traybakes & more

retro recipes for the modern baker

Treacle Scones

Scones are a big part of Northern Irish baking. To be honest, scones are popular on both sides of the Atlantic, although the American variety do tend to be bigger. These Treacle Scones are a nice variation on a plain scone (recipe here). They are a little sweet and the treacle adds a lovely depth of flavor and color. Best served with a slathering of butter and your favorite jam.

Living in the US means that some of my traditional ingredients aren’t as easy to come by, so I needed to go to a specialist store to get the black treacle required for this recipe, as it’s not available in standard supermarkets over here. The closest equivalent to black treacle in the US is dark molasses (not blackstrap). According to the internet – and my taste test – they are not exactly the same thing, but it’s a pretty good substitute if you can’t find black treacle.

Just to check the difference for myself, I baked one batch of scones with treacle and one with molasses. The treacle batch was darker and sweeter and the molasses batch was lighter and a little more bitter. But either way, both sets of scones were delicious!

As with any scone recipe, this is a simple recipe. But don’t mix it too much, don’t knead it too much and don’t roll it out too thinly. Follow these simple directions and you’ll be rewarded with a  light, fluffy tasty scone.

Ingredients

6oz/170g/1½ cups plain flour (all-purpose flour)

1 tsp baking soda (bicarbonate of soda)

1 tbsp sugar

1½oz/45g/3 tbsp butter

2-3 tbsp buttermilk

1 tbsp black treacle (or dark molasses)

1 egg, beaten

Method

1. Preheat your oven to 375F/190C.

2. Sift all the dry ingredients into a bowl.

3. Rub in the butter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.

4. Add the beaten egg, treacle and buttermilk and mix until you have a soft dough.

5. Roll out on a floured surface until the scone dough is approximately 2.5cm/1 inch thick and cut into rounds. I get 7-8 scones from this quantity of dough.

Black Treacle Scones on the left, Molasses Scones on the right

6. Place on a floured baking sheet, brush the tops with milk and bake for 10-12 minutes.

7. Remove to a wire rack to cool for as long as you can hold out. Then break open, butter and enjoy!

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Chocolate Peanut Mallow Krispies

Rice Krispies (or any puffed rice cereal you choose) feature heavily in Northern Irish traybake baking. I have several recipes on the blog already that use Rice Krispies with toffee, Mars Bars and even dates and ginger. This week, it’s that classic combination of chocolate and peanut butter in these Chocolate Peanut Mallow Krispies.

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No-Bake Chocolate Mint Slice

It’s another classic flavor combination this week with this no-bake chocolate mint slice. There are already a couple of chocolate and mint traybakes on the blog, including one of my most popular recipes the Mint Aero Traybake, but the joy of this recipe is that it’s likely you already have all the ingredients you need for this and can rustle it up quickly, when the need for a minty slice calls!

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Date Slices

Dates are a firm favourite in the Traybakes’ household and there is usually a packet of Medjool dates in the fridge for on-the-go sweet snacking. I’ve already got one date traybake recipe in the archives and there are several more recipes for traybakes and breads/cakes still to come. And now we have this recipe for Date Slices. We like dates!

This latest traybake is another simple recipe.  Dates, oats, flour, sugar, butter. Then you have a tin full of Date Slices! These make a perfect teatime or even lunchbox treat – chewy, sticky, sweet and oaty. Yum!

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Mallow Squares

Chocolate! Marshmallow! Weetabix?! Yes, you did read that correctly. These Mallow Squares have Weetabix in the base. Mixed with some sugar and coconut, of course, I’m not going to try to pretend that these are some sort of breakfast food!

I guess it shouldn’t be all that surprising that there are traybakes out there with Weetabix in them, I have used Cornflakes (here) and Rice Krispies (here) before and I’m sure I’ve got a few recipes somewhere that use All-Bran. Breakfast cereals are a staple ingredient in the traditional traybake world!

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Chocolate Orange Slice

Chocolate Orange Slice.  Another one of those classic combinations. Often found together in cakes and biscuits (I’m not going to start a debate on whether a Jaffa Cake is a cake or a biscuit, so let’s just leave it there…) and also in that traditional Christmas treat – the Chocolate Orange!

This no-bake traybake brings together a classic chocolate fridge cake or tiffin (or whatever you choose to call it) with a smooth orange buttercream. Using cocoa powder makes the biscuit layer dark and chocolatey, but then the orange buttercream balances it out nicely. And then you’re left with, well…a few crumbs, considering the speed at which these disappeared in our house!

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Neapolitan Squares

Although not exactly the same as Neapolitan ice cream, the three layers on this Neapolitan Squares traybake look similar enough to earn the name!

It turns out that Neapolitan ice cream was originally available in a variety of flavours and then the chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry combination took over as these were most popular in the USA at the time.

While there isn’t chocolate or vanilla in this Neapolitan Squares traybake, it has a digestive/graham cracker base, a sticky coconut middle and a pink-hued strawberry buttercream topping!

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No-Bake Lemon Cheesecake Bars

No-bake lemon cheesecake bars. This is a proper, old-school, retro recipe, made with cream cheese, evaporated milk and lemon jelly (or jello, for my US readers). See, I told you it was properly retro!

But, you know what, it still tastes good. And it’s quick and easy to make. So it’s perfect for a simple summer dessert.

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Flakemeal Biscuits

Flakemeal Biscuits, Oatmeal Cookies – whatever you choose to call these – they are a simple, crunchy, tasty biscuit.

While their traditional name in Northern Ireland is Flakemeal Biscuits, I ended up calling them Oatmeal Cookies when Little Miss Traybakes asked what they were, as she looked at me blankly when I said flakemeal. I guess I had better get used to the language differences that will spring up over the years, but I will still try to keep her educated on the ‘proper’ words!  My little US citizen shall be a bilingual baker!

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Alice Cakes

I have multiple recipes for Alice Cakes, but I don’t remember eating these growing up. But there are many recipes I have encountered that are unfamiliar to me, that’s one of the pleasures of baking for this blog, I get to discover all sorts of new treats.

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