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August 2018

Friday Food: Caramel Crown Muffin Brownies

60C1153F-A5F6-4D7C-9D82-786F07284BB9There are lots of biscuit based baking recipes in the August Taste Magazine, and I chose the Caramel Crown Muffin Brownies and I have made three batches, very successfully. A Caramel Crown is a plain sweet biscuit, topped with firm caramel and then dipped in milk chocolate. 

 Your  biscuit just needs to fit inside your muffin tin holes.

I made 15 muffin brownies from the mixture, because the biscuit takes up some of the space in the muffin paper cases. This is annoying, because there are 12 biscuits in a packet. Maybe my muffin tray has smaller holes? The first time I did buy two packets because I topped the little cakes with buttercream and half a biscuit, but the last time I used a Rolo block of chocolate and that looked very posh.

The brownie is melt and mix so it is very easy and quick to make. Each time I ended up baking the brownie muffins for 30 minutes instead of the 25 the recipe calls for. I only made 1/2 or 2/3 of the buttercream as these are very rich. I did heat some up in the microwave to serve with Caramel Crown ice-cream, but MrsDrWho said she preferred the biscuits to be crisp inside the muffin, and not bendy.


I didn’t use the buttercream recipe as I felt it would be too much chocolate on top of an already choc filled treat. I used a Donna Hay recipe which uses cocoa instead of chocolate: 250g butter softened, 320g icing sugar, 50g cocoa and 60ml milk.  I will included the buttercream as per the recipe here.

I highly recommend this recipe, and I think it will become a favourite. You could substitute other round biscuits, I might try Mint Slices next time. Oh or a Chocolate Royal.....

NB An Australian tablespoon is 20ml, or 4 teaspoons.



Caramel Crown Muffin Brownies           Makes 12-15

  • 150g butter, cubed
  • 200g dark chocolate, finely chopped
  • 300g light brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 150g plain flour
  • 30g cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tspn baking powder
  • 85g sour cream
  • 2 packets of Caramel Crowns


For the buttercream:

  • 300g unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 380g icing sugar mixture
  • 150g dark chocolate, melted and cooled 


Preheat the oven to 170/150*C fan-forced. Line two muffin trays with paper cases.


Melt the butter, chocolate and sugar in the microwave. I use Medium in 30 second bursts and stop just before the chocolate is fully melted and then stir until it is smooth. Cool slightly, and then add the eggs one at a time, whisking well.


Add the flour, cocoa and baking powder, begin to fold it in, and then add the sour cream. When you can’t see any streaks of sour cream the batter is ready.

I put a tablespoon of the batter into the bottom of each paper case, and then pressed in a biscuit, allowing the batter to rise up slightly around the edges. Through trial and error, I found 1 1/2 tablespoons to be pretty much the right amount so my muffins didn’t overflow.


Bake for 25-30 minutes, swapping and turning trays half way through. The muffins are baked when they are slightly cracked on top, and a skewer poked into the centre comes out clean.

Cool in the tin for 15 minutes and then transfer to a rack to cool completely.

To make the buttercream in the recipe, beat the butter with an electric mixer until it is pale and creamy: 2-3 minutes. Gradually add the icing sugar on a low speed so it doesn’t make an icing sugar cloud, and finally add the melted chocolate, beating on a high speed until smooth.

Decorate the cooled muffins as desired. I used either a plastic piping bag with the tip cut off, or a star tip, to pipe on the buttercream. To embellish I used half a biscuit or a square of Rolo chocolate bar. These were for the Doctors and Nurses at the vet who looked after Lorelai Gilmore and Hedy Lamarr this week.


Friday Food: Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chwy c c cookieDonna Hay’s 100th magazine is her last and so I baked the Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies from this last issue today. It's an excellent recipe because I had all the ingredients. Yay! I didn’t need to buy anything, well I bought extra butter in case. 

My word, the cold butter and sugar gave my mixer a work out, so be prepared for a bumpy ride.

