BUT­TER COOKIE SAM­PLER

Weekend Herald - Canvas - - ANNABEL LANGBEIN -

Ready in 1 hour + chill­ing

Makes about 70 medium or 140 tiny cook­ies

500g but­ter

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

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