Easy cookies – with or without Sourdough waste, & a potted biscuit history!

A very adaptable, easy going recipe for sweet cookies. Less crisp than butter cookies, whose higher fat content results in a crispy, crumbly biscuit, but equally delicious, and as flexible as your imagination. Try with chocolate chips, citrus peel, spices oats and sultanas, or as Jammy Dodger imitations!

Easy cookies with homemade ‘apple pie jam’, and with choc chips

Super quick to make, these sweet pick me ups can be stored in an airtight container, or frozen as either dough or cooked cookies.

Use ingredients list 1 if you don’t have sourdough discard to use up, or list 2 if you do. The method is similarly simple either way.

1. Ingredients:

  • 80g unsalted butter, softened
  • 180g  unrefined golden caster sugar
  • 1 medium egg, beaten
  • 300g plain flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • Jam, citrus peel, chocolate chips, or any flavouring you like

2. Ingredients for simple sourdough waste cookies:

  • 1 Cup / 250g Butter
  • ¾ Cup Brown Sugar
  • ¾ Cup white Sugar
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 Cup Sourdough Starter
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Essence
  • 2 ¼ Cups Flour
  • ½ tsp Baking Powder
  • ¼ tsp Baking Soda
  • ½ – 1 Cup Chocolate Chips Dark/Milk/White / dried fruit…


  1. Heat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas 4. Prepare baking trays with silicone or baking paper.
  2. Beat the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl until pale and creamy.
  3. Gradually beat in egg & vanilla. Add sourdough waste now, if using.
  4. Add flour, baking powder & a pinch of salt, plus any flavouring: split the dough if you’d like to have a variety of cookies.
  5. Beat with a wooden spoon to form a dough.
  6. Freeze dough at this stage if wished.
  7. If using sourdough waste, rest for 15 – 30 minutes.
  8. Spoon or roll dollops of dough into about 30 walnut-size balls. Space out on the baking trays.
  9. If making Jammy Dodger inspired cookies, gently dent the middle of each biscuit & fill with jam.
  10. Bake the biscuits for 10 – 15 minutes or until golden.
  11. Cool slightly, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  12. Store in an airtight container, or freeze baked cookies.

The history of the biscuit

Before the biscuit was the risk: twice baked bread, resulting in a longer shelf life, rendering it ideal for travellers & soldiers.

In the 14th Century, the definition broadened. Twice baked sweet / savoury rusks were joined by single baked wafer, pancake & griddle recipes. Variety increased as technology developed.

Sweet biscuits, for pleasure rather than convenience when travelling, were introduced in the Medieval period, when they began to be enjoyed as a digestive at the end of a meal.

Called ‘biscuit’, logically, from the French bis-qui; itself derived from the Latin ‘bread twice cooked’, or ‘panis biscotus’.

Uses extended further & wider – very dry biscuits’ long shelf life rendering them ideal for use during ever lengthier excursions.

Ingenious sailors are said to have frequently repurposed their tough ships biscuits, renowned for their indestructibility, as postcards.

The greater availability and affordability of sugar in the 17th Century with Britain’s colonisation of the West Indies resulted in a leap in biscuits’ popularity and consumption.

Sugar’s popularity grew expodentially throughout the following couple of centuries, resulting in huge scale mass production that we now recognise, and are beginning to think again about!

Sugary biscuits – freeze the dough for a regular supply of fresh cookies, rather than having to eat a whole packet in one go!
Home made cookies.

5 thoughts on “Easy cookies – with or without Sourdough waste, & a potted biscuit history!

  1. The photographs are enticing and the history cleverly produced

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your visit, Derrick!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. These look tasty. I was surprised the ingredients are expressed in cups. Is this your usual cooking style?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Not always Margaret, but it makes it much quicker for some recipes – especially cakes, I find!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Ha………..these all look very moreish.

    Liked by 1 person

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