Spicy Hallowe’en biscuits


I couldn’t resist whipping up a batch of my favourite biccies for Hallowe’en. These are so super easy! And I had these fun spooky icing eyes I’ve been wanting to use so I just had to make some.

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The original recipe is here (click here) but I’ll quickly run over it here.

You just need:

2 cups Spelt or gluten-free flour

1 cup unrefined Icing sugar

6oz dairy-free spread

Spices to taste – in this version I used

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground cloves

Pinch nutmeg

Preheat oven to 180 C. Mix the flour, icing sugar and spices together and then cream the spread in. Mix well until it forms a dough but try not to over mix. Pop in the fridge to chill for as long as you can wait! Then remove, sprinkle a little flour down on a clean surface and roll out to your desired thickness. Use biscuits cutters to cut in to shapes and then pop in the oven for 5 – 7 mins or until golden brown. Do keep an eye on them – especially if they’re thin!

Allow them to cool and then if you want to you can ice them – just mix icing sugar with a little water or non-dairy milk and then have some fun!

Enjoy Hallowe’en!

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Chewy, Crispy Pumpkin Cookies – Dairy and Gluten Free


This is the last of my pumpkin-based goodies (for now!). It may be the last but it’s certainly not the least! This was my second attempt to make the elusive crispy pumpkin cookies and this time I think it worked! My first attempt was delicious but turned out more like a gingerbread-texture cakey cookie  (the recipe for the cinnamon glazed pumpkin cookie cakes is here). These ones however are just as I intended  – crispy on the outside and chewy and soft in the middle. They need to be eaten the day they’re cooked if you want them to stay crispy (trust me you’ll have no trouble wolfing them all down on day one!), but you can always pop them back in a low oven for a few mins to re-crisp them up if you want to 🙂

The best thing to do is split the dough and freeze half if you don’t want to eat them all at once. It freezes really well and will keep for several weeks in the freezer.

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The secret to these is the use of the pumpkin butter (recipe is here). So the first thing you need to do is make a batch of pumpkin butter! 🙂

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For the cookies you will need:

1 cup Dairy-free margarine

1 1/4 cups raw Coconut sugar or other unrefined raw sugar

1 cup Pumpkin butter (recipe here)

1 Egg (or 1/4 cup pureed apple)

2 tsp Vanilla extract

2 1/2 cups Gluten-free flour mix or Spelt flour

1 tsp Bicarbonate of soda

1 tsp ground Cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground Cloves

1/2 tsp ground Nutmeg

1/4 tsp ground Ginger

1 tsp Himalayan rock salt

Zest of 1 orange

1 cup dairy free Chocolate chunks (I used Willie’s Chef’s drops)

Preheat the oven to 170 C.

Place the margarine and sugar in a bowl and cream together using a hand mixer. Add in the egg (or apple), vanilla extract and pumpkin butter and mix well together.

Place all the dry ingredients in a separate bowl mix really well. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir until combined. It will form a sticky dough. Stir in the orange zest and the chocolate and then wrap in clingfilm and pop in the fridge for 30 mins to rest.

Take small chunks of dough (about a tbsp in size) and flatten on to a lined baking tray. The cookies won’t spread so make sure you spread them out on the tray a little. If they are too thick they will still be delicious but will be a bit more “cakey”.

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Pop in the oven for 15 – 20 mins until starting to change colour and slightly crispy. They will harden further as they cool. Allow to cool on the tray for 5 mins then transfer to a wire rack.

Enjoy!

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Pumpkin Breakfast Muffin Loaf – Gluten and Dairy Free


This little beauty really packs a punch – it’s strong on the spices and will satisfy you for the day ahead. It is quite a dense little loaf and is more like a tea-loaf than a muffin and it’s lovely smothered in the pumpkin butter (recipe here)

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You will need:

1 cups Rice flour (or gluten-free flour of choice!)

1 1/2 tsp Baking powder

1/2 tsp Himalayan rock salt

2/3 cups Coconut sugar

2 tsp ground Cinnamon

1/2 tsp Ground ginger

1/4 tsp ground Cloves

1 tsp Vanilla extract

2 tbsp ground Flax (linseed)

4 tbsp Water

1 cup Pumpkin purée

1 ripe Banana

1/4 cup Coconut oil

2 tbsp Maple syrup

For the topping:

4 tbsp Rice flour

2 tbsp Coconut oil

1 tsp ground Cinnamon

2 tsp Raw pumpkin seeds

Mix together the flax seed and water in a small bowl. Whisk it with a fork and then pop in the fridge for 15 mins or so.

Preheat the oven to 200 C.

