This week I have been baking non stop! First when we had friends come to stay at the beginning of the week and then all day Thursday and Friday with my mum for the big Summer Fete at the Synagogue (Shul) which is happening today. And on Friday I baked a birthday box of cookies for another good friend.
Keeping Kosher means that you don’t mix meat meals with anything with dairy in it (yes that means no cheeseburgers) and as there’s going to be a BBQ later on today at Shul all the food has to be dairy free or what we call parev (ok to eat with meat and milk meals). I was asked to get involved with the fete and bake some cakes and of course I enlisted the help of my super mum.
I had to come up with some cake suggestions that could be made to eat on the day as well as some to sell for people to take home with them. I have to say that I didn’t know where to start. I mean, I can think up loads of cakes but when it comes to quantities I was flummoxed! In the end the lovely, patient organisers ( I say that as I kept going AWOL on shoots in the lead up to the event and was a bit difficult to get hold of- sorry ladies!) made the decision and then during baking me and mum changed it all!
So we made,
- 1 massive Lemon traybake for 60 (Mary Berry Style) to cut up and serve
- 3 Lemon traybakes to sell
- 100 very odd shaped fairy cakes – no tins makes a BIG difference!
- 10 Apple cakes
- 12 Honey cakes – well it is nearly Rosh Hashannah
- 200 Vanilla Biscuits Bagged and beautiful
- 60 Choc chip cookies (half on sticks for the wigglers)
In place of butter we used a kosher, dairy free alternative called Tomar for all the bakes. It’s a vegetable spread in butter or margarine form and I have used it quite a lot for desserts after a meat meal, but I thought I had better try it out on the cookies as I didn’t want them to be a big sticky mess on the baking sheet at shul.
I was right to test them out! They did spread and turned really greasy. So I had to adapt my regular favorite cookie recipe by reducing the Tomar and adding more flour. Bingo! That worked a treat – but they did need more chocolate chips as the butter flavour was missing. End result. Really good!
So here it is.
Parev / Dairy free chocolate chip cookie recipe
(Makes around 60 cookies- but you can freeze some to bake later)
- 200g Tomar – at room temperature
- 350g light brown sugar
- 100g golden caster sugar
- 1 egg- lightly beaten
- 2 tsp spoon vanilla essence
- 500g plain flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 250g dark chocolate chips
To make the cookies
- Mix the Tomar and sieved sugars together until pale and fluffy. With a food mixer this will take around 2-3 minutes.
- Add the egg and sieved dry ingredients to the butter mix and blend well.
- Add the chocolate chips
- Roll into balls and chill in the fridge for at least an hour or overnight if you are baking them without freezing.
- To Freeze: place the balls of cookie dough on a baking tray and place them in the freezer. Once completely frozen place the balls in a labeled sandwich bag ready for another baking day.
- If you want the cookies on sticks then add them before they are chilled. Stick them in the centre of a dough ball. As the cookie flattens during baking it will form a perfect circular cookie on a stick.
- To bake: Heat your oven to 180ºC (160ºC fan) and line a baking tray with silicon paper
- The cookies will spread so place each dough ball on the baking tray leaving plenty of space around each one. I bake 9 on each tray. If baking from the fridge bake for exactly 10 minutes. If baking from the freezer bake for exactly 12 minutes. The cookies will look like they aren’t cooked but don’t worry they are. They may also appear a bit puffy. The puffiness will deflate and leave a lovely cracked or chocolate chip yumminess on each cookie.
- Once baked remove the tray from the oven and place it on the cooling rack. Leave the cookies on the baking tray for five minutes then carefully place them directly on a cooling tray. The cookies are very soft when they come out of the oven so don’t attempt to remove them from the tray until they have cooled a bit. They will just squish into a big gooey mess if you touch them too soon.
- Eat them up while they are still warm. That’s when they taste the best.
My girls had seen so many test runs that you would think that they would be sick of the sight of cookies. But no. They still want them EVERY DAY!!!