Showing posts with label cookies. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cookies. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Lazy Cow Rich Tea Biscuits #CreativeCookieExchange

Rich tea biscuits are a British classic, baked up crispy so they are perfect for dunking in a cup of hot tea. Use my "lazy cow" method to avoid rolling out the dough and using cookie cutters.

In the many years I’ve been watching the Great British Bake Off or GBBO as it’s known for short, I’ve learned a lot about British classics as well as traditional baked goods from other countries. Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry are both a wealth of baking knowledge.

There’s just one thing I have to disagree with. Paul maintained throughout the series (and I’ve heard him say it elsewhere also) that the difference between biscuits and cookies is that biscuits are crisp, while cookies are softer.

But if we are talking American English, biscuits are fluffy baked quick bread akin to British scones and cookies can be both crisp and soft. In all my many years of visiting the British Isles and hanging out with British friends, I have never heard them use the term “cookie” for anything traditional that they bake.

I tell you all this as a preamble to today’s bake. They are indeed crispy, so even Paul Hollywood would call these rich tea biscuits. That said, traditional rich tea biscuits are rolled out and cut into circles. Which is my least favorite way of making cookies or biscuits. Blessedly, the circle is the classic shape for these guys, so I rolled the dough into a log, partially froze it, and then sliced it into circles. So these are my “lazy cow” rich tea biscuits. To everyone else who hates to roll dough, but loves rich tea biscuits, you are welcome.

Adapted from this recipe on The Baking Bar, where David does it the old-fashioned way. Because he's not a lazy cow. Apparently.

Ingredients – for about 14-15 large biscuits
2 cups or 250g plain flour
1/3 cup or 75g caster sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch fine salt
3/4 cup or 170g unsalted butter
2 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Line your baking sheets with baking parchment or silicone liners and set aside.

Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt together in a large bowl.

Add the butter, cut into cubes.

Use your fingers or a pastry blender to mix in the butter till the mixture looks like crumbs. My kitchen is always too warm and my hands are too hot, so I use the pastry blender.

Add in the milk and the vanilla and use a fork to combine.

Use your hands to bring it all together into a firm dough.

Roll the dough into a thick log about 2 3/4 in or 7cm in circumference, shaping the ends flat.

Wrap it in cling film and pop it in your freezer, standing it on one end so that the log retains a nice cylindrical shape. Set a timer for about 40 minutes.

When the timer is nearly up, preheat the oven to 375°F or 190°C.

Use a sharp knife to cut the log into slices about 1/4 in or 1/2cm thick. I find a sharp serrated knife works best because you can "saw" the slices off without pressing the log out of shape, which gives more circular circles, if you know what I mean.

Put your dough circles on the prepared baking pans, leaving room for some expansion as they bake. I used a toothpick to make little holes all of the circles, just like the store-bought rich tea biscuits but I could have saved myself some time because they weren't really visible after baking. Feel free to skip this step.

Bake for about 8-9 minutes in your preheated oven. Ideally, you want them baked through but not brown. Mine are a little darker around the edges than a classic rich tea biscuit should be.

Leave to cool for a few minutes on the pan and then transfer to a metal rack to cool completely. They will crisp up as they cool.

Enjoy with a cup of tea!

If you like cookies or biscuits with your tea, you are going to love this month's Creative Cookie Exchange link list. Check out all the great teatime treats we have for you today!

Creative Cookie Exchange is hosted by Laura of The Spiced Life. We get together once a month to bake cookies with a common theme or ingredient so Creative Cookie Exchange is a great resource for cookie recipes. Be sure to check out our Pinterest Board and our monthly posts at The Spiced Life. We post the first Tuesday after the 15th of each month!

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Tuesday, January 17, 2017

ANZAC Biscuits #CreativeCookieExchange

ANZAC biscuits are a traditional cookie Down Under made with oats, coconut and golden syrup. These biscuits – always biscuits and never cookies – can be baked chewy or crispy and that’s a point that divides families.

