Cookie Exchange

All over both readers this morning there is a thing called the Cookie Exchange… I personally don’t have a handed down recipe for cookie as I am in the UK  we don’t have cookies but I thought I would join in.

This first one is from flour company; Be-ro, here in the UK and in the 1950’s they brought out a cookbook, which my mum used whenever she was baking.  She was amazing baker, even if her cooking skills left a lot be desired.  My mum was the original microwave queen before there was microwaves, if it wasn’t for Birdseye and their range of product us kids would have starved.  It did make me take charge in cooking our meals and by the age 13-14 I could cook a full Sunday roast.

I have added the cup measurements for my US followers I used a coverter chart so I hope I am right.  These Melting Moments I tend to double the recipe given below as they tend to go fast in my house when I make them.

Melting Moments Makes 30
65 g (2½ oz)  (0.3125 cup) margarine
40 g (1½ oz) (0.1875 cup) lard
75 g (3 oz)  (0.375 cup) caster sugar
½ medium egg
1 x 5 ml spoon (1 tsp) vanilla essence
150 g (5 oz) (0.635 cup) Self Raising Flour 
oats or desiccated coconut
glacé cherries
1 Heat oven to 180ºC, 350ºF, Gas Mark 4. Grease two baking trays.
2 Cream the margarine, lard and the sugar until very light and fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla essence.
3 Stir in the flour and mix well.
4 Roll walnut sized pieces of the mixture into balls and toss in rolled oats or desiccated coconut.
5 Place on baking trays, flatten slightly and place a small piece of cherry on each biscuit. Bake for 10-15 minutes.
N.B. To help shape “ball” type biscuits, slightly dampen the hands.

The second recipe I am going to give out here is from the amazing Rachael Ray who I have followed for a number off years and I just love her style of cooking.  So do the kids who love most of the recipes I use from her website.

Technically not cookies either, but I am originally from Scotland and it is tradition there on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s day when you visit someone’s house or as we call it in Scotland “First Footing”.  Tradition has it your first footer has to have dark hair, carrying a portion of shortbread, black bun & be carrying enough of a measure to offer everyone in the household a drink.

Okay, I want to share a recipe of Rachael’s for traffic light shortbread.  As I haven’t found an easier one to follow yet.

Rainbow Shortbread Sticks
Photo credit: Patrick Decker
  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup apricot jam
  • 1/4 cup strawberry jam
  • 1/4 cup blueberry jam
Serves about 2 dozen cookies


In a large mixing bowl with a handheld mixer or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the butter, sugar, vanilla, and salt.  Cream on medium speed until pale and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes.  Scrape the bottom and sides and continue mixing to combine all of the ingredients.  Turn the mixer off, add the flour all at once, and then turn the mixer on its lowest speed. Mix just until all of the ingredients are combined and form a smooth dough.

Turn the dough out onto a work surface and gather into a ball.  Wrap the dough tightly with plastic wrap and chill until firm, about 1 hour.

Pre-heat the oven to 350ºF.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

Scoop out a piece of dough about 2 tablespoons in size and roll it into a log (if the dough is very cold, you may have to knead it in your hands in order to roll it without cracking it).  Place the log on the baking sheet and press three small dimples into it using your thumb.  Continue with the remaining dough, leaving about 1 inch between each log.  Place a small dollop of jam into the dimples in the cookies.

Bake the cookies until the bottoms are pale golden brown, 22 – 25 minutes, rotating the sheets halfway through baking.  Cool the cookies completely before serving.  Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.

Lastly if anyone wants to attempt to make black bun.  I have struggled to get a conversion chart for this recipe sorry guys.  I wasn’t going to add it but I thought I better had since I chatted about it earlier on in this post.

Black Bun Recipe

A sign of a well made Black Bun is that it should stick to the knife as it is cut.In olden days sweetmeat Black Bun cake slices would have been served on Twelfth Night. It then became a Scottish New Year delicacy and treat.This recipe for Black Bun should be made a few weeks before New Year’s Eve so that the fruits absorb the alcohol and it matures to full flavour. The black bun will, like a Christmas cake or Christmas pudding, keep in an airtight container or tin until eaten.  Black Bun

Ingredients for Black Bun:

225g (1 3/4 cup)of plain flour (all purpose flour)
50g (1/4 cup) of soft brown sugar
450g of currants
450g of raisins
450g of sultanas
175g of mixed peel
50g (1/3 cup) of chopped almonds
50g (1/3 cup) of ground almonds
3 medium eggs
1 egg with the yolk and white separated
Buttermilk to mix
60mls of whisky or brandy
1 teaspoon of mixed spice
1 teaspoon of ground ginger
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
Half teaspoon of cayenne pepper
Half teaspoon of baking soda
Half teaspoon of cream of tartar

Ingredients for Black Bun Pastry Case

225g (1 3/4 cup) of plain flour (all-purpose)
125g (1/2 cup) of margarine
Pinch of salt
Cold water to mix

Baking Directions for Black Bun Pastry:

1.Sieve the flour and the salt.

2. Rub in the butter and then mix in the water. The dough should start to become stiff.

3. On a pastry board roll out the mixture into a thin square.

Set aside and make the black bun filling.

Baking Directions For Black Bun

1.To make the filling for Black Bun you should first grease two 2lb loaf tins or a large tin.

2. Sieve the flour and mix in the sugar, ground almonds, mixed spice, cinnamon, ground ginger, cayenne pepper, baking soda and the cream of tartar.

3. Now stir in the dried fruits of currants, raisins, sultanas, candied peel and the chopped almonds.

4. Gently fold in the beaten eggs and the buttermilk until the mixture becomes soft and moist.

5. Add the alcohol.

6. Use about two thirds of the pastry to line the tins. If the pastry has to be joined then wet these so that a good seal is formed.

7. Put the black bun mixture into the tin, on top of the pastry. Make sure it is packed firmly and then level off.

8. Brush the top of the fruit mixture with the white of the egg.

9. Cover this top with the remaining pastry and seal the edges.

10. Brush the visible pastry, ie the top of the black bun, with a beaten egg or some milk.

11. Prick the black bun with a knitting needle from the top all the way to the bottom so that any trapped air can escape through this hole, rather than burst through during cooking.

12. Pinch around the edges to give a nice finish.

13. Bake in a low pre heated oven at 300F, gas mark 2 or 150C for about two and a half hours.

14. To prevent the bun turning brown too quickly cover with kitchen foil or brown paper at any time during the cooking.

15. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool down.

16. Turn out from the tin and store in an airtight container until ready to eat.

17. Serve with a fine malt whisky and a Happy New Year!

Have loads of fun baking guys…

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