Category Archives: Cookies and Biscuits

Farmhouse Butter Biscuits

A lovely simple biscuit, quick and easy to work with and it gives a delightfully crisp buttery biscuit.  Nothing fancy at all, as simple and wholesome as a biscuit can get! These biscuits remind me of some I had as a child at a farmhouse on the way to the lake district. There were no such things as hygiene certificates then, this was literally the farmer’s wife selling tea and biscuits in her kitchen and they were some of the best I’ve ever had!

Makes 18 biscuits

125g butter, softened
70g golden caster sugar (Plus a few tsp extra for sprinkling)
1 egg yolk
160g plain flour
small pinch of salt

  • Heat the oven to gas mark 5 and prepare two baking trays with baking paper.
  • Cream together the butter and the sugar in a small mixing bowl.
  • Add the egg yolk and beat well to combine.
  • Add the flour and the salt (if your flour is at all lumpy do sift it in as it will mix easier).
  • Bring all the ingredients together into a soft dough.  It can help to use your hand to get it all together in the last bit.
  • Pinch off small walnut sized balls of dough and roll them in your palms to shape into rounds.
  • Place on the baking tray and use the heel of your palm to squish them flat.
  • Sprinkle the tops with the extra sugar.
  • Bake for 10 minutes until the edges are just starting to colour.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to sit on the tray for 5 minutes before trying to move them as they will break otherwise.
  • Allow to cook on a wire rack.
  • Put on a pot of tea and enjoy!

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Filed under Cookies and Biscuits, Easy, quick

Sticky Date Slice

My mother was a brilliant, sneaky mother. She found ways to get us to eat really healthy things and make it fun and tasty! These sticky date slices were a staple snack in our family and it’s only as an adult when I asked for the recipe that I realised just how good for you they are! To me they’re still a fantastic sweet treat, I just get to enjoy them even more now!

Sticky Date Slice

They are so quick and easy to make too, throw it all in a food processor, blitz it up, rolls, chill, slice and wrap!  Now I have a little stash of these in my fridge whenever I need a quick boost of energy (mostly that post-work pre-dog walk ten minute break I get!)

Sticky Date Slice

I suspect that if you made these into balls rather than slices then they would be in the ‘powerball’ category of healthy snacking.  But let’s not ruin something delicious by loading it down with too much virtue!

Sticky Date Slice

Makes 12 (~70 kcal each)

175g dates (pitted)
50g whole almonds
50g rolled oats
1 tsp honey
~1 tbsp cold water

– Put the dates and the almonds in a food processor and blitz until all chopped up.  You can go for longer if you want a smooth slice, or leave it chunkier for more bite.
– Add the oats and honey and blitz again.
– With the motor running add the water slowly until it comes together in a ball.  You may need a little more water if your dates were very dry but don’t add too much or you will get a VERY sticky slice!
– Turn out onto baking parchment and roll out to a little under the size of an A4 piece of paper.  About 5mm thick.
– Place in the fridge and chill for about an hour.
– Remove from the fridge, slice and wrap in cling film then store in the fridge for later.  (You can also keep them in an airtight container at room temperature but I prefer the bite from keeping them in the fridge!)

 

 

 

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Filed under Breakfasts, Cookies and Biscuits, Dairy Free, Easy, Fast Day Food, Gluten Free, Teatime Treats

Last Minute Sweet Gifts Roundup!

If you have left it too late, or have an unexpected guest arriving tomorrow here are some ideas for quick, easy sweet gifts that you can throw together. Or may be you have superpowers and somehow have some free time to whip together some sweets for the hoards about to descend. Either way, here are my favourite sweet recipes!

Fruit and Chocolate DropsChocolate FudgePeppermint Puddings'Fakewell', ginger and chilli and chocolate and peanut cookiesSpice Biscuits

Fruit and Chocolate Drops
Fudge
Peppermint Creams
–  Chocolate Truffles
– Condensed Milk Cookies
– Spice Biscuits

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Filed under Christmas, Cookies and Biscuits, Roundup, Sweets

Gingerbread Biscuits

Gingerbread Biscuits

Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without gingerbread!  Now, prior to this year I have always made and endured gingerbread biscuits but only because it’s Christmas and that’s just what you do!  Not this year, oh no!  I have finally found a gingerbread recipe that I actually enjoy!  These biscuits are crisp enough to keep their structure when hung on a tree, or built into 3D constructions but chewy enough that you don’t feel in danger of cracking a tooth on them unlike some of the recipes I’ve tried over the years.  They are incredibly moreish and have just the right level of spice and interest for me without being so strong that you can’t accidentally eat half a dozen in 5 minutes flat!

