Salted Butter and Chocolate Chunk Shortbread

636846384844586686_Afterlight_Edit

If you’re looking for a more shortbread type of cookie this recipe needs to be your go to! It almost broke the internet last year when it was first posted! You can find the original recipe here at bon appetit.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (2¼ sticks) cold salted butter, cut into ½-inch pieces (254g)
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup (packed) light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 6 ounces semisweet or bittersweet dark chocolate, chopped (but not too fine, you want chunks, not thin shards of chocolate) 170g
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • Demerara sugar (for rolling)
  • Flaky sea salt

HOW TO

  • Using an electric mixer and a medium bowl or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla on medium-high speed until super light and fluffy, 3–5 minutes.

  • Using a spatula, scrape down sides of bowl. With mixer on low speed, slowly add flour, followed by chocolate chunks, and beat just to blend.

  • Divide dough in half, then place each half on a large piece of plastic wrap. Fold plastic over to cover dough and protect your hands from getting all sticky. Using your hands (just like you’re playing with clay), form dough into a log shape; rolling it on the counter will help you smooth it out, but don’t worry about getting it totally perfect. Each half should form logs that are 2–2¼” in diameter. Chill until firm, about 2 hours.

  • Preheat oven to 350°F (180C). Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Brush outside of logs with egg wash. Roll logs in demerara sugar.

  • Slice each log into ½”-thick rounds. Arrange on prepared baking sheet about 1″ apart (they won’t spread much). Sprinkle with sea salt. Bake cookies until edges are just beginning to brown, 12–15 minutes. Let cool slightly before eating them all.

636846385245864798_Afterlight_Edit.jpg

Chocolate Chip Coffee Cookies

When it comes to desserts I am your baker- sign me up, put my name on it, call your friends. While I’m not a huge fan of actually eating dessert I love baking! Cookies are definitely my strength- I’ve perfected them over the past 10 years or so. Here’s the link for my Famous Choc-Chip Cookies if you’re looking for a tried and true recipe that is amazing!

I tried these cookies out the other night- they were good- not great, but good!

If you’re looking for something a little different I recommend giving these a try! The recipe is below- it comes from Sam Adler at Frostingandfettuccine.com.

46Chocolate Chunk Coffee Cookies

  • Prep Time: 75 mins
  • Cook Time: 15
  • Total Time: 90 mins
  • Yield: About 2 dozen cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsalted butter softened to room temperature
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg plus 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 teaspoons ground coffee or sub instant coffee (I cut open a nespresso pod for this)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons black coffee, can be instant!
  • 2.5 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups chocolate chunks or chips

Instructions

  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the butter and sugars and mix on low-medium until smooth. Do not overmix or the cookies will spread more than they should.
  3. Add in the whole egg and then the yolk, and mix.
  4. Add in ground coffee, vanilla, and brewed coffee, mix on low to combine.
  5. Turn the mixer off and add in the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt and then turn the mixer on low moving up to medium speed as the dry ingredients incorporate into the wet.
  6. When an evenly mixed dough forms, stop the mixer and stir in the chocolate chunks in by hand so as not to break them up.
  7. Using an ice cream scoop or a large spoon, scoop out evenly sized balls and place them on the baking sheet. You want them to be taller rather than wider. They can also be close to each other here because they are just going in the refrigerator to chill before baking.
  8. Chill the dough for an hour or up to overnight.
  9. Preheat your oven to 350° F/180° C
  10. Separate the dough balls on two different baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Make sure they are 1-2 inches apart to allow for spreading.
  11. Bake for 15 minutes. The cookies are done when the edges are golden brown.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

I posted this recipe over a year ago but I am constantly sending it out to people! If you need an easy, quick cookie recipe this is for you!

636641579381550498_Afterlight_Edit.jpg

636641580037245725_Afterlight_Edit.jpg

Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

Ingredients needed

  • 150g softened salted cooking butter
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence
  • 1 3/4 cup plain flour

Inclusions (optional)

  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 cup chopped Tim Tams
  • 1 cup chopped pretzels
  • 1 cup chopped Snickers bars
  • 1 cup chopped Mars bars

Instructions

  1. Heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius, and line two baking trays
  2. Place the softened butter, both sugars and vanilla essence in a mixing bowl. Mix on medium speed till everything is combined.
  3. Add the egg and mix again till combined
  4. Hand mix in the flour until combined
  5. Add any inclusions- chocolate chips, Tim Tams. etc Mix until combined.
  6. Roll into balls and place on a baking tray.
  7. Bake for 10-12 min. The cookies should be brown on the bottom and slightly brown on top.

For storage, place them in a container with a slice of bread on baking paper (don’t let the bread touch the cookies). The bread will draw all the moisture from the air and keep the cookies soft.

636641580575557405_Afterlight_Edit.jpg

636641579549725959_Afterlight_Edit.jpg

Healthy Banana Bread

I’m not going to say this banana bread is super healthy and you should eat it every day… but on the scale of banana breads where most are loaded with sugar and white flour this is at least a few steps away from sugar oblivion!

