Thursday, August 9, 2007

Brown Bread, Brown Scones, and Peanut Butter Cookies!

Lots and lots of food!

Yes, I'm finally making a proper post! The baking is back :) And there's more good news! I'm buying my own computer for my room, so that means I'll be able to update way more often! I like it when things work out my way ;) And now onto some good ol' helathy baked goods...
I got 'The Avoca Cafe' cookbook out of the library a couple of weeks ago and was really impressed by it. The majority of the recipes seem pretty straightforward and they're not over complicated, yet they produce really tasty things! I decided to be good and try their brown bread and brown scones.
The bread worked out best - it was proper brown bread with lots of 'stuff' in it. I never used treacle before, it's so much fun to spoon into the mixture, though it is slightly ominous looking and I was really paranoid about using too much.

Yay polkadots!

Recipe: Avoca Brown Bread Ingredients:
  • 200g white flour
  • 300g coarse brown flour
  • 3 handfuls bran
  • 2 handfuls wheatgerm
  • 2 heaped teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 level teaspoon salt
  • 1 dessertspoon treacle
  • 600-900ml milk
  1. Mix all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
  2. Add the treacle and stir in enough of the milk to give a moist, but not sloppy, consistancy.
  3. Transfer mixture to a well-oiled 900g loaf tin and bake in an oven preheated to 240 degrees C/ 475 F for 20 minutes until risen.
  4. Reduce heat to 150 C/ 300F and bake for a further hour.
  5. Run a knife around the tin and ease the bread out. If it sounds hollow when tapped it's cooked, if not return it to the oven for 10-15 minutes.
Healthy and Delicious :)

This is a really good recipe if you want to bake your own brown bread every couple of days. It's so quick to put together and dosen't require anything complicated, I think it's brilliant. It gives a really dense, moist loaf, that tastes great with just about anything on it.
Oats so good

I was less pleased with the way my scones turned out, though I think it was more my fault that the recipe's. The dough was rolled out a little too thin for my liking, so they were more like little biscuits than proper scones, but they still tasted good. I would definitly make them again, but I'd double the recipe and make them good and thick.

Recipe: Avoca Brown Scones

Mmmm, baked...

  • 450g coarse, brown flour
  • 110 g unsalted butter, diced
  • 2 tablespoons greek youghurt
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 75-150 ml milk
  • 1 egg beaten with water to glaze
  1. Put the flour and salt in a bowl and rub in the butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  2. Make a well in the center and add the yoghurt and bicarbonate of soda. Leave to react for a couple of minutes and then add 75ml of the milk and mix well. You may need to add more milk, depending on humidity.
  3. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and rould out to 2.5 cm thick. Cut out with a round cutter and transfer to a greased baking sheet.
  4. Brush with egg glaze and bake in and oven preheated to 180 degrees C/ 350 F for 15-20 minutes.
Peanut Butter!

I've been wanting to make peanut butter cookies for ages, but since there's only me and my sister who actually like peanut butter I've been hesitant (and rightly so, most of these ended up going in the bin >_<). Still, I decided to give it a go. I got the recipe from my trusty old 'What's Cooking: Baking', I no longer need to talk about the merits of this particular collection, I think it's fairly obvious I love it :)

Recipe: Peanut Butter Cookies

  • 125g/ 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 150g/ 1/2 cup chunky peanut butter
  • 225g/ 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 150g/ 1 1/4 cups plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 75g unsalted peanuts, chopped
  1. Lightly grease two baking trays
  2. In a large mixing bowl beat together the butter and sugar
  3. gradually add the sugar and beat well
  4. Add the beaten egg a little at a time
  5. Sieve the flour, baking powder, and salt into the peanut butter mixture
  6. Add the peanuts and bring all the ingredients together to form a soft dough. Wrap and leave to chill for 30 minutes
  7. Form the dough into 20 balls and place them on the baking trays and allow for spreading. Flatten them with your hand
  8. Bake in an oven preheated to 190 degrees Celsius for 15 minutes until golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool.

These were kinda bizzarly textured, they were like sand! It wasn't necessarily a bad thing, I just didn't particularly like it. They kind of crumbled away when you bit into them, it was odd. Still, they tasted like peanut butter and that's what counts. They certainly aren't the best cookies I've ever made, they didn't 'dissapear' like others did. I don't think I'll be making these again, but I'm going to try other peanut butter ones.

Okay, I think that's it for now. I'll be back again soon, hopefully from a shiny new computer...


Anonymous said...

What is treacle? I've been baking for years now and have never of it.

Carla said...

anonymous - I can't explain what treacle is, but you can sub molasses for it no problem.

Nice to see some Irish folks enjoy peanut butter. I can send you my recipe for peanut butter cookies if you'd like. I haven't made them in so long so I don't remember if they have that sandy texture. I just know it's the only PB cookie I'll make!

Julia aka fairnymph said...

I consider myself fairly adept at making cookies, but I've been unable as of yet to perfect PB cookies. Getting that chewy, toothsome texture and full PB flavour is a challenge.

The following is the recipe I've had the most luck with, and find that using the kind of peanut butter that you grind yourself at the store works the best BY FAR over other types of PB.

Mrs. Field's Soft and Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies

Source: Mrs. Field's Cookie Secrets

Yield: about 3 1/2 dozen

2 cups flour ( 2/3 cup )
1/2 teaspoon baking soda (1/4 tsp)
1/4 teaspoon salt (1/8 tsp)
1 1/4 cups packed dark brown sugar (1/2 cup)
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar (1/3 cup)
1 cup butter, softened (1/3 cup)
3 large eggs (1 egg)
1 cup creamy peanut butter (1/3 cup)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract (2/3 tsp)

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.

Mix dry ingredients and set aside.

On medium speed, in large bowl, blend sugars; add butter, mix till grainy consistency. Add eggs, peanut butter and vanilla extract; beat till fluffy. On low speed, add flour mixture until barely mixed into butter mixture.

Drop by rounded tablespoonsful, 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Use a wet or flour coated fork to gently press a crisscross pattern on top of each cookie.

Bake until the edges of the cookies are lightly browned, approximately 18 to 20 minutes. Remove to cool on a flat surface.

Hope this helps! -Julia

Rebecca Bourke said...

Treacle is a kind of... black version of golden syrup, appearance wise anyway. It a syrup by-product of sugar, so it basicly is molasses.

Carla, thanks a milliion for the offer :) I think I'll have a go at Julia's first, but if I'm ever in need I'll get back to you.
Yeah, there is a sever lack of Irish people who enjoy peanut butter, it's just not that commercialised here or something. You never really buy peanut butter biscuits in supermarkets and coffee shops never really have it. Pitty :(

Julia- Thanks so much! They sound amazing! These are going to the top of my 'to bake' list.

M&Ms... said...

welcome back :)

eatme_delicious said...

There are good peanut butter cookie recipes out there so I hope you find one you like. :) These are the next ones I'm going to try:

Carla said...

Rebecca!! Where are you?

Cakespy said...

Those look ridiculously good!

CresceNet said...

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