I’m only a couple of weeks away from my first practical assessment. I’m nervous and excited, best I study up and know my Julienne from my chiffonade. I’ve had to sell my Golden Plains tix, pretty shattered, in order to do my last practical class prior to my exam. I’m committed.
Biscuits, they are my thing. I love making them, love eating them and love discovering new ones. Biscuits can be sweet or savoury and can be spectacular or simple. For the purpose of today I’m not including the much revered macaron, even though I guess it is a type of biscuit, I’ll do a separate post on those. I’ve already posted my Double Chocolate & Pistachio Biscotti recipe, while everyone else seems to love that one it’s not my favourite fav, if you know what I mean.
Here are a couple of my favourite biscuit recipes, Chocolate Hazelnut Pinwheels and Scottish Shortbread.
250g unsalted butter (I prefer organic butter when I can afford it)
1/2 cup castor sugar
1/4 ground rice
2 1/2 cups plain flour (I use “00” flour cause it seems to be finer, which suits this shortbread)
Rub butter into sifted dry ingredients, press ingredients firmly together, turn onto lightly floured surface and knead lightly until smooth. I have granite bench tops which are smooth and cool, perfect for making shortbread. This is a dough that requires kneading to make the biscuit crisp.
You can then get all creative and use biscuit cutters to make all sorts of crazy shortbread shaped goodies or go the old-fashioned way and make into wedges like I’ve done.
Bake in moderately slow oven for about 25mins, stand few minutes then lift onto wire rack for cooling.
Chocolate Hazelnut Pinwheels
2 cups plain flour
185g butter, chopped
1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
Nutella chocolate hazelnut spread OR you can make your own
70% cocoa chocolate, chopped (optional)
Process flour, butter and sugar until mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add yolk and vanilla bean paste until mixture forms a ball, please persist before adding more paste or another yolk, it will come together! Knead dough on lightly floured surface until smooth, cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Roll dough between sheets of baking paper to 28 x 48cm rectangle, spread with a thin layer of nutella (or your own choc/hazlenut paste) and sprinkle with chopped hazelnuts and chocolate if that’s your thing (dip a spoon in the nutella and have a treat too)
This is the tricky bit, using the baking paper, roll your dough and it’s filling into a sausage shape, allow the baking paper to do the work, believe me it makes a more uniform circle than trying to do it with your fingers. Wrap in gladwrap and refrigerate for an hour. Give the sausage a feel (yes I really wrote that) and make sure it’s firm, if the dough hasn’t hardened sufficiently these biscuits will be a bit tricky to cut. Cut using a sharp knife and sawing motion, you want them about 1cm thick. Arrange on lightly greased oven trays, allow for some spreading. Bake in moderate oven about 15mins or until browned, stand 5 mins then lift onto wire rack for cooling.
If some turn out a bit wonky like the ones on the second row in my picture don’t worry they will still taste awesome.
Happy Baking xx