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Posts Tagged ‘Chocolate Chip Cookies’

This past Easter weekend was all about family here at Oldfarm.

I had volunteered some months back to take care of my nephew and two nieces…. and in the end it was decided that rather than me stay in Dublin with them, I would bring them here.

That got Easter off to an early start with me travelling up to Dublin on Thursday and spending the evening with my brother and his family.  We went to Soulful Bistro – their neighbourhood hangout – for a lovely dinner.  I loved the quotes that were written on the walls and recesses of this place.

As luck would have it my sister (who lives in L.A.) happened to be in Dublin for a few days, so as Friday was such a glorious day, myself and the two nieces headed off to meet with her.  We wandered into the Battle of Clontarf Event which was still in the ‘being set up’ stage, but we were in time to watch some of the rehearsals of the battle! The nieces did wonder why the event wasn’t being celebrated on Good Friday as that was the actual anniversary???

Battle of Clontarf Rehearsals

Battle of Clontarf Rehearsals

Then rather than suggest a ‘walk’ to a 10 and 11 year old, we went for a beach photoshoot!  The schemes!  It was fun though – and 160+ photos later we’d had a lovely time on Portmarnock beach and had had a walk too! 🙂

Portmarnock Beach

Portmarnock Beach

Next up was lunch in Malahide with Dad, aka Gaga, in Cafe Provence.  Gosh was it busy for a Good Friday – queues out the door!

Finally at 4.30 it was time to get into the car and head to Tipperary.

Fair play to the kids…. they prepared sushi for us for dinner.  Another good plan as I wasn’t sure I had the energy left at this stage to cook dinner.

Sushi

Sushi

Saturday was nominated as baking day…… the 15 year old boy even wanted to get involved in this.  The baking list changed a few times, but final decision was….

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Nutella Cookies with Smarties

Chocolate Brownies with raspberries

Nutella Cookies

Nutella Cookies

Reckon there was a bit of a theme going on there 🙂

I have to admit I’d never had Nutella before…. it was interesting chocolate and nut combination

Easter Sunday was a beautiful day so the girls helped me in the polytunnel planting peas and beans.  Then it was weeding in the garden. While the boy helped Alfie with more manly tasks.

Their parents arrived on Sunday evening in time for dinner.  For the first time this year we were able to sit outside (even if it was with the chiminea lit).  It was just lovely to be able to sit, chill and chat while dinner cooked on the Big Green Egg.

It was also lovely to spend quality time with the nieces and nephew….. there were lots and lots of silly jokes and giggles.

How did you spend your Easter?

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I made the big announcement recently that I had finally mastered the art of cookie making…. well there has been no stopping me since!

And before the rose season is truly over I thought I’d better share this recipe with you.

We have a lovely old-fashioned, heavily perfumed rose that rambles over a wall here at Oldfarm.  It fills the air with it’s fragrance for about a month and then disappears for another year.  Everyone who visits loves it, and invariably goes home with a stem. 🙂

This recipe takes its inspiration from Wild Food Mary’s website, but is made similar to those famous Chocolate Chip Cookies.  Mary recommends using the Rosa Rugosa, but we don’t have that rose and I’ve only seen it in a couple of private gardens.  I thought it might be a bit cheeky to hop over the wall and rob some flowers!

I used our own rose.  Do go and grab a few handful of rose petals before they are totally gone.

Rose Petal Cookies

Rose Petal Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 2 handfuls of rose petals, chopped.
  • 275 g/ 9 oz spelt flour
  • 175 g/6 oz butter
  • 100 g/ 3.5 oz caster sugar.

Method:

Rub the butter into the flour until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs.  Add in the sugar and mix together with your hands until it all binds together.  Add in your chopped rose petals and mix through.

Roll your dough into a cylindrical shape.  Wrap in greaseproof paper and chill in the fridge for a couple of hours.

When you are ready to bake, preheat your oven to 180 deg. C.  Remove the sausage shape from the fridge and cut into 1/2 – 1 cm thick pieces, placing them on a lined baking sheet.  Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes.

Remove from the oven – allow to cool a bit before transferring onto a wire rack.

Put the kettle on and take time to sit down and enjoy!

🙂

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I have finally mastered the art of cookie making!  It has taken a lot of experiments…. usually where I made a complete and utter hames of it!  (That expression just popped into my head there! It was a saying of my Mum’s…. basically making a mess of something!  But doesn’t ‘hames’ sound much better?)

