Today’s recipe is adapted from one in one of my newer cookbooks: The Baking Collection from The Australian Women’s Weekly. Like so many Women’s Weekly cookbooks this one is a winner – sweet treats of every description from simple cakes and cookies to decadent pastries and fancy holiday delights. An excellent collection of old fashioned Aussie favourites with some modern interpretations. These squares are soft and moist – more like mini cakes than a slice. The honey works so beautifully with the cashews. To top it all off they are SO easy.
- 1 c (150g) SR wholemeal flour
- 1 c (220g) caster sugar
- 1 c (90g) rolled oats
- 1 c (80g) desiccated coconut
- 2/3 c (70g) cashews, coarsely chopped
- 2 eggs
- 125 g butter melted, cooled slightly
- 1 T honey
- ½ c chopped cashews, extra
- 1 ½ c (160g) pure icing sugar, sifted
- 60 g butter, melted
- 1 T honey
- 1 T hot water, approximately
Preheat oven to 160C. Line 23cm x 32cm (9” x 13”) swiss roll pan with baking paper. Combine dry ingredients and mix. Add eggs, butter and honey and mix well. Press firmly into pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cool slice in pan. Meanwhile, make honey icing. Mix sugar, butter and honey well. Add enough water to make runny enough to pour. Spread over the slice, and top with remaining cashews. Adapted from Honey Walnut and Oat Squares, in The Baking Collection / The Australian Womens’ Weekly, 2013.
I’m back after another long absence from my blog. My time away has been a mixture of tedium – taxes, taxes and more taxes – and fun – a fabulous holiday to New Zealand’s South Island.
People rave about New Zealand’s beauty. It has a reputation I thought might be hard to live up to. But New Zealand actually is as stunningly beautiful as people say it is. The land is raw and untamed and magnificent.
And it was the whole place. Everywhere we traveled (and we covered a good deal of the island) was just lovely.
After Australia’s hot dry flat landscape, those steep snow capped hills are wondrous.
And all those lakes, rivers, streams and waterfalls are glorious!
And – it’s true – there really are sheep EVERYWHERE!
It was hard work coming home and getting back into routine. But it was nice to get back into my own kitchen, after a few weeks of cooking in a motor home!
After weeks without homemade sweet treats, the kids were keen for me to get straight back into baking. This slice has a wonderfully soft moist cake-like texture and a lovely fruity flavour.
Apricot Cranberry Slice
- ½ c chopped dried apricots
- ½ c chopped dried cranberries
- ½ c hot black tea
- 125 g butter, softened
- ½ c raw caster sugar
- 1 lg egg
- 110 g flour
- 1 t baking powder
Preheat oven to 180C. Line loaf pan with baking paper.
Soak apricots and cranberries in hot tea until fruit softens and absorbs tea.
In a medium bowl, beat butter and sugar until pale and creamy. Add egg and beat in well. Add flour and beat in again.
Stir in fruit mixture and mix until well combined. Pour into pan.
Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Cool in pan before gently removing.
Another school year underway, and so begins another round of fund raising opportunities with food.
Our first event for the year was our Welcome Night Movie on the Green. Families come early for kids to eat and play until dark, and then everyone settled on the grass in front of a giant screen to watch Ice Age 4. Even if you’ve seen the movie, it’s a wonderful way to start the school social calendar!
The key is to start the event early- so that at some point in the proceedings pretty much everyone there decides they need something to eat!
One of my contributions to the night was this lovely slice. It has vague pretensions to health, with dates and wholemeal flour, and isn’t too sweet. The texture is soft and slightly chewy, but not too heavy.
- 250g dried dates, chopped
- 3/4 t bicarb soda
- 190g butter
- 1 1/2 c wholemeal flour
- 2 t baking powder
- 1 t vanilla
- 3 eggs
- 75 ml milk
Preheat oven to 180C. Line 20 x 30 cm baking pan with baking paper.
Place dates and 225ml water in a saucepan. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer gently for about 5 minutes or until water almost completely absorbed. Add baking soda and mix well. Set aside to cool.
Process butter, flour, baking powder, vanilla, eggs and milk in a food processor until well mixed. Add the dates and mix until just combined. Pour batter into prepared tray. Cook for 20 minutes or until skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool.
- 50ml milk
- 45 g butter
- 3 T dark brown sugar
- 125g icing sugar
- toasted coconut to decorate
Heat milk, butter and brown sugar in a saucepan until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and add sifted icing sugar, stirring as you add it to avoid lumps. Stir until very smooth and paler in colour. Spread over cooled slice and top with coconut.
My grandmother entertained a lot, and always had people dropping in. She was keen to be the perfect host at all times, and so needed to have something sweet ready to whip out at a moment’s notice. When she baked cookies she always made 3 different varieties so her guests had a selection to choose from. So that she kept things fresh (and possibly to have an excuse to make more sooner rather than later), she only made half of each recipe at a time.
When I cook I never cook half of anything! I go for bigger recipes often in the hopes that whatever I make will go some distance. This recipe is one for a large slice tin (25 x 36 cm) and is quite rich (as many of Annie’s recipes are) so you can cut it into smaller bars.
- 340 g butter
- 5 T good quality marmalade
- 2 c white SR flour
- 2 c wholemeal SR flour
- 3/4 c rolled oats
- 1 1/2 c sugar
Melt butter and marmalade together. While butter mixture is melting, combine dry ingredients together and mix well. Pour butter mixture over dry indredients and mix until it forms a sticky dough. Pour into slice tin lined with baking paper and spread evenly over the tin. Bake at 170 C until golden brown, about 20-25 minutes. Once cool, ice with thin layer of vanilla icing and sprinkle with cocoa powder.
- 3 T butter
- 1 1/2 c pure icing sugar
- 3/4 t vanilla
- milk, enough to obtain consistency to spread thinly over the slice
Beat all ingredients til icing is light and fluffy.