Biscuit-related things

(Approx. reading time 4 min 04 secs, last updates 10/July/2021)

I don’t think I need a big introduction for this one: biscuits, cookies, call them whatever you want. They’re made with flour, usually butter, and always moreish.

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Choosing the ingredients

Basic ingredients are all that’s needed to make biscuit-related things. If you want to skip the baking powder that many of these recipes call for, you can use self-raising flour instead of plain flour.

Alternative flours work for everything, however, you may need to change the amount of wet ingredients. If you want to have a go with any non wheat flours, I suggest looking at a few recipes before baking, to avoid wasting ingredients. I have a massive list of recipes for alternative flours here.

When it comes to eggs, most recipes will take alternatives too. My personal favourite for biscuits and similar bakes is flaxseed.

Fluffy sugar cookies

Sugar cookies are probably the first cookie every child bakes. And there’s a reason for that: they are easy and delicious. These ones have a cakey center and crispy edges.

You can add up to half a cup of dry ingredients for flavour or texture. The ones on the photo had some drinking chocolate powder added.

And if you are dairy free, you can use a vegan butter, but the cookies may not spread as much.

Mix the dry ingredients

In a bowl mix 250 grams (2 cups) of plain flour, 150 grams (3/4 of a cup) of sugar, 2 grams (1/2 teaspoon) of baking powder, and 2 grams (1/4 teaspoon) of salt.

Make sure all ingredients are well mixed, I like to use a whisk.

Add the wet ingredients

Add 1 egg and 150 grams (2/3 of a cup) of butter at room temperature. And mix. The dough will be somewhat wet but not sticky.

Shape and cool

Shape the cookies on a cookie sheet.

These cookies will grow a bit and the dough is soft, so they are not great for cookie cutters. A traditional round cookie shape is best. They are also good for thumbprint cookies if you want to add some jam, peanut butter, or spread to them for extra flavour.

Cool the cookies in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before baking. If you skip the cooling, the cookies will melt and you will end up with one giant cookies instead.

Bake

Bake the cookies in the middle rack of an oven preheated to 180 C (350 F) until they are golden brown, depending on the thickness and size that will take between 10 and 20 minutes.

Scones (biscuits)

Depending where you live you may call these different things. In the UK, they are scones, and they can be sweet or savoury. In America, they are biscuits and always savoury if round, but they can also be called scones if they are sweet and shapes like triangles. The basic recipe is the same for all of them.

For this recipe, you can add up to half a cup of any dry flavouring: dried fruits, nuts, herbs, spices, cheese. You can also replace the milk with any non-dairy alternative without needing any adjustments, and you can replace the butter for any other hard fat (ghee, vegan butter, margarine, peanut butter, coconut oil…).

Mix the dry ingredients

In a bowl mix 250 grams (2 cups) of plain flour, 12 grams (1 tablespoon) of baking powder, and 2 grams (1/4 teaspoon) of salt. If making sweet scones, add 25 grams (2 tablespoons) of sugar.

Make sure all ingredients are well mixed, I like to use a whisk.

Mix the wet ingredients

Mix 120 grams (1/2 cup) of butter with 120 millilitres (1/2 cup) of milk. This step is particularly important is you are using an alternative to butter, especially peanut butter or another nut or seed butter.

Add 1 egg and 150 grams (2/3 of a cup) of butter at room temperature. And mix. The dough will be somewhat wet but not sticky.

Combine and shape

Combine all ingredients until you have a dough that feels soft but crumbly. If the recipe feels too hard or is not combining, add more milk one teaspoon at a time. Roll into desired thickness and cut.

If you want the tops to get extra golden, brush with milk or egg whites.

Bake

Bake the scones in the middle rack of an oven preheated to 180 C (350 F) until they are golden brown, it will take approximately 15 minutes for an average sized scone.

Crackers

Making crackers at home is very easy. If you’re new at cooking or have kids around, this is a great recipe to get started in baking and try out new flavour combinations.

The only way you’ll make bad crackers is by burning them, but burning crackers is actually really easy if you’re not paying attention! One minute they’ll be raw, and the next they’ll be inedible charcoal. Just keep a eye on them while in the oven because crackers are very quick to bake.

Crackers can be made with even the cheapest ingredients (they are great for using up things that aren’t of the best quality), and made special by adding one or two special flavours: herbs, spices, nuts, seeds, olives, cheese, sauces, condiments… You can use all your odd leftovers in crackers.

Crackers are also great to make when you want to try different flours, but don’t want to commit to a big bake.

Mix

In a bowl mix 200 grams (1 2/3 cups) of plain flour, 45 millilitres (3 tablespoons) of melted butter or oil, 170 millilitres (2/3 cup) of water or milk (or any other liquid), up to 6 grams (1 teaspoon) of salt and any flavourings you want (for the crackers in the photo I used mixed seeds and sugar), until you get a non-sticky dough.

You might need to adjust the liquid or flour to make sure the dough is not sticky at all. It should feel like bread dough, and be easy to handle.

Shape and mark

Using a rolling pin (or your hands) spread the dough on a cooking sheet as thin as you want the crackers to be. And mark the shapes with a knife, but don’t cut them. You will divide them after baking.

The crackers don’t need to look perfect. A rustic home-made look is part of the fun of baking at home!

Bake

Bake in a preheated oven at 200 C (400 F) until the crackers are golden brown.

If you are baking two batches at the same time, swap them so they both get a turn at the top, to make sure they cook evenly on the top and the bottom.