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My Golden Pear

Wednesday, 27 February 2013


Today is the reveal date for my first entry into the Daring Bakers Challenge.  Sarah from All Our Fingers In The Pie has challenged us to make crisp crackers or flatbreads. Now I don't think I have ever contemplated making my own crackers but this is what I love about taking part in these challenges - it forces you to try something new.
The original recipe that I found uses whole wheat flour but I have read so much about Spelt flour over the last few months that I decided to try it out with these crackers. I chose seeded spelt flour made by Sharpham Park with the added benefit that it is grown in Britain. I couldn't believe how quick and easy it was to make these little biscuits until that is, it came time to rolling out the mixture. It is really difficult to get them thin enough to resemble a store bought cracker so I did some more research on the internet and came across a tip from Smitten Kitchen. Although she hadn't tried it, she suggested using a pasta machine to roll the dough out. I hauled mine out from the back of my cupboard, checked that there was no playdough still stuck to it and gave it a whirl. At first I tried to put all the dough through at once but it was just too messy. After a few failed attempts I tried putting through just enough dough to make one cracker at a time and bingo - perfect thickness every time. 
My first batch of these disappeared before I even had time to photograph them so I would say they are going to be a firm favourite in our household.
My only word of caution is watch them like a hawk when baking. They go from nicely crisp to overdone very, very quickly.


Spelt Crackers

For the printable version - click here

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 18 minutes
Total time: 38 minutes
Yield: 24 crackers (depending on size)
  • 155g seeded spelt flour (or wholewheat flour)
  • 5ml sea salt flakes
  • 2.5ml caster sugar
  • 55g salted butter, cubed
  • 50 - 60ml cold water
Cooking Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 200C.
  2. Add flour, salt, sugar and butter to a food processor and whizz together until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  3. Add water and whizz again until a soft dough is formed.
  4. Remove from food processor and knead gently using some extra flour if needed to form a smooth dough mixture.
  5. Roll out evenly to about 3mm thickness and cut out the shape required.
  6. Place on a baking tray lined with baking paper and place in the oven for approximately 15 - 18 minutes.               

Recipe Adapted from King Arthur Flour and Smitten Kitchen
Written by Angela Darroch

Blog checking lines: Sarah from All Our Fingers in the Pie was our February 2013 Daring Bakers’ host and she challenges us to use our creativity in making our own Crisp Flatbreads and Crackers!

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Thursday, 15 November 2012


On the way to school yesterday my son sent me into panic mode.  "You know it's only 5 weeks until Christmas" he announced.  "No way" was my immediate response but when I gave it some thought I realised he was right.  I have so many things on my 'to do' list (thanks to Pinterest) so without  wasting another day I decided to make a start on my neighbours gifts.  Every year the kids make something to take over to them so I wanted to try these seasonal cookies.  They were very easy and quick to make and will be perfect for the kids to make nearer the time.  I then spent  a lovely couple of hours making up some pretty boxes ready for the kids to package up their gifts.


For the printable version - click here

Prep Time : 20 minutes
Cooking Time : 10 minutes
Total Time : 30 minutes

Yield : 20

  • 150g butter
  • 150g plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 50g ground almonds
  • 50g porridge oats
  • 80g dried cranberries
  • 50g brown sugar
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 100g white chocolate chunks
  • 1 large egg yolk
Cooking Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 C (356 F).
  2. Melt the butter, and allow to cool.
  3. Sift the flour and the bicarbonate of soda into a mixing bowl.
  4. Add the ground almonds, oats, dried fruit, soft brown sugar, caster sugar and the chocolate chunks and mix well.
  5. Mix the cooled melted butter with the egg yolk and pour into the dry ingredients, stirring to combine.
  6. With your hands, form into walnut-sized balls and arrange slightly apart from each other on 2 baking trays.
  7. Using a fork, flatten the biscuits slightly and place in the preheated oven for approximately 10 minutes or until golden.
  8. The cookies will still be soft when you take them out of the oven so allow to cool a little on the trays before transferring them to a wire rack to finish cooling.

Written by : Angela Darroch            

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Sunday, 1 July 2012


Don't you just hate it when a recipe doesn't work? I understand that when it comes to baking you will always have slight variances due to different altitudes, slight differences in ovens, size of pan etc. but sometimes it is just so wrong that you wonder if the recipe was ever made by the author.

Today was one of those days.  I had an hour or so to myself this afternoon and decided to make some crunchies for the biscuit tin.  I turned to one of my favourite cookery books - Home Cooking by Francois Ferreira.  What could go wrong with a simple recipe for crunchies? 

I first looked at the quantity for the dry ingredients and thought it looked far too much for the amount that I wanted to make - 1 kg of oats!!  I decided to halve the quantity and it was still a lot but everyone loves crunchies so I thought it wouldn't be a problem to make a big batch.  As I had halved the dry ingredients I then halved the liquid ingredients.  It was completely wrong - I ended up using 4 times the amount in the recipe book.  How can it be so wrong in a published book - don't they use proof readers?  Anyway - the end result was delicious .  Crunchy and chewy - perfect with a glass of milk. 

Here is Francois Ferreira's much adapted recipe:


Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Total time: 35 minutes

Yield: 30 biscuits

  • 125g butter
  • 200g sugar
  • 15 ml golden syrup
  • 5 ml bicarbonate of soda
  • 80g oats
  • 100g plain flour
  • 50g desiccated coconut
Cooking Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F).
  2. Heat the butter, sugar and syrup in a pot until the butter has melted.
  3. Add the bicarbonate of soda to the hot ingredients.
  4. Place the remaining dry ingredients in a bowl and pour on the hot mixture.
  5. Mix until well combined.
  6. Press into a baking tray (24cm x 34cm).
  7. Bake for 15 - 20 minutes or until golden.
  8. Cut while hot and leave to cool in the tray.

Written by : Angela Darroch       

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Thursday, 24 May 2012


Prep time: 18 minutes
Cook time: 12 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes
Yield: 20 biscuits
  • 125g softened butter
  • 110g caster sugar
  • 1 egg lightly beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 250g plain flour
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¾ tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
For rolling: mix the following two ingredients together in a bowl
  • 3tblsp caster sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
Cooking Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).
  2. Cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl until the mixture is light and fluffy.
  3. Beat in the egg and vanilla extract until well combined.
  4. Sift in the flour, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, baking powder and salt and gently mix together to form a soft dough.
  5. Using your hands, roll the dough into walnut sized balls then roll in the sugar and cinnamon mixture to coat.
  6. Place on a baking tray, space about 3cm apart.
  7. Flatten gently with a fork.
  8. Bake in the oven for 12 minutes, or until they feel firm around the edges.
  9. Allow to stand for a couple of minutes on the baking tray, then carefully transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Written by: Angela Darroch       

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