A host of Easter Treats


With Easter upon us I thought I’d share a few of my favourite, slightly healthier but equally yummy Easter recipes.

So if chocolate is your thing then why not try some quick, raw chocolates like these chocolate coconut treats, or the raw chocolate filled eggs and fruit eggs, or if you fancy something with a little more kick – why not try the chilli chocs.

2014-04-18 19.27.21        2014-04-13 16.29.29

Or how about whipping up some quick, cute, marzipan bunnies!

2014-04-05 17.33.53

What about creating a quick batch of Easter spiced biscuits, or some fresh, light lemon and chia cookies to dunk in your afternoon tea on Easter Sunday.

If you’re feeling adventurous you could try my coffee and amaretto cupcakes (using any instant coffee you have to hand).

2014-04-05 17.37.59

And finally..it wouldn’t be Easter without some hot cross buns right? Try my better bun recipe for some hot cross fun! 🙂

Happy Easter! 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

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.

IMG_7614.JPG

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!

IMG_7644.JPG

Lemon curd thumb biscuits!


Having made a big batch of lemon curd (recipe is here). I thought I’d better find some yummy ways to use it!

photo 5

Now I could just eat it straight from the jar (and actually I do!), or with yoghurt and fruit for brekkie….

photo 1

… but… it’s also pretty delicious combined with almonds in these divine little biscuits.

photo 4

They are super easy to make and take less than 30 mins.

To make about 12 biscuits you will need:

130g Ground almonds

1/4 tsp Baking powder

1/4 tsp Himalayan rock salt

1 tsp Vanilla extract

Zest from 1 – 2 lemons (you can use any left over zest that you froze after making the lemon curd)

2 1/2 tbsp Coconut oil

2 tbsp Maple syrup

1 tbsp Lemon juice (or 1/4 tsp Lemon extract)

1 – 2 tbsp Lemon curd (recipe here)

a handful of Dried cherries

Preheat the oven to 180 C

Place the ground almonds, baking powder, salt and lemon zest in a bowl and mix well. Add the vanilla extract, maple syrup and coconut oil and use your hands to mix into a dough.

Take tablespoon-sized portions of the dough and place on a greased baking sheet. Pat down and then use your thumb to make an indent in the center.

photo 1 (2)

Place the tray in the oven and bake for 10 – 12 minutes. After 5 minutes check them and if the indents are starting to close just gently use your thumb to re-shape them. Bake until they are brown. If you like your biscuits a bit crunchier then bake a little longer.

Remove from the oven but leave the oven on. Fill the indents with lemon curd and place a dried cherry in the middle. Pop them back in the oven for 2 – 3 minutes.

Allow to cool.

They will be lovely and crunchy if eaten straight away. If left for the next day they become soft and macaroon-like – which is simply yummy! You can always pop them back in the oven to re-crisp if you fancy it 🙂

photo 2

 

 

 

 

Lemon and Chia Seed Cookies – Dairy and Gluten free!


I’ve seen quite a few recipes around using tapioca flour and finally my supermarket has started stocking it so I thought I’d have a go at making up some cookies with it!

These are simply divine – they’re light and crumbly and really melt in the mouth.

photo 3

You will need:

1 cup Tapioca flour

1.5 cups raw Cashews

1/2 cup Coconut oil (melted)

1 Egg

1/4 cup Maple syrup

3 tbsp Chia seeds

Zest of 1 and 1/2 lemons

a pinch of Himalayan rock salt

For the icing:

100g unrefined Icing sugar

Zest of half a lemon

Juice of up to half a lemon

photo 4

First pop the cashews in to a blender or food processor and blend until they form a fine flour. Combine the cashew flour and tapioca flour together in a large bowl. Grate the lemon zest in to the bowl and add the chia seeds and salt and mix well.

Create a well in the centre of the dry mixture and add the egg, maple syrup and coconut oil and mix really well to form a dough. You may find the mixture is a little too wet (depending on the size of your egg!) – if so add more tapioca flour until it forms a firmish dough (whilst the coconut oil is melted though it will still be quite a loose dough).

Wrap it in clingfilm and pop the dough in the fridge to chill for 20 minutes.

Pre-heat the oven to 160 C.

Place the dough between two sheets of baking parchment and roll thin (few mm thick). Use whatever shaped cutters you like and then transfer the cookies to a lined baking tray. Bake in the oven for 20 – 25 mins or until golden (check after 15 mins).

Allow to cool and then mix the icing ingredients together. Add the lemon juice a little at a time until you have a consistency that you want. Then drizzle over the biscuits. Allow to set and then enjoy with a nice cup of tea! 🙂

photo 1

Chocolate, Nut and Chia Cookies – dairy and gluten free


Do you love chocolate? I do! rather too much sadly! So I’m always on the look out for chocolate goodies that will hit the chocolate spot but are a little bit better for me! These cookies are awesome – they’re chocolatey, they’re healthy and they’re full of omega-3’s and good protein and fat. They’re also dairy, gluten and unrefined sugar free! Whoop!

photo 1

You will need:

1/2 cup Buckwheat flour (you can also use quinoa or rice flour)
1 cup Almonds
1 cup Hazelnuts
1/4 cup Medjool dates (approx 2 – 3 chopped)
1/3 cup Maple syrup
2 tbsp Coconut oil (melted)
3 tbsp Raw cacao powder
3 tbsp Chia seeds
1/4 cup Water
Cinnamon chocolate chilli sugar – for dusting

For the cinnamon chocolate chilli sugar you can buy pre-mixed sugar, but I prefer to make my own. It’s easy! Just mix 100g coconut sugar with 10g of cocoa powder, 2 tsp cinnamon and 1 tsp chilli powder (or more if you want it hotter!). Adjust the amounts depending how much you need but keep them in those ratios. Make up a batch and keep it in an airtight jar. Just shake before use as the sugar tends to sink to the bottom, leaving the lighter cocoa etc at the top.

Preheat the oven to 180 C.

First pop the nuts into a food processor and blend until they are really well ground (almost to a flour). Add in all the other ingredients and process again. It will form a sticky dough.

Take a tablespoon of the mixture and roll it into a ball. Then place on a lined baking tray and flatten until very thin.Sprinkle with the cinnamon chocolate chilli sugar and then pop in the oven. Bake for 12 – 15 mins until firm and starting to brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

Then eat! 🙂

photo 5

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.

01063cd5976121762cd986de8a2693c4df2fb0cb07

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! 🙂

01346fc48130aaa2b95b70c12d06a1ab28672eb736

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”.

01886186a6569eddb79a9be0c2b50bca8ab9200281

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!

01d164000df1f1b5a5538569cc74ddfdd45e574264

 

Gingerdead men! Quick and Easy Spooky Biccies!


Happy Hallowe’en!

photo 1

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

photo 4 (3)

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.

photo 1 (2)

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.

photo 4

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

These won’t last long!

photo 5 (2)