Posts in Category: Bake

Spiced Ginger Cookies

Recently I’ve been trying to make a sweet snack once a week in attempts to keep the sugar cravings away for Jason and I. I’m on week two of trying to get fitter so please ignore if you can hear my muscles screaming from where you sit.

You may think it’s counter productive to have sweet snacks around but I behave better when I can have a little something, sometimes even resist it completely! I’m aiming to make something on the healthier side (last week it was Fruit and Spice Muffins) or that comes in a smaller portion, as well as avoiding random snack buying costs due to my current unemployment status. I’m prone to having icecream weaknesses….but that really doesn’t help the getting fit goal.

Yesterday I made Spiced Ginger Cookies, which are just delicious. If you like a chewy cookie, you may want to make these. I found this recipe in my August 2012 issue of Super Food Ideas when I recently went through my stash of recipe magazines and yanked out everything I may actually make.

I’m not an enormous ginger fan usually, less is more for me, but I do love gingerbread so I thought these would be a hit. Jason on the other hand, loves it!

Ingredients:

170g butter, softened

1 1/4 cups firmly packed brown sugar

1 egg

1/4 cup golden syrup

2 cups plain flour

2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda

2 teaspoons ground ginger

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 cup raw caster sugar

2 tablespoons sliced glace ginger

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 170 degrees C/150 degrees C fan-forced. Line 2 baking trays with baking paper.
  2. Using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg and golden syrup. Beat until combined. Sift flour, bicarbonate of soda, ginger and cinnamon over butter mixture. Using a wooden spoon, stir until combined and a soft dough forms.
  3. Place raw caster sugar in a shallow dish. Roll level tablespoons of mixture into balls. Roll balls in sugar to coat evenly. Place on prepared trays, 5cm apart, to allow room for spreading.
  4. Using the palm of your hand, flatten slightly. Lightly press 1 piece of ginger into the top of each cookie. Bake for 15-18 minutes, swapping trays halfway, or until light golden. Cool on trays fr 5 minutes Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

I didn’t bother with the rolling in extra sugar or the glace ginger. It certainly doesn’t need it. I also didn’t read the instructions close enough and used heaped tablespoons of mixture per cookie. Be warned, they spread a LOT!

The hardest part is to try not to eat them all at once because they are just too yum.

Until next time, have fun.

Choc Chip Peanut Butter Banana Cookies

I have this weird thing with bananas…I only like them when they’re a little bit unripe, nice and firm inside. (Please leave your dirty minds at the blog door, thank you! You know who you are).

I think they get too banana-ry when they ripen, and they get spots on the skin and it looks so unappetising, which makes me leave them on the table where they get even more ripe and then they end up looking like this.

Which is great! If I get around to cooking with them….which maybe happens 50% of the time. You know that old thing…I’ll do it tomorrow…I’ll do it tomorrow…and then you end up with mouldy bananas once again.

Not this time! Today I had a mission to bake! And the partner of that banana ended up in some Choc Chip Peanut Butter Banana Cookies.

Say that ten times fast.

My usual go to is Banana Bread, but because hubby hates bananas, I end up eating half and throwing out the rest because as much as you want to, you really shouldn’t eat that much banana bread by yourself.

So, I was browsing Pinterest, which may or may not happen on a daily basis….and saw a Chocolate Banana Babka, which made me wonder if hubby would eat banana if it was laced with something else he likes. Woah, that sounds like I’m trying to drug him or something. So I searched a little more and found Choc Chip Peanut Butter Banana Cookies. He likes chocolate, he likes peanut butter.

Me: “Hey, would you try Choc Chip Peanut Butter Banana Cookies?”

Jason: “Sure.”

Me: *mouth falls open* It’s possible he didn’t hear me say banana but I was gonna run with it.

Mishy mashy, stirry whirry, cookie dough make! Roll into balls, squish onto tray, bake and wait. Sniff sniff. Smells good!

As you do, cookies must be tried soon after they are out of the oven.

