Coffee El Scrowlands

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor (2016), Baking, Dessert, Snack, Sweets, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor, 24 Australians were marooned in Samoa where 21 had been voted out leading to what could be the most biege final three in Survivor history.

Thankfully I wasn’t allowed to dwell on this for very long, as we opened up on day 54 where El, Lee and Kristie were already on the way to the final immunity challenge where the producers finally did something right, and brought back fallen comrades.

While I normally love this segment – that Probsty cut from OG Survivor – this just served as another reminder of the wonderful people we could have had sitting in the final three. I mean, Des was hilariously misguided, as was Bianca, Evan never got to tell the cast about his secret career as a drama teacher, Pete … well he would have been a worse option, Barry was loveable, Tegan trained Becks, Rohan rocks a speedo and Kat is just fucking amazing.

Hell, even Andrew would have been more interesting.

Then we went through the darkest timeline where we were reminded that Craig, Phoebe, Conner and Kate were booted back-to-back-to-back-to-back, breaking more hearts than Rohan’s skimpy instagrams.

We obvs recapped the jury but given the fact I am hoping they will provide us with some entertainment later we’ll skip them, ok?

We arrived at the edge of a cliff – sadly not for a suicide pact resulting in Flick getting the title by default – for the most epically staged Hands on a Hard Idol of all time. And that includes watching Mama Kim dominate in Africa.

Before they got around to gripping the pole, JLP pulled out one final twist and whipped out the Final Three’s family. There were tears and proof that El is not the least eloquent person alive, Kristie is the only person left that knows who Richard Hatch is and Lee had major back surgery.

After getting some love, JoJo sent the Final Three over to the edge of the cliff where the tribe had to perch on small, stiff poles and grip an even thicker, harder pole – so yeah, it is completely in my element.

Sadly for the family members, it isn’t a great spectator sport – kind of like cricket, to be honest – and to make matters worse, it went for over 6 hours before El couldn’t go any further and had to be carried away, Bodyguard style (almost) by JLP.

Swoon.

With El out of the way, Kristie got to work making a deal. And by that, point blank told him to give her the challenge and cried … until he did stumble off, either from fatigue or mateship. Let’s be honest, mateship. After winning her first individual challenge, Kristie then appeared to finally snap before Lee apologised to El for ruining their shot at being Australia’s Romber.

Forgoing any form of scrambling, we then arrived at tribal council where the jury were in absolute shock and disbelief to see that Kristie had actually won the final immunity challenge. JoJo gave Lee a rundown of why he and El wouldn’t be voting tonight, before they both had an opportunity to make their case to Kristie. Obviously she gave El – who was actually playing the game – the boot, sending her into my loving arms at loser lodge.

Once again, yeah I’ve been hard on my beaut, mate El – we met in the army where she dobbed in my lewd behaviour, getting me dishonorably discharged – for making this season quite boring … but sometimes the best games are boring to watch (see: One World) and I quickly worked on forgiving her as she arrived for a commiserations cuppa and my favourite, an El Coffee Scrowland.

 

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El and I discovered this recipe on Sweet Perfection Cakes after lamenting the brutal way that – I want to say Arnott’s – removed these beauties from the shelves and ruined lives and the 90s arvo cuppa of Blend 43 my mum and I would share while waiting for my siblings to get home from school.

Yes – I snuck coffee at five, thus being so short. It really does stunt growth, yo.

Despite the fact I’ve tried to tinker with this to make it my own, it is perfection and takes you back to the joys of childhood. Arnotts, bring back my scrolls! And in the meantime, bake these – enjoy!

 

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Coffee El Scrowlands
Makes: 48.
Ingredients
3 cups plain flour, sifted
1 tsp baking powder
225g unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 cup muscovado sugar
1 egg, at room temperature
¼ cup small dried black currants
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
3 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp allspice
½ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp salt
375g white chocolate
few drops of red food colouring (the OG recipe called for oil colouring, but I used the generic water based and it worked a treat)

Method
Beat the butter, sugar, vanilla and spices on medium speed until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to low and mix in the egg on low speed. Remove from mixer, fold in the flour and baking powder and return to mixer on low speed until combined. The removal and folding is solely because when I don’t, I flour bomb my own kitchen.

