Category Archives: Biscuits and Cookies

My recent baking experiments…

I’ll be back soon with a blog post but for now I thought I’d share with you all my recent food pics….

Paleo Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

Paleo Chocolate Crinkle Cookies made with raw blanched almond meal, raw cacao powder and pure maple syrup

Protein Muffins

Chocolate Protein Muffins made for Mr Muscles – one topped with chia seeds and the other topped with walnuts made with protein powder, spelt flour, raw organic honey, mashed bananas and applesauce

Marbled Chocolate and Pandan Steamed Sponge Cakes

Steamed Pandan and Chocolate Marbled Sponge Cakes made with white spelt flour, raw cacao powder, pandan paste and coconut sugar

Healthy Almond Meal Cookies

Been trying to perfect my healthy almond meal cookies recipe lately until I get the right consistency: made with raw blanched almond meal, whole wheat spelt flour, coconut oil and pure maple syrup

Chocolate and Vanilla Spelt Donuts

Baked some vegan chocolate and vanilla spelt donuts for some friends made with whole wheat spelt flour, raw cacao powder, pure vanilla extract, coconut sugar and coconut oil

Paleo Cookies

A big batch of Paleo Cookies: Chocolate Paleo Cookies and Coconut Paleo Cookies using raw blanched almond meal, pure maple syrup

Coconut and Chia Seed Paleo Cookie

Paleo Coconut and Chia Seed Cookies made with raw blanched almond meal, pure maple syrup, chia seeds and dessicated coconut

Vegan Matcha and Chocolate Muffins

Vegan matcha (green tea) and chocolate marbled muffins made with whole wheat spelt flour, matcha powder, raw cacao powder, coconut sugar, almond milk and coconut oil

Vegan Banana and Date Muffins

My vegan banana and date whole wheat spelt muffins made with whole wheat spelt flour, dates, mashed bananas, coconut oil, almond milk and walnuts

Almond Butter Cookies

Paleo and Vegan Almond Butter Cookies made with organic almond butter spread, coconut sugar and a bit of almond meal

Vegan blueberry and banana muffins

Vegan blueberry and banana whole wheat spelt muffins made with whole wheat spelt flour, mashed bananas, almond milk, date syrup and blueberries

Paleo Coconut Macaroons

Paleo Coconut Macaroons made with dessicated coconut, egg whites, and agave nectar

Vegan baked banana donuts

Vegan baked banana cinnamon whole wheat spelt donuts made with whole wheat spelt flour, cinnamon, mashed bananas, coconut oil, coconut sugar and almond milk

Paleo banana muffins

Paleo banana muffins made with raw blanched almond meal, eggs, mashed bananas, some pure maple syrup and coconut oil

Chocolate and Vanilla banana muffins

Vegan chocolate and vanilla banana muffins made with whole wheat spelt flour, mashed bananas, raw cacao powder, pure vanilla extract, pure maple syrup, coconut oil and almond milk

I think I can conclude that I am seriously a little too addicted to baking and trying to develop new recipes and experiment with new ingredients for various diets whether it be gluten free, vegan or paleo…there’s definitely something for everyone!

x

Jackie

Leave a comment

Filed under Biscuits and Cookies, Cookies, Dessert, Donuts, Fat Free, Health Food, Healthy, Instagram, Matcha, Muffins, Nuts, Oil Free, Paleo, Pandan, Recipes, Snacks, Sugar Free, Vegan, Vegetarian, Western

JACKPOTEATS instagrams…

Hello all!

