There is nothing like curling up with a good book, a glass of milk and a few biscuits. It makes me smile…
Bored with my favourite big chocolate chip chewy cookies (apparently sometimes there can be too much of a good thing), I decided to look for a new recipe. I didn’t want anything too American (big, fat, crammed full of surprises) but I also didn’t want anything too English (dry, crumbly, subtlety flavoured but good with tea). I found the perfect recipe to try when flicking through my new Ottolenghi cookbook, which my friend Gila gave me for my birthday. I like the idea of a Londoner in Jerusalem (me) enjoying a cookbook written by London-based, Jerusalem-born chefs Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi. I love the idea that these men, who grew up just a few kilometers away from each other but in two separate societies, have put together this book of wonderful recipes, many of which are steeped in the strong culinary influence of their birthplace.
They describe meeting for the first time in London, on the doorstep of Baker and Spice:
“We chatted for thirty minutes before realizing that we shared a language and a history. And it was there, over the next two years, that we formed our bond of friendship and creativity.”
You see – food brings people together. This makes me smile too.
The biscuits were great – chewy but thin and delicate, tasty without being overly rich. A kind of grown-up biscuit, sophisticted but still fun. I’m looking forward to trying out many more of their recipes.
White chocolate and cranberry biscuits
taken from OTTOLENGHI the cookbook
Makes 25-30 biscuits
90g plain flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
100g unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla essence
110g soft brown sugar
25g caster sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
80g whole rolled oats
60g white chocolate chips
75g dried cranberries
1. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees Celsius. Sift together the flour, salt, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda and set aside.
2. Put the butter, vanilla and sugars in a large mixing bowl and beat with a wooden spoon until the mixture is lighter in colour and texture.
3. Gradually add the egg, making sure each addition is fully incorporated before adding more.
4. Add the flour mixture and the oats, then the chocolate and the cranberries. Do not continue mixing once the dry ingredients are blended in.
5. Chill the mixture slightly to help you shape the biscuits. Scoop out a bit of the mix with a spoon and use your hands to roll it into a ball, somewhere between the size of an olive and a walnut. Press the balls lightly on to baking trays lined with baking parchment. Make sure you space them about 6-7cm apart (they will spread more than you expect!)
6. Place in the oven and bake for about 10 minutes, until they are a good brown colour. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the trays before serving.