Cook this: Hazelnut, coconut & dark chocolate biscuits (gluten free, low FODMAPs)

These biscuits are really different, but surprisingly delicious – they’re the sort of gluten free biscuits that you’d eat even if you weren’t gluten intolerant! They are surprisingly light, and I really love the taste that the hazelnut meal gives them. If it’s not for you, any other nut meal will work just as well – almond, cashew, whatever! IMG_2975.JPG You’ll need:
– 100g butter, softened
– 100g caster sugar
– 1 egg, at room temperature
– 1½ cups hazelnut meal
– ½ cup gluten free plain flour (or you regular plain flour if you don’t need it to be gluten free)
– ½ cup shredded coconut, toasted
– 2 tbsp dark chocolate, finely chopped

1. Preheat the oven to 170°C and line a large oven tray with baking paper.

2. Beat the butter and sugar in a bowl with an electric mixer for 3 – 4 minutes, until it becomes noticeably thicker, lighter and creamier. Then, beat in the egg.

3. Fold the nut meal and flour into the creamed mixture with a spoon, followed by the coconut and chocolate. This recipe is incredibly adaptable, so feel free to substitute the coconut and chocolate with anything else you’d like – seeds, chopped dried fruit, chocolate chips, whatever!

4. Roll the mixture into tablespoon sized balls, flattening them slightly when you place them on the tray, and bake 12 – 15 minutes, or until they start to turn golden around the edges. Cool completely on the tray.

Cook this: Peanut butter choc chip cookies


Before I left my husband at home and flew off to Vietnam with my sister, I figured the least I could do was leave him behind with a pile of cookies. Peanut butter + chocolate = happiness. It’s pretty simple, really.

You’re going to need…
– 120g butter, chopped and slightly softened
– ⅓ cup castor sugar
– ⅓ cup brown sugar
– 1 tsp vanilla extract
– 1 large egg, at room temperature
– 1¾ cup self raising flour
– 1 cup chocolate chips
– 100g crunchy peanut butter

And then…
1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C and line an oven tray with non-stick baking paper.

2. Use an electric mixer to beat the butter and sugars for a few minutes, until pale and creamy.

3. Next, beat in the vanilla and egg until completely combined. Note: there are two eggs in my bowl instead of one because I’m a fatty and made a double batch. Also, if you have a dog who is addicted to butter like mine is, they may be hiding under a dish towel waiting for the mixture to spurt out from the bowl. Beware.

4. Sift the flour into the mixture and mix with a spoon to form a thick cookie dough, then stir in the chocolate chips.

5. Lastly, microwave the peanut butter for 30 seconds, then fold it into the cookie dough – you’re aiming more for peanut butter swirls than blending it into the dough completely.

6. Roll tablespoon pieces of dough into balls and flatten them a little, placing them on the tray spaced out a little.

7. Bake them for 12-15min, until they’re just golden. Let them cool on the tray for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

8. Eat. Lots of them. Now.


Cook this: Melbourne Breakfast Tea Cookies


Photograph © Jess Carey 2014

Hi, I’m Jess, and I’m a 28 year old nanna. I bake, I knit, I drink tea, I read books in my big, comfy reading couch under a blanket, snuggled up with my dog. Whatever, I have no shame, it’s awesome.

These cookies came to fruition last night, after going to my favourite tea shop, T2 Tea at lunch time to stock up on my two favourite blends – Melbourne Breakfast Tea, and Madagascan Vanilla (told you I’m a premature nanna). I was thinking to myself, “I probably already drink too much tea (around 3 cups/mugs a day)… but I reaaaaalllly love the flavour… what else can I do with it…?”

Duh, cookies.

Photograph © Jess Carey 2014

I’m gonna be honest – I’m not really a recipe person, even when it comes to sweets. I know my basics, and I usually improvise off that. Here’s my made-it-up-as-I-went-along recipe for Melbourne Breakfast Tea cookies (I’m sure you could really use any loose leaf tea, and in fact I plan to experiment with French Earl Grey and coconut & pineapple green tea next!)!

Ingredients (made 50 small cookies, a little bigger than an Australian 50c coin)
– 100g butter, chopped and softened
– 100g caster sugar
– 1 egg
– 1/2 tsp vanilla extract (should have used more!!)
– 200g plain flour
– 2 tbsp loose leaf tea of choice, finely ground (I used my mortar and pestle and it worked perfectly).

1. Beat the softened butter (soft, NOT melted!) and the caster sugar on medium/high speed with an electric mixer for around 3 – 5min, or until really smooth, lighter in colour and creamy.
2. Add in the egg and vanilla, and keep beating until totally combined and smooth (another minute or so).
3. Sift in the flour and add the ground tea leaves, mix them in with a spoon until a thick dough comes together (you may want to use your hands to really bring it together) – roll that big clump of dough into a ball, wrap it in cling wrap, and sit it in the fridge for 30 minutes.
4. Pre-heat the oven to 170˚C and line a big baking tray (or 2 smaller ones) with non-stick paper.
5. Take the dough out of the fridge and roll it out on a floured board to a thickness you’re happy with (they’re your cookies so make them as thick or thin as you like! Thinner cookies will have a bit more of a crunch to them, thicker ones will have a bit of a softer “bite” which is what I prefer!).
6. Cut cookies out of whatever shape or size you want – I used a shot glass to get little round ones, but obviously you can go with whatever you want.
7. Lay them on the tray (they won’t expand so you can put them fairly close together), and bake for 12 – 15 minutes, or until they are just getting a light golden edge.
8. Let them cool for a few minutes on the tray, then transfer them to a cooling rack.



Photograph © Jess Carey 2014

***Update 22nd April: I emailed the lovely people from T2 Tea, and the very friendly Jacinda emailed me back to thank me for the great feedback and link to my recipe; she also shared a baking tip – said she likes to use tea-infused butter to frost her cupcakes. I thought it might be worth trying this recipe again, this time using the tea to infuse the butter first before putting the cookies together. Basically, I just melted the butter, mixed in the crushed tea leaves, and put in it the fridge for 20 minutes. Then, I just followed the recipe as above!

And holy moly, it worked even better – the flavour was may more intense, it was brilliant!!! Highly recommend trying it this way if you enjoy a strong tea flavour like I do!!!