White Chocolate and Coconut Cookies

Hello all!

This is just a breather post. A non chocolate laden browniesque recipe to cleanse the palate. Ok well it is chocolate laden, but there is no dark chocolate, or snickers bar in sight! So it will do.

I feel like I need to be a bit more adventurous in my cookie baking. It is like there are only so many types you can make before you delve into what I call the 'nut-based' zone, where every other recipe contains an expensive ground nut base such as almond, or hazelnut.

I also feel that there are only so many sorts of chocolate bars bloggers can hide inside cookies before it becomes a bit crazy, a bit ott and just a bit gluttonous. I feel there are many baking blogs out there which aren't really baking blogs at all. Instead they are just methods for assembling pre-mix cakes with the confectionary isle's worth of chocolate bars into one heart attack and diabetic coma. The craft, skill and love lacks somewhat.

So maybe I will have to dive into those fancy looking almond based cookies after all.

So anyway whilst skulking the works of Donna Hay online for new recipes to try I found a recipe for coconut and white chocolate chunk cookies.

I love coconut.

I love white chocolate.

I love cookies.

We had a winner.

Although I have to say, the appearance of the final baked cookie looks nothing like the picture on her website. I wonder what happened. I wonder how she got them so excellent looking.

Regardless, they tasted excellent.

Ah, speaking of excellent, I managed to find a new cookie consumer. All my current cookie consumers (who receive snap lock bags full of cookies on a semi regular basis) are all on diets. Apparently Maxie wants his abs back. Boooo!!! But through sheer luck, my lack of social normalcy and a casual chat in the Link at uni I managed to find a new consumer. There is nothing better than gifting fresh baking to people who appreciate it. I get as much joy giving it away as I do making it, so if I can brighten someone else's day as well it is well worth it. Baking equals love folks.

I swapped the self raising flour here for an extra cup of plain plus a teaspoon of baking powder. I also added more white chocolate melts. Because you can never have too many of those.

Coconut and White Chocolate Cookies
adapted from Donna Hay
makes 25ish

125g butter, softened
3/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
2 cups plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
150g white chocolate melts or white chocolate chopped into chunks
1 cup desiccated coconut

Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

Beat in the egg and mix until voluminous. Mix in the vanilla.

Mix in the flour, baking powder and coconut.

Stir in the chocolate.

Roll into balls and use the palm of your hand to flatten them on the tray (lined with baking paper).

Bake at 180 for 12 minutes or until lightly golden brown.

Easy as that.


Snickers Bar Brownies

For the good of man kind I felt like I had to write this post.

It will be short, sharp but definitely not lacking in chocolately noms. In fact the sheer obscene quantity of chocolate in this brownie will compensate for the lack of words. Who needs words when you have chocolate?

(This is basically me procrastinating reading an article on the acidity of milk)

So I took another mindless trip to New World and ended up buying fun sized snickers bars, more dark chocolate and some Gaviscon. I don't know why. I just did. It was a bit silly considering I had purchased 1.6kg of chocolate for baking the day before. I think it was because it was only $1.99 a bar. Dam you strategic pricing. My baking excess supply store is looking a bit ridiculous.

So I found myself up rather late and feeling too lazy to go to bed (taking contact lenses out, brushing teeth and showering are all very strenuous activities I would have you know!) so I decided to make some brownie to take to my friend Max the next day. Yes. Logic. Baking brownies is far less effortful than sleeping . . .

So anyway the Snickers bar brownie was born. I got a bit carried away with the chocolate. I think 700g went into this. Fliiiip. Oh and I felt like the peanuts in the Snickers bars wern't enough so I buried spoonfuls of peanut butter in there too. YOLO.

Eww. Can't believe I just said that.

So the base for this brownie is from Butter Baking. I just switched around the inclusions to suit what I had. It is a good brownie base. I recommend having fun with it! So once again you can add really whatever you like to it. Whatever your inner fat kid desires.

