Category Archives: Cookies

Lime, Coconut and Macadamia Macaroons

Lime Coconut Macadamia Macaroons | Recipe | Gather and Graze

The Primary School my youngest son attends has recently released a cookbook. It’s a beautiful compilation of family favourites from our school community, packed full of stunning food photographs taken by a talented local photographer. One of the recipes in this book (contributed by our Principal, no less…) jolted my memory of a biscuit/cookie that I used to make quite frequently many years ago, when we lived in New Zealand.

I’ve adapted her recipe here, almost beyond recognition, to try to re-create the fragrant, mostly healthful macaroon from my past. It comes extremely close to being just how I remember it. Continue reading

Salted Caramel Biscuits/Cookies

Salted Caramel Cookies | Gather and Graze

A variation on the classic Jam-Drop Cookie, these salted caramel-filled cookies make for a rather delicious change. Best served alongside a strong cup of coffee or black tea! Continue reading

Sarah Bernhardt Cookies

Sarah Bernhardt Cookies | Recipe | Gather and Graze

A few weeks ago, I shared with you a recipe for Afghan Biscuits, which I mentioned at the time, ticked all the boxes for biscuit perfection. Now I’d prefer not to retract that statement, as I really did mean it at the time… however, this little delight, the Sarah Bernhardt Cookie has to be the most celebratory, luscious and decadent of all the biscuits/cookies I’ve ever tasted. Continue reading

Afghan Biscuits / Cookies

Afghan Biscuits / Cookies | Gather and Graze

The Afghan Biscuit is an iconic and adored New Zealand biscuit/cookie, which in my opinion, ticks every single box of biscuit perfection. Not only do they look stunning, they have a taste and texture all of their own. Continue reading

Galettes au Beurre

Galettes Au Beurre | Gather and Graze

I’ve been craving buttery French biscuits over the past few days.

While perusing the shelves of our local library, I came across a wonderful book of artisanal recipes from the Parisian Chocolatier ‘A La Mere de Famille’. It’s filled with the most mouth-watering treats, ranging from cakes and biscuits to chocolates and confectionary and then continuing on to jams and ice cream. The original shop, situated on the Rue du Faubourg-Montmartre in the 9th Arrondissement was first opened in 1761 and looks like a truly magical place to visit… especially for one with such a sweet tooth.

My other inspiration came from my friend Linda at ‘La Petite Paniere’ who recently posted some beautiful ‘Palets Bretons’ that are along slightly similar lines, though I imagine perhaps richer due to the fact that they use only egg yolks, rather than the whole egg. They will be the biscuits that I make next…

The recipe below has been adapted from one in the French cookbook mentioned above. I found the original recipe created too sticky a dough… and also had I left them in the oven for the specified 20 mins, they would have been burnt to a crisp! I roughly halved the quantity… two trays of galettes seemed more than enough to me… though watching them disappear so quickly, I’m now not so sure.

Galettes au Beurre | Gather and Graze

  • Servings: Approx 25-30 Galettes
  • Print

  • 125g Salted Butter (Softened)
  • 125g Icing (Powdered) Sugar
  • 1 Free-Range Egg
  • 250g Plain Flour (Sifted)
  • Pinch of Salt (optional if using salted butter)
  • Milk (For Brushing)

Beat together the butter and icing sugar in an electric mixer. Stir in the egg and then the flour and salt. Add a little more flour if the dough is too sticky.

Roll out the dough (between 2 sheets of baking paper) to a thickness of about 3-4mm. Refrigerate the sheet of dough for 1 hour.

Pre-heat the oven to 170°C and line 2 baking trays with baking/parchment paper.

Using a fluted pastry cutter, cut out the biscuits and arrange on the baking trays. Brush each one with a little milk and use a fork (or knife) to lightly score a striped effect on top. Bake for approximately 13-14 minutes, until golden. Be sure to watch them towards the end, to make sure they don’t brown too quickly… or burn!

  • I feel that these Galettes are best made with a good quality Salted Butter, or be sure to add a good pinch of salt if you choose to use Unsalted Butter.

Pistachio Shortbread

Pistachio Shortbread | Christmas Cookies | Gather and Graze

It gets a little crazy around here at Christmas time… our school year in Australia finishes up in the middle of December, so with Christmas following about a week later and all that that entails… along with plans and thoughts given to the long school break, one would hopefully be forgiven for being slightly absent from the blogosphere over the past couple of weeks. Continue reading

Lavender White Chocolate Shortbread

Lavender White Chocolate Shortbread | Gather and Graze

To celebrate the first day of Spring here in the Southern Hemisphere… I’ve created a little floral-infused shortbread recipe to get the season off to a happy start.

The addition of lavender to these buttery, yet light little biscuits may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it works for me… you could always omit the flowers if you’d prefer, or substitute for perhaps some chopped nuts, some citrus zest or another flavour of your choice.

Here’s to a warm and wonderful Spring and a farewell to winter for another year.

