There are 333 and more cookies all around the world. I wonder if any of you have noticed, it’s baking that holds a fascination for the young and old. Those who want to start cooking would like to give baking a good shot before they get down to actual cooking. Somehow baking makes you happy and there is nothing like a home filled with the smell of baking – bread, cake biscuits- anything will do.
Even if you fail at the first attempt at baking, it does not mean that you will fail every time you bake, keep trying, hold on and believe in yourself, have confidence – because if you don’t, who will?
I read somewhere – a delectable cookie is a sum of its delectable part. Once you’ve selected the ingredients, let them sing…
Not all of us are chefs but we are all eaters. A batch of freshly baked biscuits cooling on a wire tray is a wonderful treat to come home too. According to Sandra Lee – baking cookies is comforting – and cookies are the sweetest little bits of comfort food. They are personal.
My fascination for cooking started with trying my hand at baking – and I had the greatest teacher of all, my mom. She taught me how smooth the batter should be, how to check if it’s done, the temperature of the oven. More than anything else, the greatest lesson I learnt – was to have fun and enjoy whatever I was doing – perhaps the ingredient missing in every recipe is FUN unlimited!! It’s strange but my children too love baking.
When I used to teach baking, I remember so vividly -the biscuit class, my children used to ask me- mum will there be left overs for us? The first time I made this biscuit, Nikhil asking me – mom, how did you make this design? Was it tough? So much of happiness and pure innocence. Baking is only fun when you lick the batter off the spoon and I have some wonderful photos of my children licking the batter off the cake tin. Beautiful, warm memories I treasure and hold close to my heart – they come alive at moments like this.
Sharing with you – the perfect Tea time biscuit.
- Plain flour – 2 1/3 cups
- Powdered sugar – 1/3 cup heaped
- Salted Butter – 3/4 cup
- Cocoa (Hersheys) -2 tsp
- Vanilla extract -1 tsp
- Sieve the flour and sugar together.
- Apply butter to the flour and knead to form a smooth dough.
- Chill the dough for 10 minutes.
- Divide the dough into two parts.
- To one part, add vanilla extract.
- To the other, add cocoa powder and mix well.
- Divide each piece of dough into two again.
- Form each piece into an 8″ roll. (There should be two vanilla and two chocolate rolls)
- Place a vanilla roll next to a chocolate roll so that they are side by side.
- On top of the vanilla roll place a chocolate roll and on top of the chocolate roll place a vanilla roll.
- Press all the rolls together so that the entire dough is joined.
- Cut into thin slices, shape into biscuits, arrange on a greased baking tin – the distance between two biscuits should be around 5 cms to give room for expansion and bake in the middle of a preheated oven -180 deg.c for 20 minutes.
- Cool and store.
- All ingredients should be absolutely fresh and at room temperature.
- When baking, attention should be paid to measuring out the ingredients accurately.
- I prefer butter to shortening or margarine – the sudden burst of flavor at the first bite – unbeatable!
- Cookies made with white sugar will be crispier, whereas biscuits made with brown sugar will be chewy as brown sugar tends to absorb more moisture after baking.
- Eggs are the binding agent and should be fresh.
- All purpose or pastry flour or just flour can be used to make biscuits.
- The oven should be preheated for 10-15 minutes.
- Biscuits should be baked in the center of the oven.
- Biscuits will be soft when baked but will turn crispy on cooling down.
- If you want to add nuts, add them last as the biscuits will turn out crunchier.
- This quantity is sufficient to make 20 biscuits.
As long as you know how to bake, life will be sweet.
Till my next post