September 23, 2012

C is for cookie...

In the long list of things that I enjoy cooking I'd have to say that biscuits are right up there when it comes to the ultimate baked treat. A small indulgence, they're infinitely adaptable, can be thrown together and baked within minutes, and offer that perfect combination of a crisp edge and chewy centre that, fresh from the oven, is both comforting and immensely satisfying.

Whether it's a biscuit or a cookie is really a matter of personal choice, as these terms have become relatively interchangeable of late. Personally I will use biscuit to describe the traditional disc of buttery goodness to be had with tea, while reserving cookie for those doughy American monsters, packed full of sugar and chunks that require their own private sitting and border on a meal unto themselves.

I have really fond memories of making biscuits as a child, however, despite their ease of preparation biscuits don't appear all that popular, and as there's a tendency to either try too hard by 'glamming' them up or do a little cost cutting by skimping on the added extras, it's surprisingly difficult to find a good, proper biscuit. Any hankerings, therefore, are usually best satisfied at home, and with said cravings needing sating I simply could not go past these fabulous spelt and ginger cookies, with their lovely chewy texture and big chunks of ginger for flavour.

As for the cookies, it was straight to an American classic in snickerdoodles, these particular ones rich with saffron and vanilla that lent both a real complexity of flavours, and filled the kitchen with a wonderful, heavenly aroma as they baked.

But as the cooling rack was filling up fast I still wasn't quite done, and so last but not least were these marathon cookies, which I'd bookmarked to try for two reasons. As a keen long distance runner these certainly grabbed my attention as a potentially good post-run snack, but what had me especially curious was the use of a bean-based dough.

As we love all things weird and wonderful here at TPB, a cookie recipe that commences with the preparation of what is essentially white bean dip seemed just my ticket, and despite expectations these biscuits turned out to be incredibly light and, thanks to that layer of sesame seeds, had a lovely crunchy exterior to complement their fluffy and fragrant centres. Having already mixed things up by adding in rye flakes and barberries it's easy to see these becoming a regular 'go to' for which the possibilities are endless, and there's certainly going to be some tasty new treats to look forward to after those long weekend sessions.

Yep, love a good biscuit...

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