Posts Tagged ‘Silver Palate toffee bars’

In my kitchen…

…is a magnificent Fitz & Floyd Ricamo Rooster Jug, reduced from $137 to just $27 during the Peters of Kensington sale.  It sits on a high shelf, crowing over our busy workspace…

In my kitchen…

…are chestnut, leek and duck fat loaves, loosely inspired by a recipe from Dan Lepard’s The Handmade Loaf

In my kitchen…

…is a lovely note from our neighbours Shaun and Michelle.  The new neighbour ware seems to be working; plates are being returned promptly…

In my kitchen…

…are new season President plums, our favourite!  We were so excited to find them at the markets last week that we bought two boxes…

Several kilos of plums and sugar are now macerating in vodka, brandy and Calvados.  Hopefully we’ll be drinking this year’s plum brandy by the end of May…

Pete made fourteen jars of soft-set jam

…and I turned a few plums into a simple tart, using June’s sweet pastry dough, Pete’s jam and sliced fruit…

In my kitchen…

…is a new Exopat silicone baking mat, a gift from my friend David.  He bought it at Chefs’ Warehouse, then figured out it was too large for his oven, so he sent it to me.  I have very generous friends indeed…

In my kitchen…

…is a plate of toffee bars, a simple slice which made for perfect weekend eating…

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Tell me, what’s happening in your kitchen this month?

If you’d like to do an In My Kitchen post on your own blog, please feel free  to use this format, and to leave a comment here linking back to your post.  We’d love to see what’s happening in your kitchen this month!

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Here are this month’s posts…

Sorcha @ xo.sorcha.ox

Shelley @ All Litten Up

Christine @ Invisible Spice

Claire @ Claire K Creations

Rose @ Greening the Rose

Pam @ Grow, Bake, Run

Joanna @ Zeb Bakes

Jane @ The Shady Baker

Sue @ Sous Chef

Misk @ Misk Cooks

Glenda @ Passion Fruit Garden
(brand new blog!!)

Heidi @ Steps on the Journey

Mandy @ The Complete Cook Book

Lizzy @ Bizzy Lizzy’s Good Things

Tandy @ Lavender and Lime

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If you knew what I know about the power of giving, you would not let a single meal pass without sharing it in some way.


We feed a lot of people, because we can.

We send loaves of bread to the neighbours, deliver baked treats to our local shopkeepers, and take chocolates on visits to our family GP.  We routinely bake for the school orchestra, attend Parent-Teacher interviews with brownies wrapped in parchment paper, and arrive with afternoon tea for our favourite stallholders at Flemington Markets.

Perhaps you’ve thought about taking a plate of cookies to work, or offering the local fruiterer a sample of your latest baked wares, but have always been too shy or reserved to actually do it.

If that’s the case, let me encourage you to give it a go this festive season!  Here are five of our favourite recipes to get you started…

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Butterscotch Bars

This is the recipe that started it all – the first universally popular treat that I ever baked.  I reckon I’ve made this recipe a hundred times.  It’s incredibly versatile – perfect for afternoon tea, as a gift for almost every occasion, and it’s a great cake stall item for the school fête.  Come up with your own combination of chocolate and nut add-ins, and make this recipe uniquely yours.

Click here for the recipe

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Toffee Bars

I’ve only recently come back to these after a long hiatus, but since then I’ve baked them three times.  They’re incredibly easy to make, and the ingredients are always on standby in our pantry.  The recipe makes a large number of bars, so there’s plenty to go around.  Use the best dark chocolate you can find, and whatever nuts you have on hand.

Click here for the recipe

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Supernatural Brownies

This Nick Malgieri recipe makes the list because it tastes wonderful, doesn’t require an electric mixer, and best of all, makes a double-sized batch of brownies. I tweaked the original methodology just a little to make these even easier.  They’re super quick too – I once timed myself and found that mixing up the batter took a leisurely 13 minutes and 25 seconds.

Click here for the recipe

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Freezer Shortbread Cookies

One of the earliest recipes we blogged, these shortbread cookies are my mother’s favourites.  The rolls store in the freezer for months, and can be thawed and baked at short notice.  Again, the toppings on the cookies can be varied to suit your personal preference – a couple of my variations are included below.  I’d love to see any new ones you come up with!

Chai Shortbread Cookies…

Chocolate and Ginger Shortbread

Click here for the freezer dough recipe

Click here for the Chocolate and Ginger version

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Little Chocolate Cakes

Like the other four recipes, this one is simple to make, but has the added advantage of being gluten-free.  Within days of the original blog post, our friends Heidi, Joanna and Lisa had whipped these little cakes up in their own kitchens – it’s that kind of recipe.  Dust the tops generously with icing sugar – it always adds a festive touch!

Click here for the recipe

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Sharing the food from our kitchen brings us enormous joy and great satisfaction.

I know most of my fellow bloggers feel the same way, and I’d love to know who you share your culinary creations with.  And thank you to everyone who is still reading this blog after nearly three years – it’s been a pleasure to share our kitchen with all of you too!

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This quick and easy recipe comes from the Silver Palate Cookbook.

I first made it more than twenty years ago, and can still remember the excitement of my then work colleagues when I brought it in for morning tea.  It was very encouraging feedback for a kitchen novice.

The recipe itself is a doddle to make – the only tricky part is spreading the thick batter evenly into the pan, and that’s only because I use parchment paper to save on washing up.  The original recipe says to grease the pan, which would make the dough handling much easier.  I’ve found the simplest method is to spread the mixture out with my hands, and then smooth the top over with a spatula.

The bars are a delicious combination of brown sugar shortbread, chocolate and nuts.  They’ve proven to be as popular now as they were twenty years ago!

  • 250g (1 cup) unsalted butter
  • 210g (1 cup) brown sugar
  • 1 large (59g) egg yolk
  • 300g (2 cups) plain (AP) flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (I used homemade)
  • 340g (12oz) dark chocolate chips (I used Callebaut 811 54%)
  • 90g (1 cup) toasted flaked almonds (original recipe specified coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans)

1.  Preheat oven to 175C/350F or 160C/320F with fan.  Grease a 23cm x 30cm (9″ x 12″) baking pan, or line it with parchment paper.  Don’t worry too much about the pan size – mine was an inch longer (13″) than the recipe recommended, and it was still fine.

2. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar together. Add the egg yolk and vanilla, and mix well.  Finally, beat in the flour until well combined.

3. Spread the batter into the prepared baking pan and bake for 25 minutes.

4. Remove the pan, sprinkle the chocolate chips evenly over the top, then return the pan to the oven for a further 3 to 4 minutes.

5. Remove the pan from the oven and spread the melted chocolate evenly with a spatula.  Scatter the nuts over the surface, and allow to cool completely in the pan (be patient!) before cutting.

Click here for a printable version of this recipe

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