Tag Archives: biscuits

Pizza Biscuits

I realised today that my hand-scrawled recipe notes for these family favourites were fading so badly that they were becoming hard to read.   Time to commit to a more permanent form of storage….

Mini ChefThere are two variations noted here – the second born out of necessity when I realised, too late, that I’d run out of tomato puree.  Version 1 uses oregano and tomato puree, version 2 – red pesto (no oregano).  I’d go with version 1 first but hey, give it a go and see what you think.  My baking in this is not an exact science so don’t get in a sweat if you don’t have 12 or 18 bics and use your eyes, nose and touch to confirm cooking times in your own oven, especially as, in my experience, all ovens seem to have their own foibles.

(Children love these biscuits so it would be a good opportunity to get them into baking by helping out with the whole making process).

Here we go:

Ingredients (to make approximately 12 to 18, using either a 2-1/2″ or 3″ pastry cutter)

150g (6 oz) flour

100g (4 oz) well-flavoured strong cheese, finely grated (I often use Edam).  Don’t be lazy – buy and grate your own for best flavour.

100g (4 oz) margarine (or butter)

1-1/2 tablespoons of tomato puree (version 1) OR Version 2: 2 well-rounded (generous!) teaspoons of red pesto (I used Sacla ready-made) and if using, you can leave out the oregano

1/2 tsp dried oregano

1/4 teaspoon of dry mustard (i.e. English mustard powder)

1 egg, beaten, to bind and to glaze

Salt and pepper to season

Method

To bake on the middle / top shelves of the oven.  Oven on at 200C / Fan oven 180-190C / 392F / Gas Mark 6.

Sieve flour, salt, pepper and mustard together.  Add oregano (if using – version 1).  Rub fat into the dry /flour mix.  Add the grated cheese and the tomato puree (or pesto).  Add sufficient beaten egg to form a pliable dough (you may not need any if using pesto).

Roll out pastry to about  3mm  or 1/8 inch thick and using a 2-1/2 to 3 inch cutter, shape biscuits.

Arrange on a baking tray, prick well, glaze with beaten egg and bake.

2-1/2 inch biscuits will take approx. 18 – 20 minutes.  3 inch bics take about 20 – 22 mins.

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These are delicious ‘as is’ but you could always treat them like tiny pizza biscuit canapes and top with a little cream cheese / ham / pineapple / tomato, or sprinkle with paprika pepper.  Let your pizza brain get creative!

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Fox's biskwits

I love this latest ad for Fox’s biscuits.  Who ever thought of a Mafiosa panda?  Genius!

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Attack of the biscuit beetle

Ooooh!Sooner or later you’re likely to open a packet of flour to do some baking and see tiny little beetles, 2-3mm long, crawling around. Commonly called ‘biscuit beetle’ (Stegobium paniceum), and in the US ‘drugstore’ or ‘bread beetle’ they are, apparently, harmless and unless you see them in large numbers the flour should still be OK to use.  Well that’s the theory.  On the rare occasions I have come across them it has prompted a major session of checking food packets, chucking out and cleaning – but that’s just me.  

It’s important to say that biscuit beetle has nothing to do with cleanliness, so don’t beat yourself up about it if you see some of the little blighters in your kitchen.  The chances are that something you bought contained either the beetle or some eggs, and considering that a single female can lay up to 100 eggs, which will hatch in 1 – 2 weeks, you can see how pretty soon one errant beetle will produce an infestation. They don’t just inhabit flour either, you may well find them on other dried foodstuffs: cereals, pasta, nuts, rice, biscuits; and ordinary sealed packaging is no deterrent because they are able to gnaw their way into new packs.  You can see how pretty soon they can get a foothold in your cupboard!

HOW TO DEAL WITH THEM:

You’re going to need storage containers to store your food in from now on – items like plastic ‘Tupperware’ boxes that you can seal. 

Empty the cupboard and decide whether you want to use anything that you find to be affected. (I’ve already said that my preference is to throw away anything affected and start again).  Modern wisdom seems to be to then use food safe pesticides to treat the cupboard and surrounding surfaces but I can tell you that I don’t  like the thought of pesticides (food safe or not), and all my life I’ve had no further trouble when I’ve used the old-fashioned approach:

Cleared the cupboard, washed all around, including crevices, with hot soapy water (also tackling the counter tops beneath the cupboard) and then either leave the cupboard open to dry very thoroughly or use a hair dryer to make sure that there is absolutely no moisture remaining in it.  Transfer your unaffected food to your plastic, sealable storage containers and then that’s it – you can fill your cupboard again.

Biscuit beetle beaten!

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