Sunday, 23 March 2008

Easter biscuits

Clearly these biscuits are seasonal – their name alone indicates that, but it seems a shame that such a tasty, spicy biscuit is only available commercially for a few weeks each year.

Easter biscuits cooling on the rack:

These biscuits must come with a warning – the smell of them baking will drive you insane, so don’t make them planning to eat them the next day – you will NEVER be able to resist! I was doubly tormented as the weather was blowing a gale outside so I couldn’t have any windows open thus the warm biscuity aroma hung around the kitchen far longer than it normally would. Torture by baking smells!

When I made the biscuit dough I anticipated that it was going to be a beast to roll out as it seemed crumbly but it couldn’t have behaved any better and was most amenable to re-rolls too. So don’t panic and add water or milk to the dough to make it wetter – there’s no need.

The texture is soft and crumbly:

100g unsalted butter, softened
80g caster sugar
1 egg yolk
100g currants
150g plain flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons mixed spice

An extra tablespoon caster sugar for sprinkling.

How to make:

- Preheat the oven to 170°C/fan oven 150°C/325°F/Gas mark 3.
- Line a baking sheet with baking paper.
- Cream the butter and sugar together until they are pale and fluffy. Don’t skimp on this stage – give the mixture a good beating.
- Beat in the egg yolk.
- Stir in the currants.
- Add the flour, baking powder and mixed spice and ensure all the dry ingredients are thoroughly mixed into the wet.
- Using your hand, bring the dough together and then give it a squeeze to warm it up and soften it – this will make it easier to roll out.
- Roll the dough out between two pieces of baking paper; aim for approximately 0.5cm in thickness.
- Take a round biscuit cutter (I used a 7cm cutter and got 12 biscuits) and cut out the dough.
- Place the biscuits on the lined baking sheet ensuring they are not too close as the biscuits expand slightly on cooking.
- Take the extra tablespoon of sugar and sprinkle over the uncooked biscuits.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes until cooked but not browned. Mine took 15 minutes.
- On removing from the oven the biscuits will be soft; leave them to harden up for 5-10 minutes before carefully transferring to a wire rack and allowing to cool.
- Bask in glory at the wonderful thing you have made.
- Eat.


Blog Princess said...

Mmmmmmmmmm... those look a bit like a packet of McVities fruit shortcake biscuits that I opened recently, but yours look way better. I shall have to try them. Wonderful blog of foody goodness... :)

Dreya said...

What is in the mixed spice? This is the second post about these cookies, and I'm really interested in trying them. Is it a particular spice blend I could find in the U.S.?

The Caked Crusader said...

Hi Dreya

I think what we call mixed spice in the UK is the same as what you call apple pie/pumpkin pie spice in the US. Any mix of spice will work really.

Hope this helps