I promised Three yesterday that she and I would bake together at some point today. She’s been asking for ages, and I know that we have to do baking together so that one day she will be just as self sufficient as her big brother who produces all sorts of delights these days while I sit on the sofa and contribute nothing more than a bit of washing up.
I had an idea for an adaptation of the recipe for ‘Idiot Biscuits (so called because any idiot can make them)’ from Miss Read’s Country Cooking. It is one of the few recipes which has made it onto a bit of paper and stuck to the wall in my kitchen for easy reference. I decided to substitute half of the caster sugar for muscovado sugar, and add our last few glace cherries to the mixture as well. We also doubled Miss Read’s ingredients to get twice as many biscuits!
[Yes, yes, they’re imperial not metric. Miss Read’s Country Cooking was written a long time ago… anyway I still think in imperial I’m afraid, despite being born in 1972.]
8 oz butter
2 oz caster sugar
2 oz muscovado sugar
8 oz plain flour
1 tsp of vanilla essence
2 tablespoons of cocoa powder. (We used Tesco’s Reduced Fat because it was nearly half the price of the real stuff when I shopped on Thursday. It seems to taste fine).
About 9 natural glace cherries, chopped into small pieces. (I didn’t count them, just finished off the pot!)
Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 4 [As I don’t aspire to be a Real Posh Food Blogger, you can do your own oven conversions. Also, my oven door is a bit dodgy so we did Gas Mark 5].
1. Cream together the butter and sugar. Mix in the vanilla essence.
2. Mix in the flour, cocoa powder and cherries.
3. Roll the mixture into balls and place on a baking sheet.
This was the point where Three exclaimed ‘They look exactly like turds!’ They actually did. Far more so in real life than they do on this photograph. I actually felt quite queasy and had to leave the room and play on Twitter while she finished this step by herself. The biscuits were immediately dubbed ‘Turd Biscuits’ and I think this title will stick.
4. Flatten the balls with a fork dipped in hot water.
5. Bake at Gas Mark 4 for 20-30 minutes. (We had two baking trays, so put them in for 15 minutes, then swapped the top one for the bottom one for a further 10 minutes. That was perfect.)
6. Drool for 20 of those 25 minutes because of the amazing smell coming from the oven. (Miss Read didn’t write that bit. I did.)
7. Get them out and put them on a cooling tray until ready to eat.
They lasted about 5 minutes on the cooling tray before Three decided we should all test one. Utterly delicious.
Because I completely fail at being a Proper Posh Food Blogger, I entirely forgot to take a picture of the biscuits straight out of the oven. In fact, so many of them had been consumed by the time I remembered I’d planned to blog this process, I decided to just take a picture of the one I was just about to enjoy.
As you can see, the finished product looks significantly less like a turd. Thank goodness. And as soon as technology is advanced enough to send smells down the internet, I will add ‘smellyvision’ to this post and you will be able to enjoy the wonderful chocolatey sugary cherry-y aroma we have all been treated to this afternoon.