Finally, a non-spread biscuit recipe that works

It took a while and batches and batches of fail biscuits but finally I found a recipe that mades a non-spread sugar biscuit. You can add lemon zest or different essences for different flavours but I sort of like vanilla. I used these to make edible draughts which looked like the love child of iced gems and PartyRings.

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Ingredients:

  • 220g softened butter
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 egg, large
  • 425g plain flour

Method:

  1. Cream together the butter and the sugar – the key is to not over cream, just make sure it is all combines and smooth
  2. Add in the beaten egg and vanilla essence and mix
  3. Finally, add in the flour and combine into a dough (probably with your fingers)
  4. Divide into 4 portions.  Working with one at a time lightly flour the worksurface and gently knead the dough until it is smooth and workable.  Sprinkle on some more flour if it feels too sticky
  5. Roll out on a floured surface and cut of biscuit shapes

If you want to decorate them like I did, I used royal icing sugar and water plus paste food colouring and the flooding technique, outline the biscuit using a fine-ish nozzle on a piping bag and then fill in and tap to smooth out the icing.

The results were totally playable and pretty tasty.

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Stroopwafel Cupcakes

For part 2 of my Dutch cupcake series, I made stroopwafel cupcakes. Stroopwafels are those delicious biscuits with caramel in the middle that come from the Netherlands or Starbucks or a corner shop in Mile End.  Sainsbury’s in Tooting sell them. They are usually best served warmed over a cup of coffee or made into a cupcake. I made a cinnamon sponge, with a caramel core and cinnamon and caramel icing topped with a mini Stroopwafel. Served in a Delft blue cupcake case – very Dutch, ja?

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Anyway, on to the recipe (makes 12 big-ish ones)

For the sponge:

  • 200g softened butter
  • 200g self raising flour
  • 200g soft brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1tsp cinnamon

For the caramel filling:

  • 2 quantities of Nigella’s salted caramel sauce making it with just enough salt to cut away the sweetness but not enough to be fully salted caramel (hold some back for the icing and decorating)

For the icing:

  • 80g butter, softened
  • 400g icing sugar, sieved
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 100g of the salted caramel
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

To decorate:

  • Mini stroopwafels or chunks of the big ones

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 170c and line a muffin tin with 12 good size cupcake cases
  2. Cream together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy
  3. Add the eggs, one at a time and beat really well after each one. Pro Tip: making sure the eggs are at room temperature will stop it curdling but if it does add a tablespoon of the flour to bring it together
  4. Sift together the flour and cinnamon and add this gradually and fold in until just combined
  5. Fill your cases to about two-thirds full
  6. Bake for 18 minutes or until they spring back when touched. Leave to cool slightly before putting on to a cooling rack.
  7. When the cakes are totally cold  core out the middle and fill with the caramel.
  8. For the icing cream the butter and caramel until it is really really soft and add a small amount of the icing sugar and the cinnamon (taste as you go to see if you need more). Keep adding icing sugar slowly, adding milk in between additions to moisten the mixture if you need to.  Add more icing sugar if it is too sloppy or buttery.  Beat until fluffy and smooth.
  9. Pipe it on to the cakes
  10. Get a disposable icing bag and add a few tablespoons of caramel, cut the very tip off and drizzle over the cakes and finish with a mini-stroopwafel

These got really good reviews in my office and lots of happy noises.

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Emergency Cookies

Me and MrStarmoose (my fiance) rarely keep biscuits in the house, mainly because we are both liable to eat the whole lot and feel sad about it afterwards. But sometimes you just want a cookie  (a warm chocolately gooey cookie) and a glass of cold milk.

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So I have cookie dough on standby in the freezer (it can just be stored in freezer bags), ready to pop in the oven. It stops us eating loads of them because they feel a bit special. Frozen dough make really good presents for birthdays and stuff if you put the recipients favourite chocolate bars in them or shove them in a nice tin.

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The recipe (makes about 12 medium ones or 8 huge ones) is quite Millie’s cookies-ish but I think the darker sugars make it more chewy and caramelly. Also I use 2 bars of Green and Blacks which means they taste a bit more grown up:

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Grown-up? Who am I kidding? I have also made them with a whole range of chopped up chocolate bars: mini-Rolos, Caramacs, Snickers etc.

The recipe:

  • 125g butter, softened
  • 175g light brown soft sugar
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 225g self-raising flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 200g chocolate (chopped up chocolate bars, chips, fudge cubes, biscuits, whatever you like… raisins, nah, too healthy!)

Method:

  1. Cream butter and sugars together and then add the egg and the vanilla. Sift in the flour and salt and mix with spatula – it will be fairly dry, add a drop of milk if it is too dry.
  2. Ball it together than then divide it into two. Place a sheet of clingfilm flat on the kitchen surface, roll one ball into a sausage shape and them wrap it in the cling film and roll it a few more times to make an even shape, pull in the ends like a Christmas cracker and repeat for the other ball.
  3. Place the two cookie sausages in the freezer and allow to cool for about 40 minutes then take them out and with a sharp knife cut them into even slices (6 per roll or 4 if you want huge ones) and then you can store them in a freezer bag until you are ready to eat them
  4. To bake them pre-heat your oven to 180c and place the cookie rounds on ungreased baking paper spaced far apart (I usually do four on a big tray), half way through cooking give them a pat down with a fish slice to spread them out a bit. If you want to have a really squidgy centre then bake for about 12 minutes from frozen. Otherwise cook for 15 minutes until just golden round the edges – keep an eye on them they will cook quite fast at the end.
  5. Take out of the oven and leave to harden for 5 minute before transferring to a wire cooling rack or your mouth. They are really amazing warm with the chocolate still molten.