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.