If you are all interested in seeing more of my food and baking experiments you can come view my pictures @jackpoteats on Instagram or you can come visit my facebook page and like my page to see more delicious food at www.facebook.com/jackpoteats. ;P

My instragramming of late…

Vegan Baked Banana Donuts

Vegan Baked Banana Donuts

Pandan Marbled Sponge Cake

Steamed Pandan & Vanilla Marble Cake – second attempt

Healthy Almond Cookies

Healthy Almond Meal Cookies

Steamed Banana Sponge Cake

Steamed Banana Sponge Cake

Oat Bran Muffin

My Oatbran & Banana Muffin eaten for breakfast

Cous Cous Salad

Cous Cous Salad made with Spanish Onions, Cherry Tomatoes, Danish Fetta, Coriander, Mixed Herbs & Capsicum for my weekday lunch

Thomas Dux

Some ingredients I picked up from Thomas Dux from the Weekend – Loving Earth Coconut Sugar, Loving Earth Dark Agave Nectar and some Medjool Dates

Black Star Pastry

Some Black Star Pastry Treats I picked up for Miss Puff from the other weekend ;P

Kit Kat Green Tea

Obssessed with Green Tea Kit Kat – so small but soo delicious!

Chanoma Cafe

Finally visited Chanoma Cafe for some Japanese Sweets – Anmitsu with green tea soft serve, red bean paste & jelly – think I have a new place to eat dessert and just when I thought I was going to cut down ;P

More photos to come…

x

Jackie

Leave a comment

Filed under Biscuits and Cookies, Cake, Dessert, Health Food, Healthy, Instagram, Muffins, Snacks

JACKPOT’s visit to Bills and a recipe for healthy banana bran muffins

Hello dear readers!

I apologise for the long delay between blog posts but between extended family visiting from overseas, celebrating mum’s big birthday and getting the flu as well..it’s definitely been a long few weeks and I’m still feeling under the weather…must be the constant cold changes that I’m still not getting used to. I hope I can post more regularly but hopefully you all can wait patiently for everything to go back to normal =)

Since I haven’t blogged in a while, I thought I’d merge a cafe visit and recipe in the same post due to my lack of posting lately.

So as my cousin was visiting from Singapore, my family and I decided to take my cousin to eat breakfast at the infamous “Bills” in Surry Hills. I’m amazed at how packed Bills gets around 9-10am and that the lines are still like this after many many years of being established and with many new cafes opening in Surry Hills. The lines always seem to be quite lengthy but we were lucky to have arrived at a time where a table was available. We were seated next to the window and we had a good view of the street with the sun shining into the cafe. It was a lovely farewell breakfast for my cousin eating scrumptious food while discussing potential trips to visit Singapore sometime soon.

Ricotta Hotcakes

Ricotta Hotcakes, Banana and Honeycomb Butter $19.50

My cousin and I ordered the infamous ricotta hotcakes for our breakfast and I was not disappointed by my choice. Such fluffy joyous soft pillows of goodness demolished in seconds. I wish that there had been many more stacks of pancakes for me to devour but alas I had to settle with the 3 that were served. The hotcakes are a very popular choice at Bills and I saw that most people were ordering this dish on each table. I have always had a massive sweet tooth so I knew that the sweeter option was the best way to go rather than the savoury one although I must admit the scrambled eggs at Bills are quite delicious as well.

Full Breakfast

Full Aussie Breakfast: Scrambled Organic Eggs, Sourdough Toast, Bacon, Roast Tomato, Swiss Mushrooms with a Pork and Fennel Sausage $24.50

Mr Muscles ordered the Full Aussie Breakfast as he prefers savoury food over sweet food. This dish is quite filling with loads of sides to go with the toast and eggs. Mr Muscles soon devoured this dish till there were no remains left. He was satisfied entirely and left the cafe feeling quite full at this stage. The eggs are cooked so well and so very fluffy and was definitely the highlight of this dish.

Me being greedy, noticed some nice looking bran muffins sitting on the table in the middle of the cafe. I knew I wanted to try one so I decided to order one takeaway. The muffin was a ricotta, apple, coconut and bran muffin. At first after hearing the flavours I wasn’t sure how this would taste but after tasting a bit of it, I fell in love with this muffin. It was quite a filling muffin but had a lovely taste to it. I didn’t taste too much of the ricotta but more so the coconut and the bran. After I ate this muffin I knew I wanted to try and replicate the flavours I had tasted in this muffin so hence the recipe post.

