Hen Do Biscuits

hen do L-plate cookies

Excuse the biscuit overkill on the blog at the moment. I’m busy with various projects most of which involve lots of biscuit dough and royal icing. I’m using the spare ingredients to play around with.

Weddings are like busses here. Nothing since we married 6 years ago then a big engagement party and two weddings in the space of 12 months. We both have small families on either side and a small circle of close friends, most of which (if married) got married around the time when we did 6 years ago. When my good childhood friend Rachel announced she was getting married to say I was excited was an understatement. 1) a wedding, woohoo!, 2) I could wear my Sheena Holland headband to the wedding, 3) Time to get my own back. Rach was my bridesmaid.

hen do biscuits

The Hen Weekend was back in our homeland of Liverpool. Yes you could argue I’m an adopted Scouser, but the accent only comes out when I’m home. The day started with a boyband themed dance class complete with baggy t-shirts and back to front baseball caps. Oh I’m so glad the evidence of this has never surfaced on Facebook. We then changed into pretty tea dresses for Afternoon Tea at Hard Day’s Night Hotel. I then had to leave the girls to drive back to Warwickshire for a family party but left the bride with a parting gift to help fuel their night on the town.

No hen party is complete without L plates. Now there were more x-rated biscuits (use your imagination) in keeping with a hen party but given I know the age of some little people who read this blog I won’t be posting the pics.

hen do biscuit box

When working with royal icing consistency is the key. The best way I can describe it is that the edging icing should be the consistency of toothpaste and the flooding icing of shampoo. I use royal icing sugar rather than making my own with egg whites to make things easier, especially when working in small batches.

I’m not going to give a recipe as such for the icing as the best thing is to follow the instructions on the packet and use intuition. The temperature and humidity of where you’re working can have significant impact on the fluidity of the icing.

hen do biscuits packed up

I went for pink rather than red with the icing as pure red can be tricky to use next to white as it uses lots of dye to achieve the strong colour plus I’ve found it is more likely to bleed.

Just be aware when using food dye gels like red and green, colours intensify as they sits there and continue to change as they dry. Last week I made a small batch of pastel green for a demo that was lurid green 5 hours later.

Hen Night Biscuits

Makes 16

 

  1. Make the biscuit dough following Ruth’s instructions.
  2. Roll the dough out until 5mm thick and cut out squares around 5cm across.
  3. Place on a lined baking tray and bake at 180°c for 8-10 minutes. They are ready when they are only just beginning to colour. Allow to cool on the baking tray for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack. Biscuits must be completely cool before decorating.
  4. Mix and colour your outline icing then take some of this icing and thin out with a small amount of water to make your flood icing. You want it thin enough to flood the spaces, but not too thin that it dribbles off the biscuit. Put your outline icing into piping bags fitted with a size 1 tip. Keep your flooding icing in a covered bowl to stop it drying out.
  5. First pipe the outline of the base shape. Allow to dry for 10-30 min.
  6. Take a teaspoon of your flooding icing and put in the centre of the biscuit. This icing almost acts like self-levelling concrete. If need be use a cocktail stick to help guide the icing into corners. Allow to dry until hard. I usually give them a minimum of 12 hours to dry.
  7. Now start with the next layer of decoration. On these hen night biscuits I piped the L and dots.
  8. Cut the ‘Hen Night’ letter from very thin sugarpaste and stick to the biscuits with a small amount of gin or vodka. I use edible white spirits to stick icing together because it is stickier than water and dries faster. It is also less likely to leave a water mark. There is also the benefit that if your baking project goes very wrong you have the gin to fall back on.

As for the wedding? superb day. Stunning bride, wonderful food and a Backstreet Boys – Everybody dance off on the disco floor. What more could an excited wedding guest ask for?