This month our Creative Cookie Exchange group theme is Healthy Cookies. My younger daughter and I were brainstorming ideas – I was pushing for a homemade Hobnob (a crispy oat cookie) when she suggested ANZAC biscuits. When we lived in Kuala Lumpur the first time, we enjoyed home baked ANZAC biscuits at least once a year, when one of our Australian friends made them for ANZAC Day. Happily, she also shared her recipe.

ANZAC stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps, a joint outfit that fought together during World War I. ANZAC Day, which falls on April 25th every year, is a national holiday in Australia that has grown from its original intent in 1916 to honor the more than 8,000 Australians who died in the campaign to take Gallipoli, to a day to honor all who have fallen in military and peacekeeping missions.

There are several stories about the origin of ANZAC biscuits. One says that they were baked to send overseas in care packages to soldiers. More likely, say historians, they were created and baked to sell at fundraisers to collect money for the war effort. Original ANZAC biscuits were made only of flour, oats, and butter with syrup as the binding agent. They had a long shelf life and were full of energy and nutrition. Coconut has become a popular, later addition.

First, a word about the units of measure. Australian cups and tablespoons are not the same volume as American cups and tablespoons.

1 Australian cup = 8.45 fl oz
1 US cup = 8 fl oz
1 Australian tablespoon = 4 teaspoons
1 US tablespoon = 3 teaspoons

Mercifully, the teaspoons are equal. To make this the least complicated as possible, I’m going to leave the cups the same, since they are 1:1 anyway, but add the gram measurements of an Australian cup of rolled oats, flour, sugar and butter, if you want to use a scale.

1 cup or 120g rolled oats (Don’t use the quick cook oats.)
1 cup or 132g plain flour
1 cup or 237g caster sugar
3/4 cup or 75g coconut
1/2 cup or 125g butter
8 teaspoons golden syrup
1/2 teaspoon bi-carbonate of soda (baking soda, not baking powder)
8 teaspoons boiling water

Preheat your oven to 300°F or 150°C and line two cookie sheets with baking parchment or silicone liners.

Combine oats, flour, sugar and coconut in a large bowl.

Combine butter and golden syrup in a saucepan (or microwaveable bowl) and use your heat source to warm them gently until the butter is melted.

Mix the soda with the boiling water and add it to the butter mixture (it should froth up) and then add the whole lot to the oat mixture. Stir well.

Use a cookie dough scoop or a couple of spoons to divide the dough into about 24 pieces, placing them on your prepared pans.

Bake in your preheated oven for about 18-20 minutes or until golden brown. Rotate the pans mid way through baking time so they will brown evenly. If they are undercooked, they will be soft in the middle. If they’ve run together a little bit, just use a knife to gently separate them.

Remove the biscuits from the pan while warm and transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Store in an airtight container for up to a week. If they last that long.


Many thanks to my dear friend Glenys, for being the kind of friend who not only shares her recipes, but one whose friendship over the years has helped me stop questioning my sanity. Knowing she chose this same nomadic life means I must not be nuts, but if I’m crazy at least we are both crazy together. Everyone should be blessed with a friend like Glenys.

A big thank you also to Karen from Karen’s Kitchen Stories and Holly of A Baker’s House for stepping up to create and update the link list. Want to see the rest of our healthy cookies? Check out the list below.

Creative Cookie Exchange is hosted by Laura of The Spiced Life. We get together once a month to bake cookies with a common theme or ingredient so Creative Cookie Exchange is a great resource for cookie recipes. Be sure to check out our Pinterest Board and our monthly posts at The Spiced Life. We post the first Tuesday after the 15th of each month!

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Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Silver Bell Sugar Cookies #CreativeCookieExchange

A great sugar cookie recipe that actually keeps its shape when baked. Mix up your sparkling sugar decorations using both crystal white and silver to make your silver bell sugar cookies really shine. And don't forget the silver dragées for the clappers.

If you look back through my recipe archives, there is not a single cookie that’s been rolled and cut out with a cookie cutter to be baked and decorated. Not one. And in last five and half years I have shared 53 cookie recipes. I just counted.

