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Tag Archives: biscuits

Oat Crumble Chocolate Chip Cookies

Cookies –  chewy or crisp, risen or flat,  there are so many decisions to be made by the baker who’s in search of Cookie Nirvana! I have made so many recipes, followed instructions or tweaked the recipes, just to get the version I like.

I stumbled across this cookie incarnation by chance, when I had some left over crumble mixture. I added a few ingredients, shaped the mixture into balls, chilled in the fridge for 1/2 hour, then stuck them in the oven. The result was nice big pillowy cookies. which were dense and slightly chewy, just like I like them!

I’ve made them heaps of times since, just to make sure the recipe works. And it does. Every time!

The secret to the plump shape of the cookies is definitely chilling the balls in the fridge first before baking.

Ingredients

1 cup rolled oats

1/2 cup ground almonds

3/4 cup brown sugar

1 cup plain flour

1/2 cup roughly chopped nuts (macadamias or pecans work well)

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon 

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger 

125 g melted butter

1/2 cup condensed milk

1/2 cup chocolate chips of your choice (dark, milk or white)

Method

Place all the ingredients  except the condensed milk and chocolate chips in a large bowl and mix well to combine. Or put the ingredients into a food processor and pulse gently to combine. If you do this, be careful not to overmix. You want a crumbly texture, not a mushy paste!

Add the condensed milk. This will loosen the mixture and make it easier to shape into balls. You may need to add a little more if the mixture is still too dry. Stir through the chocolate chips.

Preheat the oven to 160 degrees fan-forced. Line 2 baking trays with baking paper.

Shape large teaspoonfuls of the mixture into balls and place on the baking trays, at least 2 centimetres apart to allow for spreading in the oven. Pace trays in the fridge for at least half an hour.

Take the trays out of the fridge, and before putting in the oven, flatten the balls slightly with your thumb or the back of a spoon. Bake for about 15 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through.

Cool on the trays for 5 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

These cookies can be frozen before baking, and frozen after baking too, so one way or another, you can always have cookies on hand!

 

 

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Sugar Shortbread Cookies

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I love cookies and make a load of them every other week. There are always small – and big children – in my world who need feeding with…cookies of course!

I have been experimenting with a Mary Berry recipe for biscuits that I found online.  See here for Mary’s recipe. It’s actually a basic shortbread recipe, ie butter, flour, sugar (no egg) with some add ons. I’ve made my own version, as outlined below.

Ingredients
175g butter, softened
100g raw sugar
75g sweetened condensed milk
175g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
75g semolina
2 tablespoons raw sugar, for rolling
50g milk chocolate chips

Method
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C or 160 degrees C fan forced.

Line 1 large baking tray or 2 smaller trays  with baking paper.
I make the dough in a food processor, but you could make it in an electric mixer – but the food processor method is super easy.

Put the butter, sugar, condensed milk, flour and semolina into a food processor and  process until the ingredients come together into a soft dough. It’s better to process in a few bursts so that you can make sure you don’t over process.

Place the dough on a floured work surface. Bring the dough together into a ball, and then shape into long sausages about 5cm/2″ diameter for smaller cookies or 8cm/3″ diameter for larger cookies. You need to make two sausages as it’s easier to shape them if they are not too long.

Wrap the sausages in cling film. They will still be quite soft, so you can continue to shape in the cling film, tightening the sausage shape. At this point put in the fridge and rest for at least a couple of hours to make the dough easier to cut into discs. You can leave overnight and the dough freezes really  well too!

Remove from the fridge, umwrap, and with a sharp knife, cut into slices – the thickness is up to you. Roll each cookie on both sides in raw sugar, gently pressing the sugar into the dough. Place the cookies onto the baking sheet/sheets, with space in between. They do spread a little, but largely keep their shape.

Once on the trays, you can leave as is, or press  chocolate chips individually onto the top of each cookie. It sounds labour intensive but actually doesn’t take that long!

Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes until golden brown. If you cut your cookies quite thick they may take a couple of minutes  longer.

Remove from the oven and leave to cool for at least 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

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Salted Peanut Streusel Slice

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I like a good slice, or traybake as they are known in the U.K. In Oz they’re known as a slice, but years of devoted watching of The Great British Bakeoff have taught me that a slice by any other name is a traybake in the UK!

Do you love salted peanuts? I’m mad on nuts, preferably salted, so I have created a slice or traybake to incorporate shortbread, peanuts and a streusel topping.

