JUNE, the churchwarden, caused some astonishment when she arrived at the PCC meeting and announced that there would be no biscuits. She could find none that did not contain palm oil. To all woke wardens and biscuit-eaters everywhere — don’t buy them, make them. They will be nicer and far more nutritious.
My grandmother used to tell us about a formidable examiner who failed her friend in her domestic-science certificate because she made square biscuits instead of round ones, but no one will fail you for offering them a home-made biscuit. They are quick to make and bake, and they don’t have to rise or conform to any give texture, size, or shape. You can bake them in batches, because they need, on average, only about ten minutes in the oven, but it does speed things up to have a few large baking sheets and plenty of baking paper, and to have some wire racks to cool and crisp the biscuits on. Tins will store your biscuits more crisply.
Here is a recipe for some delicate Almond biscuits. It should make about 20.
70g (2½ oz) ground almonds
55g (2 oz) butter
45g (1½ oz) 45g plain white flour
100g (1½ oz) Xylitol or white sugar
1 tablespoon Greek yogurt or double cream
½ teaspoon real almond essence
Heat your oven to 375ºF/190ºC/Gas 5. Line one or two baking sheets with baking parchment. If you have a food processor, you can simply put all the ingredients in and whizz them to a smooth dough. If not, melt the butter and then stir in the rest of the ingredients until you have a well-mixed dough. Put walnut-sized pieces of the mixture on to the baking sheets, allowing plenty of space for them to spread. Bake them for about five minutes so the edges will be just browned, and the biscuits cooked enough to be crisp when cold. Let them set for a few minutes before lifting them on to a wire rack to cool.
A more substantial and nutritious version of this is Oat biscuits. This makes about 30 or 40.
150g (5 oz) butter
125g (4 oz) porridge oats
45g (1½ oz) plain flour
165g (6 oz) coconut sugar
a pinch of salt
50g (1½ oz) nuts (optional)
Preheat the oven to 375ºF/190ºC/Gas 6 and line two or three baking sheets with baking parchment. Again, you can simply put all the ingredients into a food processor and mix till smooth. Otherwise, melt the butter in a saucepan and then add the other ingredients. If you use nuts, either use ground nuts or chop them very finely. Place walnut-sized knobs of mixture on the baking sheets, allowing plenty of room for spread, and bake for between 5-10 minutes. Cool the biscuits on the tray till set, and them lift them on wire racks to crisp.