Rachel & Ben wedding

Permanent link to this article: http://www.butcherbakerblog.com/2013/07/30/hen-do-biscuits/

The Budget Midlands Staycation

Baslow Hall lawn

If you’ve read this blog for a while you’ll know we love travelling to all four corners of the United Kingdom. With moving house and me doing something very stupid to my car (don’t ask), our tiny holiday budget was essentially halved overnight. When looking for somewhere to stay we want something a little different, privacy and reasonable price. With our miniscule budget the only property we could afford were carbon copies of our old house (which incidentally is now a holiday cottage), a kind of busman’s holiday. Not what we were after. We then made the decision to stay at home.

View over Peak District from Crich

When I’ve spoken to people about our holiday plans for this year it turns out because money is tight many are choosing a staycation and becoming tourists on our own doorstep.

To make this work we knew he had to make the week feel like a holiday, not just annual leave. Schedules and routines were wiped and there were rules:

  • No housework
  • No watching TV for the sake of it
  • At least one meal a day must be eaten out or brought in. One of which must be Afternoon Tea.
  • Lie ins are compulsory.
  • Not allowed to visit places we know well.
  • Destination must be within 1 hour drive.
  • Switching on the computer is banned.
  • Must plan the week before it begins so we didn’t sit around each morning being indecisive.
  • Toast each evening with a nightcap (usually sherry but this year was Limoncello).
  • All within a £35/day budget. That’s not per person, but for the two of us.

You could argue living in the centre of England is that we’re never far from lots of places. Just an hour drive in either direction we have lots of cities and counties to discover. Over the week we managed to cover Derbyshire, Warwickshire, Staffordshire and West Midlands. One downside of living here is that the seaside is always a decent drive away so any beach was out of the question.

Nearly all the places we went to we got in with various vouchers meaning 10%-50% off the total entry price which helped our budget. I’ve included links to all the vouchers we used below.

Day 1 – Biddulph Grange Garden, Trentham Gardens, Monkey Forest

We always seem to start our holidays with a stop at a National Trust place as we have NT membership and it feels like a “free” day out. Biddulph Grange Gardens on the outskirts of Stoke is an unusual garden. Designed in the Victorian era it is split in to lots of different sections with themes from around the world. Lots of meandering paths and little follies to discover. We spent a while just sitting by the pond watching the damsel flies dart across the lily pads.

After Biddulph we picked up lunch from the fantastic Brown & Green and went in to Trentham Gardens to eat it. Very different from Biddulph Grange. These were more formal. Even if you don’t want to pay to get into the gardens, parking is free with entrance to possibly the poshest garden centre I’ve ever been to along with a shopping village.

Monkey Forest is a conservation centre breeding Barbary Macaques who usually live in the mountainous regions of Morocco and are used to the extremes of the U.K. climate. It’s a walking route through a forest where there is 100+ monkeys roaming free. Think small safari park minus the cars and chance of your wiper blades being torn off your motor for monkey’s lunch. There are also staff on hand to give information. While we were there 6 cute baby monkeys vied for attention.

Discount: buy a combined Trentham Garden & Monkey Forest ticket to save money or 2 for 1 admission for Trentham Gardens (as we discovered, doesn’t include Monkey Forest)

Day 2 – Warwick Castle, Kenilworth Castle

On possibly the hottest day of the week we took in two very different castles. Warwick Castle can best be described as a theme park castle on steroids and unsurprisingly like its sister attraction Alton Towers they charge you £6 to park and then make you walk a mile to the entrance for the privilege. We took our own picnic in and saw both the bird of prey show and the trebuchet launch. Although it is an expensive attraction (we didn’t pay for the dungeons or Merlin Tower) it would be easy to spend a whole day there. We managed 3 hours there (quite a feat for us!) before going on to Kenilworth Castle. Walking up the towers and along the battlements helped to burn off all the ice cream we’d eaten.

Kenilworth Castle was very different to Warwick. Quiet and not a touch of pimped-up castle. Just pure history and a newly restored Elizabethan Garden. Many English Heritage places have free audio tours and they are always worth taking up. We found we learnt a great deal listening to the guide while wandering the ruins.

