Cranberry and White Chocolate Biscuits

Cranberry and White Chocolate Biscuits

Cranberry and White Chocolate Biscuits...yummy!

Cranberry and White Chocolate Biscuits…yummy!

We love these biscuits in our house! There is something so yummy about the combination of white chocolate and cranberry….yummy! I often bake these for cake stalls or make them as gifts. This recipe is reduced in sugar but still tastes great! The cranberries add their own sweetness and a chewy texture.

There is chocolate in here too, if you would rather make these healthier (for the lunch box or other reasons) then substitute with desiccated coconut! (See hints below!)

Ingredients:
125g soft butter
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 egg
2 cups Self Raising Flour
1/2 cup white chocolate chips or melts (substitute with desiccated coconut if you prefer)
3/4 cup dried cranberries

Method:
1. Preheat oven to 170 C

2. In a mixer or with an electric mixer beat the butter, sugar and vanilla

Beat butter, sugar and vanilla until creamy

Beat butter, sugar and vanilla until creamy

3. Beat in the egg

Beat in one egg

Beat in one egg

4. Gently mix in the flour, cranberries and white chocolate.

Gently mix in white choc, cranberries and flour

Gently mix in white choc, cranberries and flour

5. Make level tablespoon sized balls of mixture and place onto a lined tray. (I use my measuring scoop and then a fork to flatten them) Allow a little room for them to rise. Makes approx 28 biscuits

Leave room for spreading!

Leave room for spreading!

6. Bake for 15 to 18 mins or until just starting to brown. Don’t over bake or they will be too dry.

Allow to cool on tray for 5 mins then cool on a wire rack

Allow to cool on tray for 5 mins then cool on a wire rack

These freeze very well!

Hints:
If you want to make Cranberry Coconut biscuits:
Substitute choc for 1/2 cup desiccated coconut. Use less flour, 1 and 1/2 cups will ensure the biscuits are not too dry.

My kids prefer the cranberries chopped up roughly! I guess it spreads them out too!

Blueberry Muffins

Blueberry Muffins

Light and full of blueberries!

Light and full of blueberries!

My recipe is lower in fat and sugar and full of blueberries! Just perfect for the lunch box, after school or when guests pop in! Here is my freezer friendly recipe:

Ingredients:
90g softened butter or dairy free spread
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
2 eggs
2 cups self raising flour (try wholemeal flour or even half white/wholemeal)
3/4 cup milk (soy, almond, rice or other will be fine)
1 cup frozen blueberries. (Or fresh!)

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 180C

2. Using an electric beater or mixer beat butter, sugar and vanilla.

Mix in softened butter, sugar and vanilla

Mix in softened butter, sugar and vanilla

3.Beat in the eggs.

Add in the eggs

Add in the eggs

4. Lightly fold in the flour and milk, don’t over mix.

Carefully fold in the flour

Carefully fold in the flour

5. Add the blueberries and gently stir.

Add in fresh or frozen blueberries

Add in fresh or frozen blueberries

6. Divide mixture between 12 muffin wrappers. (You can also add on a sprinkle of rolled oats now or even a sprinkle of brown sugar if you like)

Makes 12 muffins

Makes 12 muffins

Try adding in some rolled oats.... oaty goodness!

Try adding in some rolled oats…. oaty goodness!

7. Bake for approximately 25 mins.

These will freeze beautifully!

Freezer friendly!

Freezer friendly!

These muffins are delicious just as they are. If you prefer a sweeter muffin, add more sugar or try using brown sugar. Here are a few more ideas for you to try:

More ideas:
Try using raspberries or any other fresh or frozen berries
Add in one grated apple for a more moist muffin
Sprinkle 1/2 cup rolled oats on top of the muffins before you bake
Sprinkle 1/4 cup brown sugar on top of he muffins before you bake
Add in 1/2 white choc bits for something special
Serve with a dollop of cream cheese icing or dust with icing sugar just before serving

These can also be made into patty sized muffins or even mini muffins. You will need to bake these for less time, about 18 mins or so.

Cranberry Weetbix Slice

Cranberry Weetbix Slice

Yummy!

Yummy!

Here’s another weetbix slice that is perfect for lunch boxes! It has been a hit in our house this week, hopefully it will be in yours too! This is not a sweet slice, the icing makes it sweeter for the kids to enjoy it. You can add more sugar if you prefer it. Much healthier than regular slices, lower in fat and lower in sugar…you and the kids will love this one!

Ingredients:
4 finely crushed weetbix or vitabrits (use your processor or bash them in a zip lock bag with a rolling pin!)
3 tablespoons of melted butter (or margarine or dairy free spread)
1 cup plain flour (wholemeal flour works great too!)
1/2 cup desiccated coconut
1/4 cup sugar (caster, raw or brown!)
1 cup dried cranberries/craisins (I chop them up roughly to spread them out)
1/3 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla essence (OR if you prefer a lemon taste… 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. You can also add 1 tablespoon of lemon zest or to your preferred taste!)

