Friday, May 31, 2013

Galaxy Cookies

I've been meaning to share my recipe for Galaxy Cookies for a while now, but was waiting for an excuse to bake them again! This particular batch will be traveling out of town with me this weekend. I do not foresee any of them lasting through Monday.

Galaxy Cookies!

These are a frequently requested cookie in my house. I use Galaxy Caramel chocolate, but you can use any soft-caramel filled milk chocolate you have on hand and still call them Galaxy Cookies, if you'd like to!

What you'll need:

(Makes about 3.5 dozen cookies)
  • 400g self-raising flour
  • 150g soft light brown sugar
  • 200g unsalted butter (room temperature)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1.5 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 200g Galaxy Caramel bar

What to do:

Preheat oven to 180C/360F.

Get to work chopping up your chocolate bars. Roughly chopped pieces a little bigger than chocolate chips/morsels work well. You don't need to be super precise here.

If you use a different kind of chocolate, aim for the same caramel center consistency as above.

Set the chocolate aside and combine the butter, vanilla, sugar, and eggs in a mixing bowl. Mix on a low/medium setting until everything is well blended (no big butter lumps remaining). 

In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, and pinch of salt. Then gradually combine this into the wet mixture. When you've reached the same consistency as the picture below, you're finished with this step.

Now it's time to mix in the chopped chocolate. My handheld mixer did not like this part; I kept to a low speed for less than a minute in an attempt to preserve it's lifespan.

Not too fussy about chunk size!

All blended and ready to go!

When the chocolate chunks appear to be spread throughout the dough in a reasonably proportional way, you're ready for the final (somewhat sticky) step.

Roll the cookie dough into balls that fit nicely into the palm of your hand, place evenly on a cookie sheet, and pop into the oven.  Bake for about 10 minutes for a flexible cookies, closer to 12 if you like them on the crisp side.

Cooling off.

 Let cool for a minute or two before removing from the cookie sheet. Enjoy!

Will you be taking these with you to a family gathering or picnic with friends this weekend? I would highly recommend doing either one (or just baking for a cozy night at home!).

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Quick Lemon Raisin Scones

I hope everyone enjoyed the Memorial Day/Bank Holiday weekend! There was lots of time spent outdoors in the surprisingly pleasant weather here. I'm really pleased the sunshine decided to stick around for the long weekend! Late last night I decided to make use of the bowl of lemons on the counter and whip together these quick Lemon Raisin Scones. 

What you'll need:

(Makes 9 scones)
  • 225g self raising flour
  • 60g unsalted butter (room temperature)
  • 30g soft light brown sugar
  • 150ml skimmed milk
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 75g raisins
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • pinch of salt

What to do:

Preheat oven to 180C/360F.

In a mixing bowl, combine the butter, sugar, baking soda, salt, and skim milk using a handheld mixer. Then gradually mix in the flour. Keep going until all of the flour is mixed in and the dough starts to clump together.

Next, add the zest of one lemon. I squeezed in a bit of lemon juice too, just to add an extra lemony kick.  

Once the lemon zest is thoroughly mixed into the dough, add the raisins.  Give the dough a few more seconds with the handheld mixer to distribute the raisins.

Next you'll need to lightly flour a surface and flatten your dough out. You could be fancy and use a rolling pin, but I honestly just used my hands. Quick and easy, right? Flatten the dough out until it's about 1/2 an inch thick. Then cut out scone circles. Again, you can use a fancy cookie cutter or scone cutting contraption if you have one, or you can turn a small drinking glass upside down and portion out your scone dough that way. (Or am I the only person who keeps used glass Nutella jars to use as juice glasses?)

Space evenly on a baking sheet (coating the surface lightly with butter or baking spray if it's not already a non-stick surface) and pop into the oven for about 12 minutes.

The final product should have risen nicely (hooray for fluffy scones!) and should be golden brown.  Enjoy warm alone or with some jam! These hold up well for a day or two in an airtight container too. 

Friday, May 24, 2013

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Almond Butter Cookies

Mound of finished cookies.
I was aiming for a slightly healthier (and maybe a bit more grown-up?) twist on classic peanut butter cookies here. I used a natural, no-sugar-or-salt-added brand of almond butter, and much less sugar than typical cookie recipes call for since almonds are already sweet! So these have a great chocolate and nut combination, without going full on everyone's favorite orange and brown brand of peanut butter chocolate cups. You know what I mean?


What you'll need:

(Makes 2.5 dozen cookies)
  • 180g self raising flour (I used Dove's Farm Gluten-Free blend)
  • 100g soft light brown sugar
  • 100g oatmeal (I used a gluten free variety here too)
  • 100g chopped milk chocolate
  • 100g almond butter
  • 100g unsalted butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tbls baking soda
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • pinch salt

Not quite finished - must vanquish the giant lump of butter first!

What to do:

Preheat the oven to 175C/350F.

Next, cream together the butter, almond butter, vanilla, egg and sugar. I used a handheld mixer on low. Make sure to get all of the butter lumps out!

Mix together the flour, baking soda, and salt and gradually add to the wet mixture. Once thoroughly blended in, add the oatmeal.

Chocolate chunks everywhere!

Finally, blend in the chocolate chunks. Aim for relatively even distribution. This way you will have no sad, chocolate-less cookies, and only happy, chocolate chippy cookies.

