Sweet Saturday: Anzac biscuits

Today’s treat is the delicious anzac biscuit, an eggless coconut and oat cookie.

Here’s the recipe, from All Down Under:

ANZAC Biscuits


125  grams (½ cup) butter
1  tablespoon golden syrup (corn or cane syrup)
1  teaspoon carbonate of soda (baking soda)
2  tablespoons boiling water
150  grams (1cup) flour, plain (flour, all-purpose)
85  grams (1cup) coconut, desiccated
220  grams (1cup) sugar, caster (sugar, granulated)
85  grams (1cup) rolled oats


1. Preheat oven to 160°C (325° F)
2. Combine butter and golden syrup in a saucepan and stir over a low heat until butter melts.
3. Dissolve the carbonate of soda into the boiling water and add to the butter mixture.
4. Sift the flour and add the sugar, coconut, and rolled oats.
5. Stir the butter mixture into the dry ingredients until it forms a stiff dough.
6. Drop small lumps of dough onto a lightly greased baking pan. Press down on each with a fork. Make sure you leave room between the biscuits for them to expand.
7. Bake until golden brown, about 18 – 20 minutes.
Remove the pan from the oven and let the biscuits rest for a minute or two. Then carefully remove the biscuits to wire racks for cooling.

Store in an airtight container. Makes about 36 biscuits.

Our notes – first of all, it made nowhere near 36 cookies, though maybe they just intended for them to be much smaller. But the dough came together quickly and easily, and the final product was delicious!


Beef & Potato Empanadas

This is definitely my most successful recipe this month!  Empanadas are meat-filled pastries, sort of like a Spanish meat pie.  While I made my crust from scratch, you can also use pre-made refrigerated pie crust.  I had tons of leftover filling and ended up using pre-made pie crust to make more empanadas with it.  If you are going to use a pre-made crust, just roll it out like you would any dough, and follow the same steps I used with homemade dough to finish up your empanadas!

Here is my crust recipe from Food Network, and my filling recipe, adapted from The Candid Appetite!

Empanada Dough: (You will probably need to double this recipe to have enough for all the filling)

  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 5 tablespoons vegetable shortening
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine

Directions :
Combine flour, salt, and sugar in a food processor. Cut in shortening, mixture should be sandy. Add the egg and wine, pulse until dough comes together in a ball. The dough should be pliable; if not add more wine.

Assembly: Separate the dough into 3 balls. Roll the first ball out until it is 1/4 inch thick. With a 6-inch round cutter, cut circles out of all the dough. Remove the edges and save for the next roll. Fill each circle with about 2 1/2 tablespoons in the center of the dough.

Dip a small brush in room temperature water, run the brush around the edge of the dough. Close 1 side to the other forming a half moon shape. Close the edges pressing lightly with the back of a fork.

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 3 to 4 yukon gold potatoes, or red (about 1/2 pound), peeled and diced
  • 1 teaspoon granulated onion
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • fresh cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth

Place a large skillet over medium flame. Add the ground beef, and cook, stirring for 5 minutes, until the meat gets browned. Add the onion and garlic and continue to saute until the onions sweat and become translucent. Add the diced red pepper, green bell pepper, and diced potatoes. Cook for another five minutes stirring occasionally.

Season the mixture with the spices.  Mix thoroughly and cook and stir for 5 minutes, until the mixture is soft. Pour in the broth and simmer for 3 minutes. Allow the filling to cool before stuffing the empanadas.

Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes and serve with salsa!

Sweet Saturday: Almond cake (pasta de almendra)

This dish is probably my most successful one so far this month! This cake is delicious – very dense, but with a wonderfully subtle citrus flavor and the perfect touch of sweetness. My only note (as I say in the video) is not to test it with a toothpick, as the top of the cake forms a hard crust that will not rebound back into shape like traditional, spongy cakes do. I’ll definitely be making this one again! Here’s the recipe, from The Vintage Mixer:

Spanish Almond Cake


  • 1/2 pound (1 3/4 cups) whole almonds, preferably blanched
  • 6 large eggs, separated
  • 1 1/4 cups superfine sugar
  • Grated zest of 1 orange
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 4 drops almond extract
  • Confectioners’ sugar for dusting


  1. Finely grind the almonds in a food processor.
  2. With an electric mixer, beat the egg yolks with the sugar to a smooth pale cream. Beat in the zests and almond extract. Add the ground almonds and mix very well.
  3. With clean beaters, beat the egg whites in a large bowl until stiff peaks form. Fold them into the egg and almond mixture (the mixture is thick, so that you will need to turn it over quite a bit into the egg whites).
  4. Grease an 11-inch springform pan, preferably nonstick, with butter and dust it with flour. Pour in the cake batter, and bake into a preheated 350°F for 40 minutes, or until it feels firm to the touch. Let cool before turning out.
  5. Just before serving, dust the top of the cake with confectioners’ sugar. Or, if you like, cut a St. James cross out of paper. Place it in the middle of the cake, and dust the cake with confectioners’ sugar, then remove the paper.

Spanish tortilla con chorizo

It’s tortilla time! So this recipe was definitely a success, and my family has already requested that I make it again! I do have a few notes for anyone making this at home. First of all, after cooking the onions, remove them from the pan using a slotted spoon, and drain out the excess oil before you add in the eggs. The sausage will exude a lot of grease, so if you’ve already got oil in your pan, you’ll end up with a greasy dish. Second, if you’re using a skillet instead of a frittata pan (like I did), reduce the cooking time by about two minutes. I didn’t think of it at the time, but it makes sense: by using a wider pan, you’re increasing the surface area and decreasing the height of the tortilla, meaning that it will cook faster. Next, oil your second frying pan (the one you’ll flip it into) ever so slightly before you use it – it’ll help keep the cheese from sticking.  Here’s the recipe I used in the video above, from Williams-Sonoma:


  • 7 oz. fresh chorizo sausage, casings removed
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 lb. Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/8 inch thick
  • 2 small yellow onions, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 tsp. smoked Spanish paprika
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 10 eggs
  • 1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, finely chopped, plus more for garnish
  • 2 cups shredded Manchego cheese


In the deep half of a frittata pan over medium-high heat, cook the chorizo until browned, using a wooden spoon to break it into bite-size chunks, 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel?lined plate. Wipe out the pan with paper towels.In the deep half of the frittata pan over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the potatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until they are lightly browned and almost tender, about 10 minutes. Add the onions and paprika, and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent and tender, 12 to 13 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool for 10 minutes.In a bowl, whisk the eggs, then stir in the chorizo, the potato-onion mixture and the 1/4 cup parsley. Season with salt and pepper.Set the deep half of the frittata pan over medium heat and pour in the egg mixture. Place the shallow pan upside down on top of the deep pan and cook until the eggs are almost set, about 12 minutes. Uncover the pan and sprinkle the cheese evenly over the eggs. Cover with the shallow pan and cook for 3 minutes more. Holding the pans together, flip the tortilla into the shallow pan and cook, covered, until the eggs are set, 3 to 4 minutes.Uncover the pan and, using a spatula, loosen the edges of the tortilla. Invert a large plate over the pan, hold the plate and pan firmly together and invert the tortilla, cheese side up, onto the plate. Garnish with chopped parsley. Serves 8 to 10.Adapted from a recipe by Michelle Bernstein, Chef, Michy’s, Miami, FL.