I decided to make my own version of Bill’s bran muffins but obviously adapting it to make a bran muffin without using eggs and without using any butter or oil. I was surprised at the results of my muffins and how well they turned out so much so that I’m going to be making another batch quite soon. I didn’t really follow any set recipe as most of it was kind of based on feeling but here is what I used to make healthy banana bran muffins.

HEALTHY BANANA BRAN MUFFINS

Ingredients:

  • 1 and 1/4 cup of wholemeal spelt flour
  • 1 cup of oat bran
  • 1/2 tsp of baking soda
  • 2 tsps of baking powder
  • a pinch of salt
  • 2 generous teaspoons of ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup of raw organic honey (you can replace this with agave, coconut sugar or another type of sugar substitute to make them vegan)
  • 2 tsps of pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup of soy milk (I used almond milk)
  • 3-4 ripe bananas mashed (I used 4 bananas)

Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
  2. Line a muffin tray with muffin liners and set aside.
  3. Mash your bananas in a small bowl using a fork until you have a rather smooth consistency. Doesn’t matter if you still have some small banana pieces left in the mash.
  4. Combine all the dry ingredients (flour, oat bran, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon) into a large bowl with a wooden spoon. Set aside.
  5. Combine all your wet ingredients together (honey, vanilla extract, soy milk and mashed bananas) in a smaller bowl and whisk for a few minutes.
  6. Pour your wet ingredients into your dry ingredients bowl and using your wooden spoon mix the muffin batter till combined. Be careful not to overmix the batter.
  7. Fill each muffin liner using an ice cream scoop or spoon and fill the muffin liners about 2/3’s full.
  8. Bake in the oven for approximately 20 minutes or until nicely golden brown on the top.
  9. Take the muffins out of the muffin tray and set on a wire rack to cool.
  10. You can enjoy them as they come out of the oven or freeze them to be eaten later on.
  11. Enjoy!

Mashed Bananas

Oat Bran

Flour Mixture

Dry Ingredients

Dry Ingredients 2

Wet Ingredients

Combining Wet and Dry

Filled Muffin Liners

Baked Muffins

Banana bran muffins

Banana Bran Muffins 2

Banana Bran Muffins 3

Banana bran muffins 4

I loved these muffins and was really surprised at how good these muffins tasted. I think the oat bran gave it a really nice texture and I was even more surprised that they weren’t dry. Usually I have to cook muffins for 25 minutes approximately but these were done in 20 minutes. The batter was also very easy to whip up so hence why I will be making another batch soon. The best thing about these muffins is that they freeze well and you can just heat them up in the morning for quick go to breakfast. You definitely get a lot of fibre and nutrition from the oat bran and the wholemeal spelt flour but the soft bananas and the sweetness from the honey really work well together. I love how this recipe doesn’t use any eggs or oil or butter and yet the result was still really delicious. Also I knew these muffins had to taste somewhat nice as Mr Muscles had 2 in one go and that usually means that he really likes it if he asks for seconds ;P

I thought I’d also share with you all some other photos of my baking experiments over the past few weeks.

Steamed Pandan Sponge Cakes

I made these Steamed Pandan Sponge Cakes for my brother while he is visiting however I think I need to work on the texture as they came out a little dry and there was not enough sweetness to it as my brother mentioned a few times. I will definitely need to keep experimenting further with this recipe.

Anzac Cookies Vegan

I also made these Vegan Anzac Cookies on my day off on Anzac Day however was slightly disappointed as they didn’t really taste of anything. I think using rice syrup instead of the usual golden syrup really changed the taste and the texture of these cookies. There was definitely not enough sweetness in the cookie.

Granola

That same day I also made some of my own granola/toasted muesli filled with plenty of ingredients such as chia seeds, coconut, dried apricots, raw blanched almonds, pumpkin and pepita seeds and of course rolled oats. I used honey this time to sweeten the granola and some coconut oil for baking. I was really happy with how these turned out as it had a lovely crunch and I loved the bits of muesli that had stuck together in the process to make big granola clusters.

