Friday, 26 May 2017

Recipes: Sweet treats

29th May is National Biscuit Day- celebrate by baking one of these sweet treats from Waitrose

Filled oat cookies

Great for kids' packed lunches or as a treat for afternoon tea with friends, these cookies are quick to make and can be made in advance then filled when needed. Try livening up the flavour with mixed spice or ground cinnamon

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes to 12 minutes
Total time: 25 minutes to 27 minutes 30 minutes
Makes: 8


100g Lurpak Unsalted Butter, diced and softened
100g Billington's Light Brown Soft Sugar
1 medium Waitrose British Blacktail Free Range Egg yolk
½ tsp Nielsen-MasseyVanilla Extract
100g self-raising flour
75g oats

180g soft cheese
50g Billington's Golden Icing Sugar
1 tsp Nielsen-Massey Vanilla Extract

1. Preheat the oven to 190oC, gas mark 5. Line 2 baking trays with baking parchment.

2. Whisk the butter and sugar in a large bowl until pale and fluffy. Whisk in the egg yolk and vanilla extract. Mix in the flour and oats until evenly combined. Divide the dough into 16 and roll into balls. Place on the trays, slightly pressing the balls flat.

3. Bake for 10-12 minutes until golden. Cool slightly before transferring to a wire rack.

4. To make the filling, whisk the cheese, sugar and vanilla paste until smooth. Place in a piping bag with a 1cm nozzle and pipe onto the base of 8 cookies, top with the remaining cookies and chill.

Chocolate-dipped sea salt and rye digestives

Traditionally, malt extract gives digestives their distinctive avour. For this recipe I've used rye our – it's nutty, savoury and gives the biscuits a satisfying snap.

Preparation time: 30 minutes, plus chilling and cooling
Cooking time: 40 minutes
Total time: 70 minutes, plus chilling and cooling
Makes: About 24 biscuits


240g dark rye our, plus extra for rolling
1 tsp baking powder
1⁄2 tsp fine salt
200g golden icing sugar
100g unsalted butter, at room temperature
75-90ml double cream
250g milk chocolate
Flaky sea salt, to sprinkle

1. Preheat the oven to 180 ̊C, gas mark 4. Line 2-3 large baking trays with baking parchment. Put the our, baking powder, salt, icing sugar and butter in a large bowl, mixing with a fork (or a food processor) to create a sandy texture. Mix in 75ml cream until it starts to come together; you may need an extra 15ml if it's dry. Knead brie y to a rough dough; don't overmix.

2. Liberally our the worktop and roll the dough out to a thickness of 0.4cm. Using a 7cm cutter, stamp out rounds and place on the prepared trays, about 4cm apart; re-roll any trimmings to create about 24 biscuits. Use a bamboo skewer or fork to make deep indentations in the biscuits. Chill for 20 minutes.

3. Bake from chilled, in batches, for 20 minutes, until golden. Leave on the tray for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool completely.

4. Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water. Half-dip the biscuits in the chocolate, let the excess drip off, then lay on fresh parchment. Sprinkle with the salt; leave to set for 30-40 minutes. They can be stored in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

Big jammy dodgers

Preparation time: 20 minutes plus chilling
Cooking time: 12 minutes
Total time: 32 minutes plus chilling 35 minutes
Makes: 12


225g unsalted butter, at room temperature
125g icing sugar plus extra for dusting
1 x ½ tsp vanilla extract
2 medium egg yolks
300g plain flour
150g essential Waitrose Seedless Raspberry Jam

1. Using an electric whisk, beat the butter and sugar together until pale and softened. Add the vanilla, egg yolks and flour and continue to whisk together to make a soft dough. Wrap in clingfilm for 1–2 hours until firm.

2. Heat the oven to 180°C, gas mark 4. On a lightly floured surface, roll out half the dough to the thickness of a pound coin. Using a 7.5cm cutter, stamp out 12 circles. Using a small cutter (try a 2cm circle or a heart or star shape), stamp out the centre of each biscuit. Place on a large, lined baking sheet.

3. Add any trimmings to the rest of the dough then roll out and use to make a further 12 rounds. Place on a second large, lined baking sheet. Bake the biscuits for 10–12 minutes until pale golden. Remove from the oven and leave to cool and firm up on the baking sheets.

4. Place a large teaspoonful of jam in the centre of the base biscuits and spread out a little. Press on the top biscuits and dust with a little more icing sugar, to serve.

Jaffa cakes

Preparation time: 10 minutes, plus chilling
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Makes: 12


1⁄2x 135g pack Hartley's orange jelly

1 tbsp no peel seville orange marmalade

125ml smooth orange juice

20g unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing

1 large egg

40g caster sugar

40g plain flour

100g plain chocolate

1. Line a 20cm square cake tin with cling film. Break the jelly into cubes and put in a pan with the marmalade, orange juice and a pinch of salt. Warm over a low heat until the jelly and marmalade have dissolved. Pour into the tin and chill for 1-2 hours, until set.

