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Coronavirus… who’s taken all the biscuits?!

Written on 18-Mar-2020

A blog post by CJUK Chef Arron.

Over the weekend I’ve spent time around my local community and seen some bizarre things that have started to run out, and biscuits seems to be one of them.

So while you can’t find your favourites on the shelf, why not try to make your own at home? Here are three quick and easy recipes for you to try, feel free to adapt them to your preferences.

Shortbread biscuits

Ingredients

  • 125g/4oz butter
  • 55g/2oz caster sugar, plus extra to finish
  • 180g/6oz plain flour

Method

  1. Heat the oven to 190C/375F/Gas 5.
  2. Beat the butter and the sugar together until smooth.
  3. Stir in the flour to get a smooth paste. Turn on to a work surface and gently roll out until the paste is 1cm/½in thick.
  4. Cut into rounds or fingers and place onto a baking tray. Sprinkle with caster sugar and chill in the fridge for 20 minutes.
  5. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until pale golden-brown. Set aside to cool on a wire rack.

Add in some chocolate or a bit of ginger. Change things up be adventurous, and they always go well with a good brew.

Cookies

Ingredients

  • 225g butter, softened
  • 110g caster sugar
  • 275g plain flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon or other spices (optional)
  • 75g white or milk chocolate chips (optional)

Method

  1. Heat the oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5.
  2. Cream the butter in a large bowl with a wooden spoon or in a food mixer until it is soft.
  3. Add the sugar and keep beating until the mixture is light and fluffy.
  4. Sift in the flour and add the optional ingredients, if you’re using them.
  5. Bring the mixture together with your hands in a figure-of-eight motion until it forms a dough. (You can freeze the dough at this point)
  6. Roll the dough into walnut-sized balls and place them slightly apart from each other on a baking sheet, you don’t need to butter or line it.
  7. Flatten the balls a little with the palm of your hand and bake them in the oven for around 10-12 mins until they are golden brown and slightly firm on top.
  8. Leave the cookies on a cooling rack for around 15 mins before serving.

Chocolate Bourbons

Ingredients

For the biscuit:

  • 125g soft unsalted butter
  • 125g golden caster sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
  • 2 tbsp. golden syrup
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 250g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 50g cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder

For the filling:

  • 150g unsalted butter, softened
  • 360g icing sugar, sifted
  • 4 tbsp. cocoa powder
  • Pink food colouring

Method

  1. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas.
  2. Beat the butter and sugar together until creamy, then mix in the rest of the ingredients. Add a splash of milk if the mixture looks a bit dry – it should come together as a dough.
  3. Line three baking sheets, dust lightly with flour, then roll and pat one-third of the dough out to the thickness of a £1 coin on each tray.
  4. Cover and freeze for 15 mins.
  5. Slide the dough off the trays and put a new piece of parchment on each. Trim the edges of the dough to straighten, then cut into rectangles, roughly 6 x 3cm.
  6. Lift each one carefully onto the tray, leaving some space between them as they’ll expand.
  7. Bourbons usually have a pricked pattern, so use a cocktail stick to do this if you want (not too many or they’ll break up).
  8. Put the dough back in the freezer if it gets too soft.
  9. Bake for 8-10 mins, then leave to cool on the sheet, as the biscuits will be soft when they’re hot. Sprinkle over some sugar. (These will keep for a week in an airtight container.)
  10. Meanwhile, make the filling. Beat the butter and icing sugar together, then divide the mixture into three.
  11. Add the cocoa to one lot, a dot of pink colour to another, and leave the last one plain.
  12. Spoon each mixture into a piping bag or a sandwich bag with the corner snipped off.
  13. When the biscuits have cooled completely, pipe the icings onto half of them, then sandwich together with the other halves. Leave to set.

So, if you find yourself stuck looking for your favourite biscuits on the shelves, give these a try. It’ll be easier than trying to battle your way through the supermarkets!

To read more from Arron’s blog, follow the link here.

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