I want to butter you up…

Welcome you your newest obsession. And by yours, I mean mine.

I have very few recipes that I cook more than once, least of all regularly – but this is going on regular rotation; I’ve made it twice this week, and it’s only Friday! As is the case with most of Tosi’s treats I attempt…. I’m kind of losing my shit here. I can’t tell you how much I love this. This recipe is another stroke of Christina Tosi genius (see: Compost Cookies, Sprinkle Birthday Cake). Everything she touches turns to incredibleness and this is no exception.

I’m warning you now, it’s pretty sweet. I’ve given you the recipe as it is, but the second time I made it, I cut it down to 300g of icing sugar because I wanted the tartness of the lime to show through. I can’t believe I’m saying this… But it’s too much sugar. The 300 grams I used was pretty spot on, but if you’re worried, you could use less.

One more note – this is called ooey gooey for a reason. It’s definitely messy, but that’s half the fun!

Strawberry and Lime Ooey Gooey Butter Bars

Adapted from Bakers Royale

1 box of butter cake mix
110g butter, melted
1 egg
Zest on 1 lime
250g/1 punnet strawberries, halved if large
225g cream cheese, softened
Juice of 2 limes
2 eggs
450g icing sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 170*c.

Mix together the cake mix, melted butter, lime zest and 1 egg until thoroughly combined. Press into a brownie tin, lined with baking paper. Pour the strawberries over the cake mix in an even layer.

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Mix together the remaining eggs, cream cheese, sugar, lime juice and vanilla until smooth. Pour the mixture over the top of the strawberries and cake mix, and tap gently on the bench to level.

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Bake for 30 minutes, or until the edges are golden and the center still shakes what it’s mama gave it.

Leave to cool in the pan (seriously – don’t take it out, it will fall apart). If you want a clean cut, it helps to freeze for 30 minutes.

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We will remember them.

I’m not really one for your major public holidays.

I’m vocal about my Christmas unease. Easter isn’t much better. Australia Day irks me, because frankly I know too many vocal bogans, although I love my country. I don’t know anyone who understands what Labour Day is about.

But ANZAC Day. ANZAC Day is my day of days, the one that I revere above all else.

Udy004-Roy Udy

Let me introduce you to this guy. His name is Roy Udy, and he’s my great grandfather. He fought in North Africa in World War Two, leaving behind my grandmother and her 3 younger siblings to care for themselves. He died when I was 9; sadly his stories went with him. So instead, I learned for myself. Shelves of books, Hitler History Channel, museums, pretty much anything I could get my hands on.

I get up in the dead of the night, make coffee, rug up and join the masses that attend Dawn Service in Kings Park. It’s cold, dark, crowded and incredible. You’d be surprised just how silent 40, 000 people can be. The energy in the air is so thick, you could cut it with a knife. But you have to be there to truly understand.

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Everyone has an ANZAC biscuit recipe. Maybe your grandmother gave it to you, or hers before her. Because of that, I won’t give you another. What we have here, is all the flavours of those biscuits, but in cake form. I imagine it would be a great pre-service snack, so that your rumbling tummy doesn’t break the silence of the Last Post.

Lest we forget.

ANZAC tray cake

Adapted from The Bake Project

125g butter
1/2 cup golden syrup
1 cup milk
2 eggs
1/2 cup shredded coconut
2 cups self raising flour
1/4 cup caster sugar

Crumble
1/2 cup porridge oats
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, room temperature, diced
1 cup plain flour

Preheat oven to 180C. Line a brownie tray (or cake tin, if you prefer) with baking paper.

In a small saucepan over low heat, melt together the butter and golden syrup. Stir together the flour, sugar, milk, eggs and coconut. Add the syrup mixture, and fold until combined. Pour into the prepared cake tin.

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In a smaller bowl, combine the flour, oats, and brown sugar. Smush the butter into the flour mixture with your fingers, until a crumble mixture is formed.

Place the crumb over the cake mixture evenly. 

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Bake for 40 minutes, until golden. Cool on a wire rack.

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This would be exceptional with custard. though, to be fair, I love custard with everything.

Old school

Canteen. Tuck shop. Cafeteria. School lunches hold a
special place in our hearts, for better or worse. I had the
pleasure of growing up pre-food revolution, so my school canteens
were stocked with chicken rolls, noodle cups, vegemite cheesies
(which are still a comfort food of mine to this day) and packet
soups in winter. The only thing better than vegemite cheesies, is
the treats section. Vanilla slice. Yogos. Little Petit Miam
tubs?Mars Bar slice. Anzac biscuits. My highschool made the best
hedgehog slice I’ve ever had, and I’m too scared to try them
anywhere else, least it doesn’t live up to my expectations. What’s
missing from this list? ONLY THE MOST IMPORTANT OF ALL. Caramel
slice is a classic, the kind of thing that’s met with very confused
faces should you admit to never having tried it. There may even be
claims of being denied caramel slice being akin to child abuse.
Don’t be offended, it’s just really that good. I made this for my
friend Jan’s birthday recently. He explained
that he loved it, but hadn’t had a good one in some time. It’s
everything you remember.

