Sunday, July 26, 2009
On Wednesday, Ruth asked me if I would bake again, so on Wednesday night, I decided to make what my mother refers to as "pusher" biscuits. These are just biscuits made using a cookie press.
Now, in theory, these biscuits are simple to make, but my experience tells me otherwise. The biscuit press is a fickle machine, as my friend Tammy recently mentioned, and you have to get the dough just right. If you don't, the whole exercise can range from a battle of wills to a downright failure.
From bitter experience, I have learned that I should not use reduced fat margarine when making these, as the dough does not reach the correct consistency to extrude properly. I know, I should cook with margarine, but my mother always did, and her recipe actually calls for margarine. In my cold-addled haze the other night, I forgot about the reduced fat margarine no-no, and used it in my biscuit dough. It made it quite a struggle to press the biscuits out, requiring me to aid the process by lifting the biscuits off the end of the presser with my hands (they should just fall off), and eventually to abandon the presser altogether and roll out the rest of the dough and cut it into star shapes. However, a selection of the cookies that I managed to press are featured at the top of this post, sandwiched together with water icing.
I recommend skipping the margarine and going for the butter for the best results. My mother's recipe for these biscuits is as follows:
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 3/4 cups self raising flour less 2 tablespoons
2 tablespoons cornflour
1 pinch salt
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
Beat the butter and sugar together with an electric mixer until light and creamy. Beat in the egg, followed by the vanilla essence.
Remove the bowl from the electric mixer, and sift in the flour and cornflour. Stir until well combined to form a relatively stiff dough. (Add more flour if the dough is still sticky.)
Put portions of the dough into the biscuit presser, press out onto biscuit trays lined with baking paper, and bake in the preheated oven. Remove the golden baked biscuits from the oven and allow to cool on the trays.
Once cool, sandwich the biscuits together with water icing, if desired.