So until next time dear readers!

x

Jackie

Leave a comment

Filed under Banana, Biscuits and Cookies, Breakfast, Cafe, Eggs, Granola, Health Food, Muffins, Oil Free, Pancakes, Pandan, Recipes, Restaurant, Snacks, Sydney, Toast, Toasted Muesli, Western

JACKPOT bakes Paleo and Vegan Chocolate Pistachio, Cranberry and Almond Biscotti

Hello All!

Mid week means it’s time for a recipe post. My dear friend Ms Shortee shared a link for some Paleo chocolate biscotti she found on the internet. I have baked a few Paleo items here and there but not a lot leaning more to vegan baking and gluten-free baking so I was interested in seeing how this Paleo recipe would turn out. I definitely have seen a big trend towards people on Paleo diets as the new craze these days for exercise is Cross Fit. I don’t think I have the energy to do Cross Fit but the whole Paleo eating interested me quite a bit so I wanted to see how it would affect the results of my baking.

So what does eating on a Paleo diet mean for you? Here are two good link for foods you should eat if you are on a Paleo diet and a summary of what a Paleo really means http://www.paleoplan.com/resources/paleo-plan-food-guide/ and http://greatist.com/health/the-ultimate-guide-to-eating-paleo-022012/. Mr C was talking to me recently about the Paleo diet aka what he calls the Caveman Diet and I was interested in listening to what types of foods you are allowed to eat if you are eating Paleo. He was telling me to just imagine you are back in the old days during the caveman era and you had to hunt for food and basically what a cave man would eat during that time i.e. vegetables, fruit, meat and eggs. On a Paleo diet you would want to avoid having any grains of any sort hence why in most the baking recipes that are Paleo, the main ingredients used are almond flour or coconut flour as these are better for you to digest than any other flours.

I adapted my recipe from the Paleo Spirit website (http://paleospirit.com/2012/double-chocolate-pistachio-biscotti-paleo-vegan/). I loved the fact that the biscotti was Vegan and Paleo at the same time without using any egg. The recipe is quite healthy considering there are no refined sugars or oil in the batter. I have to admit that my biscotti didn’t look quite like the website or even resemble a typical biscotti shape but I think this was due to the fact that I was not used to the textures and the correct consistency needed for the batter when making biscuits such as biscotti. I thought my biscotti were still quite decent for a first experiment. This will definitely not be my last experiment as I want to try other paleo biscotti recipes and make Paleo banana pancakes and muffins even. Stay tuned for this in upcoming future posts.

Now back to the recipe:

PALEO & VEGAN CHOCOLATE PISTACHIO, CRANBERRY & ALMOND BISCOTTI

Ingredients:

  • 1 and 1/4 cups of raw blanched almond meal
  • 1/4 cup of raw cacao powder
  • 1/2 tsp of baking soda
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1/3 cup of pure maple syrup
  • a mixture of various nuts and dried fruits to your liking (I used unsalted pistachios, cranberries & raw blanched almonds but you can use whatever you prefer) – roughly about 1 cup’s worth

Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
  2. Line a baking tray with parchment paper/baking paper and set aside.
  3. Add the dry ingredients (almond meal, cacao powder, baking soda and salt) into a large mixing bowl and combine with a wooden spoon.
  4. Add in the maple syrup to the dry ingredients mixture and combine with a wooden spoon until a dough forms.
  5. Fold in the nuts and dried fruits carefully into the dough.
  6. Form the dough into a rectangular log on your baking sheet. (Note that the dough may be quite sticky when trying to mold the dough into a log)
  7. Place the baking tray into the oven and bake for 15 minutes.
  8. Allow the log to cool on a wire rack until it has cooled completely.
  9. Cut the log into 1.5cm slices using a bread knife. Cut the slices on the diagonal to create that biscotti shape.
  10. Place the slices on the sides back onto the baking paper and bake for a further 15 minutes or until your biscotti are nice and crunchy.
  11. Cool your biscotti on a wire rack.
  12. Enjoy your biscotti with a cup of coffee or tea!

