Oaty White Choc Chip Cookies

Why is it that sometimes the ugliest looking biscuits taste the best?

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Oaty White Choc Chip Biscuits
from Donna Hay Kids First Issue

125g softened butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
3/4 cup plain flour, sifted
1/2 tsp baking powder, sifted
1/4 cup slivered almonds (I skipped this and added milk choc chips instead)
1/4 cup white choc chips

Preheat the oven to 180 degees celsius. Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mix and beat until light and creamy. Add the eggs and beat well. Add the oats, flour baking powder, almonds (if adding) and choc chips and mix to combine. Spoon tablespoons of the mix onto a baking tray lined with non stick baking paper and flatten slightly. Bake for 10 minutes or until golden. Makes 40.

Raspberry Jam Coconut Slice

Firstly apologies that I’ve not blogged for a while. Last week was catch up time at home after a week away in the States.

The boys are pleased to see my creative energy returning and being applied to making sweet treats. This one was an absolute winner – Raspberry Jam Coconut Slice.

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Mine turned out slightly different to the picture on Taste. I guess my baking tin must have been slightly smaller as the base on my version looks a little thicker.

The biscuit base is cooked first before spreading it with jam and then topping with the coconut mixture and returning to the oven.

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The taste is quite similar to a jam drop so I’m hoping I might be off the hook from making jam drops for a while. This recipe is a whole lot less time consuming.

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Healthy Chocolate Biscuits…well not really

I’m always on the look out for a new biscuit recipe. The latest that took my fancy was “Healthy Chocolate Biscuits”. Really?

To be honest if I’m making biscuits it is not a priority that they are healthy. The way I figure is that a biscuit here or there never hurt anyone. Well…it certainly doesn’t hurt me because I normally only eat one or two, three at the most out of any batch I make.

When I looked through the ingredients list they didn’t look all that healthy. There was butter, albeit olive oil blend, sugar, yes brown – but is that really healthier? I had all of the ingredients on hand so I gave it a whirl.

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Healthy Chocolate Biscuit
from taste.com.au

25g Olive Grove Lite Spread
80g Nutella
90g brown sugar
1 egg white
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 2/3 cup (250g) self-raising flour

Preheat oven to 180°C. Line a large baking tray with non-stick baking paper. Use a wooden spoon to mix the spread and Nutella in a large bowl until well combined.
Add the brown sugar, egg white, egg and flour. Stir until the mixture comes together. Knead the mixture gently until smooth.

Roll the mixture into 32 balls. Place on the tray. Use the back of a fork to firmly press, flattening slightly.

Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the biscuits are firm and crisp. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

The looked great, but…they tasted pretty ordinary to me. Then my husband came out with a great suggestion – add a thin coating of crispy white icing.

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Perfect. But totally destroyed any element of ‘healthy’ that may have existed before!

Lamingtons & Meat Pies

I couldn’t settle for just Iced Vo-Vos on Australia Day! We simply had to have Lamingtons too!

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I used a bit of a cheats recipe…again…using store bought cake. I blamed the wet weather for not making my own sponge. I figured it would sink if I tried to make it myself. This recipe was fantastic!

I cut the cake into little squares and then dipped it in the chocolate icing mix. I used a little less water than specified in the recipe as I thought it would be a little too runny.

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I then rolled the cake in coconut.

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Voile…lamingtons!

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Next on the list…meat pies. These little beauties were baked in large muffin pans.

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I used this recipe. Whilst it does take quite a lot of time for the delicious chunky beef filling to simmer away, the wait is well worth it.

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Once the simmering is done the filling is spooned into the pastry before baking in the oven.

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A good old fashioned Aussie meat pie.

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Preparing for Australia Day Celebrations

If you grew up in Australia as a child of the 70s you might remember how good Iced Vo-Vos used to taste. If you’ve tried them recently you’ve probably noticed they just aren’t the same.

Iced Vo-Vos are an Australian icon so in honor of Australia Day tomorrow I decided to try making some semi-home made Iced Vo-Vos and I think they tastes just like the 70s version.

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I had a little head start on these by using Arnotts Milk Coffee biscuits as the base. I then made the pink icing for the strips down the side of the biscuit by gently melting 300g of pink marshmallows with a little (40g) unsalted butter.

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I then added a third of a cup of sifted icing sugar to the melted marshmallows and stirred to combine. I let this cool a little before spreading the pink icing either side of the biscuit.

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I then dipped the biscuit in desicated coconut to carefully coat the icing layer.

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Lastly, I gently warmed some three berry jam (raspberry jam would be fine too) and then carefully spread it down the centre of the biscuit.

Serve with milk and time travel back to 1978.

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Sticky Sweet Baklava

Who doesn’t love Baklava! I’ve always thought it would be time consuming and fiddly to make – but it’s not!  I particularly love these little Baklava fingers.

Baklava
based on a recipe from here and here

3/4 cup sesame seeds
2 cups walnuts, finely chopped
2 cups blanched almonds
1/4 cup ground cinnamon
8 sheets filo pastry
100g butter, melted

Syrup
1 375g jar honey
165g (3/4 cup) sugar
250mls (1 cup) water
1 lemon, rind finely grated and juiced

Preheat oven to 200°C. Lightly grease a shallow baking tray.

Place sesame seeds in a small, non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Cook, shaking pan gently, for 3 to 5 minutes or until golden and toasted. Transfer to a bowl. Combine walnuts, almonds, sugar and cinnamon in the bowl of a food processor and process using the pulse button until they are finely chopped. Combine with sesame seeds.

Brush 1 pastry sheet with butter. Fold in half crossways to form a rectangle.

Sprinkle 1/4 cup walnut/almond mixture evenly over pastry. Starting from one long end, roll up into a log. Brush with butter. Place on baking tray. Repeat with remaining pastry, butter and walnut mixture. Bake baklava for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden. Allow to cool on baking tray.

Meanwhile, to make the honey syrup, combine honey, sugar, water, lemon rind and juice in a saucepan and stir over high heat until sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil and maintain over medium heat for 10 minutes or until the syrup has thickened slightly.

Cover with foil and store at room temperature in the tin for up to 2 weeks. Cut each baklava diagonally into 3 pieces. Serve.