My lovely Swedish friend recently lent me one of her baking cookbooks and I’ve been having a fabulous time translating recipes and learning the Swedish words for certain ingredients and cooking techniques. So far I’ve baked two cakes, as well as these delicious chocolate biscuits… all in the space of a week. They’re really quite easy to make and they taste just as wonderful as they look on the plate! Continue reading →
The lemons in our garden are still a deep shade of green, but having almost reached a mature size, I catch myself daydreaming about what to do with them all once fully ripe. These lemon and poppyseed biscuits/cookies are a wonderful way of utilising some of the zest, while at the same time creating a beautiful, little treat to pair nicely with a cup of tea or coffee. Continue reading →
The Primary School my youngest son attends has recently released a cookbook. It’s a beautiful compilation of family favourites from our school community, packed full of stunning food photographs taken by a talented local photographer. One of the recipes in this book (contributed by our Principal, no less…) jolted my memory of a biscuit/cookie that I used to make quite frequently many years ago, when we lived in New Zealand.
I’ve adapted her recipe here, almost beyond recognition, to try to re-create the fragrant, mostly healthful macaroon from my past. It comes extremely close to being just how I remember it. Continue reading →
A few weeks ago, I shared with you a recipe for Afghan Biscuits, which I mentioned at the time, ticked all the boxes for biscuit perfection. Now I’d prefer not to retract that statement, as I really did mean it at the time… however, this little delight, the Sarah Bernhardt Cookie has to be the most celebratory, luscious and decadent of all the biscuits/cookies I’ve ever tasted. Continue reading →
TheAfghan Biscuit is an iconic and adored New Zealand biscuit/cookie, which in my opinion, ticks every single box of biscuit perfection. Not only do they look stunning, they have a taste and texture all of their own. Continue reading →
I’ve been craving buttery French biscuits over the past few days.
While perusing the shelves of our local library, I came across a wonderful book of artisanal recipes from the Parisian Chocolatier ‘A La Mere de Famille’. It’s filled with the most mouth-watering treats, ranging from cakes and biscuits to chocolates and confectionary and then continuing on to jams and ice cream. The original shop, situated on the Rue du Faubourg-Montmartre in the 9th Arrondissement was first opened in 1761 and looks like a truly magical place to visit… especially for one with such a sweet tooth. Continue reading →
It gets a little crazy around here at Christmas time… our school year in Australia finishes up in the middle of December, so with Christmas following about a week later and all that that entails… along with plans and thoughts given to the long school break, one would hopefully be forgiven for being slightly absent from the blogosphere over the past couple of weeks. Continue reading →
To celebrate the first day of Spring here in the Southern Hemisphere… I’ve created a little floral-infused shortbread recipe to get the season off to a happy start.
The addition of lavender to these buttery, yet light little biscuits may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it works for me… you could always omit the flowers if you’d prefer, or substitute for perhaps some chopped nuts, some citrus zest or another flavour of your choice.
Here’s to a warm and wonderful Spring and a farewell to winter for another year. Continue reading →
Sometimes life throws a little curve ball at you and knocks you down for a week or two. It was the flu that knocked me down just recently and as much as I’m finally back to at least feeling human again, the lingering cough is still proving hard to shake.
So after a lengthy period of completely healthful hot soups, tisanes and the like, I was ready yesterday to treat myself… with some Viennese Biscuits that not only taste lovely, but are pretty to the eye as well. The recipe found while rustling through an old ‘Le Cordon Bleu’ Biscuit Cookbook. Forgive me for not posting recipes for soups and flu-kicking hot honey and lemon drinks, but to be honest, I’m a little over them all right now… perhaps some other time! Continue reading →
For those who I’ve managed to catch (just in the nick of time!) with their hand reaching out… hovering in guilty indecision… I ask you very kindly to leave that packet of cookies/biscuits on the supermarket shelf… step away from the cookie aisle… and gather up the ingredients listed below instead.Continue reading →
There are some places in the world that eat into your very soul and become a part of who you are. Places of near impossible beauty, both in their surrounds and in their essence.
I left behind a sizeable chunk of my heart to such a place. I wasn’t ready to leave (perhaps I never would have, if given the choice), but love of another kind and duty dictated it to be so. I believe that one day we will return, my heart and I, to piece it back together and be whole once again. Continue reading →
Flicking through the pages of one of my favourite cookbooks, I almost paid off this recipe completely, by the mere title of it. You see, for Australians and New Zealanders, Chocolate Crackles are one of the mainstays of children’s Birthday parties. Rice Bubbles (the equivalent of Rice Crispies elsewhere) are congealed together using Copha (hydrogenated coconut oil), cocoa, desiccated coconut and icing sugar. No baking required – just show a little patience and that copha will re-solidify! I’m very well aware that many children (and adults) were delighted to find Chocolate Crackles adorning the party table… just NOT me! I was always more of a Honey Joykind of girl…Continue reading →
The last few weeks have primarily been spent nursing children (and myself…) back to health from the coughs and colds that winter invariably brings. Days spent juicing oranges, reading books, cooking comfort food and playing the occasional quiet board game… fine for a day or two, but let’s just say I’m thankful that children are now back at school and that life can finally drift back to normality. Drafts for three different posts I’d hoped to share with you, sit half-written from this period. All seemed a little flat and lacklustre (exactly as I was feeling) in both the writing and photos, so when time permits I’ll attempt to spice them up with some new, improved photos and a touch of editing, before sending them out. A winter-warming soup and a beautifully fragrant casserole were amongst the three, so it really won’t be much of a hardship to cook them over again…
During this time, I’ve also had a little fun playing around with my favourite choc-chip cookie recipe, adding various combinations of spices, cocoa, coffee and chocolate. This was much to the delight of my super-keen taste-testers who probably couldn’t taste a thing with their blocked noses, but loved the fact that we were experimenting all the same! A home economics, food appreciation and science lesson packed into one… Some batches were a little over the top in my enthusiasm for packing a punch of flavour, so when the following cookies came out of the oven, I was very relieved that the flavours I wanted were there, but with a touch more grace and subtlety.
½ Teaspoon Instant Coffee (crushed to a fine powder)
100g Chopped Milk (or Dark) Chocolate
Pre-heat the oven to 180°C. Line 2 baking trays with parchment/baking paper.
Melt the butter in a small saucepan, over gentle heat. Once melted, remove from the heat and tip into a large mixing bowl, along with the sugar and mix well with a wooden spoon. Add the egg and vanilla extract and once again, mix well. Sift in the flour, baking powder, Chinese Five Spice, coffee and salt and stir until combined. Add in the chopped chocolate and mix gently.
Onto the baking trays, scoop teaspoonfuls of the mixture, leaving a little space around each. Bake for about 10 minutes for a crispy texture, or a minute or two less if you prefer soft.
Remove to a cooling rack for at least a couple of minutes, before tasting…