Showing posts with label snack. Show all posts
Showing posts with label snack. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Lazy Cow Rich Tea Biscuits #CreativeCookieExchange

Rich tea biscuits are a British classic, baked up crispy so they are perfect for dunking in a cup of hot tea. Use my "lazy cow" method to avoid rolling out the dough and using cookie cutters.

In the many years I’ve been watching the Great British Bake Off or GBBO as it’s known for short, I’ve learned a lot about British classics as well as traditional baked goods from other countries. Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry are both a wealth of baking knowledge.

There’s just one thing I have to disagree with. Paul maintained throughout the series (and I’ve heard him say it elsewhere also) that the difference between biscuits and cookies is that biscuits are crisp, while cookies are softer.

But if we are talking American English, biscuits are fluffy baked quick bread akin to British scones and cookies can be both crisp and soft. In all my many years of visiting the British Isles and hanging out with British friends, I have never heard them use the term “cookie” for anything traditional that they bake.

I tell you all this as a preamble to today’s bake. They are indeed crispy, so even Paul Hollywood would call these rich tea biscuits. That said, traditional rich tea biscuits are rolled out and cut into circles. Which is my least favorite way of making cookies or biscuits. Blessedly, the circle is the classic shape for these guys, so I rolled the dough into a log, partially froze it, and then sliced it into circles. So these are my “lazy cow” rich tea biscuits. To everyone else who hates to roll dough, but loves rich tea biscuits, you are welcome.

Adapted from this recipe on The Baking Bar, where David does it the old-fashioned way. Because he's not a lazy cow. Apparently.

Ingredients – for about 14-15 large biscuits
2 cups or 250g plain flour
1/3 cup or 75g caster sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch fine salt
3/4 cup or 170g unsalted butter
2 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Line your baking sheets with baking parchment or silicone liners and set aside.

Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt together in a large bowl.

Add the butter, cut into cubes.

Use your fingers or a pastry blender to mix in the butter till the mixture looks like crumbs. My kitchen is always too warm and my hands are too hot, so I use the pastry blender.

Add in the milk and the vanilla and use a fork to combine.

Use your hands to bring it all together into a firm dough.

Roll the dough into a thick log about 2 3/4 in or 7cm in circumference, shaping the ends flat.

Wrap it in cling film and pop it in your freezer, standing it on one end so that the log retains a nice cylindrical shape. Set a timer for about 40 minutes.

When the timer is nearly up, preheat the oven to 375°F or 190°C.

Use a sharp knife to cut the log into slices about 1/4 in or 1/2cm thick. I find a sharp serrated knife works best because you can "saw" the slices off without pressing the log out of shape, which gives more circular circles, if you know what I mean.

Put your dough circles on the prepared baking pans, leaving room for some expansion as they bake. I used a toothpick to make little holes all of the circles, just like the store-bought rich tea biscuits but I could have saved myself some time because they weren't really visible after baking. Feel free to skip this step.

Bake for about 8-9 minutes in your preheated oven. Ideally, you want them baked through but not brown. Mine are a little darker around the edges than a classic rich tea biscuit should be.

Leave to cool for a few minutes on the pan and then transfer to a metal rack to cool completely. They will crisp up as they cool.

Enjoy with a cup of tea!

If you like cookies or biscuits with your tea, you are going to love this month's Creative Cookie Exchange link list. Check out all the great teatime treats we have for you today!

Creative Cookie Exchange is hosted by Laura of The Spiced Life. We get together once a month to bake cookies with a common theme or ingredient so Creative Cookie Exchange is a great resource for cookie recipes. Be sure to check out our Pinterest Board and our monthly posts at The Spiced Life. We post the first Tuesday after the 15th of each month!

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Monday, February 27, 2017

Strawberry Yogurt Muffins #MuffinMonday

Just the right sweetness and oh, so tender, these strawberry yogurt muffins are a great breakfast or snack. Decorate them with sliced strawberries for an extra pretty touch, especially if you bake them on National Strawberry Day.

