Hi! Fancy a cup of tea and a biscuit?

I, am a late night tea drinker. Or rather have become one recently. Ever since I decided to chronicle the chaos that is me in the kitchen. It has lead to some rather late nights and I have adopted the charming habit of having a cuppa and a biscuit. Hmmm..

I think it stems from the old days. Dad would always get the midnight munchies as he is diabetic and I, somehow, could always hear him softly walk past our door to the kitchen. I’d rustle up my sister out of bed (if we were going to get scolded, I was not going to face it alone) and we’d creep over to the kitchen, poke our heads out to see what he was making. Sometimes it was a grand midnight breakfast with eggs, baked beans and toast. Other times it would just be a biscuit. He’d spy us and let our heads float that way for ages, until one of us (my sister) would lose her balance and fall. No escape now. More often that not though, he’d quietly beckon us in, with very slight nod of his head. A plate of something would be put in front of us, with water or milk. Biscuits; cardboard tasting ones. Cheers Dad! We went back to bed pretty quickly those nights.


This beauty though, oh, what a biscuit. Meltingly buttery and sweet, scented with vanilla, these Butter Biscuits of Kate Shirazi’s are the best in my book. Easy to make, roll and cut with simple designs. Even easier to share. Which is the whole point of a biscuit!

This first post of mine may be more suited to the morning. I kinda like the reversed element of posting it late at night. When its quiet and you can have a conversation with yourself. Or with you. So here they are, I’ll put this little plate of something in front of you while the kettle boils and hope you stay around for a natter.

Basic Butter Biscuits (Cookie Magic by Kate Shirazi)

Recipe Serves: One batch depending on how big you make your cookies or how thick you want em! Hard to give a number.

In the book, Ms Shirazi has used this recipe as the basis for kinds of kiddie friendly bics such as Jammy splodgers, iced rings, chocolate fingers, decorated ones as well as chocolate shortbread (add chocolate chips at the point where you get your hands into the dough to make it cohesive, make into log, rest in fridge and slice..bake at 170 c…..yum!)

250g softened butter
140g icing sugar, sifted
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 Large egg yolk
375g plain flour, plus extra for dusting


Beat the butter and sugar together in a large bowl until very pale and fluffy. Add in the yolk and vanilla, mix well, then sift in the flour, mixing it until it forms a firm dough. I found that I had to get my hands into the bowl to get it to become a ball..not unpleasant!

Wrap with clingfilm and place in the fridge to rest for around an hour, or you could freeze it.

Preheat oven to 190degress and line your trays.

You need to roll your dough to around 3-4 mm thickness, cut your shapes and then bake for 10-12 minutes. They should be a pale golden colour. Keep an eye on them as they brown quickly! Cool on a wire rack and they will harden up some more.


32 thoughts on “Hi! Fancy a cup of tea and a biscuit?

  1. Karen

    Carrie, love your blog, insight into your family life and recipe recommendations. Excitingly for me, I received the ‘Cookie Magic’ book only yesterday as part of my birthday present from my sister. Now I know for sure where I will start. Thank you!

    1. thePatternedPlate

      Oh thanks Karen! You are my first post! I shall remember you forever! ahah! I love this book and shall be putting up a review of it soon along with the recipes I have tried from it. Its wonderful, isn’t it? Yes, these biscuits are a good all rounder and it was the first I tried. Keep your eyes peeled over the next few days. There will be another entry! Oh but I have to say this, you must try the Bourbons. Exquisite!

  2. Jobakes

    Woo hooooo! You, my darling, “have arrived”!! (A lil throw back to my dancing days – a remark for when a dancer has made the performance that makes their career and shoots them into the radar of the public and critics alike, and you truly truly have Carrie!). It is a beautiful blog – the iPad version is just gorgeous, I feel very lucky to have access to it :). Love that you’ve gone with the cookie idea we spoke about and can I say, what a perfect logo! Yay Carrie, super happy for you! Xxx

  3. Sean McGinn

    Well my army man ways don’t allow me the grace with words you ladies are blessed with, but this place I’ll visit often. Somewhere for a bit of comfort and sanctuary when I’m on tour. keep writing and keep smiling. x

    1. thePatternedPlate

      Mr. Army Man McGinn, rest assured, this place will always be open and welcoming to you. πŸ™‚ It would not have been here, but for your virtual hand holding and belief in what I wanted to say! Thankyou..always.

  4. Claudine

    What a beautiful blog Carrie! Visually beautiful, easy on the eye and elegant.

    Whilst I was reading this post last night, you took me back to a time when I was 8 and my sister 4. I was a real bookworm and devoured Enid Blyton books, so had this notion that it was a requirement for all children to have midnight feasts – whether they lived in boarding school or not… We’d sneak the sneak the feast upstairs at bedtime, usually biscuits, in my sister’s knickers and then hide them under the bed. Many were the times we fell asleep and forgot to wake up for our feast, making for a nice first breakfast upon waking!

    Your blog has given food for thought as well as the stomach. Since they say an army marches on it’s stomach, we should be able to march on for a long time to come…

    Looking forward to reading this for a long time to come πŸ˜€

    Claudine xx

    1. thePatternedPlate

      Claudine, that is exactly the kind of interaction I was hoping to have, its the stories that fascinate me and how food can resonate that way with people! Your poor sister! All those crumbs haaha! That is such a lovely story! And thanks so much for the lovely words! MUAH!!!

