3 cookie recipes that are perfect any time of year

Who doesn't love cookies? These three recipes are sure to delight, no matter the occasion.

3 cookie recipes that are perfect any time of year

1. Chocolate chip cookies

Ingredients:

  • 175 g (3/4 cup) soft margarine or softened butter, plus extra for greasing
  • 225 g (1 1/3 cups) light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 350 g (2 1/3 cups) self-raising flour (see note below)
  • 100 g (1/3 cup) chocolate chips or roughly chopped plain or milk chocolate
  • 2 ml (1/2 tsp) vanilla extract
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).
  2. Grease three large baking sheets with a little butter.
  3. Put all the ingredients into a bowl and mix to a smooth dough. A food processor will make this easier.
  4. Place the dough on the trays in large spoonfuls, pressing them down with the back of the spoon or a palette knife.
  5. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown and just firm to the touch. Cool on a wire rack.
  6. Makes about 24 cookies.

Variations: Substitute half the chocolate chips with chopped toasted hazelnuts or pecans. Or try dark brown sugar for a deeper flavour.

2. Raisin oatmeal cookies

Ingredients:

  • 125 g (1/2 cup) butter, plus extra for greasing
  • 125 g (3/4 cup) light brown sugar
  • 175 g (1 cup) whole wheat self-raising flour (see below)
  • 50 g (1/2 cup) rolled oats
  • Pinch of salt
  • 50 g (1/4 cup) seedless raisins
  • 22 ml (1 1/2 tbsp) golden syrup
  • 1 medium egg, beaten
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).
  2. Grease three baking sheets with a little of the butter and melt the remainder in a large pan over gentle heat. Take off the heat, add the remaining ingredients and stir until well mixed.
  3. Use a teaspoon to form the mixture into small balls. Place the balls well apart on the baking sheets since they'll spread out.
  4. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden and set.
  5. Leave to sit for one to two minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  6. Makes about 30 cookies

Variation: Substitute chopped mixed peel or nuts for the raisins.

3. Cut-and-come-again cookies

Ingredients:

  • 250 g (1 cup) softened butter
  • 125 g (1/2 cup) icing sugar, sifted
  • 375 g (2 1/2 cups) plain flour
  • 90 g (3.25 oz) dried apricots, finely chopped
  • 70 g (3 oz) roasted hazelnuts, finely chopped
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Line two baking trays with baking parchment.
  2. Put the butter and icing sugar in a bowl and beat until light and creamy. Transfer to a larger bowl, sift in the flour and combine.
  3. Add the flavourings to this basic dough and mix together gently.
  4. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth. Divide in two and roll each portion into a log.
  5. Wrap each log in greaseproof paper or plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour. The dough will keep in the fridge for seven to 10 days, or in the freezer for three months.
  6. Slice the dough into discs one centimetre (1/2 inch) thick and place on trays, three centimetres (1 1/4 inches) apart.
  7. Bake for 10 minutes, until just firm, and cool on the trays, then a wire rack.
  8. Makes about 50 cookies

Variations: Substitute other fruit and nut combinations for the apricots and hazelnuts, such as raisins and pistachios. For children, add a handful of small candies to the basic dough mixture.

Make your own self-raising flour

For a cup of self-raising flour, add 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder to one cup of all-purpose flour.

Cookies can be made in endless varieties. Plain ones can be made in fancy shapes or iced, or the dough flavoured with fruit, nuts, spices or chocolate. Whatever you choose, they should make you want more.

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