Posts tagged biscuits
Oaty yacon syrup cookies

Well my first giveaway ended last week and was a great success (in my opinion!) I loved having something to giveaway to my readers and am planning a few more giveaways in coming weeks and months... so watch this space! 

Let's get back to food! ...namely cookies!

When I was following the candida diet, I was trying to find any loophole possible to get my sweetness. Sweet tooth...me? ...never!! :-)

I researched the guidelines, talked to specialists and asked lots of questions to others who had followed a similar restricted diet. One of the sweeteners it initially appeared ok for me to consume in very limited quantities was yacon syrup. Ultimately I was advised against eating it at all during the strictest stage but it is a great alternative for those following a low sugar diet for others reasons, or phase two of the candida cleanse.

I had a play around with the syrup in making some cookies, it's a lovely thick syrup very similar to brown rice syrup and with a similar flavour also.  Since I was using a very small quantity of syrup (bumping the sweetness with stevia- but you could use a little extra syrup if you prefer) I used lots of nut butter to help give a lovely crisp/chewy texture. I've previously found that low sugar and low fat cookies tend to be quite soft and 'cakey' and this wasn't what I was going for here.

I made two versions, a plain one and then a second batch with some cocoa mixed through a a drizzle of raw cacao liquid on top. Both were yummy! You may want to add a little extra syrup to the choc version to help bind  the fry ingredients but also because for me a chocolate treat automatically wants to be a little sweeter (that's my personable taste!)

I loved the fact these cookies were so 'substantial' (if you know what I mean), no messing with these bad boys! The'll kick mid afternoon cravings right into touch.

Recipe: Oaty yacon cookies

Makes approx 10-12 cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups oats
  • ¼ cup chia seeds
  • 2 tbs coconut oil
  • 3 tbs nut butter
  • ½ an avocado- mashed
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 heaped tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbs carob or 2 tbs cocoa (optional)
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tbs yacon syrup
  • 10 drops pure stevia (or approx ¼ tsp powder)
  • ½ cup chopped nuts/seeds/cacoa nibs- optional
  • Decoration- 3 tbs melted cacao with 4 drops stevia mixed in.

Method:

Melt the coconut oil, nut butter, yacon, vanilla extract and salt in a medium saucepan over a low-medium heat. You’ll need to whisk a little to break up and blend the nut butter.

Add all remaining Ingredients and turn off the heat. Mix well to coat evenly and make sure the mashed avocado is evenly mixed through.

Scoop dollops of the mix and flatten into round cookies on a lined baking sheet. Bake at 180C for approx 15 minutes until slighly golden. If desired drizzle with a little melted cacao and allow to set.

Will store in an airtight container for a 1 week. These cookies are more crisp when fresh then become a chewy oaty cookie in the following days.

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Dog biscuits… Because man's best friend deserves healthy treats too!

This was the first time I've ever made anything other than human treats, so it was a new exciting challenge for me!  

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A couple of weeks ago my trainer brought his new dog to the session, she was so cute and good as gold throughout. The moment I first saw her I instantly thought "I have to make dog biscuits" Yeah, I am a bit strange in that most girls would think automatically think "aw you're so cute i'm going to sit down and have a little cuddle with you". For me that thought comes second. 

The minute I got home I started researching recipes. What are the healthiest Ingredients I could use? What ingredients were not suitable for dogs (i.e. quite a few nuts- which I didn't previously know, and also chocolate- obviously). I found a few recipes online particularly this one, and this one, that I decided to tweak to make my own versions. So here you have a carob cookie and peanut butter cookie, both using spelt flour. I had originally intended to make one batch a fully GF version but for my first attempt I decided to play it a bit safer (avoiding potential crumbling scenarios), plus spelt is typically known to be kind on the digestive system and for me that is the main thing.

