Wednesday 2 April 2008

Honey & Orange Creams

For the Monday Munchers this week I really wanted to give them something a bit different that I hadn’t made before. I was flicking through one of my favourite cook books for inspiration when I suddenly found the perfect thing – sandwich cookies! And not only were they sandwich cookies, they were honey and orange sandwich cookies topped with crushed walnuts and filled with honey buttercream. Problem solved.

The recipe for the cookies was really intriguing as it involved making a very light and airy dough that had to be rolled into small balls and flattened before baking – I had thought sandwich cookies would have to be rolled and cut out into discs, but it appears not as the cookies baked into perfect circles. Another curious thing was that they had a crisp surface and yet remained quite soft and tender on the inside. I was initially disappointed by this when I tasted a little of the cookie on its own, but once assembled with the cream filling I think its actually better this way as it means you can take a bite easily without the cream oozing out the middle. I was also quite startled by how orange the cookies looked when I took them out the oven, curiously this lessened to become a golden brown colour as they cooled. I’m not sure why this happened, all I can think is that it’s something to do with a chemical reaction to the bicarbonate of soda in the mix. Anyone have any suggestions?

The flavour of the cookies was also very good. The honey and orange made it taste quite zesty and delicate. The walnuts of top became lightly toasted and provided a wonderful nutty flavour and a slight crunch. I feel they are quite an elegant little cookie and would be the ideal thing to serve your mum or grandmother with a cup of afternoon tea, but that’s not to say there weren’t equally enjoyed by the guys at work.

Honey & Orange Creams
(Recipe from The Cookie Book by Catherine Atkinson & Joanna Farrow)
250g self raising flour
2 level tsp bicarbonate of soda
50g caster sugar
110g butter
Zest of 1 large orange
115g clear honey
25g walnuts

For the cream filling
50g butter
100g icing sugar
1 tbsp honey

Preheat the oven to 180C. Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper and set to one side.
Sift the flour and bicarbonate of soda into a bowl with sugar. Grate in the rind from the orange.
Add the butter and rub the ingredients together using the tips of your fingers until it resembles breadcrumbs.
Heat the honey until it’s runny and warm, but not hot. (Either in a saucepan or the microwave). Pour over the crumbs and stir with a spoon until it begins to form clumps and then use your fingers to bring it into a sticky dough.
Take small heaped teaspoonfuls of the dough and roll it between your hands to form balls the size of a large marble.
Place the cookie balls onto the baking tray and flatten slightly using your fingers. Leave a 2inch gap between each one to allow for spreading.
Finely chop the walnuts and press a few pieces into the top of half the cookies. Leave the other half plain.
Bake the cookies for 8 minutes until puffy and golden brown (or orange!)
Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 3 minutes before transferring to a cooling wire. Repeat with any remaining cookie balls.
When cool, spread the honey cream over the base of one of the plain cookies and top with a cookie embedded with walnuts.
Makes 40 cookie discs or 20 sandwich cookies.

To make the cream filling
Beat the butter until smooth and soft. Gradually sift over the icing sugar and beat until well incorporated.
Stir through the honey and leave at room temperature until required.


Deborah said...

That cookbook was my cookbook of the month last month! I really want to try these out - yours look great!

Gigi said...

I just love all the flavors in the cookie. These would be perfect with tea!

Pixie said...

yummy me want cookies now *crunch*

Lore said...

I barely use bicarbonate of soda so I don't have an answer :(. Good news is they look great! I usually put honey in the cookie dough, don't remember if I ever made a honey filling but will try these soon :)

Nora said...

I've read many of your entries but never commented -- but these are picture-perfect. I've seen another variation in the Cookie and Biscuit Bible, which also has some recommendations for other flavor combinations (though I can't recollect them now). Well done!

Unknown said...

It is a wonderful combination and lovely picture too.Great treats for the little ones. My son would love to have them.
Thanks for sharing

Anonymous said...

Your photos on this post are absolutely beautiful! The cookies sound fantastic too - you've convinced a chocoholic like me that I'd love them!

Deeba PAB said...

These must have made a YUMMY bite! Delicious!!

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad you liked the recipe! Your biscuits look stunning - you should consider a career as a food stylist/home economist.