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Archive for the ‘Sweet Treats’ Category

Apple Cinnamon Cookies

Advice That Certain People Who Write Essays Would Do Well To Note:

1. It doesn’t matter whether a sociological theorist is “pessimistic” or not, or which year s/he was born in. It does matter, though, that you understand that “rationalisation” relates to disenchantment and bureaucratisation, and not to people thinking logically about their life choices.

2. I’d prefer you wrote about Karl Marx and Max Weber, not Kyle Marx and Max Webber. You see, I’m not entirely sure what the latter two contributed to Sociology. Oh, and Emile Durkheim is a man, although it would be nice if one of the “Founding Fathers” was actually a “Founding Mother”. Sadly, we aren’t allowed to change the sex of people born centuries ago.

3. Want to know what helps you, in a grades-affected manner? Answering the essay question.

4. Want to know what helps me, in a sanity-affected manner? When you get my name right on the cover sheet. (Oh, and my sanity also benefits when you answer the essay question.)

5. Last but not least, cookies help inexorably with the essay-marking process. They might even help with the essay-writing process. I therefore suggest you bake and gobble these up at the earliest convenience.

Apple Cinnamon Cookies

I don’t often bake cookies. For some reason, cookies are associated in my mind with boredom. Too sweet, too crunchy, and lacking in satisfaction. However, whilst flicking through one of my many rarely-used mini Women’s Weekly cookbooks, I found this gem of a recipe.

Sweet but not too sweet, baked a little under the required time so as to retain a soft and almost-doughy interior without losing the crispier exterior, heady in cinnamon and with the faint nutty flavour of oats and whole-wheat flour, these were exactly what I forget cookies can be.

Apple Cinnamon Cookies

That is to say, addictive. Did I eat seven of these between baking them in the afternoon and going to sleep in Skank Bed at night? Possibly. Perhaps. Maybe. Okay, yes.

But they’ve got oats, and fruit, m’kay? So they’re good for me. Possibly. Perhaps. Maybe.

Apple Cinnamon Cookies

Vegan Apple Cinnamon Cookies

Adapted from The Women’s Weekly Biscuits and Slices mini cookbook.
Makes about 15.

The recipe below is for my cut-down-by-a-third-and-adapted version of the original, which purported to make 45 cookies. Whilst I know I could very easily eat 45 cookies over the course of a few days, I also know I’d get horrifically bored by the sameness of them all if I did. Ergo you should be able to double or triple this recipe easily, if you want more cookies in your life. Or if you want to share with other people, instead of sitting by yourself with cookies and ice cream watching old-school romantic movies all afternoon.

  • 1 American tb (15ml) flaxmeal, mixed with 45ml water (or one egg for a non-vegan version)
  • 90g (1/3rd cup + 1tb) brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 2 tb (40ml) canola (or vegetable) oil
  • 2 tsp honey/agave/golden syrup/liquid sweetener
  • 2/3 cup (60g) rolled oats
  • 50g dried apples, chopped
  • 1/3 cup (50g) wholemeal plain flour (or normal plain)
  • 1/4 cup (37g) self-raising flour
  • 1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon (this was the only part I didn’t cut down, as I used the full tsp of the original recipe for a batter a third the size. Woot cinnamon love!)
  1. Beat brown sugar with combined flaxseed and water with an electric mixer until mixture plumps up a little and lightens a bit in colour (if using an egg, wait for the mix to get significantly lighter in colour).
  2. Stir in (manually, not with the electric mixer) the vanilla essence, oil, and liquid sweetener of your choosing, then the oats, apple, and sifted dry ingredients. Refrigerate for one hour.
  3. Preheat oven to 190°C. Roll tablespoons of the mixture into balls and place on lined baking trays. I expected mine to spread more than they did, so if you prefer thinner and crunchier cookies, you might want to press the balls down a little bit.
  4. Bake 9-10 minutes for cookies with a deliciously soft core, or a bit longer if you want them crunchier. Though in all honesty, I don’t know how crunchy these would get. Maybe they never would? All I know is that I love the way mine turned out.

