Line a large baking tray with non-stick baking paper.
Combine the oats, almonds, coconut, sunflower seeds, pepitas, cinnamon and cardamom in a large heatproof bowl.
Combine the maple syrup, sunflower oil and vanilla. Add to the oat mixture and use a wooden spoon to mix until evenly combined. Spread over the lined tray and bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes, stirring twice during baking. Stir through the raisins and apricots and bake for a further 10 minutes or until the oats are deep golden and well toasted.
Cool on the tray (this will take about 30 minutes). Serve with milk, yoghurt and/or fruit.
Store this granola in an airtight container in a cool dark spot for up to 1 month.
Prep 20min (+20min cooling time)Bake 18-20minMakes about 40
These crackers have a lovely nuttiness (thanks to both the wholemeal flour and walnuts) to them, perfect to serve with a creamy blue-vein cheese. They would also make a great gift, sealed in an airtight jar and accompanied by some cheese and a good bottle of red.
225g (1½ cups) plain wholemeal flour, plus extra for dusting 100g walnuts, coarsely ground 2 teaspoons finely chopped rosemary, plus 2 teaspoons extra leaves, to sprinkle 1 teaspoon sea salt flakes, crushed ½ teaspoon baking powder 125ml (½ cup) water 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 tablespoon honey, warmed slightly
Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan-forced). Line 2 large oven trays with non-stick baking paper.
Combine the flour, walnuts, rosemary, salt and baking powder in a large mixing bowl. Combine the water, olive oil and honey and use a fork to mix. Add the water mixture to the dry ingredients and use a wooden spoon and then your hands to mix to a soft dough.
Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead briefly until smooth. Divide the dough in half and use a lightly floured rolling pin to roll out one portion until 5mm thick. Use a 6cm round cutter to cut out discs and place on the lined trays about 2cm apart. Repeat with the remaining dough portion and any offcuts. Sprinkle the crackers with the extra rosemary leaves to garnish, and press lightly so they stick.
Bake in preheated oven for 18-20 minutes, swapping the trays around halfway through baking, or until golden and cooked through. Cool on the trays.
These crackers will keep in an airtight container or jar at room temperature for up to 1 week.
This recipe is from Anneka's SBS Food online column, Bakeproof: Savoury Crackers.
Often attributed to the Italians, it is believed that Florentines were actually created in the royal French kitchens in the late 1600s in honour of their Tuscan in-laws, hence their name. Admittedly a little confusing for us, but incredibly flattering for the in-laws!
Line an oven tray with non-stick baking paper. Brush the inside of six 7.5cm metal egg rings (see Baker's Tips) with a little melted butter to grease and place on the lined oven tray.
Combine the flaked almonds, dried cherries, candied orange rind and flour in a large bowl and stir to combine evenly. Combine the butter, sugar and honey in a small saucepan and stir over medium heat until the butter just melts and the mixture is well combined. Add to the almond mixture and stir gently with a large metal spoon or spatula until evenly combined.
Spoon 1½ tablespoons of the mixture into an egg ring to fill half way and use the back of a metal spoon to spread, leaving it a little uneven if you want. Repeat with more mixture and the remaining five egg rings.
Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes or until golden and cooked through. Remove from the oven and cool on the trays for 5 minutes before removing the egg rings. Grease the egg rings again with a little more melted butter and repeat with the remaining mixture in three more batches.
Use a palette knife or the back of a teaspoon to spread a generous amount of melted chocolate over the underside of a florentine to cover. Place on a wire rack, chocolate side up and set aside for 1 hour or until the chocolate sets. Repeat with the remaining cooled florentines.
The longer the chocolate cools the thicker it will become and the more defined the 'swirls' of chocolate will be.
Non-stick egg rings are perfect to use to make these florentines, but they will still need to be greased.
These florentines will keep in an airtight container or jar in a cool dark place for up to 2 weeks.
Prep 30min (+2hr cooling time)Bake 40-45minMakes about 20-24 pieces
Hailing from Siena in the Tuscan region of Italy, panforte (‘strong bread’ when translated to English) is a delectable combination of dried fruits, nuts, spices, honey and, if you are lucky, chocolate. It is believed to date back to the 13th Century and was originally a form of tax paid to a local monastery. Like many traditional recipes, there are many variations with each often being a well-guarded family recipe – however I will share this one with you!
Melted butter, to grease
2 sheets confectioner's rice paper (see Baker's Tips)
Brush a shallow round 20cm (base measurement) tin with melted butter to grease and then line the base with a circle of rice paper, cutting the sheets to fit. Line the sides with a strip of non-stick baking paper.
Sift the flour, cocoa and spices into a large bowl, then stir in the fruit, nuts, chocolate and orange rind. Set the bowl on a folded teatowel (see Baker's Tips).
Put the honey, sugar and water in a small saucepan. Stir over low heat, without boiling, until the sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil and simmer, uncovered and without stirring, for 5 minutes. Immediately pour the hot syrup and vanilla over the fruit and nut mixture and, working quickly, stir with a wooden spoon until well combined. Press mixture firmly and evenly into prepared tin.
Bake for 40-45 minutes or until firm to touch in the centre. Cool in the pan sitting on a wire rack (this will take about 2 hours).
Remove from pan and dust liberally with icing sugar or cocoa. Serve in thin wedges.
Confectioner's rice paper sheets are available from Asian grocers, delicatessens and specialty food stores. Don't confuse it with Asian rice paper, used to make rice paper rolls.
Before adding the hot syrup to the fruit and nut mixture, place a tea towel under the bowl to stop it from slipping when mixing.
To make individual panforte, grease eight 8cm (base diameter) loose-bottomed tart tins with oil spray or melted butter and line the bases witha circle of edible rice paper. Divide the mixture among the tins and press down firmly. Bake for 25-30 minutes.
This panforte will keep wrapped well in plastic wrap in a cool spot for up to 1 month.
Prep 40min (+ 30min cooling time)Bake 25-30minMakes about 24
Originating in Vienna in Austria these vanilla sugar-coated biscuits are always made in a ‘kipfler’ or horse-shoe shape. Traditionally made at Christmas, they’re also popular in many other eastern European countries, including Germany, Hungary, Slovakia, Romania and the Czech Republic. These buttery almond biscuits make a wonderful gift.
185g unsalted butter 60g (½ cup) icing sugar mixture, plus 60g (½ cup) extra to coat 1 teaspoon natural vanilla essence or extract 2 egg yolks 225g (1½ cups) plain flour 50g (½ cup) almond meal 1 vanilla bean
Preheat oven to 160°C. Line two large oven trays with non-stick baking paper.
Use an electric mixer to beat the butter, icing sugar mixture and vanilla essence or extract until pale and creamy. Add the egg yolks and beat until well combined.
Combine the flour and almond meal, add to the butter mixture and beat on lowest possible speed until just combined.
Shape level tablespoonfuls of the mixture into small logs about 6cm long and then taper the ends and shape into a crescent shape. Place on the lined trays about 2cm apart. Bake in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes or until pale golden and cooked through.
Meanwhile, halve the vanilla bean lengthways, use a small sharp knife to scrape the seeds out and add to the extra icing sugar mixture in a medium bowl. Use your fingertips to rub the vanilla seeds through the icing sugar evenly.
When the biscuits are cooked, remove from the oven and then toss while still warm, one at a time, through the vanilla icing sugar to coat (see Baker’s tips). Cool completely on a wire rack.
These biscuits will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.
Reserve any remaining vanilla sugar and use to sprinkle over the biscuits before serving if you wish.