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Salted Butterscotch Cookies

Tonight, I was craving cookies.  This is not uncommon for me, which is why I do not keep them in the house.  Otherwise I would be eating them all the time.  But, tonight, I NEEDED a cookie.  Or several cookies.  Ok, a whole batch of cookies.  These little beauties satisfied that need and took no time at all to make.  Even less time to eat.

The secret is to use salted butter – this definitely gives them that extra little edge.  I usually bake with unsalted butter (I have to watch my sodium intake because of my kidneys) but these cookies really need that little savoury kick.  Trust me.  The golden syrup is also essential – don’t leave it out or substitute it with honey or some such nonsense.  It must be golden syrup to get that real butterscotch flavour.  You wouldn’t think that one little tablespoon would make a difference, but it really does.

I think these would make excellent ice cream sandwiches.  Just imagine some peanut butter gelato or a nice scoop of vanilla in between two of these – heaven!

SALTED BUTTERSCOTCH COOKIES

125g salted butter, softened
1 tbs golden syrup
1/2 cup soft brown sugar
1 1/4 cup self-raising flour, sifted

Cream sugar, butter and golden syrup until well combined.  Add sifted flour and mix to form a dough (you might need to mix the final bit of flour through with your hands).

Roll spoonfuls of the mixture into small balls and place onto a baking sheet.  Flatten slightly with a fork.

Bake at 180 c for approx 15 minutes.  Keep an eye on them as they can burn quickly.

Let them cool on a wire rack.

Demolish.

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Salted Butterscotch Cookies

Happy Munching! 🙂

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Muesli Biscuits

I am a bit of a cereal nut.  I loves me some cereal, any time of day or night.  It is a good standby when the cupboard is otherwise bare and you need something to eat, whether it be for dinner or lunch or, obviously, breakfast.  This week I thought I would branch out of my usual Cheerios or porridge routine and get some muesli.  I chose a low fat one, thinking it would at least be less likely to adhere directly to my thighs.  Alas, it probably contained enough sugar to give half the world diabetes and actually didn’t taste all that good.  So, what to do with a box of muesli you don’t actually want to eat?  Make cookies out of it, of course.  Everything is better if it is cookie-shaped, after all.

So, here is a simple recipe for using up that crummy muesli you don’t like.  I gave these to my little nephews and nieces on the weekend and they gobbled them up.  To be fair, they are not the fussiest of eaters but, still, they ate these happily – even the little one (who is two and very, very aware of what she does and DOES NOT like).

Muesli Biscuits

3 cups muesli
1/2 cup plain flour
2 tablespoons flax seed meal (optional)
100g butter, melted
1/3 cup honey
1 egg

Preheat oven to 180 C

Combine dry ingredients in a bowl.  Mix butter, honey and egg together until combined.

Mix dry and wet ingredients together.  Set aside for 10 minutes or so.

Roll spoonfuls of mixture together into golfball-sized balls.

Place on baking paper-lined trays and flatten slightly.

Bake for 15-20 mins.  If you have used two trays, swap them around midway through cooking so they bake evenly.

Cool for 10 mins then transfer to a wire rack.
If you like, drizzle with a little bit of lemon icing (or leave plain).

That’s pretty much it.  They’re not beauty queens, these bikkies, but they taste alright and they’re a good fibre-rich treat to pop in lunch boxes etc.  You can almost pretend they’re healthy.  Sort of.  And at least you haven’t wasted your muesli! 🙂

Happy Munching x

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Little Box of Echeveria (and sneaky snacks)

Little Box of Echeveria (and sneaky snacks)

I have gone from hardly posting at all to posting A LOT this week.  It won’t last, I’m sure.  Get it while it’s hot!

Potted up this little ceramic box with a bunch of Echeveria pups I had propagated.  One of my colleagues at work is turning the big 7-0 this week and I wanted to get her a little something for her office.  I had planned on buying an orchid, but the shops only seemed to have enormous ones that were out of my price range, so I decided to pot up a few succulents for her in a nice pot.  Found these weeny square ceramic pots at Bunnings for less than $4.  I was going to put in a few different varieties of succulent, but then I decided to just use the echeverias, although there are several different colours.  They will eventually grow to big for the pot but for a little while they will be happy enough.  It annoys me when plant pots are made with no hole in them for drainage.  I realise the do this so that water doesn’t leak out all over your precious heirloom tablecloth or whatever, but still… I just put a load of gravel or other free-draining material in the bottom to prevent any root-rot.

It’s cute – I hope she likes it.  Everything makes her sneeze and cough, so I had to get something that wouldn’t flower heaps or have lots of pollen.  I figure I am pretty safe with these little guys.

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I’m also making some chocolate oat cookies (these) to take to work for everyone to share.  I hate to admit it, but I ate half of the batter before it even made it to the oven.  Because I am an idiot.  Who shouldn’t eat chocolate. Le Sigh.  Sometimes, my brain switches off.  Actually, more truthfully, most days it doesn’t switch on in the first place.  I have been trying to be good lately and not eat bad stuff but it is a losing battle.  I didn’t go for a walk today so can’t even say “at least I exercised”. I wanted to have lost a couple of kilos by the time my annual renal appointment came up at the end of the month, but it looks like I will have to wear the same sheepish, guilty expression I always have when I see my specialist.

Well, I am heading into boring “I am fat” territory and don’t want to subject you to that yawn-fest, so I shall go.

Hope your day has been happy and guilt-free.  Or FULL of guilty pleasures.  Yeah, that sounds much more fun!

🙂

Easy Chocolate Oat Cookies

Easy Chocolate Oat Cookies

I have been eating a lot lately.  Bingeing, you might say.  Whether it is to fill an emotional void or just because I am a pig with no self control, I can’t say.  I don’t generally keep “bad” food in the house because I will just eat it.  Rapidly. With no thought to the size of my thighs or any other part of my expanding body.

Today I had my niece’s 1st birthday party to go to.  I was severely hungover (not from alcohol, I don’t drink – it was from some medication I take to ease neck pain and headaches and last night I took a big dose because I just wanted to sleep) and very dopey and unmotivated.  Last night, I had predicted my inevitable last-minute dash to the party, so I had baked some cookies. Easy cookies which take no brain power whatsoever to make.  I added chocolate to the recipe because I am currently also going through some sort of brain fog, whereby I forget that I’m not supposed to eat chocolate (because of my kidneys).  Besides, the cookies were for the party, not strictly for me alone, so I could cheat and eat some batter and pretend it was ok.

The cookies are yummy and turn out really well, even if your oven is rubbish like mine.  The wholegrain porridge oats mean they are super healthy (you can lie to yourself like I did) and should be eaten with abandon.

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Easy Chocolate Oat Cookies

150g Self Raising Floour
150g Wholegrain Quick Oats
150g Dark Brown Sugar
150g Butter
2 Tablespoons Golden Syrup
100g chopped dark chocolate or chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.
In a saucepan, melt butter, sugar and golden syrup together until sugar is dissolved.
Stir in dry ingredients until all combine. Chocolate will probably melt into mixture but that’s ok!

Spoon mixture onto baking tray and form into rounds.

Bake for approx 20 minutes.  Let cool on trays.  Store in airtight container.

Voila!  Eat and go on a diet tomorrow!

🙂

Lavender Sugar Cookies

Lavender Sugar Cookies

After yesterday’s attempt at, well, nothing in the end, I gave up and did what I always do when I can’t get my act together – bake.  And besides, baking is still a form of creating, right?  I make just as much mess in the kitchen as I do in the craft room, so I figure it counts.  My hubby just complains less when there’s food at the end of the mess.

These biscuits are really easy to make and taste delicious.  If you don’t have a food processor, just cream the butter and sugar together by hand and mix in the other ingredients.  It works well either way.

