Thursday, 13 October 2011

A Rant and a Recipe

Yes. It is that time again. I suppose you can jump straight to the yummy Crunchy Chocolate and Nuts Cookies recipe below, but ideally you stay with me and hear me rant!

For the past few days I've come across this idea of 'too many reviews' in the blog world. "Can there really be too many reviews in a blog? Has the blog world been taken over by marketing and PR?" People asked. Well, that depends on why we started to write one.

There are many different reasons, but you can more or less categorise them under "To Share Our Passion and Experience (of something)". It could be parenting tips, passion about food, wanting to share recipes, or even passion about writing and creativity.

So, if all those blog posts are acceptable, and there can't be too many of those in one blog, then I don't understand why there can be too many reviews in a blog. Reviews are the obvious type of 'sharing experience', to tell readers what the blog writer think about the things they've experienced.

Yes, a lot of them are being sponsored, and yes, in return for 'try before I buy and tell you what I think', we help the companies advertise their products. But just because my blog is filled with these, doesn't mean I'm lost and sold my soul to the social media. We just don't tell you how many and who we've rejected, or even which products we've returned because we do not want to recommend them to you.

To me, doing reviews is part of my passion. In our daily lives, we'll find ourselves recommending, or being critical about something every so often. It's a nice feeling if what I recommended helps others. All I'm doing is to bring that to my blog, and recommend to more people things I think are good.

Of course, there is also that opportunity to try before I buy. Don't we all want to do that? So, if I'm given the opportunity to try before I buy, why should I give it up just because there are too many of them on my blog? Of course it would be even better that I can just try before I buy and give nothing in return, but there really is no free lunch in this world. And then you'll never know what treasure I've found (I've found loads for the Xmas Gifts post, didn't even know there were so many choices out there!)

I think, as long as the blogger doesn't review whatever they are given, and they give their own honest opinion instead of saying what the companies want them to say, it shouldn't matter if their blog is flooded with reviews. In fact, I've seen blogs that only writes about reviews  (technology, restaurant experience, holiday experience, etc) and there are plenty of followers happy to read them everyday.

Anyway, rant over, let's get some happy food out there. I found this recipe on the net while I was browsing for crunchy cookies. Not that I don't like the gooey soft centred stuff, but they get sickly after a while.

This recipe is my favourite and I'd like to share it with you. Erm, apologies to the original author as it was a while ago and I've forgotten who you are. But I've adjusted quite alot of the recipe so I'll just call it mine ;p

Crunchy Chocolate and Nuts Cookies

(Make approx. 50 cookies)


114g Unsalted Butter, slightly softened
1/4cup Caster Sugar
1/4cup Demerera Sugar
1/2cup Taiwanese Black Sugar (or Soft Dark Brown Sugar)
1 Egg, lightly beaten
2caps Vanilla Essence
2cups Plain Flour
3/4tsp Bicarb Soda
1/2tsp Salt

(Quantity up to you)
White Chocolate Chips
Dark Chocolate, roughly chopped
Whole Almonds, roughly chopped

Sea Salt Flakes

Preheat oven to 180 C, line baking sheet with greaseproof paper


1. Beat the butter and sugar until creamy (a bit harder than fully softened butter)
2. Add a bit of egg and vanilla at a time, mix well each time
3. Mix in the flour, bicarb soda and salt and form a dough
4. Fold in chocolates and almonds
5. Roll pieces of dough into equal size balls, place on the lined baking sheet approx. 1.5cm apart. Press gently to flatten
6. Sprinkle a tiny pinch of sea salt flakes on top of each cookie (very important step)
7. Bake for 13 minutes until golden (if you can tell). Remove and cool on cooling rack


The sea salt flakes brings out the flavour of the cookie, so it's a must! You can use normal table salt, it just look nicer with the flakes ;)

Appearantly you aren't suppose to interchange different brown sugar for a recipe, but I did it and well, I'm no expert, but they still taste great!