Friday, 7 September 2012

Shiny shoes, sharpened pencils and Back to school baking

'A' went back to school yesterday 'H' starts her new job today and I've actually got an interview tomorrow.  So I did a big batch of back to school baking of Audrey Hepburn muffins for mornings when you only have time to grab and go, Aunties apple cake with windfall apples that will fit the same purpose (even though the apples were more plucked then fallen,) granola for slightly slower breakfasts and granola bars for lunch boxes.

I always have mixed emotions at this time of year.  The end of the summer and getting back into more routine days.  Earlier mornings and nights, an excuse to go to bed and actually finish reading the book that's been on the bedside table for two months instead of staying up to unhealthy hours finishing projects. An excitement at the approach of another season with all the misty mornings and plans for Halloween, Bonfire night and then Christmas to look forward too. 

It all takes me back to my childhood with new shoes and sharpened pencils, excitement at catching up with school friends that I hadn't seen over the summer but all tinged with a little melancholy that the holidays were finally over.  

Here are the recipes: 

Audrey Hepburn Bran Muffins

There is a little bit more info here.

Aunties Apple Cake

This is mum's apple cake recipe If it's not too clear there's another version here.

Fruit and nut granola 

I used this recipe here but add lots of dried fruit. I think  I missed that out in the recipe. I used vine fruits and dried cranberries and whole almonds and some blanched almond slivers, half maple syrup and honey to sweeten. 

I used four times the quantities in the recipe, enough for a couple of storage jars plus a tray bake of granola bars.  

Granola bars.

I used one batch of granola and extra dried vine fruit steeped in red grape juice and then cooked to plumpen up and soften.  Mixed in a large bowl with the other ingredients to keep the bars nice and moist.  Added a couple of handfuls of oat bran and then bound the mixture together with two beaten eggs.  I then spread them out on a baking tray lined with enough paper to wrap around and cover the top and baked at 150c for about 20 minutes to half an hour. Until set, being careful not to burn the fruit.

These make a great sweet chewy moist snack. They are perfect for lunch boxes.

Thankfully the sun is shining brightly the forecast is good and it looks like the Indian summer is continuing.  Perfect for early morning baking whilst  listening to slow jazz...."we have all the time in the world..."


  1. I can't decide which I love more, the pic of the granola mixture, the idea of Audrey Hepburn muffins or the handwritten cake recipe. Good luck for the interview, I'm sure you'll wow them (if all else fails, take them some baking!)

    1. Oh thanks Lucy. Good idea about the cakes but too late now...the interview was Wednesday and I only managed to post this today. Still waiting for the results... Maybe I'll try it next time though.\

  2. I love hand-me-down recipes and we are just coming into spring here so still perfect for these.

    1. Me too...I treasure all those that I've inherited or have been given to me by friends and family.

      Oh favourite season...I hope it;s a good one for you.

  3. Good luck with your interview!! Have a good weekend :)