BUTTER COOKIE SAMPLER
Ready in 1 hour + chilling
Makes about 70 medium or 140 tiny cookies
1 cup sugar
4½ cups flour
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
6 Tbsp sweetened condensed milk Flavourings of your choice (see below)
Cream the butter and sugar. Stir in the flour, baking powder, vanilla and sweetened condensed milk until the mixture comes together into a ball. The raw dough can be made ahead to this stage and frozen until needed. Defrost before baking. Divide dough into 7 portions. Mix flavourings into each portion (see below).
If not making all variations, divide dough according to the number of variations you are making and increase the flavourings to match (taste a little raw dough as you go and adjust the flavourings). Chill mixture for 15 minutes. Preheat oven to 160C fanbake. Line 4 trays with baking paper (if you don’t have 4 trays you can bake them in batches). Roll each flavour into about 12 walnut-sized balls (or more if smaller), place on baking trays and flatten slightly. Decorate as below. Bake until lightly golden and set (about 15-20 minutes). Allow to cool for 10 minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool completely before storing in an airtight container. They will keep for several weeks. If they become a little stale, refresh for 5 minutes in an oven preheated to 180C.
Cookie sampler flavours
Lavender cookies: Mix 3 tsp lavender petals into one portion of the dough. To decorate, press the back of a fork on the cookies. Brush with water and sprinkle with lavender sugar made by whizzing 1 cup sugar and
2 Tbsp lavender petals in a food processor.
Hazelnut and chocolate cookies: Add 3 tsp dark cocoa, 3 Tbsp chopped dark chocolate and 2 Tbsp chopped hazelnuts to one portion of dough. Decorate with melted chocolate and ½ tsp toasted chopped hazelnuts.
Raisin and cornflake crisps: Add 3 Tbsp raisins and 6 Tbsp lightly crushed cornflakes to one portion of dough.
Carnival cookies: Roll one portion of dough into balls, dip each into hundreds and thousands, then flatten on tray.
Almond biscuits: Add ½ tsp almond extract to one portion of the dough. Press a blanched almond into the top of each. Ginger crisps: Add 1 tsp ground ginger and 2 Tbsp chopped crystallised ginger to 1 portion of dough. Cranberry cookies: Add ¼ cup coarsely chopped dried cranberries and ¼ cup coarsely chopped white chocolate to 1 portion of the cookie dough.
Annabel says: Arrange the cookies in cake tins, tea tins or glass jars.
BUTTER COOKIE SAMPLER