Classic Custard Biscuits
Biscuits or cookies? This question has troubled me all my life. As a native Afrikaans speaker, we call them “koekies” – sounds a lot like cookies, right? Wrong! Cookies are supposedly soft and fudgy and eaten warm or with milk. Biscuits are baked hard, they are dry, glued together with a filling of sorts or dunked into a hot beverage. (Or, if you want to be showered in crumbs – eaten on their own.) Biscuits are more like biscotti, or like the Afrikaans “beskuit” (rusks).
As a kid, around Christmas time every year, my grandmother would bake these biscuits, along with 3 other types of biscuits. Don’t worry – I’m not about to do a blog post about Christmas in September! Maybe I’ll write about all the different types of Christmas cookies then? This recipe is straightforward and easy to make, I have sized it down – because I don’t bake for the extended family of about four thousand like my grandmother used to. I love making these, because in no time I am rolling little dough balls, placing them onto a baking sheet and pressing them down slightly with a fork. I find myself back in the kitchen with my mother or grandmother, baking, in the summer heat, because the crowds will arrive soon, and then so will Christmas!
You will need:
½ Cup Butter (Baking Margarine)
1 Cup Sugar
2 Large eggs
3 Cups Flour
4 Tbsp Custard Powder (60ml)
1 Tbsp + ½ tsp Baking Powder (17.5ml total)
½ Tbsp salt
- Cream the butter and sugar.
- Add the eggs, one at a time. Incorporate well.
- Sift dry ingredients together.
- Add dry ingredients to the butter mixture and incorporate. (*see notes)
- Roll into thumb-sized balls and place onto a greased baking sheet.
- With a fork, flatten the biscuits slightly before baking.
- Bake @ 200°C for 10-12 minutes, or until golden.
- Let the biscuits cool before removing from baking sheet.
*The dough is quite dry, I like to use my hand for the last bit of mixing, almost kneading it into a giant ball before forming the individual biscuits.
*You can dip a fork in cocoa powder before flattening your biscuits, it creates dark lines, making the biscuits visually more interesting, while also adding a hint of chocolate flavour.
*The original recipe is four times the size of this one (I know, it’s insane!), This recipe is 1/4 of the original, but it works when made to 1/2 and 3/4 of the original recipe as well.