Tag Archives: cookies

Almond Macaroons

These are my favourite type of macaroons, wonderfully old fashioned in comparison to the fancy ones available now.  They are so easy to make and deliciously almondy with just the right amount of chewiness.

They are perfect for using up any egg whites you may have lurking in the fridge. If you have a food processor then it takes just a few minutes, and even if you haven’t it is not much more work.

They are best made on rice paper but my girls like rice paper so much they eat it before I have chance to use it.    If you don’t have rice paper then a silicone lining sheet works really well, but they also don’t stick too much to a non-stick tray as long as you lift them within a minute or two of them coming out of the oven, but be warned they are very fragile at that point.

The only problem with these is that they are completely irresistible and no good for the New Year diet.

Makes 15-18 biscuits

200g ground almonds
200g granulated sugar
40g icing sugar
3 egg whites
flaked almonds

Method

Preheat the oven to 180ºc, gas mark  4.

If you have a food processor place the almonds, sugar and icing sugar in the bowl of the processor and whizz for a few seconds.  Add the egg whites and whizz until combined.

If you don’t have a food processor them place all of the ingredients into a large bowl and beat with a wooden spoon or an electric whisk until well combined.

Line a tray with silicone paper or rice paper and place dessertspoonfuls of the mixture onto the tray.  Place a flaked almond on top of each one.

Place in the preheated oven or on the middle shelf of the baking oven of the Aga for 12-15 minutes until lightly browned all over.  Leave to cool on the tray for a few minutes and then place onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Earl Grey Kisses

Are you ready for a tale of woe?

This month’s We Should Cocoa Challenge was hosted by Choclette and she came up with the fantastic idea of creating something with chocolate and tea.  Now straight away the thought struck me that Earl Grey truffles would be a lovely thing.  Except I had no Earl Grey in the house.

The days of February passed in a dash and I suddenly found myself in the middle of half term, at home with two busy children and still no Earl Grey.  Several trips to the shops later and still no Earl Grey.  It was the final day of the challenge and I managed to remember to buy Earl Grey, but then a cough came on and I ran out of energy and time.

Anyway, Sunday morning arrived and I thought I would make the truffles for eating after dinner.  I made them but the ganache split. I was making dinner for ten so the truffle mixture stayed in the fridge.  Monday morning and the split ganache was saved with the addition  of a bit more cream, but then I was busy and when I took the ganache out of the fridge it had set solid and there was no way any truffles could be formed.  The split ganache had returned with a fury it seems.

So today I reheated the ganache and yes it is well and truly split.  No truffles will be made from this. But in that ganache is 100g of chocolate and 200ml of cream.  I was not about to waste it.  The little one is off from nursery with a cough of her own but wanted to make cookies.  So here they are, cookies made with the ganache and filled with the ganache.

I will try to make the truffles again as the mixture tasted lovely.  These cookies are tasty but the delicate Earl Grey taste is lost amongst the biscuityness of it all.  But the ganache has at least been saved.

For the ganache:

100g best quality dark chocolate, chopped finely
200ml double cream
4 heaped tsp Earl Grey loose tea

Method

Pour the cream into a small saucepan and add the tea leaves.  Heat until just under boiling point. Take the pan off the heat and leave to infuse for  15 minutes. Place the chopped chocolate into a shallow bowl.  Strain the cream through a sieve into a jug, reheat gently and pour over the chocolate.  Leave to melt for a minute or so and then stir gently until the mixture is smooth.  If you successfully manage this without it splitting and becoming granular then you should be able to place it in the fridge for an hour or so and then roll into truffles.

For the cookies:

100g butter, softened
75g caster sugar
1 egg yolk
3 tbsps of the Earl Grey chocolate ganache
200g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
a splash of milk if necessary

Method

Cream together the butter and the sugar until fluffy.  Add the egg and beat until well combined.  Add the ganache and stir to mix.  Sieve over the flour and baking powder and stir until the mixture comes together into a stiff dough.  You may need a splash of milk to help it come together.

Roll teaspoonfuls into balls and flatten into discs and place onto greased baking trays (you will need two).  Bake in a preheated oven at 180°c, gas mark 4 or the Baking Oven of the Aga for 8-12 minutes until they look dry and feel firm.  Leave to cool on the tin for a couple of minutes and then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

Sandwich two of the biscuits together using the Earl Grey chocolate ganache.

 

Chocolate marmalade biscuits

You may know about the masses of marmalade I made, and the cake I made with it. Well, I wondered what it would be like in a biscuit.  It turns out that marmalade is very nice in a biscuit.  It adds a bitter depth that is really quite addictive.  I know, I know, I really shouldn’t eat three with one cup of tea (again!).

You could chop up the pieces of peel if you like, but I didn’t because I wanted to enjoy the chunkiness in the biscuit.  If you really wanted to spoil yourself you could add 50g (2oz) of chopped chocolate into the mix as well.