Method:
1. Preheat your oven to 180C

2. Add melted butter and vanilla essence to the crushed weetbix and stir well. (If you are using lemon juice and zest add it now)

Mix melted butter with crushed weetbix

Mix melted butter with crushed weetbix

3. Mix in the flour, coconut, sugar and cranberries. Stir well to combine all ingredients.

Mix in the remaining dry ingredients, including cranberries

Mix in the remaining dry ingredients, including cranberries

4. Slowly pour in the water and mix well.

Pour in the water and mix

Pour in the water and mix

5. Firmly press the mixture into a paper lined slice pan. (I use a 18cm x 28cm approx sized pan and allow the paper to hang over the edge to make it easier to lift out!)

Press in using your hands and bake!

Press in using your hands and bake!

6. Bake for 15 mins for a soft chewy slice or about 18 mins for a harder crunchier slice. It will come out soft but will harden as it cools!

7. Stand for 5 mins. While still hot pour on icing (I like to use Lemon icing, recipe below) and sprinkle with extra desiccated coconut. Allow to cool completely in the tin. (You can spread the icing on the whole slice or drizzle half the quantity with a spoon for less icing.)

Lemon icing tastes great in this slice

Lemon icing tastes great in this slice

sprinkle with more coconut!

sprinkle with more coconut!

8. When cool slice into squares and serve. This slice freezes well!

Yummy!

Yummy!

Here are some variations:
Instead of icing, add in half a cup of white chocolate chips or drizzle melted white chocolate on top!
Apricot and coconut slice: substitute the cranberries with chopped dried apricots.
Apple and sultana: substitute the cranberries with Finley chopped apples and sultanas.
Don’t forget my chocolate weetbix slice! You can find the recipe here: http://wp.me/p3wks7-16
(To make this healthier try using coconut oil instead of butter, honey instead of sugar and use wholemeal flour.)

*Lemon Icing Recipe: (mine is a basic one, use your preferred one!)
Combine 1 cup icing sugar, 1 tablespoon melted butter, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and stir well. You may need extra lemon juice, water or milk to mix it to a thick pouring consistency. You can add some zest on top of the coconut too!

Egg and Veggie Pies

I don’t actually know what to call these! They are kind of like quiche but have no pastry, a bit like a slice but I cook them in a muffin tin! No oil, low fat, lots of veges and high in protein! Perfect for the lunch box or even a quick midweek lunch or dinner!

Yummy! So good for you too!

Yummy! So good for you too!

Egg and Veggie Pies

Ingredients:
6 eggs
2 cups of vegetables (I often use 1 grated carrot and 1 grated zucchini) OR (a slice of grated pumpkin and a small tin of corn) You can also use 2 cups of frozen vegetables eg peas, corn and carrots!)
1 cup (approximately!) of diced bacon, chopped ham or a small tin of tuna or salmon
1 cup Self Raising Flour (Wholemeal flour works very well here!) (*You can make this without flour! They won’t rise as much and won’t have a ‘crust’ on the bottom, but the taste will be fine!)
1 cup grated low fat cheese
1 teaspoon minced garlic or 1 finely chopped clove of garlic
Seasoning (salt, pepper and fresh or dry herbs)

Method:
1. Preheat your oven to 200 C

2. In a large bowl whisk eggs, garlic and any seasoning.

Whisk eggs with garlic and any herbs or seasoning to your liking!

Whisk eggs with garlic and any herbs or seasoning to your liking!

3. Fold in vegetables and bacon, ham or tuna.

Add in any combination of vegetables, ham, bacon or tuna

Add in any combination of vegetables, ham, bacon or tuna

4. Lightly mix in the flour (remember you don’t have to use flour! Gluten free flour will work fine to make a crust)

Add in the flour (You may leave it out too!)

Add in the flour (You may leave it out too!)

5. Add in the cheese and mix gently until all combined.

Add in one cup of low fat grated cheese

Add in one cup of low fat grated cheese

6. Pour into a 12 case muffin tin. You can use cupcake wrappers or grease the tins. (I like to use these café style muffin wrappers)

Divide mix between 12 muffin wrappers

Divide mix between 12 muffin wrappers

7. Bake for about 25 mins or until lightly browned on top.
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8. Serve with a salad for dinner or allow to cool and pop into the lunch box…they are delicious hot or cold!

Perfect for the lunch box! High in protein!

Perfect for the lunch box! High in protein!

Home-Baked Chicken Nuggets

Home-Baked Chicken Nuggets

Home baked nuggets are much healthier, more cost effective and much tastier! You can use this recipe to make small nuggets or schnitzel sized dinner portions. You can also shallow fry these (hubby prefers them that way, but since I am watching his weight, he is more than happy to have this healthy version!) The kids will love these!

