Tuesday, 14 May 2013

White Chocolate and Macadamia Cookies

White Chocolate and Macadamia Cookies

My son came bouncing into the room, he had just returned from a holiday with friends at Byron Bay.
 "I had a great time" he said, "we stayed across from the beach and had pancakes every day for breakfast with bacon and maple syrup.  We also had the best cookies I have ever had, here I brought you one" and promptly gave me a White Chocolate and Macadamia Cookie ceremoniously wrapped in a serviette. 
You can imagine, my heart somersaulted with love - and the cookie was good.

The cookie was so good I had to make my own.
That is, after we had pancakes - well crepes really but don't start me on what is a pancake or pikelet.
This is a much debated subject in our house.   My Other Half is convinced what I call a pancake is actually a pikelet, so I prefer to cook crepes and avoid the whole subject.  

We cooked crepes with crispy bacon rashers and maple syrup, topped with a  little sifted icing sugar -
apparently very Byron Bay.     After shopping for macadamias and white chocolate buttons I managed to contrive some White Chocolate and Macadamia Cookies that were quite good.  In fact they were better than the original cookie after journeying 7 hours in a serviette to reach me.

I made two batches that day, each slightly different but totally acceptable. 
The orange rind helped soften the sweetness of the chocolate.

White Chocolate and Macadamia Cookies
125g butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 teaspoon grated orange rind
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 free range egg
1 1/2 cups plain flour
1 cup white chocolate buttons or pieces
1/3 cup finely chopped macadamias

Beat butter, vanilla essence, orange rind, sugar and egg in a small bowl with electric mixer until smooth.  


Finely chop the macadamia nuts in a food processor 
or mortar and pestle.

Roughly chop the white chocolate buttons in the same food processor or mortar and pestle.

Stir flour, nuts and chocolate into the mixture.  Roll level tablespoons of mixture into balls and place onto greased or baking paper lined baking trays placing them about 5cm apart.   Bake in a preheated moderate oven (180 C) for 15 minutes approximately or until firm and just starting to brown.  Cool on wire racks.

Store in an air tight container when cool.  They will last a week, if they are any remaining by then :D
White Chocolate and Macadamia Cookies -  not just for kids.
Buon appetitio, Merryn.

Monday, 13 May 2013

Turkey Cannelloni

Cannelloni filled with Turkey

When I was 14 years old my best friend's parents decided to move over the border to Queensland.   We did so much together, from catching the bus to school to riding our horses every afternoon that were stabled in the same paddock.  Apart from being devastating it was also quite exciting.
We kept in touch often via phone calls or posted photographs and remained best friends.

 A few months later my mother dutifully put me on the Greyhound bus - at midnight of course - for the journey to visit my girlfriend in Queensland.   I was too excited to sleep - this was such a great adventure and I didn't want to miss a minute of it!   I noticed every bus stop and town along the way, all by streetlight.

The first day there we rode her horses and just enjoyed being together.
On the second day we were going to the newly opened Dreamworld.
I was full of anticipation and could hardly walk my legs were shaking so much.  That was the best day, a country girl riding high on the roller coaster and every fast moving ride on offer.
I have been back many times over the years, taking our children to experience all possible and they too have the love of the roller coaster and upside down rides.

The next day we went driving to Surfer's Paradise.  Strolling around the shops and examining everything in  Ripley's Believe it or Not.  Then we had lunch at a not so little Italian Trattoria which is where I first had Cannelloni.   It's funny how you assimilate food with life experiences, remembering intricate details about what and where you ate at different times.  I can picture the open air Trattoria on the corner and the aroma of that amazing cannelloni.

Turkey breast has 35 calories and 1 gram of fat per 1oz (28gram) 
serving which makes it a healthy non-vegetarian version.

It is super quick to make, is great heated up the next day and excellent to freeze for another time.

Turkey Cannelloni Recipe

Turkey filling:
500g lean turkey breast, minced
2 eggs, beaten
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 large clove garlic, finely chopped
1/2 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

1 bottle Tomato passata, fresh basil leaves and grated mozzarella for topping.

1 x 250gram packet purchased cannelloni shells

Mix all of the turkey filling ingredients together, stirring until well combined.
Place olive oil in 2 large dishes just to coat the bottom.
Take each cannelloni shell and literally stuff the filling into half way with your fingers, then turn over and stuff from the other side.   Place slightly apart on the baking dish to allow tomato passata to drip between each shell.

Pour over the passata straight from the bottle until the shells are just covered.  Place whole fresh basil leaves randomly on top then cover it all with grated mozzarella.

Cover tray with foil and place in 180C oven for 30 minutes.
Remove foil and cook for another 10  minutes until mozzarella is nicely browned.  Remove and serve with a green salad and fresh bread to mop up any tomato juices.

This will make approximately 21 filled cannelloni shells.

This is my modern version of Cannelloni which I hope you enjoy.  You can make it also with half turkey/half pork combination.  I am working at improving my food photography skills but the flavour and aroma are undeniably sensational.

If you have enjoyed my post, kindly comment or recommend it to your friends.  Buon appetito Merryn.