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Small batch baking recipes for two to three people

Want to enjoy a sweet treat but don’t want to make a big batch? This new cookbook is perfect for singles, small households, students or anyone who likes to bake a lot, says Prudence Wade

Wednesday 24 August 2022 08:01 BST
Peanut butter and chocolate are a match made in heaven
Peanut butter and chocolate are a match made in heaven (Edd Kimber/PA)

Hands down, these will be the best peanut butter cookies you ever make – dense and chewy, but also ridiculously easy,” says Edd Kimber.

“As a further treat, I also dip these in chocolate, because everything is better dipped in chocolate, right?”

Chocolate peanut butter cookie

Makes: 6


175g light brown sugar

1 large egg

½ tsp vanilla extract

Pinch of fine sea salt

225g smooth peanut butter, at room temperature

Sea salt flakes, for sprinkling

100g dark chocolate, melted


1. Place the sugar and egg in a large bowl and whisk together briefly until combined. Add the vanilla and salt and again whisk briefly to combine. Now add the peanut butter and whisk until a thick but smooth dough is formed.

2. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Using a 60ml mechanical ice cream scoop or your hands, place six scoops or balls of cookie dough on the prepared tray, spacing them well apart. Transfer to the freezer for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180C (160C fan) 350F, gas mark 4.

3. Sprinkle the chilled cookies with sea salt flakes and bake for 20-22 minutes, or until the cookies have spread a little and the edges are lightly browned. Set aside to cool completely.

4. To serve, dip the cookies halfway into the melted chocolate and then place back on the lined tray. Refrigerate until the chocolate has set. If stored in a sealed container, these cookies will keep for four to five days.

Bakery-style blueberry muffin

Packed with fruit, these muffins come with a crunchy streusel topping (Edd Kimber/PA)

“These muffins are the result of challenging myself to see just how many blueberries I could pack into one muffin without it falling apart,” says Kimber.

“Being bakery-style, they are big and generous, packed full of fruit and have a great crunch from the streusel topping. If you want to make the muffins even simpler, you can skip the streusel and sprinkle with demerara sugar instead.”

Makes: 4


35g unsalted butter, diced

50g caster sugar

Zest of ¼ lemon (optional)

80g sour cream or buttermilk or yoghurt

1 large egg white

85g plain flour

1 tsp baking powder

¼ tsp fine sea salt

170g blueberries

For the streusel topping:

60g plain flour

35g caster sugar

40g unsalted butter, melted


1. Preheat the oven to 180C (160C fan) 350F, gas mark 4. Place four paper cases in a muffin tray.

2. First make the streusel: place the flour and sugar in a small bowl and drizzle over the melted butter, stirring with a knife until the mixture clumps together. Use your hands to form it into a ball of dough, then refrigerate until needed.

3. To make the muffins, melt the butter, then pour into a mixing bowl. Add the sugar, lemon zest (if using), sour cream and egg white and mix until smooth. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add the butter mixture along with the blueberries and stir gently and briefly, just until a thick batter forms. Don’t worry about it being perfectly smooth; it’s important not to overmix, as it can easily become tough.

4. Divide the batter evenly between the paper cases. Crumble the chilled streusel over the top and bake for about 25 minutes, or until golden brown and a skewer inserted into the muffins comes out clean. Set aside to cool in the tray for 10 minutes, before carefully transferring to a wire rack to cool completely

Classic pretzels

The perfect snack with a cold beer (Edd Kimber/PA)

“Although supposedly invented by an Italian monk, pretzels are most associated with Germany, where they are often eaten with mustard and a pint of beer,” says Kimber.

“Germany is also where pretzels began to be dunked in a lye (caustic soda) solution before baking, to give them their characteristic colour and flavour. Thankfully, bicarbonate of soda can be used instead of lye, and if you bake it first, the results are surprisingly good.”

Makes: 4


250g strong white bread flour

½ tsp fine sea salt

3g dried fast-action yeast

25g unsalted butter, at room temperature

130ml lukewarm water

1 tbsp barley malt extract or honey

Vegetable oil, for greasing and brushing

Sea salt flakes, for sprinkling

For the pre-baking solution:

1L water

50g barley malt extract

50g bicarbonate of soda


(Kyle Books/PA)

1. Place the flour, salt and yeast in a large bowl and stir together. Add the butter and rub into the mixture until there are no visible lumps. Make a well in the centre and pour in the water and malt extract. Mix together to form a shaggy dough, then tip onto a work surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover with clingfilm and set aside for one to two hours, until doubled in size.

2. Divide the dough into four equal pieces and roll them into balls. Cover and leave them to relax for 10 minutes. Line a large baking tray with parchment paper and brush with oil or mist with a little non-stick cooking spray.

3. Working with one piece of dough at a time, roll it into a smooth rope roughly 60-65cm long, leaving the centre of it a little thicker than the ends. Arrange the rope in a U-shape with the ends facing you. Take both ends, cross them over once, then lift up and press onto the curved part of the rope at the top, forming the traditional pretzel shape. Transfer to the prepared tray and cover lightly with clingfilm while you make another three pretzels in the same way. Set aside for 30 minutes, before transferring to the refrigerator for one hour.

4. Preheat the oven to 200C (180C fan) 400F, gas mark 6. To make the pre-baking solution, bring the water to the boil in a medium saucepan. Add the malt extract and bicarbonate of soda and whisk to combine. Turn the heat off, then place one pretzel at a time place in the liquid for one minute. Lift out with a slotted spoon, return to the baking tray and sprinkle liberally with sea salt flakes.

5. Use a sharp paring knife to slit along the thicker part of the pretzels, then bake for 15-18 minutes, or until a rich mahogany brown. Leave to cool for a few minutes before eating. The pretzels will keep for up to two days after baking, and can be frozen for up to a month.

‘Small Batch Bakes’ by Edd Kimber (published by Kyle Books, £18.99; photography by Edd Kimber), available 25 August.

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