Almond Meal

Dry Mixture

Dry Mixture 2

Biscotti Batter

Biscotti Mixture 2

Log

First Baking

Sliced Biscotti

Biscotti

Biscotti 2

Biscotti 3

So they might not look like your typical biscotti but they tasted pretty alright to me. Once I took out my biscotti from the first baking time I almost didn’t want to put them back in as they tasted like a soft flourless chocolate cake that I couldn’t stop picking at some of the leftover biscotti that didn’t make it into the oven or rather that I consumed too quickly as it was rather addictive ;P I will definitely work on the presentation of these biscotti so that they look more like biscotti. Also because my log ended up rather flat and not as high as it should have been, I will need to ensure next time I make a narrower log so that it is easier to slice through for the second baking time. I gave this batch to Ms Shortee to try and she seemed to enjoy it despite her saying they were a tad chewy and soft in the middle. Perhaps I will need to bake them for longer in the oven for next time to get that extra crispiness and crunchiness that biscotti are so well-known for.

 

So until next time…

x

Jackie

Leave a comment

Filed under Biscotti, Biscuits and Cookies, Dessert, Paleo, Recipes, Snacks, Vegan, Vegetarian, Western

JACKPOT eats at Orto Trading

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend! My weekend consisted of indulging in a lot of wonderful foods in celebration of Chinese New Year which resulted in a large food coma and some basketball to balance things out as always. I feel so exhausted this week but no matter how tired and exhausted I am, I always feel the itch to want to bake and experiment using new ingredients and flavours. Stay tuned for more recipes and more baking experiments.

Back but to my actual reason for posting…I wanted to visit a new cafe and I had read a lot about Orto Trading from various food blogs so I was eager to try and see what the food was like. I got up early Saturday morning to ensure that we could get a table while the cafe was not too packed. We arrived at the cafe around 9:30am and there were quite a few tables available. Orto is located in Surry Hills but away from the busy crowds of Crown Street. It was hard to find because it is located on a corner and the signs are only visible once you pull up closer to the cafe. I liked all the simple but bright signs located in front of the cafe and on the door of the cafe which contrasted dramatically with the modern interiors of the cafe.

I found the cafe to be very spacious and a lot of natural light filled the cafe through the glass windows. You have the option of sitting outside or indoors where there are plenty more tables and chairs. The counter is full of daily baked desserts such as homemade muffins, cookies and bread. The vibe of the cafe is a cross between rustic and modern at the same time.

Orto

Plants

Orto Sign

Orto SIgn2

Bar

Bar 2

I thought this was quite cute – hanging old drink bottles filled with water and flowers on top of the bar

Kitchen

Tables

Table Setting

Menu

Menu

The Menu

Juice

Apple juice with mixed berries

I really loved the juice with the mix of apple and berries it was so light and refreshing! The flavours all worked well together. The appearance of the juice was really pretty even with the paper straw however the only drawback was that once you had drank a bit from the straw, the straw slowly softened as it was paper and after awhile it was not as pleasant to drink from.

Coffee

Mr Muscle’s Coffee

Eggs Benedict

Mr Muscles meal: Eggs Benedict with Berkshire Gypsy Ham and Hollandaise served with a side of house made Boston beans  $20.50

Mr Muscles enjoyed his meal however he felt he had eaten better eggs benedict at other cafes. While the presentation was very visually appealing with fresh ingredients, the food was lacking the wow factor in terms of taste. The baked beans which he ordered as an accompaniment to the dish however were quite enjoyable as they added extra spicyness to the dish to add a whole new flavour to the beans and give it a little kick.

