Tag Archives: cookies

Salty Sweet Double Chip Cookies


These cookies have a surprise ingredient.

 

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I love a surprise ingredient. Mainly because the surprise is never on me. Oh, the power!

 

Look, you can kind of see the secret ingredient in this shot, rendering it slightly less secret. Can you guess what it is?

 

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That’s right – it’s potato chips. Good old crunchy, salty, dip them in sour cream potato chips.

 

Now, the only trouble is that I would *never* say ‘potato chips’ in real life. They’re crisps, as far as I’m concerned. But if I say ‘crisp cookies’ you’ll think I’m just talking about the texture. ‘Crisp biscuits’ is even more confusing.

 

To add to the turmoil, I threw in some dark chocolate chunks. Not chips – your actual, honest to goodness chunks. Much more satisfying.

 

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I cannot truly describe the perfection of this melty moment.

 

I found the original, chocolate-less recipe through Sam the Cooking Guy – he got them from a viewer of his show, Lori, who in turn got them from her Grandma Thora.

 

Thanks, Sam, Lori and Grandma Thora!

 

I reduced the recipe, changed a couple of things and made the size smaller. Here is the end result – the recipe makes 32 cookies:

 

  • 225g salted butter, at room temperature
  • 250g plain flour
  • 170g granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon homemade bourbon vanilla essence
  • 50g salted Kettle Chips (other crisps are available), crushed up
  • 100g dark chocolate, cut into chunks (or chocolate chips if you want the path of least resistance)

 

Heat the oven to 190C. Line three baking sheets with lightly oiled greaseproof paper.

 

Using an electric hand mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and creamy.

 

Add the vanilla extract and mix well, then add the flour and mix until combined. At first it will look hopelessly dry, but give it a minute. It’ll be OK.

 

Stir in the crisps and chocolate until evenly dispersed. There will be some folding and perhaps a little pushing and shoving. This is OK.

 

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Form the mix into small balls, and space evenly across the three baking sheets. If, like me, you only have two baking sheets, you can prepare a sheet of greaseproof paper and put the final 12 cookie balls on that, then slide them onto a baking sheet when one becomes available.

 

Bake for ten minutes, rotating and swapping shelves half way through. They will be golden around the edges but pale and very squishy in the middle. Resist the temptation to leave them in the oven.

 

Cool for ten minutes, or until firm enough to lift one up without it looking like a Dali painting. Consume.

 

If you want your cookies to be more crisp, you can flatten the balls of dough before you put them in the oven – you’ll end up with a less rustic, darker coloured cookie. You can also bake them for longer, of course, but I find this terribly difficult to judge. It took me a long number of years to bake decent biscuits for this exact reason – I would wait, and wait, and wait, and wonder why they weren’t crisping up in the oven. Once they were cooled, of course, it was like trying to bite into some kind of diamond-adamantium hybrid. Not good.

 

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These are light, not too sweet, not exactly savoury morsels. They’re unusual, to say the least, and they take very little time to put together.

 

Plus if you share them, you get to play the ‘secret ingredient’ game. Mwa ha ha ha…


Almond and Olive Oil Cookies


I couldn’t decide whether to use ‘biscuits’ or ‘cookies’ in the title. I swithered from one to the other, and back, and I’m still not convinced. I may even still change it. I only really use ‘cookies’ to mean ‘chocolate chip cookies’, and while these little guys don’t fit that bill, they also don’t fit the bill for my usual understanding of ‘biscuit’ either.

So what I’m saying is that these will make you question the nature of reality as it related to baked goods.

Olive Oil Cookies RowsThey were born of me trying to follow a recipe I saw online, late at night when I should have been thinking of getting ready for bed, but finding that the recipe didn’t really work for me. Partly because I didn’t have the right ingredients, which is nobody’s fault but my own, of course. The main thing I didn’t have was canola oil, or another mild oil. I had some mild olive oil that I thought would work, so I used that. The flavour and fragrance from the oil was much stronger than I thought it would be – plus, when I had mixed all the ingredients as the recipe directed, it looked like a big oily mess in the bowl. I listened to my baker’s instincts, and started adding some extras until the dough looked more like, well, dough…

Here is the final recipe, as jotted down while I was working. Will it work a second time? I have no idea, and that’s the truth.