Lavender White Chocolate Shortbread | Gather and Graze

Lavender White Chocolate Shortbread | Gather and Graze

  • Servings: 30 Biscuits/Cookies
  • Print

  • 125g/½ Cup Unsalted Butter
  • 60g/½ Cup Pure Icing Sugar (Powdered Sugar)
  • ½ Teaspoon Vanilla Bean Paste (or 1 Teapoon Vanilla Extract)
  • 45g/⅓ Cup Cornflour
  • 120g/¾ Cup Plain Flour
  • 1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
  • Pinch of Sea Salt
  • 2 Teaspoons edible Dried Lavender Flowers
  • 75g Chopped White Chocolate

Pre-heat the oven to 160°C and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

In an electric mixer, cream together the butter, icing sugar and vanilla bean paste for a minute or two until smooth.

In a separate bowl, sift together the cornflour, plain flour, baking powder and salt.  Pour in half of this mixture to the creamed butter mixture and stir with a wooden spoon to combine. Now stir in the lavender and white chocolate, before adding the rest of the flour and mixing until all combined.

Roll mixture into tablespoon-size balls and place on the baking sheets. Flatten slightly on top. Bake for approximately 10-12 minutes (removing while they are still quite pale in colour).

Allow to cool for a few minutes on the trays, before placing on a cooling rack to cool completely.

Lavender White Chocolate Shortbread | Gather and Graze

Viennese Biscuits / Cookies

Viennese Biscuits / Cookies | Recipe | Gather and Graze

Sometimes life throws a little curve ball at you and knocks you down for a week or two. It was the flu that knocked me down just recently and as much as I’m finally back to at least feeling human again, the lingering cough is still proving hard to shake.

So after a lengthy period of completely healthful hot soups, tisanes and the like, I was ready yesterday to treat myself… with some Viennese Biscuits that not only taste lovely, but are pretty to the eye as well. The recipe found while rustling through an old ‘Le Cordon Bleu’ Biscuit Cookbook. Forgive me for not posting recipes for soups and flu-kicking hot honey and lemon drinks, but to be honest, I’m a little over them all right now… perhaps some other time!

Viennese Biscuits / Cookies | Gather and Graze

  • Servings: 35-40 Small Biscuits
  • Print

  • 120g/½ Cup Unsalted Butter (Softened)
  • 50g/Scant ½ Cup Icing (Powdered) Sugar
  • ¼ Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Teaspoon Finely Grated Lemon Zest
  • 1 Free-Range Egg (Lightly Beaten)
  • 150g/1 Cup Plain Flour (Sifted)
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 100g Dark Chocolate (Melted)
  • Glacé Cherries (optional)

Pre-heat oven to 180°C and line 2 baking trays with parchment paper.

In an electric mixer, beat together the butter, icing sugar, vanilla and lemon zest until light and fluffy. Gradually add in the lightly beaten egg, being sure to mix well after each addition. Stir in the flour and salt, mixing until combined.

Scoop the mixture into a piping bag, fitted with a 1cm star tip nozzle. Pipe 6-8cm lengths onto the baking trays, allowing space between each for spreading. I also piped a number of small rosettes onto the 2nd tray, topping each with half a glacé cherry. Bake for about 7-10 minutes, until golden. Allow to cool completely before dipping one end of the biscuit fingers into melted chocolate. Place onto a piece of parchment paper, until the chocolate has set. Enjoy!

Viennese Biscuits / Cookies | Recipe | Gather and Graze

* Recipe from a ‘Le Cordon Bleu’ Biscuit Cookbook

Lemon White Chocolate Cookies

Lemon White Chocolate Cookies | Gather and Graze

For those who I’ve managed to catch (just in the nick of time!) with their hand reaching out… hovering in guilty indecision… I ask you very kindly to leave that packet of cookies/biscuits on the supermarket shelf… step away from the cookie aisle… and gather up the ingredients listed below instead.  Continue reading

Hokey Pokey Biscuits

Gather and Graze, Hokey Pokey Biscuits

There are some places in the world that eat into your very soul and become a part of who you are. Places of near impossible beauty, both in their surrounds and in their essence.

I left behind a sizeable chunk of my heart to such a place. I wasn’t ready to leave (perhaps I never would have, if given the choice), but love of another kind and duty dictated it to be so. I believe that one day we will return, my heart and I, to piece it back together and be whole once again.

Aotearoa (New Zealand) is where I’ve most felt at home over the years. I’ve moved A LOT, but here was a place that finally fitted like a glove, that made me feel creative and alive! It is a food-lover’s paradise, thanks to the rich, fertile land. Some of the most phenomenal ‘sauvignon blancs’ and ‘pinot noirs’ in the world are produced here (which happen to be my favourite whites and reds). Their art, design and architecture leaves one awestruck. However, as is often the case… at the heart of it all, are the people. The people you chance upon and are lucky enough to form friendships with. My heart really lies amongst them.

So, with my fondness for old recipes… Nana-style recipes you might say… I’d like to share the following tasty morsels with you. They come from a kiwi cookbook by Alexa Johnston, called ‘A Second Helping – More from Ladies, a Plate’. Alexa has gathered up a great many of New Zealand’s classic biscuits, slices, cakes and sweets and tested a variety of tried and true recipes, all in the quest of finding the very best way of preparing them. She has done a superb job!

