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Food, general thoughts, food…


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Chewy Choc Chip Biscuits

These worked out very nicely. Don’t leave them in the oven too long, they literally take minutes to cook and the bottoms are susceptible to scorching if left too long on a bottom shelf.
Those disasters are fairly easily avoided by paying attention to what you are doing, I am easily distracted so it’s harder than it sounds some days. This aside, mine turned out pretty well indeed.
Munching on one of these as I write, I can tell you they are more soft than chewy but they are certainly delicious.

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes about 28 cookies

1 cup butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped pecans

In a bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter and brown
sugar until well blended. Beat in eggs and vanilla until smooth,
scraping down sides of bowl as needed.
In another bowl, mix flour, baking soda, and salt. Stir or beat into
butter mixture until well incorporated. Stir in chocolate chips and
pecans, if using.
Drop dough in 2-tablespoon portions, 5cm apart, onto
buttered baking sheets.
Bake in a 200C oven until cookies are lightly browned and no longer wet
in the center (break one open to check), 6 to 8 minutes; if baking more
than one pan at a time, switch pan positions halfway through baking.
Let them cool on the trays, they will break apart if you try to move them while they are too warm.

 

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She’s my Cherry……Cobbler…..

Sitting here with a good dollop of runny cream is my answer to a box of frozen cherries found lurking in the near empty freezer. I am currently on a mission to empty and defrost that particular freezer so it is an ‘everything must go’ situation.

Now my Daughter and I both particularly enjoy the Warrant song ‘Cherry Pie’ but after giving some thought to a cooking ode to the song I decided I wanted something a tad easier to throw together mid-week, so I settled on Cherry Cobbler. It doesn’t quite have the same ring to it when you try to sing it but it certainly goes down well as a dessert. There are even left overs for tomorrow night, this is the box of cherries that just keeps on giving, bless them.

Cherry Cobbler

500g box cherries, pitted
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
4 teaspoons corn starch
Good squeeze of lemon juice (to taste, I like my cherries tart, you could also cut the sugar if desired)

Topping:
1 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3 tablespoons butter
1 egg, beaten
3 tablespoons milk

Preheat oven to 200C. In a saucepan combine filling ingredients and cook,  stirring until bubbling and thickened. Pour into a 20cm baking dish.
Meanwhile, stir together flour, sugars, baking powder, and cinnamon. Cut in butter until it is crumbly. (I rubbed it in with my fingers, its quicker)
Mix together egg and milk. Add to flour mixture and stir with a fork just until combined.
Drop topping by tablespoonful’s onto filling.
Bake for 25 minutes until browned and bubbly (I think mine took a bit longer)


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Tropical Chicken

Chicken, chicken, chicken. As you can see we can never get enough and no matter how the recipe says to prepare it, I seem to find a way to cut it into little chunks before cooking. In my defence, I do this not only because it means more surface area to get coated in the yummy sauce but it also makes it easier for me to serve a portion out for 3 people when I normally have 4 or 5 fillets to prepare.

This recipe is reminiscent of the Chicken with Lime Sauce that I made a while back. I didn’t add sherry to this one but I did add a good additional squirt of lime juice at the end, just to give it that real tang before serving. There was not much additional sauce aside from what clung to the chicken but that was enough to flavour everything in the bowl as it was pretty intense.

Tropical Chicken
Makes 4 Servings

Sauce:
Juice of 1 large lime, about 2 tablespoons
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

For the chicken
1 tablespoon canola oil
500g thin-sliced skinless boneless chicken breasts   (diced thigh fillets as per usual)

Combine the sauce: Squeeze 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice  into a small bowl. Add the vinegar, brown sugar, garlic powder, ginger, cinnamon, allspice, and cayenne and stir  to combine.
In a large nonstick skillet, heat the canola oil over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook for 2 minutes per side, until golden brown and the chicken lifts easily off the surface of the pan without sticking.
Transfer to a platter and keep warm.
Pour the sauce mixture into the pan and cook, stirring, about 2 minutes.
Return the chicken to the pan and heat it briefly, turning it once to coat with the sauce. Remove the pan from the heat. Serve each breast with a little sauce spooned over   it.


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Quick and Tasty Brownies

This recipe was titled ‘best ever brownies’.
I am not sure that they quite live up to that reputation but they are simple and quick to make with fewer ingredients than a lot of brownie recipes I have seen in the past. They are not overly sweet, which I like and the crowd seemed to approve. They are well worth a try.

