Saturday, June 13, 2009

Back to Basics

Sometimes the most basic baked goods - in this case, muffins and cookies - are good enough to satisfy cravings for sweet things or satisfy my sudden urge to bake during a busy week.

banana coffee muffins
These muffins are Banana Coffee Muffins, with a sprinkling of oatmeal. The best way to use up spotty, ripe bananas! Initially I was a bit afraid of adding coffee into these (as I don't think coffee goes well with fruit), but I decided to be daring and throw that in. Also because I've been recently obsessed with oatmeal, I added some into the mix and sprinkled some on top - just to pretend that I'm 'health conscious'.

banana coffee muffins
The muffins were delicious piping hot out of the oven with a noticeable, but not overpowering hint of coffee. The oatmeal also added some extra texture - something different from the tender crumb of the muffins.

chocolate vanilla pinwheel shortbread cookies
The Pinwheel Shortbread Cookies were baked for the last day of lessons at school. The recipe is my all time favourite shortbread recipe (see below) that I've used for many many times before with success. They are quite rich and buttery with a slightly crunchy texture. Many of my friends thought they were really cool - some even thought they were store bought!

chocolate vanilla pinwheel shortbread cookies
Banana Coffee Muffins
Adapted from Simply Recipes
Makes 12 muffins

3 ripe bananas, smashed
1/3 cup (75g) melted butter
2/3 cup (120g) sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
2tbsp instant coffee powder, mixed with 2 tbsp hot water
1 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
1 1/2 cup (190g) flour
1oz (30g) oatmeal, plus more for sprinkling

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. With a wooden spoon, mix butter into the mashed bananas in a large mixing bowl.
2. Mix in the sugar, egg, espresso and vanilla.
3.Sprinkle the baking soda and salt over the mixture and mix in.
4. Add the flour, mix until it is just incorporated. Gently mix in the oatmeal.
5. Pour mixture into a prepared muffin tin. Sprinkle more oatmeal on top if desired. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Check for doneness with a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin. If it comes out clean, it's done. Cool on a rack.

These muffin liners are cute, no?

Pinwheel Shortbread Cookies
Adapted from BBC Good Food

Vanilla Dough
160g plain flour
100g salted butter, cold, cut into 1cm cubes
50g sugar
1tsp vanilla essence
1 large egg yolk

Chocolate Dough
140g plain flour
20g cocoa powder
100g salted butter, cold, cut into 1cm cubes
50g sugar
1 large egg yolk

1. Prepare the vanilla dough. Place flour and butter into mixing bowl, rub together until mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs and the butter is completely worked into the flour. Add vanilla and egg yolk, mix together gently until a ball of dough forms. If it is too dry, sprinkle in a few drops of water. Alternatively, place all the butter and flour food processor and pulse together until butter disappears, add the rest of the ingredients and pulse until a dough forms. Wrap dough with cling film and chill whilst you prepare the chocolate dough.
2. Prepare the chocolate dough as above, adding the cocoa in with the flour.
3. Unwrap the vanilla dough and place into a large Ziploc bag. Roll out into a square with uniform thickness. Repeat with the chocolate dough.
4. Place the chocolate dough on top of the vanilla dough and roll up tightly, Swiss-roll style, but gently so you don't deform the log. Chill for 1 hour.
5. Preheat oven to 180C. Line a baking tray with parchment.
6. Remove dough from the fridge. Slice into generous 5mm (1/4 inch) slices and place them slightly apart on baking sheet.
7. Bake for 20 minutes until the biscuits are just turning pale golden around the edges, then transfer to a wire rack to cool. The biscuits will keep fresh for up to one week stored in an airtight tin.

chocolate vanilla pinwheel shortbread cookies

8 Responses to “Back to Basics”

Pei-Lin said...


I do agree sometimes simplicity is the best! Anyhow, thanks for posting the pinwheel cookie recipe! I shall try that out sometime.


Ramya Kiran said...

Wow, these Pinwheel Shortbread Cookies look beautiful and attractive! Bet it would taste great too. Yum yum!!

Jennifer said...

YUMMY!!! great pics!!!

Marie said...

Saw your blog pic on foodgawker, so beautiful and creative! Way to go and keep up the good work! :) Marie- a fellow blogger

Bake with heart said...

lovely! i like the way cookie came out.

Wendy said...

Thank you everyone for the comments!

Jo said...

Love the pinwheel cookies and the pictures are fantastic. I will definitely have to KIV this for my next project.

zarpandit said...

muffin liners is sooooooo cuteeeeee! you are pretty:) it's delicious cookie & muffin !

ps: ı want to muffin liners :DDDD

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