Saturday, 26 May 2012

Hairy Bikers Bakeation Challenge - The Low Countries

So here's my second instalment for my Hairy Bikers Bakeation Challenge.  This week I had a choice between Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg which are combined in The Low Countries chapter.

Now not another cookie recipe I hear you cry!  Well these are Amsterdam Caramel Cookies no less. Or Koggetjes in Dutch!  Apparently these were first baked in 1935, when the creator entered them into a competition to find a true Amsterdam cookie.  They were named after the Dutch ships 'kogge'.  A little bit of history for you :)

As I have never made caramel before, I thought this was a mini challenge worth trying.  Unfortunately I can't link the recipe as this one is only available from the Hairy Bikers Big Book of Baking (well worth buying as there are many more recipes than those available online), but any basic cookie recipe with caramel added should give the same effect.

For the caramel you put the castor sugar and water in a small saucepan and warm over a low heat until dissolved, then turn up the heat to a fast simmer, cooking for 5 - 8 minutes without stirring.
It starts of quite cloudy..........................

Then goes clear quite quickly ............................................

After 5 - 8 minutes the sugar caramelises and turns a rich, golden brown.  Tip it out onto a sheet of baking parchment on a baking tray and move it around until it forms a thin layer.......

Allow it to cool, then break it up with a pestle and mortar.  I managed to get some little bits on my t-shirt as I bashed it gently - a little snack for later!

Its then kneaded in to the cookie mixture and divided into 15 little balls, which are then flattened on a baking sheet........................

You're only meant to flatten them to a 1cm thickness, but I was a bit enthusiastic in my flattening, hence why they splatted a tad!  Still tasty though!

There are plenty more recipes in this chapter, so I will no doubt be blogging some more, but I do like a good cookie!

Next week Germany!

On the crafty front, I have had to put all my crafty loves on the back-burner for the while, shame really really as my toe-up socks were coming on a treat!  Patience little Scube, patience!

Happy baking!

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