving a little distance between them as they’ll spread
  7. Press four Smarties into the dough
  8. Bake for 10-12 minutes until lightly browned then cool for a few minutes on the tray before moving to a wire rack.

This makes a LOT of biscuits. The friend the recipe came from used to roll the dough into two logs and freeze one for a later date. She’d also then refrigerate the other one before cutting rounds and baking. But when you feel like biccies, who has time for refrigeration.

Ode to Nigella 19 – Breakfast Bars

You know when you have an idea of something in your head and try as you might you never quite realise that image? That is me and muesli bars. I have been hankering at making my own muesli bars for the boys to take to school for years. YEARS. And then, in one simple moment, there it is. And I kick Uncle Toby’s arse to the curb.

Breakfast Bars

  • 1x395g can condensed milk
  • 250g rolled oats
  • 75g shredded coconut
  • 100g dried cranberries*
  • 125g mixed seeds (pumpkin, sunflower, sesame)
  • 125g natural unsalted peanuts**
  1. Preheat the oven to 130C and oil a 23x33x4cm baking tray
  2. Warm the condensed milk
  3. Mix together all the other ingredients then mix in the warmed condensed milk with a spatula
  4. Spread the mixture into the tin and press down with the spatula or better, your hands (wear disposable gloves as the mixture is very sticky)
  5. Bake for one hour then remove from the oven and let cool for about 15 minutes
  6. Cut into four across and four down to make 16 chunky bars
  7. Let cool completely.

Apparently they get better with age. They are so so good. Chewy, not too sweet and packed with nutritious ingredients. And with infinite variations – change the dried fruits, add some cinnamon, (imagine dried apple w/ cinnamon), throw in some choc chips for a treat every now and then, remember then peanuts – fantastic.

* It’s difficult to get anything except those hideous fake-sweetened cranberries here, so I used what I had, which was dried apricots.
** I completely didn’t even see this ingredient when I started and as a result left it out completely.

Ode to Nigella 9 – Lemon Raspberry Muffins

You know the whole cupcake phenomenon? I don’t really get it. I’m not a big fan of the little cake – the cupcake, the muffin, the the… friand. They just don’t really do it for me. If I’m eating cake I want a decent slice of it. A slab preferably. But then I see their value in being a self-contained unit – you get cake, you get icing, you get it all in a nice little package. Just like these.

Lemon-Raspberry Muffins

  • 60g butter
  • 200g plain flour
  • 2tsp baking powder
  • 1/2tsp bi-carb
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 1/4tsp salt
  • juice and finely grated zest of 1 lemon
  • approximately 120ml milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 150g raspberries
  1. Preheat the oven to 200C
  2. Melt the butter and set aside to cool
  3. Combine all the dry ingredients and lemon zest in a bowl
  4. Squeeze the lemon juice into a measuring jug then add enough of the milk to make up 200ml (it will curdle, which is fine)
  5. Add the egg and butter to the milk mixture
  6. Fold into the dry ingredients until just mixed
  7. Fold in raspberries
  8. Spoon into muffin tin and bake for 25 minutes
  9. Cool in tin for a few minutes then on a wire rack
  10. Makes 12 small muffins.

Choc Banana Bread

A beautiful dense banana loaf studded with choc chips.

*updated Oct 2015*

Choc banana bread - maybe the first time I've made this since 2007. Recipe on the blog.
Choc banana bread – maybe the first time I’ve made this since 2007. Recipe on the blog.

The first time I made this was for a family brunch event. It was still warm from the oven and I had used big, wide, flat chocolate buttons that just oozed as we cut into it. Divine. I’ve also made it with raspberries rather than chocolate.


Choc Banana Bread
A dense sweet delicious banana bread option.
  • 125g butter, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup choc chips
  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  1. Preheat oven to 180C and grease a 19x11cm loaf tin
  2. Cream the butter and sugar together until pale (I just do this by hand if the butter is nice and soft)
  3. Add the eggs one at a time
  4. Fold in the bananas, chocolate and vanilla
  5. Add the dry ingredients, be careful not to over mix, just gently turn the flour over into the mix - think of it like a muffin mix
  6. Pour into tin and bake for 1hr 15min


Choc banana bread.
Choc banana bread.



Berry Crumble Cake

This was inspired by Canadian Baker but as we’re not quite into stone fruit season, I used a frozen berries – mainly blackberries and some raspberries thrown in for good measure. I also substituted the sour cream for low fat natural yoghurt as it was all I had and wholemeal plain flour for the plain flour as I’m trying to use more whole foods across all areas of my cooking at the moment. It all seemed to work and I must say it was delicious and I can’t wait to make it with some in season stone fruits this summer.

Berry Crumble Cake

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • finely grated rind of 1 lemon
  • 1 tbs lemon juice
  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • pinch nutmeg
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 6 cups pitted sliced plums (about 1.25kg) or frozen berries or fruit of choice
  • 1 1/4 cup plain flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  1. Grease a 13x9inch slice tin and preheat oven to 180C
  2. Cream butter and sugar and rind
  3. Add eggs, beating well after each addition
  4. Add the flour, baking powder and soda, alternating with some of the sour cream
  5. Spoon into the tin
  6. Top with the fruit
  7. Combine the flour, brown sugar and nutmeg
  8. Add the melted butter
  9. Strew over the top of the fruit
  10. Bake for 45-55 minutes

Delicious on its own or served warm with ice cream.