Form into cookie dough balls and space evenly on a cookie sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes.

These don't need to cool for too long before being spatula-ed off the cookie sheet. And then eaten. Warm. Yum!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Chocolate Coconut Cookies

Hello! I hope everyone enjoyed the weekend. As it is now Monday, I thought chocolate might be in order. And for good measure, some coconut too. 

Freshly baked chocolate coconut cookies

In my mind, these fit into a category with Girl Scout Somoa cookies, Bounty bars, and the bonbons we beg my mom to make for the holidays. Basically, things containing chocolate and coconut that I cannot be trusted to be left alone in the same room with.  Interested?

What you need:

  • 325g white self-raising flour (I used Dove's Farm gluten free variety)
  • 150g soft light brown sugar
  • 100g chopped chocolate
  • 60g desiccated coconut
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1.5 tbsp vanilla
  • 100g coconut oil

Mixing in the sugar

What to do:

Preheat your oven to 175C/350F.

Melt the chopped chocolate and coconut oil together in a double boiler, stirring constantly. This does not take long at all, especially if your chocolate is chopped quite finely. Once melted, remove from the heat and beat in the vanilla, egg, and brown sugar.

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and desiccated coconut. Then gradually add to the wet mixture, blending thoroughly. Finally, roll dough into balls (to give you an idea of size, place the tip of your index finger and the tip of your thumb together - each cookie dough ball should be about that big) and space evenly on a cookie sheet.

Ready to go in the oven now
Bake for 8-9 minutes. The final product should look like this when you pull it from the oven:

Still warm!
Let cool slightly, then remove from the cookie sheet and test your will power. Sharing with friends helps!


Saturday, May 18, 2013

Saturday Morning Peach Muffins

Good morning! I made a tasty batch of low-added sugar peach muffins to kick off the weekend, and thought I'd share. These offer a variation from your typical weekend pancakes/blueberry muffins/full-on-fry-ups, and would be a nice little treat to bring along to brunch with friends, or just for a relaxing morning at home.

What Saturday mornings should look like.

Ingredients (makes 18 muffins):

  • 350g white self-raising flour (I used Dove's Farm Gluten-Free variety)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1.5 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 50g soft light brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 50g unsalted butter
  • 350ml skimmed milk
  • 150g peach jam (no-sugar added variety)
  • 1 peach

Not pictured: milk

What to do:

Preheat the oven to 170C/360F. Combine the egg, butter, milk, sugar, and vanilla extract with a mixer until well-blended (no butter lumps!). In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, and baking powder.

Gradually add the dry mixture to the wet mixture, blending well (I continued to use my hand-held electric mixer for this, on a low/medium setting). Set this aside for a moment and chop your peach.

 Then mix the chopped peach and peach jam into your batter, like this:

Once thoroughly combined, pour the batter into muffin cases, filling each about 2/3 of the way full. 

Ready to go in the oven now!
Bake for about 20 minutes, until muffins are golden on top and pass the toothpick/fork test.

Let cool slightly - this gives you enough time to make a nice cup of coffee or tea - and then enjoy your tasty Saturday breakfast/brunch!

We liked adding a bit of extra peach jam to the final product.

 What do your Saturday and Sunday mornings look like?

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Blueberries and Chocolate

The finished product - Chocolate Chip Blueberry Cookies

About a year ago my sister, knowing my love of blueberries, picked up a bag of chocolate covered dried blueberries for me. How I had missed the combination up until that point is really beyond me. Blueberries + chocolate = a special kind of delicious.  But for some reason, the two are not really a 'classic' combination. They should be. So taking a cue from the 'bake brave' tagline of this year's World Baking Day - Saturday May 19th - and some inspiration from last year's gift, I thought I would jump on board the baking festivities with this unusual pairing in cookie form.  

Chocolate Chip and Blueberry Cookies (Gluten Free)


  • 200g gluten free all purpose flour (I used Dove's Farm)
    • If you're on good terms with gluten, feel free to swap this for all purpose flour.
  • 150g light brown sugar
  • 125g unsalted butter (room temperature)
  • 1 egg
  • 1.5 tsp vanilla
  • 1.5 tsp baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 50g dried blueberries
  • 100g finely chopped milk chocolate

What to do:

Preheat oven to 180C/360F. Combine the butter, egg, sugar, and vanilla in a mixing bowl - I used an electric handheld mixer on a low/medium speed for about a minute. Or you could work up an appetite by using a human-powered version.

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and pinch of salt. Gradually add this to the wet mixture. Once this is accomplished, fold in the dried blueberries and chopped chocolate. Mix as evenly as possible to ensure proper chocolate/blueberry distribution in your final product! 

Resist the urge to eat as is.

I experimented with cookie sizes a bit here too. This batch size makes about 2 dozen larger cookies or around 40 small cookies, but could easily be doubled if so desired. Baking times vary from 8-10 minutes in a pre-heated oven depending on cookie size. 

Ready to go in the oven.
Freshly baked!

Let cool for about a minute, but not too long, before removing from the cookie sheet. These cookies turn out on the crispy, as opposed to chewy, side - but are nicely pliable when still warm (my favorite!).

I hope you enjoy this baking experiment as much as everyone here did. I made these yesterday, and there are shockingly few left today. What unusual combinations have you tried lately? I'd love to hear!