I have recently become addicted to road trips. Not in a way that has me giving handjobs to strangers for petrol money, but… you know, lets just say I like getting in my car, playing something inappropriately loud, rolling down the windows and heading for somewhere that’s going to remind me just how much I prefer where I actually live.
Of course, road trips are totally dependent on a number of factors: the car, the music, the company (preferably someone who likes being shut up in a car with you for 5-or-so hours) and of course – the food. Now, I must say up front that these cookies I ended up making were in no way intended as ‘road trip’ cookies, because who the fuck bakes cookies for a road trip that’s not 60-plus, wears granny-glasses and is actually my granny? And even then she’d probably only do it if someone was threatening to take away CSI: Miami (she loves David Caruso – she’s old, give her a break). I happened to have made them just before heading out for a long-weekend on a friend’s game-farm down in Natal is all. Promise.
The fact that they were delicious and appreciated by everyone was just an added bonus.
These biscuits are ridiculously simple and awesome with just about everything. Except anchovies.
120 g Unsalted butter (make sure it’s soft, because otherwise you’re going to give yourself a hernia)
150 g Caster sugar
2 Vanilla pods (sliced in half with all the seeds scraped out and set aside)
250 g All purpose flour
a pinch of salt
What to do:
In a mixing bowl, whip together the butter, sugar and vanilla seeds (throw the empty pods away). Get this mixture to a point where it’s fluffy and smooth. Then add the eggs and beat away some more, again to a point where the mixture is silky.
Add a pinch of salt as you’re beating, and then, little by little, add the flour. You don’t necessarily need to sift it, but obviously you’re going to have an easier job making it lump-free if you do. As you get towards the end of your flour it’ll start looking less and less like a thick liquid and more like dough.
Once it’s all worked in and looking good, wrap the dough in clingfilm and rest it in the fridge for an hour.
Once that’s done, roll it out (probably easier to do it a bit at a time) to a thickness of about 5mm. You’ll have to keep a bit of flour handy to stop it from sticking to your rolling pin (or wine bottle, in my case) and then use just about anything (I used a Jack Daniels glass) to cut out round shapes. Cover a baking tray with a sheet of baking paper, put them in an oven that’s been pre-heated to about 180/200º and cook them until golden brown.
Easy freakin’ peasy. Also, if you want to be all fancy pants, you can press some almonds, strawberry halves or glazed cherries into them just before baking.