This is my hat tip to the day that is in it. When I was a child Halloween celebrations consisted of a dish of mixed nuts, extra fruit, Tea Brack with a ring in it, and these pin-wheel biscuits.
Chocolate Orange Pinwheels
Preheat the oven to 200ºC
100g butter, chilled and cubed
225g plain flour
150g caster sugar
1 egg, size 3, beaten
2 teaspoons finely grated orange rind
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
Sieve the flout into a large bowl and rub in the butter with your fingertips until the mixture looks like fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar and egg and mix to form a dough. Transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth.
Divide the dough in two. Knead the orange rind into one half and the cocoa into the other. Wrap separately in greaseproof paper or film wrap and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
On a lightly floured surface roll out the orange dough in a rectangle 9 x 11 inches approx. Roll the chocolate dough to the same size and place on top of the orange dough. Roll both together from the long edge to form a sausage. Wrap and chill again for a further 30 minutes – this makes it easier to slice the pinwheels.
Lightly grease two baking sheets and cut the dough into 24 circles. Place on the prepared baking sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes until pale golden. Transfer to a cooling rack and leave until cold (if you can! 😉 ).
Preheat Oven to 180ºC
50g caster sugar
150g self-raising flour
2 teaspoons ground ginger
5 pieces of stem ginger, drained & finely chopped
I use the food processor for these.
Whizz the butter and sugar for 1 minute then add the sieved flour and ground ginger and half the chopped stem ginger and whizz again to form a ball.
Place teaspoon sized balls of the dough, well spaced apart, on greased baking sheets. Flatten each biscuit with a wet fork, the place a piece of the remaining chopped ginger on top.
Bake for 15-20 minutes until pale golden. Leave the biscuits to cool for a few minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack until cold.
Store in an airtight tin.
Mars Bars Squares
3ozs Butter or Margarine
3 Mars Bars sliced
3 Beakers Rice Krispies
Chocolate to cover
Melt Mars bars with the butter or margarine over a bowl of hot not boiling water. Remove from the heat and add rice Krispies and mix well with a fork. Press into a greased 13in X 9in tin and level out.
Melt the chocolate and pour over Krispies. Leave to cool and set. Cut into squares.
This Traybake recipe takes me way back to my school days, It was one I regularly pulled together for something to eat with the cuppa after a meal. The amazing thing was that the mixture filled the tin when warm and soft. Once cool and cut into squares…. one square had mysteriously disappeared!
8ozs soft toffee
½ tsp Vanilla essence
6ozs Rice Krispies
Melt the margarine, toffee and marshmallows together in a pan over a medium heat and add the essence stirring to prevent sticking. Pour over the rice Krispies and mix well. Press into a greased13in X 9in tin. Cool and cut into squares.
Pre-heat oven to 150ºC
4 egg whites from large eggs
4 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon almond extract
250 ml coconut
Chocolate for filling
Cover a Cookie sheet with Parchment paper.
Combine egg whites, vanilla and almond extracts, and sugar, then fold in coconut.
Drop small mounds (1-2 inches across) of the coconut mixture onto a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet, leaving a couple of inches between each of them.
Bake the macaroons for about 15-20 minutes, until golden. Transfer with the parchment paper, to a rack and let them cool for about 15 minutes, then sandwich with a thin layer of melted chocolate and leave to set before putting them in an airtight container.
Preheat oven to 190°C
6 ozs all purpose flour
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
3 ozs butter
6 ozs light brown sugar
4 ozs ground almonds
1 egg, beaten
Few drops almond essence
Flaked almonds for decoration
Sift the flour and bicarbonate of soda.
Beat butter & sugar until fluffy, beat in the egg, fold in the flour, ground almonds and almond essence. Form the mixture into teaspoon sized balls. Place on a greased and floured baking tray 2 inches apart and flatten slightly with a fork. Press almond piece on to top of each biscuit and bake for 8–10 minutes.
