Tag Archives: cinnamon

Recipe: Super Nutty Snickerdoodle-doos (Gluten-Free)

What sort of word is Snickerdoodle, anyway?  A silly one, that’s what.  And these are silly biscuits.

No, actually, they aren’t all that silly.  In fact, as biscuits go, they are quite responsible.  They are not too sweet, a little bit chewy, and have a nice, nutty, cinnamon sort of taste that begs to be paired with a nice glass of milk.  I don’t actually like walnuts very much, but these biscuits somehow sneak around that, despite being really rather walnutty, and convince me that I want to eat more.  This is perhaps less responsible biscuit behaviour, but then, it is probably unfair to blame the biscuit for the fact that I want to eat it, don’t you think?

The mix of nuts is based purely on how much was left in a bunch of open packets of nuts that I found on my kitchen bench.  I think walnuts, pecans and cashews make a nice mix, and have the sort of dark nutty taste that pairs well with spices (I think of pistachios or almonds as having a lighter nutty taste.  Cashews are somewhere in the middle and could go with either) but the proportions could easily be varied, as could the nuts themselves.


Your Shopping List (or leftovers list, as the case may be)

100 g walnuts
60 g pecans
40 g roasted cashews
1 tbsp cornflour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
100g caster sugar
1 egg
cinnamon sugar to sprinkle

Continue reading

Recipe: Teeny Tiny Chocolate Hazelnut Cupcakes with Spices

I think we all knew it wouldn’t take long before I felt compelled to create a recipe modelled on those fantastic vegetable-based cakes from Red Velvet and Chocolate Heartache (also known as My Favourite Cookbook Ever Ever Ever).

Of course, if one is going to create a recipe full of stealth vegetables and following Harry Seaton’s methods, one must naturally provide a suitable introductory paragraph.  Hmm, let’s see…

This recipe is sophisticated, yet comforting, like the scent of your mother’s Chanel No. 5 perfume as she kisses you on her way out the door.  The chocolate and hazelnut hug you into a Nutella-flavoured embrace, while the cinnamon and ginger wink slyly at you like your favourite babysitter – the one who lets you stay up way too late and watch all the things on TV that you’re not supposed to.

(OK, I have to say that those blurbs are harder to write than they looked. Or at least, they are if you want to keep them G-rated.  The ginger and cinnamon kept on trying to slide the whole thing into some very dubious territory indeed.  Good grief.)

More straightforwardly, let’s just say that these cupcakes are lovely little bites of spicy, chocolatey goodness – far less ferociously hot than my chilli cupcakes, but still gently warming.  Just right for a winter’s night.


Your Shopping List

75g hazelnut meal
50g rice flour
25g cocoa + 20 g for the icing1 tsp ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
70 g caster sugar
1 egg
100 g zucchini, peeled and very finely grated (do this at the last minute)
100 icing sugar
30 ml boiling water
24 roasted hazelnuts, optional Continue reading

Recipe: Fruit Mince Filo Cigars

Last weekend, I was invited to a Yule celebration at the home of one of my friends from work.  It was an amazingly fun evening (I think I could become addicted to the werewolf card game, even though I’m fairly terrible at it), and also notable for the incredible quantities of potatoes and cream that found their way onto the menu.  This is, perhaps, inevitable when the host and half the guests are French, and are, moreover, from places like Normandy and Burgundy, where potatoes and dairy products are pretty big stuff.  (I am informed that they do not believe in vegetables in these regions.  Other than potatoes.)

So we had roast lamb, and we had roast potatoes, and roast sweet potatoes, and we had pommes dauphines and we had gratin dauphinoise. And there was quiche, too.  I decided that *some* sort of non-potato vegetable wouldn’t go astray, so my offering was ratatouille.  (Which, actually, I was a bit nervous about actually calling ratatouille in front of a group of French people, as I have no idea what an authentic ratatouille is like, but apparently it was acceptable).

For dessert, since we clearly had not had enough cream yet, there were crèmes brulées (we got to blow-torch our brulées at the table, which instantly elevates this dinner party to the best one I have ever attended.  Also, possibly, the most dangerous one, since the blow-torch came out after the second glass of wine for most people at the table, and when you consider that many of the guests have a tendency to gesture a lot with their hands, you will understand why this was a little alarming…), and also waffles with nuttella and whipped cream.  I had considered once again taking the high path and bringing something with actual fruit in it, but the whole Yule / Christmas in Winter spirit overwhelmed me, and it was absolutely necessary to bring something involving spices, brandy and fruit mince.

