When it’s school holiday time, we seem to eat so much more as a family than we usually do. It’s taken me by surprise how frequently my kids want to eat and with the extra time to spend with them at home, it’s been nice to do a little baking. But I’m no super spontaneous, indie, ‘let’s get creative’ type mum so adventures in this area still need to be simple enough to keep the fun levels high for all of us. This recipe sent in by Emily Yap totally fits the bill, who recommends it for lots of reasons: they’re tasty, cheap, easy to make and all the ingredients are standard pantry items – cause who likes having to make an extra trip to the shops just to do some baking? This recipe, adapted from a blog called The Pioneer Woman Cooks makes 15 squares of yummy-ness and will cost around $4 to bake.
- 200g cold butter, cut into pieces
- 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cup oats (quick or regular)
- 1 cup brown sugar, packed firm
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 x 370g jar of jam of your preference, I used IXL Strawberry Conserve
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees, then grease and line a 20 x 30 cm lamington tin.
- Put all the dry ingredients in the bowl of a food processor, blitz for just a moment until everything is just combined.
- Add chopped butter to the mix and process until mixture resembles crumbs with large/obvious chunks, roughly the size of rice grains. Be careful not to over-process.
- Divide mixture in half and press one half of the mixture firmly and evenly into the bottom of the lamington tin.
- Heat the jam in the microwave at 50% for 40 seconds and give it a good stir. Pour gently over the crumb base and use a spoon to spread evenly.
- Gently tip the rest of the crumb mixture on the top of the jam and spread evenly. Using clean fingers press down as firmly as possible without destabilising the jam.
- Bake for 20-30 mins until brown on top. Cool in the tin and use a sharp knife to cut into squares.
I do love homemade biscotti so was very excited when this simple and yummy recipe landed in by inbox from my friend Soph, who found it on a friend’s blog. Needing to provide dessert for dinner with friends this week, I decided to give these a go because they were able to be made ahead of time, and Soph’s super do-able serving suggestion of dipping in chocolate fondue grabbed me immediately. Don’t be turned off by the two stage cooking process – this recipe is still dead easy and really nowhere as labour intensive as it might seem. I have never succeeded in making biscotti wafer-thin, but having tried, failed and still enjoyed eating chunkier homemade versions of it, I’ve decided I’m okay with it. This winning recipe costs less than $3 to make. Thanks Soph, for this terrific contribution.
- 1/4 cup oil
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla essence
- 2 eggs
- 1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- pinch of salt
- 1/2 cup cranberries
- 3/4 cup roasted almonds (Woolworth’s homebrand are terrific and cheap!)
1. In a mixing bowl, mix together the sugar and oil until combined.
2. Add eggs and vanilla essence and mix thoroughly until combined.
3. Add flour, baking powder and salt to the egg mixture, and stir to form a dough. When all the flour is almost incorporated, add in the cranberries and almonds. Continue stirring until all the flour is incorporated and a dough has formed.
4. Take half the mixture and using wet hands, form it into a log. Place the log onto a tray lined with baking paper and pat into a smoother log shape. Repeat with the remaining dough
5. Bake at 300F/150C for 35-40 minutes until the logs are slightly golden.
6. Remove from the oven and cool. Reduce oven heat to 275F/135C.
7. Once the logs are cool enough to handle, slice into slices. Place sliced biscotti back onto tray and bake for 8-10 minutes until crisped.
Ever since I’ve known Kylie Gellert, she’s been making this delicious and very easy fudge. I’ve enjoyed many of Kylie’s variations on many an occasion and I’m so thrilled she emailed this recipe for me to share with you. Recently I’ve discovered the delights of Aldi chocolate – especially White Crisp (white chocolate with hazelnuts and rice crisp throughout) so I had a go at making Kylie’s oh so easy fudge with these feature ingredients and it worked really well. All I did was add 60g roughly chopped hazelnuts and 3/4 cup rice bubbles. This recipe is a great one to make into little gifts for Christmas or for affordable birthday gifts for friends, although this fudge is just as good for Bible study suppers or church morning tea. Thanks for sharing, Kylie!
- 450g Dark or Milk Chocolate bits (easier) or block (cheaper) cooking chocolate
- 1 tin Condensed Milk
1. Put the chocolate into a glass bowl, and pour the condensed milk over the chocolate. Don’t stir.
2. Microwave on high for 2mins, and stir until smooth. If not able to be stirred to smooth, put back into the microwave for 1 min, stir (repeat if necessary).
3. Pour into a plastic wrap-lined loaf tin or container of similar size.
4. Set in the fridge for at least 20 min, preferably for 2+ hours.
5. Cut into squares approximately 1cm x 1cm (or whatever size you like).
• If wanting to use white chocolate instead of milk or dark, you will require 550g to make it set.
• Don’t use a wooden spoon to stir the chocolate as the moisture in the timber will upset the consistency. A metal spoon or silicon spatula will work best.
• Add sultanas and crushed nuts to dark or milk for fruit & nut fudge.
• Add coconut to dark or milk for golden rough fudge.
• Add raspberry essence (a little bit!) to white choc for raspberry & white choc fudge. (Hint: raspberry lollies really don’t work well to add in.)
• Add caramel essence to white choc for a yummy caramel fudge that isn’t too rich.
• Add crushed peppermint chocolate bar to dark choc for a refreshing choc mint fudge.
• Make a dark or milk base and let set before adding a white chocolate top for a top deck fudge (rather rich).
Also really good over ice-cream when it is still in a pouring consistency, but is incredibly rich. It kind of sets as it hits the ice cream.
• Nestlé white chocolate buds $11.40/kg (Home brand works just as well if you can find it – I couldn’t on Woolies or Coles online, but have used it in the past)
• Home brand dark chocolate bits (easier) $6.70/kg
• Home brand dark chocolate block (cheaper) $6/kg – it does need to be broken into squares.
• Home brand condensed milk $2/tin