Category Archives: Cookies and Biscuits

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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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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Lemon Sandwich Biscuits

 

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Makes ~30 biscuits

325g plain flour
200g butter
125g caster sugar
zest of 1 lemon
2 egg yolks
1/4 jar lemon curd
100g icing sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice

– Heat the oven to gas mark 4/180C and line 3 baking trays.
– Put the flour and butter, chopped into pieces, in a food processor and blitz until it looks like breadcrumbs.
– Add the sugar and lemon zest and blitz until mixed in.
– Add the egg yolks and blend until it comes together to form a dough.
– Tip out onto a worksurface and bring together with your hands into a smooth ball.
– Roll out the dough on a well floured worsurface to a thickness of about 5mm.  You may need to split the dough into smaller amounts to roll it out.
– Cut out using a flower shaped cutter (or any other shape you want!)
– Place on a baking tray and bake for 10 minutes until just golden.  I find it best to cut out a tray of biscuits and while one is in the oven have the next resting in the fridge.
– Cool on a wire rack.
– Sandwich two biscuits with a teaspoon of lemon curd in the middle and gently press together.
– Mix together the icing sugar and enough lemon juice to form a runny drizzle.  Place it in a sandwich bag and snip the corner off.
– Place the biscuits on trays and drizzle the icing back and forth over the biscuits.
– Leave the icing to dry before packing away in a tin.

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Orange Refrigerator Cookies

I had a plan.  It was a good plan too.  I was going to put a post up on Mondays and Fridays.  Nice and easy, get a bit of organisation going on and keep my cooking mojo going.  Life doesn’t seem to agree with me though.  First I lost the recipe I was going to post, then I got the mother of all stinking colds and was out of action for a week.  However, here I am ready to roll (although, admittedly snuggled up in bed as it’s miserable outside and I’m still a bit unwell).

This recipe is an old favourite from childhood.  The main selling point is basically, cookies on demand! You make the dough, bung it in the fridge (or freezer) and then when you want cookies you simply slice however many you want off the log and bake them. 15 minutes later you have cookies! What’s not to love about that?

Makes about 48

125g butter
150g caster sugar
zest of 1 orange
1 egg
250g plain flour
1tsp baking powder
100g plain chocolate chips

– Cream together the butter and the sugar.
– Add the orange zest (I like to zest my orange over the bowl so that you get all the lovely orange oil too for really fragrant biscuits).
– Beat in the egg.
– Sift in the flour and baking powder and add the chocolate chips.
– Mix until it forms a dough.
– Shape the dough into two logs about 2″ thick.
– Wrap in clingfilm and chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours or up to one week.
-When ready to bake heat the oven to gas mark for and slice however many cookies you require from the log and place them on a baking tray.
– Bake for 15 minutes then leave to cool on the tray for 2 minutes before removing to cool completely on a wire rack.  (Or eat warm with a glass of milk for utter comfort food!)

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Easy Chocolate Biscuits

These biscuits are easy and so so delicious!  Really, you need no other reccomendation to cook them.  Do it now!  For so simple an ingredient list they are absolutley delightful.  They remind me or a biscuit we used to get at school at break time.  Perfect with a glass of milk, I dare you to just eat one!

These come from Nigella’s HTBADG and I’ve yet to find a recipe in there that doesn’t work and that I don’t like.  It really is as fabulous a book as everyone says.  I was browsing the pages while I waited for one of my cakes to cook/cool etc. and I just so happened to have half a packet of butter left so I whipped up half a batch of these.  I suppose I should be glad I didn’t make a whole batch because I’d have eaten them all myself but I’m a little sad I didn’t, fat be damned! 

Makes 35ish

250g unsalted butter, softened
125g golden caster sugar
300g self raising flour
30g cocoa powder

– Heat the oven to gas mark 3, grease/line 2 baking sheets. 
– Cream together the butter and the sugar until smooth and fluffy. 
– Seive in the flour and cocoa. 
– Mix until it comes together into a dough.  (It will come together, just work it!)
– Pinch off walnut sized chunks and roll into balls. 
– Place on a baking tray, well spaced as they will spread. 
– Press down with a fork to give them the lines. 
– Bake for 5 minutes then turn down to gas mark 2 and bake for a further 10-15 minutes.  Bake until just firm.  The biscuit should not be soft to the touch but if it’s rock hard you’ve gone too far!
– Place on a wire rack to cool. 
– You will need to cook these in two batches unless you have a stupidly large oven so turn the oven back up and start again.

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Pudsey Gingerbear Biscuits

For Children In Need this year I will be doing my bit by baking for the office.  I have a battle plan for this week to make sure I’ll have lots of treats, and lots of donations!  These are made from the same gingerbread recipe I used for gingerbread cottages last year but made in lovely thick, ginger biscuits.  I tried the recipe that came on the back of the Pudsey cookie cutter but the biscuits spread far too much so I won’t be selling those, no one wants deformed bear biscuits!

Makes ~19 (and one Pudsey Head!)

250g unsalted butter
200g dark muscovado sugar
7 tbsp golden syrup
600g plain flour
2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
4 tsp ground ginger

– Heat the oven to gas mark 6 and prepare two baking trays… or more if you can do more than two trays at a time! 
– Melt together the butter, sugar and syrup in a large pan. 
– Put the flour, bicarbonate of soda and ground ginger in a large mixing bowl and mix them together. 
– Pour the melted butter mixture into the flour and mix well with a spoon until a dough is formed. 
– Roll out the dough to the thickness of your Pudsey cookie cutter.  Do this by placing the cutter on the worksurface next to the dough and rolling over that too so you don’t go too far. 
– Cut out your shapes and place on lined baking trays. 
– Bake for ~10 minutes watching carefully because it is very easy to burn these. 
– Once out of the oven allow the biscuits to cool on the trays for 5-10 minutes until hard then cool completely on a wire rack. 
– Repeat for the rest of the dough.

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