Prep Time:20 mins plus fridge resting time, Cook Time: 15 mins, Total Time: 35 mins
April 20, 2014
A little late I know, but it is still Easter Sunday, just! In my defense this was my second make of the biscuits after a first attempt early last week with the littlies and their friends. While they were quite nice and the kids happily demolished them I thought they were a little lacking in flavour and texture, and besides I didn’t manage to get many snaps. What I was after was an easy to manipulate and healthier biscuit but still with enough tasty appeal and crunch. The adding of a little lemon zest, more spice and ground almonds nailed it for me. The mixture was super versatile and lent itself well to being cut into various cookie shapes, which lets face it is lots of fun to do! And we didn’t just have easter bunnies, chicks and eggs, but butterflies, ponies and the odd stray aeroplane and dinosaur too. These biscuits really don’t have to be just for Easter!
My apologies also for my lack of bloggie action of late. It’s all been a little hectic here at Eat Your Veg HQ with the easter school jollies in full swing and the week before they commenced my feet barely touched the ground with so much going on. But with the littlies happily deposited with their papa in London for a week I at last have time to get busy catching up. Nice to be back in business!.
I feel I should add that these biccies are far from virtuous. There’s still lots of butter and sugar in there BUT compared to anything processed they’ve got to be good. No nasty fats, lower in sugar and better sugar at that (soft brown if you’re asking), half wholemeal flour and plenty of currents for added natural sweetness. And zero chemicals. I actually stopped buying biscuits last August when I returned to the UK, bar the odd sneaky packet of plain choc digestives I’ve totally stuck to it. My will power is shocking to say the least and my kids were getting similarly hooked. I vowed instead to bake batches of (healthier) biccies whenever the whim took hold, but I have to confess the desire may be there but I haven’t baked very many. The kids interestingly haven’t missed them at all, though they’ve always enjoyed the odd batch we’ve made together. Bit like the cutting out of fruit juice, they moaned for a few days but haven’t mentioned it since. So adaptable these little people.
Wholemeal Flour, Ground Almonds, Currents
Toddlers, Big Kids and Everyone Else!, Learning to Bake, Healthier Snacks, Elevensies, Lunchboxes, Picnics, After-School Treats, Easter, Kids Parties
Makes about 20 biscuits, depending on your cutter size. The mixture can be made in advance and stored in the fridge for a few days or the freezer for a month, then brought out when the need for a biscuit takes hold!
Ideally an electric hand held whisk, 1 to 2 baking trays lined with baking parchment, interesting shaped cutters or just round fluted cutters for more traditional biscuits
Ingredients Prep Time:20 mins plus fridge resting time, Cook Time: 15 mins, Total Time: 35 mins
To make about 20 biscuits (cutter size depending):
100g softened butter
65g soft brown sugar
1 egg, medium, free range
1/2 lemon, zest of
100g plain flour, plus a little extra for rolling out
100g wholemeal flour
1 teaspoon mixed spice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
25g ground almonds
1 dessertspoon golden caster sugar
1) Using an electric hand whisk (or strong hands and a whisk or wooden spoon) beat together the butter and the soft brown sugar until light and creamy then whisk in the egg and lemon zest.
2) Sift together the two flours with the mixed spice and cinnamon. Gradually add to the butter and sugar mixture, mixing together with a wooden spoon. When things get too stiff and tricky with the spoon get your hands in (kids LOVE this, just make sure their hands have been washed!) and squash together.
3) Mix in the ground almonds and currents and shape the biscuit dough together. If it’s too dry to come together add a splash of milk or water. Wrap the dough in cling film and place in the fridge to firm up for at least 20 minutes.
4) Pre-heat the oven to 180ºc/160ºc fan/gas mark 4.
5) On a lightly floured surface either press down the dough with your hands until it’s 0.5cm thick or use a rolling pin.
6) Cut the dough into your desired shapes and place each biscuit on the lined baking trays. Re-work the dough until it’s all used, it’s fine to re-work several times (my kids are testament to this).
7) Lightly sprinkle the golden caster sugar over the biscuits.
8) Bake in the oven for 12 to 15 minutes until lightly golden brown. Cool on a cooling rack.