Happy National Strawberry Day and Muffin Monday to you all! In honor of convergence of these two special days, I've baked you some delicious golden muffins. And while these are perfect with strawberry yogurt, I should point out that you can easily substitute your favorite yogurt flavor.

Make sure you scroll down to see what my fellow Muffin Monday bakers are sharing! After you make these strawberry yogurt muffins, of course.

Ingredients - 12 muffins
2 cups or 250g all purpose flour
1/2 cup or 100g sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup or 60ml milk
3/4 cup or 185g strawberry yogurt
1/2 cup or 113g butter, melted and cooled
1 large egg

Optional, for decoration: 3 red strawberries, cut into four slices each

Food Lust People Love - Just the right sweetness and oh, so tender, these strawberry yogurt muffins are a great breakfast or snack. Decorate them with sliced strawberries for an extra pretty touch.

Preheat your oven to 350°F or 180°C and prepare your 12-cup muffin pan by greasing it or lining it paper muffin cups.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, the sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

In another bowl, whisk together the milk, yogurt, butter and egg.

Pour your wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and fold them together until just mixed.

Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups and top each with strawberry slice, cut side up, if using.

Bake in the preheated oven about 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Cool on a rack for a few minutes and then remove the muffins to cool completely.


Check out all the other delicious muffins my Muffin Monday bakers are sharing today:

#MuffinMonday is a group of muffin loving bakers who get together once a month to bake muffins. You can see all our of lovely muffins by following our Pinterest board.

Updated links for all of our past events and more information about Muffin Monday, can be found on our home page.

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Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Keralan Yeast Appam #BreadBakers

Keralan appam are easy to make, blending soaked rice with coconut milk to make a rich, thick batter. These delicious lacy pancakes taste fragrantly, inexplicably, of butter.

Appam is popular in certain regions of India, particularly the south and the state of Kerala. It’s made with raw and cooked rice, often fermented with toddy or kallu, an alcoholic drink made from palm or coconut sap. If you don’t have toddy, you can let the batter ferment naturally or add some yeast. Fresh grated coconut and/or coconut milk are frequently present in the ingredient list, as is flattened rice – a sort of rice flake.

This month our Bread Bakers are making pancakes. Our host Mayuri of Mayuri’s Jikon assured us that there were pancakes of all sorts and from every part of the world. I had never really thought about it but she is absolutely right. If you search “pancakes” the list is so loooooong and varied! Who knew?

Even if you just search for “appam,” the name I chose out of the main list, you will find countless recipes for naturally fermented, toddy fermented and yeast fermented versions. Everybody seems to think their family recipe is The One. Isn’t that always the way? I must confess to the same conceit about some of my Cajun dishes, even when my mom informs me later than my grandmother never made something the way I do. Clearly one of us remembering wrong. Yeah, I know it’s probably me, but here we are.

Some links to check out - these are just a drop in the immense Keralan appam bucket!

Anyway, I’ve taken several of those recipes and come up with this one. First of all, I didn’t have toddy. Secondly, I couldn’t find flattened rice. But some recipes called for neither one or the other so I figured I could mix and match. I do have freshly grated coconut but I know many of my readers will not, so I went with a coconut milk version. I used the stuff from the can.

Before we get started cooking appam, let me tell you how good these were. I served them with a Keralan pork chop recipe seasoned with cinnamon, cloves, coriander powder and cardamom. It had lots of onions and tomatoes that made a rich gravy for the pork chops and potatoes. Perfect for eating with appam! Even after my husband and I were full, we were picking up pieces of the appam and nibbling on them.

How is it that something that contains no butter at all, indeed were cooked on a non-stick skillet with just a little canola oil, can taste so buttery? It made no sense. But buttery they are. We both declared them delicious and worthy of the make-again-soon list.

Note: Start one day ahead of when you want to serve the appam.

1 cup or 190g raw rice – I used extra long grained basmati.
1/2 cup or 60g cooked rice
1 cup or 240ml thick coconut milk
½ teaspoon dry active yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
oil as required

Rinse the raw rice in cool water until the water runs almost clear. Cover the rice with ample cool water and set aside to soak for 5 hours.

