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 chopped
4 tbsp granulated sugar (I used demerara)

In a large bowl whisk the oil, molasses, sugar and egg together until smooth. Sift in all the dry ingredients and mix until a dough forms.

Divide the dough into 2 equal parts. Place on an unfloured surface and roll into a log 30 cm long and 2.5cm in diameter. Sprinkle 1 tbsp of the granulated sugar over each log and roll back and forth until evenly coated. The sprinkle half of the ginger over each log and roll back and forth until evenly coated.

Wrap each log in cling film and freeze for about half an hour, then roll each log again to form a more smoothly shaped cylinder. Freeze overnight or until firm.

When ready to bake preheat oven to 180C. Line 2 baking trays with baking paper.

Cut each log into 12 slices about 2.5cm thick. Place at least 7cm apart on the baking sheets as they will spread. Sprinkle each cookie with granulated sugar.

Bake for about 10 min if you want chewy cookies or up to 14 min if you want crunchy cookies. They will have a lovely crackly appearance.

Let cool on the trays for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack.


Neapolitan cookies

June 21, 2019

This is my second attempt at these cookies. My first lot were too big and the strawberry dough was too soft, as I added too much jam to the mix. Now I've fine-tuned my technique I can share it with you! It's another recipe from Elinor Klivans' Slice & Bake Cookies.

Makes 40
225g butter, softened
1 c sugar
2 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 c flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
55g dark chocolate, melted
1 tbsp cocoa
3 tbsp strawberry jam or 1tsp strawberry essence and few drops red food c...

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Hazelnut & blue cheese thumbprints

June 20, 2019

I have become rather enamoured with a book called Slice & Bake Cookies by Elinor Klivans (Chronicle Books, 2013) who I discovered is a 76-year-old legend in baking and dessert making. Her signature technique is to freeze the cookie dough before baking, and you can store dough in the freezer to whip out and bake whenever you fancy. Having both hazelnuts and blue cheese on hand, I made a savoury version first.

Makes 28
1 c flour (I used wholemeal and white spelt)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
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Soft pretzels

June 20, 2019

My first attempt at pretzels and it won't be the last. The family loved them. The only drawback is that they are best eaten the same day so they'll all eaten pretty quickly. The recipe is from Pretzel Making at Home by Andrea Slonecker (Chronicle Books, 2013). There are hard and soft pretzels - these are soft ones but I'll give the hard ones a go another time. This recipe only makes 8 so double up if you have a horde to feed.

Makes 8
1/4 c baked baking soda
2 1/4 tsp dry yeast
1/2 c luke...

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Chocolate chip cookies

June 10, 2019

What to do when the child is home sick - bake, of course! Here's another version of a healthy choc chip cookie. This one uses a flaxseed egg.

Makes 16-20 cookies
1 tbsp flaxseed
3 tbsp water
2 c ground almonds
1/2 c brown rice flour (or another gluten free flour or almond flour)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/2 c maple syrup (or rice syrup or honey)
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 c melted coconut oil
3/4 c dark chocolate chips or chunks

Preheat oven to 180C. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
Mix flaxseed a...
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June 9, 2019

I've usually had to whisk egg whites separately to get fluffly waffles. No more! Thanks to GraceGoodEats I whipped these up super quick. My only regret was that I didn't do a double batch to freeze some for later.

2 c flour (I used spelt)
4 tbsp natural unrefined sweetener (eg coconut sugar, rapadura, maple syrup)
4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 1/2 c milk (I used rice)
85g melted butter (or non-dairy spread or vegetable oil)
1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat your waffle iron. Mix all ...

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Almond roulade with lime curd

June 7, 2019

Isn't wonderful how one act of kindness can lead to multiple levels of joy! A friend of my mother's gave her some makrut (knobbly) and key (smooth) limes. She gave them to me and I instantly started craving lime curd! After I made it I decided I needed a suitably spongey base to soak up the zesty curd. With whipped cream to soften the blow, a roulade was the ideal choice. Now my whole family and whatever friends come to visit can enjoy the spoils. I learnt how to roll a sponge properly too.

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Fully loaded gingerbread

June 6, 2019

Miranda Gore Browne calls this rainy day gingerbread in her book Biscuit. It is certainly good for that, and any kind of weather really. it is a hearty biscuit that will warm you up with a good cuppa.

1 c wholemeal spelt
1 c ground oats
3/4 c demerara sugar
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch salt
150g butter at room temperature
1/3 c crystallised ginger, chopped
1/3 c mixed peel, chopped
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp treacle or molasses

1 tbsp wholemeal spelt
3 tbsp ground oats
1 tsp groun...
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Chocolate lamington cake

June 4, 2019

What's better than a lamington? A giant lamington cake! I made this to celebrate Boomerang Bags Dominion Rd reaching 2019 recycled reusable cloth bags since its inception in Oct 2017. I started volunteering late 2018 and always enjoy the sewing bee sessions at the Gribblehirst Hub. Lovely bunch of people! This is Julie Le Clerc's recipe. Instead of putting coconut on the top I have a ganache top with royal icing.

4 eggs
1 c caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
pinch salt
1 c flour
2 tbsp cocoa powder...
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Chocolate shortbread

June 2, 2019

Here's an easy way to make cute wedges of shortbread - in a cake tin! From one of my favourite baking books at the moment, Bake Me Home by Alice Arndell (HarperCollins, 2015)

150g butter
1/2 c brown sugar or ground coconut/rapadura sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 c flour (I used spelt)
1/3 c cocoa
1 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 150C. Line a 23cm round cake tin with baking paper.

Cream butter and sugar in a bowl until sugar has dissolved. Beat in vanilla. Sift in flour, cocoa and salt. Mix to combine....

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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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