Week Four: Biscuits
I have to say something on a personal note before I get into biscuit week... I have had a really exceptionally shitty couple of days, and that is partially why I am a few days behind schedule in posting about my biscuit adventures... so today, when Alexis Hall mentioned my blog in his newsletter I definitely did not have a panic attack because I was so excited (on top of the existing anxious and stressed and sleep-deprived from the aforementioned shitty couple of days) that my stupid brain didn't know the difference between joy and being chased by a lion. Truly, the most ridiculous panic attack in the history of the world. But in all seriousness, I'd like to say an extra special thank you to Alexis Hall, for whose books I was already daily grateful, for the really lovely shout out which could not possibly have come on a better day.
But anyway, I hope those of you who have followed that link here enjoy my posts about Rosaline Palmer Takes the Cake and all the amazing baked goods that are coming from it, and also the prior posts which are also mostly Alexis Hall (though I am planning on lots of post-Rosaline Palmer posts inspired by other authors too).
So, without any further ado...
Happy biscuit week!
"Biscuits" here is, of course, British for "cookies" not the fluffy buttery lovely things that you ideally make with White Lily flour and serve with sausage gravy.
Cookies are probably the first thing I ever baked and the first thing I loved to bake, and I haven't been baking lots of cookies lately but there's something extremely comforting about baking cookies and I really, really enjoyed all the cookies I baked this past week.
Also they are by far the easiest baked good to share so in addition to the people who generally get baked goods from me, my neighbors and coworkers got them this week.
- 75 g whole wheat flour
- 25 g besan
- 1 tbs semolina
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 3 pods of green cardamom's seeds, powdered (about 1/2 tsp)
- 65 g powdered sugar
- 75 g ghee
- Preheat oven 350F
- Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper
- Grind cardamom seeds
- Sieve flours, semolina, sugar, and baking soda together
- Gradually add ghee and bring the dough together to make a stiff dough. Do not kneed dough.
- Make 12 balls and decorate. I used chopsticks to make a little "x" because that's how the picture looked.
- Bake for 10 minutes
- Remove to a wire rack, immediately. BE CAREFUL they are fragile and will fall apart if you aren't very gentle!
- Cool and store in an airtight jar for up to three weeks (so says the website. Mine disappeared much more quickly.)
Rosaline's Boozy Biscuits
Blackberry Chambord Jammy Dodgers
I was quite excited about making these as they look a bit like a linzer tart cookie and I am a fan. Also, just call me Marianne Wolvercote because I am a fan of anything that puts booze in baked goods. When I did my GBBO bake along, my friend accused me of trying to turn her into an alcoholic. It was a slightly dramatic claim, but I do like boozy flavors. I bought Chambord just for this but I'm excited for all the ways I'm going to utilize it going forward.
I went with this recipe for the cookie and proceeded as follows:
- 115 g unsalted butter
- 115g sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract- note: I don't think I've ever measured vanilla extract in my life. Just splash some in and it'll be fine.
- 250 g AP flour
- 2 tbs icing sugar
- Preheat oven to 350F
- Line baking sheets with parchment paper
- Cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy
- Gradually beat in egg and vanilla
- Gradually add flour until crumbly dough forms
- Gather dough together on a lightly floured surface and kneed until slightly sticky. Work in the rest of the flour
- Chill in the fridge for 40 minutes
- After the dough is chilled, roll it out on a lightly floured surface to about 3 mm thickness
- Use a 6 cm round cutter to stamp out two dozen circles. I didn't have an appropriate sized cutter so I used a water glass and it was fine
- Use a smaller circular cutter, about 3 cm, to cut out the insides of half the circles- I had a little plastic shot glass thing, or previously I've used the wide end of a pastry tip for similar things in the past
- For best results, chill dough for another 30 minutes before baking. I neglected this step because I wasn't paying attention and it was fine
- Bake for 12-14 minutes until lightly golden
- Leave on baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire wrap to cool completely
- Once entirely cool, sprinkle the tops of the cookies (with the holes) with powdered sugar.
I apologize: I completely neglected to photograph the cutting of the cookies, and also the blackberry jam making process, but it's pretty straightforward.
- Put the blackberries and the sugar in a pan and cooked over medium-low heat until jammy.
- Take it off the heat and add a healthy glug (I'd guess a quarter cup) of Chambord (other raspberry liqueurs are available)
- Strain out the seeds (I did not strain out the seeds but you ABSOLUTELY should because my not-seedless blackberry jam totally ruined otherwise lovely flavored and textured jammy dodgers) and allow to chill
Once your jam and cookies are both cool, assemble sandwich-style and voila- homemade boozy jammy dodgers.
Cinnamon Brandy Snaps with Triple Sec Chantilly Cream
I can honestly say I do not understand why anyone would ever decide to make these. They are a fuckton of work and the pay off is minimal. I mean yes, they taste good, and if you eat them IMMEDIATELY the texture is interesting in a good way... but there are lots of things that taste good and are way less finicky. I am not a fan of finicky.
I used this recipe, increasing the cinnamon because these are supposed to be cinnamon brandy snaps, but honestly, they just taste like molasses. Which maybe with further experimentation could be corrected, as I found other recipes that use golden syrup rather than molasses and they're probably a better bet and probably more accurately British... but as said above, finicky... probably not going to bother... but if, unlike me, you love brandy snaps, try that!
- 1/2 c butter
- 1/2 c sugar
- 1/2 c dark molasses
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp grated orange rind
- 1/4 c flour
- 2 tbs brandy
- Preheat the oven to 300F
- Have three glass ramekins set aside
- Combine butter, sugar, molasses, ginger, cinnamon, and orange zest in a saucepan and bring to a boil
- Remove from heat
- Whisk in flour
- Add brandy and stir until everything is blended and smooth
- Set the saucepan in a basin of simmering water to prevent hardening while working
- Drop THREE brandy snaps, one tablespoon at a time onto an un-greased baking sheet *note: you cannot use a silicone baking mat. It will not work. Straight onto an un-greased baking sheet.
- Bake 14 minutes
- Remove from oven and let cool for just a few seconds, then quickly peel up with a spatula and place inside ramekin, press in to shape. Then repeat until you've made them all.
- 8oz heavy whipping cream VERY COLD
- 1/4 c triple sec
- 1/2 c powdered sugar
- Use electric stand or hand mixer, combine all ingredients and whip until stiff peaks form. Add more triple sec and/or sugar to taste. Pro tip: chill the bowl and the whisk too
- Spoon or pipe into brandy snap cups and eat immediately or the brandy snaps will start to dissolve.