Caramel & Ginger
Slice

From Cuisine Magazine Base 1 cup
shredded coconut 190g unsalted butter, melted 1 and 2/3 cup plain
flour 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed 75g crystallised ginger, finely
chopped
Preheat the oven to 180*. Gently toast the
coconut in a dry frying pan until lightly golden. Combine the
butter, brown sugar and flour in a bowl, then add the coconut. Line
a slice tray with baking paper, then press the mixture the bottom
of the pan. Bake for 15 minutes until golden. IMG_6640 Sprinkle with crystallised
ginger, then set aside to cool.
Caramel 395g can sweetened condensed
milk 2 tbsp golden syrup 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed 75g unsalted
butter, chopped 3 tsp ground ginger Put all the ingredients into a
small saucepan, and over low heat, cook,
stirring continuously so it doesn’t burn. Pour the
caramel over the base and then bake for a further 15 minutes or so,
until the caramel bubbles. IMG_6643 Remove from the oven and
leave to cool. Ganache 1/2 cup cream
1/2 cup dark chocolate, chopped Bring a saucepan of water to a
simmer, then place a heatproof bowl with the cream and chocolate
over the top. Stir the two together until smooth and glossy. Spread
the ganache over the cool caramel, then put in the fridge for at
least an hour to set. Cut into squares before serving. IMG_6650 IMG_6645 If you’re not ginger
inclined, you can leave it out entirely. Another option is to
sprinkle flaked sea salt over the caramel before you put in the
oven for a shot of salted caramel goodness. Oh. This weekend? Northbridge O-Day. It looks fantastic,
there are activities and fun and snacks. You should go, take your
friends and kids!

A, B, C. Easy as br-own-nie.

Searching for the perfect brownie recipe is like the search for The Holy Grail. The delicate balance of fudgey and chewy; whether or not to add nuts; levels of chocolateness? Brownies are a business fraught with difficult decisions. You could be forgiven for throwing your hands up in the air and making something that comes out of a box.

But wait!

These brownies are not much more complicated than box mix and are made special by the addition of smushed up Oreos. This recipe is great for beginners (I even had it tested by one – great for kids), or when you’re a little short on time. Brownies were one of the first things I learnt to master because of their flexibility. The perfect place to start for someone just stepping into the kitchen.

Cookies and cream ice cream is hands down my favourite ice cream. In my head, you can’t go wrong with it. It’s creamy. It has chocolate biscuity goodness. There is no flaw here. Except for when you are so consumed in the creamy biscuity goodness that you absent-mindedly eat an entire tub while watching a marathon of Game of Thrones.
What?

Just putting it out there, Oreos make everything better. Fact.

Cookies and Cream Brownies

From What’s Gaby Cooking

Ingredients

10 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
1 1/4 cups caster sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1/2 cup plain flour
1/4 cup chocolate chips
15 oreo cookies, crushed

1) Heat the oven to 180*c. Line a slice tray with baking paper and set aside. Melt the butter in a saucepan. In a bowl, mix the sugar and cocoa powder and add the slightly cooled butter.

2) Add vanilla, eggs and salt, stirring until combined. Add the flour, chocolate chips and half the crushed oreos and mix until incorporated.

3) Press the batter into the slice tin, and sprinkle the remaining oreos on the top.

4) Bake in the pre-heated oven for about 25-30 minutes. Allow to cool on a wire rack. Cut into squares and serve.

Write this down, you may be quizzed later.

Everyone has their own rules to get by with in life.
Look both ways before crossing the street.
Wait an hour after eating before swimming.
Be nice to nerds. Chances are you’ll end up working for one.
Don’t pat animals with sneaky eyes  (that one has saved me more than once. Thanks Billy Connolly!)
One of my own rules is always be nice to the receptionist.

One upon a time, in a galaxy far, far away; I was an administration assistant. It was a job that I reveled in; my first real job outside of high school. Even though a large part of my job description was stuffing envelopes, I loved it.
I learned many things in that job.
For example, always follow the account managers on a night out, they always foot the bill. Always have a chocolate stash in your drawers; it comes in handy when someone needs a fix at 3pm (and someone always needs a fix). Learn the names of the new staff, it makes them less nervous on their first day. The wonders of a corporate gifts at Christmas. It was a magical time.
I also learnt that, while one may be ‘just a receptionist’, there is much power wielded in that role.
The company sales reps who didn’t remember to bring Krispy Kreme doughnuts got put on the dreaded red eye flight home. When people need sneaky favours, information or someone to cover for them, you’re the first place they come.

Now that I am no longer in that role, I still make it a rule to be good to the admin team. Not only are they lovely girls, but they are rarely thanked for the job that they do.

I made these for the girls in my office for Friday afternoon tea, as a way of saying thanks ladies x
The result is a gorgeously chewy slice that will be a crowd favourite for ages to come.

Salted Caramel Cookie Bars

From Two Peas and Their Pod

ingredients:

2 1/8 cups plain flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon bicarb soda
135g butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups chocolate chips
280g caramel squares, unwrapped
3 tablespoons heavy cream
Sea salt, for sprinkling over caramel and bars

1. Preheat oven to 160*c. Line a slice pan with baking paper.

2. Mix together flour, bicarb soda and salt in a bowl.

3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix the melted butter and sugar together. Add the egg, egg yolk and vanilla until thoroughly combined and smooth Slowly add the flour mix, until just incorporated. Mix in the chocolate chips.

4. Combine the caramels and cream in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave for about 2 minutes, stirring every 20 seconds.

5. Press half of the cookie mixture into the slice pan. Pour caramel (don’t let it cool) over the top. Sprinkle generously with sea salt.

Carefully smooth the second half of the cookie mix over the caramel.

6.Bake until the top s golden brown, around 30 minutes. Allow bars to cool on a wire rack before cutting.