There are many reasons to love shortbread, both the making and eating:
Shortbread is generally made with regular flour. Today, we're using kamut. The result is a rich, deep flavour that I think you'll love as much as we do.
You'll notice I include a bit of rice flour in the recipe. This helps give the shortbread light texture and perfect crumb. If you don't have rice flour on hand, just add an extra 50g kamut.
200g kamut flour
50g white rice flour
125g butter (or Nutalex)
70g caster sugar
1 tbsp lavender flowers
1 tbsp lemon juice
Cream butter and sugar until light and airy, add remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Don't go too crazy or it'll be a tough shortbread.
Press into the bottom of tart or cake tin - one with a removable base!.
Cut into slices with a knife then prick all over with a fork.
Pop in the fridge for 15 mins. Then turn your oven on to 170C (150C fan forced).
Bake on the centre rack of the oven for 20 mins. Remove from the oven and let rest for 10 mins before carefully removing from the tin and sliding onto a cooling rack.
Store in an airtight container in the fridge; it'll keep for up to a week. Freezes really well for up to 3 months.
We have another no-bake goody for you; this one to add a bit of fanfare to lunchboxes and comfort to afternoon tea.
The humble chocolate crackle can be traced back to an advertisement in the Australian Women's Weekly, in 1937. The ad and accompanying recipe were created by the company behind COPHA, which is a solidified, hydrogenated coconut oil.
That's right - COPHA is coconut oil! All these years I thought it was some kind of chemical margarine-type creation.
But before you go running to the supermarket to stock up on COPHA, pay heed to an important word in its description: hydrogenated. Hydrogenated coconut oil helps keep the oil solid in warm temperatures but also increases the amount of trans fats, which is not good for us.
Our recipe uses untreated extra virgin coconut oil instead. The crackles still set and are transportable and don't have to be eaten with a spoon.
Makes 24 small or 12 regular
2 cups Crispy Rice Puffs
1/4 cup Rapadura Sugar (or sweetener of choice)
1/2 cup Desiccated Coconut
1/4 cup Alkalised Cocoa Powder*
1/2 cup melted Coconut Oil
Combine first 4 ingredients in a mixing bowl, then pour in the coconut oil. Stir gently to combine.
Place spoonfuls of mixture into mini baking cups and pop in the fridge. They'll take about 30 mins to set.
Chocolate crackles will keep in the fridge, in a sealed container, for 3 days, or for up to 6 weeks in the freezer.
*alkalised cocoa powder and raw cacao powder are interchangeable in this recipe.
When the weather heats up and I fancy making a sweet treat, I inevitably turn to raw desserts. The benefits: no oven needed, and the recipes are quick and simple.
These are my family favourites: Peanut Butter Cups. Half an hour and a bit of stirring is all it takes to make these delicious morsels.
Makes 12-16 small cups
EQUIPMENT YOU'LL NEED
I use a silicone ice cube tray to set my peanut butter cups, any shape or size will do. If you use a tray meant for standard sized ice cubes you'll get 12-16 peanut butter cups from this recipe. If you have chocolate molds feel free to use them. I have also successfully used a small square container lined with baking paper; doing it this way means you'll have 1 large peanut butter cup slab, which you can then cut into squares when frozen.
For Chocolate layer:
2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
3 tbsp raw cacao or alkalised cocoa powder (or more depending how rich you fancy it)
2 tbsp rice malt syrup, honey or maple syrup
For Peanut Butter layer:
1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
2 tbsp peanut butter
1 tbsp rice malt syrup, honey or maple syrup
Pinch of salt
Step 1. CHOCOLATE LAYER: Combine chocolate layer ingredients in a small saucepan and melt over low heat for a minute, just to enable the blending of ingredients smoothly together.
Using a teaspoon, spoon chocolate mixture into your silicone tray/container of choice. You'll use about 2 tsp of mixture per peanut butter cup.
