Sunday, 18 May 2014

Custard creams


If I’m offered a selection tin of biscuits to choose from my first thought will always be to look for the custard creams and the pink wafers.  OK, that’s a lie; my first thought is actually ‘how many can I take without it looking greedy/weird/unusual/rude?’  I’m always glad if someone else has gone first and set the bar high!

What I’m trying to say is that I love custard creams.  Unless you’re rocking some serious high end chocolate biscuits in your tin, these babies are top of the tree.  Some of you will recoil in horror, others will frantically nod in agreement, but I love dunking them in a mug of tea just long enough so that the creamy filling becomes softer and the biscuit is on the cusp of soggy.  It is a reckless person who ‘over dunks’ and loses their biscuit to the sad resting place at the bottom of the mug.  Mushy biscuit at the bottom of a mug is a sign of bad biscuit management.

I will freely admit that the homemade version lacks the ornate squiggles so loved on the commercially farmed version, but what’s the point in a homemade version looking the same?  Isn’t the point of homemade that it does look different?  The big benefit of making them at home is that you get to control the size of the biscuit.  I have used the, ‘I only had one biscuit’ line many times failing to explain that the biscuit was the size of a dinner plate.  I’m exaggerating (honestly) but you get my drift!

To aim for some sort of uniformity I used my kitchen ruler to determine the biscuit size.  I may sound a bit OCD but I have a ruler in my kitchen which is handy for so many things, most commonly measuring cake tins because I often forget their dimensions.  This ruler has been my trusted culinary companion for years now; to save you straining to see what it is, it’s got all the cantons of Switzerland on it.


For the biscuits:
175g unsalted butter, at room temperature
50g golden caster sugar
50g icing sugar
2 egg yolks
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
300g plain flour

For the custard filling:
100 unsalted butter, at room temperature
140g icing sugar
2 tablespoons custard powder
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
Optional: a few drops of yellow food colouring – I used Dr Oetker natural gel colouring


Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan oven 180°C/390°F/gas mark 6.

Line three baking sheets (if you only have two line those but be prepared to rotate the sheets for the second batch) with either baking paper or non stick foil.

Start with the biscuit dough: Beat together the butter, both sugars, egg yolks and vanilla until they are well combined and creamy looking.

Add half the flour and mix well.

Add the remaining flour and mix well; use your hand to bring the dough together.

Roll the dough out between two lightly floured sheets of clingfilm – aim for the thickness of a £1 coin.

Use the cutter of your choice to cut the dough then place the biscuits on the prepared trays.  Leave a little room for expansion although they do not spread much during baking.  (NB. If, like me, you’re using a ruler lightly flour it so it doesn’t stick to the dough).

Bake for approximately 8-10 minutes or until golden in colour.  Don’t worry if they take longer – trust your eyes more than your timer!

Leave the biscuits on the baking sheet to crisp up before you move them to a wire rack to cool completely.  If you try and move them too soon they can crumble.

Now make the filling: Beat all the ingredients together until smooth and whippy looking.

Either pipe or spread some of the filling onto one biscuit, and use another biscuit to sandwich.

Repeat until all the biscuits are paired up.

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



Librarian Lavender said...

That looks so delicious! I can't wait to give that recipe a try!

Baking Addict said...

I love custard creams and have been wanting to make my own for ages but never got round to it. These look delicious and just the perfect size :)

Victory Rolls & Mixing Bowls said...

stunning as always! x

Izzy said...

Oooh I'd love to give these a try! I've made garibaldi biscuits so maybe these should be next on my list.

snowy said...

These look good, and I love custard creams. Another one to try.

Gloria Baker said...

I love custard cream! and these look stunning!
And I love your rule in the dough:))

Katie said...

These look delicious. They look the perfect texture too and I'm impressed they stayed such neat squares during baking. Custard creams are great as technically you get to eat 2 biscuits sandwiched together and it still counts as only 1 biscuit :)

Kate@whatkatebaked said...

These look utterly, delectably perfect! I too am a dunker (except in polite company or when I wish ti impress; a dribbled soggy Bourbon biscuit isn't the best)

LiSa said...

I like homemade things to look homemade... Even though I can be guilty of trying to make things look like the mass produced versions.

I confess I am not much of a tea drinker (I know I should probably be sent back to America) however if you have biscuits like custard creams or even plain digestives. I will have a cup of tea, just to dunk them in.

I have a pretty good dunking technique down! :0)

Your custard creams look delicious! I would love to have one to dunk in tea right now!

Stuart Vettese said...

I too have made custard creams CC - they are so much better than shop bought!! And you can control how much filling you want - my favourite part...

Kate Glutenfreealchemist said...

Oooooohhhhh..... home made custard creams..... How lovely! They look like perfect little biscuit sandwiches. Can you still split them and lick out the middle before crunching the biscuits????

Cakelaw said...

Yummo - I am with you, I love custard creams.

Maggie said...

Because I love custard creams so much I should try this recipe. They look lovely.

Cupcake Kelly said...

I want them all!

Jo said...

Oh how I love custard creams! They really are the ultimate biscuit. Yours look perfect. It has been years since I last made them!

Love your comment about reckless dunkers! It's upsetting when your cup of tea is hotter than you expect and steals your biscuit. On the upside it gives you a valid excuse to take another from the biscuit tin!

Choclette said...

Oh boy, I'll have any number of your custard creams please, even if I do look greedy.

Kim said...

I'm a recent custard cream convert but I have to disagree on the dunking - I can't dunk anything with a filling - it's digestives and ginger nuts only for dunking in this house. I know it's probably not what you're meant to say when you're a home baker, but the giant custard creams in Costa are what converted me. I really need to try and make some at home, the homemade versions look delicious!

LouLou67 said...

Wow, what a great recipe. So simple to make yet so delicious. I brought a batch to work today, they were gone in a flash and another, larger batch has been requested.