After Greg commenting at the look of the bananas sitting on our kitchen bench I decided to quickly whip up some muffins or banana bread. After a quick scan through the below recipe I knew I had everything to make it so away we went!

IMG_4079.JPGHealthy Banana Bread!

Original recipe comes from Cookie and Kate

Ingredients

  • ⅓ cup melted coconut oil or extra-virgin olive oil or high quality vegetable oil (I used extra virgin olive oil)
  • ½ cup honey or maple syrup (I used honey)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 2 ½ medium or 2 large bananas)
  • ¼ cup milk of choice or water (I used milk)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon, plus more to swirl on top
  • 1 ¾ cups white whole wheat flour or regular whole wheat flour
  • Totally optional: ½ cup mix-ins like chopped walnuts or pecans, chocolate chips, raisins, chopped dried fruit, fresh banana slices. (I used dark chocolate chunks)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit (165 degrees celsius) and grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan.
  2. In a large bowl, beat the oil and honey together together with a whisk. Add the eggs and beat well, then whisk in the mashed bananas and milk. (If your coconut oil solidifies on contact with cold ingredients, simply let the bowl rest in a warm place for a few minutes, like on top of your stove, or warm it for about 10 seconds in the microwave.)
  3. Add the baking soda, vanilla, salt and cinnamon, and whisk to blend. Lastly, switch to a big spoon and stir in the flour, just until combined. If you’re adding any additional mix-ins, gently fold them in now.
  4. Pour the batter into your greased loaf pan and sprinkle lightly with cinnamon. If you’d like a pretty swirled effect, run the tip of a knife across the batter in a zig-zag pattern.
  5. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let the bread cool in the loaf pan for 10 minutes, then transfer it to a wire rack to cool for 20 minutes before slicing.

    Enjoy!

 

Chocolate Chip Cookies

IMG_4493.PNGFor some reason I have an amazing Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe. I don’t know what it is, but most people will request the cookies (if I am coming over) or they sell like hotcakes if we have a fundraiser. While I’m not much of a sweet tooth, I can definitely eat one or two of these no problem.

My most famous (I use that word pretty lightly..haha) combination would have to be: Chocolate Chip, Pretzel and Snickers Cookies. One of our close friends is allergic to nuts, so more often than not I switch to Chocolate Chip and Mars Bar Cookies.

Yesterday Coles had Tim Tams on sale. If you have ever lived in or visited Australia you know these are the most amazing chocolate biscuit in the world, so I decided to try putting Tim Tams in my cookies… Let me tell you- I baked 14 of these bad boys last night and I have 3 left today. (I’ve only had one just to clarify for any haters out there..)

So, below is my basic Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe that I use, with a note as to where you can add any inclusions!

IMG_4496

Steph’s Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

Ingredients needed

  • 150g softened cooking butter
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence
  • 1 3/4 cup plain flour

Inclusions (optional)

  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 cup chopped Tim Tams
  • 1 cup chopped pretzels
  • 1 cup chopped Snickers bars
  • 1 cup chopped Mars barsIMG_4495

Instructions

  1. Heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius, and line two baking trays
  2. Place the softened butter, both sugars and vanilla essence in a mixing bowl. Mix on medium speed till everything is combined.
  3. Add the egg and mix again till combined
  4. Hand mix in the flour until combinedIMG_4498
  5. *This is where you’ll add any inclusions- add chocolate chips and chopped Tim Tams. Mix until combined.IMG_4499
  6. Roll into -balls and place on a baking tray.IMG_4494
  7. Bake for 10-12 min. The moment you see the bottoms of the cookies going brown take them out of the oven. You don’t want to overcook the cookies

For storage, I place them on a plate with a slice of bread (don’t let the bread touch the cookies) and wrap with cling wrap. An alternative is to place the cookies in a container and place a piece of baking paper on the top layer and place the piece of bread on top.

The bread will draw all the moisture from the air and keep the cookies soft.

 

 

Raw Banoffee Pie

I am a sucker for Banoffee Pie! I hate cake, muffins and most sweets in general.. but banoffee pie.. something about the caramel, banana and whipped cream hits my dessert spot!

Last week a friend of ours made miniature banoffee pies that were absolutely amazing, but the amount of calories I consumed (partly due to how many I ate..haha)..oh my goodness.. Well fast forward to earlier this week- I discovered an app called yummy. It consolidates thousands and thousands of recipes.. well.. a recipe for a raw banoffee pie popped up!!

We tried the recipe from Deliciously Ella last night and it tasted so good!

IMG_3149.PNG

Raw Banoffee Pie (modified from Deliciously Ella)

Serves 4

For the first layer

– 1/2 of a cup of pecans (70g)

– 1/2 of a cup of almonds (100g)

– 4 regular dates

– 2 teaspoons of honey

For the middle layer

– 2 very ripe bananas

– 2 tablespoons of almond butter

For the banana layer

– 1 banana

For the top layer

– 8 dates

– 4 tablespoons of almond butter

– 4 tablespoons of water

– 1 over-ripe banana

Consolidated ingredients needed

– 1/2 of a cup of pecans (70g)

– 1/2 of a cup of almonds (100g)

– 12 regular dates 

– 2 teaspoons of honey

– 4 very ripe bananas

– 6 tablespoons of almond butter

– 4 tablespoons of water

How to

Start by making the base. Place the nuts in a food processor and blend for a minute or two until a crumbly mix forms, then add the honey and pitted dates. (I couldn’t find the blade for my food processor so I chopped these by hand)

Fill the bottom either of several small containers or one big pie dish with a layer of this nutty mixture.

