Happy New Year! Over Christmas Paul and I decided to give some of our friends and family cookies as gifts. Since I needed to make quite a lot of cookies in quite a short period of time I decided to use one of my mom’s tricks from when I was a kid and make refrigerator cookies. Here you can make the dough in advance and store it in the fridge or freezer rolled into a log. Then when you’re ready to bake the biscuits you just slice them off and pop them in then oven. Voila, fresh baked biscuits in just a few minutes!
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 .5 cups of flour
1/2 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
A pinch of salt
For the Christmas spice cookies
1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cloves
For the strawberry and white chocolate cookies
2 tablespoons freeze dried strawberries (available in the baking section and Sainsburys and Waitrose)
150g white chocolate
Extra freeze dried strawberries for decoration
If you are going to make your cookies immediately preheat your oven to 180 C. Beat together the butter, sugar, vanilla and egg until light and fluffy. Add the flour, bicarb and salt and stir until it comes together into a smooth dough. Separate the dough in half. Stir the spices into one half of the dough. Stir the freeze dried strawberries into the other half. Roll each half of the dough into a log about 5cm in diameter. Cover in clingfilm and refrigerate for at least an hour… or freeze for up to 1 month.
Once your dough is set, slice it into 5mm slices and bake for about 7 mins on a non-stick cookie sheet, no need to grease. The cookies should be brown at the edges but still a little soft in the middle. Keep an eye on the first batch to gauge the time, every oven is different. These cookies spread quite a lot so make sure you leave them space to spread.
Leave the cookies to cool on a cooling rack. When the strawberries are cold, pop the white chocolate in the microwave to melt. 1 minute on high, stir and then one more minute on high. Drizzle the cookies with the chocolate using a teaspoon and then sprinkle over the remaining freeze dried strawberries. Leave to set.
Makes 24 of each cookie
1.5 cups caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups of flour, plus extra for rolling
A pinch of salt
1/4 cup cocoa
Beat together the butter, sugar, vanilla and egg until light and fluffy. Add the flour and salt and stir together to form a dough. Divide the dough in half and add the cocoa to one half and mix in.
Sprinkle some flour on a flat surface and roll out the vanilla dough into a rectangle about 5mm thick. Then roll out the chocolate dough into a slightly smaller rectangle. Lay the chocolate rectangle on top of the vanilla rectangle then roll up carefully into a log to create a spiral pattern.
Refrigerate for at least an oven to set. Once the dough is set, slice into 5mm slices and and bake at 180 C for about 10 minutes. The cookies should be brown at the edges but still a little soft in the middle. Keep an eye on the first batch to gauge the time, every oven is different. These cookies spread quite a lot so make sure you leave them space to spread.
Makes 36 cookies