Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Cranberry-y Chocolate-y Oat-y Cookies

As I play Ultimate Frisbee, I go to a lot of tournaments. Last weekend we had women's university Nationals and my team, for the third year running, won! We are once again National Champions (if you are at all interested you can read about it here). I think it was the cookies. For tournaments we generally bring a lot of food as we are running around all day. I usually make something like brownies or flapjacks but after seeing this post from my favourite food blogger I decided to make these gorgeous Cranberry Chocolate Oat Cookies. Because I am trying to be more healthy at the moment (more on that is a sneak preview) I modified the recipe in attempt to make them more healthy. 

These cookies are GOOD. These are honestly the first cookies that I have ever made, by myself, that I have been pleased with. My cookies always go wrong (see here!). These were so unbelievably perfect I found myself eating more than I probably should have. The recipe is easy and the only real difference I noticed between my numerous failed cookie attempts and this one was that the batter was that much more solid.

If I did them again I would probably add another half cup of oats as they definitely could have been more oaty. The second time I made these I added flaked almonds which worked really well. I also baked mine longer as I much prefer crunchy cookies over soft. If you want them soft, I would go with 12-15 minutes baking time as he suggested. My modified and more healthy version is below. Enjoy!

Cranberry-y Chocolate-y Oat-y Cookies
Makes about 20 cookies
2 C wholemeal bread flour
1 C rolled oats
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking/bicarbonate soda
1 teaspoon salt
250g butter at room temperature 
1 1/2 C muscavado sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
1 C dark chocolate chips
1 C dried cranberries
1/4 C flaked almonds (my addition but worked really well)

Preheat your oven to 220C/ 325F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Stir the flour with the oats, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. 

Beat the butter and sugar in a mixer or by hand until light and fluffy. Add the egg and the egg yolk and beat until combined, scraping down the bowl as necessary. 

Beat in the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, then add the chocolate chips and cranberries and beat just until incorporated.

Make mounds of dough on the cookie sheet and flatten with your hand. Keep them 2 inches apart because they’ll spread.  (If you don’t want to bake them all now, put one cookie sheet in the freezer and pluck off the frozen cookie blobs and place in a freezer bag for another time.)

Bake for 15-20 minutes until the cookies begin to brown at the edges and let cool.

And voila, perfect delicious cookies that are just about healthy enough to eat a few of..

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Healthy Coleslaw

I'm afraid the last couple and next couple posts will all or mostly be food related - I don't have any time during my revision period to be creative with a sewing machine or anything of that sort but I still need to eat! Stay tuned though..

I made pulled pork recently for my friend who came around for dinner and as I said in my last pulled pork post, I cannot have it without coleslaw! I decided to make my own instead of buying one so I knew what was going in it and could keep it low fat. As always I browsed a lot of recipes then flung my own together and it worked out so well! I tried to keep track of around how much I was putting in of each thing but all of it was guesswork so definitely play around until you have something you like.

Healthy Coleslaw
Serves 6-8
Half red cabbage
Half white cabbage
2 carrots
1/2 C lemon juice
1 C low fat natural yoghurt
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp mustard
2 tsp honey
1 tbsp salt

If I had an apple I would have put it in there too, but I didn't..

Finely chop the cabbages and grate the carrot. Combine all ingredients! Ready to serve but I think it's better after a few hours in the fridge.

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Sweet Potato Goat Cheese Puffs

I wanted to just let anyone reading this know that I haven't abandoned this blog. I'm currently in the lead up to my finals of my last year of a law degree and as you can imagine my life is packed with so much at the moment. I will try to post a few times during my exam period but I can't promise anything so if you are a follower I hope you will stay until I have my life back! 

Until then I will leave you with a great recipe I tried out at Christmas for a party. These Sweet Potato Goat Cheese Puffs from Running to the Kitchen went down so well. So well in fact I barely had enough time to take a picture, or at least a good one! They're oh so soft and mushy on the inside full of goodness and crispy and delicious on the outside. They took a bit of time but perfect if you want to bring a fantastic dish to a party or serve something a little different.

Sweet Potato Goat Cheese Puffs
Makes 20 balls
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled & chopped
1 ounce goat cheese
1 teaspoon rosemary, minced & divided
1 cup parmesan cheese grated & divided
1 tablespoon milk
1 tablespoon butter
1 egg
3/4 cup breadcrumbs
salt & pepper to taste

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt water and place potatoes in pot. Cook for 15 minutes until fork tender, drain. Place cooked potatoes in a large bowl.
Add goat cheese, butter, milk, 1/2 cup of parmesan, 1/2 teaspoon rosemary and a generous amount of salt & pepper to taste. Mash together. Refrigerate for 20-30 minutes until chilled.
Preheat oven to 220C/425F degrees. Line a baking sheet with baking paper. 
In a small bowl, beat the egg. In a shallow bowl, combine breadcrumbs, remaining parmesan cheese, remaining rosemary, salt & pepper. Roll potato mixture into small balls (ping pong size or smaller).

Coat balls in egg and then transfer to breadcrumb mixture, rolling around until completely coated. Place on baking sheet. Spritz balls with olive oil or baking spray and bake for 15 minutes.

Grill/hi-broil for 5 more minutes until golden brown and crispy. Beware, they are moreish! I recommend making double the recipe.. Next time I would probably add a bit more goats cheese.. it doesn't need it but the flavour was subtle and I do like my goats cheese. Just looking at them makes me want to make more right now..

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Pecan and Chocolate Cobbler

I saw this recipe on Life Away From the Office Chair and made it the same day. In the UK we don't really have cobbler so I was intrigued. I was told it was a bit like crumble but mine certainly didn't turn out like that so I'm not even sure if it turned out right or not! Either way it was GOOD!

Pecan and Chocolate Cobbler
Serves 6-10
2 sticks butter (approx one butter in the UK)
1 1/4 C sugar + 1 C sugar
1 1/2 C self raising flour
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 milk
6 tbsp cocoa powder
2 cups chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 175C/350F. Melt butter and pour into a 9x13 inch dish. In a bowl, mix 1 1/4 C sugar, flour, vanilla and milk and pour into the melted butter without stirring. Then mix 1 C sugar, cocoa powder and pecans together and pour on top of the batter, then two cups of boiling water in it, again without stirring.

Bake for 30-45 minutes until brown. Serve warm with ice cream.

I hope everyone had a lovely Easter.