The school bells ring, it’s back to the classroom today for the start of the Autumn term. Where has the summer gone? Are we really gathering in the playground once again, anticipating apple-bobbing, bonfires and Christmas parties?
L seemed happy enough this morning as she caught up with her schoolfriends. Her younger sister wasn’t quite so sure as she waved goodbye to her holiday playmate (which is surprising really, given the amount of squabbling the two of them have engaged in these last few weeks).
I thought it would cheer up M if we made some cookies together (M especially enjoys baking when she doesn’t have to share the mixing with her big sister). Also, I though it would be nice to have some freshly-baked cookies to feed a starving schoolgirl at the end of her first day back.
As it happened, I was right on both counts!
2 1/4 cups caster sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon mixed spice
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 cup butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups plain/all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C/350 degrees F.
Mix together the sugar and spices, then set aside 1/2 cup from the mix for rolling the cookies in later. Add the cocoa to the remaining spiced sugar. Stir well to combine thoroughly and break up any lumps in the cocoa powder (this saves having to sieve the cocoa – a messy job).
Cream the butter and sugar. Add the cocoa/sugar mixture and beat until combined.
Beat in the eggs and vanilla.
Add the flour and baking powder, stirring until well blended.
Use a dessert spoon to scoop out walnut-sized balls. Roll these in the reserved spiced sugar, then place 2″ apart on an ungreased baking tray.
Bake in the centre of the oven for 10 to 15 minutes. Allow to cool slightly on the tray before transferring to a wire rack.