I joined Bloglovin!

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Hey. So I joined Bloglovin, where you can follow the blogs you love, and the you can visit them all in one hit, without having a billion tabs open. Very cool. So if you have a Bloglovin account (or join up now!!!) you can now follow Sweetspice Delights. Love you all. ūüôā Kirra.
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Double Chocolate Buttery Biscuits

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Well, here is the complete opposite to my last post (so so not good for you, yet here I am!!! Yum!!)¬†Butter biscuits. My favourite kind. ¬†Everyone at my house loves them. They are the ones they all want for their lunchboxes, so this recipe’s kind of stuck in my head from making it so often. ¬†They are almost like shortbread consistency, very melt-in-the-mouth middle, with crisp edges, and soft gooey chocolate chips.. … yum. Too good to stop at one, the buttery, sugary sweet goodness is just too hard to resist, and the recipe is very quick to make, and very simple ingredients (ALOT of butter!).¬†

This time around, I tried caramel chocolate chips as well as my usual choice of dark chocolate chips. Whilst the caramel chips were unimpressive to me on their own and in the dough, when cooked, they gave the biscuits a very nice added richness. Not too rich though either. Just right!

As heart-attack-inducing as these biscuits may seem, they have no eggs! Which is fab when the chooks are not doing their job, or if you aren’t allowed eggs in food, like at my cousin’s kindy (and pretty much all kindys these days) . So I made these one time for them, as they couldn’t think of what snacks to bring in their lunchbox that would be safe to other kids… So I think the egg free part redeems these biscuits, just a tad!

Want to know how I make these babies?? Read on!!

Double Chocolate Buttery Biscuits

(Adapted from¬†The Kid’s Cookbook: A Great Book for Kids Who Love to Cook!)

makes about 25-30 biscuits, roughly.

445 grams ¬†butter (I know, I know… it’s like a whole thing of butter…but worth every gram!)
1 1/3 cups of sugar (regular sugar works best as it gives a crumbly and better texture I’ve found- but brown/caster fine well too, just not as good!!!)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup cocoa
3 1/2 cups plain flour
1 packet of chocolate chips (or like, a cup equivalent- in this batch I tried half dark and half caramel chocolate chips)
Preheat oven to 180C
Cream the butter, sugar and vanilla in a mixer on high speed until lighter and pale looking. Add cocoa and mix until combined.
Gradually add flour and chocolate chips, stopping the mixer to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl, ensuring everything is combining well.
Now.. you get to make the dough ready for the fridge!
Form the dough into a ball and cut into quarters. Roll each quarter into sausages (depending on how big you want the biscuit is how thin/thick you roll- I do about rolling pin thickness or thereabouts, so my cut cookie slices will look about savoury cracker sized circles- It’s hard to explain, just go with it!!)
Cover sausage logs of dough with plastic cling wrap and twist ends to make sure the dough stays covered in the fridge. Place in fridge until firm (or if in a hurry until cool, or not at all, if you are desparate, I don’t think it makes a huuuuge difference).
Once refrigerated, cut circles of dough about the thickness of sliced bread (therabouts). Cut thicker for softer, more melty middle biscuits, or thinner for a more crisp effect. The dough will probably always crumble when cut, because of the chocolate chips, but just squish it back together!
Place biscuits onto lined trays. These biscuits don’t expand a lot when baked, so you can squeeze more onto the 1 tray for more efficient cooking (or laziness, haha).
Bake for about 15 minutes, or longer if wanting crispier biscuits.
NOTES:
  • Omit cocoa and use 4 cups of flour, for vanilla flavoured cookies.¬†
  • Refrigeration is not essential, but I think it makes the biscuits better, don’t know what is is though, the just seem to turn out better.
  • Subsitute chocolate chips for other add -ins, such as nuts or dried fruit, or add all!!
  • This recipe is doubled, can halve everything, but it doesn’t make very many I find (or they go too fast!!!)
  • IMPORTANT!!!! Make sure you utilise this baking opportunity to eat lots of biscuit dough- best part about making them!!
Eat, share and enjoy,
Kirra xo

Secretly-‘Good’-For-You Caramel Slice

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I enjoy exercising and healthy eating, and I work really hard at that. Saying this though, I enjoy baking sweet things probably a bit more, even if it does stress me out at times, because ¬†I haven’t ‘eaten properly’ or in a more positive light ‘indulged in something’- No regrets though! I love good old fashioned baking (and the sweetness that comes with it!!), but I also like to try and recreate yummy things, with a lighter twist, just to have SOME healthier options!

