As soon as I got an email from Parragon Books to tell me I was going to be sent Make, Bake, Cookies my mouth started watering. We very often make cookies for dessert and snacks, and get through a couple of batches a week if I ration them well.
Cookies are perfect for baking with children and encouraging a love of cooking, understanding of where food comes from and the effort involved. They always bring a sense of pride and achievement and delight the rest of the family. With this in mind I handed this one over to my 14 year old daughter and 5 year old son...
They chose to make Rainbow Swirl Cookies from the 'Something A Bit Special' section of the book.
225g unsalted butter, softened (plus extra for greasing)
150g caster sugar
1 egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla extract
250g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
yellow, red and blue food colouring paste/gel colour
1 tbsp egg white, lightly beaten
(My children chose to exchange red food colouring for green).
Beat together the butter and sugar in a bowl until light and creamy. Beat in the egg yolk and vanilla extract, sift in the flour and mix to form a smooth dough.Knead lightly on a floured surface until smooth.
Divide the dough into 3 equal sized pieces and knead the yellow food colouring into one third, adding a little extra flour if necessary to prevent the mix becoming sticky. Colour the other two pieces of dough in the same way. Shape each coloured dough into a 15cm log, wrap in clingfilm and chill in the fridge for 1 hour.
Unwrap the dough and roll out each piece on a floured board to form a rectangle approx 20x25cm. Carefully lift and place the sections on top of each other. Lightly brush the top with the egg white and then roll up tightly like a swiss roll. Wrap in cling film and chill for around 45 minutes until firm.
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4. Grease 2 large baking sheets.
Unwrap the dough and cut into 28 slices, each around 8mm thck. Place on the prepared baking sheets, spaced well apart.
Bake in the pre-heated oven for 10-12 minutes or until just firm. Leave to cool on the baking sheets for a few minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
My children did very well with this recipe. It was quite a tricky one - rolling the doughs, placing them neatly on top of each other and the rolling into a 'swiss roll' is not simple. I think we were maybe a little impatient and leaving it to chill for longer would have made it a bit easier. The end result though is gorgeous.
The instructions are clear and easy to follow. The result v's effort is brilliant and everyone was impressed with the cookies. The actual biscuit is light and very melt-in-the-mouth, and they went down a treat.
Make, Bake, Cookies has an astounding 185 pages of recipes and tips covering just about any variety of biscuit and cookie you can think of, from the everyday to the incredibly special. It is published by Parragon Books and has an RRP of £14. It's a joy to have and a book which has already become popular with my children - they've all placed their orders for next time we bake!
We were sent our copy of Make, Bake, Cookies for review.