traybakes & more

retro recipes for the modern baker

Author: CJ (page 1 of 9)

Coffee Caramel Squares

This Coffee Caramel Squares traybake is essentially a regular Caramel Square/Millionaire’s Shortbread with the addition of coffee and some plain chocolate, which makes a darker, richer traybake with a subtle taste of coffee.

There is coffee in the shortbread base, as well as the caramel layer. If you can find it in the shops near you, then you can use Camp Coffee Extract for this recipe. I wasn’t able to get hold of any, so I used instant coffee instead. Just dissolve the instant coffee in a small amount of boiling water – 1 tbsp water for 2 tbsp coffee in the base – or for the caramel layer, I added the coffee directly to the mix and as it heated up, the granules dissolved.

Another one that disappeared quickly in the Traybakes House. I kept mine in the refrigerator, as summer was heating up here. It helps keep the chocolate crisp and stops the caramel going too gooey!

Ingredients

Base

6oz/175g plain flour (all-purpose flour)

4oz/110g butter

1oz/28g soft brown sugar

2 tbsp coffee essence (or 2 tbsp instant coffee dissolved in 1 tbsp boiling water)

Caramel

2oz/55g light brown sugar

14oz/397g can of condensed milk

3oz/85g butter

1 tbsp instant coffee or coffee essence

Topping

4oz/110g dark chocolate

0.5oz/15g butter

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 350F/180C.
  2. Sift the flour into a bowl and rub in the butter.
  3. Stir in the sugar and the coffee essence and knead to a smooth dough.
  4. Press the dough in a even layer into a lined tin (8″ square), prick with a fork and bake at 350F/180C for 20-25 minutes. Leave to cool.
  5. Place all the caramel ingredients in a heavy based pan. Heat gently until the butter and sugar have melted. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5-7 minutes, stirring frequently, until it thickens.
  6. Allow to cool for a few minutes, then pour over the base and leave it to firm up for a while.
  7. Melt the chocolate and butter, either in a bowl over a pan of simmering water or in short bursts in the microwave. Spread over the base and leave to set.
  8. Cut into squares and enjoy!

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Treacle Farls

I already have a recipe for Traditional Soda Farls on the blog, and this Treacle Farls recipe is very similar. A little bit sweeter, richer and darker with the addition of treacle. These are super quick and easy to make, and we enjoyed them simply buttered or with jam. Delicious when still warm and perfect for an afternoon snack.

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Jelly Squares

I’ve also seen this Jelly Squares recipe referred to as Marshmallow Fingers, which makes sense as the topping is pretty much just a simplified marshmallow recipe. Shortbread base, marshmallowy topping and coconut. Really simple and very tasty.

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Sydney Specials

Sydney Specials (or possibly Sidney Specials, there are some discrepancies in the spelling) tick a lot of the classic traybake boxes. Coconut? Check! Cornflakes? Check! Chocolate? Check!

This traybake is very simple and quick to make. Just mix the dry ingredients and add melted butter. Then bake and top with chocolate icing. It would only be simpler if it were no-bake. But there’s flour in this and as my flour packet keeps telling me, you shouldn’t eat raw flour (hasn’t stopped me licking the bowl when I bake a cake though…)

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Homemade Custard Creams

Why would you want to make Custard Creams at home, I hear you ask? Well, not all of live somewhere you can buy them easily at the grocery store and also, it turns out that they are very easy to make and really tasty.

It’s a shortbread recipe with added custard powder and buttercream filling. And as custard powder is essentially flavored cornflour, it helps give the cookies a nice snap and light texture.

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Marshmallow Fudge Traybake

Warning: this Marshmallow Fridge Traybake is very sweet, very gooey and very delicious! It’s got a digestive and coconut biscuit base that is topped with caramel and marshmallow and delivers a serious sugar rush.

It’s another no-bake traybake and although it takes a bit of time to cook the caramel layer, it’s pretty easy to put together. And very quick to disappear in our house. It’s also a useful recipe to have as it uses up the remainder of a tin of condensed milk that you may have opened for another recipe.

Second warning: this is really sticky to work with, especially when you get to the marshmallow swirl, so my advice is to work quickly and be prepared to get melted marshmallow stuck to places other than the caramel layer.

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Chocolate Ginger Traybake

It was time for another no-bake traybake and this Chocolate Ginger Traybake is an easy one. And it doesn’t need flour or eggs! It’s a double-ginger, chocolatey slice, topped with yet more chocolate.

The base has both ginger snap biscuits and crystallized ginger in it for an additional spicy, sugary kick. And the condensed milk makes the base gooey and squidgy. The base is a little on the soft side if you leave it sitting out, so these might be best kept in the fridge, especially if your kitchen is particularly warm.

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Salted Peanut Fudge Squares

Another successful traybake from my stash of retro recipe books, Salted Peanut Fudge Squares are a sugary, crunchy, salty treat.

The base is essentially shortbread with the addition of peanut butter. The top is a sugary, fudgey layer, filled with salted peanuts.

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Brown Sugar Shortbread

I typically make shortbread with white sugar, but in the midst of our time at home, I have thrown caution to the wind and went with this recipe for Brown Sugar Shortbread.

And, it turns out, brown sugar adds a treacle-y, molasses-y flavor to the shortbread that works well.

Such a simple recipe – just flour, butter and sugar. Brown, obviously.

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Queen Cakes

Queen Cakes are a simple, straightforward bake, essentially a fairy cake/wee bun with raisins. If you don’t have raisins, then any dried fruit will do. Or even chocolate chips, which was the addition of choice for Little Miss Traybakes.

Now, as you can see from the photographs, my bun cases are a little larger than I needed for these Queen Cakes. I guess they are US cupcake sized. The recipe makes 12 traditional sized cakes and my bun cases were about half-full before they went into the oven. You probably want to aim for three-quarters full if you have larger cases and want the buns to fill them completely. But, hey, no one complained in our house!

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