Question Time: Do you have advice for someone that would be safer shared here than with the person him/herself? Vent, my pretties, vent.

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Vegan Caraway Cake

Off the top of my head, I can think of one positive and one negative for getting up early after a bad night’s sleep and baking a cake to cheer oneself up.

Positive: Cake batter for breakfast. It’s funny how much batter can be “accidentally” left on the electric beaters, bowl, and two spoons used in the batter-making, isn’t it?

Negative: Finding cake batter in one’s hair hours later.

Vegan Caraway Cake

This wasn’t the cake I was originally lusting after. But when I ducked home to find the recipe for the originally-desired cake, I saw, directly to the left of that recipe, this fella. (What brilliant sentence construction! The essays I’m marking must be rubbing off on me…) My mum used to make this fella occasionally, but nowhere near as often as she made the originally-desired cake. I remember, though, that I used to feel more grown up eating this than the other (the originally-desired cake, that is. Have I lost you yet?), because of the below’s rather unique and non-children’s-party-friendly flavour.

So I forgot about the cake I had initially been craving, and made this one instead.

Oh, and I veganised it.

Oh, and I love it. And it still makes me feel grown-up.

Vegan Caraway Cake

This cake tastes like old-fashioned to me. It tastes like something one of the heroines in my beloved-childhood novels would have eaten whilst sitting in her garden dreaming about the future, or whilst serving afternoon tea to a dear grandmotherly-aged friend. This is the cake I imagine Elnora from A Girl of the Limberlost would have slid into the oven with her soft hair falling in front of her face and her butterflies adorning the wall behind her. This is the cake I imagine Anne Shirley would have shared with Theodora Dix as they listened to the echoes of their voices calling back to them from faraway hills.

It’s also the cake I can imagine I’ll  have polished off in two day’s time, but that can be our little secret.

Vegan Caraway Cake

Caraway Cake

Serves 8 -10, adapted from The Women’s Weekly Cakes and Slices Cookbook. For a non-vegan version, substitute Nuttelex with butter, two eggs for the flaxmeal, and normal milk for the soymilk. My mum used to make this wheat-free with her own mix of cornflour and rye flour, so I assume it would also work with gluten-free flours.

  • 2 tbs flaxmeal (ground flax)
  • 125g Nuttelex (I used the Olive Oil kind)
  • 1 cup caster sugar (I used raw caster sugar)
  • 1/2 cup soymilk
  • 1 1/4 cups self-raising flour (the original recipe said to sift this, but I didn’t bother. What can I say? I’m a rebel.)
  • 1/4 cup custard powder
  • 2 tbs caraway seeds.
  1. Preheat oven to 160°C, and grease and line a 14cm x 21cm loaf tin.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the flaxmeal with 90ml water and leave to sit for 5 minutes.
  3. Add Nuttelex, sugar, milk, flour, and custard powder to flaxmeal and beat on low speed with an electric mixer until combined. Increase speed to medium-high and continue beating for 3-4 minutes, until the mixture has lightened in colour.
  4. Stir in caraway seeds.
  5. Spread mixture into prepared tin and bake for 50m-1hr. Stand in tin for five minutes, then turn onto a wire rack to cool.

Question time: Are there any particular dishes you make that remind you of a storybook character? Saying oatmeal makes you think of Goldilocks or beans of Jack doesn’t count…

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Carrot and Cardamom Muffins

Carrot and Cardamom Muffins

This world of ours is full of contrasts and contradictions.

We’re told that obesity is a prevailing issue of our time and yet, this year, the KFC Double Down came into existence.

Over the past few months, Tony Abbott has cast aspersions on Julia Gillard for usurping Kevin Rudd as Prime Minister without being voted in by the public, yet he himself became Leader of the Opposition through the same process of usurpation, and the public didn’t get to weigh in then either.

In San Francisco, I walked out of the Ferry Building Marketplace after spending an unwholesome amount of money on fancy cheeses, pastries, and fruit, only to see a homeless man pulling food scraps out of a rubbish bin.

Carrot and Cardamom Muffins

Pre-baking.