Discount: if you have English Heritage membership you can get 50% off entrance fee at Warwick Castle.

Day 3 – Cadbury World, Despicable Me 2

My birthday and my dibs on what we got to do. Here we are foodies but not in a food snob sense, we appreciate food in all of its forms from its cheap junk to its Michelin starred (more to come on that later). After a sweltering couple of days I wanted somewhere indoors and ideally with air con. I harbour a secret love for Cadbury chocolate, along with more refined brands I hasten to add. I’ve always wanted to go to Cadbury World and I certainly wasn’t disappointed with the chocolate they dished out and managed to avoid most of the school parties to have a lovely day.

Cadbury World

We then went to the cinema to see Despicable Me (yes we are 30-somethings with no kids) and I had requested we went to a all-you-can-eat chinese to top off my slightly child-like birthday celebrations.

Discount: 25% off Cadbury World, 2 for 1 at the cinema thanks to EE Wednesdays. We saved at the all-you-can-eat as we visited weekday.

Day 4 – Fischer’s Baslow Hall, Chatsworth Farm Shop

You could argue we broke the budget at Michelin-starred Fischer’s Baslow Hall, but thanks to a kind birthday present from my parents we just paid for our drinks. The food and location are frankly stunning and the staff were so professional. We went for 3 courses along with tea and petit fours. Hub’s belly pork starter was so good I nicked some of it. The chicken we both had for main was unlike any chicken I had eaten before. Sweet, juicy and succulent. Then my pudding of poached peaches was absolutely divine and perfect on a hot summer’s day. As we had tea in the lounge I was presented with a birthday plate of chocolates; melt in the middle salted caramel and a refreshing blackcurrant jelly. We also had a wander around their beautiful garden and kitchen garden where lots of their produce comes from. A beautiful little gem in the heart of Derbyshire.

As we were out that way we broke our rule of not visiting anywhere we know well and popped in to the wonderful Chatsworth Farm Shop to stock up our freezer with their glorious beef.

Discount: Many Michelin-starred places have very reasonable lunchtime menus. Fischer’s do two courses for £20.13. Alternatively send your parents there on a Food Lovers’ Break to celebrate a significant birthday. They enjoy it so much they pay for you to visit.

Day 5- Crich Tramway Village, Matlock Bath, Bakewell

Every holiday we stumble across a place that isn’t exactly what we were expecting… not in a good way. Last year Eden Project, this year Crich Tramway Village. Hands up I wasn’t a big fan of the place even if it had been highly recommended to me by many people on twitter. Note: I feel a similar way about the popular York Railway Museum. Great views over Derbyshire but some of the attractions were closed and it was a just bit too geeky for me. Even mechanical-engineer Hubs began to struggle for enthusiasm or it was maybe me looking hot, bothered and exclaiming it was just another tram. I was expecting it to be more like Black Country Living Museum, it wasn’t. We stayed for less than an hour. However I can understand why some people enjoy visiting and the ticket you buys lasts a whole 12 months.

Matlock Bath – Like a seaside resort but nowhere near the sea. At least we managed to eat a good portion of fish & chips there while walking by the river.

Day 5 was saved with a trip to Bakewell. Initially it was to pick up a famous Bakewell Pudding from the Old Original Bakewell Pudding Shop but then we happened to stumble across the fabulous Mister Bee Vintage. I came away with a beautiful lino print and a set of vintage Chivers jelly moulds.

Discount: 2 for 1 Crich Tramway Village

Day 6 – Langan’s Tea Room

Derby city centre is lacking any good places for Afternoon Tea so after some recommendations we decided to try Langan’s Tea Room in Burton-on-Trent. This tea room is a social enterprise based in the elegant Burton House. All the staff who work there have been helped in some way by the O’Connor Gateway Trust.

At £7 a head it’s possibly the cheapest afternoon tea we’ve ever done. In some places that wouldn’t even buy you cream tea. For your money you get a big pot of tea along with the usual sandwiches, and scones plus a choice of cake from their cake trolley. We were so full we ended up taking the cake home to eat later. If I was to be really fussy I’d say it was a shame the cream cakes were filled with sweetened cream but that is a personal preference and at the price I really can’t complain.

