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Food, general thoughts, food…


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Oatmeal Cookies

Busy time here, financial year end, accounts to be wrapped up, reports to be done, number, figures, totals, additions, subtractions…. I am dreaming about it.

I have also recently been drafted to create a newsletter for our workplace so a part of each week is spent researching and finding news that would apply to not only our immediate office but to our clientele also. It is interesting and a little creative, I am enjoying it but it just another addition to an already busy time right now.

In the meantime my son has come down to visit and somehow it has become a tradition for me to send him home with a care package of freshly baked cookies. It is one of those things that creep up on you, you are not sure how it happened but now you just don’t want to/can’t stop so you make time for the new tradition and so it continues…
This time around I had some porridge oats lying about so I thought I would use them up in the yummiest way possible and made oatmeal cookies (I got the recipe here). I made a double batch, he took a big bagful home and the rest were very quickly devoured by my extended household.

My household still consists of an extra 2 adults at the moment as our couple of newly minted Australian arrivals try to find their feet.
In the end, all we can do is support each other and hope that we can make the world a little less of a harsh environment for those in need. ‘Pay it forward’ seems to be the handy phrase of the moment, so yeah, do that…. And make oatmeal cookies, they are good!

Soft Oatmeal Cookies

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 cups quick cooking oats

In a medium bowl, cream together butter, white sugar, and brown sugar.
Beat in eggs one at a time, then stir in vanilla.
Combine flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon; stir into the creamed mixture.
Mix in oats.
Cover, and chill dough for at least one hour.
Preheat the oven to 190C. Grease cookie sheets.
Roll the dough into walnut sized balls, and place 2 inches apart on cookie sheets.
Flatten each cookie with a large fork dipped in sugar.
Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in preheated oven.
Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

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Pineapple Cookies

Although I was a little disappointed that they didn’t taste more ‘pineappley’ these were tasty little biscuits that were a breeze to make. They ended up being a soft sweet biscuit with the occasional hint of pineapple. I wasn’t confident reading the recipe that these would be very strongly flavoured by the pineapple and it turns out that they were not but it is always fun to experiment and try new things. My husband likes them so they will go in the keeper folder as a possible re-run one day when I run out of new things to try (hahaha)

Pineapple Cookies

1 cup butter
1 cup light brown sugar
3/4 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 cup drained crushed pineapple (this was a whole 440g can minus the juice)
4 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
3 tsps baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup chopped nuts (I used walnuts)

Cream together butter and sugar. Beat in eggs.
Add dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. Stir through pineapple and nuts.
Drop by tablespoon onto lightly sprayed baking sheet.
Bake 180C for 12 minutes.


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Banana Treats

These biscuits surprised me. I was expecting them to be pleasant enough but they far exceeded my expectation by being just marvellous. They were simple to make, the banana flavour was stronger than I expected and the cereal added a pleasant nuttiness. You could make many more biscuits than I did depending on the size you like your biscuits, I made these about 2 Tbls each in size and I found them just right for us.

They lasted 2 days and that was only because I hid half of them. I’ll be making these again this week, before we eat all of the bananas or all of the toasted muesli (granola).

Banana Treats

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 mashed ripe banana
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1 1/2 cups toasted muesli
Vegetable cooking spray

Cream sugar and margarine at medium speed of a mixer until fluffy (about 3 minutes).
Add banana, vanilla, and egg; beat well.
Combine flour, baking soda, and nutmeg; stir.
Add to creamed mixture, beating well.
Stir in muesli.
Drop the dough by level tablespoons onto baking sheets coated with cooking spray.
Bake at 160C for 12 minutes or until lightly browned; let cool on pans 1 minute.
Remove from pans, and let cool completely on wire racks.

 

 


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Oreo Cupcakes

This is a guest recipe, my daughter decided to contribute to the campaign to fatten me up further by making these wonderful Oreo cupcakes. I am not a big Oreo fan but I am a big cupcake fan and the combination of both is amazing. For once I am the eater, not the cooker 🙂 and I am very much enjoying the exchange of roles.

Even if you are not a particular fan of this classic American biscuit, I urge you to try these cupcakes, they are really very good.

Oreo Cupcakes

Cupcakes
2 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
120g butter, room temperature
1 2/3 cups sugar
3 large egg whites, room temperature
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup milk
20 Oreo cookies, coarsely chopped

Frosting
1 2/3 cups whipping cream
3 Tbsp powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
6 Tblsp Oreo cookie crumbs

Preheat the oven to 180C.
Line a muffin tray with cupcake liners. In a bowl, combine the dry ingredients.
Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg whites, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Blend in the vanilla extract. With the mixer speed on low, add half the dry ingredients followed by milk. Beat minimally until just combined and add the rest of the dry ingredients until just mixed. Gently fold in the chopped Oreos.
Fill the liners with batter. Bake until a toothpick inserted comes out clean (about 20mins).
Cool in the tray for 5 minutes and then on a wire rack. Do not frost until completely cool.