I wanted to make dog biscuits that were the kind of thing I would also like to eat- if I were a dog… Saying that my mum did steal a couple off the cooling rack when fresh out of the oven to dunk in her cup of tea and I'm told they also got rave reviews on the receiving end, and by that I mean it wasn't only the dogs who enjoyed them…

For those of you with dogs in your life… Enjoy.

And to Scarlett for inspiring me... Thank you. 

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p.s I bought the bone shaped cookie cutter especially and it made me so happy cos they looked cute!

p.s I bought the bone shaped cookie cutter especially and it made me so happy cos they looked cute!

Recipe: Carob biscuits

Serves makes 1 full baking sheets worth

Ingredients: 

  • 1 cup spelt flour
  • ½ cup carob powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbs crunchy peanut butter (optional- as it ]looks pretty)
  • 1 tbs oil
  • ½ cup water (may need to increase to 2/3 cup)

Method: 

Mix dry ingredients together. Add wet ingredients and pulse through in food processor or rub in with fingers to achieve a slightly sticky ‘breadcrumb’ consistency (add a tiny bit more water if needed).

Roll out to ¼ inch thick and cut into shapes or squares. I used a bone cutter!

Bake at 180C for approx 20 minutes until just turning golden.

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Recipe: Peanut Butter biscuits

Makes 1 full baking sheets worth

Ingredients: 

  • ¾ cup WM spelt flour and ¾ cup white spelt flour
  • ¼ heaped cup peanut butter
  • 1 tbs oil
  • ½ cup water

Method: 

Mix dry ingredients together. Add wet ingredients and pulse through in food processor or rub in with fingers to achieve a slightly sticky ‘breadcrumb’ consistency (add a tiny bit more water if needed).

Roll out to ¼ inch thick and cut into shapes or squares. I used a bone cutter!

Bake at 180C for approx 20 minutes until just turning golden.

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Classic Easter biscuits

Raisins, currants, sultanas… I never used to like these dried fruits until a year or so ago. Another one of the ways in which my tastes and appreciation for food has changed along with my diet.

Other food loves (from previous food hates) are… herbal teas, peanut butter and dark chocolate.  There is one thing that I still just can’t get my head around, and that’s mushrooms. It’s a shame as I have seen so many amazing and versatile recipes that use mushrooms, often as a meat substitute. I have come far though since I now enjoy mushrooms raw with a dip, but just not cooked (yeah, it’s ok I think I am odd too!)

Anyway, back to dried fruit. Namely currants. Classic Easter biscuits are reminiscent of garibaldi biscuits with a delicate crumb and the sweetness of the currants coming through. The tops are often glazed and sprinkled with a little extra sugar and the biscuits have a subtle warming spice.

These classic biscuits are also classically filled with refined sugars, flours, butter and egg.

Not here! 

I wanted to play around with achieving a moist delicate and slightly chewy biscuit using unrefined sugars, whole grain GF flours and coconut oil. I made a couple of different batches and each work really well, so it would seem this is a pretty versatile recipe.

The first batch I made used my classic mix of GF flours (buckwheat, ground almonds and tapioca flour) plus polenta to give a slight crunch to the texture. The second batch used predominantly blanched almond flour that I have had some fun playing with recently. The almond flour, along with various other flours and GF ingredients came from The Real Food Source, and now I have the pleasure of my almond flour variation being featured on their blog in the run up to Easter…..please check it out here.

Recipe: Classic Easter biscuits

Makes approx. 12 biscuits (depending on size and shape of cutter)

Ingredients

  • ½ cup coconut butter - melted (if using coconut oil reduce to slightly over ¼ cup)
  • ¼ cup agave plus a pinch of stevia if necessary
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract (or make your own)
  • 2 tbs ground flax or chia plus 3 tbs hot water (mix and allow to sit for 1 min)
  • 3 tbs polenta
  • 1 ½ cup GF flour mix (see above or use you own)
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • ½ cup currants
  • 1 tsp cinnamon and mixed spice mixed
  • Pinch salt

Method

Mix dry ingredients (except currants) together in a large bowl. Mix wet ingredients together in a small bowl and then add to the dry. Add the currants last (my currants were partially blended into smaller pieces but you can keep them whole if you prefer). Bring the dough into a ball with your hands. Roll out on a lightly floured surface to a little under 1cm thick. Cut into shapes and place on a parchment lined baking sheet.

