🍓 A Tasty Recipe
Biscuits and tea. They go together like milk and honey. But which biscuits are the proper serving with tea? Some believe that depends on where you come from.
Here in the U.S. we see biscuits as a soft quick bread, like the one on the left side of the plate. Where as the English biscuit is a hard, dry, twice-baked product suitable for long-term storage, such as the ones on the right side of the plate.
The idea of biscuits, cookies and crackers gets even more confusing because of meaning and use throughout history and cooking perspectives. The etymology also plays a part in the confusion. You could drive yourself a little crazy, but Wikipedia is here to help explain the Biscuit.
What I want to talk about here, are English Biscuits.There are varying types of English Biscuits served at tea time. I have a few favorites such as Vanilla Biscuits, Melting Biscuits and something called Digestive Biscuits. Each one is really easy to make.
- 4 oz butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ¼ cup milk
- 1 cup plain flour
- ¾ cup self rising flour
- ½ cup of sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Preheat the oven to 350° F (180° C)
- You can line two baking sheets with baking paper, or use non-stick cookie sheets
- Combine all the wet ingredients in a medium sized mixing bowl. That would include the butter, vanilla and milk.
- Whip together for about 2 minutes with a blender, then set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients. That would be the plain flour, self rising flour, sugar and salt. Make sure you mix these together thoroughly.
- Carefully pour in the wet mixture into the dry ingredients, gently beating with a spoon as you go.
- Stir and combine all the ingredients together until the dough is smooth and fully combined.
Forming the biscuits:
There are two methods to forming the biscuits. You can use cookie stamps like those offered by Eddingtons : Home Baked Cookie Stamps! Or check Amazon’s Cookie Stamp products. Or you can roll the dough out and use alternative cookie cutter designs.
- If you choose to use cutters, roll the dough out on a lightly floured baking sheet. The dough should be about ¼ inch thick. Cut your biscuits and place them on the cookie sheet.
- If you choose to use a cookie stamp, select some dough with a soup spoon. You want enough dough to roll a ball about 1 inch in diameter. Place the ball on the cookie sheet and press it flat with your cookie stamp.
- Biscuits should be about 2 inches apart on the Biscuits sheets for baking.
- Bake for 15 to 18 minutes.
- Biscuits should be golden brown when fully baked. Remove from the oven, but leave them on the cookie sheet for about 5 to 10 minutes.
- Transfer the biscuits from the cookie sheets to a cooling rack. Let cool for 15 to 30 minutes.
- Before flattening the biscuits with the cookie stamps, roll the balls in cinnamon sugar to add a nice flavor.
- You can replace the vanilla with various other extracts to add alternative flavors. Use orange extract or lemon extract to make a more fruity flavored biscuit.
- You can decorate the biscuits in a variety of ways. You can top them with a zig-zag decoration of “Magic shell” white or dark chocolate. My son likes to fill the pressed letters and heart with chocolate magic shell and they come out quite well. But it’s important to do this when the biscuits are barely warm. Too warm and the shell doesn’t set. Too cold and the shell doesn’t bind to the biscuit.
- For chocolate biscuits, add 2 extra tsp of milk and replace the plain flour with sifted 1/3 cup cocoa powder.
- For Chocolate Chip biscuits, add 2/3 cup chopped milk chocolate in the dry ingredients.
- For nut biscuits, add 2/3 cup of chopped nuts of your choice. Walnuts or pecans are great, but almonds, cashews or macadamia nuts can be added as well. Add to the dry ingredients.
- Instead of adding chopped nuts, you might simply press a walnut in the top of the biscuit before baking.
Enjoy these special English Biscuits with an afternoon tea or coffee.