Gingerbread DoughGingerbread Snowmen

Makes ~30 of different sizes, depends on your cutter!

100g butter
175 dark muscovado sugar
85g golden syrup
pinch of salt
350g plain flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tbsp ground ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp mixed spice
1 egg

– Melt the butter, sugar, syrup and salt in a saucepan and mix until all combined.
– Set aside to cool while you weigh the other ingredients.
– Put the flour, bicarb and spices in a large mixing bowl.
– Add the warm melted butter/sugar/syrup and give a little mix.
– Add the egg, continue to mix until it forms a soft batter.  Don’t worry, it will be much squishier than you think it should be.
– Put it in the fridge to chill for at least 30 minutes.
– Heat the oven to gas mark 6 and prepare 2 baking trays with lining paper.
– On a lightly floured worksurface roll out the dough to about 5mm for larger cookies or the thickness of a £1 coin for smaller .  I have a small worksurface so I work with half the dough at a time and keep the rest in the fridge.
– Cut out your biscuits and carefully lift onto the trays, leaving plenty of space for them to spread a little.  They don’t loose their shape but they will puff out a bit.
– Bake your cookies for 5-10 minutes.  The larger the biscuits are the longer they will take, the smaller they are the quicker they’ll bake.  Small ones will probably take about 7 minutes, larger ones 10-12 minutes but keep checking.  You want the biscuit to be deep brown, but not yet catching and darkening on the edges.  Black is too far!
– If you want to put holes in for hanging on trees or making into 3D structures, cut these immediately upon leaving the oven while the dough is still hot.
– Leave on the tray to firm up for 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool, continue to repeat with the rest of the dough until it’s all gone.

 

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Filed under Christmas, Cookies and Biscuits, Easy

Shortbread

Shortbread is a wonderful thing!  It’s so beautifully, buttery, crumbly and delicious!  A good shortbread should have a nice crisp snap to it and then just melt away in your mouth.  I’m half Scottish so I have strong opinions about what constitutes a good shortbread and, my friends? THIS is a good shortbread!

Shortbread Bites

 

 

I think that the size here helps them too.  A good shortbread should be indulgently buttery, rich and flavoursome.  These little shortbreads are two bites of heaven and go perfectly with a cup of tea!

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I tried two different techniques for shaping them this time, one batch pressed with a fork, the other with the moulded bottom of a cut glass.  I like both looks, the cut glass ones are a little more delicate, the fork ones a little more robust looking, either way they’re scrumptious!

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Makes 60 bite sized shortbreads

250g unsalted butter, softened (Use a really good one!)
100g golden caster sugar
250g plain flour
175g corn flour

– Heat the oven to gas mark 3 /170C and line two baking trays (4 if you have them to spare)
– In a large mixing bowl cream together the butter and the sugar until fluffy.
– Sift the flours into the bowl.
– Carefully mix the flour into the butter and sugar.  After most of the flour is combined I like to get in there with my hand to bring the dough together, you want to get everything combined as quickly as possible, not workign the dough too much.
– Pinch off small balls (cherry tomato sized) of the dough and roll into rounds.
– Place the balls evenly spaced on a baking tray, they don’t spread much at all but make sure they’re not too crowded.
– Press down with a fork, cut glass, or just use the heel of your hand for flat ones.
–  Bake for 15 minutes.  They will still be very pale but do not fear!
– Leave on the tray to cool for 5 minutes before moving to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
– Store in an air tight tin and enjoy!

 

Shortbread Bites

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Filed under Cookies and Biscuits, Easy, Teatime Treats

Cinnamon dog treats

This recipe came about because I had half a tin of condensed milk sitting in the fridge… it had been there a while.  How long I could not say but significantly longer that I was happy with… but it was still good and it seemed a shame to waste it so I decided to transform it into dog treats!

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These ones are a little bit naughtier as they have the sugar from the condensed milk in them.  Darcy was such a big fan of the cinnamon rolls I made that I thought he should have his own cinnamon treats.  He LOVES them!  Never has he been so obedient! I think he prefers the balls as they are a little chewier, he certainly seems to enjoy them no matter the shape though!

