I don’t bake bread often. It’s such a faff, you need the yeast and the strong flour which I never ever seem to finish before their expiry dates. Plus, you have to wait hours to prove and knock back the dough when usually my baking is a spontaneous spur of the moment thing because I’m craving a cookie or a cupcake that I can have whipped up in the space of an hour. But as my parents were out of town, my house is eerily empty and I had a little free time on my hands on a Sunday afternoon, I decided to make some of my favourite Swedish treats, usually saved for Continue reading
What’s the best way to travel when you’re drowning under deadlines in your fourth year of university? I’ve found that Continue reading
August is coming to a close and soon autumn will start creeping upon us. University has already started in the US and I’ve been watching the new freshmen move into their dorms and my roommates into their houses and it’s been painful. I’m counting down the days until Continue reading
So this is awkward… it’s been a while. Want some apology cookies?
I have an explanation. Many stories. A different ‘me’ to present. I’m a changed woman. And cookie queen. Continue reading
It might sound silly, but I just cannot bake bread at all. I’ve tried sourdough, brioche, normal sandwich loaves, and they all failed miserably. I followed the recipes meticulously, but the dough didn’t prove right, or I ended up with a doughy, tasteless mess, despite adding plenty of salt, or cocoa powder to my brioche! I just didn’t know where I was going wrong. So, here comes the revelation, I finally cracked bread dough last night. Admittedly, I used packet mix, BUT I didn’t follow the instructions properly, so it just counts as a shortcut right?? The temptation of making cinnamon rolls, which are the epitome of cinnamon heaven, has been calling me for as long as I’ve been baking. Forever frightened of bread dough though, I cowered away, using puff pastry as a poor substitute. Bread dough was the only way I was going to get fluffy, cinnamony goodness – I was going to have to face my fears.
I have what is close to a slightly unhealthy obsession with reading food blogs and researching recipes. I suppose it is because I am often reluctant to stick rigidly to a recipe, whether it be that I don’t have the ingredients for it, such as Xanthan Gum or Apple Butter (The UK lacks apple butter, and it costs an absolute bomb online, so the idea still of butter from apples mystifies me), or the combinations are boring or samey. I must have read through about 50 ‘revolutionary’ choc chip cookie and brownie recipes, but I’m afraid none of them really stood out to me. My motto? If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Therefore, there is very little that will persuade me to abandon from my staple brownie recipe, no matter how fudgy they are claimed to be!
Mixing up a recipe has to be one of the most fun parts of baking for me. For example, why not mix up an ordinary millionaire’s shortbread by adding some crushed cardamom, or lemon and rosemary (a genuinely nice combo if done right, I promise) to the shortbread, a few granules of sea salt to add some zing to the caramel, or transform the whole recipe into something new, like banoffee or even S’More millionaire’s shortbread! (You can tell I just came up with that idea as I was writing this, that’s how much I think about these things.) You can totally judge me for mixing up a timeless classic, but sometimes I just need to break free from the cliches of baking.
So it’s about 11pm, I’m bashing my head on my desk from manic essay writing and I just need to procrastinate and get away from my desk for a little bit. I flick through some baking blogs, looking frantically for a baking fix, a recipe that I won’t have to run to the shops for. All I could think about to minimise my search was the extremely ripe avocado sitting in my fridge, and a total craving for chocolate. My answer? Chocolate avocado cookies! Crisis averted, and they were kinda healthy, so I could munch on them relatively guilt free while I completed my essay too. Perfect.
I have to admit, I was skeptical of using an avocado in these cookies. Wouldn’t they make them taste funny? How would the batter even work? Avocado is great on a bit of toast sure, but baking with it was a whole new level to me. The avocado was ripe past eating point, kinda the equivalent to a black banana, so I didn’t see any harm in giving these a whirl and saving that poor lone fruit. Plus, it meant a bit of creativity could occur, so of course I added some cinnamon to these too (how could I not) while topping them off with a swipe of nutella just completed them for me. The actual cookies are dairy and egg free, so if you omit the nutella, these are vegan, which is even better!