Saturday, 6 February 2010

Biscuits for Both - no tricks only treats!

I am taking part in the One World One Heart Blog Giveaway - please see posts below and to leave your entry for my free prize draw :) Thank you!

I was invited to my 'etsy' friend Jane's house warming the other week and decided to bake a present that could be enjoyed by her whole family - her fiance Martin and two rescue greyhounds Max and Molly. I have met Jane and her family before and it was lovely to see them all again.

Molly greeted me warmly as I stepped thru the door, as did Max and to a non-cook like me that is a great compliment! as I carried in my little tin of home baked biscuits.

(I'm sure you all know that dogs' noses are incredibly sensitive and that all dogs just love food! ... however .... I like to think that my biscuits were 'tasty' - just like Jane's Trick for Treats bag that Molly is sniffing)

I made some orange flavoured reindeer shaped ones dusted with icing sugar.
They came in three sizes - large (mug of tea size), medium (cup of tea size) and tiny (no time for tea size).

Max and Molly could share these treats too as they had all dog friendly ingredients in them and nothing that would make a dog ill. There are rather a lot of things that make dogs ill so I had to rethink my biscuits when I was considering the garlic ones, then the onion ones, then the chocolate ones!

I have used my reindeer cookie cutters only once before and I ended up eating nearly all the biscuits myself. I was pretty happy about that but it did occur to me that perhaps my cooking skills were maybe a little lacking being rather a non-cook type of person ...
My lovely friend Eline from etsy shop ElineOf has a blog called From The High North and quite often she has listed tasty sounding recipes on there.
I drool slightly as I read thru them but the process of gathering, weighing, waiting and prodding all seems so time consuming!

Eline makes the most amazingly beautiful treasuries on etsy and I have been in them often (Thank You Eline :)! and just now my Baby Reindeer watercolour ACEO is in this gorgeous one -

Eline is also a very accomplished knitter and sells both her knitted garments and their patterns from her etsy shop.
What better way to enjoy a bite of delicious home cooking than to wear homemade slippers! Especially this luxurious looking pair - aaah! I can just smell the biscuits and hot tea!

And because the colours are just perfect here are Eline's cashmere and merino gauntlets too.
Like short trousers that chill your ankles, isn't it nice to keep your wrists cosy too?

..... So I am going to be brave and post the recipe that I used - and my version of cooking it!
For all you expert cooks out there - please look away now :)
and for all beginners and 'toast is my speciality' chefs - read on -
I used my mum's well read, tried and tested Mrs Beaton's Cookery and Household Management Book printed in the 1960's.
I chose the simple Almond Circles
Ingredients are in brown and my version is next to it
5 1/4 Plain Flour - I used Doves Farm Organic White Bread Flour and I poured in 1/4 - 1/3 the bag in a medium mixing bowl
pinch salt - I forgot to put the salt in!
2oz butter - I used Anchor Free Range Salted Butter and I cut a 100g chunk from a 250g pack
2 1/2oz sugar - I used Sainsbury's Fairtrade Golden Granulated unrefined cane sugar 1kg and I poured in roughly 1/3 the bag
1/2 teaspoon almond essence - I wanted orange flavour instead so I finely grated the rind from a fresh orange and squeezed all it's juice
1/2 teaspoon baking powder - I used Fiddes Payne Baking Powder Gluten Free and this was the only thing that I managed to measure exactly (!)
egg - I used Sainsbury's Woodland Free Range egg x 1 Medium Size
or milk to mix - I also used Sainsbury's value brand Soya Milk Unsweetened - maybe about 1/2 cup
- Directions -
sift flour & salt & rub in fat
(my 'sifting' was the pouring from the bag and I used both hands to rub the butter into the flour - last time I did this was goodness knows when!)
Add sugar, essence & baking powder & mix to stiff dough with egg or milk
(I poured in the sugar and baking powder & orange rind and juice and added the whipped up egg and mixed with a fork then after 1 minute used my hands to knead it together, then added the soya milk to get the dough consistency)
Roll into 1/4" thick & cut into shapes
(I rolled a chunk onto a floured work top, one at a time, and wiped flour on my wooden rolling pin then rolled it in all directions until it was about 5mm thick then painstakingly began cutting with my reindeer cookie cutters)
Place on greased baking sheet & bake in moderate oven 350F / Gas4 until lightly browned.
Cooking time 20 minutes
Self raising flour may be used if desired.
(I put them onto a foil sheet on baking trays that had been warmed in the oven on about 220degrees I think and after 15 minutes I checked about every minute after until I thought they looked brown enough)
I repeated this about 4 times until all the dough was used up and had many moments of panic as the hot trays came out and the new tray went in. It was rather a rush trying to time the cookie cutting with the just ready cooked reindeer and to make sure that the legs came out of the cookie cutter in one piece and didn't stretch as long as a giraffes. The lack of worktop space was a big problem but I managed to eat a few incredibly hot ones without burning my mouth to make some room.
After about 3 hours of this rolling, dusting, rushing, transferring and admiring I was completely exhausted and ready for a cup of tea and a reindeer (large size).

The little batch is now all gone and I'm thinking I may brave the mayhem again to make some more!
Just a little reminder for everyone stopping by - I have donated an Arabella rabbit bag to raise funds for the rescue rabbits at Buckeye's in America. The bag is just to the right and tickets are $5 by paypal for 5 (or more) and $1 by US cheque.
I will also be giving away 5 x $10 vouchers towards anything in my etsy shop.
You may even find a tasty reindeer cookie in with your prize!!!


  1. beautiful and yummy post! ;0) lucky pups!

  2. Great job on the biscuits Annette! I be Max and Molly are still looking for you.....

  3. Thanks so much bringing your yummy biscuits to our house-warming party last weekend, & for sharing the recipe with us all! All your little tweaks to the recipe certainly worked as the end result was both delicious & beautiful to look at ;-) Max & Molly are definitely looking forward to the next time you visit...

    & thank you for introducing me to elineof's etsy shop - I am trying to improve my knitting 'skills' (I can currently knit things that are in straight lines only i.e. scarves!) & she provides plenty of inspriation. Who knows - perhaps one day I will get good enough to tackle one of her patterns!

  4. Mouth watering post, Annette, Ted' was sitting beside me so I read it to him and he thought it would be grand if I put some orange peel in the next batch of HIS biscuits.
    You are my kind of cook and a one of a kind writer. Loved it.
    Thanks for sharing.

  5. I really enjoyed reading that - thanks!

  6. Golly gosh... I think I'm glad that I dont have an oven at the moment. lol. What an ordeal is right... I'd be exhausted too after all that and what about the cleanup ? bet the rabbits didn't help you with that. lol.

    A fun tale to feast one's eyes on. THANKS !

  7. Oh, those look yummy. Will you share with me puppy? Pretty please?

  8. Ah Annette - you saw that I gave you the Sunshine Award before I told you! Your blog is very creative and a great inspiration so you are naturally on my list for the Sunshine Award!

  9. Yay, another raffle! I love the floral Arabella bag - awesome. I just went and purchases my tickets, maybe I'll get lucky and win! In any event, always glad to help the bunnies. :)


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