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It's Not Magic, It's Work!

29 Oct 2016

Peanut butter biscuits

My better half loves peanut butter so I got a 1 kg tub of pure peanut butter - no added salt, sugar or fat. I like it in things but not really on it's own - which is good for my waist! Today I thought I'd try a biscuit recipe, I also swapped the butter for rape oil - as it's cheaper and healthier than butter.

  • 225 g sifted self-raising flour
  • fat, either vegetable oil or butter:
    • vegetable oil, doesn't contain any water:
      • 60 g rape oil
      • 15 g water
    • butter, naturally contains about 20% water:
      • 75 g butter
  • 50 g crunchy peanut butter
  • 50 g golden-syrup or runny honey
  • 25 g muscovado sugar

Mix the flour, peanut butter and oil (or butter) in a large bowl with your fingers until it resembles bread crumbs. Works best if you gradually add the oil. This works much better than you would think.

Next add the sugar, syrup/honey, and start to form into a dough ball, add the water as you go. You need a firm dough ball that may need more or less water - depends on how wet your peanut butter is.

Form the dough into small walnut sized balls and flatten with a wet fork - creating a criss-cross pattern on top. Space apart on a greased baking sheet - allowing them to flatten and expand outwards.

Back in a warm oven, 180°C/170°C fan/Gas 4 for 10-12 minutes, turning half way. Leave on the sheet for a minute before transferring to a wire rack to cool.

09 Oct 2016

Anzax Biscuits

Yesterday was the Community Orchard Fair in the village. My better half made some oat biscuits that were reminiscent of those my grandmother used to bake. So today after our visit to the Blackmoor Apple Fair we bought the missing ingredients and I made a batch this afternoon.

As far as I can tell the Anzax biscuits are actually ANZAC biscuits and someone mistranscribed the name when they copied the recipe. The recipe my mother typed up - which I can only assume is my grandmother's is basically one cup (unspecified size) of flour, sugar, rolled oats, dedicated coconut, a glug of golden syrup, a glug of water, ¼ pound of butter and a tea spoon of bicarbonate of soda.

There are lots of variations of the ANZAC biscuit on the web, all basically the same but varying a little in the sugars used, granulated, caster, and brown, and the closest I was able to find to this Yorkshire ANZAX biscuit is one from New Zealand.

I've tried to do this before but not had much success. Today I tried again, with a different cup and a bit more care. The recipe came out this time as:

  • 155 g plain flour
  • 200 g granulated white sugar
  • 100 g jumbo rolled oats
  • 90 g dessicated coconut
  • 30 g golden syrup (~56% invert syrup, 44% sucrose mixture)
  • 35 g of warm water
  • 75 g oilseed rape oil (instead of 125 g of butter)
  • 1 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda

In a large mixing bowl put all the dry ingredients and mix. Put all the liquids in a jug and warm in the microwave (don't let them boil!). Pour the warm liquid mixture into a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and work in with a large soon. Once mixed, use you hands to form into small balls - you may need to add extra water at this stage. Place the small balls on a greased biscuit tray - evenly spaced out. Place in a "cool oven" at 160°C for about 10-15 minutes, turning half way and carefully check towards the end as they will burn if you aren't careful. They should be consistently even golden in colour - they should not be pale in the middle and dark brown on the outside!

Best served with a nice cup of tea - though other beverages may work also.