What will you be doing to celebrate Easter this year?
For us, it is the perfect excuse for lots of baking and for gathering the family together. This year, I will be celebrating Easter twice, as my dad and his side of the family are Greek Orthodox and my mum, brother and I are Catholic. So our Easter is this weekend, and Greek Easter is next weekend. Lots of baking for me!
I’ll be baking more hot cross buns and thought I would make these hot cross cookies this year too.
Not that I am going to share with you the two somewhat disgusting vegan cakes I made last week, because they both went straight into the bin and weren’t even worth photographing (I’ll be sticking to butter and eggs in my cakes!).
And not to say that these cookies were bad. They were just, well, a little disappointing.
My first impression was that they were quite nice, and surprisingly, they bore a remarkable resemblance to hot cross buns, with their soft texture and the taste of those Easter spices. And being cookies, they were a lot easier to make than hot cross buns too!
But they had a soda aftertaste. They only use self raising flour, but the aftertaste was unmistakable, and has you just wanting to wash your mouth out. I kind of expected more from Donna Hay. So next time, I might cut out 3/4 cup or so of self raising flour and replace it with plain flour. Hopefully, that will fix them, and make them perfect hot cross cookies.
I swapped the sultanas in the recipe out for chocolate chips, but you can use whichever you prefer. If you choose to use sultanas, you can also add 2 teaspoons of grated lemon or orange rind.
125g unsalted butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups self raising flour
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp chilli powder (optional, it just adds a little something)
1/3 cup milk
1 cup chocolate chips or sultanas
75g white chocolate, for the crosses
Preheat the oven to 170 C (325 F) and line 3 trays with baking paper.
Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and brown sugar for about 8 minutes, until pale and creamy.
Add the eggs and vanilla, little by little, beating well between each addition.
Turn the mixer onto a low speed and add flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, chilli powder, milk and chocolate chips or sultanas, beating until the ingredients are just combined.
Roll tablespoons of the dough into balls and place onto the lined baking trays, about 2 inches apart. You may need to lightly flour your hands.
Bake for 14 minutes, or until lightly golden. Allow to cool on the trays.
Melt the white chocolate in the microwave in 30 second bursts, stirring between each burst. Spoon into a piping bag or zip loc bag and pipe a cross onto each cookie.
Allow to set. Makes about 40 cookies.