Snickerdoodles

Try to resist .. I dare you!!

Try to resist .. I dare you!!

What is a Snickerdoodle you ask? A little puff of cinnamon, sugary bliss. These American classics have a soft, chewy sugar-cookie center with a cinnamon sugar coating, perfect with hot cocoa or just because. They are also ridiculously easy to make ..

“Old Reliable” Chocolate Chip Cookies

Cookies and Milk, the ultimate comfort food

Cookies and Milk, the ultimate comfort food

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Over the years, I have trialed dozens of recipes for Choc Chip Cookies with varying success.  Most of them are too sweet, many are finicky and unreliable recipes, others too chunky or just the wrong proportion of cookie to “bits”. This is the one I come back to. It produces cookies with a nice crunchy texture that will survive a dunk in fresh milk. The subtle vanilla-peanut flavours are perfect with cocoa or fresh coffee too. What’s not to love?

Of course we all know the true joy of cookies lies in their childhood associations. The smell of them baking, filling the house with delicious smells and anticipation. The guilty pleasure of eating the dough or burning tongue and fingers because we were unable to resist them fresh from the oven. They featured on the menus of tea parties, picnics with friends and solitary midnight snacks. Most of all they eased the pain of skinned knees and broken hearts. I have vivid memories of a sympathetic Dad sharing cookies, cuddles and the odd hanky on these occasions. That makes them the ultimate comfort food for me. On the anniversary of his death, I am feeling the need for a little comfort, so I shall put some Bach on the stereo and whip up a batch to share with the Junior Sorority.

Lemon Knot Biscuits (Anginetti)

Lemon Knot Biscuits

Lemon Knot Biscuits

In Italy these crunchy, tangy morsels are called Anginetti .. here they are called “delicious” .. and five minutes later “all gone”. I started making these because the gourmet delis around here charge a ridiculous amount for a handful .. that doesn’t survive the journey home 🙂

Pasta Frolla al Marsala

Makes perfect Decoy Cookies too ..

Makes perfect Decoy Cookies too ..

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This is a rich, versatile shortcrust pasty, perfect for baked cheesecakes, pies and tarts. Any leftover pastry can be rolled and cut out with a cookie cutter and baked. I often do that in the vain hope that the marauding family will leave the pie top alone 🙂

Passionfruit Melting Moments

Passionfruit Melting Moments

Passionfruit Melting Moments

I don’t quite understand the mechanism of comfort food .. the why.  I do know that there are some things that I find calming to make. Biscuits are high on this list. The repetitive actions of beating and kneading and rolling into balls are almost like a gentle meditative mantra. Certainly the raw dough for these biscuits has the texture of plasticine, something my Inner Child finds both soothing and delightful. The aroma that fills the kitchen as I hover in front of the oven waiting to whisk them onto the cooling rack is a reminder of one of my favourite holidays. Memories of my annual pilgrimage to Balingup; laughing and singing until I was hoarse. Camaraderie over a pint of cider .. and the massive passionfruit vine covering one fence of Fleur d’Lys and her Consort’s home. I gorged myself on those fruit, and always left a stack of these behind as a thankyou for their hospitality.