Remove from the mixer and fold through the currants. Roll into a disc, wrap in cling and leave to rest for 30 minutes in fridge and preheat the oven to 160C.

Cut the dough into thirds and roll out between two sheets of baking paper until 5mm thick. Cut into mug sized(-ish) rounds and place on a lined cookie sheet. Repeat the process until all the dough is gone.

Using a spiral egg whisk, press into the top of each biscuit to give the scroll design. Obviously I did not have a spiral whisk so tried my best to be handy. D- for execution, B+ for effort – stay off my back, ok?

Bake for about 15 minutes, or until golden. Remove from the oven and cool on the trays for a couple of minutes before loosening and transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

While they are cooling, melt your chocolate – double boiler, microwave, I don’t mind, do what you think it right – until smooth. Stir through a few drops of food colouring and dollop on to the centre of the biscuits when cooled.

Leave to set. Devour.

 

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Madeleines Albright

Amer-she-can Week, Baking, Cake, Dessert, Sweets

If there is anyone that can follow up my date with POTUS, it is Mads All-right. She may be very small, but my girl Madeleine has the biggest heart and legacy I know.

As the first woman to become the Secretary of State – I pushed BC to give her the job on account of the fact that she is a damn saint – Maddy is a pioneer and has long been someone I’ve admired.

We first met on Ellis Island in the ‘40s when she emigrated to America. I had recently arrived from Australia and was trying to be adopted by a kind emigrant family who could fund my pursuit of stardom thinking I had no one. Despite seeing through my sham the Korbelovás were so kind that they took me in anyway and Mads and I quickly formed a close sibling-esque bond.

While I made my way from Long Island to Broadway, I always stayed in contact with Mads and she supported me despite the myriad of crimes and misdemeanours I racked up.

I haven’t seen Mads since the New Hampshire Primary, where I played an integral role in her inclusion of her quote that Taylor Swift likes to lift when feuding with the Poehler-Feys. As you know, it didn’t go down well so I’ve tried to lay low until things blew over.

Thankfully my dear, sweet Mads isn’t one to hold a grudge and we spent yesterday afternoon gabbing – in French, which is the only language we speak together – over a tray of my delightful Madeleines Albright.

 

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Like Mads, these delicate little cakes really pack a punch with the sweet vanilla hitting all the right notes. And then some.

Enjoy!

 

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Madeleines Albright
Serves: 12.

Ingredients
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
salt
6 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup raw caster sugar
2 tbsp muscovado sugar
225g unsalted butter, melted, plus extra for the pan
2 tbsp vanilla extract
icing sugar, for dusting

Method
Whisk the flour, baking powder and a teaspoon salt together in a bowl.

In the large bowl of an electric mixer, whisk the eggs and caster and muscovado sugars on high speed until they are pale and fluffy or about ten minutes.

Remove the bowl from the mixer and fold through the flour in two additions, broken up by folding through half the butter and vanilla.

Cover and refrigerate for a couple of hours while you preheat the oven to 180°C. Remove the batter from the fridge and leave to rest for fifteen minutes.

Butter the madeleine pans with the extra butter and spoon the batter into the pans and bake in the middle of the oven for 8-10 minutes, or until golden and crisp. Remove from the oven and flip them out onto a cooling rack.

Rebutter the moulds and repeat the process until the batter is done.

Dust with icing sugar and devour.

 

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Cookiki Dee

Baking, Dessert, Sweets

I’ve always said that once you’ve forced someone to administer at home, self-designed electroshock therapy, you truly are bonded for life. Keeks, obvs, being my case-in-point.

