1 July 2011

Filling the Biscuit Tins

I was born in the wrong era. I should have been born in the 50s when donning a frilly apron and spending all day in the kitchen baking was the way to fill the biscuit tins.
I have really fond memories of baking day with mum. Once a week she'd pop the oven on, get out her lovely old kenwood mixer with porcelain bowls and start mixing. At the end of it she'd have filled tin after tin with gorgeous home made biscuits (cookies for you American folk).
My favourites were:
  • afghan biscuits - delicious chocolate treats with sweet chocolate icing and a piece of walnut (never figured the walnut thing out, we always took it off to eat them)
  • hokey pokey biscuits - delightly soft and chewy golden syrup morsels, popped onto the tray as balls and squished down with a fork, they look and taste so wonderfully home-made
  • melting moments - which did what it said on the tin, and 'melted' delicately in your mouth. The trick was to shove the whole biscuit in, and let it dissolve while munching - a bit gross if you were watching, but hey, we were kids, and we didn't care (actually I still don't when it comes to scoffing bickies)
  • and finally, shortbread, so soft and buttery and divinely crumbly (mum would cut it into squares - I like to cut it into shapes, but then I don't have 6 kids to deal with and clean up after, so have lots more time)

It was the little chefs last day at nursery and school this week, so the 3 of us baked the teachers thank you gifts. Actually little chef number 2 got bored in the first 5 minutes so he went upstairs to play the Wii, followed about 10 minutes later by little chef number 1. That's ok, as much fun as it is baking with them, it's a teensy bit slower, and I had a lot to cook. I had so much fun recreating my favourite biscuits. I dusted off the Edmonds cookbook, a NZ institution - every household has one, so all credit for these recipes goes to the Edmonds team. I plugged in my fire engine red Kitchen Aid (I love my KA) and baked the afternoon away.
So here's the recipes.
  • 200 grams butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup cocoa
  • 2 cups cornflakes
  1. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy
  2. Sift flour and cocoa together and stir into creamed mixture
  3. Fold in conflakes and put mounds of mixture onto a tray lined with baking paper
  4. Bake at 180 degrees celcius (350 degrees fahrenheit) for 15 minutes.
  5. When cold ice with chocolate icing - mix 2 cups icing sugar with 2 tablespoons water and 1 tablespoon cocoa
Hokey Pokey biscuits
  • 125 grams butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon golden syrup
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  1. Heat butter, sugar, golden syrup and milk in a pot until butter is melted and mixture is nearly boiling, remove from heat and allow mixture to cool to lukewarm
  2. Sift flour and baking soda together and add to cooled mixture, mix well
  3. Roll tablespoons of the mixture into balls and place onto a try lined with baking paper. Flatten with a fork
  4. Bake at 180 degrees celcius (350 degrees fahrenheit) for 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown.
Melting Moments
  • 200 grams butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup icing sugar
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup cornflour (cornstarch)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • buttercream icing or raspberry jam
  1. Cream butter and icing sugar until light and fluffy
  2. Sift flour, cornflour and baking powder together and mix into creamed mixture, stirring well
  3. Roll dough into small balls the size of large marbles and place on a tray lined with baking paper, flatten slightly with a fork
  4. Bake at 180 degrees celcius (350 degrees fahrenheit) for 20 minutes.
  5. Cool and sandwich two biscuits together with buttercream or raspberry jam
oops - no photo here, there aren't any left over - excuse me while I wipe the crumbs off my chin.
  • 250 grams butter
  • 1 cup icing sugar
  • 1 cup cornflour
  • 2 cups flour
  1. Cream butter and icing sugar together till light and fluffy
  2. Sift flour and cornflour together and mix into creamed mixture
  3. Knead well
  4. Roll out to about 1.5 cm thickness (it mightn't roll well, mine started to break apart, so as I rolled it, I squidged it together)
  5. Cut shapes out or cut into squares, pop onto a tray lined with baking paper, and prick all over with a fork
  6. Bake at 150 degrees celcius (290 degrees fahrenheit) for 30 minutes until golden brown

I packed them all into jars and popped labels on, this one was for little chef number 1's  teacher Mrs Daniels - a great big thank you.


  1. I just wanted to say a great big thank you for the wonderful cookies. They are absolutely delicious and I just can’t stop eating them! I placed my beautiful cookie jar on the kitchen surface but after eating about 4 in one go, I placed them out of sight in the kitchen cupboard. The out of sight, out of mind strategy did not work! My husband and I are like children running to the cookie jar…sneaking a biscuit! Thank you very much ‘Little Chef No.1’.

  2. Cooking with Gill2 July 2011 at 07:15

    You're welcome Becky, glad you're enjoying the cookies, we're all happily munching on the ones that didn't fit in the jar :) Have a fabulous summer.

  3. A variation on the Afghans Gill is good old weetbix, Have always used weetbix as that was what was in the cupboard, and somehow it helped to convince myself that bic's were healthier. lol

  4. sorry Gill that comment was from ur big sis. think I have it right this time.