LAVENDER SUGAR COOKIES

100g Unsalted Butter – cubed

75g Caster Sugar + extra for sprinkling

175g Self Raising Flour

2 TBS chopped Lavender Flowers (dried or fresh)

Water

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

Put the butter and sugar into a food processor and “whizz” up until you get a mixture resembling breadcrumbs.

Add the flour and flowers and pulse again.  Add some water (about 1-2 tablespoons) until a smooth, workable dough forms.

Remove from processor and knead on a floured board or counter top.  Roll out to about 5mm thickness. Cut out into desired shapes and place on a tray lined with baking paper.  Sprinkle with additional sugar.

Bake for approx 15-20 minutes until slightly golden.  Cool on wire rack and enjoy with a nice cup of tea.  Get hubby to do dishes (this is a very important step).

Makes about 20 cookies depending on size!

Cats, Cookies and the Country

Cats, Cookies and the Country

I had to go down to my Mum’s today.  She lives about 45 minutes drive away.  I wish she lived closer but in a lot of ways I’m still glad that I get to visit her out “in the country” and get away from the city and suburbs.  I miss living in the more open space with trees all around and a big backyard.  With kangaroos in the backyard (less exciting to Mum because they keep eating her roses but she stills loves them and is now using the “roo poo” to fertilise the garden and fruit trees!) and horses in the next-door neighbours’ paddock.  I grew up there, lived there for over 30 years before I moved out (I was a late bloomer ok?) and it’s still what I call home.

When I walked in the door I was immediately greeted by the smell of baking cookies.  Yum!  Is there any better smell in the world?  These Oat Cookies are very simple to make and always delicious.  Not exactly low-fat but, well, you can’t have everything, right?

YUMMY OAT COOKIES

Makes about 12

1 Cup Rolled Oats

1/2 Cup Plain Flour

1/2 Cup Raw Sugar

1 Egg (lightly beaten)

125g Butter

Melt Butter over a low heat in a medium sized saucepan.  Take off heat once melted and add sugar.  Mix to combine and dissolve sugar a little.  Add other ingredients and stir until all ingredients are incorporated.

Drop spoonfuls of mixture onto a tray lined with baking paper.

Bake in 180 degree celsius oven for approximately 20 minutes.  Cool on wire rack.  Eat and enjoy!

My duties today included taking my/Mum’s cat Alexander to the vets.  He’s 15 years old and beautiful, with the softest black coat.  He just needed a vaccination today, otherwise he is in perfect health.  The vet commented on how shiny he is and what good condition he is in for his age.  All our animals live to be pretty ancient.  Our other cat, Bronte (the crabby tabby)  is 19 this year and though starting to look a bit, well, geriatric, she is still pretty feisty and healthy and her yearly check up showed her to be fit as a fiddle and with the constitution of a cat many years her junior.  Anyway, Alexander (or Boyo as he is nicknamed) was very well behaved at the vets and didn’t mind the needles at all.  He came home again as though nothing had happened.

Mum and I picked some oranges from her poor little neglected tree.  It doesn’t get any attention, water, fertiliser or pruning.  Most of the time Mum forgets it is even there (it’s down the back in the paddock).  This year she was rewarded with a tree full of fruit – not nasty, sour, bug-infested fruit that you would expect from such a poor specimen, but lovely, juicy, sweet oranges.  It doesn’t really make sense but there they are.  They don’t look all that flash but they are really tasty and full of juice.  I can’t eat them (no oranges for me on a renal diet!) but boy, did they smell yummy!

We were helped along by lots of buzzing bees…they were out in force as it was a sunny day with plenty of wildflowers to choose from in bloom.  They seem to particularly like the wild daisies that grow everywhere (look closely and you can see one of the little buzzy bees in this next picture…).

All in all, a lovely day.  Now I have to go home to my own neglected garden and do some pruning and weeding…bye for now.  Hope you had a “fruitful” day  🙂