Lightly brush the tops with soy milk and sprinkle with a little coconut sugar or rapadura if desired.

Bake in a pre-heated oven at 180C for approx. 10mins until slightly golden.

These biscuits will store in an airtight container for up to a week, there will also freeze. The biscuits are dense and chewy by nature and so do not need to retain their crisp 'freshly baked' feel.

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Sweet Scones with Walnut & Cranberry

I like a challenge, the chance to do something a little different, the chance to explore a common theme with a little of my own imagination thrown in. I also enjoy seeing how others respond to an idea…

…for example if you were asked to make scones (aka American biscuits) what would you come up with?

Sweet, savoury, a circle of wedges, round scones cut with a cutter, fruity scones, chocolate scones, scones served with jam and cream for afternoon tea, scones served as a side with a casserole or broth…the list goes on!

I have recently joined the Daring Bakers and this was my first monthly challenge….scones! The challenges are set on the 1st of every month with a publishing date of the 27th of every month. It’s been very interesting to check out the results of the other bakers and to see just how different the outcomes can be.

For me the basic scone recipe presents simply the principle, one which I can then tweak to create a healthy vegan adaptation.  I opted for sweet scones as would be traditionally served with jam and cream (or in my case sugar free jam and a dollop of soy yoghurt). This is the type of scone with which I am most familiar; I remember days gone by cuddling up on the sofa with a warm wedge of light and fluffy baked scone slathered in jam and squirty cream!

I haven’t had too much experience with baking healthy vegan scones (or any scones for that matter), other than the first batch I ever made- my Halloween pumpkin scones which were a resounding success! This gave me a little confidence boost and I was keen to get cracking!

Traditional scones, whether sweet or savoury, consist primarily of plain flour, butter and milk. I adapted the basic recipe to incorporate spelt flour, almond milk and coconut oil and I’m pleased with the overall result…a good base for many flavour combinations.  I had three attempts at this challenge, tweaking as I went and reducing the liquid slightly and adding a little baking soda along with the baking powder, and adding a little dried fruit.  The original Daring Bakers January recipe challenge can be found here.

So, question time...Do you call them ‘biscuits’ or ‘scones’? Do you prefer sweet or savoury? What’s your favourite flavour combination?

Recipe: Scones with walnut and cranberry

Makes approx. 6 wedges or circles (I made one batch of each)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup mix of white and wholemeal spelt flours
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • Tiny pinch of salt
  • 2 tables coconut oil (not melted)
  • Slightly over 1/3 cup almond milk (or other non-dairy milk of choice) plus extra for glaze
  • 2 tsp agave syrup
  • ¼ cup mix of chopped cranberries and dates (optional)

Method

Mix/sift dry ingredients well to maximise air in the mixture. 

Rub through the coconut oil with fingers to achieve a breadcrumb like consistency, then mix through the dried fruit if using. 

Mix agave into the milk and add liquid to the dry ingredients. Use hands to create a soft dough ball that should be slightly sticky but manageable.

On a floured surface, knead dough into a circle approx. 2cm thick and either cut into 6 wedges or circles using a cutter. Brush a little ‘milk’ over the tops to glaze.

Lay close together on a lightly greased baking sheet and bake at 210C for 8-10 minutes until tops are golden. You may need to rotate halfway through to ensure an even rise.

Daring Bakers... Audax Artifex was our January 2012 Daring Bakers’ host. Aud worked tirelessly to master light and fluffy scones (a/k/a biscuits) to help us create delicious and perfect batches in our own kitchens!


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