Biscuit, Sweet

Just like Millie’s – soft, chewy white chocolate chip cookies

I love stopping off at a Millie’s cookie stall whenever I go past one but unfortunately I don’t live close to one.. Therfore I have been practicing my cookies to try and make lovely soft cookies.

I think I have already created a good double chocolate chip which I will post soon, but now I have the white version to go with it.

Hopefully, as soon as my new niece or nephew is born then my sisters gestational diabetes will be gone and I can treat her by making a huge box of these. I might also include some fruit in them, raspberries would be perfect.

In the mean time, this is a very quick and simple recipe to make and even though my son is now 9 months he’s still not ready to nap so that mommy can bake too much.

I need recipes that are easy, allow me to satisfy my baking needs and do it all whilst entertaining a little man.


White chocolate chip cookies

Ingredients

  • 100g white sugar
  • 100g butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 1 tablespoon golden syrup
  • 120g self raising flour
  • 30g all purpose plain flour
  • 100g chocolate chips

Method

Pre heat the oven to 180c

In a bowl cream the butter, sugar and vanilla together then mix in the golden syrup.

Add in the flours and mix it till it comes together. You can do it with a spoon but feel free to use your hands.

Once combined then add in the chocolate chips and mix them in. Try not to overwork the mixture, stop as soon as the chocolate looks evenly distributed.

Using a teaspoon measure out and roll into balls the size of cookies you’d like. I made 12 decent sized cookies. You don’t need to flatten them down, just put them on the tray in balls.

Bake in the oven for 12-14 minutes if you’ve made 12. Go for 12 minutes but if they haven’t settled too much then add another 2 minutes but no longer.

When they come out of the oven let them cool first otherwise you’ll just break them.

For a variation, add in a handful of raspberries after you’ve mixed in the chocolate chips.

Little tip – put the tablespoon in boiling water before using it to get out the golden syrup as then it’ll just slide off

Biscuit, Sweet

No sugar chocolate orange shortbread

My sister is currently pregnant but despite her healthy life (including running a half marathon just before getting pregnant) she has gestational diabetes.

Unfortunately, she also has a sweet tooth just like I do and the lack of chocolate, cakes and biscuits has been really hard for her so I’ve started looking up recipes that she may be able to eat.

One I thought that would be extremely simple to do would be to make shortbread and swap the sugar for sweetener. Now I don’t advocate sweetener being any ‘better’ or healthier for you than sugar but it’s a way to enjoy a little treat when you can’t have sugar.

I can’t say this recipe will be good for everyone with diabetes as you’ll know your diet better than anyone but it has certainly worked for my sister.

I decided to make the recipe chocolate flavoured by using cocoa powder as this doesn’t actually contain any sugar. If you’ve ever been curious and tried cocoa powder you’ll realise it’s extremely bitter on its own. Remember – cocoa powder, not drinking chocolate. There’s a big difference between the two. Unless you can have sugar, don’t use drinking chocolate for this recipe!

To also try and take a little of the bitterness away I wanted to flavour the chocolate so used orange blossom water (Nielsen Massey Orange Blossom Water is the exact brand) and I checked out the ingredients to make sure it didn’t include sugar.

The end result was a little box of biscuits, which although may not taste as sweet as you’d expect, they’re a nice biscuit treat when you can’t have sugar.

No sugar chocolate orange shortbread

This made 7 cookies. Recipe easily doubles

Ingredients

  • 1.5 tablespoons Canderel (I used this as it’s the one I had but try other types of sweetener) If you wanted to make this recipe with normal sugar it would be 1.5 tablespoons granulated sugar which equals 1oz.
  • 2oz butter
  • 3oz plain all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 1. 5 teaspoon orange blosson water (you can flavour with anything you like but check to make sure it doesn’t contain sugar in the ingredients) It might be even better if you finely grate the zest of an orange though I haven’t tried it yet

Method

Preheat the oven to 180c

Make sure your butter is at room temperature or soften in the microwave before using

In a bowl mix the Canderel, butter, flour, cocoa powder and orange blossom water. Basically all of the ingredients.

Mix till they just combine, you don’t want to over work the dough as this will make it tough.

Use your hands to bring the last part of the dough together and on a lightly floured surface roll out to about the thickness of a £1 or euro. I’m afraid I don’t know the American coin equivalent, but you don’t want these too thick or thin.

Cut out using your cookie cutter of choice and continue till all the dough has been made into biscuits. Try and get as many shapes cut out each time as the less times you re-roll the better.

Line on a tray with non stick lining on and chill in the fridge for 30 mins-ish. It’s not imperative you do this, it just helps the cookies keep their shape whilst baking.

Bake in the middle of the oven for 12 minutes.

The biscuits will seem soft when they first come out so don’t try and remove them immediately. Let them cool for 10 minutes then you’ll be able to move them onto a wire rack to cool.

There you have it! A rediculously easy shortbread recipe, sugar free.

Enjoy…just don’t eat too many too quick.

