Friday, 30 March 2012

Foodie Pen Pal Parcel – Carob and Goji Cookies

On a fairly recent trawl of the numerous food blogs that are out there in the world wide web I stumbled across which is great little blog with some inspiring recipes and ideas.  So I began following @thisisrocksalt on twitter and as an added bonus won some cupcake cases as a result. The arrival of the cake cases coincided with me moving into my new house and greeted me on my arrival…a perfect culinary housewarming present. 

Getting post is always fun but food related post is just that little bit better. So when the idea of setting up a foodie pen pal network was suggested on thisisrocksalt I signed up in eager anticipation of more foodie parcels arriving on my doorstep.

The idea was actually started in the states a little while back but the basic principles are as follows…

On the 5th of the month you get sent the contact details for some other culinary enthusiast to whom you will be sending a parcel.

You compile your parcel (with a value of no more than £10) full of foodie delights whether that be things to eat, bake with, use in the kitchen, shop bought or homemade.

You send of the parcel by the 20th of the month.

During this time some other foodie who has signed up to the pen pal scheme (not the person you are sending your parcel to) is compiling a parcel for you.

You receive your parcel, open it and revel in the delightful morsels it contains…and graciously thank your sendee for your goodies.

Then everyone who has received a parcel blogs about it and we all get a chance to be nosey and see what everyone else sent and received!

So pretty simple and stupidly exciting!!!!

And thanks to Lucy from I received the most wonderful box of delights this month.

I really had no idea what to expect (I knew what I had sent on to my FPP recipient) but was seriously not disappointed when this beautiful little box all tied up with a bow dropped through my letter box (although actually it didn’t drop through my letter box as it didn’t fit so had to be retrieved from the local postal office….which just made the situation even more suspenseful!!).  

And if the presentation wasn’t exciting enough look at what I got inside!

 The contents were as follows;

Durban Curry Mix…I am yet to use this but will be cooking up an amazing diner for me and my housemate at some point soon!

Dried pigs blood…well Lucy is eating a lot of offal this year in the aim to become an ethical carnivore…see for more details…and again I haven’t put this to use yet but as someone not averse to the odd slice of black pudding this will be added to a stew soon!

Violet creams…these worried me a little as I can’t stand parma violets, but the flavours are so much more subtle than those evil purple sugary discs I avoided as a child and I have been steadily munching my way through these!!!

Himalayan Salt

Goji berries

Chilli flavoured rock…I love anything with a kick and this is certainly firey :o)

Pukka Clean Greens

Kung Fu Panda Cases…think I am in need of a mass cupcake cooking session

Hollyhock seeds…not to be munched but planted, unfortunately I only currently have a patio an no real garden but I think I shall be getting involved in some guerilla gardening soon and dispersing these on a local roundabout! 

So thank you Lucy so much for this wonderful little parcel, I couldn’t have been more delighted with its varied and exciting content.

I also thought that I had better use a few of the ingredients provided to come up with a recipe that suits my blog. So I adapted a few ideas I found on-line to make Carob and Goji cookies. These little moreish monsters not only contain a superfood but are gluten free and vegan so what’s stopping you from creating some of these yourself…well you might need to find a pen pal called Lucy first to send you some yummy things but apart from that……


40g cup goji berries
60ml orange juice
120g rice flour
25g carob powder (can be replaced with cocoa)
80g gluten free oats
60g dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon gluten free baking powder
½ teaspoon of Himalayan salt (can use any kind of sea salt)
125ml rice milk
2 tablespoons on molasses

Pre-heat oven to 180 deg C and line a large baking tray with greaseproof paper or non-stick baking parchment

Put the orange juice into a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Once boiling add the goji berries, remove from the heat and allow to stand for 10-15 minutes to allow the berries to absorb some of the juice.

Mix all of the dry ingredients together in a mixing bowl.

Add the milk, molasses, berries and any extra juice that hasn’t been absorbed by the berries to the dry ingredients and mix until fully combined.

At this point the mixture will seem quite runny but don’t panic! Cover the bowl with cling film and stick it in the fridge to chill for an hour.

After an hour remove the bowl from the fridge and use a teaspoon to dollop heaped teaspoon sized blobs of the mixture to the baking tray, ensuring an inch or so is left between each blob to allow the cookie mixture to spread slightly during cooking.

Place the baking tray in the oven for 10 minutes, after this time the cookies should have firmed up nicely and have quite a glossy exterior. Remove from the oven and allow to cool then dig in!

This recipe should make approx. 20 cookies.

Thanks again to Lucy for the ingredients that inspired this creation and to My Vegan Cookbook  from which I adapted the above recipe!


  1. jealous you got goji berries! i wanna try those!!

    1. I'd never tried them before but they worked pretty well in the cookies....and think I will have to start adding them to my cereal for a 'super food' boost in the mornings!!

  2. you can make a really nice tomato and goji berry soup, i got the recipe from a neal's yard remedies cookbook, but it's pretty easy - you just rehydrate the berries for twenty mins, then add with the tomatoes (like you were making a normal soup), simmer and whizz.
    Glad you liked the package - my boyfriend was sceptical that anyone apart from me would like it! xxx

    1. I really liked the no not only you :o) And goji soup certainly sounds interesting, may well have to give that a try next!

  3. That Lucy is such a pro, look at that beautiful parcel! Everthing sounds great, I'm so glad you're into the idea of the dried pig's blood, very adventurous. And those cookies! Great use of the goji berries!