Showing posts with label biscuits

chocolate shortbread recipe

by Food Like Amma, June 27, 2020
This chocolate shortbread recipe is a spin off from my last recipe, shortbread tart pastry with chocolate filling. It is a recipe based on classic shortbread made using the 1:2:3 ratio of sugar, butter and flour, but with added cocoa for a chocolaty version. The dough is versatile enough to shape into several forms, either as chocolate shortbread fingers, squares or sandwiched together to make homemade oreos. Shortbread biscuits remind me of Eat Sum Mor biscuits growing up in South Africa. I especially love making shortbread fingers and have made them on many occasions in different flavours, this is my first attempt at a chocolate version so I cannot compare results. I am however pleased with the outcome, these biscuits are crumbly and melt in the mouth like regular shortbread, only with an added chocolate taste sensation.

chocolate shortbread finger recipe

danish coconut butter cookies recipe

by Food Like Amma, June 02, 2020
Danish Butter Cookies, humble in their appearance, round, rectangular, in rings or pretzel shaped and stacked in their iconic muffin cups, are considered one of the most loved cookies in the world. Famous as they may be in the world, at home, in Denmark they are often preferred homemade. Homemade butter cookies occur in different forms. Often piped or rolled or flattened with a fork. The vanilla ring (vanillekranse) and coconut ring (kokoskranse) are common Christmas cookies. It is no coincidence that they are also the two most popular butter cookies in the tin. Popular Brands include Royal Dansk and Jacobsen, but the best Danish butter cookie recipes are family ones, made at home, like this copy cat Danish coconut Butter cookie recipe which uses egg.

Date Roll Recipe

by Food Like Amma, August 08, 2012

Date Rolls will always remind me of the anticipation of visitors – with my sister calling I couldn’t resist the temptation of making date rolls - again. In case you’re wondering how this recipe is different from the previously published Date Rolls with Coconut Recipe – first off this is an eggless date roll recipe in response to the many requests for an eggless version of the existing recipe. I have however made another   significant change - using whole dates soaked in rum then blended to form a date paste. Unlike the original recipe which tends to be rather dry - this date roll recipe (which I like to refer to as 'Date Rolls 2.0') results in a more palatable date roll - softer not just from the use of a date paste but also a soft buttery crust inspired by shortbread. The only disadvantage of this recipe over the original is the preparation time and level of difficulty. The sticky paste requires careful handling to avoid spoiling the dough. If you prefer an alcohol free version then simply replace the rum with orange juice.

Date Roll Recipe
Recipe by Georgia 
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 12 minutes
Total time: 22 minutes
Yield: Makes 16 date rolls

  • 120g butter
  • 240g cake flour
  • 20g icing sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 100g dates
  • 2 tablespoons rum or orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 150g desiccated coconut
  • 50ml milk

Baking Directions
    1. Soak the dates in rum a few days prior to baking date rolls. Combine with granulated sugar then blend to form a date paste. Store in the refrigerator until needed. If you are opting for the alcohol free version then omit this step. Simply add the orange juice to the dates then blend to form a smooth paste.

    2. When making the casing of date rolls the butter should be at room temperature. This helps create a soft biscuit dough. Sift the flour and icing sugar into the butter then combine until a soft dough is formed. Continue kneading for a minimum of 5 minutes until the dough is soft. 

    3. Roll the dough bewteen two sheets of  baking paper or cling film. Use a knife or pastry wheel to cut straight edges then measure approximately 5cm horizontal strips.

    4. Pipe or spoon the date paste onto the dough. Fold the dough over the date paste using the cling film to form a roll. Remove the plastic then press to seal the sides.

    5.Dip the date rolls into milk then into coconut. Place in a greased or non stick baking pan then place in the fridge for 30 minutes. This will help retain the shape of the rolls.

    5. After 30 minutes in the fridge pipe the remaining date paste into the ends of the date rolls to give them a fuller appearance.

    6. Bake in a preheated oven for10 – 12minutes at 180 degrees Celsius. Baking time may vary depending on the optimum functions of your oven. Allow  to cool before serving.

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    Cracked Chocolate Cookies Recipe

    by Food Like Amma, July 01, 2012
    Despite the rustic appeal of cracked chocolate cookies – its constituents and taste are far more luscious than meets the eye. This decadent chocolate cookie in its basic form is made up of melted dark chocolate and a combination of eggs, ground almonds, flour, butter and sugar. Apart from my favorite ingredients -  I love that these cookies don’t require any cutter of sorts. Simply roll into a ball – coat with powdered sugar then bake. The cracks form in the oven as the chilled dough expands.