When mammy was given or asked for a copy of a recipe of something she liked, it found its way into her collection and was forever known with the name of the person who had given it to her. The recipe today is a case in point. We had several ‘Ann’s and ‘Anne’s in and out of our household over the years, the recipe has been on the go for about 40 years so I am not sure which of them gave it to her.
Ann’s Almond Slices
Preheat oven to 200°C
6 ozs Caster sugar
6 ozs Self raising flour
3 ozs butter
1 egg separated
Few flaked almonds
Mix the flour with 3 ozs of sugar. Rub in the butter and wet the mixture with the egg yolk.
Knead well and roll into an oblong tin.
Spread with apricot jam.
Whisk the egg white and fold in the remaining caster sugar, then spread over the jam. Sprinkle with flaked almonds and bake for 30 minutes.
Slice while still warm and leave to cool in the tin.
A couple of weeks ago I mentioned my sister had found a tiny notebook that belonged to mammy.
She had taken it with her on a visit to my brother in Australia. I think she knew that baking would raise its tiny head while she was with him, so a few old favourites were written in there. The recipe today comes from that notebook. It is very simple and requires no cooking!
2 ozs butter
4 ozs icing sugar
3 ozs coconut
3 ozs cherries, chopped
3 ozs walnuts chopped
1 teaspoon coffee essence (optional)
Spoon of Brandy** (optional)
6 ozs chocolate
Cream the butter and sugar and add the other ingredients. Roll into small balls, cover with a clean tea-towel and set aside to firm.
Melt the chocolate in a bowl over hot water. Dip the balls in the melted chocolate and then place them on a layer of greaseproof paper to set.
** No mention of the size of spoonful for the brandy, It might have been anywhere between a teaspoon and a shovel full! Mammy never drank any alcohol simply because she didn’t like the taste. We used to try and get her to have a sip, just to see the awful twisted faces she would make. Yet she had no problem with using alcohol in cooking.
Back in April, I produced a recipe for Brian. It was a test of memory and a trip down memory lane. Alas, the memory was not as good as I hoped it would be. Mind you my sister, she the keeper of the Books was not much better, even if she is way younger than I am!!!! 😉
Well I had a phone call from my sister the other night, she was sorting and clearing out a box of old papers and what do you think she found….
It was a little notebook that Mammy had used for her one visit to my brother in Australia. There in her own fair hand were six or eight recipes and lo and behold in amongst them was the shortbread. Bingo!
Nana’s Shortbread 11 (from Oz Notebook)
Preheat the oven to 190°C
10 ozs Self Raising flour
2 ozs cornflour
1 pinch of salt
3 ozs caster Sugar
6 ozs margarine
caster sugar to dredge
Grease two 7 inch sandwich tins.
Sift the flour, cornflour, salt and sugar into a bowl and rub in the butter.
At this stage mammy worked with her hands, patting, squeezing, pounding & kneading until the mixture formed a smooth paste. Divide the mixture in two and press into the two prepared tins. Mark top in eight segments and decorate the edge with a fork before pricking randomly across the surface.
Bake for 30 minutes until pale golden.
Slice in wedges while still warm and dredge with caster sugar.
Now Brian, as you sit and soak your feet and rub your weary knees, have a slice of shortbread. You know it will make you feel better. 😉
Almond & Hazelnut Shortbread
Preheat the oven to 160ºC
8 ozs butter
3 ozs soft light brown sugar
6 ozs all purpose flour
1 oz ground rice or semolina
2 ozs blanched almonds
2 ozs blanched hazelnuts
Grease a 12 x 8 inch shallow cake tin.
Cream the butter & sugar. Fold in the flour, ground rice or semolina and the nuts.
Knead the mixture to form a firm shortbread dough. Press evenly into the prepared tin and bake for 40-45 minutes- until golden brown.
Leave in the tin to cool for 15 minutes, then cut into fingers and place them on a wire rack to cool.