Fund-Raiser Biscuits

The call’s out. It’s the annual Christmas-Twilight-Market-fund-raising event for the Cherub’s school.They’re asking for volunteers to help out at a food stall, sell tickets, set up or pack up.

This is probably going to get me into some trouble, but I never volunteer to do any of that. I don’t want to set up or pack up and I don’t want to stand for 2 hours cooking and serving dumplings (especially since at the last fund-raiser, they ran out of dumplings by the time I got to the front of the queue. I’m not bitter about it though).

I’m exhausted by the end of each day without having to do extra work as it is. I like to browse the stalls at my leisure, sit down when I want and eat when I want. Besides, they need people to give their funds, so they can actually raise funds right? But kudos and thank you to the amazing parents and teachers who do volunteer their time and energy, I absolutely admire their generosity : )

However, the beauty of fund-raisers is that there’s always a cake stall! And I’ll happily bake something that I would love to eat for the stall. In the last few years, I’ve baked things like oatmeal and raisin cookies, banana muffins, chocolate crackles… all sugar reduced, whole-meal flour and with 70% chocolate where applicable.

It’s not a competition, but why do I always only see the school kids running around with biscuits laden with sprinkles from an unnatural origin and cupcakes piled 3 cms high with garish coloured icing sugar. Bless my little Panda, she always dutifully buys one of my ‘natural’ looking creations and eats it quietly next to me.

Again, it’s not a competition, but this time round, I’m gonna join ’em (ok, so the Cherubs pleaded with me to make something yummy AND fun – but don’t I always??). This year, I’m going to try to make plain WHITE flour  butter cookies dipped in chocolate (Panda’s request) and HUNDREDS and THOUSANDS (Soccer Boy’s request)… Ok, I still reduced the sugar (but not to Sally standards, promise it’s just a small reduction) and the chocolate is a mix of milk and 50% dark chocolate. Did you know milk chocolate has 3 times more sugar than 70% dark chocolate?!?

And if I don’t see cute little kids with butter cookie, chocolate and hundreds and thousands smears on their faces at the markets, I have 2 kgs of icing sugar at home and I’m (sort of) not afraid to use it for the next fund-raiser.

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Butter biscuits dipped in chocolate and sprinkles

Makes: 50

Egg free

Ingredients:

  • 250g softened butter
  • 120g (3/4 cup) sifted icing sugar
  • 375g (2 1/2 cups) sifted plain flour
  • 200g chocolate of your choice
  • Sprinkles (OPTIONAL!!)

Let’s bake!

  • Beat butter and icing sugar  with electric mixer until light and fluffy
  • Stir the flour into the mix in two batches until just combined
  • Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface until smooth
  • Divide the dough in half and roll each half into a 25 cm log
  • Cover each log in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about one hour or until firm
  • Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius
  • Line a baking tray with baking paper
  • Cut the logs into 1 cm slices and place them 2.5 cm apart on the baking tray
  • Bake for about 10 mins
  • Let the biscuits cool on the trays
  • Boil water in a pot
  • Pour the sprinkles (if using) into a small bowl
  • Break the chocolate up into pieces and put into a metal heat proof bowl
  • Put the bowl on top of the pot, making sure that the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water
  • Mix the chocolate occasionally until the chocolate has melted
  • Dip the biscuits into the chocolate
  • Dip the biscuits into the sprinkles bowl
  • Leave to set on a tray lined with baking paper or if it’s a warm day, just pop it into the fridge to set.

Notes:

  • When you’re creaming the butter and sugar, you can add the grated rind of a lemon or lime, vanilla essence or any essence you prefer. You can also add nuts to the biscuits before you bake them. I just made plain biscuits this time because the Cherubs asked me not to try anything fancy : (
  • In case you’re wondering – I didn’t buy the 2 kg of icing sugar. My sister A’s neighbour had a lot of it and gave it to AA doesn’t use icing sugar, so she gave it all to me : )

 

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Coconut Flour Brownies

If you took a quick look in my pantry, you’d think I’d be able to live off it for at least 2 months if all the supermarkets were hit by exploding space rocks sent by greenie aliens gleefully plotting to make us more self-sustainable.

But that’s all just speculation (about my pantry content). So if the above does happen, I don’t want to go to the cupboard and find it bare – of food actually within the limits of their use by date.

And so I found the 1 kg bag of coconut flour bought late last year because I’m a sucker for a good marketing spiel – High in fibre! Digestible carbohydrates! Low GI! Healthy fats! And never thought through how I would use them in a practical way in my everyday life (I’m also looking at you agave syrup).

So my first foray into the world of the coconut flour was coconut flour pancakes. Six eggs and some coconut flour later, Soccer Boy cried for his ‘usual’ while Panda gagged. The texture was grainy, the combined smell of the eggs and coconut was too strong and a little unpleasant, and it just tasted heavy. I ended up wondering what the hell I was going to do with 15 pancakes (we’re kind of on a sustainability and reducing waste kind of theme here so I won’t tell you what I did with them).

Not to be deterred, and aware that the count-down to its use by date would be soon approaching, but strangely confident that the aliens wouldn’t make their move until I used up the coconut flour and replaced it with something that the Cherubs would actually eat in our lock-down, I present to you my quick and easy 1 bowl, 1 spoon Coconut Flour Brownie Recipe.

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Coconut Flour Brownies

(Gluten free)

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup cacao powder
  • 1/2 butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup honey or maple syrup
  • 3 eggs at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • Icing sugar (optional)

Let’s bake!

  • Preheat oven to 150°
  • Line a 20 x 20 baking tin with baking paper so it covers the bottom and sides
  • Put all ingredients except the icing sugar in a large bowl and mix until well combined
  • Transfer to tin and smooth down with a spatula
  • Bake for 30 mins or until a skewer inserted into the middle of it comes out clean
  • Leave to cool in tin
  • Dust with icing sugar if desired, but they’re just as good without

Notes:

  • If the mixture is thick and hard to smooth down, just do what you can and put it into the oven. Wait 10 mins, then take it out to smooth down when it’s warmed up a little.
  • I find honey is a little too thick to use in the winter with this recipe, so I prefer to use maple syrup in the colder months.
  • The flower in the image is an edible native violet that we’ve got growing in our garden. It tastes like mild grass.
  • The original recipe asked for 1/2 a cup of honey or maple syrup, but I found it a little too sugary for my liking so I’ve reduce the quantity.
  • You can substitute coconut oil for the butter if you want to make it a paleo brownie. The Cherubs found the coconut oil version too strong on the coconut.