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Makes ~100 small treats

1/2 tin condensed milk (~200g)
1 cup oats
1 1/2 cups wholemeal flour
1 tsp cinnamon

– Heat the oven to gas mark 5/190C.
– Mix all of the ingredients together until they form a soft dough.  (If this is still very wet add a little more flour.  It sort of depends on how much condensed milk you’ve started with and how dry your flour is.)
– Either roll out and cut out shapes or simply pinch off balls of dough and shape into balls.  (Use plenty of flour if rolling, this is a sticky dough!)
– Place on a baking tray and bake for 10-15 minutes until just golden brown.  (The longer you bake them the harder they get, if your dog doesn’t like rock solid treats then give them less time.)
– Leave to cool and then store in an airtight tin.

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Filed under Cookies and Biscuits, Dog Friendly, Easy

Cheesy Dog Biscuits

These Cheesy Dog Biscuits came about because I had a hankering to bake something.  I was trying to be good and not make cookies (I failed, I totally made cookies too!) so I thought I’d have a go at baking something for Darcy.  I had seen a whole bunch of recipes for dog biscuits but nothing ever seemed right.

Cheesy Dog Biscuits

My dog is small and still only a puppy so I didn’t want to use stock, even low sodium stock.  My dog also hates peanut butter.  The only dog I have ever met who doesn’t go nuts for it!  So I thought I’d have a bit of a play around and see what I could come up with that Darcy would love but I would still be happy to give him.  He loves cheese so that was a good starting point.

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These biscuits certainly tick all my boxes!  They’re cheesy, crunchy and, quite honestly, I would totally eat these myself dipped in humous or something!  The recipe gives a good yield for such an small quantity of ingredients and these were all things I had in the cupboard so they were super simple to make!

Cheesy Dog Biscuits

Makes 50-70 biscuits depending on the size of your cutter.

1 cup oats
1 cup wholewheat flour
1 egg
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup grated cheddar
1/2 cup finely grated hard cheese (like Parmesan)
2 slices ham, finely diced

– Preheat the oven to 180C/gas mark 5.
– Mix the oats, flour, egg and most of the water together to form a soft dough. You may need all of the water, you may not so add a bit at a time until it comes together in a soft but not sticky dough.
– Add the cheeses and ham and knead to combine.
– Roll out on a lightly floured surface or silicone mat to a thickness of about 5mm.
– Cut with your desired cutter, I used a 6cm bone shape.
– Place about 1 cm apart on a baking tray.
– Bake for 15 minutes.
– Place the baked biscuits on a wire rack to cool and repeat with remaining biscuits until all of the dough is used.

Darcy Biscuit

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Nibbles – Honey Mustard Glazed Sausages & Wheat Thins

This is the time of year for nibbles and canapés. I am usually in charge of canapés on Christmas Day and I always try to make at least some effort. There are some things that are always a given. I make my Breakfast Bites with quails eggs because there would be uproar if I didn’t! I usually make something based on biscuits and that ever useful timesaver, Primula! I saw the recipe for Wheat Thins on Smitten Kitchen and, while I don’t have the first idea of what a Wheat Thin is supposed to be like, I thought they looked like a quick and simple way to make some extra effort this Christmas. They are so simple to make, quick to cook and really rather delicious!

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I got the craving for some nice sticky sausages too. Whenever my office get catering in they always do these brilliant sticky sausages so I thought it was high time I tried making them myself. Now, Tesco wanted to charge me £2 for itty bitty cocktail sausages… Um, no. I bought regular chipolatas for 95p and simply twisted them in the middle to get double the number of itty bitty sausages!

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Honey Mustard Glazed Sausages

1 pack of chipolata sausages
3 tbsp honey
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp soy sauce

– Heat the oven to gas mark 6/200C.
– Take the chipolatas and twist them in the middle to make mini sausages.
– Put them in an oven dish and bake for 25 minutes.
– Mix the honey, mustard and soy in a clean oven dish.
– Drain the fat from the sausages and snip them apart.
– Put the cooked sausages in the honey mustard mix and toss to coat.
– Place back in the oven for 5 minutes.
– Skewer each sausage with a cocktail stick and serve with a little of the extra sauce on the plate.

Wheat Thins

155g whole wheat flour
20g sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp smokey paprika
55g butter
60ml cold water

– Heat the oven to gas mark 6/200C and prepare two baking trays.
– Put everything except the water into a food processor and blitz until it looks like coarse breadcrumbs.
– Slowly drizzle in the water with the motor running until the dough starts I come together into a ball.
– Lightly flour a work surface and roll the dough out super thin then cut into whatever shapes you desire. I rolled my dough so thin you could basically see through it but they don’t have to be quite that thin! It may help to split the dough into two.
– Place your cut out biscuits on a baking tray, they won’t spread so you can place them very close together.
– Pop in the oven for 5-7 minutes. Keep an eye on the first batch to see how long they take to cook but whip them out the second they start to colour.
– Prep the next batch while the first tray is cooking.
– Put the biscuits on a wire rack to cool and keep cutting and cooking until all the dough is gone.
– Top with whatever you fancy. I find Primula and Houmous work well!

