Friday, April 27, 2012

Melting Moments

My husband was looking at some of his British cookbooks the other day and said, “I picked cookies for you to make this week.” In this particular cookbook, there are only two cookie recipes, so I was interested. I had actually looked at this particular recipe before so I decided to give it a try. I didn’t have the candied cherries that it asked for but I had maraschino cherries which would work just as well for a topping.

This cookie is very simple, with a lot of butter and shortening. It said you could also use lard but I have honestly never used lard. I’m sure it would taste different but shortening is a lot easier to use. It’s just a butter cookie that is rolled in oats. Baking the oats they get toasty and have a nice crunch, which adds texture to these light cookies. I did double this recipe as it was only supposed to make 16 cookies. The quantity here is for the double batch, which makes about 3 dozen cookies.

You’ll notice that this recipe, like many recipes in British and Australian cookbooks, call for self-rising flour. I always just make my own, since I always have flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt on hand. These cookies don’t quite look like the ones in the cookbook, but I think they turned out very well! They are light and really do melt in your mouth.

6 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
10 tablespoons shortening
¾ cup sugar
1 egg
½ teaspoon vanilla
2-1/2 cups self-rising flour*
4 candied or maraschino cherries, cut in small pieces

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with silicone baking mats.

In a large mixer bowl, cream the butter, shortening, and sugar. Stir in the egg and the vanilla. Stir in the flour.

Shape the dough into 1-inch balls. Roll in the oats and place on the prepared baking sheets. Flatten each cookie slightly and then top with a piece of cherry.

Bake for about 16 minutes, until the cookies are lightly browned. If you bake two sheets at the same time, rotate the trays in the oven half way through the baking time. Cool slightly on the baking sheets before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Recipe from The Great British Cookbook by Hilaire Walden

*I made my own self-rising flour: combine 3 cups flour, 1 tablespoon baking powder, ¾ teaspoon baking soda and ¾ teaspoon salt. You’ll have more flour than you need for this recipe.

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