Recipes

Delightfully Wicked Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate chip cookie, Galia Alena Photography


As an act of pure civic duty I have very selflessly set myself the task of discovering the best chocolate chip cookie recipe. So, much to my children's delight, I have been experimenting and modifying, and while I'm not sure I have the best yet (I think I should keep testing ;) ), I certainly have some damn fine and insanely yummy cookies. I'd love to hear how they vanish in your house.
NB: I'm not sure these fall under the Paleo diet but I won't tell if you won't.
Warning: extremely moreish!!

Delightfully Wicked 
Chocolate Chip Cookies
Ingredients:
  • 2 cups of plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons cornflour
  • 2 tablespoons of cocoa
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 170 grams butter
  • 250 grams of dark chocolate
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • 2  eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Directions:
  1.  Melt the butter and half of the chocolate in a double boiler. Allow mixture to cool a bit.
  2.  Cream the cooled mixture and the sugar with a hand mixer until light and fluffy. Adding in the eggs, one at a time, mixing some more.
  3. Sift all the dry ingredients together and then add to the butter mixture and mix together. (here you could mix the wet mixture into another bowl holding all the dry ingredients which would give you a wonderful bowl to lick but I hate washing up so I'm a one bowl wonder).
  4. Break up the remaining chocolate into chunks and add to batter- I like to bash a block against the bench while still in the wrapper preferring uneven chunks to little uniform chips you can buy (you could also add nuts here as well).
  5. Refrigerate for 15 minutes while your oven heats to a moderate temperature (180 degrees). I don't know why this step is so important, I'm sure there is some Hestonesque reason, but it is, trust me.
  6. Onto a greased trap (or silicone baking tray) spoon roughly formed cookie blobs (yes high tech, you don't want your cookies to evenly formed but rather a bit rough and ready for some texture).
  7. Bake for between 10-15 minutes (depending upon your oven- mine likes about 13 minutes).
  8. Allow to cool, if you can stand to wait, and then demolish alone or with friends.
I recommend cooking only half the batch at ago and keeping the other half in the fridge for the next day. This slows the cookies consumption down, but only marginally- cookies will still disappear in the middle of the night. You could even portion out the cookies and freeze until needed. You never know when you might have a cookie emergency (or a chocolate- these double for both).

EnJoy     

Homemade Manuka Honey Granola

Manuka Honey Granola Recipe, Galia Alena Photography

I love a decadent granola, a little bit of lush treat that is on the wholesome side, but those tiny designer bags with their designer price tags just don't work for me. Then I discovered just how simple it is to whip some up myself and have it on hand in the pantry for whenever the children want to graze on something sweet and crunchy (and it disappears by the handful) or when I want a special yet healthy breakfast I have it under yogurt and fruit. Delicious
And, of course, the bonus of making it yourself is you get to load it with your own favourite nuts and fruit (and you can go organic and local if you wish).

3 cups of rolled oats
1/2 cup of wholewheat flour
1/2 cup of shredded coconut
Handful of crushed nuts of your choice (almonds, pistachio, brazil for example)
Handful of seeds (sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds)
Cinnamon and nutmeg to taste (so about a teaspoon of each)
Sprinkling of sea salt
1/2 cup of coconut oil
1/2 cup of manuka honey (or maple syrup but I am in the land of manuka honey)

This recipe is super easy. First mix all your dry ingredients together.
Melt honey and coconut oil (I melt in a bowl over boiling water).
Mix into the dry ingredients until they are all incorporated.
Layout the mixture onto a tray (I like to use a silicon nonstick reusable liner), pressing firmly down (the more you press it down the better clumps and clusters you get).
Bake at about 150 deg for about 40 mins, turning half way.
Allow to cool in the tray and then toss in some dried fruit and more nuts (I love dried papaya, and cranberries, and more nuts).

Tip: Double the batch- not sure what happened to this batch I made a couple of days ago but it seems to have vanished.

(The original inspiration, which I've adapted to my taste, comes from Beauty that moves, my kids also love her rolled oats and banana pancakes. I'm thinking that I might play around with the recipe some more and see if I can come up with a raw version in the dehydrator).