Tag Archives: Biscuits

Milk Chocolate Hazelnut Sandwich Cookies


Kingston biscuits. They are an Australian biscuit, an oaty, buttery sandwich cookie with a delicious, creamy milk chocolate filling in the middle.


They are yummy, but I try really hard not to buy packet biscuits, what with all the additives and preservatives, when I can easily bake up some cookies myself. So when I saw a recipe for a homemade version of Kingstons, I jumped all over it.

And they took absolutely no time to make! The biscuits are a one-bowl, mixer affair, that are quickly rolled and baked until golden, then sandwiched together once they cool, and ready for you to pop in your mouth.


I’ve been baking a lot of famous Australian things lately. There was the mocha icebox cake and the caramel slice, and now there’s these Kingston sandwich cookies.

So sticking with the Australian theme, a famous Australian pastry chef is Philippa Sibley. She is Australia’s queen of desserts and she has a book, PS Desserts, which the owners of the cupcake shop I work at gave me for my birthday.


There are some quotes in her book that I love, which epitomise my attitude towards baking and food, and I want to share them with you here. I’ll let you make of them what you wish.

“Seize the moment. Remember all those women on the Titanic who waved off the dessert cart.” – Erma Bombeck.

“Don’t wreck a sublime chocolate experience by feeling guilty.” – Lora Brody.

“I want a good body – but not as much as I want dessert.” – Jason Love.

“Life is uncertain. Eat dessert first.” – Ernestine Ulmer.


MILK CHOCOLATE HAZELNUT SANDWICH COOKIES
I have forgotten where I adapted this recipe from, but I think it was Gourmet magazine.
And I’m sorry its all metric and that I didn’t convert it to cups! Try my conversions page if you don’t have a scale and need some help.

For the biscuits
65g rolled oats
160g unsalted butter, softened (3/4 cup)
160g raw caster sugar
55g maple syrup
1 cup plain flour
75g dessicated coconut
1/4 tsp salt

For the filling
200g milk chocolate, chopped
3 tbsp Nutella

To make the biscuits, preheat the oven to 160 C (320 F) and line a few trays with baking paper.

In a food processor or blender, process the oats until they are fine. Set aside.

Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar together until pale and creamy, 2 – 4 minutes.

Turn the mixer onto a low speed and add the maple syrup in a slow stream.

Add the flour, coconut, fine oats and salt and mix until incorporated.

Roll teaspoons of the mixture into small balls and line up on the trays, leaving 5cm (2 inches) spreading room. Flatten the balls with the lightly floured base of a glass.

Bake until golden, about 15 minutes. You should have 40 cookie halves. Allow them to cool.

To make the filling, melt the chocolate in the microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring between each burst.

Once the chocolate is completely melted and smooth, stir in the Nutella. Allow to cool to a spreadable consistency.

Spread a couple of teaspoons of chocolate filling onto a cookie and sandwich it together with another cookie. Repeat until all the cookies have been used up. Makes 20.

Mocha Icebox Cake


I can still remember the first time I tried an icebox cake, or what in Australia is more commonly called a chocolate ripple cake.

Chocolate Ripple is the brand name of a deep, dark, rich, rippled chocolate biscuit, and the back of the packet has forever had a recipe for icebox cake on it. I’m not sure anyone actually buys the biscuits unless they are making some version of the cake.


When I was young, maybe 12, my friend told me all about how she and her grandma layered cream and Chocolate Ripple biscuits to make a log-shaped cake for her birthday. I thought she was kidding, I couldn’t imagine how crunchy biscuits topped with cream could ever make a nice cake.

And then her birthday party rolled around, and I tried it. Oh, my.


The biscuits soak up moisture from the cream, and go soft, but soft in a good way, between all that sweet, thick cream, and it all blends together to make a cake!

So when it was my cousin’s birthday recently, and we were having out traditional weekly family dinner, I thought I would make a dressed up Chocolate Ripple cake, a mocha version, a prettier version. And oh how delicious it was!


MOCHA ICEBOX CAKE
Inspired by the recipe on the Chocolate Ripple packet.

600ml heavy cream (21 oz)
1 tbsp caster sugar
500g Chocolate Ripple biscuits or chocolate wafer biscuits (18 oz)
100ml strong coffee (3.5 oz)

Whip the cream and caster sugar until stiff peaks form.

Spread a little cream in a circle in the center of your serving plate.

Brush each biscuit with coffee, and arrange them in a circle over your cream. Spread a decent layer of cream over the top of the biscuits. Repeat with layers of coffee-brushed biscuits and cream until all the biscuits have been used up.

