Pistachio white chocolate chip cookies

Saturday afternoon. A hankering for chocolate chip cookies. Severe lack of recent grocery shopping. It’s experiment time!

For these cookies I used my regular chocolate chip recipe but with some major flavour alterations. Dark chocolate chips, walnuts, and a dash of vanilla became white chocolate chips, pistachios, a pinch of cardamom and some rosewater essence. I ate 4 in a row straight out of the oven so I’m calling these a success!

white chocolate chip cookies

125g soft butter
2/3  cup caster sugar
1 egg
1 cup plain flour
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate soda
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1/2 cup shelled pistachios
1/2 teaspoon rosewater essence
1/2 teaspoon cardamom

Cream the butter and the sugar, add the egg and rosewater essence and beat until just combined. Stir in all the remaining ingredients. Drop spoonfuls onto trays lined with baking paper, and bake for about 15 minutes in a preheated oven at 180C. Cool on trays about 10 minutes then transfer to a wire rack.

This made about 30 cookies.

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Honey-roasted Macadamia & White Chocolate Chip Biscuits

Well, hello there! Yes, it’s been a while, I’m sorry. I lost my baking mojo there for a while, but I think maybe it might be coming back… Maybe. Hopefully!

So I’m not the biggest fan of white chocolate usually, but somehow when you put it into baked goods and then throw macadamia nuts into the mix as well, you have something a bit delicious. It seemed strange to me that I had never made macadamia & white chocolate chip cookies before – I’ve certainly eaten my fair share – but looking through the archives it would appear that I’ve totally missed making such a standard recipe. Well, I thought it would be a standard recipe, but do you think I could find such a thing in any of my books at home? Not a chance. Here follows an experiment which seems to have worked out reasonably successfully… until the very end.

macadamia white chocolate biscuits

Standard set up for a lot of my baking: workplace morning tea for a farewell, I have an idea of what I want to make, and I have limited ingredients. No regular macadamia nuts in the pantry, just half a packet of honey-roasted ones. No normal, little white chocolate chips, just those big round ‘melts’. No actual recipe. Let’s do this!

I used a standard plain biscuit recipe in the end, one that is usually for jam drops (because how much do I love jam drops?!) which makes quite a short biscuit and suited these flavours well, but it’s also very easy.

125g butter, softened to room temperature
1/3 cup caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 1/4 cups plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons milk
honey-roasted macadamia nuts, chopped (I think I had nearly 1/2 cup)
white chocolate chips (or the bigger ‘melts’ if you want to try the experimental version)

Cream the butter, sugar and vanilla really well, until it’s pale and creamy. Stir in the flour and baking powder, and add the milk to get the right consistency (sticky dough, but not too sticky). Stir in the macadamia nuts. If you’re using regular white choc chips, stir them in too. Shape teaspoonful sized bits of dough into balls, place on trays lined with baking paper, flatten them slightly with the palm of your hand and bake in a preheated oven at 180C for 18-20 minutes, until they are slightly golden brown at the edges.

BUT, if you are using the big chocolate melts, DON’T stir them in. Instead, once you’ve mixed in the macadamia nuts just go straight to making balls of dough. Except, shape each ball of dough AROUND a single white chocolate melt. They should go nicely in the middle of each ball of dough. Then put them on lined baking trays, flatten slightly with the palm of your hand, and bake them as above.

Cool the biscuits on the trays for 2-3 minutes, then put them on a wire rack to cool completely. 

Now, when I say that the experiment worked up until the very end, I mean it. These looked great, and I tasted one and it was pretty good. They cooled down, and I packed them into a container. The next morning I left the container on the kitchen bench, walked out the door, and didn’t realise until I walked in the door at work. So instead of being able to contribute actual food to the morning tea, all I could provide was a couple of photos of what might have been and a story about how I’m an idiot.

IMG_2335

My husband is happy though – guess what he’s eating this weekend?

Cheat Treats for Christmas – Mini Christmas Puddings

I know it’s a bit early for a Christmas recipe but, you never know, could find yourself going to a Christmas-in-July event at this time of year like I did. In a situation where I had little time, patience, or access to ingredients, I decided to cheat and make something using completely store-bought ingredients – no baking required at all!

 I wasn’t going to blog these, but then I thought that I probably wouldn’t be the only person to find themselves in this kind of situation around Christmas time, and who doesn’t love to make something super easy that looks like you’ve gone to more effort than you really have? These mini puddings are perfect for taking to a last minute party, or to take to work for a morning tea.

1 fruit cake (I buy basic, home brand, light fruit cake)
3 tablespoons brandy (or rum, whichever you prefer)
about 100g white chocolate, melted
red glace cherries, halved

Crumble the fruit cake into a bowl, add the brandy, mix through. Roll heaped teaspoons of the mixture into balls and place on a baking tray. (I put the balls into mini cupcake liners, just for a bit of extra colour) Drizzle the melted white chocolate over the top of each cake ball. Place half a glace cherry on top of each one. Refrigerate until ready to serve. 

DONE! Easy. Yummy. Very sweet. And you don’t have to tell anyone how you made them 🙂

Muffins!

How has it taken me so long to get into baking muffins? Seriously, they are so easy, delicious and versatile! I found a good basic recipe that seems to work pretty well and I’ve been doing some experimenting with different flavours – some sweet, some a bit more savoury, all super yummy.

The real trick with muffins is to hardly mix them at all. In fact they work best if you’re in a hurry! I mix my dry ingredients separately in a large bowl, then do the liquid in a smaller bowl, then combine them at the last minute. I also use a big ‘Texas’ style muffin tin – it holds 6 muffins and the recipe makes the perfect amount.

Basic Recipe (makes 6 Texas style muffins): Continue reading