Chocolate dipped salted peanut butter cookies

27 Aug 2022

A few years ago I heard that you could make a batch of peanut butter cookies using just peanut butter, eggs and sugar. I found that hard to believe but when Edd Kimber featured that very cookie on the front cover of his new book, Small Batch Bakes, I was intrigued.
I tracked down the original Ovenly recipe, made a half batch and tried a plain cookie which was absolutely delicious but decided to dip the rest of the batch in dark chocolate. I used a tablespoon to make small cookies but as I found the cookies very rich I couldn't imagine getting my way through an Ovenly cookie which is 4 times larger!

Here's the recipe for Chocolate dipped salted peanut butter cookies, adapted from an Ovenly recipe, which makes 12-16 small cookies. For all my recipes I use a 250ml cup, a 20ml tablespoon, unsalted butter and 60g eggs. My oven is a conventional oven so if you have a fan-forced oven you may need to reduce the temperature by 20°C. 
Chocolate dipped salted peanut butter cookies
165g light brown sugar
1 egg at room temperature
¼ tsp vanilla extract 
225g smooth peanut butter 
sea salt flakes
75-100g dark chocolate, finely chopped
Preheat oven to 180°C, conventional. Line a tray with baking paper or a baking mat. Position the oven rack in the centre of the oven. 
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the brown sugar and egg until smooth. Mix in the vanilla, then the peanut butter and continue to whisk until all of the ingredients are fully incorporated and no streaks of peanut butter remain. 
Refrigerate the dough for 15 minutes before scooping the dough into tablespoon size balls. If you use a 20ml tablespoon you should be able to make 12 cookies. If you use a 15ml tablespoon you’ll make 16 cookies. Place the cookies, about 2 inches apart, on the prepared baking tray. Sprinkle the tops with some sea salt flakes. 
Bake the cookies for 15 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through baking time. The cookies will be golden at the edges when done. Let the cookies cool on the tray for a couple of minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. Reuse the same tray to bake the remaining cookies. Let cool completely before dipping. 
Line a cooling rack with baking paper. Place the chopped chocolate in a small bowl or mug with an opening large enough to dip the cookies. Melt the chocolate in the microwave for 30 second intervals, stirring between each interval, until only a few small pieces of chocolate remain. Continue stirring until the chocolate is smooth and completely melted. 
Partially dip each cookie into the melted chocolate letting any excess drip back into the bowl, then place on the baking paper lined cooling rack. Sprinkle with a few more salt flakes if desired. Once all of the cookies have been dipped, place them in the refrigerator for a few minutes until the chocolate is set. Once set, store the cookies in an airtight container. 

These cookies are very easy to make and pack a punch of flavour. I don't know why it took me so long to make them.


See you all again next week with some more baking from my kitchen.

Bye for now,



pistachio and rose shortbreads

22 Aug 2022

I saw a picture of some almond cookies decorated with rose petals and pistachios in 'A Year of Simple Family Food' by Julia Busuttil Nishimura. They looked so pretty they inspired me to make these pistachio and rose shortbreads.

I'm quite fond of Mexican wedding cakes, little morsels of nutty shortbread enrobed in icing sugar, usually made with pecans. 
I went to my standby recipe from Caroline Velik, changed the nuts, added a dash of rosewater, rolled the mixture into balls, pinched the decoration idea from Julia and voila, I had a batch of pistachio and rose shortbreads. 

The recipe can be made entirely in a food processor. I
f you don't have a food processor then chop the nuts very finely rather than using nut meal as you want the crunch from the nuts. I was a bit hesitant about the rosewater so I erred on the side of caution so you may want to increase the quantity in your shortbreads.