Which is when I thought of these little cigars.

I actually made these for the first time after Christmas last year, when I realised I had a bit of fruit mince leftover from my mince pies, and also some filo pastry leftover from turning my Christmas chook into handheld chicken and pumpkin filo pies, and decided to combine the two.

They were amazing – astonishingly rich on the inside, but with a lovely, light, crisp pastry that made them a delight to bite into.  Also, they are surprisingly easy to make, which is a bonus.  And fantastic when dipped in double cream.  Which is not vegan, but a good cashew cream might actually be even better.

Of course, I had no idea what proportions of anything I’d used, so I figured I’d save the recipe until I had a bit more time.  Which was why I was half an hour late to the dinner party – it turned out that I didn’t, really, have that much time after all…

It was still worth it, though.  And after all those potatoes, a dessert that was low on the whole pastry/cake/pudding side of things and high on the rich, dried fruit side of things wasn’t a bad match at all.

(Though I suspect a fruit salad, while less Christmassy, would have been even better…)


Your Shopping List

1 quantity of Easy Fruit Mince, made with cocoa butter instead of butter for vegan goodness.
1 handful each of dried cherries, chopped dried apricots, and chopped dried figs.

1 packet of filo pastry from the fridge section.  Please, not the freezer section.  I cannot stress this highly enough.  If you buy your filo pastry from the fridge, it will come out as lovely, soft, fine, layers of pastry, like fabric that roll like a dream.  If you buy it from the freezer and defrost it, it will come out like paper.  Old, crackling, crumbling paper.  And it will stick to itself and it will break when you try to unroll it and then you will end up with little flakes of pastry everywhere and nothing to roll your fruit mince in, and you will be very sad and you will wish you had taken my advice.  Which is good advice.  Seriously, get your filo from the fridge, or don’t bother.  I don’t want you to be sad, and I’m sure you don’t want that either.
Olive oil spray

Continue reading

Recipe: Mulled Citrus Juice to Kill a Virus

honeyin2Being sick is very boring.  I spent most of today asleep or dozing as I tried to muster the energy to actually do something. I’m not very good at using sick days to actually rest.  Somehow, my sick days always develop these to-do lists.  Not that I’ve managed to action anything much more elaborate than ‘make breakfast’ and ‘eat lunch’.  ‘Have shower’ is still waiting to happen. 

‘Make lemon drink’ has been an all day project that is now nearing completion.  It’s actually not a long recipe, but there has been a lot of napping in between steps.  ‘Drink lemon drink’ will be the next move.  ‘Write about lemon drink’ is probably a mistake, but I feel guilty when I don’t blog every few days, and surely everyone needs a curative recipe or two in their lives…

Anyway.  I have no idea whether this drink has any curative properties in real life, but it does make me feel better.  This is probably half placebo and half that whole palliative effect of hot drinks on sore throats.  But all that vitamin C and honey and stuff can’t actually hurt, now, can it?

Your Shopping List

2 lemons
1 lime
1 orange
750 ml water (you don’t have to buy this)
1 stick of cinnamon
7 cloves
1 piece of fresh ginger weighing approx 35 g
1 tsp maple sugar or ordinary brown or raw sugar
honey, to taste

Continue reading

Recipe: Plum Crumble with ANZAC tendencies

This recipe came out of a happy conjunction of two things.  The first was the presence of black plums at the Farmers’ Market today, just crying out to be stewed and eaten with love and nostalgia.  The second was, of course, my pantry challenge which has left me completely out of white flour, golden syrup or almond meal, all of which are staples of my various usual crumble toppings (not all together, you understand, but if I can’t do my almondy crumble, I do my golden syrupy one).

I could, I suppose, have been all healthy and used wholemeal flour (something that you will note I’ve managed to totally avoid using during this challenge to date), but I was thinking about my lack of golden syrup and my mind naturally fell to ANZAC biscuits and their coconut-ish flavour.  I could mimic golden syrup somewhat with brown sugar, and of course, I’m still possessed of quite a bit of coconut flour…

The combination was rather divine, actually.  Two childhood treats that go so well together!  But the best part of this whole recipe, I have to tell you, is the *smells*.  The plums simmer gently for an hour or two, until the whole house smells of cinnamon and jam.  The coconut flour hits the warm melted butter and brown sugar and the cook’s nostrils are instantly hit with the most glorious, fresh ANZAC biscuit scent.  And then there’s the smell while it all bakes.