I found that 20mins in the oven was sufficient although the recipe called for 25-35 but it could just be that my oven runs a little hot.

Best Ever Brownies
Serves: 12

150 g butter
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
2 eggs
½ cup plain flour
½ cup cocoa

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time on low speed.
Mix through flour and cocoa.
Bake at 160°C for 25-35 minutes. (20mins in my oven)
Serve warm with cream and/or ice cream.


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No Bake Caramel Slice

I made the last caramel slice in my recipe folder this weekend, a simple no bake slice made of crushed biscuits and condensed milk plus a few other ingredients. This would be a good recipe to make with the kids as all the heating was done in the microwave. It was quick and easy so with a bit of supervision and adult handling of the hot stuff they could enjoy making something sticky and sweet before their attention wandered off elsewhere.

So next up is the chocolate folder. This will require a trip to the supermarket without a doubt, as my chocolate stocks are low at the moment (I have a family with a grazing problem). Currently I have half a cheese cake, and portions of 3 different caramel slices in the refrigerator so I may have to restrain myself and ease up on the compulsive baking for a while until we clean out enough room in the fridge. I need a second family to feed…

No Bake Caramel Slice
Serves: 30

120 g butter
1 tablespoon golden syrup
3 tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons condensed milk
1 x 250 g packet Marie biscuits, minus 3-4 biscuits

Crush Marie biscuits and set aside.
Mix together butter, golden syrup, brown sugar and condensed milk.
Microwave for 2-3 minutes at 30 second intervals until mixture is hot and bubbling.
Add crushed biscuits.
Press into slice tin to set.


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Caramel Fudge Brownies

Oh this one was delightful. The inside texture is fudgy and the outside slightly chewy. Frankly it couldn’t go wrong really, I mean, white chocolate and a tin of caramel, it didn’t even have the faintest hope of not being fabulous.
Team all that with being quick and easy and you have my vote, 100%.
They should give these things away at the polls…give you some real incentive to be there, above and beyond picking the next nitwit to represent your state. You know that whoever you vote for will only turn out to be a good as the last guy and that isn’t a much of a compliment most of the time. At least if they gave you a good fudgy, chewy, brownie like morsel of heaven to chew on afterwards it might take the bitter, ‘just wasted 4 hours of my Saturday in a queue to do something that doesn’t even seem to make a difference even though I hope against hope it does’ taste out of your mouth….

It did say somewhere that these will last for a week in an airtight container *lapses into hysterical laughter* Not in my house they won’t!!!

Caramel Fudge Brownies

3 eggs
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
100 g butter, melted
200 g white chocolate, melted
1 cup plain flour
1 x 330 g can caramel top’n’fill

Grease and line 20 cm x 30 cm lamington tray with baking paper to cover the base and up the sides. Beat eggs and sugar in a bowl with electric mixer on high for 4 minutes until thick.
Reduce speed and beat in the tin of caramel, then beat in melted butter, melted chocolate and flour. Pour mixture into tray. Bake in preheated oven at 160°C for 40-45 minutes or until firm in centre. Remove from oven, cool brownie in pan, then lift out using lining paper and cut into squares.


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Caramel Date Bars

This tasted a bit like sticky date pudding without the sticky. It had a cakey/biscuity crumbly texture, dryer than the pudding variety. The nuts were best on the first day, toasty and delicious.

I like dates, they look like squished bush cockroaches but they taste really good, I love it when they get kind of candied…mmm. Not that I am authority on the taste of cockroaches, I have seen them eaten by the odd person on the Food Channel but am not about to rid my local park of their pest problem by chowing down myself. I’ll stick to my dates thank you very much. I’ll save the bug eating for the apocalypse, don’t want to run out beforehand now do we?

Caramel Date Bars

½ cup butter or margarine
¾ cup brown sugar
1 egg
½ cup chopped dates
½ cup chopped walnuts
1 cup self-raising flour
Pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 180°C.
Grease or line a cake pan with baking paper.
Melt butter and sugar over slow heat. Mix well and allow to cool.
Beat egg and add to the butter and sugar.
In a separate bowl, add dates, walnuts and flour.
Add the egg, butter and sugar mixture to the dry ingredients and mix until smooth.
Press mixture into cake pan and bake for 20-30 minutes.
Allow to cool in pan. Cut into finger lengths.