Category Archives: Baking

Weekend Baking Round-Up

I have had a brief hiatus from baking lately. I am attributing this to the fact that we have had an amazing summer here in Taranaki which means my kitchen is always super hot – too hot for baking really!

I have been missing it though, and took inspiration from some of my favourite bloggers to get back in to it.

This weekend I have made, devoured and enjoyed:

Strawberry oatmeal bars, courtesy of The Pioneer Woman; (

strawberry bars 10.3.13

These were so simple to make and absolutely delicious! I used strawberry jam I had purchased for a berry orchard and it was divine!

A giant chocolate chip cookie, from Sally’s Baking Addiction. Mine was no where near as pretty as Sally’s but tasted really good, nice and soft and chocolatey! (

giant choc cookie 10.3.13

I came across a recipe for these peanut butter chocolate chip cookies which were so simple to whip up, and turned out pretty tasty. I’m not sure where I sourced the recipe from but may post it at some point as I have a feeling these cookies will find their way into the regular baking rotation!

Peanut butter and choc chip cookies 11.3.13

I also pulled out one of my favourite recipes from the Marian Keyes cook book (Saved by Cake) – chocolate cheesecake cupcakes which I plan on serving for dessert tonight with a berry sauce that I am about to make!

chocolate cheesecake cupcakes after 11.3.13

Also worth sharing, are these carrot, bran and sultana muffins my mums partner (a.k.a my baking assistant for the day!) whipped up this morning! They were delicious, super healthy too 🙂

johns muffins 11.3.13

Thankfully I have balanced out these delicious treats with a few good workouts over the weekend, which has been a long one thanks to Taranaki Anniversay Day. It is so nice to have an extra day off to relax and enjoy the sunny weather!

I am planning on posting something special for my next post – courtesy of Nigellas latest cookbook (Nigellissima). It’s on the menu for dinner tonight, and involves copious amounts of potato gnocchi and marscapone cheese……..

Have a great week everyone,



Apple Cheesecake Bars

You guys have to try these! People will be impressed 😮 they look a little complicated but despite the number of components are actually quite simple to put together. I whipped them up while cooking dinner and we had them for dessert – sure they could have done with a bit more fridge time before serving, but awkwardly cut pieces taste just as delicious as perfect squares!

First up – make the streusel topping. Pop that in the fridge and make the base. While the base is cooking sort out the cream cheese filling and get your husband to peel the apples! When the base is done, and cooled a little, pour over the cream cheese filling, cover with the apples, sprinkle with streusel then in to the oven. Easy!

Apple Cheesecake Bars

(recipe inspiration from Tracey’s Culinary Adventures)

Streusel Topping:

½ c brown sugar
½ c flour
¼ c instant oats
50 grams room temperature butter

1 c  flour
¼ c brown sugar
pinch salt
110 grams room temperature butter

250 grams lite cream cheese at room temperature
¼ c sugar, plus 1 T (for the apples)
1 large egg
1 t vanilla extract
pinch salt
2 apples (I used granny smith), peeled, cored and chopped
½ t ground cinnamon
¼ t ground nutmeg

Preheat oven to 180 C. Line or grease a square baking pan.

To make the streusel: Combine all of the ingredients until it is a crumbly texture – pop in the fridge while you deal with the rest of the ingredients.

To make the crust: Stir the flour, brown sugar and salt together. Add the butter and mix until well combined. Press into an even layer in the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake for 15 minutes, or until light brown in colour.

To make the filling: I used a hand held beater and beat the cream cheese with the sugar (1/4 c measure) until well mixed. Then add the egg, vanilla and salt, and mix until just combined. Pour over the crust.

Combine the apples with the tablespoon of sugar, and the spices and coat. Place the apples evenly over the cream cheese mixture, then top with the streusel mixture.

Bake for about 30-35 minutes. I had no patience and tried these pretty much as soon as they were out of the oven! I also had a few mouthfuls cold as a pre-breakfast snack and I enjoyed them at both temperatures.


You’ll note that I didn’t cover them in caramel, always an option, but I think they are pretty perfect as they are.




Let me know what you think!





Andy 😮

Ps: check out our awesome new header, designed by my very talented brother Jason!