The Basic Cookie/Biscuit Recipe

CR asked me to share the recipe of the cookies that I put up yesterday. That made me realize that it has been ages since I put up recipes here. Also, I realized today as I prepared some snacks for my friend and her kids who came over this afternoon that I seem to have forgetten some tried and tested recipes, so much so that I haven’t made some of my favourite dishes for almost 2 years now! Now that needs to be remedied, doesn’t it?

So remedying happened. I baked a pineapple upside down cake today, and it is almost over 🙂 *Picture me with a wide grin, showing off the crumbs*  Nothing makes me happier than if my food is polished off, because it hardly ever happens to me 😦 I always, always have extra. Especially when I have guests over. Husband claims that I cook for an army – and then force him to eat it till it gets over. So when everything gets polished off, I can’t help but beam with happiness 🙂 Of course, it might just mean that I cooked just enough, but then we don’t want to face that possible fact, do we 🙂

Let me tell you about the cookie recipe before I ramble on and on. On Sunday, Poohi wanted to bake heart shaped cookies, to ‘celebrate’ Valentine’s day before Husband went away on work. It was Sunday evening, and I wanted a fuss free, with minimal ingredients, an easy to make cookie recipe. So I began searching the internet. Although I have to admit, that if I went with the first recipe I landed with, I might have still managed to make it in the same time that I finally made them(the added search time certainly adds to it, doesn’t it?), but that did not cross my mind then. You see, I spend a lot of time reading the comments too. A recipe without comments, I don’t normally try – I don’t want to be the first one taking a risk, you see. Also the comments give you a fair idea about how effective the recipe is. Another thing I have realized while doing my research is how much my personal baking style has changed. Earlier I used to go by the recipe completely. I remember watching a Nigella Lawson programme on TV, where she mentioned that baking is a very exact science – and I totally took it to heart. Now however, I seem to have figured out what I can play around with, and what I can’t. So if I don’t have a particular ingredient, I find a substitute, or might even omit it, if I feel that it will not hamper the final results.

So finally I settled on this recipe from allrecipes.co.uk. Simple, with just three ingredients and the comments sounded like people had given it a shot and were happy. CR, I’m sure you will agree that it is simple enough 🙂

I stuck to the recipe, apart from minor variations(thanks to running out of essential ingredients).

  • 225g butter, softened(I used about 200 gms)
  • 110g caster sugar(I used about 90 gms)
  • 275g plain flour

1. Preheat the oven to 180 C/Gas mark 4

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

3. Sift in the flour and bring the mixture together to form a dough.

Roll out the dough and cut out the shapes, if using cookie cutters. For the teddy bear cookies, shape the dough into the shapes, stick them together(the dough holds quite well), stick a ice cream stick into it, or just leave them  as is. Daughter wanted to make some teapot ones, and star shaped ones, but I did not have the time(or the patience, if I am honest), so we shelved those to the next time 🙂

Apparently we could add different flavours by different substitutions. The website lists out the possible variations – and they certainly look interesting. The only variation I tried was adding some salt to see if I can replicate the sweet and salty cookies from husband’s childhood memories. And that worked. Next time, I plan to try the same recipe with wholemeal flour to see it works as well.

With the half term on, I seem to be cooking a lot more ‘interesting’ recipes. Leaving you with what we feasted on today 🙂 The picture of the cake did not come out well – I took it in a hurry, and by the time I realized how bad the pictures were, I only had crumbs left 😦

If anybody is interested in the cake recipe, I followed the recipe from here. I had to use soft, dark brown sugar instead of light brown sugar in the toppings, because I realized too late that I did not have have light brown sugar. This gave my cake a darker, more caramelized look and flavour – which was still delicious! I also added about 4 tablespoons of pineapple juice instead of the two mentioned in the recipe. Other wise I followed the recipe completely.

There I did it…

The one thing, I thought I’d never do… make a mess of a baking project.

Daughter wanted to make ‘Aana Biscuits'( biscuits shaped like elephants) and wanted to ‘make it all by myself’. So I decided to give indulge her and we set about making the dough. After doing everything, I just tasted a bit to see if it tasted right. And it tasted all salty! Salty? I was stunned! Only then did I realise that I added 1/4 cups of salt instead of 1/4 teaspoons of it. Even at that time, I did feel that it was a bit too much.. but for some reason did not re-check.. if only I had..

Well, daughter insisted on baking it.. So we made it anyways and it looks really pretty.. Marbled elephants.. if only we could frame it or something.. eating is out of question..

There – one more to add to my domestic disasters list 😦 The only good thing that came out of it, is that daughter is delighted that the biscuits look so pretty- if only I had been more careful.. on the other hand.. this way it is a craft project – with no carbs, butter or sugar being consumed by me – silver lining, don’t you think 🙂

Edited to add: Inspired by the comments, I googled and found a recipe for home made baking clay 🙂 Here it is, for any of you who wants to try. Have included the link too.

BAKING CLAY

  • 1 cup salt
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 4 cups all purpose flour

Stir the salt into the warm water. Let cool. Add flour and knead for 8-10 minutes. For colouring the dough, add food colouring or powdered tempera paint to the salt and water – before adding the flour. Create figures and bake at 325 degrees F for 30 minutes to one hour (until all the moisture is gone). Paint creations when cool. You can also seal the complete work with a non-toxic water-based sealer.

I promise to post pics when we make the next set of elephant biscuits:)