Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Coffee and Walnut Cookies

Coffee and walnut is one of the ultimate classics of cake so me being meddlesome me wondered if I could make the same flavour work in a biscuit. Now I'm sure quite a few other people with a lot more baking knowledge than me has had the same idea and come up with some wonerful recipes that wouldn't need altering but where would be the fun in usig one of those? So one day when the biscuit barrel was looking forlornly bare I flipped through my exponentially growing and found a recipe for walnut crumbles in the series two Great British Bake Off book. Ignoring the sensible thing of trying out the recipe as written for the first time I threw myself straight into turning them into coffee and walnut cookies, which to be honest required very little imagination to do. The first attempt gave a nice but pretty weak flavour so this time I used Camp coffee because it was an old faithful from my childhood, most often used by my mum in a chocolate fudge cake. It was a little better but for those who aren't a fan of drinking coffee (like me) this is probably adequate. I wasn't sure how much liquid I could add to a biscuit recipe but the 1tbsp I used this time seemed to work fine so for a stronger flavour I'm sure 1 tbsp instant coffee dissolved in 1tbsp boiling water, or even 1tbsp espresso would work fine. Hey, you could even do a batch of each alongside each other to create a rainbow of coffee flavours!

Coffee and Walnut Cookies - perfect for a TEA break!
Makes 27 ish (including one to sneakily try before presenting to anyone else. Well, you know, cooks treat and everything.)

100g unsalted butter, really soft
90g caster sugar
50g demerara sugar
1 large egg
1tbsp Camp coffee/other coffee essence/granules dissolved in 1tbsp boile water/espresso
250g self raising flour
85g walnuts

1. Set the oven to 180 C or 160 C fan and line 2 or 3 baking sheets with baking paper. I love doing this because they slide straight off - so much easier than when a light greasing wih butter fails.

2. Beat the butter and sugars until just mixed with an electric mixer (why bother wasting energy usinng a spoon when technology is available), whisk the coffee flavouring of choice with the egg then beat that into the sugary buttery loveliness too. 

3. Chop the walnuts finely or grind in a blender. I used the grind function on Mum's blender which just happens to do the exact same motion as the smoothie, crush, mayo, milkshake, puree and batter. Just be careful that you don't turn the walnuts into a paste. I like them sort of rougly ground - not so big that they hurt Mum's teeth but not so small that you don't get the occassional larger piece which gives a lovely tecture to the biscuit. When you're happy with the walnuts work them into the previous ingredients with the sifted flour. A spoon or spatula is good for this but feel free to use your hands if you like - I usually give it a good final squeeze/knead right at the end for luck to make sure everything is well mixed together.

4. Now it's time to form the biscuits. For 27, each one should weigh 23g with a little bit leftover to try raw. Well, everyone does it with cake mix don't they?! (Of course, if you aren't obsessive like me you don't need to do any weighing at all. You'd be eating your biscuits so much quicker this way.) Roll each piece of dough into a ball and flatten to a disc less than 1cm thick and place on the trays. Sorry I can't be more exact with sizes but I didn't go so far as to measure diameters and thicknesses! Don't forget to leave space in between them as they do expand. 

5. Put in the oven for 13-15 mins, rotating the sheets half way through. You want to get a more golden colour to the biscuit with darker edges - difficult to judge when the dough is already brown from the coffee. Just be careful the biscuits don't catch and scorch. Annoyingly the first batch I made didn't at all but the ones today did on a few. Naturally I destroyed the evidence of the worst one - scorched evidence tastes rather nice!

6. Once done, leave on the tray for five minutes than transfer to a wire cooling rack. Here is a good time to put the kettle on and maybe try one warm while you are waiting. Or better yet, get someone else to make the drinks while you arrange the cooled biscuits on a plate, snaffling some away where appropriate. Hope you enjoy!


  1. Those biscuits sound delicious. I love coffee and walnut cake but wouldn't have thought of turning it into a biscuit. Great idea! :)

  2. Aww, thank you, that means a lot :)

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