Category Archives: Cookies

Peanut Butter Cookies from Short & Sweet

Dan Lepard Peanut Cookie Short & Sweet

Yesterday I had E’s help playing along  with me in the Short & Sweet baking challenge which you can join in with any time. Read more about shortandtweet here on Evidence Matters’s tumblr blog.

She is a good sport, not only did she do the washing up, but she made these fantastic peanut butter cookies !  She even watched benignly while I tweeted away as we baked. Continue reading

Simon Rimmer’s Mint Chocolate Biscuits

Zeb Bakes Simon Rimmer Mint Chocolate Biscuits

I have been away, I hope you didn’t miss me too much, and as I am probably one of the more disorganized bloggers around I don’t have a secret supply of posts that I write in advance, no ‘here is one I prepared earlier’ in this house.

But last night I returned to find one, just one, of these over-the-top cookies left in the tin that I left for My True Love to console himself with while I was away. So I thought you might like to hear about them.

I made these Mint Chocolate Biscuits last week from a Simon Rimmer recipe on the BBC Food Site that EM told me about as I was thrashing around trying to figure out how to tackle this one –  for which my profuse thanks as always!

My brief was to produce a chocolate biscuit with a layer of squidgy minty stuff in it, covered, ideally completely in DARK chocolate.  MTL was not amused as he reported that the only ones he could find in the shops were milk chocolate and that would not do. He referred to a biscuit called a Yo-Yo in a green packet and said they were no more and he was sad and lonely without them. Continue reading

February Flapjacks

Now is the season of my discontent
Made happy eating by this plate of flapjacks

  • 250 g Porridge oats
  • 175 g soft butter
  • 85 g of chopped glacé cherries
  • 60 g of slightly crushed flaked almonds
  • 50 g of salted caramel sauce or 50 g golden syrup (Choclette is right and I had too much sweet stuff here – been back and weighed properly when I made them again, and have dropped the syrup quantities)
  • 125 g soft brown sugar
  • two capfuls of Kirsch (why not? – actually don’t, because you can’t taste it…)

These have always been called flapjacks in England as far as I know, though I understand from my transatlantic readers that the word flapjack is used to describe a popular breakfast pancake in the US and Canada.  Another one of those words that has two different uses. See the comments for the discussion on this. Continue reading

Buttermilk (Yoghurt) Oatcakes

The Shortandtweet challenge this week was buttermilk oatcakes or cheesy buttons from Short and Sweet by Dan Lepard.

Dan Lepard Short and Sweet Oatcakes

I made a batch of Dan Lepard’s buttermilk oatcakes, fitting them in between making supper and sorting out my friend’s Macs which had inexplicably locked her out. While I am useless at fixing my own, the God Geek of Tech smiled on me last night and I managed to get her up and running which gave me a big rush of happiness.

I used home made yoghurt as I didn’t have any buttermilk and it is given as an alternative in the recipe.

I split the batch and did half with no added sugar at all. I wasn’t sure how fine to grind the oats so I whizzed away, forgetting to whizz more for the shaping, but I hadn’t washed up the food processor so just did a few more. It makes a sticky moist mixture and it is very quick to put together.

I found it a bit fiddly to shape and messed around for ages. In the end I put a cutter over the mix and patted away at it through the top with the back of a spoon and then I pressed them out some more with my fingertips.

I baked on fan at 150 ºC but they were really not done after 25 minutes and I put them back again for another chunk of time. I really had no idea of how to judge when they were done, so going by golden edges I took them out and left to cool. They were still a bit soft in the middle when they cooled and the following day they are on the soft side, maybe that is the effect of the yoghurt? I think I prefer the oatcake recipe in the Handmade Loaf, but then I am a fan of Nairns Oatcakes, which are very hard and have a distinctive dry mouth feel and a slightly tangy taste which these don’t have, I wonder if more salt would do the trick for me and a longer bake. I will experiment some more when I have a moment.

