Lemon and Coconut Brownie

Lemons lemons lemons! I still have more lemons to use up and I do love finding new ways to bake with them. It also helps to have excuses to make these treats and this time the lucky recipients were the Playcentre Mums at one of our meetings. These Lemon and Coconut Brownies certainly proved popular as I came home with an empty container and several compliments. Although the texture is not light like a cake or as dense like a brownie would usually be, I guess they are still best categorised as brownies. The great news is that it’s a one pot mixture that is very simple to make and doesn’t leave you with many dishes. Despite their simplicity they look good and are easy to cut into either small bite size pieces or larger dessert sized pieces. You could even get creative and use a cookie cutter to cut them into shapes. Make sure you are a coconut fan if you are going to try this as it is definitely a dominant flavour in the recipe. Here’s the recipe if you would like to give it a go:

Lemon and Coconut BrownieLemon and Coconut Brownie
250g Butter
1 1/2 cups Caster Sugar
4 Eggs
1 1/2 cups plain Flour
1 cup dessicated Coconut
3t Lemon Rind, finely grated
1/4 cup Lemon Juice
Icing sugar, for dusting
Heat oven to 180°C and line/grease a 20×30 baking pan. Melt butter in a saucepan and then remove from the heat. Thoroughly stir in the caster sugar and then stir in the eggs one by one. Sift in the flour and mix well. Add the coconut, lemon rind and lemon juice and mix until incorporated. Tip mixture into your prepared baking pan and cook for 30-35minutes or until a knife comes out clean. Let it cool in the pan and then cut into squares and dust with icing sugar. (The recipe should make about 16 brownies.)
Recipe adapted from Australian Good Taste.


Lemon Drizzle Loaf

It’s lemon season around here and my Mum kindly gave me a bowl full recently. A friend of mine had recently mentioned a couple of times that he quite likes Lemon Drizzle Cake and wondered if had I ever made it. I couldn’t recall that I had and set out to find a recipe to add to my collection. It turns out that Lemon Drizzle Cake is just a Lemon Syrup Loaf, and yes I have made it before. I decided to try another recipe by The Londoner who blogged about making this recipe for someone to show them that it was better than Starbucks. It’s ridiculously easy, chucking nearly everything into a bowl and mixing together before whipping it into the oven. I love how fast the loaf is to make, and how moist it is. After making one loaf I quickly realised that it’s probably always worth making two… one just didn’t seem to last very long. I have decided now that I prefer the recipe from The Londoner. The reasons I prefer it are because it has less ingredients than others, is faster to make, has a shorter cooking time, it’s easier using my handmixer than a food processor (plus less dishes) and I thought it tasted better. I think that the lemon syrup is absorbed better when you poke holes through the loaf rather than just pouring on top like the other recipe I tried. If you are looking for a Lemon Drizzle Loaf recipe then you must try this one!

Lemon Drizzle Loaf

Lemon Drizzle Loaf
3 Eggs
170g Self raising flour (1 1/4 cups)
1t Baking powder
170g Caster sugar (3/4 cup)
170g Butter (room temperature/softened)
2 Lemons, zested and juiced
110g Icing sugar (3/4 cup)
Heat your oven to 180ºC, then line and grease a loaf tin. Place eggs, self raising flour, baking powder, caster sugar, butter and lemon zest in a large bowl. Mix with a handmixer (or cake mixer/food processor) until ingredients are well mixed and smooth. Tip into your loaf tin and bake for around 30-35mins. While this is in the oven make your lemon drizzle by mixing your lemon juice and icing sugar until all the powder is dissolved. After the cake is ready (knife comes out clean) poke holes all over it making sure your skewer reaches the bottom of the loaf. Pour your lemon syrup over the loaf and leave to absorb and loaf to cool before removing from the tin.
Recipe from The Londoner

No-Knead Sunflower Seed Bread

It’s certainly been a lot cooler in Auckland of late which has brought me into soup season. In an effort to use up some silverbeet and pumpkin I stumbled across a hearty and healthy Pumpkin, Silverbeet, Beef and Barley Soup (the pictures don’t do it justice for how good it tastes). I have made it several times now and even Israel loves to eat it. I substitute the mince for diced beef and find that it needs a little extra liquid, but otherwise is very tasty. I made this soup one night recently and then as an afterthought I realised that I should have made some bread to go with it. Time was running out but then I remembered Annabel Langbein had a Busy People’s Bread recipe. The recipe is effectively a no-knead bread that lets the dough rise in the oven as part of the cooking time. I have renamed the bread No-Knead Sunflower Seed Bread as it helps to identify the type of bread a little easier. I would liken this type of bread to that of a Vogel’s loaf. You could get a bit more creative and vary the seeds that you use for a different taste.