Langan Tea Room

Discount: 10% off Langan’s Tea Room when you download Big local App.

Like many people we have traditions on holiday and Globetrotting brother started this particular one a few years ago. When visiting new places we send each other postcards. The worse the postcard the better. While I don’t think any postcards we’ve sent brother beat some of the atrocities he’s sent us, this corker from Crich Tramway is pretty close.

So what are your holiday plans this year and have you found any staycation gems on your doorstep?

Permanent link to this article: http://www.butcherbakerblog.com/2013/07/22/the-budget-midlands-staycation/

Raspberry Swirl Biscuits

raspberry swirl cookiesLast week I spent a couple of days at Seasoned teaching groups of secondary school children how to bake. This was one of the recipes they made. I chose this recipe as it is a twist on traditional baking and they had to use both team work and perseverance to get the recipe to work. They all did fabulously well and as the coach pulled away from the building I could see everyone opening their cookery tin with glee and delving into the biscuits.

Hands up I do use big fat fake raspberry flavouring in these. It doesn’t taste anything like real raspberries but has a nostalgic taste. If you wanted you could try adding powdered dried raspberries to the pink dough for a bit of authentic berry. I get raspberry flavouring in Asda.

As for the colour I use gel dyes as they don’t water down the dough and you get an intense colour. I just used a small amount of red to get this pink colour

The key to working with doughs like this is to chill the dough and then chill it even more. You can even freeze the dough meaning you can have freshly baked biscuits at your disposable. This could be seen as a good or a bad thing.

Raspberry Swirl Biscuits

Makes 20-30 biscuits

  • 220g butter
  • 220g caster sugar
  • 1 egg, large
  • 2 tsp raspberry flavouring
  • 370g plain flour
  • red or pink food dye gel
  • hundreds and thousands

 

  1. Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy then mix in the egg and raspberry flavouring. Sift in the flour and mix until you have a smooth, well combined dough.
  2. Split the dough in half, colour one of the pieces with the food dye gel. If you are using a stand mixer put this half of the dough back in the mixer add a small amount of dye and beat until colour well mixed into the dough.
  3. Place one piece of dough between two sheets of baking parchment. Roll out until dough is around 4mm thick and slightly smaller than an A3 piece of paper. Repeat with the other ball of dough, then chill the dough sheet for 30 minutes.
  4. Take the dough of the fridge, remove one side of the baking parchment then flip one piece of dough on top of another. Place the baking parchment on top and roll the dough a bit more to help the two layers to merge. Then starting with the long side tightly roll the dough into a long sausage. I find this easier to do by rolling the dough towards me. Wrap well in clingfilm. Roll the dough back and forth to get a tight cylinder and get rid of any bubbles in the dough. You’re aiming to roll a cylinder that has a diameter of around 4cm.
  5. Unroll the clingfilm and place this and the dough in a shallow baking tray. Sprinkle a generous amount of sprinkles over the dough and roll it over to embed the sprinkles in the dough. Of course you can do this stage without the baking tray but a warning – hundreds & thousands roll for miles. Wrap the dough back up and place it back in the fridge for another 30 minutes.

    If you wanted to freeze some of the dough do it at this stage.
  6. Preheat the oven to 160°c (fan)/180°c then take the dough out of the fridge and cut into rounds about 4mm thick. Place on a lined baking tray and bake for 12-15 minutes until they are only just beginning to turn golden brown. Just be careful, due to the sugar content of the biscuit they can go from uncooked to burnt in a very short time
  7. Once the biscuits have baked transfer to wire rack and leave to cool completely.

baked raspberry swirl biscuits

Permanent link to this article: http://www.butcherbakerblog.com/2013/07/15/raspberry-swirl-biscuits/

My new plant obsession (The Garden – July 2013)

