Thursday, June 28, 2012

Chocolate porridge

Have I ever mentioned that I love chocolate? I mean, my kids love it more, but chocolate is one of the 5 essential food groups in my house (along with cheese, pasta, sausages and chicken... I can make an unbelievable amount of foods with cheese, pasta, sausages and chicken, with one or two other ingredients). But this. This is a recipe I threw together one morning because Goose (the 9 year old) decided she didn't like porridge. Apparently, the oats have little to no flavour. So here it is.

  • 1 mug instant oats
  • 1 heaped tablespoon caster sugar
  • 1 heaped tablespoon cocoa powder (as dark as you can get it)
  • 2 mugs milk
  1. Stir all the ingredients together in a large microwave-able jug.
  2. Mix in the milk.
  3. Microwave on high for 1 minute, stir.
  4. Microwave for a further minute, stir.
  5. Divide into 4 bowls, serve with cream or milk as preferred.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Snickerdoodles - The Infoxicated Version

The girls school has a strict "no nuts" policy, and that pretty much means no muesli bars, too (just in case), so I end up baking almost every weekend, just to make sure I adhere to the policy (well, that and I like to try new recipes, and I like knowing with the kids are eating). I'm always after a new recipe, and this weeks was snickerdoodles. For the non USAnians among my readers, snickerdoodles are a very sweet, chewy, cinnamon coated cookie (biscuit), similar in mouth feel to a very chewy shortbread. Think of a crispy outside, chewy inside, cinnamon donut flavoured cookie, and you've got it. Today, I went looking for a recipe, and it turns out that The Australian Woman's Weekly BAKE! has the recipe in it. I (of course) don't have the book (though I'm told it's very very good), but some kind soul had copied the recipe out for someone and placed it online. I also didn't have all the right ingredients, so I adapted it slightly... Actually, I used a known substitution. I didn't have brown sugar, but I know I can use 1.5 cups caster sugar per cup brown sugar, so I did the maths, and we've ended up using 3/4 cup caster sugar in place of the 1/2 cup brown sugar. Anyway, here's the recipe :

  • 250g softened butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar (this is where I used 3/4 cup caster sugar)
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 2 3/4 cups plain (all purpose) flour
  • 1 teaspoon bi-carb soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 eggs

  • 1 tablespoon caster sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon

  1. Beat butter, extract and sugars in a large bowl until creamy. Beat eggs in one at a time.
  2. Sift the flours, nutmeg and bicarb soda into a separate bowl, then add slowly to the butter/sugar/egg mixture.
  3. Refrigerate covered for 30 minutes.
  4. Preheat oven to 180C/350F (160C/320F fan forced)
  5. Mix extra sugar and cinnamon together in a small bowl
  6. Roll level tablespoons of mixture into balls
  7. Roll balls in cinnamon sugar and place on ungreased (I lined mine) baking trays, approximately 7cm(2 3/4in) apart
  8. Bake for approximately 12 minutes
  9. Cool on trays.

I have to admit, I forgot the eggs, and they still turned out wonderfully - more shortbread like in texture. They just weren't as easy to handle when rolling into balls, too "short", to use the bakers term.