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BISCUITS

Cookies

 

Yield: approx 10 cookies
Bake at 150ºC - Gas Mark 2 - 300ºF for 10-12mins.

Ingredients

8 tbsp Butter, softened

1/3 cup Sugar
1/3 cup Brown Sugar
1 large Egg (room temperature)
1 tsp Vanilla
1/8 tsp Lemon Juice
1 cup and 2 tbsp of Self Raising Flour
1/2 cup Rolled Oats (process if you want to)
1/4 tsp Cinnamon
1-1 1/2 cups Chocolate Chips (or anything you fancy)

Method

Cream butter and both sugars until blended well, scraping down the sides of the bowl.
Add egg, vanilla and lemon juice then blend until light and fluffy. You will likely need to scrape the sides of your bowl some more.
In a measuring jug, combine the flour, oats and cinnamon, then pour into the batter. Mix until it is just combined...about 45sec. You do not want to over mix it.
With your spatula or wooden spoon, stir in chocolate chips (or anything you fancy).
Be sure to leave about 1.5-2” between cookie dough balls.
Bake at 150ºC - Gas Mark 2 - 300ºF for 10-12mins.
When you remove the cooked cookies from the oven give them a chance to cool on the baking tray for about 10 minutes before moving the cookies to a cooling rack.
Note

Bake times for your cookies will depend on your recipe. Most recipes give a range, so lean towards the smaller number for softer cookies or the higher number for crispier cookies.

Darker pans will also cause your cookies to bake faster, so if you are using a dark non-stick pan, check your cookies a few minutes before the bake time is up, to see if they are done.

After baking, make sure your cookies are completely cooled before storing. Place them in an airtight container or bag and keep at room temperature. You can also freeze them for several months.

If you want to use the dough chilled, then this is a great way of making a batch of cookie dough ahead of time and also, you can freeze the prepared dough for another day.
You can bake your cookies straight from the freezer but you will need to increase your cooking time by a few more minutes, normally 2-3mins is sufficient.
The ideal way of preparing a pre-batch is to make your dough into a sausage shape and then, when you are ready, simply cut it into slices.

I prefer to only bake my cookies with a chilled or frozen batch, mainly due to my household enjoying them on a regular basis, so it saves me time to make a few batches at once.

Some people roll their cookie dough in cling film and then put it into a sealed bag, however, I prefer to wrap my cookie dough in parchment paper, as it gives more support when you are rolling the dough up. If I am freezing it I will put it in a sealed bag, otherwise, just the dough wrapped in parchment paper is perfectly fine when storing in the fridge.

Chilling the dough will slow down the spreading of your cookies, resulting in thick, chewy dunkable cookies!

If you are using the dough chilled, then it is best to make the slices an inch thick.
Lightly press the cookie dough down, just enough to slightly flatten each slice. This ensures the middle and sides cook evenly.

Suggestions

If you want your cookies to be soft and chewy then it all comes down to the sugar that you use. For a moist, soft cookie, use brown sugar instead of granulated white sugar in your recipe. Brown sugar contains more moisture and will keep your cookies soft. Granulated white sugar will help your dough spread on the pan and is great for thin crispy cookies.

Florentine's

 

Yield: 10-15 

No-Bake Just Chill 

 

Ingredients

50g Unsalted Butter
100g Caster Sugar
100g Soft Brown Sugar
50g Crème Fraîche
150g Flaked Almonds
50g Dried Cranberries (see suggestions)
50g Dried Mixed Fruit (see suggestions)
1 tsp Vanilla Extract (see suggestions)
¼ tsp Bicarbonate Of Soda
Glaze
100g Dark Chocolate

Method 

Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set it aside.
Melt the butter in a pan over low heat.
 
Add both the sugars and turn up the heat to high and stir for about 4-5mins until smooth and gooey.
Carefully stir in the crème fraîche, as it may spit. The sugar will harden but carry on stirring until dissolved again.
Leave to bubble for about 3-4mins stirring occasionally until the mixture is reduced down and thickened.

Remove the mixture from the heat and stir in the almonds, fruit, vanilla and bicarbonate of soda.

With a tablespoon drop a heaped spoonful onto the lined baking sheet and lightly press into a round disc.
Alternatively, make as one big slab then break them into shard-like pieces.
Leave to cool for about 10-15mins then place in the fridge to cool for a further 30mins.
Whilst the florentines are setting in the fridge break the chocolate into a bowl and melt. You can melt the chocolate either via a makeshift bain-marie or by putting the chocolate in the microwave for 1min at a time until soft enough to stir to a melted state.
Take each florentine and put about a ¼ tsp onto the bottom side and spread evenly, then put back onto the tray chocolate side down and then return to the fridge and chill for another 15mins.
If you are making them into a slab then just pour the entire bowl of chocolate over the bottom side and spread out with a spatula or palette knife, then get a fork and make wavy lines across the slab and leave chocolate side up to set.
Enjoy.

Suggestions 

I prefer to use glacé cherries over cranberries and it is really your own preference to use what you want to use, as for mixed fruit you can use any common mix of sultanas and raisins or a mixed fruit that usually contains mixed peel.
If you do not have vanilla extract you can use vanilla essence and you just need to use ½ tsp more.