Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Family favorite - Cat Biscuits

My husband and kids have a favorite biscuit, Cookies for my American friends. It is a recipe I got from my Mother-in-law a lot of years ago. Greg's family always called them Cat biscuits I am not really sure why and neither are they. In Greg's Mothers cook book they were called Foaming Biscuits.
It is a great recipe, easy to make and keeps really well in an airtight container. It doesn't have any eggs and can be made with any type of flour including almond or coconut. It can be made with margarine or butter (not oil) and changed really easily by adding chocolate chips, chopped nuts or dried fruit or flavorings such as spices or lemon or orange peel. Anything that takes your fancy.
This is the basic recipe it makes a lot. They are nice with some icing drizzled over.

Foaming Biscuits or Cat Biscuits.

4 cups plain flour
1 cup butter
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1/2 cup milk or water
1 teaspoon bi-carb soda (In USA it is called baking soda not baking powder)
1 tablespoon hot water.

Method
1. Put the butter and flour into the food processor or rub the butter into the flour if you don't have a food processor.
2. Put the flour and butter mixture into a bowl. You can't leave it in the food processor trust me.
3. Place the milk and sugar into a pot and heat over a low heat until the sugar melts.
4. Dissolve the bi-carb soda in the hot water and add to the pot of sugar and milk.
5. Quickly pour it into the dry ingredients and mix it until it is smooth. It will look runny but will thicken up and it cools.
6. Either put it into the fridge in the bowl or once it has cooled roll it into logs wrapped in gladwrap. Chill in fridge or freezer until firm. It can be left in the freezer and used over the next month but this is not really required as they keep really well cooked and in an airtight container.
7. Once chilled and firm either roll 1 teaspoon size balls and squash with a fork or roll out and cut into shapes. Or cut the chilled logs into slices.
8. Place on trays that have been greased and floured or on trays lined with baking paper. Bake at 180 degrees C until golden. about 10 - 15 minutes.

For flavoured biscuits
- For chocolate add 1 teaspoon cinnamon and 2 tablespoons cocoa at step 2 and top with a chocolate button just before cooking. If you want to add chocolate chips do it after the mixture has cooled or the chocolate melts and the biscuit are chewy

- Lemon and Currants - Use lemon juice instead of milk or water in step 3 and add grated lemon rind and 1 cup of currants at step 2. After cooked and cooled ice with lemon icing.

- Orange and almond - Use orange juice instead of water or milk in step 3 and add grated orange rind and 1 cup of chopped almonds at step 2.

- Coconut and Jam - At step 1 use only 3 and 1/2 cups of flour and add 1 cup dessicated coconut. At step 7 roll the chilled mixture into golf ball size balls and squash down a bit. Make a hole with the handle of a wooden spoon and put 1/2 teapsoon of your favorite jam or nutella in the hole and cook.

These are only a few of my favorite flavour combinations the sky is the limit.

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