Award-winning food journalist, radio presenter, TV personality and bestselling cookbook author Matt Preston is back with a new cookbook: Matt Preston’s World of Flavour.
The premise of this new cookbook is very much in the title. In this colourful new release, Preston brings together our favourite, flavourful dishes from around the world. Some of the recipes are in their classic style, others have a special ‘Matt twist’. They’re all accompanied by the intriguing and myth-busting stories behind them.
To celebrate the release of Matt Preston’s World of Flavour we’re pleased to bring you this, the second of two extracts from the book. It’s time to dust off the apron and take a crack at what Preston is calling The World’s Best Biscuit – how could you say not to that?
The World’s Best Biscuit
MAKES 56 | PREP 15 minutes (plus cooling) | COOK 40 minutes
This is the world’s best biscuit.
Now, as a former founding secretary of ABAS – the Australian Biscuit Appreciation Society – and a former Bangladeshi Biscuit Baron – yes, I had my own range of biscuits in that country! – I know a bit about biscuits. And while Sweden’s Dinkel-cookies, Chinese almond cookies, Tim Tams, Romany Creams (the more PC name for what were once known as Gypsy Creams, but with a chocolate cream filling), handmade Monte Carlos, caramel-filled Argentine alfajores, crisp Dutch speculaas, German cinnamon zimtsterne, Greek kourabiethes and melomakarona, Scottish shortbread, Mexican ginger pig-shaped marranitos and Britain’s Chocolate Hobnob all hold important positions in the Biscuit Hall of Fame, it was a biscuit developed at the end of 2019 that has taken my crown for the best biscuit in the world.
It is based on a chocolate chip cookie, so this obviously gives it a head start, but by upping the ratio of chocolate and adding nuts and fruit we take the CCC to another level.
Here, it’s less about the cookie dough and all about the chewy craisins and golden toasted macadamias, but it still has just enough biscuit crumbs to make it a pleasure to hoover them up after. And the only way you can disprove this claim to the best biscuit crown is to bake it and find out for yourself.
4 × 180 g packets white chocolate (I use Cadbury Dream because the chunks keep their shape best)
2 cups (300 g) plain flour, sifted
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
250 g butter, at room temperature, chopped
2⁄3 cup (150 g) light brown sugar
1⁄4 cup (55 g) dark brown sugar
1⁄2 cup (110 g) caster sugar
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg, lightly whisked
500 g macadamias, coarsely chopped, leaving them as chunky as you can
500 g dried cranberries
Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan-forced). Line two large baking trays with baking paper. Break the white chocolate into squares.
Sift the flour, salt and baking powder into a bowl. Use electric beaters to beat the butter, brown sugars and caster sugar in a bowl until pale and creamy. Add the water, vanilla and egg and beat until well combined. Beat in the flour mixture until just combined. Transfer to a very large bowl.
Stir in the chocolate chunks, macadamia and dried cranberries until well combined. With this amount of chunks it will be very thick and heavy – think of the dough merely as mortar to bind them. The mixture should come away from the sides of the bowl and form a ball. If the mixture is sticky, add a little more flour.
Drop heaped dessertspoonful sized balls of the mixture, well-spaced, onto the lined trays or until you have enough balls for the number of biscuits you want (see Tip). Bake for 10–12 minutes or until almost golden. Set aside on the tray to cool slightly before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Reserve some and enjoy the rest right now!
I like to split this batch of dough into a couple of bakes. Scrape any excess dough together and form into a thick (5 cm or so) sausage. Wrap in baking paper, twist the ends and pop into a labelled freezer bag. Store in the freezer until needed. When you want to cook them, slice the dough sausage into 1–2 cm thick slices using a serrated or bread knife and place on a baking sheet, well spaced. Bake for 10–15 minutes or until golden. Rest on a rack to cool before serving. It’s best to only bake as many biscuits as you need at once – these CCC will siren-call to you from the biscuit tin in the middle of the night if you bake extra!
You can find Matt Preston’s recipe for Jerked Chicken HERE.
Header Photo: Supplied