Guilt-less Desserts & Treats for your Family
Every winter I declare it’s the ‘Year of the Hat’. The first time I said it was because I bought a cute bowed beret and wanted an excuse to wear it all the time. I figured if I made it an ‘event’ then I could away with my (questionable) fashion choice whenever I wanted to. The problem with making such announcements is that they require consistent follow through; one day of hat wearing does not make for a year long event.
Cue, 3 years later and now no one pays attention to me as we near the beginning of winter and I declare it to be the start of hat season… except this year I actually followed through on my threat. It all started with a cute black floppy hat I bought at Easter time after having Boho envy at the park one day. I saw a woman at the park who had her look down pat; the flowy, paisley skirt teamed with a white shirt and a floppy, yet chic hat. I knew I could never pull the entire outfit off, but I thought maybe I could cope with just the hat.
Then winter came and with it the chilly winds, frosty mornings and cold, cold ears. Ordinarily I love winter because it’s an excuse to wear one of the many (many!) jackets I own but this year the jackets just won’t do up around my belly. So, in order to keep warm and as a bonus be a distraction from my growing belly, I have adopted the beanie look. These are not just any beanies, they are Vogue Beanies (very Sex and the City aren’t I… although I can’t imagine Carrie with a giant homemade pom pom on the back of her head).
If you’ve read my About Me page you’ll know I am a closet 1950’s house wife (minus the apron). I bake (obviously) and I love to sew and crochet. I learnt to crochet at a young age from my Mum and it is a skill that I have developed and used sporadically over the years. I went through a crocheted jewellery phase a few years back, I’ve made numerous scarves, boleros and baby blankets and this year I have donned the ‘Year of the Vogue Hat’. Vogue you ask? Well Vogue Knitting to be exact who, every year, release a special Crochet edition for us one handed hookers (please don’t read that with the wrong intentions!). The Vogue Crochet editions made it cool (ok… acceptable at least) to look at Crochet magazines again. The problem with a lot of craft publications is the photos look like they’ve been taken either on the set of ‘Big Love’ or by your Grandmother. Vogue Crochet looks like a vogue pattern catalogue, which is where I got the instructions for my 2 latest beanies which have not only kept my head warm so far this winter but have single-handedly maintained the ‘Year of the Hat’ status. They are edgy, fashionable (or as close as you can get for a homemade wool project) and they help to hide my growing dark hair roots.
I usually only crochet during winter. There is something warming about holding the balls of wool on your lap which doesn’t feel right during summer. I sew when I want to make something and I bake… well I bake all the time. I was reminded of this today when 3yo S asked why the oven WASN’T on! Sometimes though I require inspiration from a source other than my crazy head. A couple of months ago I put a call out on my Facebook page for suggestions for cookies. I was in a cookie making mood but didn’t really know what to make; thankfully reader Rima did! She suggested a healthier copycat version of the Arnotts classic Kingston.
Arnotts Kingston Biscuits are a coconut and golden syrup flavoured cookie sandwiched together with chocolate ganache; and so are mine! I have developed a Kingston Biscuit that uses almond butter (homemade or bought; other nut/seed battles can be substituted but will alter the taste slightly), coconut and a little bit of golden syrup, or another liquid sweetener. These biscuits actually taste really good just by themselves, but stick them together with some ganache and they will take you back to the time you stole a treat from Grandmas cookie jar.
The cookies are simple to make, as is the chocolate ganache but feel free to use another yummy filler such as Nutella or jam and cream to make a Monte Carlo. They are best eaten within 24 hours of baking (like that will be an issue!) as they can go a little soft over time. The cookies can also be crumbled and mixed with 1/3 cup of melted coconut oil to make a pie base.
- 1 Cup Almond Butter (other nut/seed butters can be used)
- 3 Tablespoons Golden Syrup
- 1 Cup Desicatted Coconut
- 1/2 teaspoon Bi Carb Soda
- 1 Egg
- 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- (The cookies can be filled with Nutella or other flavoured nut spreads)
- 1/3 Cup Coconut Cream (can opened and in fridge overnight; spoon out thickened cream leaving behind watery contents)
- 1 tablespoons Coconut Oil
- 1 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
- 100 grams Chocolate
- 1/4 Cup Coconut Oil
- 1/4 Cup Cocoa
- 1 Tablespoons Maple Syrup
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- Preheat the oven to 175C/350F. Line and grease 2 baking trays.
- Place all the ingredients into a kitchen blender and process until combined. Alternatively, this can be done by hand and a lot of shoulder strength.
- Take 1 Tablespoon of cookie biscuit, roll into a ball and place on the prepared tray. Flatten the ball slightly with your (clean) hand or a spoon. The amount of flattening will determine the size of your biscuit (Kingston’s are classically a smallish biscuit). Allow space between each biscuit for slight spreading. The mixture should make 18 biscuits (9 Kingstons).
- Bake the biscuit for 12-14 minutes (depending on the desired size; thinner cookies will need less time, thicker cookies more). Remove from oven and allow to cool completely on the tray.
- Once cooled, spread the cooled Chocolate Ganache over the bottom side of half the biscuits and top with the other biscuits.
- The Kingston Biscuits are best eaten within 24 hours.
- Break the chocolate into small pieces and place in a heat proof bowl. Add coconut oil and vanilla extract.
- In a saucepan, over medium heat, bring the coconut cream to the boil.
- Pour boiling cream into the chocolate bowl and allow to sit for 5 min, before whisking to combine.
- Allow to cool before using. If ganache cools and hardens, place the heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Whisk gently until the lumps have broken and the ganache is smooth.
- Over a very low heat, melt the coconut oil.
- Add the maple syrup and vanilla and whisk until combined.
- Add the cocoa and whisk until combined and slightly thickened.
- Pour into a dish lined with baking paper and freeze until set (minimum 30 minutes)