I have felt miserable all day long. I know why, yesterday wasn't brilliant and I am talking myself round. I have been browsing a few baking books, looking for a suitable thing to bake today. I was going to bake banana ginger parkin. I even bought the bananas for it. Since I saw the recipe and found that the difference between parkin and gingerbread (the spongey sort, not the biscuit type) was mainly oats - parkin has the oats, I have had this thought in my head. Just kinda floating around when I think of baking. So when I donned the pinny, and looked at what ingredients I needed, then and only then did I achieve joined up thinking and realise that I need oats for the parkin. I didn't have any. Only an hour before this, Mum had gone shopping and asked if I wanted anything. Oats popped into my head, but I dismissed it as I didn't know what oats I needed and thought I would pick them myself. I am conspiring against myself not to make this parkin at the moment. Perhaps when I do make it, it will go one of two ways - it will either turn out to be really pants or be one of the best things I've ever made. Guess I will have to wait until I get the oats!! And joined up thinking........
I did do some baking, however. Yes it was therapeutic baking. I had been looking for a simple biscuit recipe, so that Mary-Jane and I could sit together and decorate them. I had a particular type of biscuit in my head, so I knew I what I was looking for, when I found it. I didn't find the exact recipe, but came very close. Successfully close in fact! The biscuits are on the 'Re-Bake' list. It seems like forever since I baked biscuits. They take so little time to make and bake, that I strongly feel that I should bake them alot more often. In fact I found another recipe that is close to the first that I want to try. I was going to do both. When I had finished the first batch, there was just over 30 biscuits, so I thought there was not much point making any more at the moment.
I used a star shaped cutter and a heart shaped cutter. I wanted to use shapes that MJ recognises. I did pick out seven shapes, but I thought she may want to try one of every shape in one sitting, so narrowed it down. The recipe is:
Makes 20 - 30+ depending on cutter size
225g/ 8oz self raising flour
100g/ 4oz caster sugar
3x15ml spoon sieved cocoa powder
5x15ml spoon of milk
few drops vanilla essence
- Heat the oven to 190c, 375f, gm5. Grease two baking trays
- Mix flour sugar and cocoa, then rub in marg
- Add milk and vanilla essence. Bring together with your hands and knead lightly on a floured surface
- Roll out to 1/4", cut using a 3" cutter. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Cool on wire rack
- Decorate how you want, chocolate glace icing is recommended.
Makes 20 (although I've not tried the recipe out yet)
175g/6oz self raising flour
75g/3oz caster sugar
50g/2oz ground almonds
few drops almond essence
- Heat oven to 180c, 350f, gm4. Grease two trays
- Mix together dry ingredients, rub in marg
- Add the essence and mix well, bringing together with your hands
- Roll out thinly and cut into rounds. Place half a blanched almond on each
- Bake for 15 mins. Cool on wire rack
Makes 17 - 18 completed biscuits
170g/6oz block marg
50g/2oz caster sugar
200g/7oz self raising flour
30g/1oz custard powder
- Heat oven to 180c, 350f, gm4. Grease baking tray
- Cream together marg and sugar
- Add the flour and custard powder, mix well
- Roll into small balls, about the size of a walnut, dip one side into the caster sugar
- Place on baking tray, sugar side up. Press a fork once across each biscuit
- Bake for approx 25 mins, until lightly coloured
- When cold, sandwich together with butter icing
I also want to try the custard creams, with a view to producing some for the Market. Anything new I do for the Market, I want to give a trial run.
I liked the chocolate biscuits. HK said he liked them quite a lot - I forgot at the time that he can be a biscuit fiend. If we have a tin of biccies, he will have 'one or two', which translates as having one of each sort on each layer....... Mary-Jane enjoyed her - she kept saying mmmmmm nice and giving me the the most massive of grins. Must have hit on a good recipe!