Waitrose & Partners Weekend Issue 628

26 8 DECEMBER 2022 Photographs: Maja Smend, Food styling: Bianca Nice, Styling: Wei Tang Finding the best edible gift is a big task – what one person finds delightful may be another person’s worst nightmare. Something irresistible that ticks every box at Christmas though, is cookies. I’m in awe of howAmericans curate boxes of holiday cookies each festive season as gifts for friends and family. It’s not something we seemuch of here, so yours will be unique. Be sure to present it beautifully – creased parchment paper, boxes with dividers and brown paper gift tags are amust. If toomany homemade elements seemdaunting, bulk out your boxes with sweets, fudge or chocolates. Here are two of my favourite recipes. with Martha Collison Foodie gift Makes 30 cookies Prepare 15 minutes Cook 10 minutes 100g butter, softened 250g crunchy peanut butter 175g dark brown soft sugar 50g caster sugar, plus 50g extra, for rolling 1 tsp vanilla extract 1 British Blacktail Free Range Large Egg 200g plain our ½ tsp baking powder ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda 30 large dark chocolate buttons 1 Preheat the oven to 190ºC, gas mark 5, and line 2 baking trays with baking parchment. Beat together the butter, peanut butter, brown sugar, 50g caster sugar and the vanilla extract in a large bowl with an electric hand mixer (or the paddle attachment on a stand mixer) for 2-3 minutes, until light and u y. Add the egg and beat until combined. 2 Combine the our, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda in a bowl. Add to the beaten butter mixture and use a wooden spoon to mix everything into a thick dough. 3 Use a tablespoon measure to scoop out 30 equal-sized pieces of dough and roll each The Best into a ball. Roll each one in the remaining caster sugar, then arrange on the baking parchment. They will spread a little when baking, so leave enough room in between them. 4 Bake the cookies for 8-10 minutes, until pu ed but not browned. Remove from the oven and, working quickly, lay a chocolate button onto top of each biscuit and push down gently. The cookie will crack slightly and the chocolate will melt. Allow to cool completely on the tray before boxing up. V Per cookie 632kJ/151kcals/7.8g fat/2.6g saturated fat/ 16g carbs/9.6g sugars/0.9g bre/3.4g protein/0.3g salt Food&Drink Peanut butter blossoms TAKE YOUR PICK I love to ll my cookie boxes with an interesting mix of textures and avours. Here are some of the other treats I’ll be making: Chocolate ti n waitrose.com/chocolateti n Gingerbread s’more biscuits waitrose.com/ gingerbreadsmorebiscuits Chocolate orange cookies waitrose.com/ chocolateorangecookies Christmas pudding macarons waitrose.com/ christmaspudmacarons Mini chocolate orange orentines waitrose.com/ chocolate orentines Makes 24 cookies Prepare 15 minutes Cook 8-10 minutes 150g pecans 240g plain our ½ tsp ground cinnamon 225g butter, at room temperature 100g icing sugar, plus approx. 100g extra, to coat 1 Blitz the pecans in a mini food processor (or chop using a sharp knife) until nely chopped with just a few rubbly pieces remaining. Tip into a bowl and add the our and cinnamon. 2 Beat the butter and 100g icing sugar in a large bowl using an electric hand mixer (or the paddle attachment on a stand mixer) until light and u y, around 2 minutes. 3 Tip the dry ingredients into the bowl and stir until a thick, soft dough comes together. Use a tablespoon to scoop equal-sized pieces of dough – you should get 24 cookies from the mixture – and roll into balls using your hands. Place onto a plate and chill for at least 30 minutes, so they keep their shape once baked. 4 Preheat the oven to 190ºC, gas mark 5 and line 2 baking trays with baking parchment. Arrange the chilled dough on the trays, then bake for 8-10 minutes. The bottom edges should be lightly browned but the top will still look pale and feel soft. This leads to a perfect, chewy consistency, so don’t be tempted to overbake. Allow the cookies to cool slightly for 5 minutes on the tray. 5 Sieve the icing sugar into a bowl. Toss the hot cookies gently in the sugar so they form a coating, then place back onto the tray to cool completely. Keep what’s left of the icing sugar. Once cooled, repeat the sugaring process again, so they gain their snowy appearance. Pack into boxes and enjoy. V Per cookie 762kJ/183kcals/12g fat/5.6g saturated fat/ 16g carbs/8.5g sugars/0.9g bre/1.7g protein/0.2g salt Pecan snowball cookies S CAN THI S CODE F OR MORE RE CI P ES