Adventures in the kitchen: Sweet treats

I’ve been baking up a storm.

Coconut chocolate blondies

I ran with this recipe from Brown Eyed Baker.

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
1 cup light brown sugar
1 large egg
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
1 cup chocolate chips or chunks

Topping:
1 cup semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoon butter

  • Combine the flour and salt; set aside.
  • Stir together the melted butter and brown sugar until smooth; beat in egg and vanilla extract until well blended.
  • Slowly beat in the flour mixture until blended, then stir in the coconut and chocolate chips.
  • Scrape the batter into greased pan and smooth even with a rubber spatula.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until set in the center but still soft. Do not overbake. Let the bars cool slightly before drizzling with chocolate, then cool completely before cutting.
  • For the topping, combine the chocolate and butter in a small bowl and microwave in 30-second intervals until melted and smooth. Using a spoon, drizzle over the bars.

I only used about half the flour; it would have been too dry otherwise. I’m guessing that in this case the 1/2 cup of butter refers to the melted volume, not the original amount… I definitely like to err on the side of moister when it comes to baking. I also skipped the chocolate topping altogether.

Anyway, I definitely recommend making this! For not much work, these are incredibly tasty. As you can see, though, my chocolate chips (despite being tiny, delicate drops) all sunk to the bottom, even though I mixed them through evenly.

Yo-yos

Buttery, delicious biscuits with fluffy lemon icing? What’s not to like?

I used this Kidspot recipe:

125g butter, softened
¼ cup icing sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 cup plain flour
¼ cup cornflour

Filling

30g butter, softened
¾ cup icing sugar, sifted
1-2 teaspoons lemon juice

  • Use an electric mixer or beaters to cream butter, icing sugar and vanilla essence.
  • Sift together the flour and cornflour, add to butter mixture and mix on low speed until just combined and a soft dough forms.
  • Place a piece of plastic film on a work bench, tip dough onto plastic film, wrap up and roll into a sausage about 2cm diameter (no messy bench or hands!).
  • Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 160°C.
  • Line two baking trays with non-stick baking paper.
  • Remove dough from fridge and slice into about 30 rounds.
  • Lightly flour hands and roll each round into a small ball.
  • Place each ball onto the tray about 5cm apart.
  • Dip a fork in flour and press each ball to 1 cm thick.
  • Bake for 10-15 minutes or until just starting to colour.
  • Cool on baking tray.
  • To prepare filling, beat the butter, icing sugar and enough lemon juice to make a thick paste. Sandwich cookies together with icing.

In this case, I definitely advise erring on the dryer side. My first batch melted too much and flattened out. I left the remainder of the dough in the fridge overnight, added more flour the next day and the second lot turned out much better, if not exactly photo-pristine.

And finally, my coup de grace!

Minimalist lemon ice cream

My favourite food blog, Stonesoup, walked me through this:

1/3 cup lemon juice
250g icing  sugar
300mL (1 1/4cups) whipping cream

  • Combine lemon juice and icing sugar in a small bowl.
  • Whisk cream until soft peaks just start to form and the cream has thickened slightly.
  • Whisk the lemon mixture in with the cream and mix until the texture is back to the soft peaks.
  • Freeze for at least 6 hours.

You really cannot go wrong, I tell you.

I ran out of icing sugar, so used mostly caster sugar, and it was fine. Super easy!

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