Snickers Bar Brownie
Adapted from Butter Baking 
Makes 20x30 cm trays worth

225g butter
1 3/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup + 2 tablespoons cocoa
100g dark 70% chocolate
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
1 egg yolk
3/4 cup plain flour
3/4 cup dark chocolate chips
3/4 cup white chocolate chips/melts
12 funsize Snickers bars (212g worth)
1/3 cup crunchy peanut butter
more chocolate chips to sprinkle over the top

Preheat the oven to 170 on bake.

In a heatproof bowl over a sauce pan with a few centimetres of boiling water in it, melt together the chocolate and butter. Once melted add in the sugar and stir to dissolve. Remove the bowl from the heat and either transfer to a larger bowl or a stand mixer and beat in the cocoa and vanilla until smooth and lump free.

Beat in the eggs and the egg yolk one at a time until the mixture becomes really thick and luxurious.

Add in the flour and stir until just combined.

Stir in the chocolate chips both dark and white.

Line a 20x30cm baking tin with baking paper. Spread the brownie mixture into the tin.

Chop the fun size bars in half and place insert them in rows into the batter. So 4 half bars by 6 half bars.

Using a teaspoons, make small holes in the batter and fill them with small blobs of peanut butter.

Using a spatula, smooth some of the brownie batter over the tops of the snickers bars and peanut butter blobs so that they don't burn and everything is nicely sealed in.

Sprinkle over some more chocolate chips if you wish.

Bake for 20-25 minutes (23 is the magic number for my oven). You want them to still be really gooey inside. Once they cool they will firm up.

Leave to cool for a decent amount of time before slicing, or else they just mush everywhere.

Sprinkle with edible glitter if you do feel so inclined.


Festive White Chocolate Rocky Road

This is festive if you live in the Northern hemisphere where in Winter at Christmas your roads are actually white.

I saw the idea for white chocolate rocky road on Instagram and Pinterest a while back and I really liked the way it looked. It made the nuts and other fillings you add to it really stand out against the white. Especially the cranberries and the pistachios.

The normal rocky road my Mum makes involves melting butter into the chocolate. I couldn't really be bothered to do that and so took the easy road out and just used straight white melting chocolate with nothing else added to it. This ensures that it sets nice and hard so that it can be cut into nicely defined pieces.

Now the beauty of this recipe is that you can add anything you want! (Well within reason I guess).

One of my best friends, Cara, was up in Auckland for the week (for her Med interview! Smartie pants!) and we found ourselves in need of something to do. So we scoured the Pak n Save bulk bins for some exciting treats to pave our road with.

With this rocky road, try and look for ingredients that will have an interesting cross section against the white chocolate. So really the more colourful the better. I love the way jube lollies look when they are cut in half. Same with pistachios, the vibrant green is really cool!

If you find yourself with a lot of filling ingredients, you may need a bit more chocolate to coat everything in. We found ourselves increasing our chocolate amount to 500g from 400g to ensure everything was well cemented together.

Use this recipe here as a guideline for your own Christmas road!

Cara and Sophie's White Chocolate Rocky Road
Makes a 20 x 30cm trays worth

500g white chocolate melts
3/4 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup dried strawberries
5 dried figs, chopped into chunks
1 1/2 cups jubes
1/2 cup dried blueberries
1/2 cup natural macadamia nuts
1/2 cup pistachios
3 cups marshmallows (130g)
1/2 cup natural almonds

In a double boiler (a bowl above a saucepan of simmering water) melt the chocolate slowly. Make sure no water gets into the chocolate or else it will seize. Also make sure the water is not touching the base of the bowl.

Chop all the larger ingredients into smaller pieces. Place them in a large mixing bowl and mix them around.

Line a 20 x 30cm slice tin with baking paper.

Pour the melted chocolate into the bowl of chopped filling and mix to coat everything.

Transfer into the lined tin and press down to form a nice even slice.

Leave to cool in the fridge for an hour before slicing into nice chunky pieces.

Personally, I found the strawberries and the blueberries not very economical choices of ingredients. I would add in a few more jubes and cranberries instead if I were you.