Next make the banana cream layer. Place the bananas and almond butter in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Put this on top of the nutty layer and place in the freezer for about 20 minutes to set.

While this freezes slice the layer of plain banana.

Next make the Caramel layer. Place all ingredients into a blender or food processor until smooth, if you’re mixture is too thick you may need to add more water.

After twenty minutes remove the pie from the freezer, place the layer of sliced banana over the glasses and then cover with the caramel.  Enjoy!

 

 

Easy cupcakes

I know there’s probably a stigma from some people about packet mixtures (my mum is one of those).. Contrary to these people I am a full supporter of packet mixtures (pre-mixes) and icing. They are the best of so many worlds! 

– You are able to make a dessert, ready to be placed in the oven in less than 5 minutes

– the good quality ones taste amazing

– Pre-mixes are cheap AND

– they can be made with only 1 bowl and a spoon! (This is a major win with my husband who helps with the washing up!)

Below are cupcakes I made for a recent bridal kitchen tea. I used a vanilla cupcake mixture and Betty Crocker’s vanilla icing. 

I topped the cupcakes with strawberries (cut following this easy YouTube video).

Wrapping the cupcakes in lace was not easy but I found a shortcut which made it a quicker process: 

First cut the lace into squares (long enough so that the lace reaches the frosting)- I found by sticking the lace edges to the frosting it helped with keeping the lace upright for a minute so I could tie the twine. Using twine tie a knot around the cupcakes to keep the lace in place.





While there isn’t much of a recipe here- hopefully it will push you to try a good cake or cupcake pre-mix!

The Chocolate Fudge Cake

I am not a cake eater- my husband, on the other hand, would eat cake every day if he didn’t put on weight!

The recipe comes from a very close family friend of ours. When Greg moved here from the States he fell in love with this chocolate cake- the fluffiness, the icing- he falls into a state of euphoria every time he sees the cake present itself at our family functions. I am all for taking shortcuts- I love Betty Crocker’s frosting and Donna Hay’s packet mixtures but this cake takes the prize!

The great thing about the cake is- the ingredients are generally things you would have in your pantry already! Enjoy!

Chocolate Fudge Cake

Ingredients

125g  (4 oz) butter or margarine (must be room temperature)

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla essence

2/3 cup cocoa

1/2 cup hot water

2 teaspoons vinegar

1 cup milk

1 3/4 cups plain flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

Pinch salt

For Chocolate Vienna Icing

125g butter (must be room temperature)

2 1/2 cups icing sugar

3 tablespoon cocoa

3 tablespoon hot water

1. Beat butter until creamy, add sugar, eggs and vanilla and beat until light and fluffy. Blend cocoa in hot water to make a smooth paste. Gradually add to creamed mixture. Add vinegar to milk to sour.

2. Sift together flour, baking powder, bicarbonate soda and salt, and add to creamed mixture alternately with sour milk. Stir lightly but thoroughly. Pour into two greased 20cm (8 in) sandwich tins and bake in moderate oven (180 C or 160 C fan forced) for 30 minutes or until tops spring back when lightly pressed.

3. Cool in tins for 10 minutes then turn out and allow to cool completely. Fill and ice with Chocolate Vienna Icing. Decorate with chocolate curls if desired.

Chocolate Vienna Icing

Beat butter until creamy. Sift icing sugar and blend cocoa with hot water smooth. Add the icing sugar to the butter alternately with sufficient of the cocoa mixture to spreading consistency.

IMG_0716

Play Food

I have always enjoyed making cupcakes or cookies for children. There are so many exciting designs you can make which kids absolutely adore! Below are some of my favourite that I have pinned or made over time. I’ve also given a very easy breakdown of the main ingredients needed! (I am all for shortcuts so I’m sure there are probably corners to be cut on even my suggestions!)

Watermelon

Spider donuts

Items needed: Large pretzel twists, mini donuts, M&Ms and a little frosting or melted chocolate

Cookie Monster Bark

Items needed: Chocolate, blue candy melts, Oreos and candy eyes (or white chocolate melts and choc chips)

Panda Donuts

Ingredients needed: Chocolate Donuts*, Oreos, chocolate (to melt) and white icing

*I would buy already made chocolate donuts to avoid having to make them

Cookie Monster Cupcakes

Items needed: Chocolate Cupcakes packet mixture, white icing, white chocolate melts, chic chips, blue food colouring and choc chip cookies

Paw cupcakes

Items needed: Cupcake packet mixture, white icing, milk chocolate melts and Oreos

Ballerina marshmallows

Items needed: Marshmallows, Pink sugar candy, small amount of icing or frosting, skewers and pink cupcake patties

Melon skewers

Items needed: Melons, skewers and letter stencils