A panoply of (sometimes) lovingly handmade crud.

Tag Archives: cookies

I’ve been ill all week and decided to try and cheer myself up by making this peanut butter cookie recipe I spotted on Pinterest. I really like the fact that the recipe mostly uses oats with little flour. It’s hard not to get swept up in all the anti-gluten sentiment there is at the moment. Here’s how they turned out.

I had been looking for a new recipe to replace my current peanut butter cookie recipe, which somehow gives inconsistent results. I think I’ve found it. The cookies are really tasty even without the peanut butter filling.

I used ordinary creamy peanut butter rather than the fancy peanut butter stated in the recipe. I also used salted butter and omitted the extra salt. I would say these cookies have just the right amount of salt. I might even go so far as to use unsalted butter in future.


I fancied a quick bake this week, so I turned to this pre-made mix I picked up a couple of months ago. I normally only bake from scratch, but I think the kits were on sale and I was in a weak mood.

This was also a nice opportunity for me to test out my new camera photographing up-close in the low light conditions of my kitchen in the evening. I think it did a very good job! I won’t write much as I really did very little.





The cookies were okay. Nothing special, but not horrible. Very sweet. The only comment I have is that the back said that it would yield 10 cookies and I only got five and a half. Perhaps I didn’t roll them out as thin as the packet stated, though I thought I did.


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I don’t often make gingerbread. I tend to be more likely to succumb to a rich chocolate or salted caramel kind of recipe, rather than sticking to the classics. I can’t remember what prompted me to give it a go, probably a quantum of Christmas spirit penetrating my Grinchiness.

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I used an American recipe but I weighed the ingredients so people without cup measures can try them more easily. I substituted black treacle for the molasses stated. To my taste, the treacle flavour is a bit strong so I recommend half golden syrup and half treacle. I will test these out on the people at work and see if they agree. Update: the test was inconclusive as they were all rated by parties unknown.

Ingredients

Note: This makes a LOT of cookies. Like, at least 60. Or enough for a gingerbread house.

Second note: Add whatever spices you like. Leave out the zest if you want. Don’t go out and buy any spices especially for this recipe.

  • 5 cups (725g) plain flour
  • 2tsp ground ginger
  • 1tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4tsp ground allspice
  • 1/4tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2tsp bicarbonate of soda (leave this out if you’re building anything with the gingerbread)
  • 1/4tsp salt (add 1/2 tsp if you use unsalted butter)
  • Zest of one orange
  • 1 cup (250g) butter
  • 1 cup (250g) sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) black treacle
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) golden syrup

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Method

1. Sift together the dry ingredients and spices. Add the orange zest.

2. In a separate bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg, golden syrup and treacle and stir until completely blended.

3. Gradually add the flour mixture until it is all combined.

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4. Divide dough into three portions. If you want to freeze some, do so at this stage, wrapping in a double layer of cling film, or a single layer of wrapping inside a freezer safe container.

5. Roll out one portion of dough between two layers of baking parchment until 1/4in (5mm) thick, using cookie slats if you have them. Leave to chill in the fridge.

6. Preheat oven to 180C (350F)

7. Cut shapes out of chilled dough. Leave about 1cm between each cookie to account for any rising in the oven. Top tip: a gingerbread man upside-down makes an acceptable substitute for a bunny rabbit

8. Bake for 12-16 minutes, until firm and just beginning to darken at the edges. Keep a close eye after 12 minutes as these cookies can burn very quickly.

9. Remove from oven and leave to cool on a wire rack.

10. If desired, decorate your cookies. As you can see in the pics, I used a wide variety of sprinkles and writing icing as I was too lazy to make royal icing.


This week I managed to squeeze in some kitchen time. I rediscovered my love of Nigella’s teriyaki chicken recipe, learnt of wonders of panko, and also made these tasty cookies. I don’t think I’ve had a snickerdoodle before. These are light and cakey in texture, and the cream cheese surprise in the middle makes them really special.

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Ingredients

  • 1 cup/225g butter
  • 1 cup/225g sugar
  • 1/2cup/80g light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup/200g pumpkin purée
  • 1 large egg
  • 2tsp vanilla
  • 3 3/4 cup/540g plain flour
  • 1 1/2tsp baking powder
  • 1/2tsp salt (halve this if using salted butter)
  • 1/2tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4tsp freshly grated nutmeg

For the filling

  • 7oz/200g cream cheese
  • 50g sugar
  • 2tsp vanilla

And just because there’s not quite enough sugar

  • 1/2 cup/100g granulated sugar (you won’t use all of it)
  • 1tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2tsp ground ginger
  • I also added a little black pepper

Method

1. Beat the butter and sugars until light, around 2-3mins

2. Blend in pumpkin and egg, then add vanilla

3. Mix together the dry ingredients, then add to the wet. Mix by hand until just combined. The dough will be very wet.

4. Cover and refrigerate for an hour.

5. Mix together the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla for the filling and leave to chill for an hour.

6. Preheat oven to 350F/180C and line baking sheet(s) with baking parchment.

7. Combine sugar and spices in a small bowl and set aside

8. To form the cookies, take a tablespoon of batter and flatten it.

Place a teaspoon of filling in the centre

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Make a second pancake of batter and place on top.