No-Knead Sunflower Seed Bread

No-Knead Sunflower Seed Bread
2 cups of Boiling water
4t Honey
2 cups of Cold water
7t Dry yeast granules (or 5.5t of active dry yeast)
2 3/4 cups of White flour
2 3/4 cups of Wholemeal flour
3t Salt
2 cups of Sunflower seeds
4T Pumpkin Seeds
Heat oven to 80°C then grease and line two loaf tins. Mix the boiling water and honey in a large bowl. Once dissolved add the cold water and yeast, setting aside for 10minutes. Whisk yeast mixture and then add remaining ingredients except pumpkin seeds. Pour half of the wet mixture into each of the tins, then sprinkle 2T of pumpkin seeds over each loaf. Score top of loaf so that it doesn’t split. Bake loaf for 20 minutes and then increase oven temperature to 210°C, and cook for 30-40 minutes. It should be hollow when you tap the top. Make sure you remove the bread from the tins right away and cool on a wire rack so that the moisture doesn’t absorb into the bread.
Recipe by Annabel Langbein

Melting Moments

I love trying new things, so when I stumbled across this recipe for Melting Moments I had to give them a whirl.  They are very simple to make, although they are just a little time consuming rolling the dough into little balls. I was in a bit of hurry when it came to assembling them trying to multi-task both Israels dinner and icing the biscuits before we had to head out the door with the biscuits in hand. They definitely could have been iced a little tidier, but as I transported them to a friends house for supper they also got a little knocked around in the process. If you have eaten a Melting Moment before you will understand why they are called that – which is exactly why the soft biscuit isn’t the most ideal for transporting. Never mind, they tasted great and are a lovely treat to have on the odd occassion (as they are certainly not good for the waistline). Check out the recipe below.

Melting Moments

Melting Moments
Biscuit Ingredients
250g Butter
1/3 cup Icing Sugar
1t Vanilla Essence
1 1/2 cups Self Raising Flour
1/2 cup Custard Powder
Passionfruit Filling Ingredients
60g Butter
1/2 cup Icing Sugar
1 1/2 T Passionfruit Pulp
OR: Coffee Filling Ingredients
2t Instant Coffee2t Hot Water
60g Butter
1/2 cup Icing Sugar
Heat ove
n to 180°C. Beat butter and icing sugar til light and creamy. Beat in vanilla essence. Sift flour and custard powder, mixing well to make a soft dough. Roll level tablespoons into about 28 balls, placing on 2 lined baking trays. Flatten slightly with a floured fork. Bake 20 minutes or until lightly golden then cool on a wire rack. Choose either passionfruit or coffee filling, half of each, or your own filling. To make passionfruit filling, beat butter and sugar til light and creamy, then beating in passionfruit pulp. To make coffee filling, dissolve coffee in hot water and leave to cool. Meanwhile beat butter and sugar til light and creamy, then add coffee mixture beating well. Use your filling to sandhich the biscuits together and leave to firm up before serving.

Recipe from Sweet Food by Lynn Lewis

Peanut Butter Cookies

It has been an ordinary day at home, although I have just realised that I haven’t sat down apart from when feeding Israel. Needless to say it has been a productive day. As a treat I thought I would try Annabel Langbein’s new Peanut Butter Cookie recipe. Surely when you combine peanuts and chocolate you get something magical. Regardless I exhibited real self control by not eating the cookie dough. I halved the recipe and decided to go for larger softer cookies rather than crunchy. It still made quite a few so I am sending some off with Michael to work.

Peanut Butter Cookies

The End of a Spectacular September

Today is the last day of September and the last day of birthday celebrations for my wonderful friend Wendy. She celebrated her 30th birthday in a big way by doing something special on each of the 30 days of September. Activities ranged from dinner and coffee dates to movies, theatre shows, rugby games, poker nights and so forth. All of her friends were invited and it was up to you what you joined in on. It has been a fun month and for the final day she relaxed all day at home in her pyjamas. Typically those at liberty to do the same were school teachers on school holidays like Wendy, or a stay at home Mum like myself (which are probably the categories that are also happy to stay in their pj’s all day). A few weeks ago Wendy stumbled upon a recipe for a yummy treat and teased that I should be the one to make it. This day of blobbing out seemed like the perfect fit. The yummy treat was a Caramel Banana Cake Roll and was definitely a hit. The bonus is that it was easy to make but you just need to allow enough time for the cake to cool before progressing with the recipe. For the caramel sauce I used some leftover Salted Caramel Sauce that I had made, which went well with it despite the salt. The only thing to remember is that this has a minus health rating for the body, but a positive rating for the taste buds! I turn 30 myself next March, but I doubt that I will be celebrating it as spectacularly like my dear friend Wendy!


Cinnamon Rolls

A perfect way to spend a lovely spring morning today was with a dear friend and a delightful morning tea treat of Cinnamon Rolls. I love baking with yeast as it gives your dough such a light fluffy taste, and these rolls were no exception. They are easy to make but you can’t be in a hurry as you need two periods of rising time. It is a good opportunity knock out any chores or feed a baby breakfast while you wait. The other thing that is great about this recipe is at they only take up to fifteen minutes to cook, so you can have them all ready to go in the oven, waiting until the last minute to pop them in before guests arrive and then fill your home with the gorgeous smell of them. They are definitely best eaten straight from the oven, but if you do have leftovers they are tastiest when slightly zapped in the microwave. I opted out of the icing as I decided it had enough sugar and sweetness already.