Last month I made it very clear I was making cookies, and not biscuits, and that got me thinking that I had never actually made a biscuit, and for someone who loves a biscuit, way more than they like cookies, that seemed to me to be rather surprising. My taste in biscuits is rather old fashioned, I like custard creams, digestives and bourbons, with shortbread being a very naughty now and again treat. In short, I like all the biscuits that I used to find at home in the biscuit barrel!! But how good to these mass produced treats taste when you make a batch yourself? The answer is scrummy!!!
Here are the scrummy best of them!
The BBC Good Food Website has come up trumps again with this great user submitted custard cream recipe – the ingredients are simple, and so is the method. I admit, I didn't’ use animal cutters, just opting to the standard squares, but this recipe is written to be a family friendly one which children will love to help you with.
If you have a food processor, they can be made in double quick time, taking just ten minutes to bake in a hot oven, they do need to be totally cool though before adding the filling (which isn’t custard am afraid but butter cream). Very easy to make, and if you make into little square sandwiches look very inviting!
It is rare, when looking for online recipes and testing them out, that I don't venture further than the first find on a search but that is exactly what I did with this recipe from Good Housekeeping for Bourbon Biscuits. These really do knock the socks off those shop bought versions, they are splendidly chocolately, light and crumbly and actually probably far too delicious. The biggest problem with making these delicious treats is actually not eating them all before they even make it to a plate! The Bourbon Cream biscuit for has always been one which I thought should have been better, it was always the one chose out of the biscuit barrel and very often the disappointment at the lack of chocolately taste and crumbleness was almost for my nine year old self! These biscuits have taken away all that pain, and made it all right again.
It was actually not very easy to find a good recipe for digestive biscuits – which are, in my humble opinion, the king of the biscuit – they are versatile enough to be be dunked in tea or even topped with cheese, and add a layer of chocolate and its heaven in crumbly bite! Most recipes are fairly similar, but I think it must be down to getting the recipe just right – this one, on the rather aptly named site – biscuit-recipes.co.uk, and even this recipe doesn't taste quite as good as the bought version. I think the problem is the digestive is a simple biscuit whose magic occurs in the texture, and that is what is so hard to replicate. Waiting until they have cooled, and dipping half of them in melted chocolate certainly helps.
Unlike the digestive above shortbread is something which is better homemade and for which good recipes abound, I have used this recipe (James Martin on the Good Food Channel) for the few times I have made shortbread (the only biscuit I have previously made). Homemade shortbread is a bit of a subjective thing, some prefer it light and short whilst for others dense and buttery is the perfect shortbread. This recipe falls into the first category (which is how i like it) – it is incredibly easy to make and tastes perfectly light, with a cup of tea, I would venture there is possibly nothing better (although those bourbons above come close). The great thing about shortbread is that the ingredient list is always fairly short and always fairly the same!! You can of course add chocolate chips, chopped nuts or even citrus peel, but with this classic – simple really is best!!
And simple all these classic recipes are – we would love to hear what your favourite biscuits are and of course the ever important question – are you a dunker or not (this lady ain't for dunking)!