Enjoy! x

Hey Blondie!

I don't think blondes have more fun.

I don't know where that myth came from. I would kill for lovely dark hair as well as the dark eye lashes and brows that accompany it.

You see being a fair lass myself, I am cursed with equally fair brows and lashes, making it look like I have neither unless they are coloured in and lacquered with mascara. On the rare occasion I go to the gym without either painted onto my face I find that no one recognises me. Awkward!

Anyway that is all somewhat irrelevant since I joined the strawberry sisters.

I have been on a real baking drive lately. I want to make as many things as possible these holidays. I have a nice long list if things I want to make.

I had a flick through my Hummingbird baker cookbook and found this blondie recipe. It looked simple and didn't require copious amounts of chocolate which all their other brownies need.

The process is kind of strange. You melt the chocolate and butter together in a double boiler then add the sugar. This causes the mixture to split and look crazy wrong but trust me and persevere! Once the eggs are added the lecithin in the yolks emulsifies the butter and the water in the mixture. Win! I love science!

This is a nice sickly sweet alternative to its brown cuzzie. The addition of pecans is delicious but walnuts or even macadamias would be equally amazing. I added extra chopped white chocolate because what is a brownie or a blondie without extra chocolate!

So shall we then?

White Chocolate Blondie
Adapted from the Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook

150g white cooking chocolate
125g butter
150g castor sugar
2 eggs
200g plain flour
120g pecans, chopped
100g white chocolate chopped
1 teaspoon vanilla essence

Preheat the oven to 170 degrees bake and line a small slice tin (20x30cm) with baking paper.
In a heat proof bowl over a saucepan of boiling water (make sure the water doesn't touch the bottom of the bowl - I used a cookie cutter to prop it up) melt together the butter and white chocolate. Remove from the heat.

Once melted, whisk in the sugar and vanilla and stir until dissolved. It is here where the mixture looks like it has split but don't worry about it. Quickly mix in the two eggs making sure they don't scramble.

Sift in the flour, mix until just combined. Do not over mix. Add in the pecans and extra chocolate and very quickly mix to spread them out.

Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 25 minutes. It should be nice and gooey.

Leave to cool completely before slicing.

Enjoy!! :)

Oaty White Chocolate Chippies


Like most of my posts, they come in twos. First it was oaty ginger slice now oaty chocolate chip cookies. I am certainly having a good day with the oats. Oats are good, they bulk things out and give something an ANZAC bickie feel. Hmm yum. These cookies are a cross between good old chocolate chips and ANZAC biscuits. Bringing the goodness of chocolate and the deliciousness of oats all rolled into one. Mum requested a batch of biscuits made up as Jack has restarted school again. He is now 7th form and still doesn't make his lunch so I had to make the baking component up for him. What is good about these is that because of the oats and coconut added to them the mixture gets bulked out a huge amount and so it ends up making 35-40 cookies depending on their size and the amount of mixture consumed.

Ok so you will need:

Oaty Chocolate Chip Cookies:
200g softened butter
2 cups brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups quick cooking rolled oats
3/4 cup desccicated or threaded coconut
1/2-1 cup chocolate chips (I prefer white)

Before you get going, preheat your oven to 170 degrees on bake.

Cream together your butter and sugar until nice and light brown and fluffy. Chris said he would help but I think he meant help with the eating rather than beating. He gave up very shortly after this photo was taken. He does not look too impressed.

Next beat in the vanilla and one of the two eggs.

Once the first egg is in and roughly mixed in, add the second. Continue beating until the volume of the mixture roughly doubles. The more volume you produce now, the more mixture there will be at the end for cookie rolling.

Next sieve in your flour, baking powder and baking soda.

Then add your two cups of oats and 3/4 cup of coconut. Mix carefully so that it doesn't go everywhere.

And next add the most important ingredient.

Chop the melts roughly, making them more manageable in the mixture.

Now once you've got it looking like this, grab a soup spoon and lightly flour your hands and roll soup spoon sized dollops into balls. Then place the balls on a baking tray lined with baking paper.

