Back in the kitchen! While I was in the USA I found a great baking magazine: Taste of Home Holiday Baking. Baking for Christmas is a BIG thing over in the States, and I already have a holiday cookie magazine that I got last time I was there a couple of years ago. I picked this recipe to start off the autumn/winter season of baking (not for Christmas but for Monday – because Monday needs cookies) as one of the ingredients is cherry extract and I happen to have a small bottle of exactly that in the cupboard.
The recipe can be found online here, so you don’t have to search for the magazine! It was an easy recipe, but somehow took all day. This was because the instructions involved a lot of chilling the dough. This was actually quite convenient as I was somewhat busy yesterday. However chilling it for the time suggested resulted in a dough that was really hard to roll out, and next time I will shorten the chilling times so the dough is a bit softer. The instructions say to roll out the dough between sheets of waxed paper. I have to say that this is a great tip – it means that you don’t have to add a lot of flour while rolling out. Waxed paper is not commonly used in the UK but you can buy it on this site. Baking parchment might work well too, although waxed paper is thicker and probably stronger for rolling.
I added a drop of almond essence to the almond portion too just for a little more taste emphasis. I could only find fairly coarse sugar crystals meant for coffee, and they weren’t white, but they worked really well for rolling the dough cylinder in before cutting in to slices. They give a lovely crunch to the cookies.
The recipe makes a lot of cookies – estimate 5 dozen – my batch was just short of that but there were plenty. Enough to take some to work, and give away a load too. And still some left for me!
Although this recipe as quite a bit of a fiddle and effort (at least compared to the type baking I usually do) it was definitely worth it in terms of taste and visual impact. They look amazing, and taste good too. The texture is biscuity, chewy and crunchy. You could vary the flavours and colours too.
I managed to get some to Charlotte (aka Chief Taste Tester) and this was her verdict:
“Oh my Emily your swirly biscuits are amazing as soon as I tasted my mouth went to heaven” Well! No higher praise could I possibly ask for.
Look out for more recipes from my new magazine – I’m sure I will do some more!