Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Balls

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I feel a bit silly making this blog and then not go post for like 4 months!! But, uni is a busy busy thing and that’s just what happens I suppose!! In saying this, I did actually make an effort today to make a new recipe post! (yay!). I felt a bit creative and decide to get my healthy bake on, wanting something yummy and ‘chocolatey’ (not a word but never mind that!), which is pretty much how I feel everytime I bake! Drawing some inspiration from Wholefood Simply’s Choc Peanut Butter Bars, I decided I would whip up some chocolate peanut butter balls of some sort. And I had this protein powder I wanted to use in something, so I hoped to chuck a bit of that in somewhere!¬†Hope you enjoy this recipe! Try it for yourselves!! ūüôā P.s. I will try to keep up with my blog as I do love spreading my baking love!! (even though not many people¬†probably read¬†my blog!! Thanks to those who do!!! xoxo)

Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Balls

Recipe Adapted from Wholefood Simply‘s Choc Peanut Butter Bars (yuuuum)
1 1/2 cups desiccated coconut
1 1/2 cups dried pitted dates (or probably half if using medjool dates, not sure)
1/2 cup + 1 tbsp natural peanut butter (I used crunchy- can’t beat crunchy peanut butter!!)
3 tbsp cocoa
2 tbsp chocolate protein powder of your choice (I used a pea protein powder)
a pinch of salt
2 tsp vanilla extract
chia seeds, to roll the protein balls in
Blend everything except the dates in a blender. Gradually add a few dates at a time until all are blended through. You may need to add more¬†dry or wet ingredients to get a texture that binds together when pressed, just experiment really!! As long as it tastes nice for you and you can easily roll them into balls. Roll into balls, whatever size you’d like them to be, mine were about 1/2 a tablespoon size roughly. Roll in chia seeds, more coconut, cocoa or anything you like!! You could even try cacao nibs!

Eat, share and enjoy,

Kirra xo

Peppermint Slice (The healthy version)

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When discovered my secretly- ‘good’ -for-you version of caramel slice I was a little bit excited. Healthy AND yum. So I experimented some more, with inspiration from ¬†Ascension Kitchen¬†¬†once again (Where I discovered the raw caramel slice) and before you knew it, my own version of a raw peppermint slice was complete.

I made this a couple of weeks back, but because I am started up uni again, I haven’t had time to sit down and upload some more recipes. So i’m just doing it now! ūüôā

I’d say this is quite a rich slice, very minty, but a good balance with the chocolate topping. It’s smooth and creamy, with the cashew filling, and has nice crumbly base that is to die for. Except you won’t die from this slice, not from a heart attack anyway, as this is another awesomely healthy slice. om nom nom.

Peppermint Slice (The healthy version)

(Adapted experimentally from:¬†¬†Ascension Kitchen’s¬†Raw Chocolate Peppermint Slice)

BASE

1/2 cup white flour (or another substitute of your choice, just make it up!!)
1/4 cup cocoa
1 cup cashews (or other nuts)
20 dates (less probably if using medjool date- they’re a bit juicier)
3 tablespoons coconut oil
1/4 cup desiccated coconut
1/4 cup oats
1 tsp vanilla extract

MINT CASHEW CREAM FILLING

1 cup of cashew (soaked overnight in water- put in covered bowl in fridge)
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste/extract
Peppermint extract/flavouring, to taste

CHOCOLATE TOPPING (same as the caramel slice!)

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/freeze until firm.
For the filling: place all ingredients into the food processor or use a hand held stick blender and blend until smooth. Pour onto base and set in fridge/freezer as with base.
For the topping: Again! all in a food processor or blend with a stick blender until just smooth. Spread onto refrigerated slice and set.
Store in the fridge and cut into squares to enjoy.
There you go! Another healthy twist on a yummy slice!
Eat, share and enjoy,
Kirra xo

Chocolate Mint Biscuits

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These biscuits feature in my post about the Afternoon Teal my friend Em and I held in February. These biscuits are easy to make, and look so cute. They are quite rich in flavour (from the cocoa overload!), but the mint icing is such a fabulous balance, making these little bickies a perfect afternoon tea treat!

Here’s how to make them!!

Chocolate Mint Biscuits

Recipe Adapted from Mum’s cooking folder (Thanks Mum!).

Make a varying amount, depending on how big you make them! I (and I didn’t actually count!! oops. Probably 20 or so?? But I doubled this recipe and it made ALOT. So the single batch would do. Unless you need to cater for masses!)

