Tag Archives: cookies

Spiced Up Valentine’s Cookies

These were originally called Christmas biscuits, but I didn’t have a chance to make them in December (too many recipes, not enough days) so, on the basis that I believe the spirit of Christmas should last the whole year through, I used the same recipe but swapped the star-shaped cookie cutter for heart-shaped ones and made these little cookies to spice up your Valentine’s Day! They’re light, have a delightful crunch and the warming ‘festive’ spice is quite lovely.

What you need…

1-2 baking trays, buttered or lined with Bake O Glide

250g unsalted butter, softened and chunked

140g caster sugar

1 egg yolk

300g plain flour, plus extra for dusting

1 teaspoon all-spice

1 teaspoon ground ginger

for the icing

100g icing sugar

1 tablespoon warm water

Food colouring (optional)

What to do…

Tip the butter and sugar into your food processor whizz until pale and creamy. Add the egg yolk and whizz to evenly incorporate. Tip in the flour and spices and whizz to form a dough ball. Wrap up in cling film and pop in the fridge for at least 2 hours.

Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to about 5mm thick. Use cookie cutters of your choice (stars for Christmas, hearts for Valentine’s, etc) and cut out as many as you can, re-rolling the trimmings as needed.

Place on your baking trays and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes. Preheat your oven to 180°c / 350f / gas 4.

Pop the cookies into the oven and bake for 12 minutes.

Let them firm up a bit on the baking trays before carefully transferring them to wire racks to cool.

Meanwhile, make the icing. Sieve the icing sugar into a bowl and then add the warm water gradually, mixing it in until the icing coats the back of a spoon. Add a few drops of food colouring , if using. Spoon into an icing bag fitted with a small writing tube/nozzle (mine was size 1.5). Decorate as you like (I’m not very good at this bit so my decoration was quite basic). Share them around immediately – they only keep for 1 – 2 days but…that shouldn’t be a problem! Enjoy!

Inspired by…

Lisa Faulkner

How easy…

Very easy. My only issue was not reading the bit about resting the dough in the fridge for 2 hours (it ended up going in overnight but the cookies were absolutely fine!)

Orange Chocolate Shortbread Cookies

These cookies make for a lovely little treat and they are spectacularly easy and very fast to knock up. The cookie is crisp, rich and crumbly and then you bite into the gorgeous crunchy nuggets orange chocolate – just yummy. Make them with kids – they’re nearly instant – or make them just for yourself, if you fancy a quick hit of baking therapy! (Moving house: I needed some Cindy-in-the-kitchen time). Either way, you’ll love ‘em.

Makes around 20

What you need…

2 x baking sheets, lightly buttered or lined with Bake O Glide

175g butter, cut into cubes and soft

75g caster sugar

175g plain flour

75g semolina

85g Terry’s chocolate orange, chopped into wee nuggets

What to do…

Preheat your oven to 190°c / 375°f / gas 5.

Tip the butter and sugar into your food processor and whizz until pale and fluffy. Add in the flour and semolina and whizz again until the mixture begins to form course breadcrumbs. Scrape down the sides, remove the blade and then stir in the chocolate pieces.

Shape the mixture into around 20 walnut-sized balls and arrange on your baking sheets, leaving enough room around them to spread. Flatten them with the heel of your hand. Pop them in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until the edges of the cookies are golden.

Allow to cool for a few minutes and then use a palette knife to transfer to cooling racks.

Once cool, make yourself a large mug of tea or coffee, find a relaxing spot to sit in with your favourite book or the newspaper and enjoy some me-time, munching your way through these delicious cookies.

Inspired by…

Mary Berry

How easy…

Childs’ play, I’d say!

 

Just Yummy Chocolate Chip Cookies

This is just such an easy recipe: great to do with the little ones or for them (if you’re willing to share). The cookies are everything they should be: sweet, buttery and with plenty of chocolate going on: who could resist?!

Makes 18 or so

What you need…

2 x baking sheets, lined with Bake O Glide or parchment paper

150g unsalted butter, room temperature

80g soft light brown sugar

80g granulated sugar

A pinch of sea salt

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

1 egg

250g plain flour

½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

100g dark chocolate chips

100g milk chocolate chips

What to do…

Using a standalone electric mixer, beat together the butter, sugars, salt and vanilla extract until thoroughly combined. Chuck in the egg and beat some more until incorporated.

Sift in the flour and bicarbonate of soda and mix in well. Then, tip in the chocolate chips and fold them into the mixture evenly (we can’t have cookies deprived of their chocolate!)

Roll the dough into a long log – about 5cms diametre – wrap in cling film and pop into the fridge for 3 hours.

Preheat your oven to 170°c / 325°f/ gas 3½.

Remove from the fridge and slice the log into 1cm pieces. Shape the slices into balls and pop onto the baking sheets, leaving plenty of space between each one for spreading. Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden.

Remove from the oven but leave on the baking sheets for a minute or two whilst they firm up and then transfer to a cooling rack, popping one in your mouth just to check that they taste as good as they smell. Maybe have another just to be doubly sure…. When cool, serve on a pretty plate and watch them be demolished!

Inspired by…

Nathan Outlaw

How easy…

Rather too easy: I can see me knocking these up on a regular basis!

Sunshine Shorties

So, today the sun came out and it actually felt like spring! I rustled these up in no time – they’re childishly simple (ideal to make with little people), ever so quick and really, really tasty – crunchy oats with a softer middle and just a hint of golden syrup – the perfect accompaniment to a cup of tea. And bonus: I got to enjoy my cup of tea and shorties, having photographed them, in the garden’s sunshine (rather than the studio where food has been confined to for months!) The perfect choice for a day that feels like spring really is on its way!

Makes 30

What you need…

2 x baking trays, lightly buttered or lined with Bake O Glide

125g butter

125g caster sugar

1 teaspoon golden syrup

1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

1 teaspoon boiling water

125g porridge oats (gluten-free works equally well)

125g self-raising flour

What to do…

Preheat the oven to 160°c / 325°f / gas 3.

Put the butter, sugar, syrup, bicarbonate of soda and water into a large saucepan and melt. Remove from the heat and tip in the oats and flour. Stir to combine thoroughly.

Place teaspoon-sized balls on the prepared baking trays, leaving space for them to spread out. Pop them in the oven for 10-15 minutes until golden brown. When they’ve set slightly, cool them completely on a wire rack. That’s it! Make tea; scoff delicious shorties!

Inspired by…

Lisa Faulkner

How easy…

Childishly simple and sooooooo quick!