When a Pac-Man cookie cutter meets a classic biscuit recipe only good things can happen, trust me. After successfully transforming the humble custard cream last year into a geeky tea time treat, I thought it was about time that the jammy dodger got the 16-bit treatment too. Novelty cutters aside, this is the best jammy dodger recipe I’ve found and comes courtesy of Justin Gellatly and his wonderful baking book Bread, Cake, Doughnut, Pudding, so, even if Pac-Man isn’t your thing, I can guarantee that this recipe will be.
Truth be told, I’d take shortbread biscuits over all other biscuit-kind for the simple reason that as well as being deceptively indulgent, they are also incredibly fragile and, dare I say it, fleeting. The dough barely holds itself together, you bake them to the palest shade of gold and you know that the minute a piece of shortbread passes your lips, you have a matter of moments before it melts away – and that’s the trick, it is the very definition of short and sweet.
I like a moose. While reindeer prance, I get the sense that a moose struts, so there’s that, that and the noses, the noses kill me. This will explain me using my Christmas ginger biscuit recipe as an excuse to play with a giant moose cookie cutter – we’re talking 12cm tall here people, another thing I like about moose, height. The recipe is a heady mix of ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and orange wrapped in a sweet, sticky cuddle of soft brown sugar and maple syrup, guaranteed to give you that first whiff of Christmas in the run up to the big day.
I seem to remember from my uni days that revising for exams requires three things; self-discipline, a decent soundtrack and sustenance. It was with this in the mind that I set about making a batch of Nigel Slater’s chocolate and hazelnut cookies before curling up in a chair to confront the reams of pastry recipes and baking trivia currently fighting it out for space in my brain box. These cookies are perfect. They have the power to comfort, encourage, delight and boost a flagging spirit, whether you’re being beaten by the books or simply wishing the rain away.
I’ve just started my pâtisserie course at Le Cordon Bleu and it is equal parts incredible, terrifying, satisfying and exhausting. I’m in my element and could not be happier but after a double session in the kitchen making, plating and decorating baked custards, I was craving a cookie. Nothing fancy, in fact the exact opposite of fancy, and when the cookies call, this 10 minute miracle recipe never lets me down.
How do you improve on a custard cream? You make them Pac-Man shaped, that’s how! I couldn’t be more thrilled with these little guys, a collision of two cult classics that happened completely by accident – I had a recipe to try minus the proper cutter, and a pack of novelty cutters minus a suitable recipe. So I improvised, and it turns out, the two were perfect for each other. Glamour magazine thought so too over on Instagram!