The corps de ballet in Swan Lake are presented onstage as ethereal, delicate, and unaffected by physical pain, and yet their ballet shoes hide a myriad tales of blisters, lost toenails, and torn ligaments.

The media presents paedophilia as utterly and incontrovertibly wrong (no arguments from me there), but at the same time teenage celebrities like Miley Cyrus and Taylor Momsen are earning oodles of money dressing like coked-up prostitutes.

Nutrition guidelines dictate that I should eat five servings of vegetables and two servings of fruit every day, but peanut butter, blue cheese, and dark chocolate taste better*.

Carrot and Cardamom Muffins

Post-baking (in my swanky silicone tray)

And a week or so ago, I showed you a holiday-spiced chocolate that I couldn’t stomach because it included orange essence, whereas yesterday I baked a batch of 18 muffins made with orange juice.

More to the point, I’ve already eaten seven of them. Just goes to show that not all contradictions in this world are bad.

Carrot and Cardamom Muffins

It's what's inside that counts.

A few words on these muffins: the best way I can think to describe the taste is Grown-Up. They aren’t particularly sweet, and while neither the cardamom, carrot, nor orange dominate the flavour, there is definitely something interesting and almost-but-not-really-bitter going on. The texture is intriguing, too – more doughy than crumbly, but in a good way. Almost like crumpets, but without the holes, so, really, nothing like crumpets.

I’d never proclaim these to be as splendiferous as my Spiced Sesame Slice or Date and Banana Bread, but they’re unlike anything I’ve made before, and that has to count for something. Plus, I’m an avowed anti-orange lass, and I foresee no problems in finishing these muffins myself. So that’s something else to count for something. What does that mean, anyway? I stopped counting when I quit maths in Year 11.

Carrot and Cardamom Muffins

Smurf Kitchen’s blueness makes me happy sometimes.

Carrot and Cardamom Muffins

Makes 12-18. I made 18 because the original recipe said to use 12×1/2 cup muffins tins but I only have 1/3 cup muffin tins, so I feared the batter would spill everywhere if I made only 12. However, I’m certain you could safely make 12 slightly-bigger muffins than 18 slightly-flatter muffins. I don’t really mind, though. This way, I can eat seven in thirty-six hours with nary a qualm.

  • 1 large carrot, finely grated (mine came to 150g)
  • 1/4 cup (90g) honey
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (or macadamia oil, if you’re wearing fancypants)
  • 1 cup orange and passionfruit juice (or just orange juice. Whatever floats your boat.)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups (250g) self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
  1. Preheat oven to 190°C and oil or line a 12-hole muffin tin. (I used my silicone muffin tray for the first time since receiving it over a year ago. It worked like magic! No need for lining or greasing, as the muffins popped out as easily as babies don’t.)
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the carrot, honey, oil, juice and eggs.
  3. Sift the flour, baking powder, and cardamom into the wet ingredients, and stir quickly to just combine. Don’t overmix –  you want it to look a bit lumpy.
  4. Spoon into muffin tin and bake for 16 minutes, until golden. (16 minutes worked for me as I was making 18 muffins… if you make only 12 muffins, I’d estimate letting them cook for 18ish minutes.) Cool in tin for a few minutes, then turn out and serve warm. Or, if you are like me and have to eat almost all of these yourself, pop some in the fridge and some in the freezer and eat them at any temperature you see fit.

Question Time: What contradictions or contrasts in the world have you noticed recently?

*Little bit of a fib there. I adore vegetables as much as chocolate, and in fact I’m crankier if I’ve had a day without greens than if I’ve had a day without chocolate.

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Random aside: A few people have reached my blog lately by searching for “Jeanne Bauwens”. This intrigued me, as I didn’t recognise the name myself. Turns out Jeanna Bauwens is one of the ladies in this Wayfaring Chocolate Guided Art Tour; in fact, she’s the one whom I hypothesised to be a murderer-cum-fashion designer. I’ve been giggling on and off ever since at the thought that a) the person searching is a Bauwen descendent who now thirsts for vengeance because I so needlessly cast aspersions on his/her relative, or b) the person searching is a primary school kid writing a project on Bauwen, and is now going to include a paragraph on the woman’s proclivities for practical neck-wear.

