Recently I tried out Mary Berry’s Mini 3-Way Cookies (or biscuits). See Photo 2 below for the original recipe photo. It’s a good basic cookie dough, that doesn’t require any cutting out, and in the original recipe, there are 3 versions: Chocolate chip, lemon and Almond flavour. These are ones she frequently makes with her grandchildren and are particularly good if there are any fussy eaters where you can suit everyone’s taste with only one batch of cookies.
go to Mary Berry’s Mini Biscuits Recipe – or continue to the review.
Mary Berry’s Mini 3-Way Cookies
Being a pretty basic cookie recipe, it can easily be done with an electric hand mixer so need to get the big stand mixer out (I have to move my heavy Kenwood xl mixer to where the plugs are – I know I need a new modelled kitchen!) That said, using your hand and a wooden spoon would still work but obviously take more time. Once the basic dough is produced, you simply divide the dough into 3 and then add in the specific ingredients. For the almond and chocolate chips versions, you just form into balls and press down with a fork, so no need for a cookie cutter.
For the lemon ones, you form into a log shape and roll in demerara sugar, before freezing for 30 minutes to firm up the dough. You then slice the cookies from the log and bake. (See Photo below of the lemon & chocolate versions). So pretty straight forward and you could easily make with the help of young children. Bigger kids could make these themselves too, so I will get my 13 year old son to try them out on his own.
However, as ever, there was only one photo for the final bake and no photos of the process to guide the baker. And I know it’s a simple recipe, but what’s simple for me isn’t always so for everyone else.
The Recipe Instructions
As for the recipe instructions themselves, they were thorough enough I guess, but another thing I don’t like about a lot of recipes, is how there are often 4 or 5 different direction sentences within one instruction point in the recipe. I really dislike this, as it is so off-putting to some people, who need simple and more straightforward looking directions. Having too much black and white text squashed together, can be very intimidating for some people and does not help them succeed but can hinder them.
Split the steps up, add some photos. Make the page look more inviting for the reader to actually want to read and attempt the bake. Baking is meant to be therapeutic and relaxing and can be very rewarding, so don’t put barriers to people’s success. Sorry for the rank and I know this is not Mary Berry’s fault as the recipe is on the BBC FOOD website, but if nobody complains or use different websites, recipes will never change.
It is my mission or crusade if you like. I try to make my recipes simple, so much so that kids can follow them. Oh and it didn’t say what size the balls of cookie dough were to be, other than to divide into 20 balls. Now short of weighing it out, that is not as easily done as said! I think I got about 16 cookies. For slicing the cookies from the frozen log, it did state the thickness.
How Did The Biscuits/Cookies Turn Out?
They turned out very nice and tasty too. Because there is no raising agent in them, they did not spread much and held their shape pretty good. I like the idea of slicing the cookies and it gives a nice shape and finish to the final bake (see photos), having the edges rolled in sugar is also a nice look. I was quite taken by this recipe, so used it again to make lemon ones, chocolate chip, and the 3rd type was dark chocolate chunks and chopped pecan nuts.
All 3 types I formed into rolls and froze for 30 minutes and sliced before baking. These were really nice too and I now love nuts with dark chocolate in my cookies. My son doesn’t like dark chocolate or nuts in his cookies, so this is an ideal recipe and since they are mini sized, you get plenty out of one batch of cookies (48 – 60 depending on how big you rolled the balls of dough). This is also particularly good, in light of the fact that the dough is only made up of 175g butter (3/4 cup) and 75g sugar (1/4 cup).
A Note On Ingredients
A note on the ingredients. The recipe uses semolina and I assume that is fine semolina. See photo 6, comparing it to flour as it is similar to semolina flour, but has a more coarse texture than regular flour. It is also quite pale in colour, rather than yellow.
The recipe also uses caster sugar, which is known as extra/super fine sugar, or Baker’s sugar in the states. If you can’t get that, you can grind granulated a little with a food processor, but only a little bit. Bear in mind that US granulated is slightly finer granule size than our UK equivalent. See Photo below for the sugar’s we have in the UK. If you really need to you could use granulated for this particular recipe, as I don’t think it would affect the bake too much.
The recipe also called for demerara sugar which I didn’t have so used light brown (you could also use turbinado sugar as a substitute). For more info, read my article on Differences Between UK & US Baking Ingredients.
All the beautifully presented photos of the 3 types of cookies, are make and taken by my friend Diana. Thanks so much for allowing me to use your photos.!
So taking everything into consideration, my rating for this recipe in it’s entirety would be a 6.5/10 and adding some more flavours would shift it up a notch to a 7.5/10.
My Rating: 6.5/10
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Mary Berry’s Mini 3-Way Cookies
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