Scattered Love Ginger Hearts
Not quite award winners at the recent Melbourne Show, however a favourite with my children.
350 g plain flour
1.5 teaspoons ground ginger
Half teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon bicarbonate soda
100 g chilled butter
175 g brown sugar
1 medium egg
2 tablespoons golden syrup or treacle
Small heart shaped cookie cutter (or any other shape that you fancy)
Heat the oven to 180oC. Line two baking trays with baking paper
Sift flour into large mixing bowl
Sift in ginger, cinnamon and bicarbonate soda
Cut the butter into chunks and stir in so that is it coated with flour
Use your fingers to rub the butter into the flour until it resembles fine breadcrumbs
Stir in sugar
Break egg into small mixing bowl and beat with a fork.
Add the egg mixture to the dry ingredients and mix everything together
Holding the bowl in one hand, use your other hand to squeeze the mixture together until you have a smooth dough
Use a blunt knife to cut the dough in half
Sprinkle flour on work space and roll out the dough
Use the cookie cutter to cut out lots of hearts (or other shapes)
Repeat this until all the dough is used
Put on baking tray and bake for 12-15 minutes until golden
Use spatula to lift cookies onto wire rack to cool
Store is airtight container or share with friends immediately.
The mini hearts make great decorations on top of vanilla ice cream or stuck together with a mix of whipped cream and custard.
Theodore’s roast chicken
Theodore arrives home from school and whips up dinner so it’s ready to eat when the rest of us walk in the door at 7pm.
Turn on the oven to 220 oC fan forced
- Put chicken in baking dish, drizzle with olive oil and squeeze lemon juice over the top.
- Stuff squeezed lemons inside the chicken cavity.
- Crack salt and pepper across the top.
- Cover with silver foil.
- Put in oven for 20 minutes, then turn oven down to 180 oC.
Roughly chop washed (unpeeled) potatoes and scatter around roasting chicken.
After 30 minutes turn potatoes.
Total cooking time is 20 minutes per 500g.
Carve the chicken onto plates, scatter with roasted potatoes and drizzle juice from the pan. Serve with ripped leaf salad.
Bircher Muesli and Farmers’ Fund Milk
I cup of rolled oats
1 tablespoon of each – chopped dried apricots, cranberries, dried blueberries, sultanas (or a mix of your fav dried fruits)
A few dry roasted almonds
Mix together in beaker or glass jar with lid. Top up with Farmers’ Fund milk.
For breakfast, top with dollop of yoghurt and shredded apple.
Chocolate Chip Cookies
75 g softened butter
75 g caster sugar
75 g soft light brown sugar
1 medium egg
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
175 g plain flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
150 g chocolate drops, dried cranberries or other dried combinations
Heat oven to 180oC fan forced
Line two baking trays with baking paper
In a large mixing bowl, stir together butter and sugar until well mixed.
Lightly beat egg and pour and mix into mixture and stir in vanilla.
Sift dry ingredients together and mix well.
Stir in 150 g of chocolate drops, dried fruit etc
Using hands or tablespoon, put balls of dough evenly spread on each baking tray. Flatten with fork
Bake in oven for 10 minutes – start checking around 5 minutes to get chewy cookies.
Remove from oven, leave on tray for a few minutes then transfer to wire rack to cool. Makes 24 cookies.
NUTELLA ENERGY BALLS
~2 cups rolled oats
1 cup shredded or desiccated coconut
2 T chia seeds
½ cup Nutella
¼ cup Coconut Oil
Optional 2 T honey/maple syrup if you like it sweet
1. Pulse oats, chia and coconut in a processor until a coarse mix. 2.
2. Melt coconut oil in microwave until liquid, remove, Then soften the Nutella in the microwave.
3. Place pulsed dry mix into a large bowl with the Nutella and half the coconut oil.
4. Mix together with a spoon before moving to hands. At this point, have a taste test and see if it needs extra sweetener.
5. Using your hands, pinch a table spoon amount of mixture and squeeze back and forth in a fist. Roll into rum ball shapes.
6. Mixture should be sticky but hold together when squeezed into balls.
7. If the mix is too dry, gradually add more coconut oil. If too sticky, add dry ingredients [almond meal, pulsed oats ,desiccated coconut] Improvise!
8. Refrigerate for an hour before serving.
Makes 15-20. Great for afternoon tea snack + a ‘healthier’ option for Nutella lovers. Thanks for the recipe Julia Waite.
SOMERVILLE BEEF PIES
Wangaratta’s unofficial version of a Cornish Pasty, these beef pies can be made quickly and left to cook whilst herding children into homework and end of day activities. This recipe feeds 10 people and the pies can be frozen.
500g mince beef
1 onion diced
1-2 garlic gloves
½ cup tomato sauce
1 tablespoon tomato paste
5 sheets puff pastry
1 head broccoli
3 shakes of Italian herbs
1 cup frozen peas
1 beaten egg
Put carrot, broccoli, onion and garlic in food processor, process into small pieces. Fry mixture in a pan for 10-15 minutes and add beef, herbs, tomato paste, salt and pepper. Cook until beef is browned. Add tomato sauce.
Microwave the peas and add to the mixture and let the mixture cool.
Cut each puff pastry sheet into four squares, making the top squares a little larger. On a lined baking tray, line up the smaller pastry squares, having brushed the bottom with egg. Spoon on some meat mixture. Put larger pastry square on top and fork around the edges to seal the pies. Brush tops with egg.
Cook in oven at 180C for 40 minutes.
Serve hot from the oven. Leftovers for school or working lunch the next day.
NEW YORK CHEESECAKE
A cake steeped in New York history. The introduction of cream cheese in the late 1800s and the resulting wave of immigrants – Jewish and Greek – saw the first New York Cheesecake being sold on the Lower East Side in the 1920s.
This amazingly rich cheesecake is easy to make, although requires a couple of hours to cook and overnight refrigeration. Perfect for a crowd as can make the day before. Serves 8-10 generously
For the crust
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 and a ¼ cups granita biscuits crumbed (about 10 crackers)
2 tablespoons sugar
For the filling
1.25kg cream cheese at warm room temperature
2 cups sugar
1/3 cup plain flour
2 large eggs plus 1 large yolk
1 cup double cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or essence
To make the crust, preheat oven to 165oC. Generously butter the bottom and sides of a 23cm springform pan (cake tin). In a bowl, combine the melted butter, biscuit crumbs and sugar and stir until the crumbs are evenly moistened. If too moist, add a further crumbed biscuit.
Press the crumb mixture into the springform pan – evenly across the bottom and 4cm up the sides. Bake until the crust dries out slightly, about 10 minutes. Let cool completely in the tin on a wire rack.
To make the filling, put cream cheese in large mixing bowl and beat on high speed until smooth, about 5 minutes. Mix the flour and sugar together then add to the cream cheese mix and beat until well blended.
Scrape down the sides of the bowl with spatula to ensure mixture is evenly beaten.
Add eggs and egg yolk, one at a time beating after each addition. Add cream and vanilla and beat until combined.
Pour mixture into the spring form pan over the prepared crust.
Bake until the cheesecake is set and the centre jiggles slightly, usually about 80-90 minutes. Do not overbake.
Cool in pan on wire rack. Cover with plastic and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
Before serving, unclasp the sides of the springform pan and remove. Cut the cake into wedges, served chilled with fresh berries or a coulis.