I may be slightly biased, having built a business around biscuits, but lets face it: cookies and biscuits are everything that trendy cupcakes are not.
Anyone worth their baking salt can knock out a cutesy frosted cupcake these days, and that’s cool with me. Cupcakes have their place. To stand out from the crowd, however, you need to splash out for fancy kit and ingredients, pile them high with sugary decorations and, even after all this, they let you down with their short shelf life.
None of this can be said about biscuits and cookies – these babies are quicker, easier, and more versatile than their cakey cousins. Biscuits have short bake times, last for a comparatively long time, and any leftovers – whether baked or still in dough-form – can be frozen and cooked later. In other words, biscuits are total winners.
Baking your own basic biscuits and cookies is easy-peasy, but take on board some of my top tips and you’ll be fast-tracked to biscuit baking brilliance.
1. Use your hands
Get some baking biceps! Don’t cheat with a mixer – engage your abs and arm muscles. You’re going to have a few extra calories to burn off, after all!
2. Know when to stop
Don’t overwork yourself, or your dough. Too much kneading and re-rolling of your dough will result in cracked and misshapen cookies. To avoid this, always cut as many cookies from the first and second rollout of dough as possible, and consider freezing your third rollout before baking.
3. Roll evenly
Turn your dough as you roll, or roll in different directions, to ensure that you’re accounting for any different pressure points and achieve a nice even dough height.
4. Keep it floured
Keep your surface floured – you can do this by lightly by rolling your dough back over your rolling pin to expose the underside, making it easier to flick a bit more flour under there.
5. Stay chilled
Always roll your cookie dough from cold, and re-chill before baking for super clean-edged biscuits.
6. Use different trays
Bake cookies of different sizes on different trays. Smaller cookies need less time to bake than bigger ones, so make sure to keep them on different trays so you don’t end up with little burnt ones and big soft ones.
7. Neaten ‘em up
Don’t be afraid to tidy up your bakes when they come out the oven. Chop off any burnt bits, straighten off a wonky edge with a cheese grater, or hide any knobbly bits with icing – make all your bakes look beautiful!
Need something to try it all out on? Try Jamie’s beautiful Lemon butter biscuits…
…these lovely Australian Anzac biscuits…
…or these beautiful Royal Georgie snaps.