I was very lucky to be offered the opportunity to cater again for my friend's church and just like last time, the brief was open as to what I would make - I bounced a few ideas off my friend but was still making changes at the eleventh hour due to various unforeseen mishaps which I'll come to recount. The only addition to the brief was to make the quantity for each item (the catering was for 100) as opposed to making lots of different things. It seemed easy enough when my friend first mentioned it but after baking tray after tray of cookies to hit the hundred mark, it really wasn't quite as easy as I thought it would be!
If you've followed this blog for some time, you'll probably notice that a lot of the recipes I make are quite simple; I do experiment on the occasion but coming home from work with maybe an hour or two to spare, the amount of time really lends itself to simple recipes which are quick to whip up. Lately, I've been trying a few new ingredients just to shake things up a bit and I guess make eating sweets (of which I eat a lot) a bit more healthy. Here's the jar of organic rice syrup I picked up to make this recipe of peanut cookies.
FYI: I quadrupled the following recipe to get the quantity I was after. I also replaced the ground peanuts for just crunchy peanut butter which is another ingredient in the recipe. Start by preheating the oven to 160 degrees. Line baking trays. In a large bowl, sift together 80g plain flour, 40g wholemeal flour, 1/8 tsp and baking powder. Add in 60g rice syrup, 50g maple syrup, 110g crunchy peanut butter and 50g grapeseed oil and mix well. The cookie dough should be soft and sticky.
Take about 1 tbsp cookie dough using a spoon and place on the prepared baking tray.
Flatten cookie with a fork. Repeat with the remaining cookie dough.
Bake for 15-20 minutes or until light golden brown. Remove from heat and leave to cool on a wire rack. The cookies will be soft coming out of the oven so let them cool down to harden up. Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature and this should last you about 10 days.
This recipe was meant to make 25 cookies and having quadrupled the original recipe, it would make sense that I would come out with 100 cookies or more (as I tend to make my cookies on the small, bite size) but I just managed to get about 70 or so. A little annoying as the plan was to hit 100 and I reckon the picture in the book deceptively make the cookies look bigger than the should be but then again, I should've remembered that it's quite common across Japanese/Chinese cookbooks where the serving sizes are generally a lot smaller than the recipes you'll find in English/American cookbooks.
Taste-wise, the rice syrup definitely made a huge difference - the cookies came out sweet but without the teeth numbing sweetness which most recipes tend to sway towards. Rice syrup is a little more expensive than caster sugar but reading about it, there's health benefits to be accrued at the expense. Anyway, I picked up an extra jar today for just under $5 so hopefully will try a few other different recipes with it and see how it turns out!