Damper-A Delicious Australian Creation

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When I was introduced to the damper recipe I was instantly intrigued:

  • Me: The ingredients make it seem like a biscuit or a scone
  • Recipe Sharer: Yeah it essentially is. And it goes with everything. I’ll send you the recipe directions.
  • Me: Does a mental fist pump. Thank you, that would be great!

According to Wikipedia,  Damper is actually an Australian soda bread and an iconic Australian dish. But to me the recipe sounded like a plain scone. And the truth of the matter is that scones are delectable. And Australia is a wonderful place. So I could only assume that this recipe was going to be wonderfully delectable. I immediately shared the recipe with my friend Shannon and we committed to making damper the next day. We have already made it twice in the last 5 days.

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The great thing about a knockout biscuit/scone recipe is that they are a very versatile pastry item. We kept ours original and simply slathered butter and jam onto them. But I can already imagine the possibilities: mixing fruit/chocolate/nuts into the dough, making bomb breakfast sandwiches using damper as the bread, serving them alongside dinner…believe me I could go on.

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Another plus about making damper as opposed to other scone or biscuit recipes it that it is relatively low in butter and sugar. It’s not completely exempt of those two items, but we have to take our victories, however small they may be. So without further ado, I give you Damper-the best biscuits with the weirdest name.

Australian Damper (Makes 1 large loaf, or 6 large biscuits)

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1-1.5 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3 Tablespoons sugar
  • 4 Tablespoons chilled butter
  • 1 cup milk or half and half

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper or cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl add flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Blend dry ingredients together with a fork.
  3. Slice chilled butter and add to the dry ingredients, blending butter in until the mix resembles coarse crumbs. (I used my hands for this part and “massaged” the butter in)
  4. Pour measured milk or half and half into the bowl and mix together until dough just comes together.
  5. To place damper on a baking sheet: (1) Form 1 large loaf with the dough or (2) Use a spoon to “drop” dough onto the baking pan. Do not flatten the dough.
  6. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until lightly golden brown.
  7. Serve with butter, jam, honey, etc. The possibilities are endless!

Enjoy!

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Levain Bakery-esque Peanut Butter Cookies

Apologies for the holiday hiatus! I know you all must have missed me (maybe? anybody? Bueller?). Anyways, now that I am back in the swing of things I am looking back on the past couple weeks and thinking about just how much I benefitted from the break.

Being home for Christmas was definitely the nicest way I could have spent my holiday season. There is nothing like family laughter, home-cooked dinners, and some California sunshine to celebrate a great 2013.

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My sister Corinne and I had a great time catching up over break. With her living big in LA I feel like I never get to see her!

 

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My parents took us to their old date spot…aren’t they just the cutest?

This recipe is inspired by my favorite cookie on Earth: the chocolate chip cookie from Levain Bakery in New York City. Part cookie, part scone, and completely delicious, this baked good ranks #1 on my list of decadent and calorie-laden splurge items. And my family is a fan of this cookie too.

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I added chocolate chips to this batch…one of many that I made while I was home!

So of course when I was home for the holidays I knew I had to treat my family to something special, and this cookie recipe fit the bill. Inspired by the original mimic recipe by the Brown Eyed Baker, per my family’s request I made some changes. Peanut butter became an obvious addition. And it turned out so well! I made this recipe 3 times in the 1 week I was home. Now I know where I got my sweet tooth from!

Levain Bakery-esque Peanut Butter Cookies (makes 12 Levain-sized cookies)

Ingredients:IMG_3899

  • 2 sticks butter, chilled
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup peanut butter
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 ¼ cups flour
  • 1 ½ cups chocolate chips, optional

Directions:

  1. Blend flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl, set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, blend butter with an electric mixer until it clumps together. Add peanut butter and sugar and blend together for 1-2 minutes.
  3. Next, add vanilla extract and eggs, one at a time, while blending the mixture for another 1-2 minutes.
  4. Slowly add flour mixture, blending until the cookie dough just comes together. Mix in chocolate chips, if desired. Wrap cookie dough in saran wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  5. Preheat oven the 375 degrees Fahrenheit. On a baking sheet covered in parchment paper, form 12 cookies (the cookies do not have to have a perfectly round shape).
  6. Bake cookies in oven for 18-24 minutes (18 minutes if you want your cookies a little on the undercooked side). Remove cookies from the oven and allow them to cool before enjoying!