When my girls lived at home, baking sugar cookies was a fun activity year-round but we really got into them – and making gingerbread men to decorate - just before Christmas. A couple of summers ago, I invited my small nieces over for a sugar cookie baking/decorating session where as many sprinkles were consumed directly as were put on cookies. But we had a lot of fun!

And since they didn't care about anyone else's idea of perfection, their cookies were fabulous and creative and beautiful.

Tip: For children (or adults who need more encouragement), fill squeezy bottles with the royal icing. They are much easier to handle than piping bags.

I’ve finally figured out that what I mind about making these things is not the time or the patience they require but the lack of company in my kitchen. So here’s my recommendation to you. Put on the holiday tunes. Mix up a batch (or two) and invite some friends or family over to decorate with you. Of course, you don’t have to make silver bell sugar cookies. Use your own favorite cookie cutters and colored sprinkles. And while this is a great time of the year to get together, sugar cookie baking sessions can be fun all year round.

Ingredients for about 40 small cookies
For the cookies:
1/2 cup or 113g unsalted butter, slightly softened to room temperature
1/2 cup or 100g granulated sugar
White of large egg, at room temperature (about 40g)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups or 218g all-purpose flour, plus a bit more if needed for rolling
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

For the royal icing:
1 1/4 cups or 156g powdered sugar + more as needed
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
pinch salt
1 egg white (about 40g)

Important: Uncooked egg whites should not be served to anyone with a compromised immune system, unless those whites are from pasteurized eggs. Substitute an equivalent combination of powdered egg whites and water, according to the package instructions.

For decorating:
Assorted sprinkles
Silver dragées for the bell clapper, if desired

In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer, soften the butter by beating it for a minute or so. Add in the sugar and beat until light and fluffy, scraping down the bowl occasionally, as needed.

Add in the egg white and vanilla and beat again until they are fully incorporated.

Add in the flour a bit at a time until it is completely mixed in and you have a soft dough that is firm enough to roll out.

Divide the dough into two pieces and roll them each out on parchment paper until they are about 1/4 in or 1/2 cm thick. Sprinkle on a tiny bit more flour if you must to keep the dough from sticking to your rolling pin. Cover with cling film and refrigerate for at least one hour or until ready to bake.

Preheat your oven to 350°F or 180°C.

Line your baking sheets with more parchment or silicon liners. If they are well chilled you can put these cookies fairly close together as they should not spread or puff very much. Well-chilled is key. 

Remove one rolled dough circle from the refrigerator and cut out your cookies with a cookie cutter. Use a flat spatula to transfer them quickly to the prepared cookie sheet.

Bake in the preheated oven for about 8-10 minutes or until the edges are just beginning to brown.

Remove and leave to cool completely before decorating. Continue the process until all the dough has been cut out and baked.

NOTE: Always add newly cut cookies to a cool lined cookie sheet before baking. Putting them on a hot pan will cause the butter to melt out prematurely. Having two or three pans to rotate is helpful.

Once the cookies are completely cooled, make the royal icing. Sift the powdered sugar, cream of tartar and pinch of salt into a mixing bowl.

Add in the egg white (see important note above) and whisk it in a little at a time from the middle, until all is incorporated.

Partially mixed in. Just keep whisking from the sides until all is incorporated.
Check the consistency of the icing by lifting your whisk and allowing it to drip back into the bowl. Too runny? Add more powdered sugar. Too firm? Add a drop or two of water. You want to be able to pipe it but have it keep its shape.

Spoon some of the icing into your piping bag fitted with a #3 tip. Pipe a royal icing outline of the cookie and pop on a silver dragée for the clapper, if using.

Outline all of the cookies and leave the royal icing to harden before you move on to the next step.

Cover the royal icing bowl with a piece of damp paper towel, then cling film and refrigerate. When the outlines are hard, remove the royal icing from the refrigerator so it can warm up a bit, and stir to loosen up.

Set up your decorating station putting one small saucer for each color of sprinkle or decoration you are using. This will allow you to reunite the sprinkles that fall off with their similarly colored brethren when all this is over.