I know those accomplished cookie makers are probably sneering right now… but hey I make the best pastry and I can’t be good at EVERYTHING! 🙂

Anyway back to me and making cookies, or as I would call them, biscuits.  I’ve never had success.

They would sort of splurge all over the place and take forever to cook or be so hard you couldn’t eat them!  But I persevered and won!

Chocolate Chip Cookies

The recipe was adjusted from one in a Woman’s Weekly magazine from a couple of years ago.

Ingredients:

  • 275 g/9 oz spelt flour
  • 175 g/6 oz butter
  • 125 g/4 oz caster sugar
  • 100 g/3 oz chocolate chips – I used Lily O’Brien’s chocolate buttons chopped up

Method:

Put the flour into a bowl and chop your butter in. Mix in the butter until it resembles breadcrumbs.  Next add in your caster sugar and squish/rub the whole lot together until it starts to combine.  Yes, folks, I was making this by hand.

If you are using chocolate buttons, chop them up into the size you like.  Add them to the mixture.

Cut a piece of parchment paper.

Now take your mixture and form it into a sausage shape on the parchment.  Roll it up in the parchment – about 6 cm/2 1/2 inches in diameter, again squish up the ends so it looks like a Christmas cracker.  Place in the fridge.

I left in the fridge for a few hours.

When you are ready heat your oven to 180 deg. C.

Take your sausage roll out of the fridge and cut it into 1 cm/1/2 inch slices and place on parchment lined baking sheet.

Bake in the oven for c 15 – 20 minutes.  Leave to cool on the tray for a bit, before transferring onto a wire rack.

These last at least a week in an airtight tin.  I haven’t tried freezing them – not sure if it would work.

Oh, and by the way, they are best served with home-made ice-cream!

Enjoy 🙂

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We had a few Irish food bloggers here last week.  And what a wonderful afternoon it was!

Nine people who hadn’t met before sitting around for a few hours just talking about food!

It all began when 2 bloggers – Theresa Storey of The Green Apron and I – missed out on attending the Bord Bia event in May.  Caroline Hennessy of Bibliocook took the initiative and thought she would organise a foodies group meeting in the country!  So now there were three!

Next decision was where to meet?

Farmer Alfie and I thought it would be great to meet with people who love food and write about it, but OK let’s be totally honest we also thought it would be a great way to promote our pork too!  So we invited everyone here.

Foodies on tour

On Wednesday last, in glorious sunshine, 9 people – who as I say had never met before – gathered to talk tea, coffee, milk and food.  And that is literally what was discussed – real tea, real coffee, pasteurised or unpasteurised milk and growing, sourcing and eating good food.

Naturally, as Oldfarm is mainly about Pork and Bacon, there was some talk about pigs and of course, a visit to meet them all.

Foodies on tour

Ralph Haslam of Mossfield Cheese joined us for part of the afternoon, as it is the whey from his farm that is fed to the pigs, as well as locally grown barley and vegetables.

Visiting pigs is hungry work, so it was now time to sit down to afternoon tea.  And what a spread that was!

There was Battley Cake from The Green Apron, as well as Chocolate Raspberry Conserve… all that can be said about that is wow!

Bibliocook and Dinner Du Jour had brought two different types of chocolate cookies.

The piece de resistance was the Chocolate Torte brought along by Some Say Cocoa… that was totally amazing!

There were fresh strawberries and cherries from the garden.

Ralph had brought some of his wonderful cheese along.

And there was even some old-fashioned fried bread – home-made soda bread fried in Oldfarm lard!

The table was suitably groaning with all the food!

afternoon tea

Both Caroline from Bibliocook and Gillian from Some Say Cocoa have written about their trip – so just don’t take my word for it – we really did have a lovely afternoon.

It was terrific to meet such nice people, everyone was so relaxed.  It was as if we had known each other forever.  The afternoon finished with plans being made for the next meet up!

Our next event at Oldfarm is a BBQ Course on Saturday, 3rd July, with Chef John Whelan, formerly of Quaglino in London.  Check out John’s blog to see just how much he plans to cover on the day.

It is going to be a really fun and exciting day of barbecuing… hopefully the sun will shine.  But contingencies have been put in place and it will happen no matter what the weather may do!

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