Even if this dessert tasted of cardboard, it would just about be worth making it for the way it makes the kitchen smell.  And it tastes a lot better than that…


Your Shopping List

1 kg plums, any kind, but I do recommend a non-clingstone variety if you can get one
3-4 tablespoons of brown sugar
1 cinnamon stick
50 g butter
50 g brown sugar
50 g coconut flour
150 g rolled oats

Continue reading

Recipe: Roasted Root Vegetables with Sweet Spices, Tahini, and Maple Syrup

closedoneThis is a very simple recipe that can either be served as a side dish or over cous-cous or rice as a meal (though in that case, I’d probably stir in a tin or two of chickpeas ten minutes before the end of cooking).  But simple doesn’t mean ‘non-tasty’, at least not in my book, and this is rather gorgeous – the tahini balances the sweetness of the spices and maple syrup, preventing this from turning into Dessert Vegetables, which would be a bit weird even for me, and I love the way that every bite tastes slightly different – gingery or anisey or cinnamon-laden or sesame-seedish, though I admit, this is probably an artefact of me not mixing things together well enough.  The flavours do all go together beautifully, however.  And the colours are a perfect celebration of autumn!

I admit, there is a fair bit of peeling and chopping involved in this recipe, but it’s also a fairly relaxing recipe to make – you can peel serenely while listening to a CD, and then, when everything is in the oven, you can sit down with a book or pop onto the internet and read a blog post or two while it all bakes.  The oven is doing all the work.

If you happen to have leftovers after this, you can combine them with stock and more chickpeas to make a stunningly flamingo-pink soup, worth eating for the colour alone, but also gorgeously velvety and tasty. 

Your Shopping List

1/2 a butternut pumpkin (mine was moderately sized, but this recipe is fairly approximate, so you decide what you like!)
4 carrots, as many colours as you can find
6 baby beetroots
3 parsnips
2 onions
500 g orange sweet potato

2 tbsp tahini

1/2 cup maple syrup

1/3 cup canola or sunflower oil

2 tsp cinnamon
3 star anises (what is the plural of star anise, anyway?)
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp cumin
a knob of fresh ginger approximately 1 x 2 inches
a good pinch of nutmeg

Continue reading

Recipe: Sydney Road-Inspired Breakfast Granola

pomI was going to call this ‘Middle Eastern-inspired Breakfast Granola’, but let’s face it, the closest I’ve been to the Middle East is in fact the local Turkish shops (of which, admittedly, there are quite a few).  On the other hand, I live in an area where the supermarkets routinely stock pomegranates and rosewater and Persian feta, so there’s certainly something in the idea…

Anyway, this is my Sydney Rd breakfast.  The yoghurt is Greek, the pomegranates, while in this instance from the Farmers’ Market, are Mediterranean or maybe even Iranian, the Pistachios are from the Middle-Eastern grocer, the cinnamon is from one of the Indian-owned spice shops, the sunflower seeds acknowledge the granola-vegan-hippysville that Brunswick is rapidly becoming and the honey?  Well, the honey is from one of the labs at work, which is technically on Sydney Rd, too.  I am reliably informed that it is not radioactive or bioengineered, though I think I saw it fluorescing quietly in the kitchen last night…

All in all, a proper breakfast for my side of town, with the advantages of being quick to make, moderately healthy, very tasty, and, quite accidentally, exactly the right size for two people.  Even if one of them doesn’t eat nuts.  Which is just fine, because I have no problem eating this for breakfast two days running…

Your Shopping List

15 g sunflower seeds (about 30 ml)
25 g pistachios (about 50 ml)
30 g rolled oats (about 70 ml)
25 g honey (about 20 ml)
a big pinch of cinnamon
seeds from half a pomegranate
Greek yoghurt to serve – about 300-350 g for two people.

Continue reading

Anyone Can Cook Vegetarian Food: Sweet Spices, Savoury Suppers

I can’t tell you how much I love April in Melbourne.  By April, we are finally – finally! – past any final vestiges of Summer and into Autumn proper.  And I love Autumn.  I love nights when it’s cold enough to snuggle down under a doona, I love the golden light we get only at this time of year, I love the unpredictable bursts of rain and the sun that is still bright and warm, but no longer scorching.  Along Royal Parade, we have Dutch Elms (one up-side of Australia’s remoteness: no Dutch Elm Disease) glowing in all the best autumnal colours.  And at home?  At home, I want to bake.  And it’s finally cool enough to do so.

