Since I made the decision to bake my own biscuits (cookies) instead of buying them, I have spent a few Saturday afternoons in the kitchen. The baked goods that I make are not as sweet as the factory-made ones – and they are definitely more interesting as I attempt to make the biscuits that people I know have shared with me.
This weekend, I attempted to recreate the ones made by a friend of mine. She had explained to me what to do and I tried my best to follow her instructions.
I began with a shortbread base and then, after baking the biscuit for 10 minutes, I covered it with the trial mix my husband buys. Once the base was covered with nuts, raisins, cranberries, and seeds, I poured a can of condensed milk over the covering.
Once the topping had been poured on, I placed the baking tray in the oven for another 10 minutes. The condensed milk bubbled, showing me that it was baked and ready to take out.
I cut the biscuits into small pieces and, when they had cooled, placed them in the mason jar that I have dubbed ‘the biscuit jar’. The treats are now available to anyone who wants something sweet with their tea for the rest of the week.
According to my husband, I haven’t quite got the taste right – it needs to be a little more creamy. I think I need to work on my shortbread mixture and make sure that I have added the right amount of butter to my dough. But that will improve, I think, the more I bake.
I am back at work this week and therefore have less time to read. Oh how I wish I could sit quietly for a couple of hours and enjoy the last section of the Crazy Rich Asian trilogy!
When I come home, I am able to put my feet up for about half an hour and read with a warm cup of tea. This week I have been taking out the last of the cookies that my friend baked and gifted me for Christmas.
My friend has been trying out new recipes and adapting them to find that spot where a cookie is not too sweet. I love her new shortbread recipe with just a hint of sweetness. I find the shop bought cookies are excessively sweet and the sugar taste overwhelms the other flavours in the biscuit. Her recipe for white chocolate, cranberry and amaretto shortbread looks so easy to make. (It is even easier if I get her to bake me some more 🙂 )
My friend has recently started her YouTube channel Under 300 Calories. Head on over and see if there are any of her recipes take your fancy. And while you do that, I will continue reading the third novel in the Crazy Rich Asians trilogy by Kevin Kwan, Rich People Problems.
My husband shopped for and made the dinner that we had to celebrate Chinese New Year. I do not mind making our family meals for occasions such as Christmas, birthdays, and Easter. However, I always insist he cooks at the start of the lunar calendar as he stir fries vegetables so much better than I do.
As always when my husband cooks celebration dinners, I think of the sweet treat we will have with our tea after the meal. On Saturday afternoon when I moved into the kitchen, I realised that I had not bought more milk to make my intended dessert. So I fell back on a family favourite knowing that I had enough ingredients i. The cupboard: Chocolate Bark.
I gathered all the ingredients together: semi-sweet baking chocolate, sliced almonds, walnuts, and cranberries. I prepared my pots to melt the chocolate: I insert a stainless steel bowl into one of my smaller pots that has boiling water in it. I prefer melting my chocolate this way to using the microwave as it ensures that I will not burn the chocolate. Once the chocolate is all melted, I add the nuts and cranberries. Once the ingredients have been covered in the melted chocolate, I spread the mixture into a baking tray lined with baking paper. The chocolate hardens in the fridge and, once it has been broken into pieces and placed on a plate, is ready to be enjoyed.
This sweet treat is simple to make and is always enjoyed by my family. The few remaining pieces never last long in the fridge.
Yesterday when I got up, I knew that I would not step out of the door to go to the supermarket. I looked in my cupboards and saw that I had enough flour to bake bread and took my shiny new bread maker off the shelf. Adding all of the ingredients to the baking tin, I selected the relevant choices on the programme and pressed the start button. A few hours later, the smell of freshly baked bread permeated our apartment.
Once the bread had cooled for a while, sat down eagerly for a simple lunch: warm bread with butter and some cheese. Delicious!
Last week my husband hit the jackpot and came home with some overripe bananas that he had found in the supermarket. Normally I freeze these to use in the morning smoothies that I make. Seeing as it is the school vacation, I decided to make a loaf of one of my family’s favourite: banana bread. The recipe comes from the first cookbook I ever bought: Cooking The South African Way by Magdaleen van Wyk.
The ingredients for this recipe are simple: 240g cake flour, 125 g butter, 1 cup sugar (I use 1/3 cup), 4 ripe bananas (I use 5), 2 eggs,1/2/ tsp salt, 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda, 1 1/2 tsp baking powder and 65ml water. Baring the bananas, these things can always be found in my cupboard. The recipe is easy to make and one I used to use often when I did not have a hand-held mixer. I cream the butter and sugar with a fork, then stir in the mashed bananas. Before adding the sifted flour and salt, I beat in the eggs one at a time. The bicarb is dissolved in the water and then added to the mixture before the baking powder. After 45 minutes in an oven heated at 180C/350F, the cake smells heavenly while cooling on the rack.
The loaf of banana bread did not last long – for two nights we had a slice with our tea. I enjoyed mine with a bit of butter on it. Yum! A rare treat that my girls want me to repeat soon. 🙂