100g (4oz) softened butter
75g (3oz) light brown sugar
1 egg
3 tbsp marmalade
125g (5oz) spelt flour (or you could use wholemeal or plain)
50g (2oz) ground almonds
25g (1oz) cocoa powder
2 tsp baking powder

Method

Beat the butter and the sugar until light and fluffy.  Add the egg and beat again until well combined. Stir in the marmalade. Add the flour, almonds, cocoa and baking powder and stir until it forms a stiff dough.

Place spoonfuls of the mixture onto a greased or non stick baking sheet (you will probably need two).  Place in a preheated oven at 180°c, gas mark 4, or the Baking Oven of the Aga for 10-12 minutes until they are firm on the top. Leave to cool on the tin for a couple of minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Chocolate almond cookies

My four year old and I have just made these.  A very good friday afternoon treat.  They are chewy and distinctly almondy and definitely chocolatey.  I think next time I make them I might add a few drops of almond extract instead of the vanilla extract to really draw out the almond taste.

Makes about 10-12, depending on how generous you are with the spoonfuls.

125g butter
50g muscovado sugar
50g caster sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
50g wholemeal spelt flour
80g ground almonds
20g cocoa
½ tsp baking powder

40g good quality chocolate, melted, to drizzle over the top

Method

Melt the butter in a small pan.  Place the sugars in a bowl.  Pour the melted butter over the sugars and mix well. Add the egg and the vanilla extract and mix again.  Tip in the flour, almonds, cocoa and baking powder and mix again.  It will be quite sloppy.  Place spoonfuls onto greased baking sheets.  These cookies spread a lot so leave plenty of space between them.  Bake in a preheated oven at 180°c, gas mark 4 for 8-10 minutes.  Leave on the tin for a few minutes to harden and then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.  Drizzle with the melted chocolate.

Spelt, almond and chocolate biscuits

These little beauties are not radically different from my Chunky Chocolate Biscuits that I posted about last July.  This, I think, goes to show that whilst some say baking is an exact science, you can play around with the ingredients and still produce something good.  The important thing is to get the balance of wet ingredients to dry ingredients right.  It also has to be said that biscuits are more forgiving than cake.  Take the basic recipe and play around with it. If you don’t have spelt flour, use wholemeal flour, or oatmeal, or plain flour.  You can replace the almonds with oats.  The texture will be different but the biscuits will still be good.

This time instead of adding chopped chocolate to the biscuit mixture I decided to coat the biscuits with melted chocolate as soon as they were cool and it turns out this is a good plan because every bite is guaranteed to have some chocolate in it – always a bonus.

Some more advice is that if you are on a New Year’s diet (although why would you be?) try not to eat three with your coffee like I just have.

100g (4oz) softened butter
100g (4oz) light brown soft sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
100g (4oz) spelt flour
100g (4oz)  ground almonds
25g (1oz) cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder

100g (4oz) good quality chocolate, melted

Method

Cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy.  Add the egg and vanilla extract and beat until well combined.   Add the spelt, almonds, cocoa and baking powder and fold in until the mixture forms a stiff dough.

Shape dessertspoonfuls into walnut-sized balls and place onto a baking tray.  Leave plenty of room for each biscuit to spread.  Flatten each biscuit slightly with the tines of a fork.

Bake in a preheated oven at 180°c, gas mark 4 or the middle shelf of the baking oven of the four-oven Aga for 12-15 minutes until firm to the touch.  Leave to cool on the trays for five minutes and then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

Melt the chocolate and spoon on top of each biscuit.

Chocolate chip cookies

chocolate chip cookies

Inspired by Choclette on her Chocolate Log Blog, I thought I would try to adapt the recipe I often use for chocolate chip cookies.  The original recipe has lots of sugar in and makes a very sweet biscuit.  By cutting down the amount of sugar from 175g to 125g and using 100g wholemeal flour with 50g of plain flour, instead of the original 150g plain flour, it makes a much more interesting biscuit.  It is still sweet, but not cloying and the wholemeal flour gives it a much more interesting texture.  The bonus of course is that it also makes a healthier cookie and as I get asked at least once a week if we can make a batch of cookies this is a big bonus.

Makes about 12 large cookies

125g (5oz) butter
125g (5oz) light brown soft unrefined sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
100g (4oz) wholemeal flour
50g (2oz) plain white flour
½ tsp baking powder
100g 70% cocoa chocolate, chopped into chunks

Method

Melt the butter in a small saucepan over a gentle heat.  Put the sugar into a bowl and pour the butter over and mix well. Add the egg and the vanilla extract and mix well.  Fold in the flours and the baking powder.  Add the chocolate and mix until combined.  Place spoonfuls of the mixture onto baking sheets lined with baking parchment.  Place in the preheated oven at 180°c (350°f, gas mark 4) for 8-10 minutes until golden.  Leave on the tray for five minutes and then place onto a rack to cool.

These are very nice when they are still warm and the chocolate is still melted, but they are also very nice the next day.

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