30 Jun

Energy Cookies

While school was underway these energy cookies made it into the lunchboxes at least once a week. For many reasons, not least that they are so darn easy to assemble in a food processor, but also because they are low on allergens. We have restrictions on certain food items in school due to children having allergies and I have to be extremely careful of nuts and sesame seeds in particular. I know that when I make these cookies they are not going to cause a risk to other children in the classroom.

Most important to the boys is that these energy cookies are one of their favourite lunchbox treats.

Earlier on the youngest fella accosted me in the office to see could we make them on my lunchbreak. They are easy enough for small hands to make with minimal supervision.

Ingredients

  • 100g coconut oil
  • 100g light brown sugar
  • 200g oats
  • 50g chia seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 30 ml water

Method

Preheat a fan oven to 170 degrees Celsius.
Bring the coconut oil to a soft form/oil by popping it in a bowl and microwaving for 30 seconds (It must be soft for this recipe).
Add all the ingredients including the coconut oil into a food processor and turn on full until you have a batter. Leave the batter to one side for 15 – 20 minutes. The chia seeds will act as a binder and the batter will turn more solid.
Line a baking tray with non stick baking paper. Using a tablespoon as a cookie measure, spoon onto the baking tray. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes, or until golden brown.
Allow to cool before eating.

06 Jan

Banana Milkshake Cake

Banana Milkshake CakeTake a banana malt milkshake with a side of cookies, then convert that into a cake. Read More

21 Dec

Make Ahead Cookies

Malted Milk CookiesThese malted milk treats have a beautiful fudgy flavour thanks to the malted milk powder that I use in the baking process. There are a couple of brand names if you’re looking to pick it up for yourself. The ones that are easiest to find in the supermarket are Ovaltine & Horlicks.

Allegedly, the malted milk that I like is used in a large Irish diner-style chain of restaurants for their malted milkshake.  Ever wanted to make one yourself at home?  Simply add a couple of tablespoons to some quality partially melted vanilla ice cream.

The first thing you could do with the malted milk is to include them in some food-themed gifts for Christmas.

That includes some fudge cookies in a jar inspired by The Pink Whisk:

Cookies in a jar

Also some malted hot chocolate inspired by a Jamie Oliver recipe from an old show of his. Both gifts will go down splendidly well.

Malted Hot Chocolate

What will be a huge hit though have been my malted milk malteaser cookies.  As per usual with my cookies, the dough can be chilled in advance and baked within 3 days or frozen for up to a month before baking.  This recipe makes approximately 20 large cookies which are chewy in the middle and crunchy on the outside.

Malted Milk Cookies

make ahead cookies

  • Servings: 20
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 90g Malted Milk Extract
  • 90g caster sugar
  • 85g butter at room temperature
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 200g plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1 packet Malteasers (malt balls covered in chocolate)

Method

Preheat your oven to 200 degrees Celcius and line 2 baking trays with greaseproof baking paper.

Cream the milk extract, caster sugar and butter together until light and fluffy. Beat in the 2 eggs until fully combined then add the flour and baking powder and mix again. Finally crush the malteasers in your hands before stirring them into the cookie dough.

Using a dessert spoon, spoon the mixture directly onto the tray, leaving a lot of space between each cookie.  I normally bake only 4 on each tray so you will need to rotate your trays, however it’s rare you’d bake the whole batch all at once. That is, unless your step-daughter decides to stick her fingers in each of the cookies on one tray as soon as they come out of the oven.  Ahem.

Bake in the oven for between 9-12 minutes.  As soon as they start to turn golden brown, remove the trays and leave the cookies on the baking paper for 10 minutes before gently moving with a spatula to a cooling rack.  The cookies will keep for up to 7 days in a sealed container kept in a cool, dry location but honestly I’d refrigerate or freeze your dough and bake these cookies fresh.

02 Dec

Caitriona Redmond’s Christmas Cake Recipe

It’s not too late to make my Christmas Cake Recipe! Simply because it’s designed to be frosted or iced traditionally. It’s not quite as heavy as old-style cakes, nor as sweet, because the shot of espresso adds balance to the flavours. This is a firm family favourite in my house. Since I iced our cake last week the kids have been begging me to slice it early because they love fruit cake so much!

Some of you may have spotted this Christmas Cake Recipe in Lidl Ireland stores last year. I’ve had many requests to put the recipe on the blog and here you go! Read More

14 Mar

Impossible Brownies Recipe

This recipe is called impossible brownies because it shouldn’t work. It really shouldn’t! Brownies are traditionally made with butter, eggs, flour, and refined sugar, but these brownies have none of this stuff and instead are packed full of fibre and vegetable protein.

The beetroot and chickpeas give the brownies a squishy texture even after they’ve been baked, and because there is no dairy or eggs, they will keep for up to 5 days in a dry sealed container. Let’s not fool ourselves here though, they’re not going to last that long. Read More

05 Mar

Accidental Lower Fat Brownie Recipe

I’ve had to test a lot of brownies in the past few weeks as I tried to refine some new recipes. To cut a long story short I ended up making a lower fat brownie mixture by accident. Little did I know how much of a hit the lower fat brownie would be!

