Tuesday, 30 December 2014

A New Year, A New Calendar

The talented ladies from Coco & Mingo have a FREE printable calendar to start your New Year off with some practical glam. Wouldn't it look great pinned to a cork board or hung from a wooden clip board? For the free download head to their website by clicking here and follow the instructions.

Happy New Year friends, I hope 2015 will be a happy and blessed year for us all! 

Saturday, 27 December 2014

Brownie Cookies

A brownie in a cookie form, that takes much less time in the oven therefore less time waiting for those delicious first bites. If your a lover of brownies, please do try these chocolatey morsels.

Here is a recipe that I use in place of buying the delicious (but unjustifiably expensive) cookies from the famous Home Bakery in Dubai. Although I still may treat myself once in a blue moon to the Home Bakery variety, this recipe from Donna Hay satisfies the craving for chewy, decadent chocolate when the time calls. I don't sandwich the cookies as the original recipe suggest, the cookies are perfectly good on their own hence no need for extra fuss in the kitchen. She does have 2 different filling recipes, Salted Caramel and Peanut Butter. Maybe I'll be adventurous one day and try them out!

If its your first time making this recipe, initially the batter will seem very running, however after letting it stand it will thicken up. A little tip for the first time I made these, read the ENTIRE recipe and instructions first before anything else! My first attempt began with some very odd looking melted chocolate and too much flour before the realisation of the batter needing to stand. Luckily I had my expert baker Mother on hand for some reassuring solutions.

On both occasions of making these cookies, the family gobbled them up before I had time to photograph them. Next time, I will make sure to save a few for some pretty snaps.

Sally from Simmer & Boyle also has adapted the recipe to suit her individual taste, as well as taken some gorgeous photos of the finished product! Check it out!!
image source: donna hay

Brownie Cookies (from Donna Hay) 

350g good quality dark chocolate
40g butter
2 eggs, at room temperature
150g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
35g plain flour
¼ tsp baking powder

makes 20 small individual cookies or 12 large

  • preheat your oven to 180ºC or 160ºc fan assisted.
  • place 200g of the dark chocolate into a small pan with the butter, stir over a low heat until smooth, set aside.
  • using a stand mixer, whisk the eggs, vanilla and sugar together for about 15 minutes. The mizture should become rather thick, pale and creamy. If you do not have  stand mixer, you can use a hand mixer, or old fashioned elbow grease but be prepared for a sore arm. 
  • gently fold the sifted flour/baking powder, melted chocolate/butter and all the remaining chocolate through the egg mixture, leave to stand for 10 minutes.
  • while your cookie mix is resting, line 2 trays with baking paper.
  • Use a dessert spoon or small ice cream scoop I used a small ice cream scoop to scoop and drop small mounds of the mix onto your prepared trays. Allow room for the cookies to spread. 
  • bake for 10 minutes, but check after 8, the cookies should be puffed and cracked, dry on top, but still very soft. Over-baking the cookies will result in a brandy snap texture with a bendy inside. Similarly an oven that is too hot will do the same. Use your bakers judgment and if your still unsure do a test batch with 2 cookies.
  • Once baked, leave on the trays until completely cool. 

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Tasmania Trip

Beautiful Hobart...
We went flower shopping
Drank lots of iced tea and read vintage books
And no day would be complete without morning, midday and afternoon tea...
Mum baked and baked and baked, raspberry and nutella muffins (on this day).
We picnicked on the most sunny day we could get.
Found some treasures at the market.
And made daisy chains to our hearts content!

The reason for the trip was many, but most importantly it was my last trip with no responsibilities. For the next time I visit my loved ones, it will be with a little baby!

I guess it was also the last time that I would have my family all to myself, as I'm sure on my next visit the little babe will be winning over hearts and centre of attention <3