Smartie Cookies

This week’s lunchbox treat is a little sweeter than usual…

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Smartie Cookies
from Woman’s Day

125g butter, chopped, at room temperature
1 cup brown sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
1 cup plain flour, sifted
1 cup desiccated coconut
2 x 180g packet Smarties

Preheat oven to moderate, 180°C. Lightly grease 3 baking trays.
Using an electric mixer, in a small bowl cream butter, sugar and vanilla together until light and fluffy. Add egg, beating well. Fold in sifted flour, coconut and Smarties (I left these out at this step and instead pressed these into the top of the rolled and flattened biscuits). Add a little water if mixture is too dry. Roll tablespoonfuls of mixture into balls. Arrange on prepared trays about 3cm apart. Flatten slightly.

Bake for 10-15 minutes until golden. Let cool slightly before transferring to a wire rack to cool. Store in an airtight container.

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.

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!

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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Spooky Halloween Biscuits

As part of the Halloween celebrations I made some spooky biscuits, (totally) inspired by the coolest idea on the BBC Food website.

Infact, the only small alteration I made was to use strawberry jam for the ‘blood’ rather than red food colouring, as used by BBC Food.  The biscuit recipe is available on the BBC Food website. Isn’t this a fun idea!

And…on a far more clever note…look what my sister created for Halloween celebrations in her neck of the woods!

Crunchy, Sweet Anzac Biscuits

For some strange reason when I don’t seem to have the right ingredients to make anything else I always have what’s needed for Anzac Biscuits. But…interestingly enough they always seem to taste a little different – this time they were crunchy but sometimes they are chewy and other times soft.  Keeps it interesting!

Anzac Biscuits
from the Australian Women’s Weekly The Big Book of Beautiful Biscuits

1 cup rolled oats
1 cup plain flour
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup desiccated coconut
125g butter
2 tablespoons golden syrup
1 tablespoon boiling water
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
 
Combine oats, sifted flour, sugar and coconut in large bowl. Combine butter and golden syrup, stir over gentle heat until melted. Mix soda with boiling water, add to melted butter mixture, stir into dry ingredients.
 
Place rounded tablespoons of mixture on lightly greased oven trays allowing room for spreading. Cook in a slow oven 20 minutes. Loosen while warm, then cool on trays. Makes about 35.
 
Maybe one day I’ll work out why they taste slightly different each time I make them.  Let me know how they turn out for you.

Mmmm…Double Chocolate Chip Biscuits

Have you ever made chocolate chip biscuits with condensed milk in the recipe?  It adds a smooth, slightly caramel taste to the biscuit base.  Delicious!  I usually follow the Nestle recipe that incorporates condensed milk with white and dark chocolate chips.  This is one of my favourites.

But, for something different I tried a very similar recipe from Masterchef 2010 and was very happy with the result.

Chocolate Chip Biscuits
from Masterchef

250g butter, softened
½ cup caster sugar
½ 395g can (1/2 cup) sweetened condensed milk
21/2 cups self raising flour, sifted
1 cup white choc bits
1 cup milk or dark choc bits

Preheat oven 180°C. Line baking trays with baking paper.

Using the large bowl of the Mixmaster, beat the butter, sugar and condensed milk on high speed (7-9) until pale and creamy. Reduce speed to low (1-3), add the flour and mix until the dough almost comes together.

Remove the bowl from the Mixmaster, add the choc bits and stir until well combined. Roll heaped tablespoons of mixture into balls and place onto baking trays, allowing a little room for spreading. Flatten slightly with fingertips or a fork.

Bake for 14-16 minutes until light golden. Stand 5 minutes on trays before transferring biscuits to a wire rack to cool.

Teeny Tiny Jam Drops

A few weeks back I received the most gorgeous little jam drop perched on the lid of my take-away coffee.  Just one little mouthful…oh so cute!

I just had to create a batch of my own mini jam drops.  I amended my usual recipe to make something just slightly more healthy, using wholemeal flour and CSR’s new low-calorie sugar that includes Stevia.

180g butter, softened
1/2 cup CSR Smart Sugar with Stevia or 1 cup caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg
1 cup plain flour, sifted
1 and a half cups wholemeal flour, sifted
Half tsp baking powder
Strawberry jam

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius. Place the butter, sugar and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat until light and creamy. Add the egg and beat well. Sift over the flour and baking powder and mix to form a smooth dough. 

Roll half a teaspoon of the mixture into balls. Cut the ball in half and place on a baking tray lined with non-stick baking paper. Place a little jam on the tip of a knife and press it into the centre  of the biscuit. Bake for six minutes.

This quantity made 120.  I might need to sell some to the local coffee shop!

Duck, Duck, Rabbit

It’s been a miserable rainy day in Brisbane today. The boys were bored silly so we made and decorated biscuits. If you have a food processor you are going to love this oh, so simple biscuit recipe.

Animal Biscuits
based on a recipe on taste.com.au

250g chilled unsalted butter, chopped
2 1/2 cups plain flour
3/4 cup (165g) caster sugar
1 egg
ICING:
1 1/2 cup (75g) icing sugar, sifted
1 1/2 tabsp boiling water

Whiz butter and flour in a food processor until mix resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add caster sugar and pulse to combine. Add egg and process until mixture comes together. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead for 1 minute or until smooth. Divide in half, press into discs, enclose in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 180°C. Line 4 baking trays with baking paper. Roll dough out on a floured surface to 4-5mm thick. Cut animal shapes from dough and place on trays. Re-roll dough scraps once and cut more shapes. Bake for 8-10 minutes until light golden. Cool on trays.

Mix icing sugar and boiling water in a bowl, then spread over the biscuits with a palette knife or the back of a spoon. Leave to set for 1 hour.