Here's the recipe for you which makes 36 shortbread cookies. For all my recipes I use a 250 ml cup, a 20 ml tablespoon, unsalted butter and 60 g eggs. My oven is a conventional oven so if you have a fan-forced oven you may need to reduce the temperature by 20°C.
Rose and pistachio shortbreads – inspired by Julia Busutill Nishimura
60g toasted natural almonds 
60g raw pistachios 
90g caster sugar 
Pinch salt 
250g unsalted butter, chilled and cubed 
300g plain flour 
1 tsp vanilla extract or paste 
½ tsp rosewater 
125g sifted icing sugar 
Optional - A few slivered pistachios and rose petals for decoration
Put the nuts, sugar and a pinch of fine sea salt in a food processor and whiz until the nuts are ground, but not too fine – it should be about the texture of coarse sand. Add the butter and continue to whiz until the mixture is well combined. Add the flour, rosewater and vanilla seeds/paste and pulse until everything just comes together, scraping down the bowl with a spatula as you go if needed. The mixture should be soft but not sticky – add a little more flour if necessary. Refrigerate the mixture for 30 minutes to allow the dough to firm a little. 
Preheat oven to 170ºC (conventional) and line 2 trays with baking paper. Roll the mixture into 20g balls then arrange the biscuits on the prepared trays, allowing room for them to spread a little as they cook. 
Bake the cookies in the preheated oven for 20 minutes or until lightly coloured. Remove from oven and rest on the tray for about 10 minutes then roll the shortbreads in icing sugar while still warm. Transfer the cookies to a cooling rack to cool completely. 

Just before serving, dust the tea cakes with more icing sugar. If you like, you can decorate the top of the biscuits with a few pistachio pieces and some rose petals.

These shortbread are just delicious. The 
shortbread is buttery, heavy on the vanilla, crunchy from the nuts and sweet from the icing sugar. 
See you all again next week with some more baking from my kitchen.
Bye for now,

berry and brown butter toast crumble

8 Aug 2022

We've had a pretty cold winter this year so I've been indulging in wintery puddings. Not seen on the blog but enjoyed have been rice custard and lemon delicious pudding and 
I also made an excellent bread and butter pudding a few weeks ago using slices of sourdough fruit loaf

I know I haven't mentioned sourdough for a while but after a bit of a rocky patch in April where everything went pear shaped I went back to the drawing board. I sorted out my starter, worked out a schedule that fitted into my life and it's been good ever since. I usually bake a loaf of bread each week and I alternate between white, wholemeal or mixed grain tin loaves with a sourdough fruit loaf every month or so. 

With all this bread baking it does mean I have a few bread ends tucked away in the freezer and I'm always looking for ways to use up the excess so when I saw this Ottolenghi recipe for a berry crumble made using sourdough crumbs in an old Delicious magazine, I knew I had to make it.

I had a stalk of rhubarb in the fridge so I put that into the apple mix and as rhubarb is very tart I increased the sugar in the fruit mix. It did not go astray and the berry component was my favourite part of the dish. My other change? I don't eat cream so I mixed vanilla bean paste in with some Greek yoghurt and drizzled that over the crumble and it was delicious.

Here's the recipe for you adapted from
hereFor all my recipes I use a 250ml cup and a 20 ml tablespoon, unsalted butter and 60g eggs. My oven is a conventional gas oven so if your oven is fan forced you may need to reduce the oven temperature by 20°C.

Berry and brown butter toast crumble - serves 4
3 Gala apples peeled, cored and cut into 8 wedges
1 stalk (75g) rhubarb cut into 1 cm slices
75g caster sugar
65g unsalted butter
¾ tsp vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
¾ tsp ground cinnamon or star anise 
60g stale, crustless sourdough bread, roughly torn into 1cm pieces
50g rolled oats
pinch flaky sea salt
250g frozen mixed berries

To serve
1/3 cup (80mls) Greek yoghurt, cream or custard

Heat the oven to 200°C. Place the apples and rhubarb, 50g of sugar, 15g butter, ½ tsp vanilla and 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon into a 20cm ovenproof dish and stir to combine. Transfer to the oven to bake for about 20 minutes, stirring halfway, until the apples have softened but still retain their shape.

