This week we were lucky enough to have Bee from Bee’s Bakery in the showroom hosting a super fun biscuit workshop. We invited a few of our favourite bloggers to help celebrate our 1st birthday and get creative with some biscuit decorating. To give you a taste of what we learnt, here’s a wonderfully simple recipe of vanilla cookies from Bee herself. Flex your creativity and try some new flavour combinations or keep it simple, either way, a perfect one to get stuck into this weekend.
For the classic dough:
140 g salted butter, cold and chopped into bits
280 g plain flour
140 g caster (or soft brown) sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
To jazz your dough up a bit, you could try the following additions:
• The zest of one lemon, lime, or tangerine / orange, added at the beginning.
• If you’re feeling really adventurous, combine a herb with the citrus as follows: lemon and 1 tbsp chopped basil or mint leaves, orange and 1 heaped tsp rosemary or thyme.
• Add 1 tbsp. chopped dried rose petals or 2 tsp chopped culinary grade lavender, added at the beginning.
• Throw in a generous handful of chocolate chips at the final stage before rolling and cutting your dough
1. In a large bowl, scrunch the pieces of butter and flour together between your fingertips until you have a bowl of something resembling fine breadcrumbs.
2. Add in the sugar and mix with a wooden spoon until it’s just combined.
3. Pop in the egg and vanilla and mix with the spoon until a dough forms – it’ll be a fairly firm dough which is slightly sticky to the touch.
4. Squeeze the dough into a nice flat sausage shape, and sandwich it between two sheets of cling film. Roll it to about 2cm thick with a rolling pin, and chill the slab of dough in the fridge for about 30 mins - it’ll harden up and be much easier to work with.
5. On a lightly floured surface, roll your dough out to a nice even 1.5cm thick and using a cookie cutter of your choice, cut out as many shapes as you can.
6. If you’re lacking in fancy made cookie cutters, get creative! Use the rim of a mug, or a nice clean jam jar to cut rounds, a kitchen knife to cut squares, or create your own template on cardboard and cut around it carefully with the point of a sharp knife.
7. Transfer the cut cookies onto a baking sheet lined with parchment and chill again for 20 mins, in the meantime switching your oven on and allowing it to pre-heat to 170°C.
8. Pop your cold baking tray directly into the hot oven for 7-10 mins, just until they start to just turn golden brown at the edges, whilst the middle still has a bit of squidge. Allow the cookies to cool before decorating.
To create a cookie pop, insert a paper lollipop stick into the middle of your cookie before baking, and use stamps and sprinkles to decorate. Try baking different shapes for different themes.
Photo credit: Bee's Brilliant Biscuits, published by Pavilion books. Photography by Haarala-Hamilton.