Posted in Baking Day, Recipes

Cranberry, Macadamia & Chocolate Chip Flapjacks

These are a 5 minute effort that yield great rewards in the form of a delectably chewily satisfying treat.

Choc Covered Flapjack CloseUp_01_opt
While strictly speaking chocolatey, sugary treats shouldn’t feature in a ‘healthy’ lunchbox I’ve been shoving these in and justifying their inclusion with the fruit, nut and oats content.  You will love them and your kids will too.  Feel free to experiment with any nuts, fruit  and seeds you may have in the cupboards and cut out the chocolate if you dare.
Flapjacks in white dish_01_optYou will need:
125g butter
125g brown sugar ( I used light muscovado)
3 tbsp golden syrup
225g porridge oats
100g mix of macadamia nuts and cranberries
100g chocolate chips
100g bar of chocolate (72% +)
Pre-heat the fan oven to 180C
Line a baking dish or tray
Melt the butter, sugar and syrup together in a saucepan over a medium heat
Take the saucepan off the heat and stir in the oats, fruit and nuts
When combined stir in the chocolate chips
Tip the mixture into the lined dish/tray and press down well with the back of a spoon so that it is very compacted together
Bake for 30 minutes
Remove and allow to cool in the dish/tray for ten minutes
Cut into squares while still in the tin and then pour over melted chocolate onto each square if using and leave to cool completely
‘Til next time, Sheila

Posted in Dinner Party

Cranberry, Brie & Bacon Bites

Here we have some more easy to prepare festive nibbles, this time it’s Cranberry, Brie & Bacon Bites.  Again I’m using shop bought (freezer department) ready to use puff pastry sheets.  If you’re having a small,cosy gathering of 4 to 6 people then you could keep the pastry sheet intact and serve this as a tart for a main course with some dressed baby spinach leaves on the side.
Cranberry, Brie & Bacon Tart

The preparation for serving this as a tart is far quicker than if you create individual bites.  All you have to do is score an edge about 2cm in from the sides all the way around the pastry and brush this border with beaten egg.  Fill the tart as for the bites below.
You will need:
Brie Cheese
4 or 5 rashers
1 tbsp olive oil
Cranberry Sauce
Puff Pastry Sheets
Egg (to brush edge of pastry)
Large baking tray or two
Pre-heat the oven to 210C, Gas Mark 6/7
Heat the oil over medium heat in a frying pan.
Chop up the rashers and cook gently for 5-10 minutes. 
Chop up the brie cheese.
Layout the pastry and use a knife to divide it into as many squares as you want.  I got 25 out of each sheet so 5 x 5.
Once you have cut the squares you then have to use your knife to score an inner narrow border around each one.  Like a frame on a picture this is the piece that will puff up nicely around each pastry.
Transfer the pastry squares to the baking tray.
Blob a little cranberry sauce in the centre of each square with a small spoon and spread it out.
Top with a piece of brie and a piece of bacon.
Beat the egg and use a pastry brush to glaze the border of each pastry square.
Bake in the hot oven for 15 to 20 minutes until puffed up and golden.
Cranberry Brie & Bacon Tart Close up

Cranberry, Brie & Bacon Bites
Til next time, Sheila.