    Cannellini Bean Chocolate Cookies

    by Food Like Amma, March 26, 2012
    The term 'baked beans' takes on a whole new meaning with these cannellini bean chocolate cookies –cookies made from bean purée. I first heard about these flour free - fat free cookies from my younger sister but found that bean paste has long been a key ingredient in Asian Confectionery. Cannellini beans tend to have a rather bland taste unless accompanied by secondary ingredients-which make them ideal for making cookies - add berries or cocoa powder to make different flavored ones. When blended (with skin) the beans form a smooth cookie dough texture-silkier than cookie press dough! Best of all it does not require any butter, oils or milk.

    Chocolate Ginger Biscuit Recipe

    by Food Like Amma, December 05, 2011
    This chocolate infused version of traditional Ginger biscuits is a special recipe for all those missing home this Christmas—especially if our are missing Bakers Choice Assorted Biscuits.

    Naan Khatai Recipe

    by Food Like Amma, November 08, 2011
    Naan Khatai is an Indian Shortbread often made with flour and a combination of semolina or gram flour or rice flour and spiced with cardamom. Much like shortbread Naan Khatai also relies on  butter or Ghee as the binding agent. The result is soft crumby textured biscuit,much like custard biscuits. Naan Khatai is usually shaped round then finished with slivered almonds or pistachios.

    Shortbread Biscuit Recipe

    by Food Like Amma, October 19, 2011

    Shortbread is one of the simplest biscuits to make –requiring just 3 basic ingredients- flour, butter and sugar...perfect for Diwali baking on a budget! Although the dough is basic-with a few additions like spice and fruit you can create several variations to form different flavours- even colour biscuits- to impress family and friends!.
    Amma was fond of making shortbread with almond essence. She used a cookie cutter or sometimes cut into wedges (pressing the sides like a pie or poli).

    © 2011 l

    This post features a few biscuit ideas-perfect for those of you looking to try a few new biscuits this Diwali. I chose these mainly for their simplicity –and you don’t require a cookie press or any form of biscuit cutters. The main tools needed are a bowl, a fork, teaspoon, tablespoon, your hands and a knife.  I made these Shortbread Cookies last Christmas-so unfortunately don’t have all step by step images-hopefully my written explanation will suffice. Apart from being easy to make-shortbread is long lasting-the dough can be stored in the freezer then baked as needed. The Shortbread pictured above - I have had in the freezer since a few months ago-baked yesterday.

    Basic Shortbread Biscuit Dough Recipe

    The classic short bread recipe has a ratio of 1:2:3 of the three basic ingredients, i.e.  one part sugar: 2 parts butter: 3 parts flour. If you want to make larger quantities then always stick to this ratio of ingredients e.g. if you want to make a large quantity with 3 cups flour-then use 2 cups butter and 1 cup sugar.

    I have used the following recipe:
    • 1½ cups sifted flour
    • 1 cup butter (at room temperature)
    •  ½ cup  sugar
    *N.B. 1 cup= 125g

    1. Cream butter until soft.  Add the sugar- mix until combined. Add the flour -a little at a time- just like when making Cookie Press Dough.(except shortbread does not  contain any egg). The dough will be very soft-if it feels a bit sticky (this could be due to the type of butter used-then add a little flour until it is manageable-Don't add too much just a little to make the dough less sticky).

    2. Wrap in wax paper or plastic wrap then shape into desired shape e.g. a 2 cm thick rectangle to make Shortbread sticks or if you prefer round biscuits then roll into a log. Refrigerate for an hour or two. For best results leave in the fridge overnight then cut and bake in the morning.This allows the dough enough time to set resulting in perfectly cut biscuits.

    3. Preheat oven at 180 degrees celsius. Remove the dough from refrigerator then cut into 3 cm thick slices (if you have a rectangular shape) and 1-1.5 cm for round biscuits. Use a toothpick to puncture holes in the cut biscuits. This will help the dough cook.

    Tip: I rolled the dough in sugar then cut—to achieve the sugary crust of the biscuit. (see image below).

    4. Cook on 180 degrees celsius for 15-20 minutes. Check to see that the cookies don’t brown too much. They should retain a pale color.

    Variations to Classic Shortbread Dough

    Lime and Cardamom Shortbread

    I love shortbread and I love lime and Cardamom..and many other foodstuffs...but cramming it all into shortbread may not be the best idea! so I combined just three things- Shortbread dough, lime zest  and cardamom (elachi) to form 'Lime and Cardamom Shortbread'.

    1.    Add the following to the above Shortbread Dough Recipe:
    •    1 teaspoon cardamom powder (elachi)
    •    Lime zest (fresh grated or candied)
    2.    Add the cardamom to the butter then cream (as per the recipe above). Add the Lime zest with the flour.

    Tip: If you are not a fan of Elachi then you can also experiment with spices and fruits that you do like or just add fruit and no spice or add spice only...the possibilities are endless!