Add all the ingredients in to a large bowl (except the topping ingredients). Mix well together and then add the flax seed mix. Depending how ripe your banana is you may find the batter is a bit too thick so add some warm water until it forms a thick but spoonable batter.

Add the batter to muffin trays or mini loaf tins.

Combine the topping ingredients in another bowl and then sprinkle on the top of each loaf. Press the topping into the batter a little bit.

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Bake for 15 – 20 mins, or until a skewer comes out clean. Allow to cool and then eat!

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Gingerdead men! Quick and Easy Spooky Biccies!


Happy Hallowe’en!

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I couldn’t resist whipping up a few little Hallowe’en biccies today!

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It’s been a bit of a challenge as my oven is broken (yes, broken – an absolute disaster!) but luckily I was able to get the little mini part of the oven working so can bake really really tiny batches of things! Phew!

So these are so easy and so fun! You can choose to keep them plain or add some spices. I have also iced them with a cinnamon icing but you could keep the icing plain or add any flavour you want. I had such fun finding some cool little hallowe’en cutters but obviously you could just use any shapes! For the gingerdead man I used a normal gingerbread man cutter and then iced on the bones.

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You will need:

2 cups of Spelt flour (or gluten free flour mix)

1 cup unrefined Icing sugar

6 oz Dairy free margarine

Optional: 2 tsp ground Ginger or 2 tsp ground Cinnamon

For the icing:

1 cup unrefined Icing sugar

1 tbsp Soya, almond or coconut milk

Optional: 1 tsp ground Cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 180 C. Put the margarine in a large mixing bowl, sieve the flour, icing sugar and spices (if using) and cream it together using your hands. Try not to over mix but make sure the margarine is properly mixed with the dry ingredients.  Once it’s formed a dough wrap in cling film and chill for 30 mins. If you find the dough is too sticky then add some more flour.

Once chilled, roll out and use biscuit cutters to cut out the shapes of your choice. Use a palate knife to transfer them carefully to a greased baking tray. Sprinkle with a little raw sugar if you like and bake for 8 – 10 mins, or until golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the tray.

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Mix the icing ingredients together and then pipe the icing on to the biccies. Enjoy!

These won’t last long!

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Cinnamon Glazed Pumpkin Cookie Cake Gingerbread Yumminess! Gluten and Dairy Free


Sometimes the best bakes are created by accident! This is one of those bakes!

Ok, so these did not turn out in any way like I intended! However, I absolutely LOVE what I’ve created! I don’t know what to call it – is it a cake? is it a biscuit? is it a pumpkin gingerbread? who knows! All I know is that it is scrummy! It’s moist on the inside and so full of flavour and you would never know there was pumpkin in there 🙂

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I set out to make a cookie-type of biscuit using pumpkin. These have come out less like a cookie and more like cake or soft gingerbread in texture – a failure? No – not in any way shape or form! They are simply divine – especially with the cinnamon glaze!

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This will make around 24 – 30 cookie-cakes.

You will need:

2 cups Rice flour or Spelt flour (spelt is an option if you don’t need gluten-free but want to go for a low-gluten option, or you could also use a gluten free flour blend)

1/4 tsp Xanthan gum (unless you choose to use a ready-mixed gluten free flour blend which has it in – check the ingredients!)

1 tsp Bicarbonate of soda

1 1/2 tsp ground Cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground Nutmeg

1/2 cup Coconut oil

1 cup unrefined Coconut or other raw sugar

1/4 cup Molasses

1 Egg (or this can be replaced with 1/4 cup of ripe mashed banana or 1/4 cup of puréed apple if you prefer)

1 cup Pumpkin purée (recipe here)

1/3 cup Coconut, almond or soya milk

1 tsp Vanilla extract

 

For the glaze:

1 cup unrefined Icing sugar

1 tbsp Coconut, almond or soya milk

1 tsp Vanilla extract

1/4 tsp ground Cinnamon (or more – just add to taste)

 

Preheat the oven to 180 C.

Put the flour, xanthan gum, bicarbonate of soda, and spices into a large mixing bowl. Combine well (using a whisk or fork works well for this).

Put the oil and sugar in a separate bowl and mix together. Add the molasses, egg (or egg substitute), pumpkin, milk and vanilla and use a hand mixer (or whisk) to blend together.

Add the flour mix to the wet ingredients and stir well until completely combined. Place generous heaped teaspoons of the mixture on to a greased and lined baking tray and place in the oven for 10 – 13 minutes (until they are slightly crispy on the outside and are starting to turn colour – it’s hard to see as they’re dark but you will see a change).

Place the icing sugar and other glaze ingredients in a bowl and mix together well.

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Once the cookie-cakes are done, remove from the oven and let them cool for a couple of minutes. Then spoon the glaze over them whilst they are still warm.

