The Art of Giving – Hazelnut Shortbread Kisses with a Nutella Centre

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My good friend Myra and her creative partner, Lamice, are hosting their first exhibition tomorrow at the RAW Natural Born Artist Showcase! I wanted to give them a little gift of encouragement, a physical pat on the back, without actually raising my palm. A generic card or gift voucher is not fitting for this fun and creative duo. I wanted to give them a sweet handmade present and straight to the kitchen I went to create these babies.

Hazelnut Shortbread Kisses with a Nutella Center!

This is a very easy shortbread to make. Only 5 ingredients are required. It only takes 12 minutes in the oven! The shortbread is crumbly and simply melts in your mouth. Waiting for them to cool and resisting not to eat them was hard.  Fresh cookies smell soooo good! And Nutella needs no introduction. I will see you in shortbread and chocolate heaven.

The recipe can be found here at Taste.com.au

Agnes x

PS The recycled egg carton wrapping box fitted the shortbreads well (I am surprised too!). Then I decorated them with a Kikki K love heart note and ribbon from Typo. Pretty, girly, environmentally friendly foodie gift wrapped!

Hazelnut shortbread kisses with a nutella center

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Yellow Squash, Hazelnut and Lemon Muffins with Cream Cheese and Coconut Icing

I just discovered blog “tags”. Yes, I’m super fresh to this WordPress blogging scene.

What happened afterwards surprised me. I #fitness and all of a sudden, my blog is being followed by names like Guns At Gym and Vic the Vegan (names have been changed to protect their identities).

While flattering at first, it is going to be so disappointing when I start #cake #chocolate and #carbs. And NONE of that, I am going to pretend that shredded vegetables taste like pasta, business*. I mean full fat milk type of serious business.

*Side note, if you are not into the healthy eating scene, you wouldn’t be aware that home cooks are now playing dressed up vegetables: zucchini as spaghetti, cauliflower as rice and asparagus as risotto. They are pretty clever and I love my vegetables so I love these ideas. But a zucchini is a zucchini and will NEVER EVER taste like carb loaded spag bol. Respect thy vegetables!

Now I have put that discussion out of the way, I can tell you about the yellow squash and lemon muffins. It’s the sort of recipe a well meaning mother might bake for her children. Be warned, health nuts. It is still loaded with real sugar, real oil and real gluten wheat flour. They taste good, period. They don’t taste like vegetables, period. The yellow squash just keep them super moist and even the day after. Sold.

Healthy yellow squash and lemon muffins with coconut cream cheese icing

 

 

yellow squash and lemon muffins

This recipe was adapted from a version in Coles Magazine.

Ingredients

Vegetable oil spray
1/2 cup of grapeseed oil (or olive oil is ok)
1/2 cup of caster sugar
1 teaspoon of finely grated lemon rind
2 eggs
1 cup of finely grated squash
1/2 cup of hazelnut meal
1 cup of self raising flour
2 tablespoon of milk
125g of cream cheese at room temperature
1/4 cup of icing sugar
1 tablespoon of lemon juice

Method

1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C or 160 degrees C for fan forced oven. Spray a muffin pan with the oil. I used a silicon pan so it’s easily non-stick.

2. Use an electric mixer to beat the oil, sugar and lemon rind in a bowl until light and fluffy. I failed to see my oil mixture become light and fluffy like you would when using butter but it did get sufficiently pale and foamy. Beat in eggs one at a time until just combined.

3. Squeeze excess moisture from the squash. I omitted the really seedy centre part when I was grating.

4. Stir the squash and hazelnut meal into the sugar mixture.  Stir in the flour and milk until just combined.

5. Spoon the mix into the prepared pan and bake for 20 to 25 minutes until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.

6. Cool in pan for 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool. Remember to let it cool in the pan because the muffins are quite crumbly and hard to take out if it’s not sufficiently cooled.

7. Use an electric mixer to beat the cream cheese, icing sugar and lemon juice in a bowl until it is smooth. Spread over the cooled muffins. I added a special touch of organic shaved coconut. The juicy coconutty kind from the farmer’s markets, not the manufactured desiccated coconut from the supermarket.

8. Share with your friends and pretend that they are super healthy!