Posts tagged ‘cookies’

January 24, 2011

Australia Day: The Sweet Crunch of an ANZAC Biscuit


The smell of Australia Day is in the air. I may be in London but that isn’t going to stop me baking an Aussie treat or two. It’s an excuse for ocker baking if ever there was one.

I make ANZAC Biscuits every year around Australia Day so was actually considering giving them a miss this year and trying something different.

I couldn’t have imagined the uproar!

Needless to say, the first Aussie treat I’m baking this year, is ANZAC Biscuits. The great thing about these biscuits is  you only need few pantry staples, including that essential Aussie baking element, dessicated coconut. What would an Australian biscuit be without it? And, with only about 20 minutes from getting the flour out of the cupboard to having a hot biscuit in your hand what could be better? I shouldn’t ever have thought I’d get away with not making them!

ANZAC Biscuits ... all ready for Australia Day

So, with Australia Day day only a couple of days away, we’ve got our jar of ANZAC Biscuits at the ready. M will be taking some into work come the 26th January. And come the weekend, we’ll have some to munch on for the Australia Day BBQ.

‘BBQ?’ you say? Yes it is the middle of winter  in London but but our winter Australia Day BBQ has become something of a tradition.  It happens every year, no matter rain, snow or freezing temperatures! At least we’ll have something yummy to munch on while we gather round the barbie with our scarves and gloves on!

Hope you enjoy making these for yourself!

Sx.

ANZAC Biscuits ... the sweet crunch

ANZAC BISCUITS RECIPE

So what do you need?

1 cup plain flour

1 cup rolled oats

1 cup dessicated coconut

3/4 cup dark brown sugar

125g butter

2 tablespoons golden syrup

1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

2 teaspoons water

How do you put it together?

- Preheat oven to 160 degrees celsius.

- In a big bowl, place your flour, oats, cocunut and sugar. Give a good stir to combine.

- In a small saucepan melt butter with golden syrup and water over a gentle heat.

- When it’s all melted together remove from heat and immediately add bicarbonate of soda. Stir quickly to incorporate and you’ll get a nice foamy top to the butter mixture.

- Pour butter mixture over dry mix and stir until it’s all combined.

- Place level tablespoon scoops of the mix onto a lined baking tray. You want them to be about 4 or 5 cm apart as the ANZACs will spread during cooking.

- Press each of the little scoops down gently using a fork. You want them to be a little flattened and with a nice ridge from the fork prongs.

- Bake 10-15 minutes until golden brown. Leave on tray to firm up for 5 minutes and then transfer to a rack to cool.

The trick to making ANZAC Biscuits just the way you like them is how long you cook them for. Cook them more on the 10 minutes side and they’ll be chewy. If you do it this way, they’ll seem slightly soft when you remove them from the oven. Don’t worry about this softness, as long as they are the right colour they’ll firm up when cool. If you like crunchy ANZAC Biscuits then you want to cook them longer; 15minutes as long as your oven doesn’t start to give them too much colour.

December 23, 2010

Amazon Delivery Disappointment No More: Cooking the Presents


One of the things I love about Christmas is that it’s a good excuse for gratuitous baking.

M and I are going North to his sisters for Christmas this year and so I wanted to put together some little baked hampers for his folks up there and our friends down here. It’s a plan I’m now feeling thankful  for  as  in this snowy weather few internet orders are making their destinations in time for Christmas and I would rather avoid the Oxford Street Christmas Crush.

And so the bake-off began …

Granola with Nuts and Honey

I love making granola but it was Clotilde  at Chocolate & Zucchini that gave me the idea of making it into a present. Simple to put together you really can make granola however you fancy. I do it by eye according to what I have in the cupboard and how I fancy it at the time. Lots of oats, a little wheatgerm, a mixture of chopped nuts, some desicated coconut and a sprinkling of cinnamon and ginger. Mix all this together and stir through a splash of vegetable oil and several tablespoons of honey. Do this according to how healthy or sweet / crispy you like it. I don’t like it too sweet so I just add it very gradually, stirring really well until all ingredients are well coated. Spread it out on a baking tray with edges, and cook in a slow oven, checking and tossing ingredients every 10-15 minutes so they don’t burn. When the mixture is a nice golden brown remove from the oven and let to cool in the tray. Once cool you can add dried fruit or sultanas.

If you’re a bit unsure how to progress doing it by eye, try out Clotilde’s granola formula.

Next, Chocolate Orange Biscotti with chunks of Almonds … I’ll post my recipe for this after Christmas when I have a bit more time. If you already have a basic chocolate biscotti recipe though all you do is add orange rind to the sugar during initial stage.

Choc-Orange Biscotti with Almonds

A few smaller packets with little origami squares behind to make them look pretty. Have you noticed my obsession with origami paper at the moment?

More Biscotti!

Some of Dorie Greenspan’s Speculoos

Spicy Speculoos

And finally a few treats from our recent trip to Australia … Okay I know these aren’t homemade but they are a bit of fun. There are some Cherry Ripes, Mondo’s Crunchy Vanilla Nougat, and of course, Minties!

Aussie Treats

Now, for a bit of a rest!

S.

December 22, 2010

French Fridays with Dorie: Speculoos Cookies … and Speculoos Biscotti!


Christmas week and this French Friday’s Speculoos is conjuring up many memories for me. Having lived in Belgium for a year back when I was 17 and an exchange student, I developed an addiction for the stuff. In truth it was a year of acquiring a taste for Belgian indulgences; beer, chocolate, frietjes and mosselen. Speculoos was just another to add to the list … it wasn’t a very healthy year!

At Christmas time, or rather Sinterklaas time, Speculoos would abound. Magnificent giant shaped figures of Sinterklaas and his somewhat politically incorrect cohorts were everywhere to be seen … and tasted delicious. Today was my first time making it for myself though I stuck to simply shaped biscuits for this attempt. Dorie’s tip of putting the rolled dough in the fridge before cutting into shapes really helped – don’t miss this bit out as makes dough much easier to handle.

A snack to motivate the Christmas decorating!

For anyone who hasn’t made this yet I urge you to give it a go. It’s delicious!

Irresistable!

Okay, I admit I had to have a taste while they were still warm! But I think I’m going to use the rest to go into my Christmas gift boxes. In fact, I’m doing quite a bit of Christmas baking at the moment and was making biscotti at the same time as my speculoos . So with those last scraps of cookie dough you always get at the end I decided to make a few pieces of speculoos biscotti … worked a treat!

Speculoos Biscotti!

Happy Christmas to everyone in French Fridays with Dorie! Hope it’s wonderful!

S.

Coming Up next time on French Friday are ‘Spicy Cocktail Nuts’, ready to go with New Years Cocktails!  French Fridays with Dorie is a collection of people cooking along to Dorie Greenspan’s latest book. Feel like joining in, or making Speculoos for yourself, then check out Around My French Table: More Than 300 Recipes from My Home to Yours. As requested by Dorie recipes for this group are not republished online.

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