Monday, 2 December 2013

Cornflake Cookies

Like so many other people, one of the first things that I ever made were Rice Krispie buns. They are so simple to make – you melt some chocolate, pour in some Rice Krispies, mix like mad so every little puffed grain of rice gets generously coated in the chocolate and then scoop into paper cases and set aside until the chocolate hardens! They are practically mandatory fare at children’s’ parties throughout Ireland and no birthday party is complete without them!
 
I was fairly young when it struck me that I didn’t have to confine the culinary possibilities of this delicacy to Rice Krispies only – other breakfast cereals could be used in their place!!! In my humble opinion there is nothing like the taste of chocolate Cornflake buns. I love them… and yes - I still make them regularly!
 
I love the crunch of the flaked corn which is almost exaggerated by being coated in chocolate. I find them so much more satisfying than their puffed rice counterparts. I should also declare that chocolate snobbery is matter-less when making Cornflake buns; I hold my head in shame and will admit to you that I regularly use chocolate flavoured cake covering and not some exclusive chocolate! 70% minimum cocoa solids have no place here… and if I am being honest, I don’t think anyone will ever be able to change my mind on this, because one bite of the “fake” chocolate versions transports me back to when I was a child and makes me recall so many happy times.
 
I was recently reminiscing about foods and dishes that I used to like to eat when I was younger and was reminded of this personal fondness for chocolate Cornflake buns. I began to wonder how else one could use Cornflakes in cooking and baking. There are a number of possibilities which I am keen to try out, but for now, the recipe that I present here is for Cornflake Cookies.
 
These are really lovely and are so crumbly and light. They are incredible simple to make and keep very well for a few days if stored in an air tight tin. I like to stud each individual biscuit with half a glacé cherry just prior to baking but if you are not a fan, just leave them out. The cookies will still be delicious with their crunchy coating of cornflakes.
 
This is a great recipe to get children the children involved with. Little hands are great at rolling small balls of dough! Pernickety as it sounds, for the biscuits pictured, I actually weighed out uniform amounts of dough before rolling. Each ball weighed exactly 16g. Anyone who knows me will find it highly amusing that I did this because I normally have no patience for doing these things.


Ingredients:

100g butter, softened
75g caster sugar
1 egg yolk
1tsp vanilla paste
150g self-raising flour
50g cornflakes, lightly crushed
9-10 glacé cherries, halved

Method:

1. Using an electric hand-held whisk cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg yolk and vanilla paste. Using a wooden spoon work in the flour until everything comes together to form a dough. Refrigerate the dough for half an hour.
2. Preheat the oven to 190C/Fan Oven 170C/Gas Mark 5. Line two large baking trays with non-stick baking parchment and leave aside.
3. Divide the mixture into 18-20 even sized balls. Spread out the crushed cornflakes on a plate and gently press one side of the dough balls into the cornflakes flattening the balls slightly as you do so.
4. Place the dough balls, cornflake side facing upwards on the parchment lined trays, leaving space between each one as they do expand during baking. Press a cherry half on top of each cookie.
5. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 15-20 minutes until golden brown. Remove from oven and allow cool on the baking trays for about five minutes before removing to wire racks to finish cooling completely.
 
 

Makes 18-20 cookies.