Friday, June 3, 2011

Cookies, the kind you eat

Why are those little tags of data websites leave in our computers called cookies? Can't eat them!
Anyway I just pulled a tray of dark and white chocolate and apricot cookies out of the oven, the apartment smells heavenly, and they are so easy to make I want to share the recipe. I adapted it from another one and process it very differently.

Easy yummy cookies
100g (3.5oz) butter
1 cup sugar (I use brown or white, both fine)
1 tablespoon golden syrup (not sure what this is elsewhere)
1 egg
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups flour
About 1 generous cup of any combination of: dark, milk or white chocolate drops, chips, chopped melts etc, nuts (I love almonds the best) and fruits like dried Californian cherries (not glace) chopped apricots, peel etc.
Vanilla, almond or any essence, grated orange or lemon rind optional

Put the chopped butter and golden syrup into a decent sized microwave bowl or pot, and melt together. Don't get it too hot. Stir in the sugar and soda. Add the egg, beating furiously with a fork so the egg doesn't poach in the hot mixture. Fork is definitely the best tool for this! The mix will be a bit fizzy. Add the flour and essences or rinds if used, mix thoroughly, and dump onto the kitchen bench. Pat the dough out into a rough disc and leave it to cool off. If it is too hot and you add chocolate, it will just melt! When it is cool enough to handle, dump the chocolates and/or nuts on top. Start to fold the mixture over the filling. Note I haven't said put flour on the bench - it is so buttery it's unlikely to stick much and if it does, just scrape it up with a spatula. Only use flour if it seems wet and glistening in places. Work the dough and the fillings together until the dough has caught them all up into its spell. Now you could do all this in a bowl instead but it's so easy doing it on the bench and very cathartic. 
Form the dough into a rough log. Cut a length of silicone baking paper long enough to fit in your fridge, about 15 inches, and dump the log onto it. Roll the log in the paper until it is kind of smooth and even, the roll the paper round it. Lift the whole thing into the fridge and let to get cold and solid. Then just carve off slices about 1cm thick (scant 1/2 inch), arrange on a silicone paper covered baking tray and bake at 180C or 350F for about 10 minutes. I save the baking paper and reuse several times.
Another cool presentation I discovered by accident when I was being impatient. I cut the log when it was still soft and the slices flattened into leaf shapes, so I popped them onto the tray and gently bent the two ends together like a fortune cookie. You can also do what the original unadapted recipe advised, which is to take spoonfuls of dough and press them with a fork but doing it that way requires too much patience!

These cookies also work fine without added extras except a spoon or two of spice.
I love recipes that allow one to be creative. :) And now I am taking a noodle box of them out to the Embroidenator to pick up the Bernina 1230 I just bought second hand, that was delivered to her place. A nice excuse to see her. Happy baking everyone!

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