Saturday, 25 April 2015

Kitchen Sink Cookies and ANZAC Day wishes.

I hope all Aussie's and New Zealander's world wide have a safe ANZAC DAY today.

Lest we forget.

Ahh the kitchen sink cookie.  Why do I call it that you ask?  Well I chucked everything but the kitchen sink in them!  These cookies can have anything in them, you can throw in choc chips, peanut butter, cocoa pops, caramel buds, nuts, what ever takes your fancy or you have on hand!
These cookies are great to freeze uncooked as well.  You should have seen the look on the ladies at the Mater's face at 7.30 am this morning when I dropped in 2 plates.  She saw the M & M's and almost ran away with the plate to hide them from everyone!
250 g butter softened
1/2 cup castor sugar
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups plain flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups oats
1 cup M &M's
3/4 cup chocolate chips (I used dark chocolate)
2 1/4 cups Rice Bubbles (Cocoa pops would be good as well)
Cream the butter and sugars until light and fluffy.

Beat in your eggs one at a time until combined then beat in vanilla.

This is a NO sifting recipe so just dump the flour, baking soda and powder and salt into your mixer and on a low speed mix until just combined.

Now I got a bit carried away and forgot to take 2 photos, Sorry.  But to give you an idea, mix in the oats, then dump in your choice of chockies and sweets.  Mine was chocolate chips and M & M's mix until just combined then mix in the rice bubbles until just combined, you don't want to smoosh them toooooo much. 

This is the mix, Mum got a bit scoop happy and started scooping before I was ready for photos.
This is my Mum.  Hi Mum.  My parents came for a visit for a couple of days and to help me out. Love my Mum :)

If your freezing them do so once scooped then bag once frozen.  Now they do spread out so depending on your cookie sheet depends on how many to a pan.  Bake in a pre heated 180C oven for 12 minutes.

Remove onto your cooling rack straight away or they will keep cooking and go hard!

Shhhh don't tell Lawrence I still have a bag of M's (he can't say M & M's just calls them M's) in the pantry ;)

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Chocolate Waffles and a Superstorm!

Newcastle went to bed last night with a Severe Storm warning.  Throughout the night the wind and rain was quite severe.  Then wind blew out some of the fencing panels as you can see below and the rain left lakes in the front and backyards.  At about 5.50am the power went out and Scott and I had to do our daily drive to the Mater.  So with no coffee in me I proceeded to get in the car and drive carefully.
There were trees down everywhere most on the roads or footpaths but some on houses and garages.  The SES (State Emergency Services), Police, Fireies and Ambos are all flat out today as the Super Storm keeps raging.  All our schools and a lot of businesses were closed due to flooding and power outages.  Thanks to the Emergency Services for all their ongoing fantastic work.
At home this afternoon with power back on I decided that the cold, wet and stormy day needed some cheering up.  I made chocolate waffles.  I stood there thinking that I could make them like a childhood treat.  Friends and family from Melbourne will know what I mean when I say "Mad Hatters Special"  we used to go to the Pancake Parlour and have these pancakes.  I made them with waffles and oh boy where they good!
This makes 8 waffles
150g dark chocolate chopped
90g butter
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups plain flour
3/4 cup castor sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
Preheat your waffle machine to the correct setting.

Melt your chocolate and butter together in the microwave for 30 seconds on high.  Set aside to cool slightly.

Beat your milk, eggs and vanilla together.

In a bowl mix together your flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and cocoa together

Mix your melted chocolate and milk mix together.

Whisk your wet ingredients into your dry and mix until you have no lumps.

Pour the required amount of mix into your heated waffle machine as per directions.  Cook for required time, my machine for chocolate waffles is 5 minutes.

Top with desired toppings, I used vanilla ice cream, chocolate syrup, maple syrup and sprinkles.

Dive in!

