Indulging cookie monsters (+recipes)

By Amanda Laird

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Family and friends will go mad for these moreish biscuit treats.

Oatmeal raisin and spice. Photo / Babiche Martens
Oatmeal raisin and spice. Photo / Babiche Martens

No matter how fancy store-bought biscuits may look, nothing beats the taste of home-made.

Pure ingredients, no preservative rubbish, just lovingly mixed, then baked. They don't take long and the smells wafting through the house are heavenly. These biscuits don't have ingredients to make them last but of course they taste so good they will be devoured within a few days.

Baking biscuits requires a little know-how. Ingredients should always be measured accurately. Butter should always be soft so the ingredients mix together smoothly. The biscuits should go into the preheated oven as soon as possible and, remember, once cooked, leave the biscuits on the tray for 10 minutes to become firm so you can transfer to a cooling rack without breakages.

Today we have three different types of biscuit recipes. First up is a relatively wholesome offering with plenty of oats, raisins and spice. These large biscuits should be baked just long enough to remain chewy in the centre once cold.

These are excellent with a pot of tea.

Everyone loves a good chocolate chip cookie but to be a success, these rely on a generous amount of top quality chocolate - roughly chopped so you get the pleasure of finding a nice chunk hidden within the biscuit. Flattening the biscuits with a fork is not necessary but reminds me of when, as a child, I would nibble between each indented row as I ate the biscuits to make them last longer. I've also added condensed milk as it seems to make the biscuit a little shorter in texture with a slight caramel flavour.

The almond meringue cookies are an Italian offering, very simple to make but quite sophisticated. They are crumbly and delicate, and filled with pieces of toasty almonds.

Though good to nibble on at any time, they could also be served instead of dessert or after, with liqueur and coffee.

Chef's tip

Vanilla extract instead of essence is stipulated because of the difference in flavour. Extract is extracted from pure vanilla so gives a tangible flavour whereas vanilla essence is entirely manufactured and more will be needed to be discernible. Quality versus quantity.

- NZ Herald

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