There is a saying that a cookie is made with butter and love! That is so true as nothing gives me more pleasure than whipping up home made biscuits.
Making perfect biscuits/ cookies is really really easy, and only takes about 20 minutes to prepare, which includes preheating the oven and 20 minutes to make. But as with all good things, they only take 5 mins to eat.
The ingredients you will have on hand and the magic is that this basic recipe can bed added to, doubled, tripled, frozen and made up and refrigerated for up to 5 days before baking.
So here are my tips for perfection and below that is the recipe:
- Preheat the oven and arrange the shilves so you can bake as many trays as possible as one. Grease and line the baking sheet. (i always use the paper from the butter to grease…. saves time and uses every last speck off the wrapping)!
- Use salt reduced or standard butter, I do think biscuits do need that touch of salt. Unsalted butter is better for cakes and pastry and shortbread – shortbread is traditionally made with unsalted butter to which a good pinch is added. The salt helps give a little flavour and also helps with the crispness.
- Brown sugar adds a delicious chew and white sugar (caster) is for crunch… so a combination gives the best result.
- Use plain flour, but add a good couple of pinches or to be correct ¾ tsp baking powder. Don’t use self raising flour, as it has a higher (too high) proportion of raising agent
- Cream the butter and sugar VERY well, until super light and fluffy
- Use a small ice cream scoop to measure out the mixture onto the paper lined trays
- Allow plenty of room for spreading and let the cookies / biscuits cool completely before storing
The ultimate cookie:
This is a recipe I have made so many times; it is engraved in my mind. The original was once an old classic that originated from a Country Women’s Association Book I had many years ago. it is very like an American Toll cookie if you add lots of choclate chips. I have made a couple of my own tweaks… I hope you love these as much as my family do.
Makes: about 28 cookies/ biscuits
180g salt reduced butter, softened to room temperature
¾ cup (about 115g) brown sugar
¾ cup (about 155g) caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 x 60 g eggs (at room temp)
2 ¼ cups (about 330g) plain flour
1 tbsp (aboout 10g) cornflour
¾ tsp baking powder
Flavours: see below
1 (175g) cup choc chips,
100g chopped roasted hazelnuts,
125g sultanas or currants or chopped apricots,
Rind 1 lemon & 1 orange,
1/3 cup (29g) desiccated coconut,
Preheat oven to 180 C or 160 C fan forced. Grease and baking paper line 3 oven trays.
Place the flour and baking powder into the mixing bowl with the flat beater. Place on the food shield and mix on speed 2 until well combined. Set flour aside. Wipe bowl and return bowl to the mixer. (a second stainless steel bowl is very handy for recipes like this)
Place the butter into the mixing bowl with the flat beater. Cream on speed 6 until whipped. Add the brown and white sugar and beat for 5 minutes, or until very light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and eggs one at a time, beating well in between each egg.
Add the flour and choice of flavouring and mixing lightly on speed 2 until just combined.
Using a small ice cream scoop, place rounds of the dough onto the prepared trays. Allowing plenty of room for spreading.
Bake about 22 minutes or until lightly golden. Allow to cool 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely. Biscuits will sink a little and crack on cooling, giving them a lovely crackle top.
Store in a air tight container for up to 5 days.
Gluten free option: Substitute the wheat flour with a gluten free flour mix, adding a good pinch of a gum such as GFG or Xanthan gum. Follow the remaining recipe.