David Austin rose Heathcliff

The garden has been a long time coming but it’s wonderful that it’s back and the days of sun we’re having at the moment is making it thrive. It’s interesting seeing how the garden has transformed in just a couple of months. I also have a new addiction: buying plants, in particular flowers. Having all this new space means I have to fill it and in this garden it doesn’t have to be edible. The last week of hot weather has made me really fall in love with our garden. The colour, textures and that the two seating areas we have are glorious to sit in at certain times of the day.

forest of carrots

I’ve had a love of David Austin roses for a few years, but only until now have I been able to unleash my passion. Hey they are beautiful to look at and far less calories than cake. The first rose in my collection is a double flower rose called Heathcliff. The colour of it is an amazing deep crimson/fuchsia pink. It’s taking quite a lot of will-power not to buy anymore roses to add to my collection. I have Queen of Sweden & Winchester Cathedral in my sights. As beautiful as the Alan Titchmarsh rose (yes you read that right) I can’t bring myself to buy a rose called Alan.

raised bed

While I’ve got a bit obsessed with flowers Hubs has been busy over the last week building the raised beds and shifting lots of mushroom compost to fill them. As we had no garden to get our veg plants started earlier in the year we took advantage of a sale at a local council run garden centre and picked up an amazing seven fruit and vegetable plants for just £9. The haul included tayberry, loganberry, golden raspberry, dwarf purple french beans and some golden beetroot. They were chosen not only for the crop they produce but also the colours they will give to the garden. Yes I’m turning into a vain gardener. However our neighbour’s cats have taken an instant dislike to these new beds. We will win.

The grapevine is doing very well in its new place; buds are forming that will flower in the coming weeks. Plus the latest addition to my herb garden is culinary lavender. I’m not a big fan of it in baking, but want to experiment and lavender is always good for bees and butterflies.

culinary lavender

The biggest surprise is a plant that snuck into a planter brought from the old house. A couple of years ago we planted some white alpine strawberries but they were frankly rubbish, then this year a little shoot began to flourish. Even if the crop is quite small these white strawberries are amazing little fruits. If you ever get the chance to grow them you must. The flavour of them bursts in your mouth as you bite them like intense, juicy, strawberry sweets. They taste unlike any strawberries I’ve eaten before.

tiny white alpine strawberries

However it hasn’t been plain sailing. It’s almost as if we’re back to square one learning about gardening, we’re almost making it up as we go along. The clematis that came with the house appears to have clematis wilt and I managed to rapidly kill the housewarming hyacinth within 24 hours of it being put outside but it  has been replaced with a new one.

raspberry cane

Just hoping even with daily watering the lawn doesn’t get too parched. Now I can’t imagine me saying that last year.
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Permanent link to this article: http://www.butcherbakerblog.com/2013/07/11/the-garden-july-2013/

Custard Powder Pavlova

Custard powder pavlova topped with strawberries

Every good cook has a secret ingredient up their sleeves that can transform a recipe. Sometimes the ingredient is a long-term favourite or an accidental discovery. I’ve known for a while that a cheeky spoonful of cornflour to meringue mixture gives the centre that glorious chewiness that most shop bought meringues lack. I’ve also used cornflour in sponge mix to make them fluffier.

Piped pavlova base

Bird’s Custard Powder was invented by Mr Bird for his wife who was allergic to the main ingredient in traditional custard; eggs. Custard powder is essentially vanilla flavoured cornflour with a pinch of salt and tiny bit of colour, so I decided if bog-standard cornflour works in meringue surely custard powder must work too. As well as the chewy meringue centre, the custard powder gives subtle vanilla taste along with a golden colour. Similar hue to when you make meringues with golden caster sugar. Of course if you don’t have custard powder to hand just use cornflour.

Custard powder pavlova base with red  swirls

What I love about pavlova is that they are the kind of dessert that everyone loves and this was perfect for our housewarming BBQ. It was made even sweeter when one of my pupils gave me a couple of punnets of deliciously sweet local strawberries grown on her parent’s farm. In fact if you have bought some strawberries from a certain supermarket recently it’s likely you will have eaten some from this particular farm.

