traybakes & more

retro recipes for the modern baker

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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!

If you’re in the US (or elsewhere) and haven’t heard of Weetabix, I’ve had no problems finding it at Trader Joe’s or even at my local Wegmans. It’s a bit of a classic breakfast food back home and is somewhat like Shredded Wheat. Although not quite the same. But, like I said, I’ve never had a problem buying it here.

So, the base for these does taste a little like sugary, coconutty Weetabix. Then you add a layer of squishy, sticky marshmallow and top it all with chocolate. And Mr Traybakes remarked that the mallow layer tasted like the filling in a Wagon Wheel. Only it’s a lot, lot thicker. What’s not to like!?

Making the marshmallow layer isn’t all that complicated. It does require quite a lot of whisking, so a free-standing mixer would be best here, but a hand-held electric mixer would also do the job. I did wonder if it would all work out in the end as the instructions are just to ‘boil for 3 minutes’ with no mention of temperatures or sugar thermometers. And it all came together beautifully!

Ingredients

Base

3 Weetabix, crushed

4oz/110g/1 cup desiccated coconut

5oz/150g/¾ cup brown sugar

4oz/110g/1 stick butter, melted

4oz/110g/¾ cup plain flour (all-purpose flour)

Marshmallow

8oz/225g/1 cup sugar

6 fl oz/180ml/¾ cup water

1 sachet gelatine (this is a ¼ oz/7g packet)

1 tsp vanilla extract

7-8 oz/200g chocolate, for topping

Method

1.  Preheat oven to 325F/160C.

2.  Mix all the base ingredients together and spread into a well-lined tin (the mallow is very sticky!) I used a 9″/23cm square tin. Bake for 15-20 minutes and set aside to cool.

3.  Dissolve the gelatine in the water in a saucepan, then add the sugar.

4. Bring this mixture to a boil and boil for 3 minutes.  Let the mixture cool and then whisk at high speed until thick, white and glossy.  This took me about 10-15 minutes. Add the vanilla at the end, then whisk briefly to incorporate.

5. Spread the mallow mixture over the base and let it firm up.  Then top with the melted chocolate.

6. Cut into squares when set. The mallow will be pretty squishy but it all springs back into place nicely after you’ve cut the slices. Enjoy!

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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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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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Chocolate Custard Slices

Chocolate Custard Slices. These were a big hit in the Traybakes’ household. They are no-bake. They are easy to make. They freeze well. And they are really rather yummy.

In my exploration of all things baking, I discovered that these Chocolate Custard Slices are incredibly similar to a Canadian traybake called Nanaimo Bars.  The main difference seems to be the inclusion of almonds in the base of the Canadian version.  Although, just like with many Northern Irish traybakes, there do appear to be multiple recipe variations.  But I’m going to stick with calling them Chocolate Custard Slices.

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Wonder Bites

This is another remarkably simple recipe.  Chopped nuts, cherries and coconut, covered in chocolate.  There is a little bit of coffee essence in the recipe, but to be honest, I didn’t notice a discernible coffee taste from these Wonder Bites.

Well, I say this is an easy recipe and it looks remarkably simple.  My baking went something like this…

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Canadian Cookies

These are possibly the nicest, most polite cookies you’ve ever met.  And they love ice hockey.  And maple syrup.  Or perhaps they’re called Canadian Cookies for some other reason…

Probably, someone’s Aunt/Granny/neighbour got this recipe from a relative in Canada and they have forever been known as Canadian Cookies.  We may never know!  And, of course, my humble apologies to any Canadians reading this for the blatant stereotyping!

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Snowballs

We had our first flurries of snow in the week before Thanksgiving this year. When I’m clearing several inches (hopefully not feet!) of snow off our driveway later in the winter, I shall try to remember the look of sheer joy on Little Miss Traybakes’ face when she saw the sprinkling of flakes outside.  It won’t make the snow shoveling any easier but I’m hoping it’ll make me smile!

It’s not the earliest I’ve ever seen snow over here and there certainly wasn’t enough to make even the smallest of snowballs, so I’ve been making snowballs in the kitchen instead.

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Diane’s Delights

This traybake was new to me but as Little Miss Traybakes pointed out, it does have a lot of the same ingredients as Fifteens (this unprompted comment made me rather proud – a star baker in the making?!)

These are very sweet but also very delicious.  Coconutty, crunchy, filled with sticky marshmallows, and topped with sweet white chocolate, these are definitely not for anyone looking to reduce their sugar consumption!  But like most of my other bakes, I cut these into small squares.  Everything in moderation!

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Coconut Biscuits

Coconut features heavily in traybake recipes.  Glacé cherries feature heavily in traybake recipes.  And this recipe has both!

These cookies were simple and easy to make and when baked they had a nice crunch and weren’t too sweet.

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