Anzacs and Afghans

Before we went camping for Easter, I did a whole lot of baking to take with us.  I’ve had the cookbook Ladies, a Plate for a while now, but haven’t cook much out of it.  For camping, I baked two New Zealand classics – Anzacs, and Afghans.  I have to say that these are the best recipes for these biscuits I have used.

These are my Afghans:

And from another angle:

So close up you can see my fingerprints on the chocolate icing – I’m an advocate of using hands for cooking!  They are not too sweet, nice and have heaps of cornflakes in them for crispiness (if you don’t know what Afghans are, they are a cocoa-y chocolaty biscuit, with crunchy cornflakes in them, chocolate icing and always a walnut to top it off!).  Yum.

I have always had problems with ANZAC biscuit recipes, but this one is great.  I have made them several times before from recipes which end up as one big pool of golden-syrupy buttery oats, but these ones spread out nicely – not too much!  They melt in your mouth too.  ANZAC biscuits are made from mainly oats and coconut, and are flavoured with Golden Syrup.  For the first lot I made, I used some walnuts as the recipes suggested – apparently they are one of the traditional ingredients, but not used so much these days because they are quite expensive…  Are you ready for the photo?

Absolutely delicious – they just melt in your mouth!  I was so impressed with these recipes, I’ve now bought the second Ladies, a Plate book so I can do some more yummy baking!

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Family Baking

Last week I volunteered to do the food for a small “family reunion” that my Dad and Mum were hosting at our house in Tauranga.  I love having an excuse to bake, and especially to present things lovely-ly and bring out the fancy plates.  Here is what I made:

Some delicious macadamia nut and dried apricot biscuits.  These are similar to the ones I have made previously, but these ones don’t have the maple flavouring, and the dough is shortbread.  I got this idea from my mum, and it makes deliciously light biscuits which melt in your mouth!  Yum!  They are quite crumbly though, so not ideal for carrying around in your handbag.  I find Gingernuts to be best for that…

 

Also, what’s that in front of those melt in your mouth macadamia biscuits?

 

Yes!  My favourite lemon cake, with lemon and honey drizzle!  The recipe is in the Edmond’s cookbook, although as I’ve said earlier, I replace the sour cream with thick, plain yoghurt, since the sour cream has gelatin in it…

 

I love this lemon cake recipe, it’s perfect with a cup of tea!  This time though, it’s dressed up in it’s finery – a lovely glass cake stand of my Mum’s, and a dusting of icing sugar – yum yum…

 

Bet you wish you were related to me…

Picnic in the Park

I’ve been so busy the last week, I haven’t had any time to put up pictures of my Picnic in the Park, which I had last Saturday to say goodbye to Wellington!  I had a wonderful afternoon, with cakes, muffins, bread, cheese, crackers, wine, and of course, awesome friends!  In the morning it was all cloudy, but by the afternoon it had cleared up, and Wellington produced one of its famous “Good Days” (the saying is that you can’t beat Wellington on a good day, and how true it is!)

Here is the proof that it is spring – the trees in my (now ex) neighbours’ yard, they even have tamarillos!  Jealous…  Wish I had a tamarillo tree.  More about my garden produce tomorrow though…

For the picnic I made all sorts of goodies..

Pumpkin muffins (use any banana muffin recipe, substitute the banana for cooked mashed pumpkin, half the regular sugar for brown sugar, and add cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves to the mix):

Lemon cake (recipe is in the Edmonds, but I use thick yoghurt in place of sour cream, and drizzle lemon juice mixed with melted honey over the finished product)

I also made a focaccia bread from the Pizza Dough recipe in the Edmond’s, but substituted half of the flour for wholemeal flour.  Here is me attempting to fly my $2 kite at the park:

What a delicious day.  The next day, I had High Tea at my friend Sarah’s house (check out that link for some pictures of it!) – it was such a fantastic weekend of fantastic food!  And on the Friday night I had teriyaki salmon with my other friend, I’ll put up a recipe for that some time soon!!!

Maple Macadamia Biscuits

Last Sunday was a beautiful sunny day.  I had a friend coming around for a cup of tea in the sun, so I thought I’d make some biscuits to go with the tea and the sun.  I had a bottle of maple syrup (a vestige of some beautiful blueberry pancakes) in my cupboard.  But what else to put with the maple flavour?  Chocolate?  Banana?  Tamarillos?  Nothing quite worked in my head, until I found a bag of macadamia nuts in my cupboard, which were grown by my lovely Mum and Dad in Tauranga, and have been in my cupboard for aaaaaages.  Probably because they are SO hard to get into!  But on a sunny day, I took a hammer to the macadamias in the sunny back…  concrete yard?

I used the “Basic Biscuit” recipe from the Edmonds, but replaced half of the sugar with about 1/4 of a cup of maple syrup.  For the macadamia nuts, I toasted them a little in my cast iron pan (a birthday present a few years ago from my Great Aunty June).

You can do this with any nuts and seeds – with pumpkin seeds it makes them go all poppy!   When I make this biscuit recipe (with various variations) I usually bake half of it, and freeze the other half – now I have one frozen lot of chocolate apricot biscuits, and one lot of maple macadamia biscuits.  I’m going to unfreeze them and cook them up for my picnic this weekend!

Finally, what your hungry eyes have been waiting for… The final product(s)!  They were very yummy, not overly sweet and with those lovely oily macadamia nuts hiding in them.  Absolutely perfect companions to a cup of tea in the sun!