Place the silicon tray in the freezer so it can freeze while you make the peanut butter layer
Step 2. PEANUT BUTTER LAYER: Combine peanut butter layer ingredients in a small saucepan and melt over low heat for a minute, just to enable the blending of ingredients smoothly together.
Retrieve your silicone tray from the freezer. Use a teaspoon to spoon peanut butter mixture on top of the now set chocolate layer. Return tray to freezer.
In 15 mins your peanut butter cups are ready to devour! Remember to keep uneaten ones in the freezer - any desserts made with coconut oil rely on being frozen to keep their form.
Tip: spray measuring cups, measuring spoons and silicon mould with oil. It makes the syrup and nut butter behave much better, and you leave no residue behind.
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*Use almond butter instead of peanut
*add a few drops of vanilla to the chocolate mixture
*instead of cocoa powder, use 2-3 tbl chocolate drops. They will take a bit more melting but the result is deliciously decadent.
It's not officially the holiday season until that first gingerbread biscuit has been wolfed down, am I right?
We wanted to bring you the perfect gingerbread biscuit recipe. But that statement alone is plagued with trouble - we all have a different idea of perfect! However we think we've nailed it with this recipe.
May the streets of your neighbourhood be filled with the salubrious scent of baking gingerbread over the next couple of weeks.
Makes approx 30
1/2 cup honey, maple syrup or brown rice syrup
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp ground ginger
2 tsp mixed spice
2 1/2 cups cake flour
1 tsp bicarb soda
Preheat the oven to 180C-200C.
Place butter, honey/maple syrup/rice syrup and brown sugar in a small saucepan, and heat until melted. Cool in a saucepan for approximately 20 minutes.
Add egg to the butter mixture and whisk well.
Place ginger, mixed spice, bicarb and flour in a mixing bowl and mix well.
Add butter mix and stir to combine into a sticky dough.**
To make gingerbread shapes, roll out the sticky, thick mixture between sheets of baking paper, to ½ cm thick, and use a biscuit cutter to cut out shapes. The thinner you roll the crunchier the biscuit will be. Place on an oven tray lined with baking paper or a reusable silicone wrap. Place gingerbread shapes on a tray leaving 3cm between each biscuit.
OR to make plain roundish biscuits simply place teaspoon sized balls of the dough onto the lined tray, spaced apart.
Bake for 8-10 mins. Leave on the tray for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Store the biscuits in an airtight container for up to a week or you can freeze them for up to a month.
**At this point you can roll the dough into a log and wrap in cling wrap (to prevent freezer burn) and freeze for up to 6 months. You can then simply thaw, cut and bake fresh when required.
For a Gluten Free Version:
You can substitute the cake flour for an All Purpose Gluten Free Flour but you may need to add a bit more liquid sweetener to balance the dough texture.
Wattleseeds are Australia's beloved Golden Wattle tree's gift to the culinary world. Roasted and ground much like coffee beans, they resemble coffee in appearance and even a little in taste - although much milder in flavour - along with a subtle note of hazelnut.
So with a flavour and aroma reminiscent of coffee and hazelnuts, you can imagine how well it lends itself to all sorts of baked goods: try adding a spoonful or 2 to your favourite banana bread recipe, Anzac biscuits, choc chip cookies or pancake batter!
Here is the ultimate breakfast muffin recipe.
2 cups wholemeal or white self raising flour
1 generous tbsp ground wattleseed
1/2 cup sugar
100g salted butter, melted
3/4 cup milk
Few drops Bloomfield vanilla essence
½ cup 55% dark chocolate chips
Pre-heat oven to 180 C.
Combine the flour, baking powder, wattle seed and sugar in a bowl.
Add melted butter to the dry ingredients, along with the eggs. Beat with a whisk or an electric beater until smooth. Gradually add the milk and vanilla and mix until combined. Fold chocolate chips into the mixture.
Pour into the wells of a greased muffin tin, filling 3/4 full. Bake for 15 minutes or until the muffins spring back when lightly touched.
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