Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Swedish Coconut Biscuits

This years biscuits were the Laura's Shortbread (heart-shaped biscuits with coloured centres, then clockwise), Chocolate Chip Biscuits with nut-free chocolate, Swedish Coconut Biscuits (see below) and Orange, Cardamon and Brandy Biscuits from Bill Granger's Open Kitchen which I discovered after reading about Niki making them in her food blog Esurientes - The Comfort Zone.

I altered the shortbread recipe by cutting a hole in the cut-out biscuit dough and when they were on the baking paper-lined tray, filling the hole with crushed boiled lolly. These turned out to be the small food critic's favourite, she renamed them 'jelly biscuits'. After much anticipation on my part she didn't take to the chocolate chip biscuits at all.

My favourites are the Swedish Coconut Biscuits which are very buttery, quite fragile and horribly moreish, or when I'm sitting down with a cuppa - the orange, cardamon and brandy biscuits. The later seem to require very soft butter and lots of beating of the butter and sugar to make the mixture cohere. And I skipped giving the biscuits an egg white wash before sprinkling them with sugar, the sugar still adhered (well I put enough on that some of it did) and they looked fine when baked.

Swedish Coconut Biscuits

125 g unsalted butter
100 g caster sugar
125 g plain flour
1/2 tsp bicarb soda
1/2 tsp backing powder
1/2 tsp pure vanilla essence
35 g desiccated coconut

Beat the sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Mix in the vanilla. Sift the flour with bicarb soda and baking powder, add with coconut and work the mixture with hands until it comes together.

Make two sausages 6 cm in diameter. Wrap and chill overnight.

Cut slices about 2mm in thickness. Bake at 180 degreesC for 8 - 10 minutes. Watch carefully as they brown very quickly and you want to catch them just as the biscuits on the edge of the tray are starting to change colour.


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