Monday, September 20, 2010

Baking for nightshift- Crunchy Top Lemon Loaf

Last night was my last night shift of three before I go back for another two tomorrow night. As I slept so badly on Sunday I decided to give up trying to sleep and get up to do some baking to take to work. It's nice to have food in the middle of the night and I think it can be a morale booster for the staff especially when things are hectic in the unit where I work. I ended up making a lemon loaf and my favourite chocolate chip cookie.

The lemon loaf was delicious. The crumb was nice and tight but it was light at the same time. The 'crunchy' top gave it an extra dimension and it was very very easy to bake. Next time I must make two so I can freeze one for later. I think it would be lovely served with some lemon curd (homemade of course) and some softly whipped cream. My camera battery is almost dead so I was lucky enough to get a couple of shots before it died completely. Here are a couple of photos of it...excuse the shadowing but I'm not a technical photographer at all....where is my fabulous arty and amazing photographer friend Michele when I need her....? 

Crunchy Topped Lemon Loaf

115 gm butter
150 gm caster sugar
Zest of two good sized lemons
2 eggs
180 gm plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 c milk
70 gm caster sugar
2 Tbsp lemon juice

Heat the oven to 180 C. Lightly grease a medium sized loaf tin and line with baking paper.
Cream the butter and sugar well then beat in the zest.
Add the eggs one at a time.
Add the sifted dry ingredients mixing it in alternatively with the milk.
Bake 30-40 mins (mine took around 35 mins)
Once it is cooked remove from the oven and leave in the tin. Mix the second measure of caster sugar with the lemon juice and spoon over the still hot loaf.
Cool completely in the tin.

Now to the chocolate chip cookies. I have tried MANY different recipes for these but I always come back to this one. It is a flexible recipe and can be altered in lots of different ways. I have been making this for years now and I no longer remember where I got the recipe from but I have seen many recipes like it so I think it must be a pretty standard recipe. These cookies are not chewy but are more firm. They keep well too and as it makes a lot of dough I have, in the past, rolled half of the mixture into logs and put them into the freezer to slice and bake when I need them. The boys LOVE these biscuits and they are ideal for school lunchboxes or for children to make themselves as they are so easy.

Best Ever Chocolate Chip Cookies

250 gm butter
100 gms sugar
190 gm condensed milk (or 1/2 a can)
350 gm plain flour
4 tsp baking powder
210 gms chocolate chips

Heat the oven to 180 C and line baking trays with baking paper.
Cream the butter, sugar and condensed milk.
Sift flour and baking powder and stir into the mixture (I just use my Kitchen Aid).
Add chocolate chips.
Roll into balls and flatten slightly with a fork.
Bake for around 10 mins depending on the size and thickness of your cookies.


* I sometimes replace a 1/2 c of the flour with cocoa making them double chocolate chippie cookies.
* For these ones I used a mixture of dark, milk and white chocolate buttons cut in half but you can use plain old small chocolate chips.
* You could add nuts, coconut or dried fruit...I only ever do chocolate but hey the option is there to customise these to your taste.
* I wish we could get Heaths toffee bits here as I think they would be lovely in these but I suppose Werther's chopped up might be quite good too.

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