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Thursday 18 October 2012

Cookies, Cookies and More Cookies - a Review

Now the Great British Bake Off has reached it's finale, thousands of fans are wondering just what they are going to do without Paul, Mary, Sue, Mel and the brave bakers.  The answer, of course, is to get into the kitchen and BAKE!

To help you along you might want to get yourself a copy of Cookies, Cookies and more Cookies! by Lilach German.  The book begins with a little history of cookies with the theory that the first cookie was actually a 'test' for a cake recipe.  This introduction is followed by a chapter on tools and another on ingredients, it's full of really good tips and information.  As this is an American book, it's really worth reading about the ingredients to be sure you are reading the recipes correctly.

I loved the Basic Recipes chapter, which has a range of cookie recipes that you could adapt yourself, including a dairy free recipe.

After the basic Recipes we get into the main chapters, there are more than 75 recipes to choose from covering Classic Cookies, Cookies for Kids, Cookies for Occasions, Cookies for the Health Conscious, Cookies for Chocolate Lovers and Cookies for the Connoisseur.

Put a smile on a child’s face with a Sprinkled Chocolate Ball or Nutella Thumbprint. Enjoy classic temptations like Madeleines and Linzer Sables, or decadent brownies and truffles. Satisfy the most discerning palate with icing-filled macaroons, lady fingers, or Scottish shortbread. Even the health-conscious will find yummy options, including energy bars and Oatmeal and Cranberry Cookies. Many of the recipes produce large batches, perfect for sharing with family and friends. Includes instructions for whipping up basic types of dough, icing, and meringue.

The book concludes with a useful page of conversion charts which I really appreciated.

 I decided to make some Madeleines, I wouldn't really consider these to be cookies, more little sponge cakes, but they are in the book so I gave it a go.  One of the reasons I wanted to make them was to try out my silicon madeleine mould I bought from Sew White.  I'd really recommend visiting her website, as there are lots of unusual baking items and the customer service is excellent.

Madeleine Cookies

3 eggs
1/4 cup/ 48g sugar
1 tbsp honey
1/4 cup/ 60ml milk
2 tablespoons vanilla extract (I only used one and it was enough)
1 1/2 sticks butter/200g butter, melted
1 1/2 cups/210g all purpose (plain) flour 
1 1/2 tsp baking powder

Madeleine Pan Mould

1. Using a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, mix together the eggs and sugar for about 5 minutes, until light fluffy.  Add the honey, milk, vanilla extract and butter, and whisk until all ingredients are combined.  In a separate bowl, sift together the flour and baking powder.
2. Gradually add the flour to the wet mixture and whisk until the mixture is smooth.
3. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before baking.
4. Preheat the oven to 350F.  Generously butter a Madeleine pan mould. (if using a silicon mould, there is no need to butter, really?)
5. Pour the chilled batter into the pan mould, filling each mould to the very top.  Bake for 15 minutes, until a toothpick, placed in the centre, come out dry.

6. Allow to chill to room temperature before serving.
7. Cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.

In true Bake Off Style I had a bit of a disaster...

 Yes, the madeleines stuck to the silicon mould, so I lost the shell like definition.  I think I will probably butter them a little next time.  You can just about see what it would have been like on the closest madeleine.

 Fortunately I had more batter than would fit in the mould, so I made some madeleines in muffin cases and they turned out perfectly.  If the madeleine recipe is anything to go by, this is an excellent addition to any bakers bookshelf, I can't wait to make some more cookies.

Taste Test!

One of the advantages of the madeleines in the mould not turning out right, is that there are plenty of 'bits' of cake to test.  I was really pleased with the light texture and buttery flavour of the madeleines, the 30 minute chilling time for the batter was very interesting, as it came out decidedly thicker and bubbling slightly.  I'll report back on my next trial with the silicon baking mould.

Cookies, Cookies and more Cookies is written by Lilach German, the founder of Lilach: Food and Design, a successful gourmet catering company. Her sophisticated sense of style shines through clearly in the colourful photographs. Lilach studied at the prestigious Le Cordon Bleu School in Paris.

Published by Charlesbridge, RRP £8.99
Also available through a popular online bookshop for £5.39

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At 19 October 2012 at 10:24 , Anonymous Sisley White said...

Hi Janice,
Silicone can be silly. Sometimes it doesn't need greasing & sometimes it does. For any cake baking I usually always do a light grease.
I can't wait to see your next batch when they come out perfectly. x

At 19 October 2012 at 11:12 , Blogger Janice said...

Thanks Sisley, I certainly will be greasing the mould next time and will post them up!

At 19 October 2012 at 12:20 , Blogger Unknown said...

love the testing of bastard bakes that don't come out right... a lovely post and great recipe, sod the baking fail!

At 19 October 2012 at 13:14 , Blogger Caroline Taylor said...

Sounds like a good book with lots to choose from. Shame about your madeline tin! I've not buttered silicone before and it's mostly ok but I have had a few cupcakes get stuck before!
I wouldn't have thought a madeline is a cookie either but it's nice to have the variety.

At 19 October 2012 at 14:54 , Blogger becca said...

i love your shell mould baking tray. .. even if it was a disaster! i've had plenty of those... mainly when i used butter instead of margerine for cupcakes = similar disaster. b

At 19 October 2012 at 23:08 , Blogger Janice said...

Thanks for your comments. My sister is visiting and has pronounced the buns so good she wants the recipe.

At 19 October 2012 at 23:09 , Blogger Jacqueline Meldrum said...

Hopefully my heavy duty metal mould will work better. I really must give them a go. Thanks for the recipe :)

At 20 October 2012 at 13:32 , Blogger Chele said...

I do love a good cookie cook book. What a pity about the tins letting you down like that. When it comes to madeline's I was always taught that metal tins are the way to go ... don;t ask me how I ended up with silicone ones, which I can;t recommend really as they are a bit hit and miss!

At 20 October 2012 at 20:41 , Blogger Karen S Booth said...

Don't worry about this Janice, silicon is a devil to bake with, IMHO, and I much prefer my old battered tin Madeleine moulds! But, as you say, they tasted good, so that's all that counts! Karen

At 21 October 2012 at 10:46 , Blogger Choclette said...

The recipe sounds delicious Janice. How frustrating they didn't turn out well. I always give my silicone moulds a quick once over with a butter paper and I've very rarely had any problems. I made some Madeleines in a new silicone mould recently and they all turned out fine.

At 21 October 2012 at 18:17 , Blogger Caroline said...

What a shame they stuck! I too would definitely have thought of Madeleines as cakes rather than cookies - interesting that they were in the book! I'm not really a fan of silicon in general - I often find it sticks when it says it won't.


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I love to read your comments and try to reply when I can. I have had to enable comment moderation due to high levels of spam, so it may take a little time before your comment is visible. Please let me know if you make one of my recipes or if you have any questions I will try to answer them. Janice

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