I love baking.
I’m certainly not an expert at it and the stuff I make is pretty basic. Don’t get me wrong I’d love to move into more exotic breads, cakes and biscuits but that would make it a less relaxing experience and relaxing while baking is the whole point.
Making cakes in particular brings back happy memories of being in the kitchen with my mum, licking beaters and learning the routine of making sure a good cake will rise just so. I love that I’m making more happy memories as I have my own little helpers eagerly awaiting the handing over of the beaters and bowl.
What I truly love about baking though is being able to hand over the end product to someone as a treat. Taking a cake or biscuits or even a meal to someone who needs it is a true gift. To me the gift can say, ‘Thank you for having us,’ or ‘Hope this helps,’ or just ‘We were thinking of you’.
Another great gift idea is to give the goodies but also the recipe as well, the gift of a well-loved recipe especially on a recipe card makes it that little bit more special.
So my gift to you today is a recipe for some log and slice biscuits I make when I am short on time. The beauty of these biscuits is you can make the dough and freeze it. If you give these to a new mum, they can look like a domestic goddess whipping up freshly baked biscuits without any of the work.
The recipient of this particular batch of biscuits was in fact moi. When I made them I was bang in the middle of nesting and desperate to bake something but also in the middle of a record South Australian heatwave. By the time our bubs was born it had cooled down enough for me to turn the oven on and I felt like I deserved them!
Slice and Bake Cookies
15 mins prep
20 mins cooking
250gms butter, softened
11/4 cups (200gm) icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups (300g) plain flour
1/2 cup rice flour
1/3 cup cornflour
2 tbsps milk
Orange and Poppy seed
Omit vanilla extract; beat 1 tbsp finely grated orange rind with butter and sugar. Add 2 tbsps poppy seeds with sifted flours.
Lemon and Craisin
Omit vanilla extract; beat 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon rind with butter and sugar. Stir in 3/4 cup (100gm) coarsely chopped craisins with sifted flours.
Stir in 2 x 35gm packets of mini M&M’s with sifted flours.
Pecan and cinnamon*
Add 1 tsp ground cinnamon to sifted flours, then stir in 1 cup (120gm) coarsely chopped pecans. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar before baking.
*I used roasted almonds in this recipe as I had a lot in the pantry and the price of pecans were making my eyes water.
- Beat butter, sifted icing sugar and vanilla extract in a small bowl with electric mixer until light and fluffy
- Transfer to a large bowl; stir in sifted flours, in two batches, then milk
- Divide mixture in half. Knead each half on floured surface until smooth, then roll each half into 25cm logs. Wrap each log in baking paper; refrigerate about 1 hour until firm or put in the freezer for a later date
- If you are cooking immediately preheat oven to 160 degrees (140 degrees fan forced). Grease oven trays; line with baking paper
- Cut the logs into 1cm slices; place about 3cm apart on oven trays. Bake about 20 minutes. Cool on wire racks