Choc hazelnut biscotti and Christmas food

aboveThe first time I ever tried biscotti was when it was brought home as a gift. One of the great things about having teachers for parents is that holidays always mean gifts. My dad would come home laden with Ferrer Rochers and Favourites gift packs, while my mum was gifted tea cups – my brothers and I took great delight in teasing them, trying to gauge who was the better teacher based on the volume of presents that they received.

Choc-mint dipped Christmas biscuits and small acts of kindness

aboveThis year I was invited to sign up for the Foodie Secret Santa. It’s run by Claire of Claire K Creations (she has a round-up here) and the timing could not have been better. If you’re not familiar with the concept, bloggers sign up to partake and are assigned three bloggers to mail goodies to. You receive a different gift from three bloggers in return. I made these little choc-mint dipped Christmas biscuits and sent them off to Melissa from House of Powell, Caroline of Shrinking Single and Clare from Life of Clare.

I received salted caramel fudge sauce from Melissa (we both got assigned one another!), porcini and garlic salt from an unnamed blogger and delicious, crumbly biscotti from another unnamed blogger. (I’ll update you with names when I know who the bloggers are.) I instagrammed the biscotti and caramel sauce here.

Halloween recipes and squeamishness

Blood spattered meringues

I don’t rate horror movies. I’m a massive wimp. I startle easily and I make involuntary “eeps” when frightened. I don’t like doors slamming themslevs, and I’m awful at being home alone.

Choc chip pumpkin bundt
So Halloween is not really my thing. I don’t delight in gore. In fact, I’m almost the complete opposite of everything Halloween-y.

Alfajores and discoveries

sceneOne of the surprise outcomes of the World Cup was that it made me experiment with my baking. It made me research Brazilian recipes and find out more about the kinds of food that they bake. I found lots of caramel, coconut and chocolate desserts. One of the recipes which caught my eye was alfajores. Gorgeous  dulce de leche, book-ended by shortbread biccies.

So much deliciousness!

ddlSo I was Googling dulce de leche stockists in Sydney and stumbled across Vivi’s Facebook page.  She’s an Argentinian girl living in Sydney who makes delicious, authentic dulce de leche and other amazing Argentinian foods. I can honestly say this has been my number one food find this year.

Blueberry  crunch biscuits and goodness

aboveThese biscuits are dangerously close to being healthy…sort of. Everybody always assumes that oats and coconuts make for a healthier alternative. I put in enough chocolate chips to solve that problem though! I solemnly believe that biscuits were made to be indulgent – if you’re trying to be “healthy,” you’d pick something without loads of sugar and butter in it.

Everything in moderation, right?

Honey choc tops and wanderlust

animalsI’ve been having a bit of a Sweden-athon recently. My Pinterest is filling up with with beautiful, dramatic landscapes and gorgeous Scandinavian design… and I’m stuck indoors working as the Sydney gets gloomier by the day.

All of this pinning is dangerous, it’s making me yearn for a country that I’ve never even been to. It’s on my bucket list, because I’ve only heard amazing things about Sweden. For the moment, however, I have to make do with my own little Swedish baked goods and eat my wanderlust into submission.

Coconut macaroons and ease

pipeThese little morsels are the easiest of easies. They’re also super delicious. Which is why I chose to make them while I’m still getting used to my oven. As you can see, they browned pretty darn quickly, but I tend to like my macaroons on the toastier side anyway. It gives them a wonderfully crunchy shell, which contrasts beautifully with the sweet, squidgy inside.

Chocolate chip biscuits and requests

sceneI was recently asked by a regular reader if I had a good chocolate chip biscuit recipe. A chunky, chewy, good old-fashioned type of biscuit.

And I didn’t! What kind of blogger doesn’t have a basic choc chip biscuit recipe?!

I have several types of biscuit recipes (there’s dark chocolate caramel popcorn, perfect chocolate, boyfriend, Anzac,  gluten free choc chip, speculoos and salted caramel just to name a few), but no basic choc chip ones.

So I’m setting out to amend this.

These biccies are soft and chewy, with sweet, caramel undertones as a result of the brown sugar. A word of warning – these biscuits puff up beautifully, creating a smooth, even top of the biscuit, so if you want chocolate chunks poking out of the top of your biscuit, maybe place them into the rolled balls just before you put them in the oven.

Traditional choc chip biscuits

  • 200g buttermilk
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tbsp cornflour
  • 2 cups plain flour
  • ¼ cup choc chips
  • 100g milk chocolate, roughly chopped

mixCream the room temperature butter together with both types of sugar. Add in the egg and beat well before mixing in the vanilla and cornflour.

Add in the flour one cup at a time and mix at a medium speed. The mixture will become quite dry. Once all of the flour is mixed in, shape the mixture into a ball, wrap it in cling film and pop into the fridge for 20 minutes.

coldI never used to refrigerate my biscuit dough, but it really makes a difference to the end result. It also makes rolling the balls less greasy because the butter firms up whilst in the fridge.

Preheat your oven to 180°C and line a baking tray with baking paper (I used my silicone baking mat from House, which I’m slightly in love with.)

rolledOnce your dough is chilled, scoop a tablespoon off the mixture and roll it into a ball. Repeat until you’ve finished the mixture, then pop into the oven for 13-15 minutes. Rotate half way through the baking process if they over-brown.

stackThe biscuits that were part of the photo shoot were eaten so quickly by The Boy and my brothers that I didn’t get a shot of how jam-packed with chocolate these little biccies are. You can see the chocolatey goodness in my breakfast biscuit Instagram post though!

Choc chai melting moments and routine

closeEvery now and then it’s good to shake up your routine. I’ve been in a bit of a baking rut because I’d been so intent on using up leftover pears. Don’t get me wrong, pears are delicious (I’ve baked them, caked them, poached them and more), but I was lacking inspiration.

So I went back to an old recipe and jazzed it up a little with some of mydelicious chocolate chai fudge. Nom.

The original chocolate melting moments were dense and deliciously dark, so the addition of chai fudge is a welcome gooiness.

Dark chocolate caramel and popcorn biscuit

plateThe title of this post looks like two unrelated things, right? “Oh,” you though, “Gab has made some dark chocolate caramel and she has also made some popcorn biscuits, whatever they are.”

“It’s such a smoosh of words that they couldn’t all possibly be referring to one baked product,” I hear you thinking.

Well, your internal monologue is wrong. I made biscuits with dark chocolate caramel popcorn in them.

It’s like a zillion delicious things jam packed into one gloriously ugly little package.