Today I’m trying a recipe from a book my mum got for for Christmas: Great British Bakes, by Mary-Anne Boerman from the Great British Bake Off. It’s a book of old recipes she’s managed to resurrect from old books and manuscripts. The one I’ve chosen is a pre-cursor to the Garibaldi biscuit from 1669: Knight’s Biscuits.
- 225g plain flour
- 115g caster sugar
- 115g unsalted butter, softened
- 1 egg yolk
- 45ml double cream
- 2 tbsp cream sherry
- 1/2 a nutmeg, ground
- 225g currants
The flour starts by getting dried on a baking tray in a 90c fan oven for 20 minutes. Once it’s dried the butter and sugar get creamed, then the sherry, egg yolk, cream & nutmeg get beaten in. Finally the flour and currants are mixed in.
The dough is very sticky, and the recipe suggests rolling out between clingfilm: but they wouldn’t have had that back in the 1600s, so I popped mine in the fridge to chill, next to various left over doughs and pastes I must use up at some points!
I later realised they wouldn’t have had fridges either… Anyway: after chilling the dough is rolled out to just under a centimetre and a 6.5cm fluted cookies cutter used to cut biscuits. Then they go on a lined baking tray, have holes poked in them with a fork, then it’s back in the fridge before baking.
They go in for 15-20 minutes at 180c fan, until golden brown. They’re supposed to be crispy, so I assume for a change we are looking at proper colour on a cookie before taking it out. Then it’s only a rack to cool.
Apparently the original recipe glazed the biscuits with an egg white & icing sugar mix. I did think about doing this, maybe with some cream sherry in there, but I decided against it as I’m taking these to my mum’s in a box so icing will just complicate things.