Meringue, cream and strawberries. A perfect summertime combination.

Custard Powder Pavlova
Serves 8-12

  • 3 egg whites
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 1 tablespoon custard powder
  • 300ml whipping cream
  • punnet of strawberries

 

  1. In a clean metal bowl whip the egg whites until you have soft peaks.
  2. While continuing to whip the eggs whites (this is when a free-standing mixer comes in handy) add the sugar one tablespoon at a time waiting 5 seconds before adding the next spoonful. You’ll notice the egg whites begin to take on a glossy appearance.
  3. Sprinkle the custard power over the meringue and whisk for a further 5 seconds.
  4. Using a metal spoon (to help make sure the egg whites don’t collapse) transfer the mixture into a piping bag then on a baking sheet lined with baking parchment pipe a base with an approximate diameter of 8 inches.
  5. Use the remaining meringe mixture to pipe blobs (technical term) around the edge of the base. To get the  coloured swirls, dip a clean cocktail stick in some red food dye then swirl in the blobs.
  6. Bake at 140°c for 1 hour then without opening the door, switch off oven then leave in the oven overnight to finish drying out.
  7. When ready to serve beat the whipping cream until you have soft peaks. Spoon on top of the meringue then top with fresh strawberries.

Custard Powder Pavlova with strawberries

Permanent link to this article: http://www.butcherbakerblog.com/2013/06/18/custard-powder-pavlova/

Berry, Cherry & Almond Bread

Berry Cherry and Almond Bread - Butcher Baker

Dried fruit is a bit of a Marmite; people either love or hate it. I really like it. As well as dried fruit I love the combination of cherries and almonds. There is something so sweet and succulent when the two flavours are paired which probably goes a long way to say I adore, nay obsessed, with anything Bakewell flavoured. Dried fruit can work out quite expensive especially when it comes to the more unusual mixes, but the berry & cherry mix I used in this recipe was a bargain 80p bag from Lidl.

cherry berry and almond bread

We’ve been in our new house for a good few months now but today was the first time I’ve made any form of bread (pizza & calzone dough doesn’t count). This recipe uses one of my favourite enriched dough packed with egg, butter and a generous sprinkling of sugar. It’s a pleasure to work with and tastes just as good. What makes it even better is that the sugar melts out of the filling during baking and leaves a gorgeous hard caramel layer on the bottom of the bread.

At the moment we have a rule in the house: sweet, treat baked goods can only be made on special occasions. We have a big wedding to attend in the next few weeks and frankly I’m struggling to fit in my dress; at least I know my amazing Sheena Holland creation will fit. Today I have a good friend coming for a housewarming lunch so I think this is a suitable enough occasion to bake.

close up of cherry berry and almond bread

What you can’t tell from the photos is that I had to flake the almonds by hand as I realised I had run out and was too lazy to walk to the shops. This method is not exactly recommended. You need a very sharp knife, a steady hand and long fingerails to pin the almond down.

Berry, Cherry and Almond Bread
Serves 8

For the dough

  • 225g strong white bread flour
  • 25g soft light sugar
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 ½ tsp fast action yeast
  • 90ml warm milk
  • 25g softened butter
  • 2 tsp almond extract
  • 1 medium egg, beaten

For the filling

  • 75ml cherry or berry juice (I use juice from a Ribena carton)
  • 120g mixed dried berries (cherries, blueberries, cranberries and raisins)
  • 25g butter, softened
  • 30g soft light sugar
  • 30g demerara sugar
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon

For the topping

  • 20g soft light sugar
  • 25g softened butter
  • 25g flaked almonds
  • 50g icing sugar

 