Some of you may remember that, a few days ago, I wrote that a simulataneous pro and con of being single is getting/having to eat entire batches of baked goods by yourself. I also gave you a recipe for a delicious Spiced Sesame Slice, which I cut into squares and froze for safe-keeping yet still managed to finish in the space of four days.

Well, folks, the creation below gives the sesame slice a run for its money in terms of sweet delectableness. And you know what’s more?

Date and Banana Bread

Goodness, this batter looks like it’s been cut off at the end of the earth/time/the world. I’m surprised I didn’t fall into an Abyss of Black Doom Nothingness when I ate the last slice.

I pulled this Date and Banana Bread out of the oven at 11:30am on Monday morning.

By 9:30am Wednesday morning, it was all gone. That’s less than 48 hours.

And that’s just how I roll.

Date and Banana Bread

Christening my late Aunt’s beautiful chopping board with banana bread. I hope she’d approve.

I think I’ll mention something that helps explain my high level of enthusiasm for this recipe. You see, I know banana bread is a staple for many cooks and bakers out there, and yet I’m absolutely not pulling your leg when I say I’ve never made one before. How is this possible, you might be wondering? (And even if you’re not, I’m-a-gonna-tell-ya anyway.)

Well, in my experience, every blogger who writes up a banana cake/muffin/bread recipe begins the post with words to this effect: “Today, I realised I had two over-ripe bananas on my counter, and I had to make something with them.”

Date and Banana Bread

A lone slice...

This has never happened to me in my life. No one in my family is particularly enamoured with bananas, and so they were never a fruit we had lying, forgotten-yet-ripening, around the house. (Apples, on the other hand, I was always finding hidden in bookcases or fallen behind the sofa*.) Very occasionally I’d want to make banana cake, but there were never bananas ripe enough at the shops for this purpose, and so I’d give up.

Lately, though, I’ve taken to buying bananas simply so they’ll get overripe and I’ll be forced to make treats.

Turns out this was an awesome ploy leading to delicious wonderment. Enjoy!

Date and Banana Bread

I meant to take better photos of this creation, but then it was all gone, and there was nothing left to photograph.

Deceptively Healthy Date and Banana Bread

Adapted from a free So Good promotional cookbook called “Cooking with Susie O’Neill”. (Yes, the swimmer.) The original recipe used dried figs, not dates, and made two loaves.

  • 100g dried dates, chopped (the el cheapo ones – no need to get fancypants with Medjools for this recipe)
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten, or 1 tb ground flax mixed with 3 tb water for the vegan version
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tb olive oil
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/4 cups wholemeal self-raising flour
  • 1/2 cup soymilk
  • 1 large ripe banana, mashed (mine came to about 150g)
  1. Preheat oven to 180°C (375°F) and line and grease a 22 x 11cm loaf tin.
  2. Combine dates, egg (or flax mixture), sugar, oil, cinnamon, flour, and soymilk in a large bowl and stir to combine.
  3. Fold through mashed bananas and pour into cake tin.
  4. Bake for 40 minutes, or until golden and firm. (Mine went for almost 50 minutes because someone called me at an inopportune moment. As you can see in the pictures above, the top got quite crusty. Honestly, though, I didn’t mind at all.)
  5. Enjoy with abandon. And then enjoy with even more abandon. I found that I liked this more straight from the fridge than warm-out-of-the-oven. The sweet moist dates, the undercurrent of subtle banana, the soft inner crumb… I can’t wait to make this again.

* Wait, no, those weren’t apples. Those were the pigs’ ears we used to give my dog as a treat. Apparently, to her, the treat was getting to play Hide The Ear#, not Eat The Ear.

