Thursday, May 28, 2009

Kiwi Crisps

Regular readers of this blog will know that I am a a Kiwi-phile (probably to the horror of some Kiwis, given that I am a "skippy" - there's always been some rivalry between Australia and New Zealand). I love the Finn brothers, Anika Moa, Flight of the Conchords, Rhys Darby, Dish and Cuisine magazines, ginger crunch, the gorgeous and varied countryside which is ever so much greener than ours, the Kiwi accent, their quirky sense of humour, their fabulous fresh produce (think lamb, fish, wine and venison) - the list goes on. My new work buddy, Ruth, is a Kiwi too.

Last week, Ruth asked me to make some biscuits for her for morning tea - if you don't ask, you don't get, right? It wasn't really the Kiwi connection that led me to do it, but I turned to Ladies, A Plate for a biscuit recipe, a book which is written by New Zealand author Alexa Johnston. I will confess that my choice of biscuit was influenced by (a) simplicity - I wasn't in the mood to fuss; and (b) what I had in the cupboard. With these factors in mind, I landed on a recipe for Kiwi Crisps (a variation of Highlander biscuits containing chocolate chips), which the rest of the world would just call chocolate chip cookies. Kiwi "chocolate chippies" (as they are often called) contain condensed milk, which I knew from reading several other blogs. This makes them a little different to other chocolate chip cookie recipes, although I am not sure what the condensed milk adds to the flavour (or was it just very good marketing by the New Zealand Highlander Milk company that made condensed milk?). Regardless, these cookies are good - you must try them. They are shortbread-like biscuits, which are neither soft and chewy or crispy, but somewhere in between.

The recipe is as follows:

115g butter
55g sugar
2 tablespoons condensed milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
170g flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
55g dark chocolate chunks

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius and line two cookie sheets with baking paper or a Silpat mat.

Beat the butter and sugar together using a stand mixer or hand-held electric mixer until pale and smooth, then beat in the condensed milk and vanilla extract.

Sift the dry ingredients together, then work them into the butter mixture until you have a crumbly dough. Tip the dough onto a workbench, add the chocolate chunks, and knead the mixture into a ball.

Break off teaspoonfuls of dough and roll into a ball, and place the balls in rows on the cookie sheets, leaving room for the biscuits to spread slightly. Dip a fork into water and use it to flatten each ball.

Bake the biscuits for 12-15 minutes in the preheated oven, turning the trays after 7 minutes.

Remove the baked cookies form the oven and cool them on a wire rack. Store in an airtight container.

Alexa says you should get about 30 small biscuits; I only got 24, and mine were pretty dainty already.

Enjoy these with a cup of coffee for morning tea and share them with your friends like Ruth did. What could be better?


Jacque said...

Hmmm, interesting. I'm always up for a new choco. chip cookie recipe. They do look good and I'm sure your Kiwi workmate appreciated them.

Anonymous said...

I can't think of too many things much better than that!

Happy cook said...

I would love this with my cup any time of the day.

Anonymous said...

They sound delicious! I would love to go to New Zealand one day.

Cathy said...

These look like they'd be perfect with tea, milk, or whatever you're drinking! I love the shape with the fork marks.

Cakelaw said...

Hi Jacque, if you try them, I'd love to hear what you think.

LOL Maryann - me neither.

Hi Happy Cook, me too - I just need to persuade someone to make them for me now :)

Hi Wendy, they are yum. I am egging you on to visit NZ - I loved it. Next trip will be a foodie trip.

Hi Cathy, I like the rustic "homemade" look the fork pattern gives them.

The Blonde Duck said...

So there's this video on You Tube about a cartoon kiwi, but this is much nicer.

Elyse said...

Okay, first off, let me apologize. Sorry I've been away for the past week; I had a good friend in town and wasn't able to do much on the computer. I'm back now, though :) Anyway, that being said, Happy 2nd Blogiversary!! And these biscuits look fantastic. I love that you're a kiwi-phile, and love that your kiwi-phile-ness inspired these biscuits!

Cakelaw said...

LOl Duckie - methinks that maybe I shouldn't watch that video.

Hi Elyse, glad you have bene having fun. Thanks for the blogoversary wishes and your kind comments about these bikkies.

Kayte said...

These look and sound delicious! What a fun way to use the kiwi here, too. The fruit, not the bird.

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

Delicious! I have a definite affinity for all things NZ food related! Love their cakes and biscuits. It's amazing how different they are from over here even though there are so many similarities!

Ivy said...

How silly of me. I expected to see kiwi fruit in the cookies :0 However, chocolate chip cookies are always delicious.

Cakelaw said...

LOL Kayte - I have visions of short, stocky birds poking up their beaks. I saw them for real in NZ - you can only see them in wildlife parks because they only come out in the dark and are easily startled. Kiwis are surprisingly big!

Hi Lorraine, I was astonished at how many uniquely NZ types of cake and biscuits there are. I tried the shop bought versions while on holiday in NZ, which were sometimes disappointing, but since then some of my Kiwi blogging friends have made them and I have found the home-made versions are better (of course!).

Hi Ivy, yes, the name of these cookies confused me a little too - I guess the author didn't want to give them the colloquial name of "chocolate chippies" because this is actually a trade mark of Griffiths Biscuits for their chocolate chip biscuits, so she thought up "Kiwi crisps" as the next best name.