Put the cookie in the first saucer and use a spoon to add a puddle of royal icing into the middle of the cookie. Spread it around right up to the hard outlines with a toothpick or even a clean paintbrush.

Add some sprinkles. Shake the cookie so loose sprinkles fall back in the saucer.

Move the cookie to the second saucer and add the next color sprinkles. Shake the cookie so loose sprinkles fall back in that saucer.

And so on.

Place finished cookies in a safe place where they can dry until completely hardened before trying to stack, package or transport them.


This month my Creative Cookie Exchange group is sharing decorated cookies, perfect for the holidays or whatever you feel like celebrating!

Creative Cookie Exchange is hosted by Laura of The Spiced Life. We get together once a month to bake cookies with a common theme or ingredient so Creative Cookie Exchange is a great resource for cookie recipes. Be sure to check out our Pinterest Board and our monthly posts at The Spiced Life. We post the first Tuesday after the 15th of each month!

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Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Momofuku Corn Cookies #CreativeCookieExchange

Momofuku calls this a sleeper cookie, that is, one that they did not expect would be that popular but has become a favorite. Rich, buttery, sweet but a bit salty, these Momofuku corn cookies are chewy and completely more-ish.

One of the beautiful things about having children is the intelligent discourse that becomes possible as they grow and become more articulate. Nothing gives me greater pleasure than spending time with my girls and learning from them. This past week I was in Baltimore visiting our elder daughter and I had the best time exploring her neighborhood and talking with her late into the night.

We ate lump crab cakes at Faidley’s in the world famous Lexington Market, bought pasta puttanesca supplies and chianti at a little Italian grocery for dinner on Friday night and enjoyed a beautiful meal – with house brewed beer, of course – at The Brewer’s Art. We even got to cheer on the runners in the Baltimore Marathon which ran right through her neighborhood Saturday.

On my final night, we brought home boiled crabs for dinner from Lexington Market. And if it sounds like all we did was eat, eat, eat, well, I cannot deny that. But we also managed to get our work done and we talked a lot.

I mentioned to her that I wasn’t going to take part in this cookie event because time had gotten away from me in Houston and I hadn’t had time to bake. Her eyes lit up at a good reason to introduce me to these Momofuku corn cookies, which she had already made twice in as many weeks. She extolled their virtues at length and, best of all, had the ingredients in the cupboard already. How could I resist?

I need to introduce the recipe by saying that we got it off the Lucky Peach website and it supposedly comes from the Momofuku cookbook. I say supposedly because I have never held that volume in my hands. I can tell you the measurements online are off so I hope that they are correct in the book. Since my daughter had already made these corn cookies twice, she said to ignore the volume amounts and use the weight measurements. I followed her instructions and give you below the corrected volume measurements for those who don’t have a digital kitchen scale.

Ingredients for 2 dozen cookies
1 cup or 226g room-temperature butter
1 1/2 cups or 300g sugar
1 egg
1 3/4 cups or 220g all-purpose flour
1/2 cup or 65g freeze-dried corn powder *See note below
1/4 cup or 45g corn flour (corn masa flour, like you’d use to make tortillas, not corn starch)
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt or flakey sea salt

*Note: I used Karen’s Freeze Dried Corn (<affiliate link) in this recipe, weighing out 65g and then blitzing it into powder with a food processor. The resulting powder measured about 1/2 cup by volume.

Use a stand or handheld electric beaters to cream the butter and sugar together on medium high until they are fluffy and pale yellow, about 2-3 minutes.

Add in the egg and mix it in with the beaters on low.

Increase the speed to medium high again and beat for eight minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl occasionally with a rubber spatula. Here the original recipe says that at the end of eight minutes, the sugar will be dissolved completely and the volume would double. Neither was true of mine but, honestly, it did not matter. The butter, sugar and egg were very pale and fluffy and I called it good.

With your mixer or beaters on low, mix in all of the dry ingredients, just until they come together as a dough.

Use a scoop or two spoons to divide the dough into 24 relatively equal portions. If you are a scale-using person, mine were about 40g each.