  • 1/2 cup caster sugar
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 1/2 cups plain flour
  • 1 cup ground almonds
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup icing sugar

To prepare, line two baking sheets with greaseproof paper. Heat the oven to 180C.

First, mix the sugar, oil, eggs and honey in a bowl until well combined and a creamy yellow colour.

Olive Oil Almond Biscuits EggsAdd the flour, almonds, baking powder and salt to the bowl and mix until combined. If you like, you can entertain yourself by making it look like the egg mixture is eating the flour mixture up.

Olive Oil Almond Biscuits FlourHow do you like those action shots?

The truth is, the finished dough will look greasy and you may have doubts. This is what happened to me, at any rate, but they weren’t sufficient doubts to pack it in altogether, and I’m so glad I didn’t.

Olive Oil Almond Biscuits Dough

Hrm… Suspiciously oily…

Tip the half cup of icing sugar out onto your work surface. Roll up little balls of the dough between your palms, then roll in the icing sugar until coated all over, and place on the baking tray.

Olive Oil Almond Biscuits 029 Olive Oil Almond Biscuits 030Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until lightly browned. Remove from oven.

Olive Oil Almond Biscuits BakedJust after you take them out, you might choose to make an indent in them with your thumb, so that you can put some jam or lemon curd on top. If you’re doing this, be careful, and hold the sides of the cookie as you press down gently on the top. They are delicate creatures, and will crack and break apart if you push too hard, or don’t support them while you do. The jam is optional, anyway – they are good without it.

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Cool the biscuits on a rack to let all the moisture out. You’ll end up with light, delicately flavoured, bite-sized morsels, whatever you choose to call them. They’re not overly sweet, especially if you don’t add any toppings, and while the flavour of the oil comes through, the texture isn’t rich or heavy – they are soft inside, and just a little crumbly. It just goes to show, even when you think something’s going wrong, it can end up alright. Take comfort.

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A Minty Fresh, Gluten Free Success (or, Mint Chocolate Biscuits and Cupcakes)


I made these cake to share at work, to commiserate ourselves over one of our fold leaving to work in London. It was a sad event, though we did try to drown our sorrows in peppermint icing. When people asked me what flavour they were and I said ‘mint chocolate’, everyone responded with a variation of ‘Oooh! I love mint chocolate!’. I also love mint chocolate, it’s my favourite ice cream flavour, and given that you would think I would have made mint chocolate cake before. Not so – this was my first mint chocolate creation, and I have no idea why I let it go so long. Let’s start with the best photo of the lot – the solo mint chocolate cupcake, with a mint chocolate biscuit on top:

 

 

I was beyond pleased with this project – it was the first time I successfully made gluten free biscuits, for a start. Previously I’d tried them only to end up with a structure so loosely held together that it crumbled to dust the instant you tried to take a bite, coating the inside of one’s mouth with what may as well have been ash. Sugary, floury ash. Sigh. As you can imagine, this put me off trying them again, but when I got the idea for these little biscuits I decided to take the bull by the horns and try again. I used this recipe for peppermint creams, which I’ve been eyeing up on Pinterest for some time, to make both the biscuits and peppermint fondant in the middle. I added one crucial ingredient to the biscuit dough – an egg. The humble egg; how it spelled the difference between success and failure for this blogger. I otherwise followed the recipe, swapping Dove’s Farm gluten free blend flours in for the self raising and plain flours, and oat milk for the normal milk.

Steph at Raspberri Cupcakes made these in pretty flower shapes; I had been intending to follow her lead and use my icing stamps to make flowers and hearts, but in the end I stuck with the classic round biscuit – yes, like a well known brand of biscuit that begins with O, but I insist that mine are better. I used the narrow end of the insert of a piping bag – you know, the bit that you screw the nozzle on to? – to get the shapes perfectly uniform. The uniformity is one of the most pleasing things about the biscuits, apart from them not shattering into dust when you try to eat them.

