Sunday, 7 October 2012

The Ideal Cookie

Okay, I think I've found it - the cookie recipe that is my go-to, fall back, old faithful. The cookie recipe that I will claim as mine. But, if you like it, you're welcome to stake your claim on it!

In my old life - BC (before children / before cupcakes & cookies) - when I was studying, we were taught to compare medications to a gold standard, "Ideal Drug".
It would be something that had the following properties: most importantly the drug did what it was designed to do, and only that, with no ill effects; and also that it was stable, predictable, easily used, and inexpensive - or rather "profitable" if you are reading the pharmaceutical company's criteria ; )

 The ideal drug doesn't exist.

So while I've been searching for the "ideal cookie" recipe, this has been in the back of my mind...

The ideal drug may not exist, but I'm certain the ideal cookie does: and I'm determined to find it.
I think I'm coming close.  

The properties of the Ideal Cookie:

Tastes great
Is versatile
Rolls out and cuts out well
Bakes well - maintains its shape, and isn't fragile after baking.
Bakes flat.
Creates the ideal canvas for decorating.
Stores well.

...Life-saving stuff!

So, this is what I'll share with you:

Tea, Cake & Create's
Vanilla & Spice Cookie Recipe

800g flour
400g caster sugar
300g butter
2tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
Vanilla extract (I use Vanilla Girl extract)

Optional: Almond essence
                Orange essence
                Spices -cardamon, cinnamon, ginger, mixed spice, etc*
                Orange or lemon zest

Cream together the butter and sugar.
Then add the eggs, beating well.
Add in the vanilla and any essence. Add zest now if using.
Sift in the flour, salt, baking powder and spices*
Mix until clumping, then knead into a ball of dough, and place in a freezer bag.
Refrigerate for at least an hour/ overnight - until the dough is stiff enough to work with (dough may also be frozen).

*For a mildly spiced cookie I usually use 1tsp of mixed spice, and 1/2 tsp of cardamon

 Line  baking trays with baking paper, or dust with corn flour.
Roll out onto a surface dusted with corn flour. Cut out shapes with cookie cutter, place on baking trays and refrigerate again (15 min).
(If the dough becomes to soft to work with when rolling out, just pop it back into the fridge or freezer until it firms up again.)

Bake for 12 minutes at 180'C or until the cookie edges are just starting to brown.

Leave to cool on the baking tray for about 5 minutes, before moving to a cooling rack.

Leave to cool completely before decorating with royal icing.

Cookies may be frozen, iced or un-iced.

Makes 50-60 medium sized cookies.

To see how to ice these citrus cookies, visit

Let me know how this recipe works for you...


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