RECIPE: Fresh Apple & Spice Square Cookies

I'm not the greatest baker. In fact I tend to sling food products together and if any cooking takes longer than 5 minutes, it's no...

I'm not the greatest baker. In fact I tend to sling food products together and if any cooking takes longer than 5 minutes, it's not on the menu. Late last September I picked over 80 British Discovery apples from our orchard, and with so many left over (well, about 6 left over...)
I tweaked a rustic biscuit recipe fit for some homely appley cookies.
The biscuit - that's cookie to you Americans - is a sweetened spice biscuit that has a great 'snap' and crunch to it. Here's how to make them.

Recipe makes about 15-18 • Bake at 190˚ C/ 375˚ F/ Gas Mark 5 • Vegetarian/Halal

• 225g/ 8 oz softened butter
• 140g/ 5 oz organic caster sugar
• 1 lightly beaten egg yolk
• 2 tsp apple juice (freshly squeezed tastes better)
• 280/ 10 oz plain (unbleached) wholemeal flour
• 1 tsp ground cinnamon (or to preference, I like more)
• 1 tsp mixed spice (again, alter to your liking)
• pinch of salt (salt is used for either seasoning and enhancing flavours, here it's an enhancer)
• 100g/ 3.5 oz finely chopped fresh apples (you may use dried apple)

An optional custard filling suits these cookies really well, but I left it out. To make a custard filling simple chuck all the following together into a saucepan over high heat, bring it to boiling point to thicken while constantly stirring it as it will stick to the base. Stir until the mixture thickens then remove from the heat, cover with cling film to prevent a skin forming, leave to cool and done!
• 1 tbsp (tablespoon) of caster sugar
• 1 tbsp custard powder
• 125 ml/ 4 fluid oz of milk (semi/skimmed/full/fat? tis all cool yo)
• 5 tbsp apple sauce

Okily dokily, here's the main event. Method:

1) Beat the butter and sugar together in a large glass bowl until it's pale, pretty fluffy and you don't hear that 'crunch' of the sugar - meaning it's dissolved.

2) Then beat in the egg yolk and the apple juice.

3) Sift the flour, spice, cinnamon and salt into the mix and stir with a metal or wooden spoon as the mixture gets sticky and a beater would just mush it down. Oh, note that mixed spice is ground cinnamon, coriander, cloves, nutmeg (apparently this intoxicant is makruh - disliked in shari`ah - if taken in large quantities), pimento and ground ginger.

4) Whatever in your bowl that now resembles a dough needs to be refrigerated to be stiffened up for rolling out so push it together into a ball, wrap it in cling-film and whack it in the fridge for an hour.
I see flecks of spices and apple chunks with skins, #oh what a wonderful world...

4) Ping! One hour later preheat the oven to 190 C/ 375 F and line two large baking sheets with some baking parchment. You could grease them with a little oil but that makes the undersides to your cookies a little slippery. Ooh la la, no thank you.

5) Break the dough into half, flour the surface and the dough and roll out to about half a centimetre in thickness.

6) Cut out 3 inch squares using a cutter or a knife if you're safety approved! Place them on the trays spaced apart - they spread out somewhat - and bake for 10-15 minutes until the edges turn light brown.

7) Take out, tap the trays (gently) onto a table to lift the cookies off and transfer for cooling.

Discovery apple spice cookies. Ta-da!

More scrumptious recipes:
Cinnamon Smiley Faced Biscuits
Turkish-Pakistani Rice Pudding
Organic Gooey Chocolate Cookies


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