Every once in a while a plainer bake can be very welcome. There was another little one’s party to celebrate in our family and so I thought I’d make something simple and low stress. Butter biscuits. I can’t really recall ever having made them before but feel I must have. In any case they’re fierce easy to make and as a bonus this recipe makes tons so I rolled the leftover dough into a sausage shape and froze it for later gorging.
The decoration is a little random but to explain, I can’t seem to go into Tiger (a Scandinavian pound shop in effect) without buying something. Usually bakeware and made of brightly coloured silicone. Last week was no exception. I bought my first biscuit press. I have to admit it was foolishly satisfying using it. Stamp aside, I also possess some hand and foot shaped cutters which seem apt for the season in it.
The recipe is taken exactly from the BBC basic biscuit dough page. Lovely and simple and uses things you’re more than likely to have to hand. I do recommend letting the butter soften first. Makes everything much easier.
This makes at least 30 biscuits
Oven temperature 180 Celsius
Caster sugar 140g
Vanilla extract 2 teaspoons
Egg yolk 1
Plain flour 300g
Icing sugar 5 tablespoons
Cream cheese 1 scant tablespoon
Vanilla extract 1/2 teaspoon
Preheat the oven and line as many baking trays as you want to fill. I did three trays worth of biscuits.
As per usual this is a scandalously straightforward recipe. Place the softened butter into a big mixing bowl and add in the sugar and vanilla extract. Beat well to combine, most easily done with electric beaters.
Add in the egg yolk and beat some more.
Tip in the flour and beat till it forms a nice, soft dough. Be warned, if using electric means, take it easy when you start to mix in the flour or it’ll go everywhere. Secondly, have faith. It seems like there is far too much flour but it will all mix in.
That’s the dough made.
The next stage is up to you. I chose to chill my dough in the fridge for 20mins or so before rolling it out to a fraction of a banana thick. Then I got carried away with stamps and anatomical cutters. Be sure to gather up any offcuts, you can squish them all up together and roll them out again. Only do this once, though, or the dough’ll start to get tough.
So you can do it that way or you can roll the dough into a sausage shape and wrap it in clingfilm. You can then leave it in the fridge or freezer till you want to use it and when you do just unwrap it and using a serrated knife cut slices off to make delicious biscuits to order.
Thirdly you can take small lumps of dough and roll them into balls, place them on the baking trays and press down with your thumb to create a little well in the middle. This well can be filled with jam or Nutella. Swoon.
You decide. Then do whatever it is you have decided. Once in the oven they take between 12 – 14mins. They should be a tempting pale brown colour. When they get to that stage take them out of the oven and leave them alone, to cool down, for at least 10mins. Then move them to a wire wrack to finish cooling.
They are delicious served naked or you can do as I did and ice some of them. My icing was about 5 tablespoons of icing sugar, half a teaspoon of vanilla extract, 1 scant tablespoon of cream cheese and some food colouring. Mix it all together. If it is too dry add more cream cheese and if too wet add more sugar.
Then ice away. Then eat.