July 9, 2011
A Bit On The Side
When you go to a cafe, do you like to get a little treat on the side of your Lactose free-Weak-Decaf-Coffee?
I've come across tiny meringues, little chocolates, and of course- biscuits aka cookies. Now I think it's always exciting to look at, but of course I have to leave it there :(
However, the cafes certainly mean well, and at one cafe I worked at it was my job to make the little 'freebies', several hundred at a time. The biscuits had to be quick, cheap, easy, and of course yummy! After a bit of trial and error, I decided the best option was to use a cookie press.
I love having good quality InTolerant options available at the major supermarkets!
Cookie Press Cookies (3 dozen)
1/2 cup Castor Sugar
2 cups gluten free Plain Flour
1/2 teaspoon gfree baking powder
1 Tablespoon Lactose free Milk
1 teaspoon Vanilla
Pinch of Salt
Cream the butter and sugar together.
Add in the egg and milk, and I like to put in the baking powder and salt now too as it mixes in evenly. Beat through for a second or two.
Add in the flour and mix on very low speed until combined.
Now is the time to divide the dough and add in any extra flavourings. I usually just knead it in by hand.
Bring the dough together and roll into a shape that will fit into the cylinder body of the cookie press. Let it rest for about 20mins just to firm up a little.
Put the dough in the press and cookie away! Now DON"T WORRY IF YOU DON"T HAVE A COOKIE PRESS, you can just roll out little balls of the dough and press it down gently with a fork. It works just as well, it's just not quite so fancy!
This is such a nice basic recipe and just about any extra flavourings can be added to change it up and various yummy things sprinkled on top before baking. About the only thing you can't put in a cookie press are chunks. They just won't fit through the holes. So no chocolate chips, or fruity bits, sorry, but cocoa and purees are fine for flavour.
Don't worry that you'll have hundreds of biscuits either, the dough freezes fantastically whether in a big lump, or carefully spritzed out on sheets ready to pop in the oven at a moments notice.
The basic recipe has a good shortbread style flavour with a nice crisp bite. It can even be dunked quickly into your coffee, win-win!
Here I've made 3 variations, the palest is just plain, the brown has cocoa powder added, and the one in the middle has spices. You can also give the raw biscuits a very light spray or brush with water, and top with pretty coloured sprinkles too.
Now while the little bit on the side of your coffee is cute and all, I have to admit I think it's not always so good for business- before you shout me down just think about it for a sec; while drinking your beverage of choice you might fancy a little something something, just to take the edge off your sweet tooth or to tide you over to lunch... that little biscuit is probably juuuuuust enough, and free! But now you won't look longingly across at the lovely array of cakes or bigger bikkies on the counter, be tempted and spend a couple more dollars. There's only so much you'll spend on a cup of coffee, so factoring in the price of a free cookie isn't really an option, even if it's low cost to produce; so an extra sale is always welcome. I would rather reward my customers by putting that money spent into a better quality coffee or lower prices over all.
This is the business side of me speaking, not the customer side though, just want to clear that up :)
So Dearest Readers,
would you travel further to a cafe just for the free little biscuit, or would you have a different cafe-choosing-criteria?