Healthy home baked chicken nuggets

Healthy home baked chicken nuggets

Ingredients:

2 large Chicken Breasts
Fresh Bread crumbs (Use 6 or so slices of any bread and process them in your food processor/chopper) or store bought bread crumbs are fine too! Multigrain bread works well. You can season this if you like.
4 eggs
2 teaspoons of minced garlic or 2 garlic gloves chopped
Plain flour
Oil for spraying (Any type)
Optional: Salt and Pepper, Paprika, Fresh or dried parsley (or other herbs and spices to taste) You may find kids like the least amount of these!

Method:
1. Preheat your oven to 190˚C

2. Slice the chicken breasts into small sizes. (Nugget shaped or whatever!) Then use a meat mallet to lightly flatten the chicken. (You don’t have to do this, just makes cooking faster)

Give the nuggets a good bash!

Give the nuggets a good bash!

3. Make egg mix: beat eggs. You can leave them as is or add in garlic and any herbs or spices.

Beat your eggs...you can season it with salt and pepper or herbs

Beat your eggs…you can season it with salt and pepper or herbs

4. Set up a station for crumbing! Dip each nugget into flour, then egg wash and finally bread crumbs.

Dip in flour, then egg and finally the crumbs

Dip in flour, then egg and finally the crumbs

5. Lay nuggets on a baking tray lined with paper. Spray each nugget with a spray of oil. (You can be generous with the oil or sparingly for a healthier nugget!)

Lay the nuggets on a tray and spray with oil

Lay the nuggets on a tray and spray with oil

6. Bake for 15 mins. Then turn each nugget over and spray again with oil. Bake for a further 15 mins or until lightly browned.

The more oil you spray on, the more golden your nuggets will be!

The more oil you spray on, the more golden your nuggets will be!

7. Serve with some aioli, tomato sauce or whatever you like!

These are also great for lunches, serve them alone, in sandwiches or wraps!

This is a super fun cooking activity for kids to make!

The kids will love helping you cook these!

The kids will love helping you cook these!

Raspberry Apple Cakes

These cakes are deliciously moist, light and freeze so well. They are lower in fat and sugar, so pop them into the kids’ lunchboxes, have with a cuppa or top them with cream cheese icing or melted white choc for something special!

mmmm...perfect just the way they are!

mmmm…perfect just the way they are!

Ingredients:
90g butter (softened)
1/3 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
2 Tablespoons milk
1 and 1/2 cups Self Raising flour
1 medium sized apple (skin off and grated)
1 cup frozen raspberries (or blueberries or mixed berries)

Topping
1/4 cup rolled oats
(You could also add a few white choc buds on top to make them extra special!)

Method:
1. Preheat oven to 180C

2. Mix butter, sugar, egg, milk and vanilla. (I use my electric mixer for about 2 mins)

Mix butter, eggs, vanilla, sugar and milk

Mix butter, eggs, vanilla, sugar and milk

3. Using a spoon or spatula lightly fold in the grated apple and flour. (Don’t over mix)

Lightly fold in the flour and apple

Lightly fold in the flour and apple

4. Carefully add in frozen berries. (Don’t over mix)

Carefully mix in the berries

Carefully mix in the berries

5. Divide mixture evenly into a 12 cupcake tin. Sprinkle each cupcake with oats.

Sprinkle oats on before you bake

Sprinkle oats on before you bake

6.Bake for 20 minutes or until lightly browned.

These will freeze beautifully. You can serve them as is or…..
Drizzled with melted white choc or a blob of cream cheese icing! (*Cream cheese icing recipe below)

*cream cheese icing: beat 125g of Philly cream cheese with 1/2 cup of caster sugar. You can add some another raspberry on top of each iced cake too!)

Banana and Carrot Cakes

You won’t believe how light and fluffy these cakes are! Best of all lower in fat and sugar. They freeze beautifully and are a great lunch box addition. Or…you can treat yourself to a delicious cake by topping these with cream cheese icing!
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Banana Carrot Cakes

Ingredients:
90g butter (softened)
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 egg
2 large over ripe bananas, mashed. (They are best when they are all spotty, like leopard skin!)
1 large grated carrot (leave the skin on for grating)
1 teaspoon mixed spice
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 and 1/2 cups of self raising flour

Method:
1. Preheat oven to 180C

2. In a mixing bowl mix butter, sugar and egg.
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3. Add in all other Ingredients and mix lightly until all combined.
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4. Divide the mixture into 12 cupcake pans (you can also make about 20 patty cakes)
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5. Bake for about 20 mins or until lightly browned on top.

You can freeze these ready for the lunch box. Pop them into a ziplock bag and into the freezer. Too easy!
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These are not a sweet cake, the banana gives them their own sweetness. (Perfect for the kids’ lunchboxes!)
If you prefer something sweeter you can also add a generous blob of cream cheese frosting for a delicious treat!

My cream cheese frosting recipe here: beat 125g (1/2 block of Philly cheese) with 1/2 cup of caster sugar. Beat until smooth. You can also add in a tablespoon of Lemon juice if you prefer. You won’t be able to freeze with the cream cheese frosting.

You could also use a simple lemon icing, drizzle over the cakes and they will freeze just fine.

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