Orange & poppy seed cookies and November

Movember makes me happy. Unsurprisingly, it’s not the ridiculous patches of hair that spring up (with varying degrees of success) on the men in my life that I love.

Moustache cupcakes (7 of 16)

I love that it is part of the solution to de-stigmatising men’s health problems. That sounds a little pompous, but hear me out.
The men in my family are stoic, old-fashioned creatures who hate the idea of going to the doctor until there’s a real problem (I.e. When the problem is usually worse).
Preventative doesn’t exist in their vocabulary.

Catch ups and simple orange biscuits

aboveI’ve been a bad blogger. I haven’t updated the blog in over a week! I have an excuse, I promise. I’ve been trying to organise a super-cute giveaway for the blog (keep your eyes peeled in the next few blog posts), I’ve been working like a crazy lady, and I was in Melbourne over the weekend. I do have a biscuit recipe to share with you though – that’s go to count for something, right?

So here is what I’ve neglected to tell you:

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.

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.

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!

Egg hunts and ten essential Easter recipes

Easter is a fantastic time of the year. No matter how much a person may dislike religious celebrations or the hype that supermarkets create months beforehand, nobody can argue with days off and an excuse to eat life-endangering amounts of chocolate.

trowelI don’t think I could possibly rate my favourite holiday (I don’t discriminate, I love them all), but Easter is pretty great. Every year, regardless of location or participants, my family holds an Easter egg hunt. It started when my brothers and I were little – we would go to our cousins’ farm in Orange and the Easter bunny would visit in the night. Easter morning, all the kids would wake up bright and early, line up and wait for permission to begin the race, much to the delight of the adults.

jackMy cousins’ farm was the best place for the Easter bunny to secret away little chocolate Easter eggs; there were gnarled tree branches, lavender bushes, paving stones, fence posts and garden beds. We spent every Easter at the farm pretty much from when I was born until I was about 18.

chicksClearly the tradition continued way past our youth, because nobody wanted to give it up.

In recent years, we’ve not been able to go to the farm, so we’ve started an Easter egg hunt in Sydney. Now, thankfully, there is a new generation of kids who can partake in the Easter egg hunt, and while I’m slightly jealous of them for being able to join in the hunt, I love their enthusiasm and wild-eyed bemusement at seeing that Easter eggs have been delivered, and scattered throughout the garden by the Easter bunny.

Last year’s Easter was adorable (I spammed my Instagram followers with all of the cuteness), I can only assume that this year’s Easter, which is going to be at the farm again, will be equally as cute.

If you’re not excited about Easter yet, maybe I can entice you with some delicious Easter-appropriate recipes.

Simple Sunday cinnamon scrolls

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Easter pavlova

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Vanilla fig tarts

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Honey jumbles

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Caramel egg browniesbite

Citrus hot cross buns

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Traditional hot cross bunstear


Nutella raspberry puffs

mess

 Crème eggs

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Chocolate blueberry friands

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Happy baking, and happy Easter!!

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.

Almond poppyseed shortbread and home baking

chocolateI love a slice of thick, crumbly shortbread. They are one of the best additions to a cup of tea that I can think of. Humble old shortbread is often forgotten about, only ever bought from the supermarket for snacking. I want a shortbread revival! Home baked shortbread is far superior to most versions you can buy at the supermarket, and it doesn’t have to be boring!