As we’re nearing Easter, I’m feeling in the mood for more sweet treats. If you follow me on Instagram and have noticed the recent increase in dessert photos, that’s the reason why. All in moderation of course! Which is why slices like these Canadian Nanaimo Bars are great- particularly for sharing!
I first had a taste of these delicious bars from a Canadian colleague a couple of years ago. It is essentially a coconutty chocolate biscuit base, topped with a creamy custard buttercream and then a layer of smooth chocolate ganache. And it’s not hard to see why it was a hit within our office!
They don’t get much press here in Sydney, but in Canada Nanaimo Bars are a very classic Canadian dessert. There’s even a Nanaimo Bar trail for those who are keen on trying all the different varieties! If I ever do find myself in Canada, I’d love to try the real deal, but in the meantime, it is simple enough for me to make at home too. The base recipe uses biscuit crumbs, so when I made a batch of cookies and wasn’t happy with the texture, this was the perfect excuse to blitz them into crumbs and make something even better!
I haven’t been baking much recently.
There’s always a excuse reason of course, and this time, though it may sound stupid, is that there’s not enough space in the fridge and freezer. Too many boxes of half eaten ice cream, fruits and other random things in there so that making a cake, especially an ice cream one (which is at the top of my ‘to bake’ list at the moment) out of the question.
With the first semester of my master’s course done and dusted, I’ve been quite lazy over the first couple of days of the holidays, not quite sure where to begin on my list of things to bake (which is quite extensive seeing as it’s accumulated over the past three months!). Although it was a semester of long hours and hard work, it was the first time I actually enjoyed what I was learning and didn’t mind too much waking up early before the sun was up to get to class.
Despite numerous classes learning about nutrition and food science, I can’t say that I know nearly as much about food as I probably should, but one thing that has come out of all those classes is my motivation to try some foods/recipes that are somewhat healthier 🙂
Easter came and went in a flash, and to be honest, I don’t really recall doing much this past week! It’s not really much of a celebration for me, it’s more of an excuse to eat more chocolate and to laze about for a week or so, but I always feel somewhat unaccomplished if I don’t do anything notable since it just passes so quickly!
To balance the unhealthiness of all these Easter eggs and desserts I’m making during this week off uni, I spent the last couple of weeks experimenting with some (somewhat) ‘healthier’ recipes for snacks which I could bring to uni. My favourite so far are these granola cookies, which are like choc chip cookies, except healthier, with the addition of oats and almonds (and it only uses a small amount of oil!)- and they taste pretty good too!
My first ever cookbook, happened to be titled “My First Cookbook”
I’d picked it up at a school fete for around 20c, as you do at your first school fete in Year 1, for no particular reason. It was a bit shabby, but I liked its illustrations (there were no photos in this cookbook, only drawings!) and it served me well during my primary school life. Well, it taught me to make scrambled eggs to survive those early Sunday mornings when my parents woke up 3 hours after me, and gave me plenty of inspiration back before I found baking as enjoyable as I do now 🙂
I was quite confused however, when I decided to progress from my kid’s cookbooks to ‘adult’ ones, and realised that apart from the lack of illustrations, colour and smaller font size, there wasn’t much of a difference at all. If anything, the recipes were even easier than those I’d been looking at in my kid’s cookbooks!
This triple choc chip cookie recipe is from another one of my kid’s cookbooks I’ve had since I was little and has long been a favourite of mine- it’s ridiculously easy to put together, and tastes absolutely amazing!! I like my cookies to be light and crispy, with a texture more towards the packaged type than your typical ‘homemade’ cookies, and these are just right! 🙂
Triple Choc Chip Cookies
Recipe from Best of Kid’s Cooking
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup oil
1 Tbsp cocoa powder
2/3 cup self raising flour
1/2 cup plain flour
1/3 cup chocolate chips (I usually go a bit over to ~1/2 cup)
60g white chocolate, chopped
- Turn oven to 180degC. Lightly grease 2 biscuit trays.
- Put sugar, egg and oil in a bowl. Mix well.
- Sift cocoa and flours intro bowl. Mix gently.
- Add chocolates and mix through gently. Depending on how much chocolate you put in and the size of your chocolates, it might be hard to mix all the chocolate into the dough- I usually just press whatever’s left over into each cookie before baking (i.e. after step 6).
- Knead lightly with hands to make a soft dough
- Make balls by rolling 1 tablespoon of dough
- Put balls on a tray 4cm apart. Bake 1 tray at a time for ~12 minutes, or until cracked and slightly hard (mine usually take longer, but be careful not to overbake or they’ll go hard!)
- Leave on tray for 5 minutes, then cool on wire rack.