# Maybe that’s what Van Gogh and Chopper were playing, and they’ve simply been woefully misunderstood by society?

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Reasons Why Being 23 and Exceptionally Single is Awesome

  • I have an entire big bed to myself to spread out in.
  • When I bake a batch of cookies or a slice (see below), I get to eat the whole lot myself.
  • I can have enormous bowls of oatmeal topped with ungodly amounts of almond butter, maple syrup, and 85% dark chocolate for both breakfast and lunch if I want to.
  • When I travel, I can go and see and do whatever I want, whenever I want, on the slightest whim.
  • When I travel, I get to meet, innocently cuddle, and laugh with cute boys.
  • I can sing and dance and make a fool of myself in the house whenever I want to.
  • I don’t get my heart broken.
Spiced Sesame Slice

Spiced Sesame Slice

Reasons Why Being 23 and Exceptionally Single is the Antithesis of Awesome

  • I have an entire big bed to myself which I only use a corner of.
  • When I bake a batch of cookies or a slice (see below), I have to eat the whole lot myself.
  • Sometimes I realise I’ve eaten enormous bowls of oatmeal topped with ungodly amounts of almond butter, maple syrup, and 85% dark chocolate for both breakfast and lunch three days in a row.
  • When I travel, I run the risk of going and seeing and doing hospital visits in foreign countries with no one to keep me company during the interminable hours in Emergency.
  • After I’ve travelled, met, innocently cuddled, and laughed with cute boys, I’m still 23 and exceptionally single.
  • Sometimes I don’t feel like singing and dancing and making a fool of myself by myself.
  • I don’t know what it feels like to get my heart broken.
Spiced Sesame Slice

Swirl, my pretties. Swirl.

Now that I’ve made myself feel vulnerable enough to warrant hiding under my doona for a day or so, here’s the recipe for the slice mentioned in points 2a and 2b. In other words: Dramatic Shift of Tone!

This is quite a cake-y slice, and it freezes well. Hurrah! Such a quality is very convenient when you find yourself needing a break from its deliciousness (and it is delicious) after eating eight squares over the course of one day.

Spice Sesame Slice

Pre-ovening.

I can’t recommend this slice enough as a treat for afternoon tea, morning tea, dessert with a scoop of ice cream, or at any moment of the day that feels right. Perfumed with warm spices, it reminds me of a less-aggressive pain d’epice or a more complex gingerbread. Personally, I find the highlight of the slice to be its toasted sesame top, as the jolt of nuttiness against the soft, spiced, sweet underneath makes me all but swoon. This is my kind of creation: not over-the-top or cloying in its richness yet sweet enough to feel like a treat, and sufficiently layered in flavour to keep you going back for more. I’ll be making this again.

(Now that I think about it, I’ll probably double the spices next time. But I’ve kept the recipe below as I made it, because I can comfortably recommend that way.)

Spiced Sesame Slice

You guessed it: post-ovening!

Spiced Sesame Slice

Makes 16 – 20. Adapted from sweet food.

Note: The original recipe used only ground ginger, but also included crystallised ginger. Not only did I not have crystallised ginger, I don’t like it, so I happily nixed it in favour of adding other spices. But feel free to add in 50g of chopped crystallised ginger with the first lot of sesame seeds and leave out the additional spices, if you’d prefer.

  • 50g (1/3 cup) sesame seeds
  • 125g (1 cup) plain flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 2 eggs
  • 140g (3/4 cup) soft brown sugar
  • 125g Nuttelex (or unsalted butter), melted
  1. Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F) Lightly grease a 18 x 26cm shallow baking tin (or something around that size – no need to fuss) and line with baking paper, so that the baking paper extends up both long sides.
  2. Toast sesame seeds in a frying pan over medium-low heat, for 5-10 minutes, until browning but not burnt. Trust yourself, and don’t worry if a few seeds get a bit dark in colour. Some of mine looked almost burnt, and it was still super yum-times.
  3. Sift together the flour, bicarb, spices, and pinch of salt. In a separate, large, bowl, beat the eggs and brown sugar with an electric mixer for 3 minutes, until thick and creamy. Beat in the melted butter.
  4. Gently fold in the flour mixture and half the sesame seeds, gently mixing until there are no pockets of flour hidden in the batter.
  5. Spread into the tin and sprinkle with the remaining sesame seeds. Bake for 20 minutes, until slightly coloured and firm, though slightly springy, to the touch. Cool in the tin for ten minutes, then lift out and cool on a wire rack.

