Creative Commons Aotearoa New Zealand are running a series of blogposts for Open Access Week, and I’ve contributed Levelling up to open research data.
I also, for Reasons, had an urge tonight to make Open Access biscuits. (I know my title says ‘cookies’, but the real word is of course ‘biscuits’, and I shall use it throughout the rest of this post along with real measurements and real temperatures. Google can convert for you, should you need it to.) The following instructions I hereby license as Creative Commons Zero, which should not be taken as a reflection on their calorie count.
First I started with a standard biscuit base recipe. You could use your own. I used the base for my family’s recipe for chocolate chip biscuits, which probably means it ultimately derives from Alison Holst, but I think I’ve modified it sufficiently that it’s okay to include here:
- Cream 125 grams of butter and 125 grams of sugar. The longer you beat it, the light and crisper the biscuits will be.
- Beat in 2 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk (or just milk will do, at a pinch) and 1 teaspoon vanilla essence.
- Sift in 1.5 cups of flour and 1 teaspoon of baking powder and mix to a dough.
Now we diverge from the chocolate chip recipe by not adding 90 grams of chocolate chips. We also divide the mixture in half, dying one half orange by using a few drops of red colouring and three times as many drops of yellow colouring:
The plain lot should then be divided into halves, each half rolled long and flat.
The orange lot should have just a small portion taken off and rolled into a fat spaghetto (a bit thinner than I did would be ideal), and the rest rolled into a large rectangle.
Then start rolling it together into our shape. The orange spaghetto gets rolled up into one of the plain rectangles. In this photo I’m doing two steps at once – most of the orange hasn’t been properly rolled out yet:
Then roll the rest of the orange around that with enough hanging off the top that you can fit some more plain stuff in to keep the lock open:
The ends will be raggedy. Don’t worry, this is all part of the plan.
At this point, put your roll of dough into the fridge to firm up a bit while you do the dishes. You could also consider feeding the cat, cooking dinner, etc. Or you can skip this step (or shorten it as I did) and it won’t hurt the biscuits, you’ll just have to do more shaping with your fingers because cutting the slices squashes them into rectangles:
These slices are about half a centimetre thick. I got about 38 off this roll, plus the raggedy ends. Remember I said those were part of the plan? Right, now – listen carefully, because this is very important – what you need to do is dispose of all the raggedy ends that won’t make pretty biscuits by eating the raw dough. I know, I know, but somebody’s got to do it.
The rest of the biscuits you put on a tray in the oven on a slightly low setting, say 150 Celsius, while you do the dishes that you missed last time because they were under things, and generally tidy up. 10 minutes or so, but whatever you do don’t go and start reading blogs because once these start to burn they burn quickly. Take them out when the ones in the hottest part of the oven are just starting to brown, and turn out onto a cooling rack.
Et voilà, open access biscuits: