I’ve been a big fan of Jo Wheatley ever since she won the Great British Bake Off a couple of years ago, and I reviewed her first recipe book last year.
I was lucky enough to be asked to review her latest book, Home Baking, and of course I said yes straight away, expecting another jam-packed volume with beautiful photography and virtually idiot-proof instructions, and that’s exactly what I got!
I’ve made quite a few of the recipes from Jo’s first book as they just work really well and there is plenty in Home Baking to tempt you to get baking. Whether your taste runs to sweet or savoury, if you bake on your own or with a kitchen full of children, there is a recipe for you.
Being of the sweet-toothed variety myself, I chose to make Jo’s take on Maryland Cookies – the husband loves them from the shop and the kids are sweet-toothed like me, so a sure fire success I think!
I’m not being cocky, but I think they turned out rather well:
The only thing I will say is that I think mine were a bit thick, as the recipe estimates that you can make 25 cookies, but I only managed 13 – but then we did also have a few cookie dough offcuts to eat… hmmm… I also couldn’t find blanched hazelnuts, as pictured in the book, so Jo’s did look a little more attractive.
But the recipe is, as I said very clear, easy to understand and this is a great recipe to make with kids as they can really get stuck in with it.
My Take on Marylands
50g Good Quality Dark Chocolate, roughly chopped
50g Hazelnuts, plus 25 extra to decorate
100g Unsalted Butter, softened
70g Caster Sugar
150g Plain Flour, plus extra for dusting
Blitz the dark chocolate and 50g hazelnuts in a food processor until the size of breadcrumbs (I don’t have one though, so just chopped finely).
Cream together the butter and sugar in the food processor until pale, light and fluffy. Add the chocolate, hazelnuts and flour and pulse until the mixture comes together to form a ball.
Lightly dust the work surface and roll out the dough into a 2.5cm diameter log, wrap it in clingfilm and chill for 30 mins, then cut into 2.5cm discs. Arrange the biscuits on a baking tray, leaving a 3cm gap between each.
Press a hazelnut firmly into each disc so they are well embedded and place the trays in the fridge to chill while you preheat the oven to 170C/325F/Gas Mark 3.
Bake the chilled biscuits on the middle shelf of a preheated ovewn for 12-15 minutes. Keep an eye on the biscuits for the last few minutes to make sure they don’t burn. Leave on the tray to cool for 5 minutes before transferring the cookies to a wire rack until cold.
Reproduced from Home Baking by Jo Wheatley.
Note: I was sent a copy of this book for review purposes, but all opinions remain, as ever, my own.