I think that this next recipe is my very favourite to make (well it is at the moment!!).
I pretty much always have the ingredients handy, and as far as I can tell this recipe is the easiest one I have come across for a really good, chewy cookie. I am playing around with the recipe, as I think there is probably scope for an excellent oatmeal and raisin cookie (probably my favourite cookie to eat, but have been sadly disappointed with recipes over the years, so going to have a go at making my own!! Fingers crossed)
Right first things first, this recipe comes from “The Great British Book of Baking” which accompanied the TV series The Great British Bake Off. Lovely book, very nostalgic.
Ok, first things first, here are the ingredients:
- 350g self raising flour
- 1 tablespoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- 200g caster sugar
- 115g unsalted butter
- 85g golden syrup
- 1 medium free range egg – beaten
- 35g (2 pieces) stem ginger, drained and finely chopped
You will also need 3 baking trays greased with butter. However I never have more than 2 available so always have to cook this recipe in 2 batches. Worry not, they only take minutes to cook, so you won’t be hanging around the kitchen that long even if you only have one tray handy.
- Preheat your oven to 170 degrees C or Gas Mark 3
- In a bowl, sift your flour, bicarbonate of soda, ground ginger and sugar. I tend to just put all the ingredients into the bowl and then mix together using a whisk. This works really well.
- Then in a small (non-stick if you have one) pan, melt your butter and golden syrup together over a gentle heat. Leave it to one-side until it is just lukewarm.
- Then pour that mixture, the ginger pieces and your beaten egg into your bowl with the other ingredients and combine together.
- Once combined you can roll the mixture into about 24 walnut sized balls. Best equipment for this is your hands!
- Place these onto your prepared trays giving them plenty of room as they will spread out.
- Now according to the book these will need 15 – 20 minutes to cook. Mine have never taken more than 13 minutes so do start checking them after 10. Once they are spread out and golden brown take them out of the oven, leave them to cool for a minute or two on the tray ( this will firm them up a bit) and then using a spatula, slide them off onto a cooling rack.
- Try not to eat them when they are hot, you will burn your tongue and they actually taste better cold.
- They can be stored in an airtight container.
My variation on these, or added extra I suppose is dark chocolate. In a bowl in the microwave, gently melt around 50 – 100g dark chocolate. This very much depends on how much chocolate you want on your cookies. I usually melt around 75g and then using a piping bag, drizzle dark chocolate on to your cooled cookies. You do not have to do this as they taste properly gorgeous without chocolate, but sometimes you have those days when only chocolate will do!
Anyway, do have a go at these as they are so satisfying to bake.
Well apologies for the lateness of this recipe blog, those christmas days tend to run away with themselves don’t they.
The following recipe is what you will need to make the 3D cookie tree I mentioned in my last post. The recipe can be found on the back of the pack of star cookie cutters that I purchased from Lakeland http://www.lakeland.co.uk/14489/3D-Christmas-Cookie-Cutter-Set. The recipe is pretty spot on but I found the addition of vanilla bean paste instead of vanilla extract is a bit yummier and can also be bought from Lakeland.
300g unsalted butter, softened
300g caster sugar
2 small eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
a pinch of salt
600g plain flour, sifted
- First line some baking trays with baking parchment ready for your stars.
- In a bowl cream together your butter and sugar until light and creamy. Add the beaten eggs, vanilla and salt and mix well. Then gradually add your flour and mix until well incorporated. This can take a while as the mixture is quite dry. Worry not, persevere and it will come together.
- Once you have a dough pop it into a plastic bag and then pop it into the fridge to chill for at least an hour.
- Preheat your oven to 180 degrees C (350 degrees F) or gas mark 4.
- Once your dough is chilled , roll it out to around 3-4 mm.
- Now time to cut out your stars. You will need 2 of each, only one of the teeniest star for the top though. Arrange them on your prepared trays. They don’t spread much so you can put a fair few on the trays. Even so it took me about 3 lots of 2 batches in the oven to cook them all. If you have a double oven. YAY.
- They take around 10-12 minutes to cook. Once they are firm and golden you can take them out of the oven. Do bear in mid the various sizes you are cooking, if you can do batches of similar size stars together so they cook together. You will need to adjust the time slightly for the biggest ones as well as the teeny ones but not by much (only a minute or so each side).
- Leave them to cool on the baking trays for around 10 minutes before moving to a wire rack to cool completely. If you are impatient like me and need the baking trays for the next batch. You can slide the baking sheet with your hot cookies onto a wire rack, but please, please be careful as they are hot and fragile (one or two of mine broke doing this!)
- Once you have all your cooked cookies and they have cooled down, you can assemble your tree. We used royal icing to stick ours together which works brilliantly until you try and eat your tree. Ours was stuck so well we had to go at the thing with a hammer!!! Your choice really, I would still use royal icing if you want your tree to be on display for a few days as we did. It kept really well for nearly a week on the kitchen table. If you want to eat it swiftly a butter icing will do or fondant icing as pictured below.
The picture below is of the one on the box from Lakeland. You can see our creation on my previous post (mine will get an inferiority complex if I post it here!!)