Tag Archives: home-made

Pumpkin semifreddo and pumpkin snickerdoodles – two baking recipes

8 Nov


So I have come late to the pumpkin party but boy am I an enthusiastic participant!

I have always loved pumpkin but in Australia it is eaten primarily as a savoury dish. I only discovered its use in baking from the many, MANY cooking blogs I follow. You may have noticed I have a recipe for pumpkin pie on my blog [sooo very delicious] but as canned pumpkin isn’t readily available here it means chopping/cooking/mashing pumpkin before you can even contemplate baking with it.

We recently returned from a US holiday, where we visited Disneyland [oh! So much happiness], San Fran [can I please move there?] and Hawaii. I dragged my poor family to every supermarket we passed [and many others that we had to make long-winded detours for] in order to stock up on baking provisions that aren’t available here in Australia. The legendary graham crackers. Pumpkin spice kisses. Hersey bars. And tins of pumpkin.

I couldn’t wait to get home and start baking with my imported loot and the first thing I made was Tartlette’s pumpkin semifreddo. Oh, what a revelation! Silky, creamy, and pumpkiny. Devine. All I did was change some of the spices to mixed spice & increase the cinnamon because I’m all about the cinnamon. Here’s her recipe: http://www.tarteletteblog.com/2009/11/recipe-pumkin-semifreddo-with-side-of.html

Then, as I had leftover pumpkin, I made a batch of Baked By Rachel’s pumpkin snickerdoodles. Without exaggeration I would rate these as some of the best bickies [or cookies, to speak in the parlance] I have ever made. Here’s the original: http://www.bakedbyrachel.com/2012/10/pumpkin-snickerdoodle-cookies/comment-page-1/#comment-94230

I served the two together because – well, why the hell not.


Pumpkin semifreddo


1 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons (25gr) sugar
2 tablespoons water
3 large egg yolks
1/2 cup tinned pumpkin puree
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon mixed spice

Let’s get to it:

Spray a loaf tin with non-stick spray then line with plastic wrap, allowing for overhang.

Using whisk attachment in a stand mixer beat cream to soft peak stage then put in fridge.
Place honey, sugar, and water in heavy saucepan, stir, then bring to a boil over medium heat until it reaches 114C on a candy thermometer.  Remove from heat.

In a clean bowl beat the egg yolks for a few seconds, then slowly but steadily pour in the hot honey mix. Don’t muck around – the honey mix will begin to solidify if you wait.  Whip until the mix is airy and fluffy and incorporated.

Fold one third of chilled cream in, then beat the rest in along with pumpkin and spices.

Gently scrape into loaf tin, cover with plastic wrap and place in freezer overnight.


Pumpkin snickerdoodles


225g butter, diced, at room temp

1 egg

2 ¾ cup plain flour

2 teaspoon baking powder

1 cup caster sugar ( I reduced the original recipe)

¾ cup pumpkin puree

½ teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon mixed spice

½ teaspoon vanilla

sugar mix:

¼ cup caster sugar

2 tablespoon cinnamon

Stir together in small bowl

Let’s get to it:

Grease and line two baking sheets with baking paper.

Cream butter and sugar until fluffy then add egg, vanilla and pumpkin (do not over-mix).

Sift dry ingredients into a medium bowl and add to butter bowl, mixing until everything is combined.

Place in fridge for around an hour, then preheat oven to 180C.

Using your hands make golfball-sized biscuits, then dip into sugar mix.

Place on tray then gently squash down with a fork (I tried skipping this step and they came out too fluffy and big).

Bake 12-ish minutes; allow to cool on tray for a minute then place on wire rack to cool completely.

Brown sugar M&M cookies / biscuits

19 Jun


If in doubt, bake. That’s pretty much my mantra and it applies to all sorts of moods: feeling down? Bake. Stressed? Make some cupcakes. Happy? Turn on the oven and crack out the KitchenAid, coz we’re going to get our bake on.