Drain the water off of the rice in a sieve or colander. Put it in the jug of your blender with the cooked rice, the coconut milk, the salt and all but 1 teaspoon of the sugar.

Mix that teaspoon of sugar with a couple of tablespoons of warm water in a small bowl. Add the yeast and set aside to proof. You are looking for foam to start forming. If it doesn’t, start again with new yeast.

Blend the rice and coconut milk on high until you have a smooth batter. Add in the yeast mixture and mix again briefly. The batter will have the consistency of crepe batter or thick cream.

Pour the batter into a large bowl and cover loosely with cling film.

Leave overnight to ferment. In the morning, if you are not cooking your appam immediately, you can put it in the refrigerator.

You can see that the fermented batter really thickens up.

At this point, I thinned mine with a little water because it wouldn’t spread out at all. You want to be able to pour it in the pan with a measuring cup or ladle, not just spoon it into the pan.

Heat your non-stick skillet over a medium flame and add just a drizzle of canola or other light oil.

Pour in about 1/4 cup or 60ml of the batter and shake the pan so it spreads around. Cover the pan with a lid and cook until the bottom is brown and the top is completely cooked. Do not flip the appam.

Continue until all the appam are cooked. These are traditionally served as a breakfast or snack with vegetable stew.


Many thanks to this month’s host, Mayuri of Mayuri’s Jikoni. Check out the pancakes from different parts of the world that our fellow Bread Bakers have baked this month:
#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. You can see all our of lovely bread by following our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated after each event on the #BreadBakers home page. We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.

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Monday, January 30, 2017

Baba Ganoush Muffins #MuffinMonday

Roasted eggplant, tahini, garlic and a little cumin give these baba ganoush muffins all the flavor of that wonderful dip, in small portable packages. They are perfect with a cold beer, red wine or even something sparkling.

I am a firm believer that you can make pretty much anything into a muffin. It just requires some imagination and the creation of a fusion recipe, taking the ingredients of one dish and turning it into something completely different, but just as delicious.

As we munched on these with a glass of Prosecco the other evening, I share my theory with my husband. He’s learned over the years not to doubt me on matters of the kitchen, but he cocked his head to one side and gave me that little smile where he turns up just one corner of his mouth. “How about banana cream pie?”

If you’ve been reading along here for a while, or follow me on social media, you might know that banana cream pie is his favorite dessert, his special request on his birthday or Father’s Day. Interesting idea. Banana cream pie muffins. I’m not even going to google it because, in all likelihood, someone’s already done one.

But check back next month to see if I succeed. Meanwhile, roast youself an eggplant and make some savory Baba Ganoush Muffins. They are really rather special too.

Butter, oil or baking spray for greasing muffin pan
1 small eggplant about 8 1/2 oz or 240g
1 1/2 cups or 190g flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
Black pepper
1/2 cup or 130g tahini
1/2 cup or 120ml milk
1 egg
1 clove garlic, minced or crushed in a garlic press
Parsley for garnish, if desired

Preheat your oven to 375°F or 190°C and grease a 12-cup muffin pan with a little butter or oil.

Poke the eggplant all over with the tines of a fork. Using a carving fork, hold the eggplant closely over the flame of your gas stove, turning it until it’s charred all over, about 5-7 minutes. (If you don’t have a gas stove, you can just to all the roasting in the oven - it may take up to 25-30 minutes.)

Put the charred eggplant on a baking sheet and put it into the oven for about 20-25 minutes or until it’s completely cooked through.

Remove the eggplant from the oven and set it aside to cool.

Meanwhile, you can be getting the rest of the muffin ingredients ready.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together your flour, salt, baking powder, cumin and a few generous grinds of fresh black pepper.

In another bowl, measure out your tahini and milk and add in the egg.

When the eggplant is cool enough to handle, remove the peelings and discard.

Mash the flesh with a fork.

 Add it to the wet ingredient bowl along with the garlic. Stir well to combine.

Fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until just mixed. Divide the thick batter between the 12 muffin cups. Top with a little chopped parsley for color, if desired.

Bake in your preheated oven about 20-23 minutes or until the tops and sides are golden.

Remove from the oven and leave to cool for a few minutes in the pan. Then removed them from the pan and leave to cool on a wire rack.


Check out all the lovely muffins my Muffin Monday bakers have created for you:

#MuffinMonday is a group of muffin loving bakers who get together once a month to bake muffins. You can see all our of lovely muffins by following our Pinterest board.

Updated links for all of our past events and more information about Muffin Monday, can be found on our home page.

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Baba Ganoush Muffins - Roasted eggplant, tahini, garlic and a little cumin give these baba ganoush muffins all the flavor of that wonderful dip, in small portable packages.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

ANZAC Biscuits #CreativeCookieExchange

ANZAC biscuits are a traditional cookie Down Under made with oats, coconut and golden syrup. These biscuits – always biscuits and never cookies – can be baked chewy or crispy and that’s a point that divides families.

This month our Creative Cookie Exchange group theme is Healthy Cookies. My younger daughter and I were brainstorming ideas – I was pushing for a homemade Hobnob (a crispy oat cookie) when she suggested ANZAC biscuits. When we lived in Kuala Lumpur the first time, we enjoyed home baked ANZAC biscuits at least once a year, when one of our Australian friends made them for ANZAC Day. Happily, she also shared her recipe.

ANZAC stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps, a joint outfit that fought together during World War I. ANZAC Day, which falls on April 25th every year, is a national holiday in Australia that has grown from its original intent in 1916 to honor the more than 8,000 Australians who died in the campaign to take Gallipoli, to a day to honor all who have fallen in military and peacekeeping missions.

There are several stories about the origin of ANZAC biscuits. One says that they were baked to send overseas in care packages to soldiers. More likely, say historians, they were created and baked to sell at fundraisers to collect money for the war effort. Original ANZAC biscuits were made only of flour, oats, and butter with syrup as the binding agent. They had a long shelf life and were full of energy and nutrition. Coconut has become a popular, later addition.

First, a word about the units of measure. Australian cups and tablespoons are not the same volume as American cups and tablespoons.

1 Australian cup = 8.45 fl oz
1 US cup = 8 fl oz
1 Australian tablespoon = 4 teaspoons
1 US tablespoon = 3 teaspoons

Mercifully, the teaspoons are equal. To make this the least complicated as possible, I’m going to leave the cups the same, since they are 1:1 anyway, but add the gram measurements of an Australian cup of rolled oats, flour, sugar and butter, if you want to use a scale.

1 cup or 120g rolled oats (Don’t use the quick cook oats.)
1 cup or 132g plain flour
1 cup or 237g caster sugar
3/4 cup or 75g coconut
1/2 cup or 125g butter
8 teaspoons golden syrup
1/2 teaspoon bi-carbonate of soda (baking soda, not baking powder)
8 teaspoons boiling water

Preheat your oven to 300°F or 150°C and line two cookie sheets with baking parchment or silicone liners.

Combine oats, flour, sugar and coconut in a large bowl.

Combine butter and golden syrup in a saucepan (or microwaveable bowl) and use your heat source to warm them gently until the butter is melted.

Mix the soda with the boiling water and add it to the butter mixture (it should froth up) and then add the whole lot to the oat mixture. Stir well.

Use a cookie dough scoop or a couple of spoons to divide the dough into about 24 pieces, placing them on your prepared pans.

Bake in your preheated oven for about 18-20 minutes or until golden brown. Rotate the pans mid way through baking time so they will brown evenly. If they are undercooked, they will be soft in the middle. If they’ve run together a little bit, just use a knife to gently separate them.

Remove the biscuits from the pan while warm and transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Store in an airtight container for up to a week. If they last that long.


Many thanks to my dear friend Glenys, for being the kind of friend who not only shares her recipes, but one whose friendship over the years has helped me stop questioning my sanity. Knowing she chose this same nomadic life means I must not be nuts, but if I’m crazy at least we are both crazy together. Everyone should be blessed with a friend like Glenys.