250g Butter
1/2 cup icing sugar
1 tsp Vanilla
1 3/4 cup of Self Raising Flour
1/2 cup cocoa
ICING
Mix together 1 cup icing sugar, a few drops of warm water, green food colouring (or green and blue to make teal like we did for the fundraiser!) and peppermint essence to taste. You may need to add more of each it just depends on the amount of biscuits. Try to get it a thick enough consistency that it is easy to dab onto the biscuits and be pressed together, holding the biscuits together well.
Preheat oven to 180C
Cream the butter, sugar and vanilla in a mixer on high speed until lighter and pale looking. Add flour cocoa and mix until combined. Chill mixture in fridge.
Form the dough into small balls and press down slightly with a fork onto lined trays. These biscuits will expand slightly when cooked, but not alot. mostly just from the SR flour.
Bake for about 12-15 minutes. Allow to cool, then sandwich biscuit pairs with icing.

There you go! Pretty easy.

Eat, share and enjoy,
Kirra xo

Gingerbread Biscuits

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These biscuits also feature in my post about the Afternoon Teal, but they were one of the first ever items to be made for my market stalls I have done in the past, so this is the staple recipe to my whole market stall (besides fudge) and the recipe behind the name of my stall and blog “Sweetspice Delights”.

These are a classic biscuit and the recipe makes quite a lot, but there is effort to these, rolling, rolling, rolling and more rolling, then cutting cutting cutting, then back to rolling. Then cooking, then icing! Which takes a bit of time. As much as I love making gingerbread, I’m pretty sure every time I make them I always get grumpy and I’m ready to give up on them altogether, mostly because my arms are sore or there is icing EVERYWHERE. But once the finished product is there in front of me, I forget how annoyingly time consuming these are, and enjoy the gingery goodness.

But they really are a super biscuit. You should try them, even with all the effort. It is worth it. Trust me.

Here’s how to make them!!

Gingerbread Biscuits

Recipe Adapted from The Australian Women’s Weekly Traditional Christmas (I think a promo book with on their Christmas magazine ¬†issues??) .
250g butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup treacle
2 egg yolks (keep the whites for the icing!!)
4 cups plain flour
2 tbsp ground ginger
2 tsp mixed spice
2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
Beat the butter and sugar and vanilla in a mixer on high speed until well combined and light and fluffy. Beat in treacle and egg yolks. Stir in sifted dry ingredients.
Knead dough on a lightly floured surface until it becomes smooth, and you can form it into a large ball. Cover the ball and place in the fridge to chill for about 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 160C (or 140C fan forced).
Divide dough into quarters or halves, and cover the remaining dough so it keeps moist and pliable. Roll a section of dough to about 1-1.5 cm thick on a floured surface, and start cutting shapes out. Once you get use all the dough space with the cutter, roll the remaining dough up and continue to roll it out flat and cut shapes until you run out of dough. Then repeat with the other dough you set aside.
Place shapes on trays, giving a bit of space around each biscuit as they do raise slightly. Bake for about 20 minutes or until golden. Allow to cool completely on cooling racks. Then ice!
ICING
Beat 2 egg whites, using a mixer, until just frothy. Gradually add¬†3 1/4 cups of icing sugar, until stiff peaks form. Stir in lemon juice (about 1 tsp). Ice using a piping bag if you want to be fancy. ūüôā ¬†Leave biscuits out so they icing can harden and set, then store in a container.
The amount of biscuits made depends on your cutter size. I have made about 30 or more I would estimate.

Eat, share and enjoy,

Kirra xo

Afternoon Teal.

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Last Sunday, my lovely friend Em (love you, thanks for being a fab co-host!) and I hosted an ‘Afternoon Teal’ for Ovarian Cancer Australia. So with all things teal, we decorated my backyard and baked away! Jelly cakes, cupcakes, gingerbread flowers (which we sold in packs) chocolate mint biscuits, jelly slice (thanks Granny), chocolate crackles, honey crackles and fairy bread. Plus a wide selection of fabulous teas from Em’s collection, and freshly brewed coffee. And, an AMAZING pinata. So good. Well done Em.

We raised nearly $500, and we are both so proud of our efforts, knowing they will help OCA and their awareness programs, support for women and families affected by ovarian cancer, and ovarian cancer research.

In 2014, about 1,470 Australian women are expected to be diagnosed with ovarian cancer. An estimated 1,640 are expected to be diagnosed in 2020*.

It is so important to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer, because they are such commonly described symptoms for many diagnoses, not just limited to ovarian cancer.

Check out OCA’s ¬†website for some very useful information about ovarian cancer and the risk factors, signs and symptoms, and what you can do to help, such as donating online or even holding your very own “afternoon teal”.

http://www.ovariancancer.net.au/

So… Without further a- do. Some insight into the things we made…

P.s. Here’s some links to two of the recipes from the day!

Chocolate Mint Biscuits

Gingerbread Cookies

 Eat, share and enjoy,
Kirra xo
* http://canceraustralia.gov.au/affected-cancer/cancer-types/gynaecological-cancers/ovarian-cancer/ovarian-cancer-statistics

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