Muesli

Orto’s house made muesli served with fresh fruit, organic Meredith’s sheep yoghurt and organic honeycomb $12.50

I had read about their signature waffles on various blogs and wanted to this dish but was not feeling too hungry at the time so decided to go for the healthier option. I will definitely have to try the waffles if I come back to visit next time. I decided to order the muesli that came with fruit and yoghurt instead. Unfortunately, I didn’t really think the muesli was that great. Once again, while the food was very visually appealing, I found this dish super difficult to eat with all the fruit planted on top of the muesli with fruit that I thought while they were trying to showcase fresh produce, the fruit didn’t really pair well with the dish. I would have preferred berries or apples compared to the massive amounts of figs that were used for the dish. Also, I found that the honeycomb was a nice addition to the yoghurt but was difficult to eat as it was hard to break through it. I think this dish would have been better if they had served toasted muesli instead of natural muesli as even with the yoghurt and milk served on the side, the dish lacked a lot of flavour. I think I hyped up the dishes well before coming here as well so I was hoping for a lot of great dishes but somehow they fell short. Perhaps it was the wrong menu choice as well on my behalf so I’ll definitely have to try something else next time.

Date Cookies

Muffins

Muffins 2

Assorted homemade cookies, cakes and muffins at the counter

I took away the sticky date cookie after my meal to try some of their homemade baked goods. I unfortunately didn’t really like the taste of the cookie as well so did not end up eating much of the cookie in the end.

I’ll have to try Orto again and order some other dishes to see whether this visit was just a one off with wrong choices in menu items. Orto provides a vast range of brunch and lunch options so next time I might try some savoury options instead. What I love about the cafe is that they use fresh quality ingredients in their menu items which I am seeing more and more in new and upcoming cafes that are opening around Sydney.

Orto Trading

38 Waterloo Street,

Surry Hills NSW 2010

Trading Hours:

Ph: 0431 212 453

Trading Hours:

Breakfast and Lunch: Tues-Sun 8am-3pm

Dinner: Tues-Sat from 6pm

Website: http://www.ortotradingco.com.au/

Stay tuned for some baking adventures in the kitchen in my upcoming posts ;P

Until next time

x

Jackie

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Biscuits and Cookies, Breakfast, Brunch, Cafe, Eggs, Fruit, Natural Muesli, Restaurant, Snacks, Sydney, Toast, Western, Yoghurt

JACKPOT bakes healthy almond cookies for Chinese New Year/Valentine’s Day

Hello dear readers!

Happy Friday! Seems like it’s been quite a long week so far and I cannot wait for the weekend to relax, rest and of course indulge in lots of great food. It’s Chinese New Year this weekend so I’m sure all of you will be having family gatherings and lots of CNY dinners. I’m looking forward to my annual family dinner on Chinese New Year’s Eve which involves my family and me going to a Chinese restaurant and indulging in lots of food while we are entertained by the lion dancing. As a kid, I used to be so scared of the big lion that I thought would eat me when I gave the lion a red pocket and now I see all these little kids around me thinking the same thing…how much time flies…now all I hear is the constant ringing in my ears from the cymbals and drums…old age I think ;P

I was really itching to bake this week but have been so busy with work that by the time I get home I do not have the energy. I finally got some time last night and figured I wanted to make something that was inspired by Chinese New Year but also Valentine’s Day which is next week. I knew I wanted to bake some healthy cookies using almond meal so I experimented by using almond meal and wholemeal spelt flour as the flours for my cookies. This ended up making the cookie quite soft in the centre but contrasting to the crumbly hard texture on the outside of my cookie. I only sweetened the cookie with pure maple syrup instead of normal sugar which worked well as I don’t usually like my cookies to be quite sweet. And of course to make it a bit more valentine’s day themed I cut some blanched almonds in half and created heart like shapes on top of the cookie. I was so worried that the cookies would turn out dry as they had looked that way once I took them out of the oven but was very happy once I bit into them to see that this wasn’t the case.