To prepare the frosting, in the clean bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the whipping cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract. Beat on medium-high speed until the whipped cream holds stiff peaks. Gently fold in the cookie crumbs with a spatula.
Scoop the mixture into a pastry bag and pipe frosting decoratively on top of the cupcakes. (We had a little trouble getting the frosting to pipe even though the biscuits were thoroughly crushed; maybe we just need a bigger tip)


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For the love of Cardamom

I made these biscuits today purely for my own satisfaction, that is not to say that I am not happy to share them or that no-else likes them, I just made them because I like cardamom.
Cardamom is one of those spices that seems to be perpetually out of fashion, you rarely see recipes with it included but personally, I really like it. It is a fragrant spice that is different from anything else that is readily available in our usual spice palate.

Of course you could substitute any other spice you prefer in this recipe if cardamom isn’t to your taste.

This is a light and dry biscuit, perfect to have with a cup of tea or coffee. I think it is a bit delicate for dunking though so be careful if you are that way inclined.

 

Cardamom Tea Cookies

1 cup butter
1 egg
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
Allow butter and egg to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.
In a large mixing bowl, beat the softened butter with an electric
mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add 2/3 cup sugar; beat
about 5 minutes or until well-combined and very fluffy, scraping sides
of bowl occasionally. Add egg, cardamom, baking soda and salt. Beat
until combined. Beat in as much of the flour as you can; stir in any
remaining flour with a wooden spoon.
Cover and chill dough about 1 hour if it is difficult to handle.
Shape dough into 2.5cm balls. Place 5cm apart on ungreased
cookie sheets. Flatten gently with fingers and sprinkle with extra sugar.
Bake in a 180C oven about 10 minutes or until
edges are just set and bottoms are very lightly browned. Let cookies
cool on sheets for 1 minute. Transfer to wire racks; cool completely.


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Butternut Biscuits

These are a nice sweet biscuit, perfect for dunking in coffee or they would make a nice cheesecake base if you are into baking things just to mush them up again (I’m not, store bought for things like that!). Anyway, they are a lovely biscuit if you are looking for something sweet, relatively plain and hardy enough for a lunch box. That said I am NEVER making them again.

This may seem like a weird statement but, please, let me clarify.

I have a thing and considering the amount of baking I do it will probably seem a little odd, but I HATE getting sticky stuff on my hands. I can handle it, if it comes of fairly readily but if it hangs around and get progressively worse then my stress level elevates rapidly. Normally a biscuit dough comes off your hands as you roll them in your palms but today (it is 7C in my  house this morning so it isn’t the heat affecting things) this biscuit dough just built up on my hands as I rolled the biscuits like you wouldn’t believe and it would NOT come off. I ended up making an additional biscuit at the end by scraping my palms off with a knife. I was almost frantic by the time I finished and could run my sticky hands under hot water to budge the build-up.

A workmate and I were discussing phobias last week and this one didn’t immediately come to mind but it sure raised its ugly head today.
As I write about it, I can still feel my heart beating a little faster.

Anyway, if you don’t have a sticky, stress related disorder then these are really nice biscuits. They are chewy in the middle and crisp on the outside. Sweet, with a syrup and toasted coconut flavour, you couldn’t eat too many in a sitting.

 

Butternut Biscuits

2 tablespoons butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg
½ teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
Pinch salt
1½ cups flour, plain
½ teaspoon vanilla essence
1 cup desiccated coconut
2 tablespoons golden syrup
1 tablespoon milk

Preheat oven to 180°C (fan-forced 160°C).
Mix all ingredients together well.
Roll dough into small balls and place on greased tray.
Bake for 15 minutes, or until brown.


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Lemon Honey Cookies

Described by my husband as ‘little lemon puddings’ these biscuits definitely have something more of a cakey texture than the regular biscuit. As you take them from the oven as they begin to brown, they retain a soft and delicate centre that is more like a pudding than a biscuit. My whole family thought they were delicious, so much so that 24 has reduced to 6 overnight. They are tasty and moreish and just like a little lemon pudding in one or two bites.

 

Lemon Honey Cookies
24 cookies

1/2 cup granulated sugar
7 tablespoons butter, softened
2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
1/3 cup honey
1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
1 large egg
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
Cooking spray
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons grated lemon rind

Preheat oven to 180C.
Beat first 3 ingredients with a mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy.
Add honey, extract, and egg; beat until well-blended. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt, stirring well with a whisk.
Add flour mixture to sugar mixture alternately with yogurt, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Drop by level tablespoons 5cm apart onto baking sheets coated with cooking spray.
Bake at 180C for 12 minutes or until lightly browned.

Combine powdered sugar and juice in a small bowl; stir with a whisk.
Brush powdered sugar mixture evenly over hot cookies. Sprinkle evenly with 2 teaspoons rind. (I didn’t bother with the extra rind on the top)
Remove cookies from pan; cool on wire racks.