But I can bake any time, and, in fact, I do.  That’s sort of ducking the issue, in vegetarian terms.  So this month, we have a savoury challenge with an Autumnal flavour…

The April 2013 theme is Sweet Spices, Savoury Suppers

Let’s bring some warmth into the kitchen this Autumn…



This month’s challenge is a savoury challenge, because I think we all know how to make gingerbread by now (and there is absolutely nothing wrong with good gingerbread, either).  Spices like ginger, star anise, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg and allspice are often thought of as sweet, but also have some truly magnificent savoury uses.

So I’m looking for your favourite supper, lunch or side dish featuring one or more of these gorgeous spices.  Show me your favourite spice (and I don’t mean Posh) in a new light, and see what fabulous combinations others have come up with.

(I have to say, I’m really excited by this challenge)

Incidentally, I know it’s not Autumn for you Northerners, but from everything I’ve heard, Spring is rather late in coming this year, and I imagine a bit of warming spice still holds some appeal…

Challenge rules can be found at the main challenge page! Don’t forget to add your post to the linky below and get the code for your own blog hop once you’re done, and please remember to link back to this page, so that others can find the challenge recipes too.

I can’t wait to see your recipes this month – I just know they are going to spice up my life!

(I really tried to resist, but in the end, I couldn’t help myself.  I so rarely can.)

Recipe: Mole Sauce, or something, with I only wish I knew what it goes with, other than bemusement

tomatilloSo I got these tomatilloes at the market, and a whole big box of peppers and chillis and then I had this black chocolate and I had pumpkin seed meal, and all of this pretty much said ‘Mexican’ to me, but there’s a problem – I really don’t know thing one about Mexican cooking.  I’m sort of aware of flavours that go together, but not how to make them do so, or anything like that.

When in doubt, I roast things, so I did that with the vegetables, and then stared at it all in confusion for a while, before sticking everything in a blender with a bunch of extra spices and  other bits and pieces.  It tasted pretty much as I imagine mole sauce is supposed to taste – spicy and chocolatey and dense – but then I didn’t know what to put it on.  I wound up roasting some zucchini and pumpkin and stirring the mole through that, and then I didn’t know what to put *that* on.  Rice?  Corn chips? Tortillas?  And what about protein?  And – argh.  I don’t know.  I still don’t know.  Something tells me it would be excellent on chicken, which is a fat lot of good to me right now. 

Anyway, I do know that it’s a tasty sauce – fresh-tasting and bitter and chocolatey and aromatic and peppery-hot – so I’m writing it up here just as a sauce, and maybe one of you will be able to figure out what it’s for…

Your Shopping List

6 tomatillos
4 small tomatoes
2 chillis (one red and one green is fun)
3 small round peppers
3 capsicums, assorted colours
5 long frying peppers, also sometimes called sweet chillis, assorted colours
1 bulb garlic
3 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp oregano
50 g pumpkin seed meal, or pumpkin seeds, toasted and then ground
40 g black chocolate – 99% cocoa, so the really bitter stuff – chopped
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp chipotle pepper
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp thyme
salt, to taste

Continue reading

Recipe: Oaty Chocolate Cranberry Biscuits

This recipe is a riff on my favourite choc-chip cookie recipe, with nods to Tessa Kiros’s recipe for choc-chip cranberry cookies and to the cranberry oatmeal cookie mix I get at the markets sometimes.  (It works even better if you don’t totally forget about the oil until you add in the choc chips and cranberries and wonder why the mixture doesn’t stick together, so I recommend actually using all the ingredients in the list.)

This recipe is brought to you by the most beautiful dried cranberries I’ve ever seen, which I found at the greengrocer last week.  They deserved some kind of celebration, and these cookies seemed like the place to start.

They are *so* very yum.  The cranberries are really sour and give these cookies an amazing zing, and cinnamon and oats just make the whole thing cozy, and do I even need to justify the chocolate?  I think not.

(I also like it that I can pretend this recipe is healthy now – it has oats and cranberries, and coconut sugar replacing half the sugar, and everyone knows that dark chocolate has anti-oxidants!  Just pour yourself a glass of milk – dairy or non-dairy, I’m not fussy – and you have a healthy breakfast!  Sort of…)

Your Shopping List

75g butter, softened
60 ml canola oil.  Don’t forget to put this in!
100 g coconut sugar, brown sugar or raw sugar
100 g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 small egg or 1/3 cup smooth tofu
100 g rolled oats
150 g flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp bicarb of soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
90 g dark chocolate (75% cocoa solids or better, and Lindt is good), chopped
90 g dried cranberries

Continue reading