Friday, 6 May 2016

Crunchy Cornflake Cookies

This is one of those recipes that lends itself to change. I have no recollection of where the original recipe came from, however, there seems to be many versions around. My original was in imperial measurements, 6 ozs butter etc and had more sugar. Many years ago I reduced the sugar and substituted honey or golden syrup. The reduction in sugar doesnot make them any healthier, honey and golden syrup tend to make a biscuit crisper. They have been made with sultanas, chopped dates, currants, dried apricots and a combination of fruit and nuts. This batch were made with mixed fruit. I have also been known to roll the cookies in Weeties and Just Right, however, they are not quite as good for the crunch.

I made these cookies for my knitting group this week and as I was getting the ingredients together I was reminded of my experiences as a food technology / home economics teacher. This was a recipe that I often supplied to students when I wanted them to experiment. Relatively cheap, quick to make and a low risk of failure and a perfect introduction to the concepts of recipe development and experimentation. It was a good way for them to develop an understand the role of various ingredients and how they might adapt a recipe to what was available in their pantry at home.

I would begin the lesson with a series of questions asking them - Do you think you could use...? What do you think might happen? A wide range of ingredients were laid out for them to experiment with and all were expected to change at least one ingredient. I supplied the 'control' batch for them to reference and compare against. I have seen so many variations and combinations and mostly they were all successful.

Cookie size is something else that varied. At least one student made very large cookies, usually a boy and they nearly always said that they were going to eat three or four at a time so they may as well just make big cookies. This was a further opportunity for learning - highlighting that bigger also means a longer cooking time and unless spaced far enough apart they end up with a sort flat slice of joined biscuits. I made a couple of 'boy/man sized' for the golfers in the house.

Crunchy Cornflake Cookies
Can be made in food processor

185 g butter (soft)
½ cup caster sugar*
2 tablespoons honey
1tsp vanilla essence - optional
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon bicarb soda

2 cups SR flour
2 cups dried fruit (I use sultanas or mixed fruit)
1/2 - 2/3 packet Cornflakes


Cream (beat) butter, sugar, honey and vanilla essence until light and fluffy.  This can be done in a food processor.

Beat in egg and bicarb soda

Stir in flour and mix until well combined.  If using the food processor use the pulse action.

Add dried fruit and mix thoroughly. The mixture should be soft and a little sticky.

Put 1 cup of cornflakes onto a plate, slightly crushing as you go. You will need to add more.

Place heaped teaspoons of the dough in the cornflakes and roll the mixture into balls, making sure that each ball is coated in the cornflakes. Place onto lightly greased/ lined trays approx 4cm apart. Flatten lightly with your fingers.

Bake at 180 deg C until light golden brown. Approximately 15 minutes.

*Omit honey and increase sugar to ¾ cup

The dough is soft and a bit sticky

It becomes a bit stiffer when the fruit is added
Drop spoonfuls of dough into the cornflakes
Allow room to spread. I place a row of three and then a row of two that comes in between the three and then another row of three and a row of two, making ten cookies to a tray.

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