Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Food tech Shrewsbury biscuits (plain and choc chip)

Sasha enjoys his food tech lessons at school. Last half term he baked Shrewsbury biscuits and the teachers told me later how enthusiastic he was at mixing and cutting out. He looked very proud when he brought his cookies home. I tried one of them, and they proved to be very good indeed.
Usually I add pure butter to whatever cakes and bakes I'm making. Sasha's food tech recipe in the Food Tech Year 7 recipe booklet included 100g of margarine. Since I gave him a tub to take to school, he brought back the tub with more than a half of margarine left. It's been sitting in the fridge, taking space.
Since I received a baking mat recently for reviewing on Amazon, I thought it might be a good idea to try Sasha's food tech recipe at home, and finish the margarine too.

For Shrewsbury biscuits you will need 100g soft margarine, 100g caster sugar, 225g self-raising flour and 1 egg. That's it, couldn't be easier.
Cream the margarine with sugar in a mixing bowl. Add the flour and the beaten egg, mix well, forming the dough. Knead lightly on a slightly floured surface, roll out to 6mm thickness, cut out the biscuits with cookie cutters, place them on the trays lined with parchment paper and bake for about 15 minutes until golden at 180C. Don't overcook, they are still very soft when you take them out.
We all loved these cookies, though they were a tad plain.

Shrewsbury biscuits
For a choc chip cookies version, you'll need some extras:

To jazz them up a bit, I added 50g of chocolate chips (and chopped chocolate on another occasion), 1tsp of vanilla essence and substituted 65g of flour with 65g of jumbo oats (just one MOMA porridge sachet).

I have been using MOMA porridge sachets in baking these cookies (as well as peanut butter cookies) for an extra texture. This instant oat porridge is lovely of course as a porridge cooked with just hot water, but it is also a versatile cooking ingredient in cakes and bakes.
Its addition to the texture it makes the naughty cookies a little bit healthier, as it contains beta-glucan which is known to lower blood cholesterol.

Choc chip cookies made with chopped dark chocolate (half a bar) were delicious. The best bit is that you can make a batch in less than half an hour from start to finish. If you fancy some warm cookies with a cup of tea, you can't beat these super easy ones.

To speed up the process by a few minutes, add about 50g of milk chocolate drops rather than chopped chocolate. My boys loved them too (though I prefer the dark chocolate variety).

I confess when it comes to baking I prefer the old-fashioned kitchen utensils, though I do have quite a few silicone baking cases. This is the first time I have tried a non-stick silicone baking mat.
BakeitFun Silicone Baking mat itself has a printed pattern on it and measurements in inches and centimetres. It is durable and resistant (temperatures from -40C to 230C). Basically it's a reinforced Fibreglass mesh covered by premium food grade silicone.
I have baked cookies using this mat about 6 times, and each time the cookies come out perfectly crisp and shaped.

Cookies on a silicone mat (unbaked)
Cookies on a silicone mat (baked)

It is very easy to use and wash. It really is non-stick, cookies slide easily off the mat and the surface is wiped off very clean.
I was pretty impressed with the ease of use and quality. I didn't use any spray cans or oil on the surface, putting the cut out dough discs straight on the surface of the mat.
It comes with a promise of a possible reuse up to 10 years (2,000 times), so we'll see. Even if it lasts half of the promised time, it would already save me on lots of foil and parchment paper.

Disclosure: I got the baking mat for a pound on amazon for the purposes of testing and reviewing. All opinions are mine.

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