Monday, 11 April 2011

Fork Biscuits

Recipe Number Twenty Two:  Page 195.


After spending so long baking the gingerbread and chocolate cake I have to say I was relieved to see that I only needed three ingredients to make these little biscuits, so hopefully they wouldn't take long. I washed the beaters of my electric whisk for what felt like the hundredth time! All I had to do was beat the butter until soft and add sugar and flour. It took a while for me to work the combined ingredients into a dough with my hands. Even though my hands were uncharacteristically nice and warm, bits of dough kept breaking off. Eventually I had a more manageable dough, so I could divide it into sixteen pieces. The sixteen pieces seemed very small but, as the flour is self-raising, they would spread in the oven. Once on a greased baking tray, I could flatten each little biscuit with a fork. Even though I had dipped the fork in water first, when I pressed down fairly hard the biscuits cracked and bits fell off, so it took some time to get them to look half decent! After this I was fairly happy and I put the tray of biscuits into the heated oven.

I was disappointed to look through the oven door and see that the biscuits had not only spread but flattened. The fork marks had completely disappeared on all but a very few.

Once out of the oven I immediately tried to pick the biscuits off the tray using a pallet knife. I shouldn't have done this as they immediately broke in two! I reluctantly left the rest to cool for five minutes before trying again and, this time, they came off as good as gold. 
Taste a lot better than they look!!

Do not be fooled by the simplicity of these little biscuits. I cannot stop eating them! They are one of the most moreish things I have ever tasted. I think I have eaten three today and it isn't even lunchtime! To think how proud I was yesterday to see that I had managed to lose a few pounds. Well, after all the food I have consumed, I think I may have put it back on plus a bit more for good measure!
 
Varitation: Chocolate Fork Biscuits.

I always feel nervous when making chocolate biscuits. It is hard to know when a biscuit is perfectly cooked and even harder when the biscuit is already a deep shade of brown!! The thought of chocolate spurred me on and I just had to hope I wouldn't end up with a pile of charcoal!

After beating the sugar into the butter I was to add the flour. For this variation I was to deduct a small amount and replace with cocoa powder. I'd forgotten how messy these biscuits are to make. I had to bring the mixture together with my hands and form into a soft dough. My hands soon matched the colour of the dough! Now it was time to roll into sixteen walnut sized balls. Mine were all shapes and sizes. As it would only be us eating the biscuits I didn't let it worry me!

I left the biscuits to cook for just over fifteen minutes and then went to check on them. They were still very soft but I remembered that they harden as they cool. I decided to risk it and place onto a wire rack. The last thing I wanted to do was over cook them. Soon the biscuits were ready to sample. As with the original recipe I found them irresistible. They melted in my mouth and had a crumbly texture. The chocolate flavour was much in evidence and satisfied my cravings!

A wonderful recipe for when you wish to rustle up a simple and tasty treat.
Nom nom nom!


Variation: Orange Fork Biscuits

The second variation for Mary's fork biscuits. An orange flavoured biscuit sounded promising and I was very much looking forward to sampling one or six!!

It was a roasting hot day so I thought it best to wait until early evening before turning on the oven and starting to bake. I wasn't sure if it was the heat or my usual scatter brain that caused me to keep going back to the book to check the recipe. Just as I'd finally remembered how much butter I needed to weigh, I found myself distracted. Two young girls were riding horses up the field behind our house. I was amused to see that the smaller of the two horses was in no mood to follow directions. It trotted sideways through the middle of the barley crop! Thankfully they soon travelled out of sight so I could carry on with the task at hand. These biscuits were in danger of being forgotten!

After beating the butter for a short while I beat in the sugar a little at a time. Mary instructs us to add the zest of an orange at this point. My orange was very juicy so I became worried that the zest would add too much moisture to the mixture. Now it was time to beat in the flour. Due to the heat and the orange the mixture soon came together to form a soft dough. It was easy to divide up into balls then to flatten with a wet fork.

The biscuits smelt delightful as they cooked. The kitchen was filled with a gorgeous orangey scent; it really did feel like Summer was here! Once the biscuits were out of the oven, and had cooled for a few moments, I dived in for a taste. The orange flavour jumped out and bounced on my taste buds. It really packed a punch! What a gorgeous flavoursome biscuit. Perfect treat for a warm Summer evening.
Scrummy!

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