Using clean hands, roll the dough into balls and place on two cookie sheet lines with baking parchment or silicone liners.

Chill in the refrigerator for one hour. You can chill these for longer, even overnight, but in that case, cover them with cling film so they don’t dry out. The chilling time is a must for cookies with this much butter. If you bake them without chilling, the butter will melt out.

As you come to the end of the chilling time, preheat your oven to 350°F or 180°C.

Bake the cookies one pan at a time on the middle shelf of your preheated oven, leaving the second pan in the refrigerator until you are ready to bake it.

Bake for 10 minutes and then turn the pan around to make sure the cookies bake evenly. Bake for a further 5-6 minutes or until the edges are slightly golden and the cookies are a bit puffy looking. They will sink when they start cooling but that’s okay.

Leave the cookies to cool on the pans for a few minutes then cool them completely on a wire rack.

I wish I could adequately describe to you the buttery, chewiness of these sweet and salty corn cookies. Let me just say that you should try them, and as soon as possible. As you can see, when they are just turning brown on the edges, they are lovely and golden on the bottom.


This month my Creative Cookie Exchange group is baking with the tastes of autumn. Check out the lovely list of cookies we have for you today.

Creative Cookie Exchange is hosted by Laura of The Spiced Life. We get together once a month to bake cookies with a common theme or ingredient so Creative Cookie Exchange is a great resource for cookie recipes. Be sure to check out our Pinterest Board and our monthly posts at The Spiced Life. We post the first Tuesday after the 15th of each month!

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Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Marshmallow Turtle Bars #FoodieExtravaganza

Caramel, chocolate and pecans are the key ingredients of those delicious little candies known as turtles. Add a crust and throw a few mini marshmallows in the mix and what you’ve got is marshmallow turtle bars. They are sticky, gooey and more-ish!

This month my Foodie Extravaganza group is bringing you loads of chocolate recipes, both sweet and savory, in celebration of National Chocolate Day at the end of October. I’m not a big sweet eater but I am fond of chocolate when it is either dark, semi-sweet or paired with caramel. A dark or semi-sweet chocolate caramel combination would be ideal, especially with pecans. Which brings us to my recipe.

These guys are sooooo good.

2 cups or 250g flour
1/2 cup or 63g confectioners' sugar
3/4 cup or 85g unsalted butter, chilled
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 14-ounce or 397g can sweetened condensed milk
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup or 115g pecans, coarsely chopped
3/4 cup or 150g semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup or 165g toffee-and-chocolate candy (such as chopped up Heath bars)
1 cup or 50g mini marshmallows

Heat oven to 350°F or 180°C and prepare your 9 x 13 inch or 23 x 33cm pan by greasing it or lining it with baking parchment. Personally, I'm a fan of the parchment.

Cut the chilled butter into cubes and put it in a food processor with the flour, confectioners' sugar, and salt. Pulse until the dough just starts to hang together.

Use your clean hands to press the dough firmly into your prepared pan.

Bake until golden around the edges, about 12-15 minutes.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the condensed milk, egg, and vanilla. Pour the filling over the baked crust.

Sprinkle on the marshmallows first, then the chopped pecans, chocolate chips, and toffee pieces putting some of each until you’ve used up all of them.

Bake until the filling is set, the edges are golden brown, and the marshmallows are melted, about 25 minutes.

Cool completely and cut into bars. If you live in a warm climate, you might want to keep these in the refrigerator.


How will you celebrate National Chocolate Day? I’d like to recommend making a few of these. Many thanks to our host this month, Kathleen from Fearlessly Creative Mammas.

Foodie Extravaganza celebrates obscure food holidays or shares recipes with the same ingredient or theme every month.

Posting day is always the first Wednesday of each month. If you are a blogger and would like to join our group and blog along with us, come join our Facebook group Foodie Extravaganza. We would love to have you!

If you're a reader looking for delicious recipes, check out our Foodie Extravaganza Pinterest Board! Looking for our previous parties? Check them out here.

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