Last week, my friend Militza posted a photo on Facebook of some “better than Goldfish” cheese crackers she was making for her girls, which sent me on a searching frenzy for healthier options I could bake in place of buying those little orange store-bought crackers (as yummy as they are, I never feel entirely guiltless eating them). There are so many recipes out there!
The one I ended up choosing from Smitten Kitchen sounded like a pretty great substitue, using mostly whole wheat flour (health win!). Interestingly (and yes, stupidly), I went in thinking that baking them from scratch like this would be a healthy snack option. Even more interestingly, it wasn’t until I was watching my little crackers bubbling and puffing away in the oven that it dawned on me that these probably belonged on the complete opposite end of the healthy spectrum. Brain fail.
Ok yes, in comparison to the little store-bought crackers, I at least know what went in them (no fake colours, no preservatives), but seeing as I knew what went in them, I have no excuse whatsoever for thinking they might be healthy. Maybe I did them wrong? The ones from the original recipe at least looked healthy, unlike mine.
ANYWAY. Having said all that, if there’s one thing I know about these little crackers, it’s that they are DELICIOUS. Not surprisingly thanks to the loads of cheese and butter, these little morsels are so moorish it’s hard not to just keep popping them into my mouth one after the other.
I won’t post the full recipe because it’s exactly the same as the one on Smitten Kitchen (find it here!). The only difference was that I didn’t have a cute little fish cutter, so instead of Goldfish, they became Starfish. Hope you don’t mind :)
This past weekend I decided it was time to begin some Christmas baking.. starting with some little custard wreath cookies!
Now, I’m not really a Jackson Pollock fan, but I couldn’t help thinking of him as I was applying my very abstract chocolate drizzling technique (especially after it also ended up all over my shirt and the kitchen walls).. Luckily for me, average-looking chocolate drizzle doesn’t effect the taste. These biscuits are so crumbly and yummy, just like shortbread really. It’s also worth noting that I didn’t have the right size piping nozzle, so they ended up a bit smaller than the ones in the original recipe.
The original recipe can be found here.
Here’s what you’ll need:
– 250g butter, softened
– 2/3 cup pure icing sugar
– 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
– 1 1/2 cups plain flour
– 1/2 cup custard powder
– Half a block of dark chocolate (the original recipe includes a lemon icing, but as we discussed earlier I opted for a chocolate drizzle effect instead)
Preheat oven to 160°C/140°C fan-forced. Line 2 baking trays with baking paper. Using an electric mixer, beat butter, sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy. Sift flour and custard powder over butter mixture. Stir with a wooden spoon until a soft dough forms. Set aside for 10 minutes.
Spoon one-quarter dough into a piping bag fitted with a 1.5cm fluted nozzle (mine was a fair bit smaller). Pipe 6cm circles, 3cm apart, on prepared trays. Repeat with remaining dough to make a total 20 wreaths. Bake for 14 to 16 minutes, swapping trays halfway, or until golden. Cool on trays for 10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Melt the chocolate over a double-boiler. I then used a chop stick to dip into the chocolate and flick it over the lined up biscuits. Wait for the chocolate to set before digging in and stuffing your face! ;)
Go get baking! :)
It’s one of the baking basics around here.. Chocolate Chip Cookies always go down a treat. I ended up baking this batch at about 10pm the other night because I had a craving and didn’t have any cookies in the house (I’m very disciplined when I’m at the supermarket.. not so much once I get home!). Do you have a favourite go-to cookie recipe? I also really love Jam Drops (Thumbprints?).. mmmm maybe they’ll be next on the list for late-night baking :)
This recipe is adapted from Donna Hay Modern Classics Book 2.