I can’t remember what mood I was in when I baked these more-ish brown sugar and M&M cookies but I do recall the delicious scent that wafted through the kitchen as they were cooking. And I remember feeling so tempted that I immediately ate one as soon as they were out of the oven [note: hot bickies are hot].

Brown sugar, for those new to the whole caper, add a depthness of flavour that caster [white] sugar can’t. It also sounds much posher, dontcha think?

This is a mash-up of a couple of recipes from the Australian Women’s Weekly weighty tome Bake. Buy it – you’ll love it.



200g butter, diced and at room temperature

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup brown sugar

1 egg

1 ¾ cup plain flour

½ teaspoon bicarb soda

3/4 cup M&Ms


Let’s get to it:

Preheat oven to 170C and grease and line two baking trays with baking paper.

Beat butter, vanilla, sugar and egg in bowl of electric mixer until light and creamy.

Sift in flour and bicarb, stir until mixed then stir in M&Ms.

Roll tablespoons of dough into balls and place on trays about 3cm apart.

Bake 14-ish minutes/until golden, cool on trays.


This is Popcorn, my mini schnauzer, hoping she could sample one. #no

Donna Hay hot cross buns for Easter

16 Mar


hot cross buns - The Hungry Mum

I make a batch of Donna Hay’s hot cross buns every Easter and when eaten fresh from the oven they are heaven on Earth. Like many baked goods they are best the day they are made. You can pop them under the griller after a day or two [if they last that long!].

Continue reading

Home-made Monte Carlo biscuit / cookie recipe

9 Mar


As a child I thought Monte Carlo biscuits were the very height of sophistication. They were the ‘fancy’ bickies that relatives offered when you visited and I used to make the treat last by pulling apart the two halves then scraping the raspberry icing off with my teeth. Oh, yes – so sophisticated. Continue reading

Simple double chocolate biscuits [ugly but delicious]

2 Apr


There is no getting away from the fact that these biscuits are not what you call pretty. They aren’t even plain – they are lock-them-away-in-the-tower unattractive and they aren’t the type of sweet treat you’d see in upmarket eateries. But, if you squint or close your eyes as you take a bite you will understand that they are everything that a biscuit should be: sweet, chocolate-y, satisfying. So let’s remember that old cliche of looks not being important, shall we? This recipe is from Australian Good Taste but as usual, I tweaked it…


3/4 cup brown sugar

3/4 cup caster sugar

150g cubed butter, at room temperature

1 3/4 cup self raising flour

1 egg

150g good chocolate [they use chopped up choc, I grabbed buttons and they worked fine]

2 tablespoons sifted cocoa powder

Dash best vanilla extract [if you only have vanilla essence – skip it! That stuff is evil and a poor imitation].


Preheat oven to 170C and line two large trays with baking powder.

Place both sugars, vanilla and butter in bowl of electric mixer and beat until creamy and changed colour.

Beat in the egg until combined then add flour and cocoa. Keep beating until everything is combined.

Stir in chocolate using a spoon.

Shape into golf ball size blobs and gently flatten.

Bake 12-ish minutes [you may need a fw more minutes depending on your oven].

Cool on wire racks.


Homemade Monte Carlos on a rainy day

2 Feb

So, it has been pouring here for what seems like weeks but is actually only two days. Perfect baking day – to the recipe archive! Homemade Monte Carlos it is and away we go. I hadn’t tried this recipe before and boy was I in for a shock – two of the ingredients weren’t mentioned in the instructions, leaving me to guess where they should be added. These bickies were such a disappointment that I didn’t end up using all the mixture. Once stuck together with luscious berry jam and whipped thickened cream they were a hit with the in-house, under six years food tasters but I won’t be using this recipe again in a hurry.

I had intended to share the recipe here but I wouldn’t want to inflict it on you.

Instead, here’s a pic of the finished product:

Monte Carlos sandwiched with fresh cream & jam

Have you ever had a big baking disappointment?