I tested this little plateful just now ; very nice with some creamy Chavroux for a morning snack. Forgot to have breakfast (well that’s my excuse!) Healthier than chocolate digestives and quite moreish once you get going on them.

Now where’s the Cheddar?

This week’s recipe is one of my all time favourite Dan Lepard recipes, top tea cakes! on Page 88 of the book. if you haven”t made these and love toasted tea cakes this is the one to go for. I love this recipe. Just love it!

We’re having Mousse for Dinner! Mousse! Thanks to Dan Lepard

Dan Lepard checkerboard biscuits and mousse

Promise this is the last ‘quick off the mark’ post for a while.  Dan Lepard tweeted an advance picture of this one early in the week and tantalisingly posted a list of the ingredients and I couldn’t resist having a go yesterday afternoon when I should have been doing a hundred other things (which still remain to be done). Continue reading

First batch – Stem ginger and 85% Chocolate Shortbread Biscuits

…and she’s off….sound of coconut shells…chime of little bells….twinkly stars…meteor showers forecast for the morning in the UK …the Christmas baking starts here…

Thanks to my mate Lynne for suggesting shortbread for Sunday baking and for the very naughty but nice Kate Shirazi book that these biscuits come from.

Have to go and have a munch now !

100 grams of forgotten crystallized ginger...

Rolls of chilling biscuit dough

A cooling rack of shortbread biscuits

Smile it's biscuit time!

Hazelnut Amaretti with Chocolate Drizzles


So what did I do with all those left over egg whites from the Challah?

I made these soft amaretti of course.  Just getting in practice for Christmas I tell myself, plus I can offer them to Choclette for her cooking event, we should cocoa.

These are based on the ones that Celia at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial introduced me to last year and they are incredibly popular with everyone who the recipe has been shared with. Are they that easy to make?  Yes!  Patrick’s four-year old made them last weekend so what are you waiting for?

So I hope these are acceptable Choclette!  All I can say is that they are really expensive in the shops in their fancy tins and if you know someone who is a nut fan then this is a winner every time!

I used:

  • 250 grams ground almonds
  • 200 grams ground hazelnuts
  • 50 grams ground pistachio nuts
  • 4 egg whites
  • 400 grams sugar
  • 1/2 tsp of amaretto di saronno (optional but good)

Chocolate for dipping and drizzling

  • 100 grams of 85% dark chocolate (Fair Trade Co op)
  • 50 grams of milk choc chips (not sure where they came from)

To make:

  • Grind up any nuts that you might need for this.
  • Hazelnuts with their skins on are good. I used up the last of the ones I foraged a few weeks ago plus a few more that I bought and added some pistachio nuts and some ground almonds too.
  • Mix with the sugar and the egg whites till you have a nice sticky solid mass.
  • Put some baking parchment on baking trays.
  • Spoon out the mixture into blobs if you like blobs.
  • If you want high little macaroons then you need to wet your hands and roll the mixture into proper balls.  Today I went for mostly blobs and a couple of little ones.
  • Heat the oven to 160 C.  Put in oven and bake until the tops start to crack a little or until the edges of the blobs start to turn a little brown. Anywhere from 12 minutes to half an hour depending on how big you have made them.  They should be soft when you take them out.
  • Break up your chocolate into small pieces and put in a pyrex bowl. Keep back about 30 per cent of the chocolate in small pieces. Microwave on high in short 20 second bursts till it is melted. Stir in between each burst. Once it is melted, add the chocolate you kept back and allow to melt at room temperature. If it really won’t go then give it another 10 seconds in the microwave.

At this point your husband tells you  to drizzle the chocolate with a knife – as you don’t know what he is talking about, you ask him to do it. So he does. He also demonstrates how to half dip a biscuit.  As there was a tiny bit of chocolate left over we dug out a silicon chocolate mould and put some marshmallows in the holes and poured the last bit of chocolate over them and made chocolate buttons. No wasting chocolate in this house!