Saturday, 18 April 2015

Marshmallow and a sugar coma

I have always wanted to make Marshmallow, again a bit scared of making it was the sticking point!  Shall I say also, very conflicting recipes as well!  Confusion reigned in my mind and I ummed and ahhed.  I found a recipe that I could follow and well here is how we proceeded. 
A couple of bits of house keeping first of all.  Yes the photos have a LOT of white in them!  I should have made pink marshmallow I now realise.  Second I have given you the recipe as a third of the original, I found the recipe I used was WAY too big and probably and industrial recipe from a professional kitchen to begin with!
Mum and Dad bought me an early birthday present, I got a little kitchen blow torch :D <--- Happy Me! So I am going to have to play with it and well kill some marshmallow and experiment.
4 sheets gelatin
1/3 cup glucose syrup (light corn syrup)
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of salt
1/4 cup cornflour
1/4 cup icing sugar
Spray a 9" x 9" baking dish with cooking spray or a non flavoured spray oil.  Line the bottom with 2 sheets of baking paper and lightly spray with oil.

Soak  the gelatin sheets in cold water until softened and set aside.

In saucepan place half the glucose syrup and the sugar.  Heat on medium until the sugar is dissolved and your candy thermometer reads "soft ball" 240F.

In a second saucepan place an inch of water, squeeze the water from the gelatin and place in saucepan of water to melt over medium heat.

Keep an eye on your sugar mix as it will bubble while heating.

Place the other half of your glucose in the bowl of your stand mixer, place the melted gelatin mixture in the bowl and turn on low to mix.  Pour the sugar mixture down the side of the mixing bowl on low speed (remember this is boiling so please be careful).

If you have a splatter guard place it on while your mixer is still on low speed.  Turn your mixer up to high speed and allow to whisk for 15 minutes.

Turn your mixer off and add the vanilla and salt.  Mix again to ensure these are mixed in completely.

See there is wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy to much mixture!  This is why I cut the recipe.

Pour the mixture into your prepared dish and place in a dry area out of the way to set.  I left mine overnight to set.

The next day (or when your marshmallow is set) sift the cornflour and icing sugar together into a bowl.

Turn your set marshmallow onto a piece of baking paper sprinkled with the sugar mixture or sprinkle the sugar mixture directly on the top of the marshmallow prior to turning over.

When you turn out the marshmallow sprinkle the top with the sugar mixture and cut up to your desired size.

Roll the pieces of marshmallow in the sugar mixture and store in an airtight plastic container if you are not using it straight away.

If you can wait make yourself a hot chocolate and toss a good sized chunk of marshmallow into it, hide in a corner and enjoy!

Saturday, 11 April 2015

Lemon Sugar Cookie Bars

Our Godson Lawrence, whom some of you will remember from my chocolate cake post in February last year, is a bit of a sprinkle fiend, when he comes to visit he loves a Babyccino with sprinkles.  We have a jar of dinosaur sprinkles for these occasions, however I did see some other sprinkles at the supermarket which I thought he would love.  Then I saw this post on one of my favourite blogs, Inside BrewCrew Life I saw the sprinkles first then I saw the word Lemon in the title (I love all things tart and lemony) and well here we are!
Chief Crash Test Dummy is out of action for the foreseeable future so these went to the hard working Ladies and Gentlemen at the Radiology Dept. at the Calvary Mater Hospital here in Newcastle.  These hard working individuals see hundreds of patients every day and always have a smile for each and every person, they get to know their patients and don't mind having a chat if needed.  Our thanks go to these fantastic people for all their assistance and support.
Cookie base
100 g softened butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup castor sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 1/2 cups plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
100 g softened butter
4 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 cups icing sugar
coloured sprinkles of your choice
For the base beat the butter and sugars together until light and fluffy.

Beat in the egg and lemon juice.  The mix will look curdled but this is normal.

Mix through the sifted dry ingredients until a soft dough forms.

Press into a lined baking sheet with your fingers, I used a baking sheet 9" by 12".

Bake in 190C pre heated oven for 15 minutes.  Remove and allow to cool completely in the tray.

Mix all the frosting ingredients until light and fluffy.

Spread generously over the cooled base.

Top with your choice of sprinkles.

Add some others if you have them :) press the sprinkles gently into the icing to stop them going everywhere when picked up.

Now this cuts nicely into 24 squares, however some may think this is very sweet so you may need to cut some of the squares in half again.

See how long they last.

Junior crash test dummy went "OOOO sprinkles" and demolished a full square in no time.