Caramelised white chocolate and pecan cookies

Sometimes I just absolutely have to bake cookies. There’s no negotiation. Luckily 9 times out of 10 I have all the ingredients in ready to whip of a bowl of dough. After reading Michelle’s post last week about slice and bake chocolate chip cookies I had to give them a go. So Friday afternoon Matilda and I played in the kitchen and made cookies. I didn’t freeze them but just left them in the fridge overnight. The recipe is from Tara O’Brady at Seven Spoon’s book and is my new favourite cookie recipe. So so easy and tastes amazing.

It’s been a while since I revisited caramelised white chocolate and I forgot that it’s actually a doddle to make. I had a couple of bars of Lindt white chocolate lying around from Christmas – how these didn’t get eaten I don’t know, White chocolate is like crack to me. I heated my oven to the lowest heat – 130 C/266 F – and spread chopped white chocolate over a clean oven tray. At ten minute intervals I stirred the chocolate around the tray with a spatula until it was smooth and golden. I transferred the melted chocolate to a small tray and let it re-set in the fridge before I chopped it into caramelised white chocolate chips. Just try not to eat them all before they go into the dough. It’s basically a homemade Caramac bar.

I had Matilda’s wonderful assistance the second time as well and whilst I was taking the photos she brazenly walked up and helped herself to a cookie. I said if she was going to pinch the cookies she could at least be cute and hold a plate of them as well >.<

These cookies are crisp and buttery on the edges and soft in the middle. The caramelised white chocolate works perfectly with the pecans and a hint of sea salt on top balances everything out. Just as in Michelle’s post you can of course freeze the dough in balls if you only want a few at a time. If you want to make a full batch then leave them in the fridge overnight. Letting the dough rest is like magic and the difference between baking straight away and waiting overnight is very noticeable. They are definitely worth the wait.

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Chamomile buttermilk pie in a chocolate crust

Another day, another pie. I promise that my next post will not have a short crust casing! It might be something round, but that’s about as pie-like as it’s gonna get. As for the last of the pie chronicles, this one took me by surprise. It claims to be a buttermilk custard pie, but the taste is so similar to cheesecake that I have to question whether it’s custard at all. It’s not too sweet, thick and creamy and has a tangy flavour – pretty much everything you’d ask for in a cheesecake.

I infused the cream in chamomile before adding it to the rest of the “custard” ingredients for a very subtle tea-ish flavour. If you want something more pronounced, I recommend using Earl Grey or Lapsang Soushong.

I used the leftover chocolate pastry from the white bottom matcha pie as there was plenty leftover. It’s a system of waste not want not really, and since we’ve taken an interest in saving our planet recently (and for good reason – our sea mammals shouldn’t have to swim amongst our waste products) it makes sense to do a kind of ‘look what you can make with your leftover pastry dough’ kinda post. Continue reading

Pecan paprenjaci // The Dinner Bell

Pecan paprenjaci

I’ve been sitting on this recipe for a while, since my enthusiasm for festive food got the best of me far before it was acceptable, but the tightness of my jeans indicates it is time.

These little darlings are based on traditional Croatian Christmas biscuits –  the inclusion of black pepper sounds a little odd but it gives a subtle warmth to the biscuits, which are similar to gingerbread and have a comforting softness to them.

As I inherited a slight walnut allergy from my mother, along with sturdy thighs and a love of food, I switched out the traditional walnuts in favour of pecans. I also used a tiny squirrel cutter instead of the wooden moulds they’d be made with in Croatia, because the tiny squirrel was too cute to resist.

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