I don’t know what it is but the cold weather we’ve been having lately has brought on the urge to bake up sweet treats. It helps when I have fantastic ingredients to work with. Just before Christmas Lily O’Brien’s got in touch and asked would I like to try out baking with their chocolate buttons which come in large bags. Let me tell you those bags are HUGE.

Read More

05 Dec

Chewy Chocolate Cookies Recipe

We have a healthy eating policy on our school which normally means that chocolate is banned from the school grounds in any form. No matter how healthy it might be,  it’s still banned from the school. It’s easier than to ban the lot than to police all the variants in the lunchboxes and I completely agree with this.

There’s one exception to the chocolate ban however, and that’s on bake sale days.

Bake sales happen at least once a school year in the school. They’re an essential way for the school to fundraise for items they might need. I realise that the term might give parents a little bit of dread. Normally I bake a few loaves of my simple homemade brown bread and I’m told they fly out the door, but this year the kids requested chocolate cookies. Read More

30 Sep

Banana Pecan Cake

Once again I found myself with a surplus of rapidly blackening bananas and a need to bake. Actually that’s not quite true. I’ve gotten into the habit of peeling bananas and then popping them into a box in the freezer as soon as they are past their best. Which is working very well in terms of the ripe bananas in the kitchen. However, the box has to be managed so that it doesn’t take over the freezer.

I need space for other items like berries. Gooseberries top and tail marvellously directly from the freezer so there is a wonderful bounty waiting for me to have the time on the right day. There’s also a couple of kilos of raspberries yet to be preserved. As you can guess, there are plenty of berry recipes to appear on the blog in the near future! Read More

14 Mar

Open Apple Pie Recipe

By special request, I’ve collated some of my best apple recipes, along with a new recipe for an open apple pie, in the one spot. This will make it easy for that somebody who has a glut and there are a couple of savoury options as well as sweet.  My big secret with apples is that I use them instead of a sweetener such as sugar or even honey in recipes.  They boost the flavour in a sauce or a soup and I even use the peel to make my jams and marmalades set. It’s no wonder they are one of my favourite seasonal and Irish fruits!

*Cough* It is World Pi Day after all… ;)If you’re wondering what to do with your apples, here are some ideas for you to consider:

Apple Crumble Cake With Cream

Apple Crumble Cake With Cream

Apple BBQ Sauce with Whiskey

Apple BBQ Sauce with Whiskey

Carrot, Apple And Ginger Soup

Carrot, Apple And Ginger Soup

Fake Tinned Spaghetti

Fake Tinned Spaghetti

Quick Apple Crumble

Quick Apple Crumble

Traditional Irish Apple Tart

Traditional Irish Apple Tart

Sausage Rolls with Apple

Sausage Rolls with Apple

toffee apple cake

Toffee Apple Cake

 

Read More

01 Sep

Blueberry Muffins Recipe

As the elder lemon in the family (who is studying for her Leaving Cert this year) started back to school over a week ago, it doesn’t feel like the 1st of September at all. It feels like we are already hurtling through the school year towards Hallowe’en! Still today marked the start of term for many Irish students and I’m back with a recipe for blueberry muffins that all my family love.

Wholemeal flour gives these blueberry muffins a lovely crunchy texture. The blueberries, paired with the crumbly oats on top make for snack perfection. Don’t be limited by blueberries though, use whatever fresh or frozen fruit you have to hand. My kids love these muffins made with over-ripe bananas, which is a great way to use up fruit that might seem past its best. Read More

22 Jul

Homemade Brown Bread

I used to bake soda bread about once a fortnight but we did buy a lot of sliced pans. My hubby was partial to a slice of batch and while I didn’t always eat it, we’d buy about 2 loaves of bread a week. The boys would have sandwiches, and then there was toast with melted butter, which is of course the stuff that food dreams are made of.

I was playing around with Mam’s brown bread recipe (it’s very reliable and you can find it in my cookbook which can be ordered here) and came up with a version which literally takes 5 minutes to throw into a bowl, and stir with a fork, before lashing into the oven. You’ve probably read that and sworn a bit, or even decided not to read any further because you don’t believe me. Honestly, once the ingredients are in the bowl my easy-stir homemade brown bread takes 5 minutes to make. My hands don’t get dirty. I mess up 1 large bowl making it and then I use some baking parchment in the tin so I don’t even have loads of washing up. Here’s the video instructions, and you’ll find the recipe below.
Read More

26 Jun

Lovely Lemon Biscuits

As today is the last day of primary school for 9 whole weeks, classes are allowed to take treats into school. Sweets and chocolate are, as a rule, not allowed in school due to a healthy eating policy. For today though, as it’s a half day, the 6 year old was allowed to choose what treats he wanted to bring in. When I asked him what he’d like for his treat I expected that he’d ask to go to the local shop to pick up some goodies. I was wrong.

Yesterday I got my instructions. He required vanilla biscuits with icing. Except when I went to make the vanilla biscuits I discovered I was all out of vanilla. The horror! I did have a lovely stash of organic lemons though, and I figured that my lovely lemon biscuits would have to make do as a substitute. The warm weather means that room temperature butter and eggs are a dream to work with. In fact I made this cookie dough by hand with a big bowl and a wooden spoon in about 10 minutes. That task would normally take far longer in the depths of winter.

Lovely Lemon Biscuits

Lovely Lemon Biscuits

Read More

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