Monday, 23 November 2009
About this time of year I get a yearning to bake cookies . . .
oodles and oodles of cookies. Crisp one, chewy ones . . .
Cookies filled with nuts and fruit . . .
Plain cookies . . . and not so plain cookies.
Cookies glazed with sweet buttery icing, and others simply dusted with clouds of confectioners sugar . . .
Crumbly shortbreads all buttery and crisp, some with ginger and some with cherries . . . other's with nuts . . .
Rolled out gingerbread men . . . with sticky currants for eyes, and squiggly white icing smiles and trim . . .
Big cookies . . . small cookies
Tasty in-between cookies.
I like to give them as gifts to my friends. There is naught so welcome as a tasty Christmas tray of baking. It is always well received.
The simple and cheerful act of baking cookies for your loved ones and friends, whilst Christmas music serenades and plays about your ears . . . is the first sign that Christmas . . . cannot be far off.
What a sweet and joyful chore.
I love it. Can I help it if a few make their way into my mouth while I am busy at work????
I think not. Who can blame me. Tis a most delicious job indeed . . . and very rewarding.
These are lovely and buttery and chock full of tasty ingredients . . . cherries and candied citrus peel . . flaked almonds and sultanas, butter and sugar . . . The dark chocolate drizzle is their crowning glory.
4 ounces butter, softened
4 ounces caster sugar
1 large egg, beaten
6 ounces plain flour
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 ounce flaked almonds
(Lightly crush with your fingers)
2 ounces glace cherries, chopped
2 ounces mixed candied peel
2 ounces sultana raisins
3 ounces good quality dark chocolate, melted
Pre-heat the oven to 190*C/375*F. Lightly grease 2 baking sheets and set aside.
Place the butter and sugar in a bowl. Cream together until pale and fluffy. Beat in the egg. Sift the flour and soda together and then stir this into the creamed mixture. Mix to a soft dough.
Mix together the almonds, peel, cherries and sultanas. Stir 1/2 of this mixture into the dough. Mix in well. Shape into 24 even balls, rolling spoonfuls of the dough between the palms of your hand. Place onto the baking sheets, leaving a good space between each. Press out slightly with your fingers. Scatter the remaining fruit and nut mixture evenly over top of each.
Bake in the pre-heated oven for 10 to 12 minutes, until pale golden brown on the edges and bottoms. Remove from the oven and allow to sit on the pan for about 10 minutes, before removing to a wire rack to finish cooling completely.
Melt the chocolate and then drizzle this over top of the biscuits. (I do this in the microwave by blasting it at 30 second intervals, stirring after each blast)
Leave to set until the chocolate has hardened. Store in an airtight container.