I have been looking on the internet at ‘raw’ cooking and it’s a bit overwhelming. It requires a lot of stuff I don’t have, or probably couldn’t afford, for the amount of cooking I do. But I really wanted to give it a crack.¬†I made caramel slice recently so I thought ‘maybe I could make it healthier??’ And people, it has been done!! ¬†I went recipe hunting for ‘raw caramel slice’ and came across some terrific blogs/sites such as¬†This Rawsome Vegan Life,¬†Tegan Westra¬†and¬†Ascension Kitchen¬†(I hope to learn from their wholesome ways of baking!!!)¬†and each version of their caramel goodness looked amazing.

I was able to come up with my own version of Caramel slice, looking at the ingredients I had and comparing them to other recipes.¬†¬†I would say my version’s raw, but I bent the rules and added flour and oats… I and don’t think that’s truly raw (I don’t know the rules!).. but I am experimenting!!

I was so surprised with how my slice turned out. The flavours are so delectably rich, and smooth and creamy, you wouldn’t even know it’s a good-for-you type of slice! (plus, no bake!! Perfect for heatwaves in Australia, when using the oven is just not going to happen!)

I’ll stop this big spill here and give you the lowdown on how to make my version of this lovely stuff.

Here it is!!! (are you excited?!)

Secretly-‘Good’-For-You Caramel Slice

(Adapted experimentally from:¬†This Rawsome Vegan Life’s¬†Chocolate Cream Caramel Bars,¬†Tegan Westra’s¬†Raw Caramel Slice¬†and¬†Ascension Kitchen’s¬†Raw Chocolate Caramel Slice)

BASE

1/2 cup white flour (or another substitute of your choice, just make it up!!)
1/2 cup almonds
3/4 cup dates
2 tablespoons  coconut butter* (plus a bit extra if base is slightly dry)
1/4 cup dessicated coconut
1/4 cup oats
1 tsp vanilla extract

CARAMEL FILLING

1 cup of cashew butter** (I followed this recipe from The Healthy Foodie here, as I had never made it before!!)
1/2 cup coconut butter
2/3 cup pitted dates (I used pitted sayer dates?? Had them in the cupboard, but many recipes call for medjool dates, I wouldn’t know the difference, ha! All about experimenting!)
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste/extract
1 tablespoon of maple syrup (or another sweetener e.g. honey, agave syrup etc)

CHOCOLATE TOPPING

Side Note: Okay I have to admit, I adapted this after a fail… I included cashew butter in this initially, only to find in turn in a thick ¬†lump of chocolately mess, separated from most of the oil, so I omitted the cashew butter the second time around and the problem was solved, apart from the minor separation of the oil when it set in the fridge but hey, it tastes/looks pretty good for a first go!!
1/2 cup maple syrup (or other)
2/3 cup coconut butter, melted
4 tablespoons of cocoa
Vanilla, to taste
For the crust: Place dry ingredients into a food processor and blend until floury and combined. Add in coconut butter and vanilla and blend to combine also. Finally, gradually add in dates and process again in the food processor. Stop and test the base-  it should be okay when it looks like it has come together to form a crumble like consistency, but sticks together at the touch.
Press into a lined slice tin and refrigerate until firm (or freeze for a while then transfer to the fridge to if you’re impatient like me!!)¬†
For the filling: place all ingredients into the food processor or use a hand held ‘whizz stick’ as I call them ( more commonly known as a held food processor/puree/blender stick) to blend all ingredients until smooth. Pour onto base and set in fridge/freezer as with base.
For the topping: Again! all in a food processor/use a whizz stick to blend. Do this until just smooth I as think if I continued it may a separated more. Spread onto refrigerated slice and set.
Store in the fridge and cut into squares to enjoy.
Experiment and try for yourself, and keep posted, I hope to make more of these ‘good-for-you’ slices/other yummy healthy things!! ūüôā
Eat, share and enjoy,
Kirra xo
NOTES:
* My coconut butter was melted, due to hot weather. May/may not make a difference in consistency, probably not, as you’ll refrigerate anyway.
** whole cashews take up more space in a measuring cup than the butter form does, so you may need extra to make the full cup, but don’t stress too much if you only have the cup full of cashews as is, it’s all about not being too strict on measurements here!