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Tightly pinch the edges to seal in the cream cheese.

Roll into a ball

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Coat in the cinnamon sugar.

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I actually found it easier to make the second pancake first and set it aside while messing with the filling.

Place on the baking sheet 2 inches apart. Flatten slightly before baking.

Bake for 10-15mins, until tops have cracked.

This is how many cookies I got.

They didn’t last long.


In response to the Great British Bake Off, Biscuiteers have done a series of blog posts containing recipes for classic British biscuits. When I saw their recipe for Party Rings, I cracked. I love Party Rings. They’re possibly my favourite classic-ish biscuit, mainly because I don’t like things like Bourbons, Custard Creams or Rich Teas. For me, they’re a waste of calories. But Party Rings are so sweet and crunchy, and take me back to all the best aspects of childhood birthday parties. There’s  nothing sweeter than nostalgia, except these cookies.

I’m not going to lie, these are Party Ring lookalikes, but not taste-alikes. They don’t have the same crispness as the original. I read somewhere that Party Ring icing contains some special additive that gives it that special texture.

I used Biscuiteers’ vanilla rolled cookie recipe. Although I liked the idea of using golden syrup, I think I prefer the nutty cookie recipe I posted before. I think I overworked the dough slightly as it turned out drier than I’m used to. Also be warned- the recipe states that it yields 24-30 cookies but I got over 40. I might have halved the recipe or frozen some dough if I’d known.

For the icing I used Biscuiteers’ royal icing recipe. I used the egg white version and halved it. Initially I quartered it, but I didn’t feel like I had enough icing for two colours. In hindsight, the quartered recipe would have been enough. I used the pipe and flood technique, where you have the icing at two consistencies.

Watch the consistency of your icing if you use the egg white recipe. My pink icing was a little too viscous, which made the whole icing process rather arduous. Be warned, it took me over five hours to make this batch of biscuits.

You first pipe a barrier to contain the looser icing.

For the classic Party Ring look, you then pipe stripes of flood icing in a contrast colour onto the wet flood icing.

Then drag a toothpick or pin perpendicular to the lines.

I made a little GIF demonstrating the whole process. Sad that WordPress doesn’t support them, it’s pretty hypnotic!

If you like your crafts interspersed with pictures of Serena Williams, my Tumblr could be for you.


As anyone who follows me on social media (I’m @craftycrusader on Twitter and Instagram) may have picked up, I spent last weekend at Wilderness festival for a friend’s birthday. It was really good fun although I’m getting too old for sleeping on the ground for four nights in a row. I thought I would do a little roundup of some of the crafty aspects of the festival.

My Orza came in really useful. The weather was beautiful, which had the unexpected consequence of very cold nights once the sun went down. I also layered it with my Bradway shawl, which was a real lifesaver. Here’s the only picture of that ensemble.

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My Acid Refresher socks also kept my feet toasty.

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One day day I spent a very enjoyable two hours making a silver ring. I call it the annulus of uncertainty. In my work it’s very important to hold on to a sense of not-knowing and not be pulled into the position of an expert, and I hope this ring will help me to hold on to my sense of being okay with uncertainty.

  
I also love swearing, so a cheeky touch was that I engraved some curse words on the inside. I know it’ll always tickle me to have these words constantly on display, but also hidden.

Click the image to go to the uncensored version (NSFW)

Click the image to go to the uncensored version (NSFW)

I also made some sprinkle cookies for the birthday boy.

  

I can confirm that these cookies keep well in a boiling hot tent for five days.


This is my first bake in my new kitchen! I think these cookies came out pretty well even though it turned out that I had the wrong kind of flour, I’ve lost my raising agents in the move and my oven doesn’t have any markings indicating the temperature. May have to capitulate and buy and oven thermotmeter.

These cookies were well reviewed by all who tasted them despite the issues. They are soft and cakey with a delicate lemon flavour. I upped the lemon in the recipe I give below compared to the original. Since I use vanilla sugar, the cookies also have a lovely perfume, and the roll in icing sugar prior to the oven gives a slight crisp to the outside. I will try these again and report back on the difference!

 

Ingredients 

Makes 16 cookies

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 2tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4tsp salt
  • 1/4tsp baking powder
  • 1/8tsp bicarbonate of soda 
  • 1 1/2 cups plain flour
  • 1/4 cup icing sugar

Note: I used self raising flour in lieu of the flour and raising agents, hence my puffer cookies. 

Method

1. Preheat your oven to 180C/350F (or a random temperature in my case). Line two baking sheets with baking parchment.

2. Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. 

3. Add vanilla, egg, lemon zest and juice.

4. Stir in dry ingredients (except the icing sugar) until just combined.

5. Put the icing sugar into a small bowl. Form a heaped teaspoon of dough into a ball and roll in powdered sugar. Place on baking sheet and repeat with remaining dough.

  

6. Bake for 9-11 minutes, until bottoms begin to brown and cookies look matte, rather than wet or shiny. Remove from oven and cool for about 3 minutes on tray before transferring to cooling rack.