Jason’s verdict: “Not bad. Would eat another.”

My verdict: “Crunchy-ish on the outside and really cakey in the middle. Tastes like a banana punched me in one side of the mouth and peanut butter punched me in the other side, with the chocolate chips saying, Hey guys, I’m here too, really!”

But truly, the banana and peanut butter blended together so nicely that neither one is overpowering the other, making it edible by Jason’s standards.

I’m counting that as a win 🙂

If you’d like to make your own, I’m the absolute worst because I can’t find the link, but from memory as it was only half an hour ago:

Whisk 2 cups of plain (all-purpose) flour, 1 and a 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon of salt in a bowl.

Mash 1 overripe banana in another bowl with 1/2 a cup of peanut butter, 2 tablespoons of milk and 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract. Add in the flour mixture and stir to combine. You can also do all this in your mixer as I did. I found it was a little dry, so I probably added an extra 2 tablespoons of milk, then add in 1/4 cup of chocolate chips and stir it up well. Or 1/2 a cup. Whatever you like. I don’t think ‘less is more’ applies to choc chips.

Now it’ll be a big ball of dough, so grab a tablespoon amount of dough, roll it into a ball, and squish it slightly onto a cookie tray. Bake at 175 degrees Celcius (350 F) for 10-15 mins, depending on how big you made them. You’ll want to take them out when they are going a nice golden brown. I ended up with around 18 cookies of a decent size.

Mmmm yum.

Until next time, have fun!

 

 

And we’re back! Sea turtles and daffodils and project bags, oh my!

Well, hi there! I bet you even forgot I had a blog. For myself, I did a really great job at pretending this didn’t exist and avoided crafting almost completely. A depressingly, disappointingly great job at avoiding.

My last post was in August 2014. At least I can say I didn’t go two years until poking my head back in here? I had a moment of craftiness last year when we were going to a dress up party and I had this brilliant idea I would make our costumes. I got fabric and worked out the patterns, did our measurements, cut everything out and started sewing. I got partway through my top and tried it on and it was enormous. I wasn’t sure as usually I’d be a 16 or 18 but my measurements said I would need to make the 22! In hindsight, should’ve gone with the usual because this thing was just way too big and I couldn’t see how I could save it.

Reduced to tears and depressed as hell by the fail, I threw the crafting in the bin until about one month ago.

A dear online friend, who hubby and I have met through Final Fantasy XIV Online (our shameful yet awesome addiction), who goes by the name of Lona, sent us a box of goodies from the US. She’s an awesome crafter, and she KNITS! And crochets and weaves and spins. Not so much since her little boy was born, but she’s still awesome.

So Lona sent over some starter needles and some yarn to start me off. I’ll do a post in a few days about my knitting escapades. We also got some fancy chocolate and other goodies, and some utterly terrible Crackerjacks. Please don’t ever send those again 🙂 And the prettiest scarf I have ever seen that she made herself. For me!

And so, we had to tag team a gifts back. A multitude of Australian chocolate bars, Aeroplane jelly, chips, bikkies in the shape of tim tams and iced vovos, Aussie toys for her kiddo and some gorgeous red 100% Australian merino wool yarn.

I had to send back some of my crafties. There are two things our Lona loves, sea turtles and daffodils. Without further ado, cookie pictures and sewing pictures!

I grabbed some green and blue cotton fabric from my sewing room in an attempt to make it look like they are swimming. Well, I tried…there were another three of these guys getting ready for their container to the US.

Closeup sea turtle. Say cheese! Aww, check out that cute smile.

These cookies have four different greens on them, the body, and the flipper/head accents, and the two greens for the shell. I used the wet-on-wet technique to get the cookie surface to stay flat, and I’m just amazed at how well it worked. To refresh you, wet-on-wet is applying your base icing colour and while still wet, add the second on top. The second colour sinks into the first so that it smooths into a flat surface.