2. Preheat the oven to 180°C, gas mark 4; liberally grease a 12-hole bun tray. Melt the butter and set aside. Put the egg and sugar in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water; using a hand-held electric whisk, beat for 3-4 minutes, until light and airy. Remove the bowl from the pan and whisk for another 30 seconds.

3. Drizzle in the butter, sift over the flour and a pinch of salt, then carefully fold into the mixture – try not to lose too much air. Divide between the bun-tray holes and bake for 10-12 minutes, until lightly golden. Leave to cool in the tin, then transfer to a wire rack.

4. Take the jelly out of the fridge and, using a cookie cutter slightly smaller than the tops of the cakes (about 5cm), stamp out 12 circles. Place on top of the cooled sponges.

5. Melt the chocolate and cool to a spoonable consistency. Carefully spoon over the jelly and the tops of the sponges. Don't worry if it drips over the edge a bit. Allow to set before eating.

Will Torrent's Cherry & almond 'bourbons'

Makes: 18


For the cookies:
225g unsalted butter, at room temperature
125g icing sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 egg yolks
270g plain flour, plus extra for rolling out
30g cocoa powder

For the filling:
200g butter, softened
400g icing sugar, sifted
200g dark chocolate, melted
1–2 tsp pure almond extract
1 x 340g jar cherry jam

2 large baking sheets, greased and lined with baking parchment
a 7 x 4 cm rectangular cookie cutter or similar
a piping bag fitted with a plain nozzle

1. To make the cookie dough, cream the butter and sugar together until pale and light using an electric handheld whisk. Add the vanilla and mix again. Then add the egg yolks, one at a time, mixing well between each addition and scraping down the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Sift in the flour and cocoa powder and beat until smooth.

2. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and bring it together, forming a ball with your hands. Wrap in clingfilm, flatten into a disc and chill for at least 4 hours or until needed.

3. Preheat the oven to 170°C, gas mark 3.

4. Roll out half of the dough to a thickness of about 2 mm on a lightly floured surface. Using the cutter, stamp out as many cookies as you can from the dough and arrange on the prepared baking sheets.

5. Gather the scraps together and set aside while you roll out the remaining dough. Stamp out and arrange the cookies, as before, then lightly knead all the scraps together, roll again and cut out as many cookies as you can.

6. Chill the cookies on the sheets in the fridge for 10–15 minutes, then bake on the middle shelves of the preheated oven for about 12 minutes, or until crisp. Remove from the oven and let the cookies cool slightly on the baking sheets for 3–4 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.

7. To make the filling, beat the ingredients together until smooth.

8. Scoop the filling into a piping bag fitted with the plain nozzle. Pipe the filling in a border around half the cookies, leaving a clear space in the middle. Spoon cherry jam into the centre of each piped cookie, then top with the remaining plain cookies and gently press together. These are best enjoyed straightaway.

Recipe adapted from Chocolate at Home by Will Torrent, photography Jonathan Gregson, published by Ryland Peters & Small, rrp £19.99

Ginger spiced crunch biscuits

These biscuits have a chewy middle, a crunchy outside and a really spicy kick. For a quick pudding, serve with a scoop of softened vanilla ice cream.

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Total time: 50 minutes
Makes: 24


75g Cooks' Homebaking Stem Ginger In Syrup, plus 3 tbsp of the syrup
150g Waitrose Light Brown Soft Sugar
150g unsalted butter, softened
200g self-raising flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp ground mixed spice
1 tsp ground cinnamon
3 tbsp ground ginger

1. Preheat the oven to 170°C, gas mark 3. Line two large baking sheets with baking parchment.

2. Chop the stem ginger into very small dice and set aside. Place the brown sugar and butter in a large mixing bowl and, using an electric handheld mixer, beat together until creamy.

3. Sieve the flour, bicarbonate of soda, mixed spice, cinnamon and ground ginger into the bowl. Stir in the stem ginger and syrup, until everything comes together to form a dough. Tip onto a work surface and gently knead until smooth.

4. Break up the dough into 24 even-sized pieces and roll into balls. Place 6 on each of the prepared baking sheets, spaced well apart. Flatten each ball a little, then bake for 15 minutes until golden. They will still feel a little soft but will firm up as they cool. Repeat with the remaining dough until you have used up all the mixture.

Cook's tip
The uncooked dough freezes well. Roll into balls, flatten slightly and freeze layered up between baking parchment. To bake, take out the number you want and bake from frozen for 3-4 minutes longer.

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