Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Lemon Crinkle Cookies

I think I can safely say that after this post my biscuit obsession has been fulfilled for awhile. Admittedly, this recipe wasn't going to be my next choice for you guys. But it was a special request from my boyfriend (who, at the moment, is being very demanding) and considering it is his birthday soon I couldn't really say no. 

I first came across these biscuits a few years ago when I was having a cooking marathon at home. I had already made oreo brownies, red velvet brownies and a similar biscuit but in a very dense chocolate version (I might post them another time). 

"They are all very rich recipes" I hear you say. Which is exactly what I thought, so I decided to lightened things up with these Lemon crinkle cookies. Even though they themselves have quite a 'fudgey' in the centre, the crunchy outside and lemony flavour freshens these biscuits right up. And if your wanting to satisfy that sweet tooth during the afternoon, they are perfect with a cup of tea.  

125g Butter, softened
1 cup White Sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 tsp Lemon Zest
1 Tbs Lemon Juice
1 1/2 cups Plain flour
1/8 tsp Bicarb soda
1/4 Baking Powder
1/2 cup (or so) Icing Sugar

To make the Cookies...
Preheat the oven to 170 degrees celsius. 

In an electric mixer, beat together the butter and white sugar. Add the egg, lemon juice and zest and vanilla and beat until light and fluffy. On a slower speed, mix in the dry ingredients (except the icing sugar) until just combined. Please note that this dough is very, very soft. But don't be alarmed as that is how it is meant to be.

Roll a heaped teaspoon full of dough around in the icing sugar ensuring that it is well coated. Place the balls on a tray lined with baking paper (allowing room for spreading). Bake for about 9 minutes or until the edges are JUST golden. Slightly cool on the tray before transferring to wire rack. 

Monday, 28 January 2013

Simple Chocolate Cake

I had just finished work for the day when my boyfriend came to me, 'Let me take you out for some cake', he said. What a nice idea I thought. But as I pondered this strange suggestion, I began to realise that maybe he was just trying to satisfy a craving for cake. 

'Why don't I just make a cake instead?' was my reply. 

With that chocolate cake was the request and this one is, quite literally, a piece of cake to make. So easy in fact, that it has been named the 'beat like heck' chocolate cake. 

A sinch to make and tastes idea of the perfect chocolate cake.   

125g Butter, softened
3 eggs
1 cup Sugar
1 3/4 cup SR Flour
1/2 cup Cocoa
1/2 tsp Bicarb Soda
3/4 cup Water
200g Icing Sugar
25g Cocoa
125g Butter
40ml Milk

To make the cake...
Pre heat oven to 170 degrees celsius. 

Place all ingredients into a bowl of an electric mixer and 'beat like heck' (or in normal terms, mix until very well combined). 

Place in a lined baking tin and bake for 40-45minutes, or until the skewer comes out clean. Allow to cool in the tin before turing out onto a wire rack. 

To make the icing...
Just like the cake this icing is so simple to make...

Place all ingredients into a bowl and beat until well combined. Spread over the cooled cake.

Friday, 25 January 2013

Caramello Chocolate Biscuits

It's Australia Day today. The one day in Australia where it's culturally acceptable to start drinking by 9am in the morning. And while most people are sucking down VB (thinking that it's the most Australian thing to do), I am in the kitchen with a different idea. 

To me the humble Caramello Koala is the epitome of being Australian, gooey caramel inside the famous Koala shaped Cadbury chocolate. Unfortunately, I didn't think sticking an entire Caramello Koala inside a biscuit was very practical (although it could be a pretty magnificent biscuit). 

Instead a smaller version can be made using a block of Cadbury Caramello chocolate. And combined with a fudgey chocolate biscuit, you can't possibly go wrong! 

1 egg
2/3 cup firmly packed Brown Sugar
1/4 cup Vegetable Oil
1/2 cup Plain Flour
1/3 cup SR Flour
1/4 tsp Bicarb Soda
100g dark Chocolate, melted
200g Caramello Chocolate

To make the cookies...
Pre heat oven to 170 degrees celsius. 

Firstly melt the chocolate. I did it the microwave in 30 second intervals. After to each interval mix the chocolate. Repeat until the chocolate is completely melted (if using chocolate chips it should take about 90 seconds). 

In an electric mixer, beat together the egg, sugar and oil until it turns light brown in colour. Add the flours, bicarb soda and chocolate and mix until a soft dough forms. 

Roll a heaped teaspoon full of mixture into a ball and press your thumb into it to form a bit of a well. Place 1 piece of caramello chocolate into the well and wrap the mixture about it. Roll around in your hands to form a ball. 

Place the balls onto a tray lined with baking paper (make sure you allow room for some spreading) and bake for 7-10 minutes. Let the cookies cool slightly before removing from the tray...if you can wait that long

Please note that the less time you bake them the more fudgy the cookies will be (and my personal preference). 

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Peanut Butter Shortbread

Happy New Year Everyone!!

Please excuse my absence for the past 3 weeks but I have been frolicking by the seaside. Every Christmas break, this year marking 20 years, my Dad's side of the family travel to Narooma to spend 10 or so days living out of tents at one of the caravan parks. 

Every day was consumed with the usual activities; swimming, water skiing, sun baking, reading, venturing to nearby towns, playing 500, I even managed to sneak in a viewing of the amazing Les Miserables (which my cousin and I could not stop singing all the way home). 

But unfortunately baking little treats for you guys is a little bit hard to accomplish when you don't have a proper functioning kitchen. And, well quite frankly, who can be bothered baking on holidays?

So now that I'm back at home, I thought I'd kick of 2013 with one of my ultimate addictions, Peanut Butter. 

I was pondering what to have for breakfast yesterday morning, while standing in the kitchen eating the peanut butter out of the jar. Finally conjuring up toast with peanut butter and honey, I decided to make these biscuits so my infatuation with peanut butter could continue into morning tea. 

I think shortbread is the correct term for these biscuits as they just crumble and sometimes stick to the roof of your mouth (I advise having a glass of water or cup of tea within reach). Dipping them in dark chocolate adds a touch of bitterness with cuts through all the sweet. And, in my opinion, you can't possibly have peanut butter without chocolate.

125g Butter, room temperature
1/2 tsp Vanilla extract
1/3 cup White Sugar
1/3 cup Brown Sugar, lightly packed
1/3 cup Peanut Butter (smooth or crunchy)
1 1/3 cup Plain Flour
1 tsp Bicarb Soda
1/4 cup Peanuts, chopped (if you used smooth peanut butter) 
Dark Chocolate, melted

To make the shortbread...
Pre heat oven to 170 degrees celsius. 

In an electric mixer, cream together the butter, vanilla, sugars and peanut butter until creamy. Add the flour, bicarb soda and chopped peanuts (if used) and mix until a firm-ish dough forms (you may need to add my flour depending on how sticky the dough turns out). 

Roll heaped teaspoonfuls into small balls, place on a baking tray and press down with a fork. 

Bake for around 15 minutes. Cool slightly on the tray before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. 

Melt the chocolate, be either buttons or block, and once cooled dip half the biscuits into the chocolate. OR alternatively you can use a pastry brush to paint the bottoms of the biscuits with chocolate (some of you may prefer the second option as this way you get some chocolate with each bite). 

Place the dipped shortbread on some baking paper until the chocolate hardens. If painting the bottoms, just sit them upside down on the wire rack.