Is there anything more pleasant than the aroma of freshly-baked goods wafting through the house? Probably not!
Little hands may make a whole lot of mess, but it will help them feel useful, which boosts their self-esteem. Messing around with ingredients will also help your tyke understand food preparation better. Plus, you really can’t put a price on all the memories you’ll make during a family baking session.
Round up the brood the next time you have a free afternoon or weekend and try these yummy scrummy cookie recipes that are oh-so-easy to make. They go so well with a tall glass of fresh milk!
Chocolate Malt Powder With Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes about 36 cookies
200g unsalted butter, at room temperature
110g brown sugar
50g castor sugar
½ tsp salt
2 tsps vanilla extract
80g chocolate malt powder
256g plain flour
1¼ tsps bicarbonate of soda
180g semi-sweet chocolate chips
1. Preheat oven to 190 deg C. Line baking trays. Set aside.
2. Using an electric mixer, cream butter, brown sugar, castor sugar and salt together until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time and beat slightly. Add vanilla extract and beat until combined.
3. Add chocolate malt powder.
4. Sieve in flour and bicarbonate of soda. Beat until just combined. Fold in chocolate chips and mix well into a dough.
5. Scoop about 1 heaping tablespoonful of dough onto prepared baking trays, leaving about 5cm space between each cookie. Repeat until dough is used up.
6. Bake at 190 deg C for 10 to 12 minutes, or longer if you prefer cookies to be crispy.
7. Leave cookies to cool on a wire rack before serving or storing in an airtight container.
Cherry Blossom Almond Shortbread
Makes about 32 cookies
150g plain flour
60g ground almonds
110g unsalted butter, at room temperature
70g castor sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg yolk
1 tsp green tea or matcha powder
32 pickled sakura flowers
Castor sugar, as needed
1. Place sakura flowers in a bowl and cover with water. Soak for three hours to reduce saltiness. Drain. Pat dry with a clean kitchen towel. Set aside.
2. Sieve together flour and ground almonds into a bowl. Set aside.
3. Using an electric mixer, cream butter and castor sugar until light and creamy.
4. Add vanilla extract and egg yolk, then beat until well-combined. Reduce to low speed, then mix in flour mixture until dough is formed.
5. Divide dough into two portions. Add green tea powder to one portion and knead until dough is evenly coloured. Cover both green and plain dough with plastic wraps and refrigerate for 1 hour.
6. Preheat oven to 175 deg C. Line baking trays.
7. Roll both dough into 6mm thick sheets. Use a 4cm cookie cutter of desired shape to cut out cookies. Place cookies slightly apart on prepared baking trays. Decorate each cookie with a sakura flower. Press flower lightly onto cookies.
Thai Tea Cookies
Makes about 15 cookies
100g unsalted butter
2 tbsps Thai tea leaves, divided
50g castor sugar
½ tbsp milk
94g plain flour
Green food colouring or matcha powder, as needed
1. Melt butter in a small pot over medium heat. Add 1 tbsp Thai tea leaves. Lower heat and heat mixture for two minutes, stirring continuously. Remove from heat. Allow tea leaves to sit for another five minutes. The butter should be brown.
2. Pour mixture through a sieve, pressing down on tea leaves with a spoon or spatula.
3. Remove tea leaves. Refrigerate sieved butter until it solidifies. Remove from refrigerator and allow butter to soften. Measure out 80g for use.
4. Using an electric mixer, cream butter with castor sugar and milk until fluffy. Gently mix in plain flour and cornflour until just combined. Add 1 tbsp Thai tea leaves and mix well until it forms into a dough.
5. Portion out 1½ tbsps. of dough for decoration. Add green food colouring or matcha powder and mix well until dough is evenly coloured. Roll out into a 3mm thick sheet. Refrigerate dough.
6. Shape remaining dough into a 4.5cm wide log. Cover with plastic wrap and twist ends to seal. Refrigerate dough for one hour to let firm (when chilling log-shaped dough in the refrigerator, place it in a large tumbler to retain the shape).
7. Preheat oven to 176 deg C. Line baking trays.
8. Slice log into 5mm thick rounds. Place cookies slightly apart on prepared trays.
9. Cut thin rectangles from green dough. Shape green dough into leaves and create veins using a small knife. Place stem and leaves on cookies. Chill cookies in freezer.
10. Bake at 176 deg C for about 20 minutes. Leave cookies to cool completely on tray before handling.
11. Serve or store in airtight containers.
Recipes reprinted from Bake & Celebrate: Cookies and Treats, with permission from Marshall Cavendish. Book retails at $13.93 (before GST) at all major bookstores.
Main photo: iStock.
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