This quote from Roald Dahl's 'George's Marvellous Medicine' neatly sums up the development of these biscuits. There was flour on every conceivable surface, half opened packets littered around and a messy trail of random ingredients lining the route from the store cupboard to the food mixer.
You might be relieved to know that some of the cupboard contents didn't make the cut, namely the gravy granules, pesto and tomato purée.
You see, I had my heart set on baking seasonal maple biscuits. I envisaged skipping through the park, dressed in warming winter woollies, kicking multicoloured Autumn leaves high into the air and enjoying a bagful of these biccies. Yes, a bit like a scene from Mary Poppins. The recent stormy conditions put paid to that romantic notion- we nibbled them over a cuppa on the sofa, the rain lashing against the windows, discussing at length exactly who's turn it was to clean the bathroom.
But after a few attempts, this recipe, to continue the childhood favourites theme and quote Mary Poppins, is "practically perfect in every way".
175g plain flour
50g self-raising flour
75g golden caster sugar
75g unsalted cold butter
1 egg yolk
0.5 tsp vanilla extract
50g maple syrup
1. Preheat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/Gas Mark 4. Grease and line two baking sheets with baking parchment
2. Place the flours into a bowl and mix to combine. Dice the butter and add to the bowl. Using your fingertips rub the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar
3. Make a well in the centre of the mixture, add the egg yolk, vanilla extract and syrup. Mix, initally with a spoon, then with your hands to form a ball. Wrap the dough in clingfilm and pop in the fridge for at least twenty minutes
4. Roll out the dough to a thickness of 4mm on a work surface dusted with flour. Use a biscuit cutter dipped in a little flour or a Cookie Press to cut out the leaf shapes.
5. Space well apart on the prepared baking sheets and bake for 10- 15 minutes or until golden in colour
6. Dust with icing sugar to serve
- I used this Oxo Cookie Press to create the maple biscuits. The Press will be available to purchase from Lakeland stores from January. With thanks to Oxo for sending me the Cookie Press to sample.