After meeting as part of Dusty’s entourage, Kiki took me in and my gratitude lead to 96.7% of her successes. We left the back-up singer scene as I groomed her for greatness by acting as her image consultant, coining her stage name, writing her songs and giving her extensive albeit un-required  vocal coaching (amongst many other tasks), leading to her signing by Motown records in the 70s.

Then Elton happened and they couldn’t break my heart, even if they tried.

At the time I was pioneering colonic procedures and Elton, who I had taken as a part-time lover / songwriting partner, after being hired to manage the percentage of sequin and sparkle on his clothing, was one of my first clients. Maybe he found a qualified technician and that caused our feud – who knows?

Either way, Elty begged me to introduce him to Keeks and allow him to take the male vocals of their hit duet Don’t Go Breakin’ My Heart and, being cock whipped, did. Birthing the world’s greatest duet … behind Doll and Ken.

Keeks and I have lost touch a bit in the late 90s when I, and I’m sorry to say this, forgot she existed. Thankfully Singstar happened and we reconnected.

Keeks is thankfully doing great and is just as effervescent as she was when we first met – we even dueted on my roof top for my irate neighbours. At least we had some excess Cookiki Dees to throw out as a reward / use as weapons against any critics.

 

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I have probably mentioned it before – and if I haven’t, I am very disappointed in myself – but I fucking love me some Milk Bar. It is somewhere that I would (and literally have) trudge through a blizzard to get to for a bagel bomb, cereal milk and crack pie. If you are within 50km – or whatever the equivalent in miles is – run, go there now and devour one of everything … EVERYTHING, in my honour.

As someone that worships at the altar of Christina Tosi and David Chang, I routinely try to emulate their creations with mediocre-at-best success to delicious success (see: Alexander Smarsbård Cake). These chocolate, pretzel and peanut delights, thankfully, fall toward the latter end of the spectrum; salty, milky and chewy … they are delicious.

And make me miss Elts – enjoy!

 

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Cookiki Dee
Makes: 12-16.

Ingredients
225g unsalted butter, room temperature
1 ¼  cups raw caster sugar
⅔ cup packed muscovado sugar
1 large egg
½ tsp vanilla extract
1 ½ cups flour
1 ¼ tsp coarse salt
½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
⅔ cup mini chocolate chips
⅓ cup peanut butter chips
1 cup mini marshmallows

Pretzel peanut crunch
2 cups pretzels
1 cup peanuts, roughly chopped
⅓ cup milk powder
3 tbsp caster sugar
1 tsp coarse salt
130g butter, melted

Method
Preheat the oven to 135°C and get cracking on the crunch.

Place the pretzels in a medium bowl and crush with your hands until they are small 1cm-ish chunks, this is particularly great if you sit near a chatty Cathy, friendship-rapist at work and need to work through your rage.

Add the milk powder, sugar and salt and give a good toss to combine. Again, missing Elts right now. Stir through the butter until it comes together into crumbs.

Place cornflakes in a medium bowl. Using your hands, crush to one-quarter of their original size. Add peanuts, milk powder, sugar, and salt; toss to combine. Add butter and toss to form small clusters.

Spread the mixture in an even layer on a large, lined baking sheet and bake until the clusters are toasted, crisp and buttery, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and leave to cool completely.

Once the clusters are cool, get to work creaming the butter and sugars in the large bowl of an electric mixer, using the paddle attachment, for about 3 minutes on medium-high speed. Scrape down the sides, add the egg and vanilla and return to medium-high speed for a further 8 minutes.

Yes, 8 … and it makes all the difference.

Once the butter is fluffy and glorious, turn the mixer off and add the flour, salt, bakings powder and soda. Remove the paddle and mix until it is combined enough not to go all over the kitchen.

Return the paddle to the mixer and turn on to the lowest setting, add the crunch, chocolate and peanut butter chips and marshmallows and mix until combined. About a minute.

Line a couple of large baking sheet with greaseproof paper. Using a ⅓ cup measuring … cup, portion the  dough out onto prepared baking sheet, leaving about 10cm between each dollop. Pat the top of the dough flat, wrap tightly with cling and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Trust me from experience/the photos, do not bake the cookies from room temperature or they will not hold their shape and you carve them out of the pan. Still delicious, but not as sexy.