  1. Put all the dried fruit in a saucepan with the berry juice. Bring to the boil then take off the heat. Allow the fruit to soak up the juice. When you are ready to use the fruit drain off any remaining juice.
  2. Combine the flour, sugar, salt and yeast in a bowl. In a jug mix together the milk, softened butter, almond extract and beaten egg. Make a well in the centre of the flour then pour in the milky mix. Mix to make a soft dough then knead until smooth. The dough can seem a bit sticky. As tempting as it may be don’t add extra flour. The dough needs to be this silky, sticky texture.
  3. Cover the dough and prove until doubled in size. Due to the amount of yeast and sugar in the dough this does happen quite fast. On a warm day in my kitchen this can happen within 45 minutes.
  4. Lightly flour your work surface. Roll out the dough (no need to knock it back) to a rectangle measuring about 15 x 9 inches. If you get the edges as square as you can it will help when rolling the dough later.
  5. Dot the softened butter for the filling as evenly as you can over the dough. Sprinkle the two sugars, cinnamon and soaked fruit on top.
  6. Roll up the dough along the long edge, as though you were making a Swiss Roll. Turn the roll over so that the seal is underneath. Make a cut down almost the whole length of the roll. Twirl the two “legs” of the dough together then form into a round.
  7. Place the dough circle on a lined baking tray and leave to prove until the dough has doubled in size. Sprinkle the remaining soft light sugar and flaked almonds over the top of the buns then dot with the softened butter.
  8. Bake at 180°C, for 20-25 minutes until bread is risen and golden. Allow to cool on the baking tray.
  9. Mix the icing sugar with a small amount of boiled water to make a glace icing then drizzle this over the bread.

cut through of berry cherry and almond bread

Permanent link to this article: http://www.butcherbakerblog.com/2013/05/29/berry-cherry-almond-bread/

Peanut Butter and Pretzel Cookies

pretzels and peanut butter toll house morselsI’m the kind of person who walks excitedly down foreign food aisles and am a sucker for any product I’ve never seen for sale in the UK before. I’m the same when I am on holiday. I have to return with foods to try at home; it also helps I have a globetrotting brother to sends me food products from far-flung places. Now I should point out it’s not always the finest of foods I’m drawn to but also the more unusual junk or baking foods hence these peanut butter morsels brought back from the US for me (Nigella has a lot to answer for).

When you move house you get lots of housewarming guests so a well stocked biscuit tin is essential if you want to be a good host.

peanut butter morsel and pretzel cookie mix

There is something I love about both pretzels and peanut butter. I think it’s the salty sweet taste you get from both and when paired together even better. The pretzels help give the cookies texture. I’ll have to be honest I’m not sure peanut butter morsels are available in the UK apart from buying them online. If you can’t get hold of them replace the peanut butter morsels with 25g chocolate chips and 50g crunchy peanut butter.

These biscuits won’t win any prizes for their looks as the mixture uncontrollably spreads, but they make up for it with taste. The dark sugars used in the cookies give them a slight burnt caramel taste that goes well with the salty peanut butter and pretzels.

peanut butter and pretzel cookie dough

Peanut Butter & Pretzel Cookies
Makes 18

  • 125g butter, melted
  • 50g demerara sugar
  • 125g soft dark sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 150g plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 50g milk chocolate and peanut butter morsels
  • 20g mini salted pretzels, broken up slightly
  • pretzels for decoration

 

  1. Preheat oven to 180oc.
  2. Mix both sugars into the melted butter and allow to cool for a few minutes.
  3. Beat in the egg then stir in the plain flour and baking powder.
  4. Fold in the morsels and broken pretzels then put dessert spoonfuls of the mixture on a baking tray lined with baking parchment. These cookies spread significantly so I usually spoon the mixture over 3 baking trays otherwise you’ll end up with one giant cookie.
  5. Bake for 10 minutes then allow to cool on the baking tray for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack and allowing to cool completely. Yeah right. Eat warm with a cup of tea or use to sandwich a glorious dollop of caramel ice cream.

pretzel and peanut butter cookies

 

 

Permanent link to this article: http://www.butcherbakerblog.com/2013/05/11/peanut-butter-and-pretzel-cookies/

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