Biscuit, Sweet

In the Night Garden Cookies

In less than 3 months it is my little daughters first birthday! Its scary reminiscing about her being this tiny helpless little thing I bought home to only 9 months later having a very active little madam who wants to be everywhere and eat everything.

So I decided that I had best start thinking about her first birthday cake and how to decorate it. She doesn’t have any interest in TV at all (just wasted time she could spend exploring I guess), she won’t sit still for any books (see TV issue) so she doesn’t have a favourite character in that way.
After a little think I’ve decided to make an “In the Night Garden” cake and cupcakes. This is because my brother in law used to work on the programme making it and we have toys, books, DVDs and clothes for her. It also seems to be very popular with other young children.

My cake decorating skills are fairly none existent but I saw a way with icing that seemed to make it look easier than normal – flat shapes cut out and layered.

Please let me introduce – Iggle Piggle, Makka Pakka, Upsey Daisy and 3 Tomliboos. No, I haven’t gone mad, that’s their names. Anyone with young children will probably be able to sing the song to.

image

I made the circles of icing as a practice and then because I was quite pleased with myself I made some basic shortbread cookies for them to go on.

Now all I will have to do is try and make them again, at night, in 3 months time whilst being back at work full time. Hmm.

Biscuit, Sweet

Half an hour to make Peanut Butter Cookies

Peanut Butter Cookies

I have finally caught one of the million Spring/Summer colds going around and although I feel a tiny bit sorry for myself, I have done pretty well in being able to avoid having one for a while.
So today after getting the little-ist Baker down for her afternoon nap I wanted to do a bit of baking but nothing that took any brain power, or arm power as neither really felt up for the challenge.

A lot of people like peanut butter, including the little-ist baker so I have very recently bought it for the first time.

As it is an ingredient I don’t usually own or eat I have never really thought about using it to bake with but I wanted to make some biscuits and thought that peanut butter cookies might be an easy recipe to make. I have never even looked at a recipe for them before but I have heard about them on American shows mainly and thought that if that many people talk about them then they cant be that difficult to make; and luckily I was right.

This recipe from the brilliant chef Paul Rankin is both easy, quick and hardly uses any ingredients at all. Luckily it doesn’t make too many either as these are one cookie I won’t be touching.


Paul Rankin’s Peanut Butter Cookies

I used smooth peanut butter as I don’t have crunchy in and the batter for the mix seemed to come out very well. I am thinking about trying these again but substituting one spoon of flour for cocoa powder and the peanut butter for Nutella.

Biscuit, Sweet

The best biscuits in the world: Chocolate, Almond and Marzipan

…in my opinion anyway!

Australians Womens Weekly
The Big Book of Beautiful Biscuits – A nice bit of alliteration from the Australian Women’s Weekly.

This week I have finally managed to get around to doing a little bit of baking. I did this by waiting till the little-ist baker was asleep and then rushed to the kitchen and started grabbing out ingredients and then seeing what I could make.

I made some chocolate muffins the other day and I didn’t fancy anything as time consuming as decorating pretty cupcakes so I decided to make some biscuits (cookies to Americans).
I was going to just make some very basic shortbread but I wanted something a little more interesting, then I remembered a recipe in my Australian Women’s Weekly “The big book of beautiful biscuits” that I made for my mom on mother’s day. These used ground almonds and egg yolks, which you would think would make them very cakey in texture, but they are actually quite short.

The recipe in the book is nothing like how my biscuits came out because I only used the base for them. If you have this cookbook then they are on page 4 titled Almond Maraschino Biscuits!

I’m sorry for anyone in the uk that this recipe is going to be in cups; as this is what was used in the book I used them to as I couldn’t be bothered to work out the weight into pounds and ounces or grams.

I hope you enjoy these as much as I did?


Chocolate, Almond and Marzipan biscuits

1 1/4 cup Plain Flour

Chocolate Marzipan cookies

1/4 cup Cocoa Powder
1/2 cup Ground Almonds
1/2 cup Sugar
4oz Butter
2 Egg Yolk
Two big splashes of Amaretto Liqueur
About a large piece of Marzipan cut into very small squares (think the size of chocolate chips)

Pre-heat the oven to 180oC

In a bowl mix the flour, cocoa powder, ground almonds and sugar.
Rub the butter into the mix until it looks like breadcrumbs.
Add the 2 egg yolks and Amaretto liqueur and combine with your hands till it just starts to come together.
Mix in the Marzipan till it is roughly distributed in the dough. Try not to overwork the dough at this point.
On a floured surface roll out the dough till it is about an inch thick and cut out whatever shapes you like. I used a round cutter with scalloped edges.
Position onto a baking try and bake in the oven till they feel just soft in the middle – this will take about 12-15 minutes. It is difficult to see whether the edges have turned a little brown because of them being chocolate.

Once baked, take out of the oven and allow to cool. If you want to you can decorate them with icing sugar or icing or just be like me and eat them with a cuppa tea.