Jackpot’s Healthy Almond Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 Cups of Raw Blanched Natural Almond Meal (you can use normal almond meal if you don’t have this)
  • 1 Cup of Wholemeal Spelt Flour
  • 1 Tsp of Baking Powder
  • Pinch of Salt
  • Pinch of Cinnamon
  • 1/3 Cup of Pure Maple Syrup (I used a bit less than this but you can adjust the sweetness to your preference)
  • 1/3 Cup of Coconut Oil
  • 1 Organic Free Range Egg
  • Whole Blanched Almonds (for the tops of the cookies)

Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
  2. Line a baking tray with parchment paper and set aside.
  3. Mix the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients and mix well until incorporated. (I used my KitchenAid to mix these ingredients together but you could mix these by hand)
  4. Once the dough forms, take a tablespoon of the batter and roll it into a ball. Once formed into a ball, you can flatten it with your hands to create a flat circular disc.
  5. Line your cookies onto the baking tray about 1cm apart.
  6. Cut your whole blanched almonds into halves and create hearts with the 2 pieces. Press these 2 pieces into each cookie to ensure it sticks into the cookie.
  7. Bake your cookies for around 18-20 minutes. The cookies should brown a bit on the top. Ensure you do not burn the bottom of the cookies by checking the oven regularly.
  8. Take the tray out of the oven and put the cookies on a wire rack to cool.
  9. Once cooled, place the cookies into an airtight container for storage.
  10. Enjoy!

I was really happy with the way these cookies came out. I had made this previously for dad but using granulated sugar in place of the maple syrup for him as I knew he would prefer them to be sweeter but to my surprise he said he found them to be too sweet. This time I knew I wanted to try using a different sweetener and I found that the maple syrup gave it a more neutral taste and that the sweetness was there but not overpowering of the cookie. I am definitely going to make these again when I get the chance. Mr Muscles sneakily ate 4 of my cookies without me knowing once I had stored them in the container. Cookie monster at loose again ;P

Cookie Mixture

Cookie Mixture 2

Cookie Dough

Cookies before putting in the oven

Almond Cookies

Almond Cookies 2

Almond Cookies 3

 

 

 

Until Next Time

x

Jackie

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Biscuits and Cookies, Cookies, Dessert, Healthy, Nuts, Recipes, Snacks, Western

JACKPOT’s: Weekend Baking Adventures

Hello Readers!

What a weekend it has been! I definitely have some monday-itis today after a jam-packed weekend consisting of a wedding celebration, winning a basketball game and then coming down with the flu yesterday…my immune system is not the best since I’ve caught the flu quite a few times over the past few months.

But on a brighter note, I thought I would share with you all some of my baking adventures in the kitchen over the weekend. A bit of sickness was definitely not going to put a damper on my weekend and I was determined to create some new baked goods regardless.

I wanted to thank Ms Shortee and Mrs Do for their help on the weekend so this was the perfect opportunity to bake. I wanted to bake something new and of course something healthy so I decided to bake: Banana and Date Wholemeal Spelt Muffins and Flaked Almond Spelt Tuiles.

Banana and Date Wholemeal Spelt Muffins

I adapted my recipe from The Everyday Veggie (http://theeverydayveggie.com/?p=1075) as I wanted to make a sugar-free banana and date muffin.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup of Wholemeal Spelt Flour
  • 1 Tsp of Baking Soda
  • 1/2 cup of Soy Milk
  • 1 Tsp of Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1-2 Tbs of Coconut Oil
  • 1-2 Tbs of Agave Nectar (Optional – I don’t think it needs it as the muffin gets its sweetness from the dates already)
  • 1 tsp of Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 3 Medium Sized Bananas
  • 1/2 Cup  Chopped Dates

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius
  2. Line a cupcake/muffin tray with muffin cups or if you are not using liners then you need to spray your tray with oil spray so that the muffins do not stick to the tray
  3. Combine the soy milk with the apple cider vinegar in a bowl and set aside for a few minutes to curdle. This creates a vegan “buttermilk”
  4. Meanwhile, combine the flour and baking soda in a large bowl and mix with a wooden spoon
  5. Mix the coconut oil, agave nectar (if using), vanilla extract and bananas into the “buttermilk” mixture
  6. Add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined
  7. Add in the chopped dates and stir into the mixture
  8. Divide the mixture evenly in your muffin tray
  9. Bake for approximately 20 minutes depending on the heat of your oven. You can bake it for longer if the muffins haven’t browned much on top.
  10. Take out of muffin tray and let it cool on a wire cooling rack.