Now bake these for exactly 10 minutes and they should come out looking really rather tasty. Unless your oven is screwy.

 et voila!

Transfer to a cooling rack a few minutes after removing from the oven. Once a tiny bit cooler they taste so good. Slightly crisp on the outside but gooey on the inside. mmmm.

Like I said, this recipe made 38 cookies. That is a fair few school lunches!

So there you go. One of my favourite cookie recipes.

See you later!


Banana White Chocolate Cake: A Cake for Chris

New Years.

The most overrated celebration I think. Why get hideously drunk on NYE only to spend New Years day feeling awful? Anyway, Chris and his friends are going to Whitianga (a 2 hour drive when the traffic is good) for a few days over the celebratory period and wanted me to come. My friend Sarah (who I do not see very often) is up from Wellington for a month and her sister is having a gathering at their lovely home in Devonport (a 20 minute drive from my house). I really want to hang out with Sarah as she is a cool chick. So in short, Chris is making me feel bad for choosing my bro over my hoe, or my mate over date. Whatever. aaarhhggg. There is no choice about it, I am staying in Auckland. But as a supplementary prize to my actual presence I am baking Chris a cake. His favourite sort of cake. A banana cake. Whoop! How exciting . . .

So here is the making of a rather good banana cake recipe (complements of my friend Alex :) who gave it to my brother a few years ago).

Not a very complex ingredient list. Afterall it's just banana cake . . .

Cream 125g softened butter . . .

  . . . with 3/4 cup castor sugar. Castor sugar is finer that standard sugar and so will cream more easily and result is a fluffier cake. Some people only ever use castor sugar in their baking. Makes sense really. I always use it in cupcakes.

Cream!!!! That butter looks awfully yellow, I really should get around to popping some batteries into my actual camera rather than just using my ipod.

Then crack in two eggs, beating well after each addition. You want the volume to increase quite a bit - more egg beating = more cake!

 Cracked this egg with one hand . . . like a boss!


 These poor bananas :( You need three small ones or 2 biggish ones. These were a tad green so I had to prepare them  . . .

Poor bananas :(

Ever made a penguin banana? Peel the skin into thirds, take a bite then flop the third with the hard knobbly bit over to make the beak!! My uncle Mark taught me this. Invaluable skill this is.

Hmm delicious looking brown stuff. I cannot stand mashed banana. bleh the texture is horrendous.

Oop don't forget the vanilla :) I had a splash rather than a teaspoon.

Next sift in 3/4 cup self raising flour, 3/4 cup plain flour and one teaspoon of baking soda into the mix. Beat until just combined (don't want to overwork that gluten).

Sievy sieve sieve

Now here is where I stray. This is supposed to be an "I'm sorry" cake so I thought it needed a bit extra . . . like white chocolate.

Flip and some dark chocolate just for luck.

In the oven you go for 40 minutes at 180 degrees (Celsius!!).

Ok so who here doesn't know how to line a cake tin? Right well here I shall show you:

You will need: one cake tin of your choice, baking paper, a small knob of butter, a spoonful of flour, a pair of scissors and a pencil/pen.

Pop the bottom of the tin out and trace a circle around it on the baking paper.

Ooop cut my paper a bit big there.

Next, cut around the circle leaving around 2cm extra paper around the circumference.

 Like this.

Next, take a knob of butter and a bit of the cut off of the baking paper and use it to grease the sides of the cake tin.

Next take a spoonful of flour . . .

Pop it in the tin like this then rotate the ring until the flour has reached right around the ring.

Bang off the excess flour over the sink.

Beautiful. You won't see any cake sticking to that.

Then pop the baking paper circle into the tin (pen/pencil side down).

Pour in the cake mixture and you are ready to roll!!

 Bam!! Cake!!

It came out of the tin so easily

I failed on the rose front. It's too hot in our kitchen. the roses melted. Bleeeh.

Ok here you go Chris. Here is your banana and white chocolate cake. Nom nom.