Lockdown has a way with nostalgia. A ‘tin of biscuits’ is what I grew up with – it was this round tin box with an assortment of butter biscuits – some with sugar, some with a dash of cinnamon, some with sweet jam and there was a rectangular tin with custard biscuits too. I haven’t seen or eaten them in more than 20 years, yet, the taste lingers. Last week, my mother walked past my brother and I with the exact same tin. My brother stopped his work phone call just to run after her, with me behind him. “where did you get that from” and my mother, being as she is, turned around with a grin, opened it, and showed all the batteries stored in it! This tin has traveled with us, through the years, the countries, the homes, serving as a trusted storage box. And despite, both of us being 30+, my brother and I, spent an hour describing those biscuits in great detail.
A biscuit has it’s own charm.
What’s the difference between a cookie and a biscuit? The heck I know. The only difference in my head is that a cookie is American – big, thicker, chewy, dunked into milk. A biscuit is European, English, had with a pot of tea or café au lait or even a quick espresso. It’s dainty, crispy, a few crumbs are allowed, and just the right bit of sweetness. Now don’t quote me on your thesis – I’m just a home cook. What do I know?
So this is my version of the biscuit – it’s not too crisp, crumbles right into the mouth, perfect with a cup of tea and of course, my favourite cappuccino.
Serves Yields 24 biscuits
- ½ cup butter (120g), room temperature
- ¼ cup castor sugar
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla essence
- 2 tbsp milk
- 1 ¼ cups flour (160g)
- 3 tbsp cocoa powder, unsweetened
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- Line a baking tray
- Cream butter and sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy
- Add the vanilla and milk and mix in
- With wooden spoon or spatula sift in the dry ingredients
- Mix to just combine
- Shape the dough into 24 walnut-sized balls, place on the baking tray and flatten slightly and Make criss-cross pattern with a fork
- Freeze for 15 minutes
- Preheat the oven in meantime to 160C
- Bake for 10 minutes
- Take out of oven and cool down on a wire rack completely