 

 

What a mess. The biscuit dough was very soft, so I had to work quickly, but I wanted it to be a little softer than a normal biscuit – gluten free baking dries out a lot more than normal baking, so if you start with something that holds a little too much liquid, you should get a good end result. I also let the dough rest in the fridge for longer than the 15 minutes in the recipe – it was in there for at least an hour. They baked for about five minutes, being so tiny – again, with gluten free baking being drier, it was even more important than usual not to over bake them.

They came out looking like this, rows and rows of identical, tiny biscuits:

 

 

While they cooled, I made the peppermint fondant. This was really easy, and you could use it as a decorative icing to cut into little shapes, if you wanted to. I used about half a teaspoon of peppermint essence and a little green food dye to get the colour and flavour I wanted. It doesn’t look very inspiring on its own though.

 

 

Now it was time to sandwich the biscuits together. I chose not to coat them in chocolate, though I would like to, because I saw the trouble Steph had getting it to set evenly, and also I was trying to do a batch of 36 cupcakes, with buttercream icing and biscuit toppers, in the few hours between work and bedtime.

I could hardly stop looking at these little wonders. Sometimes I make something that I think looks really proper, like you might have bought it in a shop, and it amazes and surprises me. And then I eat it.

While I was chilling the biscuit dough, I made an enormous batch of devil’s food cupcakes – a more enormous batch than I meant to, in fact, I got a bit confused over how much to increase the recipe by… I always use the devils food cake recipe from Cake in the Country now, you may have seen me mention it before. I don’t need another chocolate cake recipe any more. It’s particularly good for gluten free adaptation because there is so much liquid in it that it would take a long time in the oven for them to dry out. This time, I doubled the recipe, which gave 36 cupcakes, and I changed half of the vanilla essence for peppermint essence, which just gave a hint of peppermint to the finished cakes.

 

 

This is what I meant by a huge batch. Note the immense mess everywhere. I was multi tasking. Sadly, one of my tasks was not cleaning up.

My poor kitchen wasn’t really designed for this kind of thing.

 

 

Once the cakes were out of the oven (they had to be done in two batches), I started on the mint buttercream. This was easy, but sadly ‘easy’ and ‘instant’ are not the same thing… I softened a block of butter and then added double the weight of butter in icing sugar, plus a hint of green food dye and a teaspoon of peppermint essence. You could experiment with how much mint and how much colour you’d like to add, of course. I let my food mixer do the work while I made a start on the dishes and cleaning the sugar off every surface in the house, for what felt like the millionth time. Occasionally I’d go back and scrape down the sides of the bowl and check on the progress of the buttercream. When it was smooth and well combined, I made a start on the icing by rudely dropping a spoonful on each cake. Don’t they look affronted?

 

 

I did it this way so that I could make sure I had enough icing to go round – if I’d iced them properly, one at a time, I could have run out towards the end and had to go back and start over again. I also chose to spoon it on to the cakes rather than swirling – swirling uses up at least twice as much icing, there just wasn’t enough for that.

I smoothed the icing out by hand, because it stuck too much to the back of the spoon, and then pressed a wee biscuit into the top of each one. That was a quick sentence to write, and a slow process to undertake! But it was well worth it, because in the end I had this:

 

 

This time they’re jostling to get to the front, so they can be in the photo. It got dark while I was baking. It very often gets dark while I’m baking, and my photos are not improved by the situation.  

These were a big success all round – they look almost exactly as I’d pictured them, though I would have preferred to have an extravagant swirl of icing, but it wasn’t practical on the day. Everyone who had one was very complimentary of them; the flavours were balanced, the chocolate sponge is so moist and the minty icing is fresh and not too heavy. Another time I might try making a mint syrup from real mint instead of relying on the synthetic essence, but I have to say it tastes great, not synthetic or plasticky at all.

My favourite part is definitely the biscuits, though. I have extra biscuit dough and fondant in the freezer, ready for the next time!

 

 


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