One of the most appealing aromas for me is that of biscuits baking. It was often an enticing greeting when, as a child, I arrived home from school. But it is highly unlikely that this little welcome is still practised. Many homemakers are too busy.
But biscuit baking need not be time consuming.
Just about every cookie which requires the butter and sugar to be creamed — the unenviable part of baking — can be prepared in the food processor. Butter, or any other form of shortening, should always be slightly soft or at least at room temperature before placing in the food processor. Add the sugar, eggs and flavourings, then process until smooth. Use a spatula to scrape the mixture down the sides of the bowl to the base. The sifted flour and raising agent are added next and these require just a short whizz — there should be a light dusting of flour left on the top. This will be absorbed by the time the blade is removed or extras such as nuts, fruits or chocolate are added.
Anzac Day is approaching — and Anzac biscuits are also quick to make. The dry ingredients are combined in a bowl and the melted butter and golden syrup added. So easy. I’ve used some of my surplus Anzacs in a retro biscuit log.
ANZAC BISCUIT LOG
The coffee can be omitted if preferred and 1 teaspoon of vanilla added.
2 tablespoons icing sugar
1-2 tablespoons strong coffee
12-14 Anzac biscuits
75g dark chocolate, melted
Whip the cream and icing sugar until stiff peaks form. Paint a line of whipped cream down the centre of a long serving plate. This will help the biscuits to stay upright.
Fold the coffee into the remaining whipped cream. Take 1 biscuit and spread the underside generously with the coffee cream. Sandwich together with another biscuit. Stand upright on the serving plate. Spread the second biscuit with whipped cream and continue sandwiching the biscuits together until a long log is formed.
Spread the log with whipped cream, loosely cover, then refrigerate overnight. Just before serving drizzle with a little melted chocolate. Slice to serve. Serves 6.
2/3 cup sugar
2 1/4 cups shredded (long thread) coconut
1/4 cup dark cocoa powder
2 teaspoons vanilla essence
3 egg whites
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
Combine the sugar, coconut, cocoa powder, vanilla, salt and egg whites in a heavy saucepan. Stir well. Place on low heat and stir until the mixtures melts then becomes slightly sticky. Remove from the heat and cool for 20 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 160C. Line 2 oven trays with baking paper.
Stir the chocolate chips into the coconut mixture. Place heaped teaspoons of the mixture onto the baking paper about 3cm apart. Bake for about 20 minutes, until just set. They will firm up when they are cool. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 4-5 days or in the freezer for up to 2 months. Makes about 30.
EASY ROLLED OATS SHORTBREAD
1 cup each: rolled oats, desiccated coconut
3/4 cup sugar
125g butter, melted
Preheat the oven to 160°C. Lightly grease a sponge roll pan.
Combine the rolled oats, coconut and sugar in a bowl. Stir in the melted butter. Press firmly into the pan. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until golden.
Cool for 5 minutes then cut into squares or slices while still warm. Makes about 16 pieces.