Sunday, September 11

Favourite biscuits and a rugby treat.........

After a glorious mild Spring day, we are back to rain & wind, perfect baking weather. So I thought I would make an old favourite of mine. Not the most glam treat for sure, these don't have the classic appeal of a macaron , or the flash of a whoopie pie, but they can be whipped up in no time, and with no nervous breakdown involved....
Great tin fillers, sweet, spicy & full of fruit,  I have used cranberries & sultanas in this version, but raisins, current or mixed fruit would also be fine. Mum used to make these for our "playlunch" (morning tea) when we were kids, they are super easy to make, sturdy, stay fresh for days & one batch makes approx 25 biscuits, an important consideration in a family of seven!
I think the recipe may have come from the NZ Woman's Weekly, it was written on a bit of paper, then years ago transferred into my recipe book, so became Mum's Fruit Drop Biscuits.

Mum's Fruit Drop Biscuits

2 cups/300 gr plain flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
175 gr butter, at room temperature
1 cup/200 gr brown sugar
2 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup sultanas/mixed fruit/cranberries or raisins

Pre heat the oven to 180C/350F

Sift together the flour, salt, soda & spices. Meanwhile beat together your butter & brown sugar, until pale & fluffy. I use a Kitchen Aid, but a handheld beater or a wooden spoon would also work. Add the eggs one at a time until they are well mixed in, then add the vanilla.
Stir in the flour mixture, then the dried fruit, I use a wooden spoon for this.
Cover and put into the fridge for 20-30 minutes so the mixture firms up.
Put teaspoonfuls onto a greased baking tray and cook for 12-15 minutes, they will spread slightly, and should be pale gold. The kitchen will smell wonderful. Cool on wire racks then fill your tins (sorry, but I just love that phrase, makes me feel so competant....)

For those of you reading this outside of New Zealand, the Rugby World Cup is currently being held here, and the country has gone Rugby Obsessive (even more so than usual). In a spectacular piece of blagging we managed to get tickets to a Corporate Box for the Opening Ceremony on Friday at Eden Park, and what a show it was! Completely fabulous, I am now ruined for the cheap seats forever. This is very unfortunate as we have brought tickets for the Semi-finals (the cheapest ones possible. They are so high up in the stands I fully expect to be given an oxygen mask & parachute on arrival) Oh well, it was nice to see how the other half lives for once, and I got to meet Tana Umaga, who is totally charming and didn't seem to mind watching the first half of the game sitting next to me instead of someone knowledgeable.....

I stopped scoffing the free food & booze long enough to take a picture, what a view!

I went to the cinema last night for my friend Yummy Mummy's birthday, sadly I was allowed to select the film, and boy did I get it WRONG!  The Priest in 3D, I am praying you don't make the same mistake & fork out $20 for this load of tripe.
I was seduced by the thought of the delicious Paul Bettany in 3D, but even a gratuitous naked ab shot was not enough to make it worthwhile. The highlight was probably me jumping two foot in my seat & spraying popcorn all over myself. It  really itches when it goes down your top. The guy next to me was at least trying not to laugh too loudly, unlike madam next to me.....


  1. The cookies look yummy and remind me very much of a recipe my own Mum used to make for us. I shall have to try yours! We watched the opening ceremony from the comfort of our lounge. Not quite the same as the grandstand view you had of course and we didn't have all the food to enjoy! It was a marvellous ceremony and did NZ proud! I can imagine all the excitement everyone is feeling living right where it's all taking place. South Africans are as rugby obsessed as you are, so I'm probably going to be regarded as a pariah, but my money's on NZ taking the cup this year. I know we don't stand a chance with the way our team have been performing of late. Thanks for the review of The Priest! Forewarned is forearmed. Enjoy the rugby!

  2. @Desiree

    Hi Desiree, glad you enjoyed it! Yep I can imagine it is pretty big news in SA, I wont tell anyone you think the All Blacks can take the cup:)In fact I dont want to get my hopes up, might be a bit bleak here if we dont manage it! SA v AB final??!

  3. Loving the cookies, shame about the movie...I saw Horrible Bosses...hilarious!! Oh & the rugby...saw it all on the telly & it really was spectacular.

  4. Ok I will praise the cookies.I am not a rugby fan..but it is of course an honour for NZ that the World Cup is held here.We non rugby fans will survive;)Didn't like how John Key said(in otherway fantastic opening ceremony:We have to look after our tourists...I would think to call them visitors or guests would sound less like moneymakers.

  5. @Mairi@Toast
    Oh I so wish I had chosen Horrible Bosses, I just managed Horrible Movie.....!:)

  6. @Dzoli
    Oh I hear you, not everyone loves footie, I guess I got it growing up so it wasnt a choice:) Yes, I think "guests" is the word, "guests"!:)

  7. The fruit drop biscuits look really yum! Brava!
    I went to two games, the first in my life!! I had so much fun!!!!

    FYI, I have a blog candy on, if you like to win my book :-).
    You can find the info here:


  8. GO THE BLACKS !!!!!!!!!!! the haka makes me cry now that i've been away from home for so long :(

  9. my sad face up there got split onto 2 lines :(

  10. @Alessandra Yay, thats fantastic Alessandra, so glad you had a great time!!I saw your book on Saturday at Arcadia Books, it is beautiful, you must be thrilled! Will def be entering:) x

  11. @paula @ pod and 3 peas You & me both, and the Anthem (which is probably a good thing given my tragic singing voice...!)We had to sing it in Maori at Primary school, so I learnt all the words, I just cant seem to make it sound any good....:(

  12. Wow how cool to be at the opening ceremony, I'm pleased to day we watched it even if were overseas and had to stay up past my bedtime to see it. Very cool it was indeed.

  13. @peasepudding It was rather fab yes! Now I'm ruined, cheap seats from here, sigh.....

  14. Oh dear re: Paul Bettany film!

    Well done getting such good seats to the rugby, I'm trying to avoid it as much as possible but the opening ceremony was spectacular as far as I heard, looks like you would've had an amazing view of it all.

    I haven't heard the word playlunch in years! Would probably get some strange looks these days if I referred to my morning tea as that. I love these biscuits, and besides, whoopie pies aren't as good for "filling your tins" because they'd get all smushed ;)

  15. PS

    You could enter these in Sweet NZ, this month the host is Allison from Pease Pudding, the link is here

  16. Great looking cookies, though I'm wondering how you know that they stay fresh for days - I wouldn't be able to make them last that long.

    Hope all is good with you - looking forward to seeing you again at NZFBC, which seems not so far away now.


  17. @hungryandfrozen Actually Laura I have just had my first Whoopie Pie, and I didnt really think it was all that, I guess I have plainer tastes in playlunch....:)

  18. Hi Sue, looking fwd to seeing you to, and hearing all about Nelson:) x


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