Lets get a little closer. I use Pavlova Magic as my dehydrated egg whites in my royal icing mix, and this adds this crazy awesome sheen to the cookies. It really shows up in these pics.

And daffodils, which are Lona and my favourite flowers. Because come on, they are just the happiest flowers ever.

Both the sea turtles and the the daffodils were hand-cut from a paper template and a lot thicker than I usually make them in hopes they would then not break when flying overseas. I used the wet-on-wet technique again, putting down the pale yellow across the whole cookie, then adding the medium yellow and the dark yellow. When the icing was wet I could barely tell the difference between the pale and medium colours but they came out great! I left this to dry somewhat, added the raised dark yellow drops and left to dry completely until the next day. I then piped on the black outlines freehand and quickly to enhance that abstract feel.

Almost last minute (the week before) I had been knitting and my project was getting bigger, I realised I needed a project bag stat! It’s not great just to leave your project on the coffee table, or on the couch, especially with a cat around. I figured I wanted to make Lona one as well and visited my local craft store to find some pretty fabrics. Her favourite colour is blue (just like me!)

I picked up this gorgeous fern-like fabric for half-price, so that was even better. The blue I used for the top and bottom is a part of a cotton stash I had lying around at home, same for the gingham ribbon. Hubby is happy when I don’t spend too much money on fabric 😉

I also got this cream coloured fabric with stripes to go in the interior. I wanted a light colour so that no fabric dye would potentially mark any yarn placed inside. They were washed first as you do anyway!

Closer look at the two fabrics. Hmm, maybe I should have used white thread in the bobbin…. lucky I sewed straight!

Finished drawstring project bag with two balls of yarn inside and two balls outside. Lona received these goodies today, and initial comment was “Love them! The other knitters I talk to will be so jealous of this bag”. I got these yarns from Bendigo Woolen Mills, and they are 100% Australia merino wool. Gosh we make some great stuff here in Australia. These colours are Sangria (dark red) and Ruby. I may have gotten some other colours for personal use too…. How could I resist!? Those are 200 gram balls of quality yarn for about $16 a ball. That is just an amazing deal.

One final shot of the bag, it really shows off the fern pattern brilliantly and our delightful ruby yarn, in a more true colour shot. (I suck at taking photos :P)

If you would like to make your own drawstring bag, this is the tutorial I used, just increased the middle section so the bag was tall enough to put in 14 inch knitting needles.

http://ocd-obsessivecraftingdisorder.blogspot.com.au/2014/06/sheep-happens-bag-tutorial.html

So that’s all for now. I’ll be back soon with a post about my venture into knitting land.

Until next time, have fun.

 

There’s a baby bumblebee on its way!

Hello blog. It’s been a while…a long while. Hopefully this will be the last goodbye for a while and there will be much crafting in my future that I can share.

There’s nothing better than being asked to make something for friends to get me motivated to bake and create. Congrats Kirsty and Rod on your newest family member soon and I hope you enjoyed your baby shower today!

These were inspired of a cookie on Pinterest, but unfortunately doesn’t seem to have a website it originated from, so apologies for that. I changed the body shape of the bee and added double wings where the original only had one to make these cookies my own. Plus I liked it better 🙂 And so 40 cute bumblebee cookies were born.

Bumblebee cookies

I added a little bit of antique gold luster dust to the bee bodies, which hopefully you can JUST tell below. Ok, take my word for it.

Bumblebee cookie closeup

All in all, I was pretty happy with how they turned out since I had been on baking hiatus for quite some time. But let me tell you, there are some freshly baked bikkie bottoms on the dining table right now waiting to be decorated. It’s been a big huge enormous baking week, with these, some fantastic green tea cupcakes with red bean buttercream that I spoiled my work mates with on Friday and a new batch of cookies coming up for my sister.

Until next time, have fun!

 

Merry Christmas 2013

Hope you have all had a fantastic day, with great presents and lots of time spent with loved ones. Here are some cookies I made for my hubby’s work Christmas party.

Santa and Presents

Until next time, have fun!