Mrs. Hudson's Biscuits

I was warned that the results of the strange recipe given to me were equally strange. Two “strange”s in this limited vocabulary turns from “intriguing” to “bad.” So I tried making the much tastier-sounding (and looking) “Mrs. Hudson’s Biscuits” instead.

125 g. butter
 125 g icing sugar
 2 tsp vanilla sugar or 2 tsp sugar with 2-3 drops of vanilla extract
 1 egg
 1 pinch of salt
 juice and grated peel of 1/2 lemon
 125 g. flour
 125 g. cornflour 1 knife tip baking powder
 butter to grease pan

Glaze 100 g. icing sugar 2 tbsps lemon juice

Whip the butter until it is fluffy, then slowly add the icing sugar; Add the vanilla sugar, egg, salt, lemon juice and peel; Add the flour, baking powder and cornflour slowly and mix well; Grease a baking tray with butter; Fill a pastry bag with the dough and press small biscuits onto the baking tray; Bake in a preheated 400F oven for 10-15 minutes Make the glaze by mixing the icing sugar and lemon juice. Brush biscuits with it, and let it dry. Makes about 70 biscuits.

Some of the quantities are in grams. The postage scale I use doesn’t have grams. Here are the quantities (roughly) in ounces:

4 1/2 oz butter (about one stick and another tablespoon)
 4 1/2 oz icing sugar (somewhat more than a cup) 2 tsp vanilla sugar or 2 tsp sugar with 2-3 drops of vanilla extract
 1 egg
 1 pinch of salt juice and grated peel of 1/2 lemon (I used the entire lemon’s zest)
 4 1/2 oz flour (a little more than a cup) 4 1/2 oz cornflour (about a cup)
 1 knife tip baking powder butter to grease pan

Glaze 3 1/2 oz icing sugar
 2 tbsps lemon juice (I just used all the juice from the other half)

Two oopses flopped down as too-late realizations (I suppose that’s what an oops is) throughout the execution of this recipe. One, in my enthusiasm for not having to go to the store, I used course corn meal instead of corn flour. That there was a difference didn’t even occur to me until I crunched down on a bit of the dough. Two, I preheated the oven to 350 F instead of 400 F. The first batch was baked at 350 F for the first five minutes. There’s not quite a third--a mistake, but not an oops: I tried to make a pastry bag to create the neat little shapes pictured along with this recipe that sort of resemble breasts, but as you can see from the photo, it, well, broke. I used a spoon and my fingers instead. Oh well.

And one other, that may not have mattered at all in the end: the recipe said to “whip the butter until it is fluffy.” Not quite knowing how to whip cold butter, I melted it. Mixing icing sugar into this makes for a somewhat disgusting-looking, greasy mess. But as long as the butter has chance to cool a bit before the dough is baked, I don’t think it makes a difference.

They may not be the most perfect replicas, but they’re quite nice. The lemon flavor is pleasingly strong. My descriptors are very reserved.

24 November 2010

Measuring flour.

The sad fate of my hand-folded pastry bag.

Melted butter and icing sugar.