Jam & coconut thumbprints

July 18, 2019

Good ol' jam thumbprints! I think a lemon curd would also work well in the biscuit.

115g butter or non-dairy spread, softened
1/4 c coconut sugar or rapadura
1 egg, separated
1 tsp grated orange zest
1 tbsp orange juice
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract
1 c flour (I sued spelt)
1/2 c desiccated coconut
1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch salt
3/4 c desiccated coconut for coating
2 tbsp jam

Cream the butter and sugar in a bowl. Mix in egg yolk, orange juice and zest, and extracts. Sift in flour, baking powder and salt and coconut and mix until a dough forms.

Divide into 2 equal parts. Put each on a large piece of cling film and form into a log about 15cm long and 2.5cm diameter. 

Beat the egg white with a fork then use a pastry brush to coat the logs. Sprinkle half the coconut over each log and roll back and forth till fully coated.

Wrap in cling film and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight. Or wrap in cling film and foil and store in freezer.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 150C. Line 2 baking sheets with baking paper.

Cut each log into about 12 slices 12mm thick. Place onto your baking sheet and use your thumb to make an indent into the middle of each one. Fill each indent with about 1/4 tsp jam.

Bake for about 15 min until cookies are browned on the edges, rotating the tray halfway.

Let cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.


Orange spelt biscuits

July 15, 2019

A healthyish biscuit!

50g rolled oats
250g wholemeal spelt flour
1 tsp baking powder
juice and grated zest of 1 orange
60ml extra virgin olive oil
50g unrefined sugar (I used coconut)
2 tbsp honey
pinch salt

150g icing sugar
1 tbsp orange juice
1 tbsp orange zest

Grind oats in a coffee grinder or food processor until fine. Mix with flour and baking powder in a large bowl.

In a separate bowl whisk together orange juice and zest, oil, sugar, honey and salt. Pour into flour bowl and mix unti...

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Dutch apple cake

July 11, 2019

This is a lovely moist cake with a hint of cinnamon - I've eaten it for breakfast, dessert and many times in between! Perfectly fine served at room temperature but extra nice served warm with yoghurt or cream.

100g softened butter or non-dairy spread
3/4 c brown sugar (ground coconut or rapadura sugar also good)
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 c flour (I used white and wholemeal spelt)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
3/4 c milk (I used rice)
3 medium or 4 small cooking apples, peele...

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Date & hazelnut pinwheels

July 7, 2019

A fancy-looking biscuit! You can use any nuts you prefer for this recipe - pecans, pistachios, almonds, walnuts, whatever you have handy.

Makes 60
1 1/3 c pitted dates, cut into pieces
1/2 c water
1/2 c toasted hazelnuts, finely chopped

115g butter or non-dairy spread
1 c brown sugar (or coconut or rapadura)
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 c flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
pinch salt

Make the filling by putting the dates and water in a saucepan on medium heat. Bring to a simm...

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Banana caramel cake with cream cheese icing

July 5, 2019

What makes this banana cake special? Coconut cream caramel in the middle and cream cheese icing on top!

Caramel sauce:
1 c coconut cream or milk
3/4 c unrefined sugar (coconut, rapadura or brown)
pinch sea salt

125 g butter or non-dairy spread
3/4 c unrefined sugar
1 egg
3 mashed bananas
2 c flour (I used spelt)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda

50g softened butter or non-dairy spread
75g icing sugar
1 c icing sugar
1/4 c chopped toasted walnuts (optional)

Make the caramel sauce by...

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Bonfire cracklers

July 2, 2019

What a great name for these delicious chocolate morsels with a hint of chilli. The recipe is from Miranda Gore Browne's Biscuit. You can make these without the chilli too and you could use almond flour instead of hazelnut.

Makes 30+
175g 70% dark chocolate (I use Whittaker's)
50g butter or non-dairy spread
1 tsp coffee essence (I didn't have any so used 1 tbsp strong espresso)
100g toasted hazelnuts
175g flour (I used spelt)
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp chilli powder or flakes, finely chopped
1/4 tsp cinnamon
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Cinnamon scrolls

June 30, 2019

I am amazed that the little bit of sour cream in this dough produces a flaky pastry that melts in your mouth. You can freeze this dough to slice and bake when you feel like it.

Makes 36
1/4 c sugar
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 c flour
145g cold butter, cut into pieces
1/3 c sour cream
1 tsp vanilla extract

Mix the sugar and cinnamon together in a small bowl.
Use an electric mixer to mix the flour and butter in a bowl until the butter is in small pieces. Add the sour cream and vanilla and beat until the dough ...
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Slice and bake cookies

June 28, 2019

This is a great basic recipe from which to make any kind of slice and bake cookie - add your favourite flavours and coatings then freeze the dough until you need it. This is adapted from Bake Me Home by Alice Arndell (HarperCollins, 2015).

Makes 60
250g butter, softened
1 1/4 c sugar
1 tbsp vanilla extract
3 eggs
4 1/2 c flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt

Flavouring examples
1/2 c each cranberries and pistachios
1/2 c each dark and white chocolate chunks
2/3 c chopped almonds and 1/3 c crystallised gin...
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Pretzel crackers

June 25, 2019

Take your crackers to the next level just by brushing with an alkaline solution that creates that lovely golden pretzel colour. For making any pretzels you need baked baking soda. Plan ahead by baking a cup of baking soda in a low oven for 1 hour then store in an airtight jar until needed. I made the soft pretzels from Andrea Sloencker's Pretzel Making at Home too.

2 c flour
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp sea salt
4 tbsp/55g cold butter, cubed
1/4 c cold water

Alkaline solution:
1 c water

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June 23, 2019

The beauty of these cookies is that you can bake them so they're crunchy on the outside and chewy in the middle or if you prefer gingernuts just bake them for a few minutes more. Thanks to Elinor Klivans and her book Slice & Bake Cookies.

Makes 24
1/2 c vegetable oil
1/4 c molasses
1 c brown sugar
1 egg
2 c flour (I used wholmeal and white spelt)
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 crystallised ginger, finely c...

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Frances Chan loves to bake. She's also a freelance editor and has written a couple of children's books. She shares some of her adventures, culinary or otherwise, on Instagram.

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