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Posts Tagged ‘dairy-free’

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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There are lots of things in this world that I don’t know or understand. For example, I don’t know if any of you are interested in knowing what I don’t know or understand, but I thought I might tell you anyway. Just in case, well, you know, you are. I don’t know. So:

1. I don’t know why people always tumble all over the place when they jump from moving vehicles to the ground. You can say “slipstream” to me all you like, but I still maintain that if someone managed to push off with both feet at the exact same moment from a moving platform, then that person should no longer be moving once they’re airborne and should therefore be able to comfortably land, straight up, on the non-moving ground.

2. I do not understand how the circular patterns on CDs and DVDs translate into endless wealths of data. Same goes for USB sticks, but as I can’t see the insides of USBs but can stare at the etchings on a DVD, I’m more perplexed by items like DVDs. In other words, I don’t know how machines read machines, and it hurts my head when I try to work it out.

3. I don’t know why some people are never without a partner, and others find it near impossible to find one at all.

4. Justin Bieber. Enough said. (Baby, baby, baby, ohhhhhhh, baby, baby, baby, OHHHHHH.) (Okay, now enough said.)

5. I don’t know what to do with my life.

Lemon Delicious

Hello there, what be you? Methinks you are dairy-free and gluten-free, at the very least...

6. But one thing I do know, and know for sure, is that Lemon Delicious is my favourite dessert. At least, the one that I make is, and so it seems fitting to post it here as my first blogged recipe.

Gluten- and Dairy-Free Lemon Delicious
(known in the book I adapted it from as Light and Luscious Lemon Delicious)

A few words, first. There are two types of Lemon Delicious out there – the cakey kind, and the soufflé kind. This is the soufflé kind, which is infinitely more adaptable to being made gluten-free than the cakey kind.

This recipe makes for an ethereally fluffy top and an intensely lemon-y, sweet, tangy, silky, custard-y bottom. The original recipe served four, but this is my amended recipe serving 5-6. (If you want the original proportions, send me an email. Also, you can easily switch to dairy milk and normal flour if there are no intolerances/allergies/preferences in your audience of eaters.)

–          4 eggs
–          2/3 cup (145g) caster sugar
–          1 1/3 cup soy milk (or any non-dairy or dairy milk)
–          1 1/3 tb gluten-free self-raising flour (using Australian tablespoons measuring 20ml. I just eyeballed this. No need to get stressed or finicky about it!)
–          2/3 cup (165ml) lemon juice

Lemon Delicious

Eat it before it eats you with its sugary uplifted mouth!

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C.
  2. Separate eggs; place whites and yolks in two separate bowls. Add sugar to egg yolks, beat using an electric mixer until thick and creamy.
  3. Gradually beat in milk on a low speed, then flour and lemon juice. Pour into a large bowl if you aren’t already using a large bowl. (The recipe has you start in a small bowl, but I’ve always just used a big one from the beginning. Less washing up = win.)
  4. Beat egg whites in the other bowl with (clean) electric mixer until soft peaks form. Fold into egg yolk mixture in two batches. (Hannah’s note – the egg yolk mixture is extremely liquidy at this point. It’s meant to be like that, and don’t stress too much about getting the whites incorporated completely. It’s more important not to knock too much air out.)
  5. Pour mixture into a 2L ovenproof dish. Place this dish into another baking dish and add enough boiling water to baking dish to come halfway up the sides of the ovenproof dish.
  6. Bake about 45 minutes until firm to the touch. Sprinkle with icing sugar if you want.

And now, yumminess. Except here’s the thing about Lemon Delicious puddings. No matter how good they look when you pull them from the oven, they look absolutely terrible when you serve them up. No, really, they do. Don’t believe me? Look at this:

Lemon Delicious

Oh, chortle. As I'm all about the honesty here, I couldn't fail to show you the plated dish. Also, I like giggling, and I'm amused by how awful this looks.

But I promise you, it tastes like awesome.

That, I know.

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