Buttery, soft & chewy all at once. The absolute best Sultana Cookies.
This recipe is one that I’ve tried over and over but the perfect Buttery Sultana Cookie had eluded me. Until now…
Often, I try recipes many times over before I get the finished product looking and tasting like the amazing treat that my ever-ambitious mind dreamed up. This is one of those. I knew exactly what I wanted it to taste like, look like and feel like. Each time I tried, I just couldn’t work out the secret. Yes, yes but the secret to what, I hear you ask.
Marks & Spencers All Butter Sultana cookies.
If only Marks & Spencers would open up here in Australia but they haven’t. Where were you when we needed you, M&S? The relatives that used to kindly bring packets with them each time they would visit us from the UK have either moved to Australia now or can’t travel as easily anymore.
Yes, thank you UK relatives for getting mum and I addicted to those amazing, chewy, buttery, soft and crispy Sultana Cookies. For many years, we have been without. That jewel of all sultana cookies but a mere memory in our minds. I did manage to find them once in Singapore and, like a good daughter, I dutifully brought a packet home for mum. (PS mum, they nearly didn’t make it. I’m sure you can understand how difficult it was for 7 hours on a plane with those cookies stashed in my hand luggage. Oh, the agony).
Well, no more pining for lost loves because I did it. I recreated them and they’re perfect. When I first cracked the code, I loved them but I had to get that confirmation from mum too, just to be sure. And with that first bite and the confident, cheerful “Yes!” that followed I knew we would never need to go without again. So there, M&S (I’m poking my tongue out right now).
I’m sure, nostalgia plays a huge part in my love for these cookies. The memories growing up of having rellies visit from a long way away and this was the gift they would always bring. And the times we only got one pack, and knew with one look that we would need to cherish that pack.
All that aside, these are just plain yummy. They are supremely buttery with perfect sweetness. Golden and crisp on the edges but chewy in the middle.
In my research, I came across the idea to add glucose. I’ve never added it to cookies before but it’s suggested that it makes for cookies that stay fresher and softer for longer. Whatevs! The recipe works so the glucose is staying in. You can find liquid glucose in the baking aisle of the supermarket here in Oz but if you can’t get access to it, I feel light corn syrup would do the trick. They are interchangeable in anything else I’ve made that calls for one or the other.
Update: I have since made this recipe over, and over, and over, and over – you get the point. Anyway, the note about glucose above can now be ignored. With thorough testing and tasting trials, I can confirm the glucose is not required to make these amazing Buttery Sultana Cookies. Yes! They just got even easier 🙂 Further to this, I can also confirm that even mum says these are better than M&S and she is always very honest in her feedback, truly invaluable.
Why are you still reading? Go make some, now! You won’t regret it.
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The trick to getting an unbeatable buttery flavour in these cookies is to make sure the edges are golden before taking them out of the oven.
- 360 g plain (AP) flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 250 g caster (superfine) sugar
- 190 g butter, softened
- 1 tablespoon milk (notes 1)
- 170 g sultanas
Preheat oven to 180C / 350F /160C fan forced. Line 2 large baking trays with baking paper.
Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt and mix well to distribute evenly.
In a separate bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until lightened and fluffy (a minute or two). Scrape down the side of the bowl and add half the flour mix. Beat until just combined. Add the milk and remainder of the flour and mix until it just starts to come together. Finally, add the sultanas and give the mix another beat until mixed through and the dough is clumping.
Pull the dough together with your hands then take approximately 1.5 to 2 tablespoons full of mixture, roll into a ball and place on a baking sheet 2 inches apart (or you can use a mini ice cream scoop and just scoop it onto the baking trays). Once you have filled a tray lay a sheet of baking paper over the top and use a second baking tray to press down all over to flatten the cookie out to about 5-6mm thick. (this will create rough, broken edges – this is a good thing).
Bake for 6 minutes. Sprinkle with a little extra caster sugar, turn the trays and bake for a further 6-7 minutes. Make sure they are nice and golden around the edges – this gives lots of extra flavour.
- I use a standard Australian 20ml tablespoon (equivalent to 4 teaspoons worldwide)