Binbag biscuits for the bare of cupboard

15 Dec

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Dear Cake Doctor

A couple of my neighbours are in the habit of popping in unexpectedly for tea, but I don’t have much of a sweet tooth and never seem to have the biscuits they expect to be offered alongside. Any suggestions for how to stop the neighbourhood thinking I’m frugal and mean?

Love,

Mother Hubbard

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Dear Mother Hubbard,

While I can’t put a stop to your neighbours gossiping, I can help you with the biscuits. You’d be surprised at how easy it is to whip up a tray of homemade goodness and have your house smelling like a bakery. Flour and sugar keep for ages, you’re bound to have eggs and butter on hand, and your cupboards are likely to contain an abandoned block of chocolate, half a packet of nuts, and some leftover savoury snacks, all of which can combine to produce mouth-wateringly chewy cookies.

That’s why I’m prescribing you binbag biscuits. They’re made from an American-style cookie dough, with chopped up sweet and salty leftovers stirred through. Get as creative as you can – by adding both sweet and salty snacks, you’ll produce a moreish biscuit in less than half an hour, which is guaranteed to impress and delight your nosey visitors.

I’m warning you though – your neighbours may start to pop in more and more frequently when they start to smell the vanillary scent of these beauties wafting over the front gate…

Love,

The Cake Doctor x

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Complaint: bare cupboards

Prescription: binbag biscuits (inspired by Momofuku Milkbar’s compost cookies)

Ingredients

Cookie dough

150g unsalted butter (at room temperature, or softened in the microwave for 30 seconds)

100g caster sugar

110g soft dark brown sugar

2 eggs (at room temperature)

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

150g plain flour

40g oats

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

Suggested additions

100g white chocolate, chopped into chunks

100g milk chocolate, chopped into chunks

50g flaked almonds

50g small fudge pieces

small bag salted pretzels, crushed

small bag salted potato crisps, crushed

anything else you can find in your cupboard

Method

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celcius (190 if your oven’s not fan-forced) and line an oven tray with baking paper.

Baking tray

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Put the butter in a large bowl with the caster sugar and brown sugar and beat using a freestanding electric mixer, a handheld electric whisk, or just a wooden spoon.

Beating butter and sugar

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When the butter has paled in colour and slightly increased in size, add the eggs, one at a time. Once the eggs are beaten in, add the vanilla extract.

Remove from the electric mixer, or set aside the whisk or wooden spoon.

Beaten butter, sugar and eggs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sift the flour, baking soda and salt over the bowl, add the oats, and stir to combine.

Sifting flour

 

 

 

 
Mixed in flour

Then fold through whatever rubbish from your cupboard suits your fancy – I’ve suggested roughly chopped milk and white chocolate, almond flakes, fudge pieces, and crushed pretzels and slightly salted potato crisps (although I woudn’t try cheese and onion).

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Mixing in crisps

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Roll small handfuls of dough between your hands, place on the baking tray, leaving adequate space between each mound of dough so they have room to spread, and flatten slightly. If your mixture’s particularly sticky, use a tablespoon to dollop the dough on your tray.

Uncooked cookie dough

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Place the tray in the oven and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the cookies are slightly golden around the edges. Don’t worry if the cookies don’t look entirely set when you take them out of the oven – they’ll continue to cook a little as they sit and cool.

Cooked biscuits

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After about 10 minutes, the cookies should be sufficiently set to move to a rack to cool completely – although they’re delicious devoured while still warm.

Finished product

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With a bit of a rummage through your kitchen cupboards, you’re sure to find something to chuck in. Have fun!

Love,

The Cake Doctor x