I topped mine with Nutella ganache truffles rolled in chocolate shavings, but you could just grate some chocolate over the top or finish the cake with a single biscuit.

Refrigerate overnight before serving. Serves 10.

Polish Icebox Cake (Miodowiec)


When I finished high school, I worked hard for 6 months, did a quick English teaching course, packed my bags, sold my car and set off to live in Europe for a year.

I had no idea what I was going to do for the whole year, so I started off in Poland (my entire family on my mother’s side are scattered around the country).


I arrived on Easter Saturday, was picked up from the airport in Warsaw and driven 3 hours to the village where my mum grew up. My uncle now owns the family home, and Easter was going to be there.

I am lucky to have a family of great cooks. My uncle makes the most amazing dishes and roasts and my aunty bakes delicious cakes. She was already at my uncle’s house with her children, and had baked up a storm.

And that is when I tried Miodowiec for the first time. And I died and went to heaven.


Miod
means honey, so it is kind of called honey cake. Really it is layers of crisp honey biscuits and semolina custard buttercream. My aunty traditionally splits it in half and makes two short cakes, layers it with marmalade as well, drizzles melted chocolate over the top and decorates it with slivered almonds. The biscuit layers soak up the custard buttercream overnight and the whole thing becomes one amazing cake.


Come Christmas, I was back in Poland, which had been the base of my travels. This time we were celebrating at my aunty’s house, and I got to make the Miodowiec with her. When I expressed my dislike for marmalade and slivered almonds, she made one cake traditionally, and the other cake plain just for me.

She wouldn’t let anyone else eat my cake because it was made specifically to my liking. So basically, I ate a whole freaking cake by myself.

But I was in cake love, so my aunty wrote the recipe into the back of my travel journal and I have been making my own version of it for special occasions ever since. This time, it’s for Mother’s Day.


MIODOWIEC
Adapted from my aunt.

For the biscuits
500g plain flour
50g margerine
150g caster sugar
3 tbsp honey
1 tsp soda
2 eggs
pinch salt

For the semolina buttercream
250g unsalted butter, softened
4 cups milk
6 tbsp semolina
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp salt

Preheat the oven to 180 C (350 F) and line as many round trays as you have with baking paper (you’ll need 8 in total but can always rotate them).

To make the biscuit dough, knead all the ingredients together by hand, in a food processor or in an electric mixer.

Divide the dough into 8 equal parts. On a floured surface, roll out each ball of dough into a very thin round, until it is the size of a dinner plate. Place a dinner plate upside down on top of the rolled out dough and trim around it to remove the excess.

Place the rolled rounds of dough onto the baking trays and bake for 7 – 8 minutes until golden. Set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, make the buttercream. Boil the milk, semolina, sugar, vanilla and salt together until thick.

Place in a heatproof bowl and cover with plastic wrap directly on the surface. Refrigerate until cool.

Beat the butter using an electric mixer until pale and creamy. Add the semolina a couple of tablespoons at a time, until it is all combined.

To assemble the cake, place a biscuit round on a serving plate. Top with about half a cup of semolina buttercream and spread it evenly around using an offset spatula. Top with another biscuit, and repeat the process until all the biscuits and buttercream are used, finishing with a layer of buttercream.

Optionally, drizzle melted chocolate over the top.

Keep refrigerated. Best served the next day. Serves 10.

Anzac Biscuits


Today is Anzac Day.


In Australia, that means a day off from school and from work for most people. So I thought I’d bake some Anzac biscuits to represent the day, and because its raining out and what better to do on a rainy day than bake?


Anzac biscuits are a very popular rolled oat biscuit in Australia. The story goes that a similar, harder version of the Anzac biscuit was sent over to soldiers in the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) during World War I, as they were filling and didn’t spoil easily.


And as they have such a presence here, I have been baking them since I was a little girl. They were probably one of the first things I ever baked, and the recipe was handwritten into my childhood recipe journal. To be honest, I’m not even sure where it originated from.


Even though I have been baking these for years and they are very simple to make, this is the first time I got them right, the way I truly like them – crispy.


Just around the edges and outside though. Anzac biscuits tend to maintain a chew throughout the center. But I found that flattening them right down on the trays gave me a big, flat, crisp yet chewy, buttery, oaty Anzac biscuit. If you prefer a chewier version, simple flatten them less.


ANZAC BISCUITS

1 cup plain flour
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup dessicated coconut
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp salt
125g unsalted butter, melted (4.5 oz)
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp baking soda
2 tbsp boiling water

Preheat the oven to 180 C (350 F) and line 2 trays with baking paper.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, oats, coconut, sugar and salt.