Hokey Pokey is the New Zealand term for honeycomb toffee, so you will find that these biscuits have a slight fizz on the tongue (from the addition of baking soda to the golden syrup). They go deliciously well with a cup of tea.

After making these, I’m sure I felt a little bit more of my heart skip across the sea.

Hokey Pokey Biscuits | Gather and Graze

  • Servings: Approx 30 Biscuits
  • Print

  • 115g/Just under ½ Cup Unsalted Butter (softened)
  • 115g/½ Cup Caster Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Full-Cream Milk
  • 2 Teaspoons Golden Syrup
  • 1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
  • ¼ Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 170g/1 Cup + 2 Tablespoons Plain Flour (sifted)

Pre-heat the oven to 180°C. Line 2 baking trays with baking parchment.

Cream the butter and sugar in an electric mixer until light and fluffy.

Place the milk and golden syrup into a small saucepan and bring just to the boil over medium heat. Add the baking soda and stir it in quickly. When the mixture froths up, remove from the heat and scoop it into the bowl with the butter and sugar. Stir to combine.

Add the vanilla extract and then the flour and stir until it all comes together. It should be a fairly soft dough.

Place teaspoonfuls of the mixture onto baking trays, allowing some room for spreading. Press down gently on each one, with a fork.

Bake for about 8 – 10 minutes, or until golden brown. Allow to cool on the tray for a couple of minutes before removing to a rack to cool completely.

Cooking Notes:

  • There is a suggested option of adding ¾ Cup of chocolate chips to the dough (at the same time as you add the flour).
  • I decided to test out a tray or two of biscuits with some caramel chips added and they certainly weren’t as pretty to look at as the originals, but really were quite delicious!

* Recipe from Alexa Johnston’s ‘A Second Helping – More from Ladies, a Plate’

Chocolate Crackle Cookies – Not a Rice Bubble in Sight!

chocolate crackle cookies Alice Waters

These are the cookies that almost never were…

Flicking through the pages of one of my favourite cookbooks, I almost paid off this recipe completely, by the mere title of it. You see, for Australians and New Zealanders, Chocolate Crackles are one of the mainstays of children’s Birthday parties. Rice Bubbles (the equivalent of Rice Crispies elsewhere) are congealed together using Copha (hydrogenated coconut oil), cocoa, desiccated coconut and icing sugar. No baking required – just show a little patience and that copha will re-solidify! I’m very well aware that many children (and adults) were delighted to find Chocolate Crackles adorning the party table… just NOT me! I was always more of a Honey Joy kind of girl… Continue reading

Spiced-Up Chocolate Chip Cookies

Spiced Chocolate Chip Cookies Gather and Graze

The last few weeks have primarily been spent nursing children (and myself…) back to health from the coughs and colds that winter invariably brings. Days spent juicing oranges, reading books, cooking comfort food and playing the occasional quiet board game… fine for a day or two, but let’s just say I’m thankful that children are now back at school and that life can finally drift back to normality. Drafts for three different posts I’d hoped to share with you, sit half-written from this period. All seemed a little flat and lacklustre (exactly as I was feeling) in both the writing and photos, so when time permits I’ll attempt to spice them up with some new, improved photos and a touch of editing, before sending them out. A winter-warming soup and a beautifully fragrant casserole were amongst the three, so it really won’t be much of a hardship to cook them over again…

During this time, I’ve also had a little fun playing around with my favourite choc-chip cookie recipe, adding various combinations of spices, cocoa, coffee and chocolate. This was much to the delight of my super-keen taste-testers who probably couldn’t taste a thing with their blocked noses, but loved the fact that we were experimenting all the same! A home economics, food appreciation and science lesson packed into one… Some batches were a little over the top in my enthusiasm for packing a punch of flavour, so when the following cookies came out of the oven, I was very relieved that the flavours I wanted were there, but with a touch more grace and subtlety.

Spiced-Up Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • Servings: Makes about 30 Cookies
  • Print

  • 100g Unsalted Butter
  • 150g/2/3 Cup Raw Sugar
  • 1 Free-Range Egg
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 150g/1 Cup Plain Flour
  • ½ Teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1 Teaspoon Chinese Five Spice
  • ½ Teaspoon Instant Coffee (crushed to a fine powder)
  • Pinch Salt
  • 100g Chopped Milk (or Dark) Chocolate

Pre-heat the oven to 180°C. Line 2 baking trays with parchment/baking paper.

Melt the butter in a small saucepan, over gentle heat. Once melted, remove from the heat and tip into a large mixing bowl, along with the sugar and mix well with a wooden spoon. Add the egg and vanilla extract and once again, mix well.  Sift in the flour, baking powder, Chinese Five Spice, coffee and salt and stir until combined. Add in the chopped chocolate and mix gently.

Onto the baking trays, scoop teaspoonfuls of the mixture, leaving a little space around each. Bake for about 10 minutes for a crispy texture, or a minute or two less if you prefer soft.

Remove to a cooling rack for at least a couple of minutes, before tasting…

Spiced Chocolate Chip Cookies Gather and Graze