For the shortbread base, I have used a Mary Berry biscuit recipe which is my latest go-to cookie recipe as it’s quick, rolls out easily and freezes well for future cookie adventures.

And the streusel is just butter, sugar, flour and cinnamon roughly combined.

Ingredients

For the shortbread base:

175g butter, softened

75g caster sugar

175g  plain flour

75g semolina

For the streusel:

50g butter

50g caster sugar

50g plain flour

1tsp cinnamon

Plus

100g salted peanuts in their skins

Extra butter

Method

Preheat the oven to 160 degrees C fan forced, 180 degrees C non fan forced. Line a rectangular baking tray – the kind with the low sides that you can make a Swiss roll in – with baking paper. My tray is 27cm x 17cm.

To make the shortbread base, put the butter, sugar, flour and semolina into the bowl of a food processor and mix until a soft dough is formed.

Remove the dough from the processor, and with your hsnds, gently bring the dough together. You could roll it out into a rectangular shape to fit your tray, but it’s just as easy to take pieces of dough and squash into the tray, smoothing and joining as you go. Just make sure the base is a uniform depth.

Make the streusel by pulsing everything in the food processor, being careful not to overmux – you want clumps of rubble streusel mixture for the topping. Put the streusel mixture over the shortbread base, covering all the shortbread.

Scatter over the salted peanuts. Dot the mixture with a little extra butter. Bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven until the top is golden and the shortbread underneath is cooked.

Remove from the oven, cool in the tray, and cut into slices when completely cool.

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Chocolate Chip Shortbread Cookies

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These are great! They combine two great methods of biscuit making to create a thick, buttery, chocolately sweet treat. The recipe is more shortbread than cookie, creaming butter and sugar, and adding flour.There’s no egg, as there would be in traditional chocolate chip cookie. Add a handful of chocolate chips and the shortbread dough steps over into cookie territory.

The recipe is based on a post from “The View from Great Island”, see here. My version is minus peanut butter, and with my own variations. If you’re over  thin and crispy cookies, or soft and chewy, making a nice dense shortbread make sense.

If you want to zhush up these cookies, try mixing in a tablespoon or two of caramel filling when you cream the butter.  Something like dulche de leche is great. And sprinkle some sea salt on to the cookie rounds before baking.

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Ingredients

220g butter at room temperature

3/4 tsp vanilla extract

300g plain flour

75g icing sugar

1 1/2 cups chocolate chips (dark or milk)

Method

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.

Cream the butter using an electric mixer until the butter is soft and whipped, Add the vanilla extract. Mix the dry ingredients together and add to the butter and mix until the dough just comes together. Stir in the chocolate chips, making sure not to overmix the dough.

Turn the dough out onto greaseproof paper. Divide the dough into two, for easier handling.  You need to gently shape each dough portion to form them into a log shape. Each log will be about 15- 20cms in length and the diameter will be about what you would expect form a round cookie…ie 8-10 cms. But the size of the logs is really whatever size you want your cookies to be!

You may need to work it with your hands if it is too crumbly. Roll them up in the greaseproof paper, carefully making the log the shape, Twist both ends of the logs securely.

Refrigerate for  one to two hours until the logs are really firm.

Cut the logs into 1 cm slices with a very sharp knife, I find that a serrated knife works well. Some will be more even shaped than others, and the ends of the logs will be smaller.

Place the cookie slices on a baking sheet lined with baking paper. You may need 2 baking sheets depending on how many cookies you are baking. I usually get 20-22 good sized cookies from the dough quantity. Bake for about 12-14 minutes, until the cookies are light golden and look like shortbread.

Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes and then cool completely on a wire rack.

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White Chocolate, Cranberry and Sour Cherry Cookies: Christmas Baking

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This is the first proper day of Christmas baking for me for 2015.

Technically it was the second, as I had baked for work colleagues last week. I made mini muffin Christmas cakes, but I am not counting them as I blogged them last year. See the post for Little Christmas Cakes.

I made these Christmassy cookies – White Chocolate, Cranberry and Sour Cherry –  for the the foreperson of the building renovations next door to me.

We have survived 7 months of extensive renovations to the house next door. During this time – winter, spring and summer  – I got to know the foreperson on the site, a very capable young woman who impressed me with her expertise, communication skills and physical strength!

