(Recipe on Page 2)
The Internet told me that Valentines Day was coming up. The Internet also tells me where I can meet rich single men. Great. Cheers Facebook. As if I wasn’t getting enough of that from my Indian fruit and vege man and my grandmother who reassures me that there are plenty of fish in the sea and that I will find a good husband one day. I still don’t know why there isn’t a facepalm emoticon yet.
While as much as I dislike the cheesy, frilly and candy-coated fuss of it all I do really like the idea of giving handmade treats to your friends and loved ones just to say, “hey, I think you’re pretty great”.
I do love making people gifts and sending them as part of ridiculous care packages. The current recipient will be able to vouch for that. As soon as he receives the previous one in the mail I start conjuring up the next one in my head. These homemade shrewsberry biscuits are a practice run for next week’s ordeal.
When I was younger I was always a bit OCD about my shrewsberry biscuits, you know the Griffins ones. I had to always have equal numbers of heart punched ones as I did the triangles and circles. So biscuit consumption always had to happen in multiples of three. Here I am wondering why I was a chubby 12 year old . . .
I found this recipe in the new Little and Friday Celebrations book by Kim Evans. The recipe calls for making your own raspberry filling but alas my freezer was not chocker block full of frozen raspberries. I used some good quality Anathoth jam instead.
When making biscuits such as these, it is important that the dough is kept chilled and the raw circles are cool when they enter the oven. Ok, quick food science lesson:
So when a biscuit containing butter is put in the oven, the butter melts causing the biscuit to spread outwards. When a biscuit contains egg (more important in this case, egg white) at a certain temperature the albumin proteins denature forming a gel. This stops the spreading of the biscuit. So in order to get a clear cut shape you need to balance these two reactions (Ifreakinglovescience). So by chilling the dough first you give the egg white a head start, so basically the outer surface will solidify before the butter has a chance to melt outwards.
You can use whatever shaped cookie cutter you like. I went all mainstream and traditional and used my Mum’s scone cutter to create the frilly circle. I hunted all around the kitchen to find something suitable for the centre punch until I remembered that the base of a piping tip would work just smashingly. Oh and it did. Sometimes the dough got stuck in it so all you have to do is blow on the other end to get it out.
Let’s do this shall we?