Question time! Anyone have anything else to add to the Pros, Cons, or both lists?

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Hazeretti Cookies

Plated on my lovely new plate from Istanbul, bequeathed me by the equally lovely V.ChopinReincarnate.

These are naughty cookies. Or, more correctly, I’m a naughty cookie baker. Not because I (once more) deviated from a written recipe in order to encompass the shortages/advantages of my still-growing pantry, but because cookies, by their very nature, are antithetical to what my doctor told me I should be increasing in my diet: saltiness.

I mentioned, in my last post, that I’ve been put on a low dose of blood pressure medication. This medication is supposed to get my body to stop ignoring my extremities, blood-circulation-wise, which should in turn stop my toe being such an attention-seeking diva. When my doctor handed me the prescription, she said I should increase my salt intake and liquids. And for the past few days, I have. My unsalted nuts have been replaced with salted nuts, and I’ve made myself savoury oatmeal instead of peanut-butter-cinnamon-brown-sugar oatmeal in the mornings (don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it).

Hazeretti Cookie Mix

My friends, I cannot express how difficult it was to not eat this entire mixture raw. Particularly seeing as a Raw Lifestyle is so hyped these days - I’d’ve practically done myself a favour be eating the entire bowl while reading Cloud Street.

Unfortunately, I’m not a big fan of overly-salty foods, and so when I decided that today’s grey Canberran skies necessitated baking… well, clearly, I didn’t bake crackers or cheese crisps or stock-powder-vegemite-anchovy-caper meringues. (Mmm, anchovy meringues.)

Nope. I needed sweetness, but sweetness with a complex darker edge, sweetness in the form of a hazelnut-riff on an amaretti cookie, sweetness that resulted in a crisp, firm outside and a moist (at least when warm-out-of-the-oven), soft, intensely-nutty middle.

I should probably dip these cookies in soy sauce, though. Sigh.

Hazeretti Cookies

These Hazerettis won’t win the Miss Cookie Universe competition, but I assure you the tastiness far outweighs any shot at a tiara.

Hazeretti Cookies

Adapted from here. Makes 20-25, depending on size

Apart from the egg whites, I switched up every ingredient in the original recipe. Wholemeal for plain flour, hazelnut for almond, raw caster for caster sugar and, most significantly, almond extract for vanilla extract. If you aren’t a fan of the strong, bitter edge to almond extract, stick with the sweeter, smoother vanilla extract. I, however, would be happy to use almond extract like perfume and live in it, so I snubbed the vanilla..

  • 180g hazelnut meal
  • 3/4 cup raw caster sugar
  • 1/3 cup wholemeal plain flour
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  1. First, prepare yourself for an arduous, stressful, complicated eon of baking. And then giggle because that’s the opposite of what you’ll be doing. Say it with me now: Hurrah!
  2. Preheat oven to 170°C (340°F). In a large bowl, mix together everything with a spoon or utensil of your choosing (best avoid the whisk and the zester, though). It might look a bit dry and crumbly at first, but will eventually start coming together. It is quite a dry dough, though.
  3. Shape tablespoons of the mixture into balls and place on baking trays lined with baking paper. Gently press each ball to flatten (except I didn’t really do this. I kept them as balls, just for Amber). Bake for 20 minutes, until golden.
  4. Nom nom nom. These would be great with coffee, as they’re quite sweet but also, because of the almond extract, intense enough to hold their own against coffee’s similar strength.

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Once upon a time, there was a Princess* who lived in the magical land known as Smurf Kitchen. One morning, after getting out of her magical princess bed (i.e. mattress on the floor filling in for the undelivered new bed) and being dressed by magical singing woodland creatures (i.e. her arms), she realised that she was in a baking mood.

Being a Good Princess, she put a lid on this mood in order to make a magical delivery of magical chocolates to her mother (who is neither evil, step-, nor fairy in nature), because her mother was facing a Sad Happening that the Princess wanted, but was unable, to wish away.

