Last week when I had to provide supper at my local WI Meeting I decided to take along some biscuits as well to go with our supper. Once again I was trying to work through the recipes set in my Cooking The Books Challenge from Mary Berry’s fabulous Baking Bible.
In Mary’s Biscuits and Cookies chapter I chose to bake Shrewsbury Biscuits. I’ve made these (and scoffed loads of them too) before but not worked from Mary’s recipe before. The other biscuit recipe comes from the Fancy Biscuits section of the book, none other than Viennese Fingers. These are gorgeous and melt in the mouth but I’ve never made them. I don’t know why, just haven’t got round to it before. Well I suppose there’s always a first time for everything.
First up was to get on with the Shrewsbury Biscuits. These are usually made with a fluted circular cutter but because my daughter and her friend were helping me I let them choose their own shapes from my cookie cutter stash. They found my box full of Easter cutters and chose to cut out chicks, sheep, eggs and rabbits!
I quickly made up the dough so that the girls could cut out the shapes for me. The dough was made by creaming butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. An egg yolk was then added to the mixture, followed by sifted plain flour, the grated rind of a lemon and then some currants. It was mixed together to make a dough.
The girls took half of the dough each and rolled their piece out to the thickness of a pound coin.
The recipe made about 25 biscuits and we were lucky to get a few of each shape. About half way through baking I had to take the tray of biscuits out of the oven, brush them carefully with beaten egg white and return them to the oven for the rest of the baking time. They came out of the oven all golden brown.
Then it was the turn of the Viennese Fingers. The mixture for this was easy enough to make- softened butter, icing sugar, plain flout and baking powder was mixed together to form a dough. It had to be runny enough to pipe onto a baking tray with a star shaped nozzle. However, although the recipe was meant to make 20 biscuits, I didn’t even get half of that quantity out of the mixture. My dough was too stiff to pipe and maybe my icing nozzle was too big. I just don’t know. They didn’t look very pretty anyway. So I guessed these wouldn’t go to the WI meeting either.
My daughter’s friend melted some plain chocolate for me and then when the biscuits had cooled down I dipped them into the chocolate. Unfortunately the biscuits were a bit crumbly and they started to break as I was dipping the chocolate in. In the end there were only about four unbroken biscuits! We ended up keeping them at home and they got eaten over the next day or so!