Thursday, September 1, 2011

Some sort of shortbread?

It has taken me the better part of a week to get this post written, but I have very good reasons for my tardiness. On Sunday I made delicious cookies for a friend on her birthday, because I was giving her a musical-note cookie cutter and figured I should make cookies to go with it. They are a hard biscuit, good for dipping in tea, and they soften up over a couple of days. So they are sort of like shortbread, but not really at all. Real shortbread is more buttery and sort of crumbly, and I don't think it has egg in the mixture. I didn't know what else to call them though, they are techinically an adaptation of my Christmas cookies, without all the spice. I need to think of a name for them though! I made them in both vanilla and chocolate and they turned out really well so of course the recipe needs to be shared. But I did not do so immediately because I was busy wrapping presents and since then, what would you know, but I have landed myself in hospital, and am waiting to have my gallbladder removed!

So luckily I ate plenty of the biscuits on Sunday because I'm not allowed any now! It's also lucky that I baked over the weekend because now it will be a week till I'm out and back in the kitchen, I can feel the withdrawl symptoms setting in already, and even then I will have to do my best to bake in a fat-free manner for a while. I was planning on making delicious vegetable soup on Monday, with some yummy Irish soda bread, but that plan went down the drain. I will have to wait a very long time before I get my soup. The painkillers are in action and I can eat again, but the food here is bland, I am getting tired of toast, salad and fruit. Plus the porridge, which I was so looking forward too, was terrible! So luckily I have my internet connection sorted and am back in contact with the world, and seeing as I cannot eat sweet things I will have to settle for writing about them. The photos won't be added for awhile though because of course I do not have my camera with me! The biscuits got so many positive comments, so I'd say they're a good choice for anybody looking for a yummy afternoon-tea snack!

Sweet and simple biscuits

150 grams butter
300 grams sugar
1 egg
*1 teaspoon vanilla essence
*1 tablespoon custard powder
*2 tablespoons cocoa powder
300 grams (2 cups) plain flour, plus some
3-4 tablespoons milk

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius.

Soften the butter and cream the sugar into it. When the mixture is somewhat light and fluffy, add the egg and beat into the mixture.

In order to make two different flavours, at this point I divided the mixture in half and placed in two separate bowls. If you don't want both chocolate and vanilla though, I'm sure that you can figure out how to continue. For me though, in half of the mixture I added the vanilla and the custard powder, while in the other half I added the cocoa. I then added half of the flour to each mixture.

Now the thing about this recipe is that at first it seems that there is far too much flour. You have to mix it in as well as you can and then begin kneading. Your hands will get tired but keep going and eventually the mixture will come together and get stiff and shiny. Only I had to reduce the flour, there actually was too much, much more than it says above. It should be right now though. Finally, if the mixture is crumbly and not coming together, begin adding the milk bit by bit. I found the chocolate mixture needed a bit more, for some reason it was crumbly. On the other hand, if the mixture is for some reason too wet to roll out, add a bit more flour!

So I do not actually have a rolling pin and use whatever glass jar or bottle I have on hand - this time it was a lemonade bottle. Nevertheless, I managed to roll out a nice thin dough. You want it to be around a half centimeter thick. Isn't that what they always say though, 5 mm, it's like a generic rolling out rule. If you don't have cookie-cutters, slice into squares or use a drinking glass. Shapes are more fun though. I made big musical notes, and then when I had enough of those made some scallops because I figured I would take some to work too, and sea shapes are fitting for a marine biologist. As I came to the end of the mixture there was no longer enough for a full shape from either dough, so I smooshed them together and made marbled-cookies. They were cool too, maybe I will do that for the whole lot next time.

Anyway, I am clearly rambling because I am stuck here in a bed all day and getting bored. So to get to the point - cut out your cookies, place them on a buttered tray and bake for 10 minutes! They can be placed close together because they will not rise or spread. Let them cool a little before removing from the tray, but they should harden up pretty quickly. For the first day they will be quite hard, crunchy biscuits but they will soften up a bit the next day. Perfect to serve with a cup of tea!


  1. These cookies are not only perfect with a cup of tea, but with everything and anytime!:)
    Lovely cookies

  2. They look delicious... my first time reading of your surgery, so I do hope well, I hope everything came out ok!

    And I wanted to continue to thank you for submitting to You have a very impressive bidy of work building. Thanks for thinking of us during your down time



Hi there wonderful reader! If you've liked what you see here or have anything to say whatsover, please do so because I would love to hear from you!