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Digital Subscriptions > Delicious Magazine > October 2015 > The delicious. biscuit collection

The delicious. biscuit collection

There’s something very British about biscuits. They’re a time-honoured way to welcome visitors, they fll the gap between one meal and the next – and, paired with a perfectly brewed cup of tea, they relieve all manner of crises

Biscuits are Britain’s greatest gift to the world (don’t listen to those who say otherwise). They have certain magical qualities. Childhood squabbles are silenced with the bribe of a bourbon, in-laws won over with an assorted tin of border shortbread (the luxury variety, of course), fagging offce meetings brought to life by a plateful of garibaldis… No doubt David Cameron diligently dunked a digestive while mulling over his election campaign speech.

But these sweet morsels of appeasement can also be fashpoints of contention. Offer a ginger nut devotee a malted milk at your peril. Lift the lid to fnd your other half has eaten the last custard cream and you have legitimate grounds for divorce. The spartan rich tea is either loved or loathed, the effete pink wafer misunderstood and the ‘cookie’ dismissed as an American imposter. Then there’s the jaffa cake issue: is it a biscuit or is it a cake?

Find your favourite, though, and you’ve a friend for life, whether you like yours crisp or crumbly, plain or chocolate-coated, sandwiched with stick-your-teeth-together jam or lick-it-up cream.

We’ve created a biscuit collection to suit all tastes, from chewy to ultra-crumbly to dunk-worthy. What an incentive to get baking – just make sure you hum Rule Britannia while you’re at it.

Giant chocolate chunk and toffee cookie

THE CHEWY ONE

SERVES 15-20. HANDS-ON TIME 20 MIN, OVEN TIME 45 MIN, PLUS COOLING

COOKIE MONSTER Giant chocolate chunk and toffee cookie

While this is heaven eaten when it’s still a little warm, the texture is at its very best after a night at room temperature. You could also freeze the dough in the tin and bake from frozen – just add an extra 4-5 minutes to the cooking time.

PER SERVING (FOR 20) 288kcals, 12.1g fat (7.2g saturated), 3.2g protein, 41.1g carbs (26.2g sugars), 0.4g salt, 0.9g fibre

* For clever ways to use up Crunchie bars, see Loose Ends.

• 200g salted butter, softened

• 400g golden caster sugar

• 2 medium free-range eggs

• 1 tsp vanilla bean paste

• 360g plain flour

• 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

• 100g chopped milk chocolate

• 100g Crunchie bars, roughly chopped, or soft toffees such as Werther’s Original, chopped into small chunks

• Vegetable oil for greasing

• 50g dark chocolate, chopped

1. Heat the oven to 160°C/140°C fan/gas 3. Using an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Slowly beat in the eggs and vanilla bean paste until combined, then sift in the flour and bicarbonate of soda. Using a metal spoon, fold together until smooth.

2. Stir through the chocolate and toffee chunks, then spread out into a lightly oiled 28cm fluted tart tin with a removable base. Bake for 40 minutes, then turn up the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas 4 and cook for a further 5 minutes until the edges are set and crisp, and the cookie is lightly golden on top. Cool for 5 minutes in the tin, then carefully remove, put on a wire rack and leave to cool completely.

3. Melt the chocolate, either in a microwave in short bursts or in a bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water (don’t let the bowl touch the water). Drizzle it all over the cookie, then scatter with a little sea salt if you like. Leave to cool and firm up, then serve.

MIX IT UP

★ Make it trashy by mixing in bashed-up salted pretzels, Maltesers or Rolos.

★ Make it classy with chopped nuts, dried fruit and unrefined sugar instead of caster.

★ For individual cookies, roll the dough into balls, flatten slightly on lined baking trays, then bake for about 15 minutes.

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About Delicious Magazine

Ottolenghi is back! Find his new recipes in our October issue, along with the best things to eat this autumn including Hugh F-W’s cheesy gratin, Atul Kochhar's home cooking and easy one-pot meals. There’s also a Mexican chilli cook-off, proper bao buns and a foolproof beef wellington. On the sweet side, get stuck into John Whaite's rich chocolate cake, a frangipane crumble and our ultimate biscuit collection – better put the kettle on…
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