  5. Melanie Dias

    Woohoo!! all the recipes that I have been salivating over from looking at your photos on facebook I’m going to finally have access too…I love the idea of cutting the cookie in the logo shape made your mark there. The writing for me will obviously have layers of nostalgia flooding back as I’m your sister (and i’m in your first post yea!!) cant wait for the other articles and just to see the blog develop… yup Dad did make one of the best omelettes that i’ve ever had… you’ve done a great job and its very you carrie really….

    1. thePatternedPlate

      Oh MEL!!! HIYA!! Ha! I completely forgot about the omelettes! Man, Dad could rustle up a seriously good one no? Tender, always tender, not dry and tough. You remember these feasts? The baked beans and toast were my favourites cos it was ‘foreign food’. hahah!!

  6. Jenny Murray

    Hey Carrie that looks amazing and I think will encourage me and seb into the kitchen whilst max and daddy are sleeping!! Oh how I miss your cooking and baking (and you of course…..). Well done you it looks great and I look forward to the next instalment. Lots of love xx

    1. thePatternedPlate

      JENNY HUNNY!! Aww thanks for taking the time to come over hun, especially when Max is keeping you busy just now! And I really miss cooking for you girls too! It was the highlight of the week!! And yer company of course! ;-))..Every time i do anything with buttercream or frosting or icing in general, I have to admit, you spring to mind! Haha!

  7. NYinRome

    absolutely wonderful, warm and energetic and fun…..look forward to following it all
    and of course wishing you the best on your adventures in blogging and everything else of course!

  8. Jean

    I love it, Carrie. I love the name, the line drawing on the page header, the orange accents and the clever way you’ve linked it all by echoing the logo in those stylish cookies. That and a sweet tale of two intrepid/nosey little girls and an indulgent daddy… sniff! I especially love the tangerine glitter! ;o)
    ‘Tis marvellous what you can get up to when I take my eye off you for a week…

    1. thePatternedPlate

      Aye! I surprised myself I assure you! the glitter was from you hun! Lil Lassie’s eyes popped out of her socket when she saw the sparkles! She then declared she loves Aunty Jean and when is she coming to stay..presumably bringing more glitter with her! Ha!
      Am pleased as punch you like it! Thanks love!

  9. jennifer doyle flynn

    Carrie, congrats this is simply amazing and so gentle and easy on the eye.. I to remember the midnight feasts from enid blyton.. sneaking choc upstairs and under the bed for the midnight hour..found usually a month later covered in dust yuk!! your biscuit recipe and pics are fab as always,will be purchasing this book..would u recomend those bicckies for shapes and icing?? Please keep up the good work this is fabulous!!

    1. thePatternedPlate

      Oh hello! Lovely to see you here! Yes I have had my fair share of biscuit/chocolate smuggling too! Seems to be a common theme which is lovely!
      I would recommend these biscuits for cutting, however, if you are going for very intricate designs, then I would say that these are too buttery for that as it is a soft-ish dough. If you wanted to make jammy dodger, or other such simple shapes to leave as is or ice, its perfectly fine. Just chill really well after every stage. If you look through the food album on FB and see the iced biscuits for snowflakes, bells and Christmas trees , those are the ones I did with this recipe. However Maureen had tried it with a Welsh dragon cutter and it fell apart or rather tore easily. So it depends on use.

      If you do want to use an intricate cutter such as a ballerina, then a stiffer dough, with less butter and perhaps golden syrup in it is the best suited I have found. The syrup somehow renders it firm enough on baking to withstand postal traumas! Do you have the Biscuiteers book? Their recipes in there are excellent as are the designs. :-))

  10. Julia Levy

    Reminds me a lot of when i was young too. My dad worked evenings/nights, home around 2am. Occasionally I’d wake up or be awake when he got in from work. I used to hear his black taxi rumble up the street before i saw the shadows cast over my bedroom ceiling by his headlights.

    I’d wander down and make him his usual cup of coffee while he sorted his bits and pieces out before going to bed. More often than not I’d join him having a coffee, i’ve drunk it since very young. There’s be no wee hour snacks but i liked the quiet of the night, the short catch up before trundling back to bed.

    This post instantly reminded me of those nights when i’d wake up to the rumble of the cab, the coffee, the catch up….

  11. eatlittlebird

    Beautiful blog!!! I’m so glad to see you “online” πŸ™‚ And an absolutely stunning header – you are so talented!! How wonderful that you have made cookies for your first post in the shape of your logo! Just love it!! I will be a frequent visitor here and look forward to reading more posts soon πŸ™‚ Or perhaps some midnight chit chats?

    1. thePatternedPlate

      Hey MissELB you’re here!!! Whee! Thanks very much, but then again you know that this has to do with all those earlier conversations :-)) And I look forward to the midnight chats!! absolutely!

  12. Nicola Thompson

    I’ve just discovered your blog and I love everything about it Carrie – the header, the writing, the photography – congratulations! Looking forward to reading your future posts πŸ™‚

  13. Pingback: Recipe List » sotoyo.com | sotoyo.com

  14. hrh7

    Hi. I stumbled upon your blog just now and i saw this recipe. I love it but how do I make the covering of the butter biscuit? Lovely blog by the way. You give me hope that someday I’ll be more than just an average baker.

What do you think.....

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s