A big thank you also to Karen from Karen’s Kitchen Stories and Holly of A Baker’s House for stepping up to create and update the link list. Want to see the rest of our healthy cookies? Check out the list below.

Creative Cookie Exchange is hosted by Laura of The Spiced Life. We get together once a month to bake cookies with a common theme or ingredient so Creative Cookie Exchange is a great resource for cookie recipes. Be sure to check out our Pinterest Board and our monthly posts at The Spiced Life. We post the first Tuesday after the 15th of each month!

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Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Pepperoni Pizza Popcorn #FoodieExtravaganza

Pepperoni Pizza Popcorn is made with fresh popcorn kernels popped in the oil of fried pepperoni, plus ground sundried tomatoes, Parmesan and oregano. Perfect for your combo pizza/movie night.

You know what’s hard to eat and type at the same time? Pepperoni Pizza Popcorn. And yet, as I sit here eating and typing, shining up my MacBook keyboard with every muted clack, clack, clack, I can’t stop dipping my hands into that big bowl. I find myself typing with only my right hand, so the left hand can still reach into that bowl. It’s not easy – the A and E are so far to the left! - but here we are. And it’s worth the trouble, I assure you.

This month’s Foodie Extravaganza theme is popcorn in honor of National Popcorn Day on January 19th. Now you will be prepared to celebrate with plenty of fun recipes!

I gotta tell you about this pepperoni pizza popcorn. A lot of the pepperoni falls off and ends up at the bottom of the bowl. Which is not always a bad thing. You can eat it by licking a finger and coating it with pepperoni. Over and over. And over. Every once in a while, I’d use a spoon and scoop to the bottom of the bowl and sprinkle the pepperoni back over the remaining popcorn. That helps too. But the bottom line is that this stuff tastes so good, you won’t care.

Ingredients – for a huge, I mean huge, bowl of popcorn.
5 sun-dried tomatoes or about 10g, ground in a mortar and pestle or a coffee grinder reserved for spices
1/3 cup or 40g grated Parmesan
1/2 teaspoon (or more) dried oregano
6 oz or 170g sliced pepperoni
5-6 tablespoon canola
3/4 cup or 160g popcorn kernels

Put your sun-dried tomato powder, Parmesan and oregano together in a bowl. Stir well to combine and set aside.

Chop your pepperoni in a food processor until it is in tiny bits.

Fry it in your very large popcorn pot along with 3 tablespoons canola oil. (Your popcorn pot should be wide enough to hold the popcorn kernels in one layer at the bottom and commensurately tall, with a good fitting lid.)

When the pepperoni is crispy, tip the pot to one side and leave it that way for a few minutes, so you can remove the pepperoni to a plate lined with paper towels and leave the oil behind.

Pour the popcorn kernels into the pot. Give the pot a shake so they lay in a single layer. Add the extra 2-3 tablespoons canola oil so that all the kernels are coated in oil.

Use an old dishcloth to cover the inside of your pot lid, tying the ends around the handle on top. This towel will absorb the steam and keep your popcorn from getting soggy.

Pop the corn, lid on, over a medium high heat until the kernels stop popping. Shake the pot occasionally to send the unpopped kernels back down to the bottom.

Remove from the heat and tip the popcorn into a large bowl. Sprinkle the popcorn with the sun-dried tomato powder, Parmesan, oregano and crispy pepperoni.


Many thanks to our host this month, Camilla of Culinary Adventures with Camilla. Check out all the great popcorn recipes we have for you!

Foodie Extravaganza celebrates obscure food holidays or shares recipes with the same ingredient or theme every month.

Posting day is always the first Wednesday of each month. If you are a blogger and would like to join our group and blog along with us, come join our Facebook group Foodie Extravaganza. We would love to have you!

If you're a reader looking for delicious recipes, check out our Foodie Extravaganza Pinterest Board! Looking for our previous parties? Check them out here.

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