Add the melted butter and maple syrup and stir well to combine.

In a little bowl, dissolve the baking soda in the boiling water. Mix it through the dough.

Roll large tablespoons of the dough into balls and place them on the baking trays, allowing room for spreading. Flatten a little for a chewy cookie and flatten right down for a crisp cookie like mine.

Bake for 10 – 12 minutes, until golden. Makes 16 large, palm-size cookies, but you could always make 32 smaller Anzacs.

Parmesan Chilli Shortbread


I’m so excited about these savoury shortbread cookies! I’ve been meaning to make them for ages and now I just don’t know why I waited this long.

They’re totally addictive.


Not joking. I ate about 4 of them just while I was taking photos.

I really want another one. Like, now. They’re that good.


I first fell in love with the chilli and parmesan combo when I made these.

This recipe called for pesto, and I loved the idea that I could combine my favourite chunky chilli pesto with cheese in a biscuit. Like a meal all in one!

There’s lots of flavour in these babies, with the spices, chilli kick, parmesan and pesto inside. And the shortbread is buttery and crumbly and everything that shortbread should be.


These were lunch.

They’re about to become dinner. Real life.


PARMESAN CHILLI SHORTBREAD
Adapted from Sixteenbeans, recipe originally from Epicurious.

2 cups plain flour
3/4 cup + 6 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup pesto of choice
1 tsp salt
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp chilli powder
22og unsalted butter, cold and cubed (1 cup, 2 sticks)

Preheat the oven to 180 C (350 F) and line a couple of trays with baking paper.

Place the flour, 3/4 cup of parmesan, pesto, salt, onion powder, chilli and butter into a food processor. Pulse the machine on and off until a dough forms.

Gather the dough together and give it a light knead.

Scoop rounded teaspoons of the dough and roll them into balls. Place them on the baking trays and press them down into 2 inch diameter rounds.

Sprinkle the remaining 6 tablespoons of parmesan over the shortbread.

Bake for 20 minutes, until golden. Makes 24 cheese cookies.

Mocha Nutella Thumbprint Cookies


I don’t really drink coffee.


It’s not that I don’t like the taste of it, it’s just that espresso coffee in lattes and cappuccinos, which is really the only type of coffee you can buy in cafes Australia, makes me feel sick. I don’t know why.

I can happily drink instant coffee (judge all you like). And I love the filtered coffee that they drink in the States. I would wake up to a fresh pot of that every morning when I stayed with my amazing family in Connecticut, and would always have to drink 2 cups before I could get off the couch and have a shower.

It was the Coffeemate I loved, really. My cousin used to laugh that I wasn’t putting Coffeemate in my coffee, but I was putting coffee in my Coffeemate.

Frappes and Frappuccinos I can swallow down fine, too. It’s just espresso that I can’t handle.


But coffee in baked goods? Coffee flavoured things? Yes, please.

The coffee cupcake at work is my favourite, I could easily eat the coffee buttercream with a spoon, and sometimes, if I have some left over when I’ve finished icing them, I do.

And these chocolate chip espresso bars are one of my favourite things on my blog. The chocolate espresso cookies were pretty good, too.


So when I saw this recipe for mocha thumbprint cookies, I jumped right at it. Especially since they are filled with Nutella, which I am currently obsessed with baking into things.


And I liked them. A lot. The cookie was kind of crunchy and bittersweet, with hints of coffee and chocolate. Then there is all that chocolate hazelnut Nutella lava in the center. Match made in heaven! And they go brilliantly with a cup of coffee in the morning.


MOCHA NUTELLA THUMBPRINT COOKIES
Adapted from Tutti Dolci, whose recipe comes from Cooking Light.

110g unsalted butter, softened
2 tsp finely ground instant coffee
1 cup plain flour
3/4 cup icing sugar
1/3 cup cocoa
1 tsp salt
2 egg yolks
1/2 tsp vanilla

Preheat the oven to 180 C (350 F) and line 2 trays with baking paper.

Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and instant coffee until light and fluffy.

Meanwhile, sift together the flour, icing sugar, cocoa and salt. Set aside.

Add the vanilla to the butter and beat well. Add the egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Add the dry ingredients, slowly, beating on a low speed until just incorporated.

Turn off the mixer and knead the dough a little, just until it is smooth and shiny.

Roll teaspoons of the dough into balls and place on baking trays, an inch apart. Use the end of a wooden spoon (or similar) to make a thumbprint indent in each cookie.

Bake for 10 minutes.

When the cookies have cooled slightly, fill each thumbprint with 1/2 – 1 tsp of Nutella. Use a toothpick to swirl it. Makes 20 cookies.

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