Yesterday was the last day of renovations, and so I baked for Jess as a thank you for all her help and because it’s Christmas!

The recipe, minus the sour cherries, is Jamie Oliver‘s of course. I thought the cherries added flavour and festiveness. Strangely, while the recipe follows other conventional cookie recipes, there is no egg in it. The cookies were quite crumbly, and I wondered if the lack of egg was responsible for this.  Just be a little careful storing or transporting them.

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Ingredients

100g unsalted butter

85g icing sugar

½ teaspoon vanilla paste

100g self-raising flour

30g cornflour

4 tablespoons rolled oats

50g white chocolate roughly chopped

50g  cranberries (fresh, defrosted or rehydrated)

30g sour cherries

Method

Beat the butter and icing sugar till pale with an electric mixer. Or just do it in the food processor as I did. Add vanilla extract to the butter/sugar mixture.

Combine the flour, cornflour and oats, then add carefully to the mixture. Try not to over mix whether you are using an electric mixer or food processor, as the oats will break up too much. You need them still to be crunchy. Mix in the chocolate and cranberries and cherries by hand, then shape the dough into a roll. Wrap in clingfilm and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 180ºC.

Slice the dough into 1cm rounds, place on a baking tray lined with baking paper and bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until light golden brown, but soft to the touch.

Carefully transfer the cookies onto a cooling rack and allow to cool and crisp a little before eating or storing.

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Roast Peaches and Strawberries with Macadamia and Almond Crumble

IMG_7129A great summer pudding that you can whip up at a moment’s notice particularly if you make  the crumble mix in advance and keep it in the freezer. The crumble recipe is also fantastic as a biscuit/cookie, even if the crumble pieces are very rustic!

This dessert is essentially my Deconstructed Crumble recipe:

https://thequirkandthecool.com/2013/08/05/deconstructed-caramelised-quince-crumble/

Ingredients

3 large yellow peaches
A handful of strawberries
3 tbls caster sugar
1 tbls butter
Juice of 1/2 lemon

Crumble
100 gms plain flour
75 gms  butter at room temperature
Pinch of salt
50 gms dark brown sugar
25 gms golden syrup
50 gms rolled oats
20 gms chopped macadamias and almonds

Method

Preheat oven to 160 degrees C. Cut peaches in half and remove the stones. Place in a baking dish with the whole strawberries, sugar, butter and lemon juice. Bake for 20 – 30 minutes until peaches are soft and the strawberries are mushy. Remove from oven to cool.

For the crumble, increase the oven temperature to 175 degrees C and line a baking tray with baking paper.
Place the flour, butter, salt and sugar into a bowl, and rub the butter into the other ingredients until the mixture forms coarse breadcrumbs.
Place mixture into the bowl of a food processor, add golden syrup, oats and chopped nuts, and pulse gently to combine.
Turn out the crumble mixture onto the lined baking tray, spread the mixture evenly and bake the crumble for 15-20 minutes, stirring once during the cooking time, until the crumble is toasted.
Remove from oven, and when cool, break up any large pieces. It’s important to have a combination of small and large crumble pieces. You can use the crumble as is or freeze it and it keeps for ages!

Place the baked fruit on a plate with as much or as little crumble as you like! Serve with cream, creme fraiche, sour cream or ice cream and the syrupy pan juices. Yummy!

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Melting Moments

IMG_1291Ingredients
125 gms butter softened
3/4 cup (115gms) plain flour
1/4 cup (45gms) icing sugar mixture
1/3 cup (50gms) custard powder
60gms butter, softened, extra
2/3 cup (110gms) icing sugar mixture, extra
1 tsp vanilla paste

Method
Preheat oven to 160 degrees C. Line 2 baking trays with baking paper. Cream butter until pale and creamy in a food processor. Add the flour, icing sugar and custard powder and pulse briefly to combine.

Using your hands, roll teaspoonsful of the dough mixture into balls. Place the balls approximately 3cm apart on lined trays. Use a fork dusted in icing sugar and gently flatten. Bake in preheated oven, swapping trays halfway through cooking, for 15 minutes or until just cooked through. Remove from oven and set aside for 30 minutes to cool.

Beat the extra butter and icing sugar in a bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add vanilla paste and beat until combined. Spread the butter mixture over the flat side of half the biscuits and sandwich together with remaining biscuits.IMG_1293IMG_0290

 

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