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Filed under Basic, Cookies and Biscuits, Easy, Sides

Spice Biscuits

I love all the spice biscuits that come out of the woodwork around Christmas time. Be they Anna’s Pepperkakor (naturally) or Speculoos/Spekulatius/etc or just plain old Gingerbread they all make me feel warm and full of festive cheer. These biscuits aren’t any particular spice biscuit but rather they pull together the best features of many recipes I’ve tried over time.

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We like a strongly spiced biscuit in my family where the warmth stays with you. And we all know I love any biscuit that can be cut into cute shapes. I’m quite the sucker for them in fact. These are great because they hold their shape brilliantly and retain a clear, crisp edge. They are incredibly versatile. I’ve made tiny gingerbread shapes for snacking on on Christmas morning, large ones for the tree, and even a few Gingerbread people for my family. They are so easy to throw together and exactly the pick me up needed sometimes at this time of year.

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300g plain flour
4 tsp ground cinnamon
4 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp whole cloves, ground
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
150g light brown muscovado sugar
225g unsalted butter
3 tbsp milk

– Blitz the flour, spices, salt, baking powder and sugar in a food processor.
– Add the butter, chopped into chunks, and process until it forms breadcrumbs.
– Add the milk with the motor running.
– Turn out onto a work surface and bring together with your hands to form a smooth dough. If it’s sticking then another 25g or so of flour can be kneaded into the dough.
– Divide the dough into 3, form into discs and wrap.
– Chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, overnight if possible.
– When ready heat the oven to gas mark 4/ 180 C and line a few baking trays.
– Working with one portion of dough at a time, roll out on a floured work surface to a thickness of just a few mm. I like mine to be at least as thin as a £1 coin.
– Use cutters to cut out your biscuits and place on a baking tray. They don’t need much space between them.
– If making tree decorations don’t forget to cut a hole for the string too! I use the tip of an icing nozzle.
– Bake in batches for 12-15 minutes in the centre of the oven until firm but not too dark.
– Cool completely on a wire rack.
– You can now decorate the biscuits if you wish.

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Filed under Cookies and Biscuits, Easy

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

I am currently a little bit obsessed with the Chocolate Chip Cookies from M&S Bakery section.  They put something addictive in them I swear!  As a result I’m currently spending a lot of time trying to recreate that cookie.  I don’t hold out much hope of actually doing that but in the meantime I’m baking a lot of decicious chocolate chip cookies!

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This one is my current favourite because of the melted butter.  It’s ridiculously quick and easy to throw together and makes a delicious, chewy cookie with nice crispy edges just the way I like them!  In order to get the full M&S experience you should eat the cookies warm… I challenge you not to scoff half the batch fresh out the oven, no one has that much will power!

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Makes 24 large cookies

170g melted unsalted butter
220g light muscovado sugar
100g caster sugar (If you like the grainyness of the M&S cookies feel free to use granulated, I don’t like it so I use caster)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg
1 egg yolk
250g plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
200g chocolate chips (I use one bag of dark and one bag of milk for variety)

– Heat the oven to Gas mark 3/170C and prepare three baking trays.
– Melt the butter, I put it in the microwave for 1 minute but microwaves vary so be careful!
– In a large mixing bowl mix the melted butter  with both sugars until smooth.
– Beat in the vanilla, egg and egg yolk until smooth.
– Sift in the flour, baking powder and salt and mix until it forms a dough.
– Mix through the chocolate chips.  *
– Each cookie should be about a 1/4 cup size of dough.  I use a dessert spoon to scoop and drop onto the baking trays.  Make sure they cookies are well spaced apart as they spread.
– Bake one sheet at a time in the top of the oven for about 15-17 minutes.  The cookies will still be soft but the edges should be a little brown.
– Leave to cool on the tray for 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely/eat.
– Repeat with the remaining trays of cookies.

*I frequently put the bowl of cookie mixture in the fridge at this point and leave it for a few hours/overnight.  Sometimes, life gets in the way! I think this can result in a chewier cookie and a taller cookie with a bit less spread as the butter takes longer to melt and spread out.  (There is actual science behind this to do with the flour absorbing the liquid, apparently 36 hours chilling is the optimum but who is that organised?)

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