Wishing it was Spring Streusel Bars


 Prep Time : 30 Minutes | Cook Time : 30 Minutes | Total Time : 2 hours | Difficulty : Easy

Hello my lovelies! The greyness continues. So we reach for flavours that make us think of sunny days. Lemon. Coconut. These bars take a little time but it’s all easy work done by hand. Pottering in the warm haven of the kitchen. I adapted this recipe from one of the lovely birthday books my snug bug gave me – Classic German Baking by Luisa Weiss. Most of the recipes feature a lot less sugar that we are used to. I have added a little more here but it only brings the total to 5 tablespoons (!) for the base and streusel. And it’s more than enough. The base for these bars is more in a cookie style rather than a lofty shortcake. Buttery shortcrust base. Gooey tangy curd. Crunchy aromatic streusel. All good things. Use a store-bought or home made curd as you wish! Then close your eyes and think of palm trees…

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{Peach + Ginger} Meringue Pie Shortcake


 Prep Time : 30 Minutes | Cook Time : 10 + 30 Minutes | Total Time : 2 Hours | Difficulty : Moderate

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Hello my lovelies! We’re mixing things up here today. These bars are kinda like pie. Kinda like shortcake. But better. Faster and easier than pie. Fancier than shortcake. This is a base recipe that you can adapt to whatever jam or fruit curd you have on hand. I made a Peach and Ginger Jam just last week that I have been itching to use. I have included a separate printable to make the jam if you want to. The recipe makes enough for these bars and maybe an extra bit for a piece of toast.  If you make the jam add an extra 30 minutes to the prep time and put the jam in the fridge to set up while you work on the other layers. Kiwis may recognise a relative of Louise Cake here. I have made the meringue much more pillowy than is traditional. And coconut is optional. Depending on your flavours it may add or subtract. Use your judgement. I trust you.

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Blueberry Shortcake Crumble Bars


 Prep Time : 10 + 15 Minutes | Cook Time : 45 Minutes | Total Time : 2 hours | Difficulty : Easy

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We are optimistically pretending that summer still exists. Blueberry and lemon. A bright joyful pairing. Sunny, sweet and satisfying. These shortcake bars are tender, buttery optimism. Apply to face. Who needs a tan anyway. I am still using up my stash of blueberries snaffled from my parents’ place. Thanks Mum! These bars are easy to make and even easier to eat. There is a bit of faffing around but it’s worth it. It is a little tricky to tell when they’re done – just press in the centre with your finger – if they still feel squishy give them a bit more time.

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Black Forest Cheesecake Bars


 Prep Time : 20 Minutes | Cook Time : 10 + 40 Minutes | Total Time : 3 hours | Difficulty : Easy

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Hello my lovelies! I am going through a preserving phase at the moment. One of the first things I made was a cherry jam and I have been looking for ways to use it. There’s only so much toast a girl can eat. And I eat a lot of toast. I had a friend over for dinner on Monday so I put my thinking cap on and came up with these bars. They came perfectly. I think I have my new go-to cheesecake bar. Ready for umpteen flavour variations. Cheesecake for life. This also falls squarely into my goal to eat more things I made myself this year. I had half a batch of homemade graham crackers that found a home here alongside the jam. It’s absurdly satisfying. Like I’m cheating or something. You should make the graham crackers by the way. Alice Medrich is a queen. I am going to adapt them into a low sugar snacking cookie sometime soon. Focus, we’re talking about cheesecake today! To avoid a lumpy filling it’s important that all your ingredients are at room temperature, especially the cream cheese. If you need to warm ingredients in a hurry, place the sealed packages in warm water 10 to 15 minutes.

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Gluten Free Keffir Lime + Chili Chocolate Truffle Cake


 Prep Time : 15 Minutes | Cook Time : 25 Minutes | Total Time : 1 hour | Difficulty : Easy

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Hello my lovelies! I know it feels early  with daylight savings and all, but you can always make yourself an ultra-rewarding chocolate hit in almost no time at all so life can’t be that bad. It’s been a very chocolate filled week. After recipe testing this bad boy and our annual trip to the Amora Hotel Chocolate Buffet for dinner the other night I am probably at peak chocolate saturation, medically speaking…

You guys, this cake is amazing. It is incidentally gluten free, but mostly just delicious. It is adapted from one of my favourite books Flavour Flours by Alice Medrich. If you are gluten free, or just like to experiment with different flours it is fabulous. This recipe utilises two of my favourite baking concepts. Rebranding and things-that-look-fancy-but-are-actually-super-easy. The astute among you may realise that you are essentially making a large round brownie. But now that it’s round and you’re serving it slightly warm in wedges it’s a truffle cake. Bam. Regardless of whether you are on board with that concept, you will still be making some of the most amazing tasting brownies ever.

The second important takeaway is that asian supermarkets and stores are your friend. For more than just things  you need to make dinner. Any of the asian supermarkets I have gone to here have gochugaru or korean chili flakes. Try to get one that is made by sun-drying the chili if you can for the best flavour. I absolutely love gochugaru and I use it everywhere. It is less hot and more flavourful than regular western chili powder and adds a lot of fruitiness. I also learned that indian stores have an insane range of alternative flours at really reasonable prices. In NZ it is slowly getting easier to buy alternative flours in supermarkets, but most still require a trip to a health or organic store where they can be eye-wateringly expensive.

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Pistachio + Apricot Muesli Bars


 Prep Time : 15 Minutes | Cook Time : 5 Minutes | Total Time : 30 Minutes | Difficulty : Easy

Pistachio + Apricot Muesli Bars

If you read this blog regularly you may get the impression that I spend 97.3% of my waking hours snacking. While this is not quite the case, I am a big fan of the snack. In particular I am a fan of having healthier home made snack options around to keep you fuelled throughout the day. Today’s recipe is a very loose adaptation of a couple of recipes that uses one of my favourite ingredients at the moment – malt syrup. Many of you may remember being fed spoons of it as children, but it’s malty, not-too-sweet flavour is great in baking. I did experiment in making these using coconut oil instead of butter to try and eliminate dairy altogether. The ‘caramel’ wouldn’t come together properly and the oil just floated on top. In the end I gave up and went back to butter. With less than a teaspoon per bar, there’s probably more on a slice of toast and it’s not worth sweating over. These bars are easy to make, just make sure you are paying attention while cooking the goo!

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Honey Crunch


 Prep Time : 10 Minutes | Cook Time : 4 Minutes | Total Time : 30 Minutes | Difficulty : Easy

Honey Crunch

There’s more to rice bubbles than Rice Krispie Treats and Honey Crunch is proof! Sweet and trashy just like it’s American cousin, Honey Crunch swaps chewy for addictively crisp honey flavoured toffee. And with just 5 ingredients and less than 5 minutes cooking time what’s not to like?  I have been making this for years using this recipe (minus the vanilla) exactly as my Nannie told it to me over the phone when I was like 12. I’m not sure why it’s taken me so long to make it for you guys! As you can see from the picture you can press it out into whatever tin you want and cut it into whatever shapes you want. Dress it up with sliced almonds and coconut. Dip in chocolate. Colour it and make awesome Halloween gravestones or Frankenstein’s Monsters. Need cheering up? Add sprinkles just before pressing into the tin.

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