I was not quite sure how to divide up the batter, so made 2 tablespoon or, 40ml, sized pieces. In retrospect I should have tried 1 1/2 tablespoons instead, as the biscuits spread and took longer to bake. I added another 6 minutes, so 20 minutes in all. 

The recipe does not actually use chocolate chips, I used 300g of good eating chocolate chopped into about 1/4 of the size of each individual square. I used 200g of ordinary dark and 100g of 70% cocoa.

I broke a warm biscuit in half and the chocolate was oozy and unctuous. I tasted some of the less chocolaty parts and it was delicious. I didn’t add salt to the top, I might salt a few later as I only baked about half of the batter.

The cookies should keep for at least a week in an airtight container.

Farewell Donna Hay Magazine, I have enjoyed the baking from the very first issue till the very last.


Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies        Makes 20-24


  • 200g butter, cold and cut into cubes
  • 175g light brown sugar
  • 220g caster sugar
  • 40ml milk
  • 1 tspn vanilla bean paste or extract
  • 1 egg
  • 300g plain flour
  • 1/4 tspn baking powder
  • 1/4 tspn bicarbonate or soda
  • 1/2 tspn table salt
  • 300g dark chocolate, chopped



Preheat the oven to 160*C and line two trays with baking paper.


Mix the butter and sugars on a low speed until just combined and then increase the speed to medium and cream for 8 minutes. The mixture will be light in colour and creamy. Scrape down the edges of the bowl to incorporate and outlying mixture.


Add the milk, egg and vanilla and beat for a further 2 minutes.


Add the dry ingredients and mix slowly until just combined.


Finally mix in the chocolate.


Make  1 1/2 tablespoon balls and place on the baking tray. The biscuits do spread so leave lots of room or they will be misshapen like a few of mine. Sprinkle evenly with salt.

Bake for 12-14 minutes, swapping and rotating the trays half way through. They are ready when they are golden brown. Leave on the tray for 5 minutes and then place on a rack until perfectly cold.

  Chewy choc chip cookies


Friday Food: Almond Meal Shortbread- Gluten free

8C076E95-BA00-413A-994D-AC8B2230C5CBWe are blogging from the sick bed this evening. My annoying sore throat turned into a throat and gland carnival with the focus on swallowing swords! I respond very quickly to antibiotics and so only a day and a half later I am feeling less ill.

I baked these on Wednesday for the LoveBoatLady, who is recently gluten free. I searched on the internet and found this recipe at TriedandTrue. The recipe worked perfectly, I did contemplate using some lemon zest, but went with vanilla bean paste as per the recipe. The recipe suggests cinnamon and maybe even turmeric as a flavour. I think they would be nice with some finely chopped preserved ginger too.

I made my biscuits half a tablespoon, or two teaspoons in the rest of the world, and made 34 biscuits. They need to be kept in an airtight container and did soften over time. 



Almond Meal Shortbread      Makes about 35

  • 2 cups almond meal
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup pure icing sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tspn vanilla bean paste


Preheat the oven to 170*C fan-forced and line two trays with baking paper.


You can sift the almond meal and icing sugar if you prefer, but I just put the dry ingredients in a bowl and whisked by hand until all the lumps disappeared.


Add the softened butter and vanilla and stir with a spoon or spatula until it comes together as a dough. You may need to add a little extra almond meal if the dough is a little sticky, and I did do that.


I used a 20ml tablespoon to measure out the dough into portions, halved them and rolled them into balls.

The shortbread does spread a little, so place the biscuits leaving room for expansion. Flatten with a fork dipped in almond meal and bake for 8-10 minutes, turning and swapping the trays half way though. I did bake these for the whole 10 minutes, and I kept an eagle eye on them so they did not colour too much. You want them to be pale.


Leave them on the tray to cool completely. The shortbread with be very soft when hot, but harden on a cooling.

And that is it, some of the easiest biscuits, or shortbread, I have ever baked. Oh, I just thought they would be nice dipped in dark chocolate too. Yum!