buttery crunchy shortbread cookiesIn our three-year stay in Hong Kong we developed a taste for snacks from the UK such as McVitie's digestive biscuits, St. Michael's jaffa cakes, crumpets, and salt & vinegar potato crisps, Carr's table water crackers, and other goodies with odd names. We love the digestive biscuits with a thin layer of caramel under a layer of milk chocolate or the ones with just a layer of milk chocolate. The jaffa cakes are our absolute favorite but I can't find in our area the McVitie's and the St. Michael's brands, I buy the LU Pim's which is also good.
The other day I made a small Strawberry Marshmallow Pie and used up the last packet of plain digestive biscuits. I want to make more of the pie (it was delicious!) so I made one batch of digestive biscuits and since I'm heating up the oven anyway, I also made jaffa cakes, and a few shortbread cookies too. The jaffa cakes are not bad but can't compare with the melt-in-your-mouth store bought cakes. The digestive biscuits however are very good and the shortbread cookies are superb, both make very good crusts for strawberry pie and for snacking. I can't stop eating the shortbread cookies, they are so yummy!:-)
Wheat Thins (Digestive Biscuits)
1½ cups fine stoneground whole wheat flour
¼ cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
3 tablespoons sugar
½ cup butter
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Put all the ingredients in the food processor and process until the mixture starts to clump. Transfer into a flat surface, gather the dough together with your hands and roll out.
- Stamp out 18 round pieces with a 3-inch cutter. Place on silpat or parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake for 12 minutes until the edges begin to color. Leave to cool slightly then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
½ cup superfine sugar
½ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup orange jam or marmalade
2 teaspoon water
½ teaspoon unflavored gelatin
4½ ounces semi sweet or bittersweet chocolate
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a stand mixer bowl with the whisk attachment, beat the sugar and eggs until light and frothy, when the whisk leaves a ribbon when lifted. Sift the flour over the mixture and stir in gently using a large metal spoon.
- Divide the mixture among 18 regular muffin molds. Bake for 10 minutes until just firm and color is pale golden around the edges. Using a metal spatula transfer the cakes into a rack to cool.
- Heat the jam and pass through a fine sieve. Return the strained jam to the pan and add the water and gelatin and cook until gelatin has dissolved. Transfer into a small bowl and let cool in the refrigerator for 10 minutes or until it has thickened a bit. Spoon a little of the jam in the center of each cookie. Melt the chocolate and spoon a little on top of the cookies, spreading gently to the edges. Leave to set for at least an hour.
1 cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon rice flour
½ cup butter
¼ cup superfine sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
golden superfine sugar
- Place the butter and sugar in a bowl and cream together until light and fluffy. Sift together the flour, rice flour, and salt and stir into the butter mixture until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Working quickly, gather the dough together and put on a work surface. Knead lightly until it forms a ball. Roll into a sausage shape, about 3 inches thick. Put in a plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Pour about 3 tablespoons raw sugar onto a sheet of parchment paper. Unwrap the dough and roll it on the sugar until evenly coated. Using a sharp knife, slice into ½ inch-thick disks. Place disks onto the baking sheets, leaving space in between and bake for 20 -25 minutes until pale golden in color.
- Remove from the oven and sprinkle with golden superfine sugar. Leave to cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.