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
Preheat the oven to 180C and line baking trays with greaseproof paper
Cream the butter and sugar
Add the vanilla and the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition
Add flour and baking powder
Stir through choc chips
Take heaped teaspoons of dough and place on baking trays, leaving a little distance between them as they’ll spread
Press four Smarties into the dough
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.
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.
1x395g can condensed milk
250g rolled oats
75g shredded coconut
100g dried cranberries*
125g mixed seeds (pumpkin, sunflower, sesame)
125g natural unsalted peanuts**
Preheat the oven to 130C and oil a 23x33x4cm baking tray
Warm the condensed milk
Mix together all the other ingredients then mix in the warmed condensed milk with a spatula
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)
Bake for one hour then remove from the oven and let cool for about 15 minutes
Cut into four across and four down to make 16 chunky bars
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.
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.
200g plain flour
2tsp baking powder
150g caster sugar
juice and finely grated zest of 1 lemon
approximately 120ml milk
1 large egg
Preheat the oven to 200C
Melt the butter and set aside to cool
Combine all the dry ingredients and lemon zest in a bowl
Squeeze the lemon juice into a measuring jug then add enough of the milk to make up 200ml (it will curdle, which is fine)
A beautiful dense banana loaf studded with choc chips.
*updated Oct 2015*
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.
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
finely grated rind of 1 lemon
1 tbs lemon juice
2 cups plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
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
Grease a 13x9inch slice tin and preheat oven to 180C
Cream butter and sugar and rind
Add eggs, beating well after each addition
Add the flour, baking powder and soda, alternating with some of the sour cream
Spoon into the tin
Top with the fruit
Combine the flour, brown sugar and nutmeg
Add the melted butter
Strew over the top of the fruit
Bake for 45-55 minutes
Delicious on its own or served warm with ice cream.