In my kitchen this week: tool cookies and gluten free treats

I’m back in the kitchen and loving it! After two weekends in a row spent away from home for various events, last week I got back into my tiny kitchen and had a play around. I started with biscuits for Harvey’s 2nd birthday. On Thursday, I raced home from work and whipped up a batch of cookies and on Friday night, I sat at the table and decorated hammers, screwdrivers, saws, and spanners for Harvey’s construction party on Saturday. I used bright orange fondant for the handles and mixed some black fondant into white to make grey for the bases of the tools. Some, I sprayed with a silver lustre spray to add to the metallic look. They were a simple cookie that worked well and looked really good when I was done. It made me realise how much I miss putting a movie on and sitting at the table working with fondant. It’s a good thing I’ve got lots of kids’ parties coming up!

Tool biscuits

On Saturday afternoon, I decided to have a go at making bliss balls in the Thermomix. After my busy weekends, I’d fallen into a nasty 3pm chocolate habit to combat tiredness and wanted to make something that was sweet without the nasties. Harvey’s mum had gone through her party menu with me a few days before, and I decided that date balls (or bliss balls) were a really good idea. I used a recipe from the Thermomix recipe community, which can easily be adapted for those of you who don’t have a thermie (just use almond meal instead of milling the almonds yourself – unless you have a super duper food processor!).

I omitted the coconut oil, and from this recipe, I got 20 date balls which works out to 3 points a ball. It’s much better than 7 points for a chocolate bar, but if you are on the WW program, don’t make the same mistake that I did; these are a treat to eat in lots of one, otherwise, you might as well have that chocolate! I don’t have a picture to show you of the date balls because they got gobbled up so quickly, but they really just looked like a rum ball.

When I was scrounging in the pantry for dates and almonds, I found a big bag of dried apricots, so I chucked those in the thermie with some dried cranberries and pistachios and then used the same recipe I used for the date balls (omitting the cocoa). I’ve been living off these for a week and they’ve saved my bacon with the sugar cravings. They’re definitely bound to become a lunchbox staple and something I’ll make for the increasing number of gluten free people in my life.

apricot ball

Sticking with the gluten free theme, I also made a modified version of Nadia Lim’s healthy date and cashew caramel chocolate slice. I had about half the dates required in this recipe, so I bulked up the filling with dried cranberries. I also had some pistachios that needed using up, and absolutely no cashews in my cupboard, so instead of having the smooth, softened cashews, I minced the cashews up a bit in the Thermomix and added them to the caramel filling. I was trying for a healthier snack, so I also eliminated the chocolate and walnut topping, though I think it would be divine with it added. Everyone at work was raving about this one, so I was pleased that it turned out so yummy!

This one was hard to ProPoint  because I didn’t follow the recipe exactly, but I’ve got about 25 really small, bite-sized pieces out of it and looks like it’s around 2-3 ProPoints a piece. Again, don’t let the fact that it’s got no refined sugar in it fool you into thinking you can eat a million pieces; like all treats, this is yummy and should be enjoyed in moderation.

Date slice

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