Tag Archives: zest

The new biscuit recipe

I think we have the egg free biscuit recipe covered now. I’ve made a couple of hundred and I’m getting the hang of it, to the point I’m sure I could stand up and guide a class through to a satisfactory conclusion (as long as I don’t give a choice of flavours and as long as I remind them to divide the mix equally in their pair!)

It’s a versatile recipe. I made lemon flavour on Monday night (and lemon flavour with poppy seeds, which was quite good). I followed that up with ginger and caraway flavours on Tuesday morning. The lemon is good (using hand cut zest after finding that the zester has disappeared from the shared kitchen).Vanilla is a popular choice with visitors – that’s easy, with just a quarter teaspoon of flavouring. The ginger wasn’t very gingery so we need more experimentation there (two teaspoons looks a lot when you add it but it isn’t by the time you eat it). I’m going to try 2 tsp of fresh ground ginger next time – mine’s been hanging about a while.

Today I did orange. I used a zester from home and produced some long pieces, which I decided not to cut as I thought ‘what harm can they do?’ Well, as the bits stretch between two biscuits they can make a mess of the cutting. Next time I will cut them shorter.

Finally I tried it without dairy – substituting rapeseed oil. It made decent biscuits, though they don’t seem to colour up the same in the oven. Texture is a bit crumbly and the taste isn’t all it could be. All in all it’s a biscuit you’d do if pressed for a dairy-free biscuit, or for a bet, but not for fun.

The group enjoyed making the vanilla flavoured recipe and taking them home in paper bags. They had a tough day working with poultry in the morning and doing the tree measurements in the afternoon so biscuit making in the middle of the day, and biscuit tasting at the end of the afternoon was a nice change of pace.

The recipe –


175 g plain flour

110 g softened butter

50 g caster sugar



Rub the butter into the flour

Add the sugar

Form a ball of dough and roll out about 5 mm thick

You should get at least 18 – I used a small cutter and managed to get 25 out of it



Zest of two lemons and quarter teaspoon of lemon essence

Zest of an orange and quarter teaspoon of orange essence

Quarter teaspoon vanilla flavouring

1 tablespoon caraway seeds

Still working out the ginger, and haven’t decided on a measurement for the poppy seeds yet as I just sprinkled some on.

When to add the flavouring? I put it in at the beginning, Julia tells me it should go in at the end. Seems to work either way.

Sorry about the lack of science. 😉







The Remains of the Day

We’ve just been Rainbowed. It sounds delightful doesn’t it, like strewing rose petals, sipping sherbet or riding to work on a pink unicorn.

OK, maybe not pink, but you get the picture.

In reality it’s more like a whirlwind of activity, a lot of high-pitched squeaking (some of which only bats can hear) and a large number of biscuits.

I’m not good on biscuits, and the recipe was one we’d never tried before because we had to find an egg free recipe (due to allergies) which used the rest of the ingredients we already had. Then, due to the lack of anything suitable for zesting lemons (shared kitchens are like the Bermuda triangle for shared utensils, I always find) I set to and spent half an hour paring the yellow outer skin from lemons and chopping it small. And chopping it smaller…

It all went reasonably well, though 15 out of 16 opted for vanilla flavouring instead of real lemons. I will be making lemonade tomorrow. The girls seemed happy, the leaders seemed happy and even Julia is happy. I just wish I’d remembered that offering a choice of flavours to kids is a bad idea and that you have to tell them to share equally even though you think it is obvious. I know all this, I just wasn’t firing on all cylinders.

Pictures are of my poppy seed and lemon biscuits. They were plain lemon but after using the poppy-shaped cutter I thought, why not use poppy seeds. The first lot were sprinkled on top and rolled in because I only though about them after I’d rolled the dough out. The rest were incorporated in the mix as I squished (yes, it’s a technical biscuit-making term) the dough and rolled it again. That’s why they look different.

So, once again, we have provided a good time for a group and nobody has spotted I don’t know what I’m doing. That’s not a bad way to wrap up the day.