Thursday, July 23, 2009

Pressed Cookies

It was a rainy Saturday afternoon a couple of weeks ago and I felt like doing some baking. I suddenly remembered my cookie press which my parents in law gave me to me for my birthday some time ago. It’s been packed up for a while with having moved, built etc. Pressed cookies are not a huge thing in New Zealand so the only recipes I have seen for them have been on the internet, and also a whole ago there was a recipe in Cuisine magazine. I dug out the appropriate cuisine magazine and made these little pressed biscuits.

It was quite a frustrating experience as the bottom of my cookie press kept unscrewing as I was pressing – I’m not sure that I had it on tightly enough. It took me about 20 minutes to press one tray of cookies, and I only made little flowers as unscrewing the bottom to put in different discs was a bit of a mission. The whole experience was a little like running a marathon (well, a half marathon in my case – I haven’t attempted the full distance yet) – during it you think, this is so awful, I’m never doing this again, but when you see the finished results (pretty, light, slightly spicy chocolate cookies) you think it wasn’t so bad and I will try this again soon!

On Monday night I was home alone and made my old stand by which I had in the past when my husband was more regularly away for business – corn soup. The recipe is based on one from Bill Granger’s first book, Sydney Food and is essentially ginger, spring onions and corn (I use frozen) cooked in chicken stock and seasoned with soy sauce, Chinese cooking wine and sesame oil. I love it. The flavours are incredibly clean and fresh and it takes only about 10 minutes from start to finish to make – the perfect home alone meal.

Chocolate Pressed Cookies (adapted from Fiona Smith recipe in Cuisine)

175g butter
½ c sugar
1 egg yolk
1 ½ c flour
1 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp cocoa
½ tsp mixed spice

• Cream butter and sugar, beat in egg yolk and vanilla
• Then stir through dry ingredients
• If you have a cookie press, follow the instructions to press the dough into pretty shaped cookies. If not, either roll into a log, chill and slice or roll into balls and flatten with a fork
• Bake at 180c for 15 minutes


Janet said...

Hi,Tammy. I was thrilled to see your forced biscuits, but sad that you didn't enjoy the experience.

My mother made these 50 years ago, and early in my marriage I made these too, and recently revisited them when planning a special weekend to celebrate our daughter's 21st. I was amazed that I had forgotten how quick and easy they were to fill the trays, with such impressive results.

My mother always said the secret was in making the mixture a little stiffer than usual. I am away from home at present but will email you the recipes when I return home.

Carry on the good work. Janet

Anonymous said...

Those cookies look so cool. They look delicious too.

Cakelaw said...

LOL - I made pressed cookies this week too, just haven't posted them yet. Mine are vanilla, otherwise it would have been too spooky. Yours look great.