Preheat oven to 190°C.

Once the dough has netflixed and chilled, transfer to the oven and bake until puffed, cracked, spread and lightly browned on the edges, about 18 minutes … but keep watch anywhere after 10, ok?

Remove from the oven and leave to cool completely on baking sheets. If you can.

 

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Snickerdoodle Offerman

Snack, Sweets, Treat Yo' Self Week

Let me just start by saying that Nick Offerman is an American Hero and a Saint.

I first met Nick through his wife and on-screen ex-wife, Megan Mullally Tammy 2 – I first connected with Megsy on the set of her first credit in Risky Business where I was working as Tom Cruise’s fluffer (oh the humanity). Given our penchant for peen and love of smutty humour, we quickly became best friends and I acted as Maid of Dishonour at her wedding to Nick Offerman, American Hero.

As soon as Megs met Nick I knew he was the one for her and despite an unbridled jealousy that he wasn’t attracted to me, I was able to contain my pain, anger and arousal enough to become his pal and confidante.

After starring in a disturbing number of films with Sandra Bullock, Annelie and I became heavily involved in shaping his career, leading to him collaborating with Megsy and landing his breakout role playing my ideal man Ron Swanson. While we pushed him in the direction of Parks as part of our shameless attempt to stalk and befriend Amy Poehler, it truly was the role of he was born to play.

Nick was only able to drop in for a short visit, what with him coming back to Australia early next year, but he always makes time for his best friends particularly given our love of Treat Yo’ Self Week. Plus, a Snickerdoodle Offerman is a pretty good way to sweeten the deal.

 

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We first whipped up these sweet delights to celebrate Parks’  second season renewal in honour of Ron and the strapping man, our friend, who played him.

The richness of the dark muscovado sugar and the whisky is perfectly cut by the salty bacon, making for the perfect biscuit fit for a Pawnee Parks Director.

Whiskey bacon snickerdoodles? TREAT. YO’. SELF.

 

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Snickerdoodle Offerman
Makes: 24.

Ingredients
3 rashers streaky bacon
3 tbsps whiskey, preferably Lagavulin
⅓  cup + 2 tbsp dark muscovado sugar
1 ⅔  cups plain flour
½  tsp ground nutmeg
¾  tsp baking powder
½  tsp salt
½  cup butter, at room temperature
2 tbsp caster sugar
1 large egg
1 tbsp cinnamon

Method
Finely dice the bacon, emphasis on finely, and cook in a small frypan over medium heat until crispy. When crispy, add 2 tbsp of whiskey and 2 tbsp of the muscovado and cook off until sticky and glorious. Leave to cool for about an hour.

Preheat oven to 180C.

Sift the flour, nutmeg, baking powder and salt into a medium bowl.

In a large bowl, cream the butter with the ⅓ cup sugar in a stand mixer on medium until light in texture and caramelly in colour. With the mixer still running, beat in the egg and  remaining whiskey.

Reduce speed to low and slowly combine in dry ingredients and the sticky bacon goop until you have a smooth, coherent mixture.

Place the caster sugar and cinnamon in a large bowl and quickly mix around.

With your hands, pinch out a meatball sized piece of dough and roll into balls between the palms of your hands. Roll in the cinnamon-sugar mixture and place on a large lined baking sheet. Obviously repeating the process until they are all done. There may be some cinnamon sugar left, but leave that for later.

Place the cookies in the oven and bake for roughly 15 minutes, or until they are golden brown. Remove them from the oven and leave to rest for a minute.

I am a cinnamon fiend, so at this point I re-roll the hot snickerdoodles in the cinnamon sugar and transfer to cool on a wire rack. Or you know, just devour immediate and treat yo’ self to some third-degree mouth burns.

 

As you can probably tell, we are very social but the fun isn’t only limited to celebrities! You can follow us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr and Google+.