Flourless Cinnamon Tabasco Peanut Butter Cookies

After completing the chocolate mission and using her housemate’s golden hair to climb back into Smurf Kitchen through the third-floor window, the Princess realised she still wanted to bake. Sadly, she had been cursed by the Wicked Witch of Limited Pantries, and did not have much to bake with.

The Princess was an enterprising lass, though, and remembered a certain Flourless Peanut Butter recipe that she had noted both in a Real Paper Cookbook and on several friends’ blogs. It involved merely one cup of peanut butter, one cup of white/caster sugar, and one egg.

Easy peasy, thought the Princess.

Flourless Cinnamon Tabasco Peanut Butter Cookies

Well, yes and no. Where’s the fun in making a recipe that many people have done before? Particularly when it’s such a simple recipe, and you are a Princess who waxes lyrical about flavours like Chocolate and Coconut or Kangaroo and Quinoa.

Exactly. This Princess needed some pizzazz in her peanut butter cookies. First, she replaced the caster sugar with light muscovado sugar. Then she added cinnamon. Almost there, the Princess thought.

What happened next is called, in cartoon parlance, a Light Bulb Moment. Can you spot the magical fairytale ingredient that the Princess, giggling as she went, snuck into her cookie batter?

Flourless Cinnamon Tabasco Peanut Butter Cookies

Yeah I did.

Because of the Princess’ sugar amendment, these cookies behaved a bit differently to the original recipe’s cookies. The muscovado made the batter very wet, which meant that it had to be somewhat plopped, not rolled into balls, onto the baking tray. Also (because of the sugar), the cookies spread out a lot and became quite thin and chewy-on-the-inside, crispy-on-the-outside.

Flourless Cinnamon Tabasco Peanut Butter Cookies

I suppose you’d like to hear what the Tabasco Cinnamon Peanut Butter Cookies tasted like?

Well, they tasted like awesome. Pure, unadulterated awesome. Sometimes the first thing the Princess tasted was peanut butter with crispy, chewy caramel notes (from the muscovado sugar). Other times, though, she’d take a bite and a tiny little eensy weensy zing would emerge at the back of her throat, while another tiny little eensy weensy bit of fruity Tabasco flavour** danced on the tip of her tongue.

In less than 48 hours, the Princess ate 14 of 18 cookies. Some straight-up, some crumbled over and semi-melted into hot oatmeal. Then more straight-up.

And she most certainly lived Happily Ever After.

Flourless Cinnamon Tabasco Peanut Butter Cookies

Not Yo’ Mama’s Cookies: Flourless Tabasco Cinnamon Peanut Butter Cookies

(This is my halved, adapted version of the standard recipe mentioned above. Feel free to double for a full batch – I did half because I knew my housemate wouldn’t go near the cookies with a twenty-foot pole. I got 18 out of the following.)

• ½ cup peanut butter (I used crunchy, because I’m a die-hard crunchy nut butter fan)
• ½ cup muscovado sugar (if you want a less spreading-out dough, use caster/white sugar)
• ½ egg (halving an egg is up there with the more silly things I’ve done in my life)
• ½ tsp cinnamon (estimated. Next time, I’d add more)
• ¼ tsp Tabasco (again, estimated. We don’t have teaspoon measures in Smurf Kitchen)

1. Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F). Line a baking tray with baking paper.
2. Mix all ingredients together. Roll/somehow get rounded teaspoons of dough onto the tray, leaving room for spreading (which I didn’t quite allow enough room for, as you can see in the photo above).
3. Bake 8-10 minutes, until cooked to your liking.
4. Daintily gobble up, Princess-style, enjoying the interplay of sweetness, nuttiness, and heat. Repeat the Princess’ own words upon tasting her first cookie: “I’m a little bit in love with myself right now”.

* Because only princesses live in Once Upon A Time World. Not potential PhDs trying to decide if/when to start said PhD.

** Tabasco lovers will know what I mean. Because Tabasco has heat, of course, but it also has that slight fruitiness that resides in chillies and capsicums, seeing as they’re technically fruit.

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