Sometimes events collide in such a way that you have to just go with the flow and call it fate. So when Santa left a brand new cookie stamp in my stocking, and a recent cursory examination of the fridge revealed mountains of cheese but absolutely no accompaniment, a spot of savoury biscuit making was the natural conclusion.
But which recipe to choose? I opted for the ever-reliable Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s digestive biscuits, though having now baked and eaten most of them, I would suggest they are more like oatcakes (and all the better for that). Making these is a messy old business; I suspect Hugh’s tumbling locks needed a hairnet during the critical stages. I’d also suggest allowing some time for your freshly chilled dough to acclimatise back towards room temperature, or you will likely suffer from bicep/wrist strain when attempting to roll out your cookies. Still, I do love a recipe which includes a full-body workout.
Finished article shown below, shortly before being hoovered up by the photographer (that would be me, I’m afraid). These look even prettier before they are baked – see below – and I’ll certainly be trying the stamp on plain cookies for max effect.
River Cottage Digestives – Makes around 40 biscuits
- 250g Wholewheat flour
- 250g Quick cook oats
- 125g soft brown sugar
- 1 tsp of salt (his recipe calls for 2, but one worked great)
- 2tsp baking powder
- 250g unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
- 1tbsp milk
- Combine all of your dry ingredients by pulsing in a food processor. Add the butter bit by bit and mix to form a dough
- Gradually add in the milk – you may want to transfer to a bowl and do this by hand
- Wrap in clingflim and transfer to the fridge for an hour (you can leave it for longer and even freeze it at this stage)
- Bring the dough back upto temperature, preheat the oven to 180/350 degrees and cut out your biscuits before baking for around 10-15mins, until golden brown. Whip out of the oven and attempt to wait until they have cooled before eating – this will make them decidedly less crumbly and be less likely to require a trip to Accident and Emergency.
- I suggest at least 4 should be eaten in the kitchen to test for consistency in quality before offering to family and friends…