    Cranberry Almond Espresso

    It sounds like a mouthful...but the taste combinations suite each other quite well. I made a basic shortbread dough then split it into two sections:

    Part 1: I added chopped cranberries- you can also use chopped cherries or dried apricots.
    Part 2: Added 1 teaspoon espresso powder-this resulted in a  rather rough and bitter texture (which I prefer) and it complimented the sweeter cranberry section quite well. If you are not a fan of espresso then use cocao powder.

    Making duel coloured biscuits is a fairly simple  technique: Simply roll the vanilla section then roll the espresso section then place the two together-pressing lightly. Wrap in wax paper or plastic wrap. Refrigerate for an hour or two-then slice and bake.

    Which Fruits and Spices to Use?
    You can use any number of spice combinations-but use no more than ½ teaspoon of spice-you want the shortbread to have a hint of flavour not one that is suffocated with spice. Similarly for the fruit and nuts use no more than ¼ cups for every 1½ cups  flour used. You can also use essence to flavour Shortbread-use no more than 1 teaspoon.

    Suitable Spice: cinnamon, cardamom,nutmeg,ground ginger,paprika,chilli flakes.
    Suitable Fruit:  Finely chopped: cranberries, cherries, apricots, dates, raisins or  coconut, fresh or candied lemon, lime or orange zest , dried apples.
    Suitable Nuts: Almonds, walnuts, pecan nuts
    Essences: vanilla, almond, rum, orange or coffee

    Some Ideas:

    Some of the Combinations I use include:

    • Orange/Almond
    • Orange/Cinnamon
    • Cranberry/Espresso
    • Lime/Cardamom
    • Rum/Raisin
    • Peach/Cinnamon
    • Lime/Ginger
    • Chilli/Chocolate
    Festive Shortbread Ideas

    A Few Tips to Keep In Mind When Making Shortbread Biscuits:

    1. Keep the butter at room temperature-this helps in creating soft biscuit dough. If you have forgotten to take the butter out of the fridge but would like to bake anyway then cut the butter in small cubes this will helps make it easier to mix. Similarly you can also grate the butter to get it more manageable.

    2. Margarine can be used to bake biscuits but often the quality is not the same.

    Share this Recipe with Family and Friends !

    If you have enjoyed the ideas in this recipe then do share with family and friends on Facebook by clicking the Like Button at the end of this post.

    Happy Baking! check out more Diwali Baking Ideas in the feature page South African Diwali Recipes

    Cookie Press Dough Recipe

    by Food Like Amma, October 17, 2011
    Cookies made from a  Cookie Press (biscuit cutter) is often known as Pressed Cookies or Spritz Cookies. The latter is the term used in both the U.S and in Germany. A term derived from the action of the cookie press- 'das Spritzen' (meaning to inject/squirt)- hence the dough for a Cookie Press  has to be the correct soft consistency or else you will encounter great difficulty making cookies with the device. Amma used to make Cookie Press biscuits for Diwali but often struggled to get the right consistency for the dough. One of the main reasons for this was the incorrect ratio of flour: butter. Less butter results in a rubbery hard dough which is impossible to press through the Cookie Press-but too little flour results in one that is too weak to be pressed.

    © 2011 l

    Romany Creams Recipe

    by Food Like Amma, October 10, 2011
    Romany Creams, the popular South African biscuit-was usually made by Amma for Diwali. She used a biscuit cutter with the worm shaped template to make them. I have not had any Romany Creams biscuits (homemade or bought) in  several years  so this recipe was an attempt to make them as authentic as possible.

    Hungarian Tart Recipe

    by Food Like Amma, September 14, 2011

    Hungarian Tart is a soft biscuit like treat spread with jam then sealed with a crumbly top layer. Like most fruit tarts it reminds me of fruit cobbler in its makeup of fruit (in this case jam) sandwiched between two layers of dough. It resembles German Streusel more than it does any other tart I’ve ever seen or tasted. Hungarian Tart has no known association with Hungarian cuisine but remains a South African favorite. Amma used to make Hungarian tart mostly for Diwali or when we were expecting visitors. Easy to make these are a treat for any occasion.

    Date Rolls With Coconut Recipe

    by Food Like Amma, August 31, 2011
    There are two of Amma’s treats that always come to mind when I smell roasting coconut - Poli and Date Rolls. Date Rolls are date filled biscuits rolled in coconut. These finger shaped treats were usually made by Amma for Diwali or if we were expecting any visitors. My older sisters were at University in Durban, so often did not celebrate Diwali at home with us. Amma always stored a reused  ice cream box full in the freezer for them. Date rolls freeze very well, simply take out the night before to thaw.