I really liked how these muffins turned out and the fact that they are sugar-free. The sweetness comes from the dates so you don’t really need to use agave as a sweetener in this recipe. Also I used more bananas to make up for some of the oil in the recipe. The muffins turned out to be quite moist due to the bananas in the mixture and I liked the texture of the muffin. I thought that using all whole wheat flour might make these muffins a bit too dense and dry but was quite pleased to see that they were not too dense once baked and were nice and light. I will definitely be baking these again and Ms Shortee told me she enjoyed the muffins so I was very happy to hear such positive comments…Thank You!

Photos:

Photo courtesy of Ms Shortee – Muffin accompanied by a coffee to start the week =)

Flaked Almond Spelt Tuiles

I bought some flaked almonds from the supermarket recently and really wanted to make almond tuiles with them. I loved almond tuiles when I was growing up. My dad would often go to the patisserie on sunday when he wasn’t working and buy a packet of almond tuiles to share with us kids. It was so addictive that you couldn’t stop at one and soon enough the packet was always finished in a matter of minutes. I wanted to replicate these almond biscuits that I was so fond of when I was a child but somehow develop it into a more healthy recipe.

Ingredients I used:

  • A Packet of Almond Flakes (approximately 100g)
  • 1/2 Cup of White Spelt Flour
  • 1/4-1/2 cup of Sugar (you can use a sugar substitute here)
  • 1/3-1/2 cup of Coconut Butter melted
  • 2 Egg Whites

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees Celsius
  2. Line a tray with baking paper and set aside
  3. Combine all the ingredients together and stir with a wooden spoon to combine
  4. Drop a tablespoon full of batter onto the lined tray and then flatten each drop of batter with the back of a spoon so that it is reasonably flat – this will make sure the cookie is thin and crispy. They should be roughly a few cms apart from each other
  5. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until brown on the outside of each cookie.
  6. Take out of oven and quickly mould them onto a rolling-pin to get the curve in the tuile.
  7. Once cool, you can put them into an airtight container to store for a few days if you haven’t eaten them all by then.

I was happy with my first attempt at this tuile but I definitely will need to fine tune the recipe and keep experimenting. I was rushing a bit as I was being a bit too over ambitious in the kitchen as usual and had to rush off to play basketball so I took out the tuile a bit earlier than the required time. Next time I will bake it for a bit longer until the tuiles have set to a nice light-dark brown colour on the edge of the cookies as I prefer my tuiles to be more crunchy. These turned out to be a bit more chewier as a result of taking them out earlier but I didn’t mind the texture and taste of these even if they weren’t the same consistency as I remember eating them when I was a child. The coconut butter lends a lovely subtle coconut flavour to these cookies without overpowering the whole tuile. Also, I only managed to make a few curved tuiles as my first few batches were a bit sticky and stuck itself onto my rolling-pin so they cracked a little when I tried to pull them off the rolling-pin. I will attempt this again with the proper curving on the tuile and let you all know the results. Mr Cookie Monster AKA Mr Muscles really loved these cookies so much so that he ended up stealing so many cookies and eating them quickly without me realising! Lucky I saved a few to give to Mrs Do who ate these cookies with a cup of tea this morning. Happy birthday again Mrs Do!

Photos:

Cookies with some tea =) Photo courtesy of Mrs Do – Loving that Tea Set!

I now feel like chanting the old childhood verse over and over:

“Who stole the cookie from the cookie jar?
Jackpot stole the cookie from the cookie jar
Who me? Yes you, couldn’t be, then who?”

;p

Until next time!

x

Jackie

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Banana, Biscuits and Cookies, Breakfast, Dessert, Health Food, Healthy, Muffins, Muffins, Nuts, Recipes, Snacks, Sugar Free, Vegan, Vegetarian, Western