While the apples are baking add the remaining 50g butter to a medium frypan over medium-high heat. Once melted, cook for about 4 minutes, swirling the pan often, until nicely browned and nutty, adjusting the temperature as needed to avoid burning. Transfer the browned butter to a large heatproof bowl and return the pan to the heat. Add the torn sourdough and cook, stirring often, for 2 minutes or until lightly toasted, then add to the bowl with the butter. Return the pan to the heat and add the oats and cook, stirring often, until lightly toasted, another 2 minutes. Add the oats to the bowl, along with the flaky sea salt, remaining 25g sugar and 1/2 tsp cinnamon or star anise, and stir to combine.

When the apples are ready, stir in the frozen mixed berries plus 1 tbs water, then top evenly with the bread mixture. Return to the oven, turning the heat down to 180°C, conventional and bake for 30 minutes or until golden and bubbling. Remove from the oven and stand for about 5-10 minutes to cool.

Add the cold yoghurt or cream and remaining ¼ tsp vanilla to a small bowl and stir to combine. Serve the crumble warm with the cold yoghurt or cream drizzled over the top.

See you all again next week with some more baking from my kitchen.

Bye for now,


apple custard teacake

7 Aug 2022

This is not the first time an apple custard teacake recipe has appeared on the blog. It's one of my favourite cakes and as I figure you can never have too much apple in an apple teacake, I decided to up the ante by adding a layer of stewed apple to the centre of the cake. I used Granny Smith apples for the stewed apple centre and Gala apples for the topping.

I always stew apple in the microwave and did this the day before baking the cake to allow it plenty of time to cool. I also made the custard the day before for the same reason so
on Sunday morning it didn't take too long to put the cake together.
Here's the recipe for you which makes an 8 inch cake. For all my recipes I use a 250 ml cup, a 20 ml tablespoon, unsalted butter and 60g eggs. My oven is a conventional gas oven so if your oven is fan forced you may need to reduce the oven temperature by 20°C. 

Apple Custard Tea Cake 
2 tbs (20g) custard powder
1/4 cup (55g) caster sugar
1 cup (250ml) milk
20g unsalted butter
2 tsp vanilla extract
Apple Filling 
2 large green apples (440g), peeled cored and thinly sliced
1 tbs lemon juice or water
1-2 tbs caster sugar
135g room temperature unsalted butter
½ cup (110g) firmly packed brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
200g self-raising flour sifted with a pinch salt
⅓ cup (80ml) buttermilk
2 apples, peeled, thinly sliced
20g unsalted butter extra, melted
1½ tsp caster sugar
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
To make the custard, combine the custard powder and sugar in a small saucepan; gradually stir in the milk. Stir over heat until the mixture boils and thickens. Remove from heat; stir in the butter and essence. Press plastic wrap over the surface; cool.
To make the apple filling, combine all the ingredients into a microwave safe bowl. Cover and cook on high for 10-12 minutes until the apples are soft. Cool completely before gently mashing into a pulp.
Preheat the oven to 180°C, conventional. Grease and flour a deep 20m round cake pan then line the base with baking paper.
Beat butter, brown sugar and the vanilla in a medium bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until combined between each addition. Stir in the sifted flour and buttermilk, in two batches.

Spread half of the cake mixture into the prepared pan; Stir the custard to loosen then gently spoon over the batter then top the custard with a layer of apple puree. Spread the remaining cake mixture over the apple layer until completely covered. Overlap apple slices on top; brush with the extra melted butter, then sprinkle with combined caster sugar and cinnamon.
Bake for 1 hour or until firm. A skewer inserted into the cake will come out a little damp. Let cool for 10-15 minutes before unmoulding. Once cool, store the cake in an airtight container at room temperature.


I shared a few slices with my neighbours, kept a slice for myself and took the leftovers into work. The cake was just as good as I remembered and the extra apple made the cake even more delicious.

See you all again next week with some more baking from my kitchen.

Bye for now,





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