Easter is just one week away. Enough time to stockpile the Mini Eggs*, fill up the bread tin with Hot Cross Buns and countdown to the glorious four day bank holiday weekend.
What joy: four whole days off work with no faffy commitments like at Christmas time. We'll be heading back to the motherland (Wales) carrying our own body weight in Easter Eggs. Several magazines and newspapers have taste tested Easter Eggs (tell me how you get that gig, please) with reviewers salivating over offerings from Betty's, Hotel Chocolat and Prestat. I'm not in the least bit fussy. As long as it is chocolate, in the vague shape of an egg and contains a packet or two of smaller sweet treats I'm as happy as the journalist who did get the plum job of spending an afternoon sampling all the eggs in the name of 'research'.
Meanwhile, if you do have a spare hour this coming weekend (and there are 96 hours to choose from), try these Hot Cross Biscuits. Sweet chewy cookies with a hint of spice and packed full of juicy fruit, these make a fun alternative to the traditional Hot Cross Bun.
*In event of some national supply crisis. You never know.
Hot Cross Cookies
125g melted butter
75g light brown soft sugar
50g granulated sugar
1 large egg
225g plain flour
1 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
50g mixed peel
50g icing sugar
1. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/350F. Grease and line two baking trays with baking paper
2. Beat the butter and sugars together lectric mixerwith an efor a few minutes until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg until combined
3. Fold in the flour, mixed spice and bicarbonate of soda until a dough forms, stir in the dried fruit and mixed peel
4. Using a tablespoon drop rounded balls of dough onto the baking sheets, ensuring each cookie is well spaced as apart. There is no need to flatten the dough
5. Bake for fifteen minutes until golden
6. To make the crosses sieve the icing sugar into a bowl and add just enough water to form a thick paste. Pipe crosses over the cooled cookies and allow to set
- The cookies will still be soft when removed from the oven but will harden on cooling
- The melted butter adds a chewiness to the cookie and the brown sugar a fudgey flavour
- Best enjoyed with a large glass of milk. An Easter egg is optional