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Saturday, 31 August 2013

A Matter of Taste

Following on from last week I made the sesame peanut crispies.  I'm afraid to report that they were disappointing, failing to evoke any childhood memories and only attained a seven out of ten vote from the family. (Things need to get at least an eight to be repeated). The main disappointment was that they were not crispy! If I had read the recipe properly in advance I would have realised this and completely randomly was reminded of the Benjamin Franklin quote on Thursday at my writer's group - 'By failing to prepare you are preparing to fail'. Maybe that is a little strong in this case. The baking wasn't a complete failure, as you can hopefully see from the picture...

...and if we had been expecting cake we may have not been quite so harsh in our judgement. But as baking and tasting are subjective and you will be expecting soft, squidgy cake rather than crispy biscuits I'll write out the recipe here. On the positive side, the peanut crispies were moist, not too sweet and did keep very well. They were also quite filling too so would make a good addition to a packed lunch or a picnic.

Sesame Peanut Crispies

30ml smooth peanut butter
75g soft brown sugar
few drops of vanilla essence
75g self raising wholemeal flour
50g unsalted peanuts - chopped
15ml sesame seeds
75g margarine
1 egg - beaten
75g porridge oats
100g chopped dates
45 ml milk

Pre-heat oven to 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4. Grease and line 7in/18cm square tin.
Beat the peanut butter, margarine, sugar, egg and vanilla thoroughly until combined.
Stir in the oats and flour, then mix in the dates, nuts and milk to make a firm mixture.
Turn the mixture into the tin and mark with a fork. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and bake for 25-30 minutes until golden and firm.
Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then cut into 12 bars and cool on a wire rack.

As I am wheat intolerant and my daughter is dairy intolerant there were three substitutions - Dove's farm wheat free flour instead of ordinary self-raising, soya milk instead of cow's milk and soya/sunflower spread.

Every cloud has a silver lining and as a result of the peanut crispies not living up to expectations, my daughter decided to do some baking herself. These chocolate pinwheels were delicious and another bonus is that the dough keeps well for 3/4 days in the fridge and for up to 6 months in the freezer, ready to slice and bake as you need.

Chocolate Pinwheels

150g self-raising flour
100g butter/margarine
100g sugar
1 egg yolk
1tsp vanilla essence
1 tbsp. cocoa
2tbsp milk

Place butter and sugar in warmed bowl and whisk together until mixture is pale and fluffy. Add egg yolk and vanilla essence, continue to beat until blended. Incorporate sieved flour and milk. Divide the mixture into two and add cocoa to one half, beating thoroughly. Allow chocolate and vanilla mixtures to rest in the fridge until firm enough to roll out. Roll  to the same size rectangles of about 3mm thickness, on a well floured board. Carefully place vanilla sheet on top of the chocolate and roll up lengthwise as for a Swiss roll. Wrap in foil or waxed paper and chill for several hours or overnight in the fridge. Slice into 6mm slices and bake on an ungreased tray in a hot oven, 400F/200C?Gas mark 6 for 7 minutes.

Sit back, put your feet up and serve with a nice hot mug of tea or coffee. That's what we did, with enough cake/biscuits to last for several days!

Thank-you for reading and I hope you have a good week.

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