Sunday, 3 November 2013

Vanilla butter biscuits


I’ll admit these don’t look much, but they taste delicious; such a light crumbly texture fragrant with vanilla and so buttery your mouth comes alive!  They would’ve looked better if I’d managed to pipe them all but I wasn’t up to it – the dough was just too thick for my puny grip to control.  I tried to soften the mix with hand heat, only putting half the mix in the bag etc...but nothing helped.  My grip let me down; I always sympathise with competitors who suffer the same affliction on World’s Strongest Man (a Christmas programme I have adored since early childhood!).

Before my hands packed up, I managed to pipe four and they do look prettier.  Next time I might add a dash of milk to the mix to slacken it.  A wide star nozzle is best for this task.

I thought it might be timely to feature this recipe because, not only are they lovely to eat with a cup of tea, but they are the perfect biscuit to serve alongside mousse type desserts.  We are fast approaching that time of year (I won’t use the word, in case it causes upset!) when such desserts might be made and served.

I used vanilla paste because I love the little flecks of seeds visible in the finished biscuit.  Vanilla extract would give the same flavour and many now contain the seeds.  Use whatever you have; no point getting precious about it!

I was tempted to drizzle a little melted chocolate across the biscuits to jazz them up, but time got the better of me.  I think they are an excellent blank canvas and could take many different types of decoration or additions.


250g unsalted butter, at room temperature
140g caster sugar
1 egg yolk
½ teaspoon vanilla bean paste – you can use vanilla extract if you prefer

300g plain flour


Preheat the oven to 170°C/ fan oven 150°C/ 325°F/ gas mark 3.

Line two baking sheets with baking paper or non stick foil.

Beat together the butter and sugar until very soft and creamy.

Beat in the egg yolk and vanilla – you cannot overbeat it at this stage so, if using, while the mixer’s doing its work prepare your piping bag with a large star tip.

Stir in the flour.

Now, at this point you have two options: you can put the mix into a piping bag and pipe into pretty rosettes (use a big star nozzle), or take scant teaspoons and roll into balls, flattening them once on the baking sheet.  I found the dough too thick to pipe but I have grip issues with my hands so it might have been me being puny!

Leave a little space around each biscuit – they only expand a little during baking.

Bake for 12 minutes and then turn the trays.  They may need a further 5 minutes, or until they are golden and feel firm to the touch.  They will continue to firm on cooling.

Leave to cool on their baking sheets.

When cool, store in an airtight container.

Bask in the glory of the wonderful thing you have created.



Gloria Baker said...

I love these biscuits perfect for tea!!!

Choclette said...

Your biscuits look perfect inside (and out of course). If you'd added the milk they might have not had that nice crisp texture. I'm rubbish at piping so admire you for doing even four.

Lelly Jelly said...

These look fab, and, I don't agree, I prefer the look of the plain ones. I'm sure they taste just as deliciious!

Cakelaw said...

These look absolutely lovely - simple is often the best.

Katie said...

My mum used to bake these for us! She either coated the bases in dark chocolate or sandwiches them together with jam. I remember her calling them viennese biscuits. I seem to remember the mix was very stiff!

Beth Sachs said...

They look like they have a wonderful texture

Izzy said...

Those biscuits look really yummy! I like it when you can get vanilla with the seeds in, it feels a bit more authentic!

Jo said...

I could easily devour a few of these with a cuppa. I love how aromatic vanilla biscuits are. They make a lovely waft from the cake tin.

You have no idea how excited I am to find a female world's strongest man fan! We seem to be few and far between. My family love watching it at christmas, it's the only programme we all agree on! I still have a soft spot for Magnus Samuelsson ;)

LiSa said...

These look so yummy! If given a choice I will 99% of the choose vanilla! I think the not piped ones would be cool just half dipped in chocolate. I also love the simplicity of the recipe! So easy!

Stuart Vettese said...

These would be perfect at Christmas CC - I could add tons of sprinkles and icing!

Isabelle said...

I've probably asked this before but I ask again: why are you not fat? (This is a rhetorical question, with just a trace of bitterness.)

Baking Addict said...

I love vanilla butter biscuits and these look perfect. I love flavoured biscuits too but sometimes simplicity is best. The piped ones are pretty but I actually prefer the plain round ones :)

snowy said...

I love butter biscuits, and as you said, they are so versatile for piping with icing or dipping in chocolate. I can't pipe either, so the plain ones look great to me!

Kath said...

I think they look lovely whether piped or unpiped and I love the vanilla specks.

Hettie said...

Perfick whichever version you eat! Just what I wanted for some nibbles on Saturday so thank you!

maria at inredningsvis said...

MMMM it looks SO DELISH:) I like your blog and Im now following.

Check out my blog....Swedish decor and yummy recipies:)

Have a wonderful week dear

LOVE Maria at inredningsvis - The Swedish home decor blog

Lucy said...

These look like exactly the type of biscuits I love - and could eat a large amount of all in one go!