Then enjoy with a cup of tea! 🙂

 

 

Salt and Spice and all things nice! The smallest pumpkin in the world and a yummy pumpkin seed snack! Re-post :)


As if you hadn’t noticed, it’s that time of year again – PUMPKIN TIME! So as part of my drive to post all things pumpkiny I thought I would re-post this little recipe from last year!

I’m getting my hands on another one of these little munchkin pumpkins for this year, but in the meantime – here’s last year’s delights! 🙂

Well, when I asked for a small pumpkin I wasn’t expecting something quite as small as this….

But anyone who knows me knows I love a challenge so not to be thwarted I decided I’d do my best with this little munchkin of a pumpkin and lo and behold look what I managed to create! Scary eh?

So there wasn’t much meat in this little pumpkin so rather than create the pumpkin-based hallowe’en cake I had planned I decided instead to do something funky with the seeds. It’s a sweet salty treat which sounds odd but combines some wonderful autumn flavours. I adapted it from the SNOG healthy treats book.

Salty and Spicey Sweet potato, raisin, pumpkin seed yumminess!

So I started off by creating some salted roasted seeds. Take your pumpkin seeds, remove all the stringy bits of pumpkin flesh and put in a pan. For every half cup of pumpkin seeds add 2 cups of water and 1 tablespoon of salt. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 10 minutes. Drain and allow to cool slightly.

Then spread them out in one layer on a baking tray and place in an oven at 200 degrees C for anything from 5 – 15 minutes. Just keep checking them as it will depend how big the seeds are. Mine took around 8 minutes 🙂

These are yummy as they are or you can hull (de-husk) them if you really want to (I couldn’t be bothered!). Eat them just like this or use them in the next bit of the recipe.

Take 1 sweet potato and cut it into 1cm cubes. Spread on a baking tray with 2 – 3 tablespoons of the salted roasted pumpkin seeds. Add a handful of raisins and then sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of coconut palm sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon. Finally drizzle over some coconut oil (approx 2 tablespoons) and place in the oven at 190 degrees C for about 20 – 25 minutes until the sweet potato is cooked through and the sugar is caramelised. Stir occasionally.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Then enjoy on it’s own or spoon it over some natural yoghurt (or ice cream!). It sounds odd but trust me – the sweetness of the sweet potato and raisins go really well with the salty roasted seeds and the cinnamon adds a lovely autumnal twist! Divine and healthy too! 🙂

Happy Hallowe’en!

Pumpkin Butter (gluten and dairy free) and a bonus Pumpkin Purée Recipe!


This is so simple and so yummy! It’s like a cross between a jam and a nut butter, with a hint of sweetness but also the savoury flavour from the pumpkin! Simply divine and a great way to use up any pumpkin flesh you have left over after carving those little beauties!

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You will need:

about 800g Pumpkin purée (made from the pumpkin flesh – see below for recipe.  A 6 inch pumpkin should yield enough purée. Althernatively you can buy canned purée if you need to)

1 cup unrefined Coconut or other raw dark sugar

Optional – you can also add spices to your butter. If you fancy doing this I recommend:

1 tsp ground Cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground Cloves

1/4 tsp Allspice

To make the purée, scoop the seeds out of the pumpkin (don’t throw these away! You can lay them out on a pan and roast them – see here for a great recipe).

If you are not using the pumpkin to carve then simply cut it in to halves or quarters and place on a roasting dish and cover with foil. Bake in the oven for 25 mins at 200 C until the flesh is soft. Remove from the oven and scoop the flesh out of the pumpkin, and then place in a bowl.  If you are using the left overs from carving you will probably need to use a few pumpkins (it will depend on the size and how much carving you do!). Lay the flesh out on a baking tray and cover with foil and roast – 10 – 15 mins should be enough depending on the size but just keep going until the flesh is tender.

Use a hand blender to purée the pumpkin. Place the resulting purée in to a muslin cloth / cheese cloth and squeeze the excess water out and voila – you have your own pumpkin purée!

To make the butter:

Place the purée into a sauce pan and add the sugar and spices if you are using them. Then heat on a medium heat, stirring frequently. You are aiming to reduce the pumpkin down to a very very thick, dark paste. This quantity should yield about 1 – 2 cups of the butter itself so just keep going. You need the heat high enough to reduce the purée but just under the burning point. It took me about 45 mins to get to the butter stage – it should be so thick it sticks to the spoon and won’t slide off. Once you are there then remove from the heat and either place in a sterilised jar or simply pop in a bowl and eat!

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Perfect on sliced apples, fruit toast or it goes brilliantly on these breakfast pumpkin bread sweet loaves too (recipe to follow shortly!). Enjoy!

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