Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Biscuits for Masses

Having just celebrated my second birthday in the UK after arriving 17 months ago, I'm still trying to get used to a very sensible albeit modern birthday tradition. Here in the UK, rather than everyone chipping in to buy the birthday cake at work, the birthday boy/girl buy/provide their own sweets, treats or cream cakes. This makes perfect sense to me, since the special person can then decide whether they want to announce the celebration, or keep it to themselves. Another, more frugal benefit of this workplace tradition, is that one only has to shell out cash once a year, rather than multiple times a year, and that one can choose for oneself how much money to spend or effort to put in, without having to worry about peer pressure.

I thought it was appropriate, this year to make my own treats. Since there are approximately 80 odd people in our office, I needed to make something that could be enjoyed by 40 or so, and for those specially tempted to have a couple left over. So, as I didn't want to spend too much money, I brought out my trusty old biscuit recipe that I know make about 60 biscuits - give or take a few. I have been making this cookie recipe since I was about 16 or so and the little magazine clipping takes place 10 or so pages into my recipe scrap book. The recipe takes about an hour (only because there's so much!) and it says it makes 80 cookies - but I always need to make allowances for quality control and the size of biscuits I make. I often substitute the add-ins and have used different types of chocolate, glace cherries and nuts. I also find that the cookie dough is excellent to keep in the freezer - in a little plastic wrap log, to take out for last minute guests or cookie craving moments.

It is a great moment, that I'm posting this recipe - as it's a great weapon of mine and I didn't think I'd ever share it.

Here it is:

500g of butter
1 1/4 cup of castor sugar
400g of sweetened condensed milk
5 cups plain flour
5 teaspoons of baking powder
250g white choc bits
500g milk choc bits
750g of adds-ins of choice

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius. In a VERY large bowl cream butter, sugar and condensed milk together using an electric mixer until light and creamy in texture. Add sifted flour, and chocolate bits and mix until well combined. Using 1 tablespoon of mixture roll into balls. Place onto non stick trays and flatten slightly with a fork, leaving plenty of room for spreading. Bake 14-16 minutes or until light golden. Allow to stand on the trays 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool.

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