Boston Brownies

I wasn’t sure if there is a differnce between a Boston brownie and a regular brownie so I did a search. I couldn’t really find a differnce and think the name just comes from where the brownie originate which is an 1896 Boston Cooking-School Cook Book. Anyway I fancied making brownies and had a load of walnuts to use up..

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The mixture is straightforward to make and was a nice looking consistency..

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I did think that when I was pouring it into the tin that it wasn’t much, it looked really flat in the tin. I know it’s going to rise a but but did wonder if I should’ve used a smaller tin..

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The idea with brownies is that they are meant to be a bit sticky in the middle, so I opted for 35 minutes cooking and hoped they would be ok. It had rised a bit but not massively..

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I did leave to cool in the tin, which wasn’t easy as they smell so good and it’s very hard to resist warm chocolate brownie straight from the oven! I did manage to refrain from eating any and removed from the tin once cooled.

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I didn’t cut into fingers, I opted for squares instead. I did worry as I was cutting them up that they were cooked just a bit too much. There is a kind of gooey layer but maybe not as much as I would’ve liked!

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These were great! The walnuts in them are really good, I’ve made brownies in the past but never with walnuts. I do wish I’d just ignored the cool in tin instruction and had warm as I bet they would’ve been amazing! As they are with a cup of tea thought is great!

Would I make these again? Yes, quick and delish!

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Cornish Fairings (Ginger Biscuits)

I love ginger biscuits and made the ginger nut recipe a few months ago which was great, was looking forward to these so much that I was up making these at 7:30am!

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The ginger nuts I had made had a real crunch to them which was great but part of me was hoping these would be a touch softer. My gran used to make the most amazing ginger biscuits, I must ask her if she will let me share the recipe as they really are brilliant!!

So this recipe is really easy and had them ready to go in the oven in about 10 minutes

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It says to leave 4 inches between them but if I did that I’d need another 3 trays and my oven is not big enough, so I opted for nearer 2 inches and crossed my fingers!

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There’s not really enough room in my oven to have two trays at the top and then move to the bottom so I had to just swap them over, and after about 12 minutes they were looking a lovely dark golden and smell brilliant!

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It was hard not to start eating these straight from the oven at 8am! It’s maybe not a good idea to encourage a 6 yr old to eat ginger biscuits for breakfast!

So after letting them cool slightly we couldn’t wait any longer!

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Well these are quite possibly the second best ginger biscuit I’ve ever had! I can’t say they are better than my grans but a very close second! They do have a kind of soft chewiness to them which is just fab and has the perfect amount of ginger.

Would I make these again? Yes, this batch will not last long and it’s ok to have biscuits for breakfast at the weekend right?!?

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Vienesse Tarts

I am quite partial to a vienesse whirl and are probably my husbands favourite biscuit, so this was going to be challenge!

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Even on reading this recipe I can’t imagine how to pipe a flour and butter mixture. The only liquid to this is vanilla extract and that’s just drops. I had used butter and it was really soft when I was making this.

So the mixture was really really thick. It’s more like a pastry/dough and there was no way I could pipe it. I did try but was impossible. So I had to put the mix back in a bowl and added some milk to loosen it. I ended up repeating this process 3 times! In the end I think I added about 70ml of milk to get a consistency that I could pipe with out injuring myself. By this point there was mixture everywhere!

I maybe wasn’t as careful with the piping as I should’ve, was a but heavy handed so they are not particularly uniform! Once I put them in the oven I kept a close eye on them as I was worried that the addition of milk would change they way they baked. Not to worry, they looked fine, nice and golden after 20 minutes

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I removed them from the paper cases, which I assumed was the correct thing to do? They feel really light which was surprising, and they did rise a bit. I had left a fairly obvious hollow when I piped them in but after cooking this had risen and they were much flatter.

After the dusting of icing sugar they were looking not bad. I kind of just plonked the jam on, again I maybe should’ve been a bit more careful and do wish I’d piped it on for a more uniform effect.

So how did these taste? They were light and buttery and quite lovely! Even my husband said they tasted just like shop bought, I think he meant to say the shop bought ones taste just as good as mine?!?

Would I make these again? Yes definitely!
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Chocolate Marzipan Walnuts

I made Shrewsbury biscuits a while ago and there are a good few adaptations of the simple recipe, this is the one I fancied trying first!

Ingredients

4 oz butter or margarine
4 oz caster sugar
1 egg
8 oz plain flour
Almond paste
Raspberry jam
4 oz icing sugar
1 tsp cocoa dissolved in 1 tsp boiling water
Walnuts

Cream the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add the egg a little at a time beating after each addition. Stir in the flour and mix to a fairly stiff dough. Knead lightly and roll out to approximately quarter of an inch thick on a floured board and cut into rounds with 2.5 inch cutter. Bake at 180 until slightly firm and very lightly browned. Roll out a little almond paste and cut into slightly smaller rounds. Spread the biscuits with a little jam, cover with the almond rings. Make a chocolate glacé icing using the icing sugar, cocoa mix and a further 2-3 tsps water to make the correct consistency. Ice the biscuits with the chocolate icing and top with a walnut piece.

This is kind of two recipes as the chocolate glacĂ© icing comes from another chapter in the book, but as described above is just the cocoa, water and icing sugar mixed until it’s thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.

It doesn’t give quantities of jam or almond paste, I take that to mean marzipan! I didn’t measure how much I used, I had a few bits of both golden and white marzipan left so reckon I maybe used 2 oz of each. I really didn’t use much jam, I think in total it was only a couple of teaspoons.

The biscuits on their own are nice, obviously we had to sample a couple as they came out the oven! I rolled out the marzipan as thin as I could; I used to think I wasn’t that fond of the stuff but have grown to love it recently!

My icing is a little messy, I blame my daughter for that! She didn’t want to help when she realised there was jam and marzipan involved but the minute I made the chocolate icing she was back in to help!! The recipe isn’t clear if they have to be totally covered in icing or just drizzled, we went for a mixture! I was tempted to crush the walnuts and sprinkle all over but for easiness we just plonked one piece on each one; again my wee helper did that!!

These are really nice, the biscuit is nice and crunchy and the marzipan is lovely and soft. Then the chocolate icing and walnuts top it off brilliantly! I do think more walnuts would be nice. It doesn’t need any more icing as they are sweet enough with just the amount I used. The marzipan is definitely the strongest favour but all the components of these work well together. I just need to make them look prettier!

Would I make these again? Yes, really lovely
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Chocolate Cookies

I had a little helper with this recipe. My daughter wanted to make something for my blog so we picked these easy cookies, she loved the chocolate tea bread with the walnuts so this seemed like a good choice!

Ingredients

3 oz butter
3 oz granulated sugar
3 oz brown sugar
Few drops of vanilla essence
1 egg
6 oz self raising flour
A pinch of salt
2 oz walnuts chopped
2-4 oz chocolate chips

Cream the butter with the sugars and essence, then beat in the egg. Fold in the sifted flour and salt, with the nuts and chocolate chips. Drop spoonfuls of mixture on the baking trays and bake at 180 for 12-15 minutes. Cool on the trays for 1 minute, then place on a wire rack to cool. This should yield 20.

My daughter was in charge of measuring out the ingredients so I definitely think we used 4oz of chocolate, and quite possibly a bit more!! Not really much more to say about making this, pretty basic cookie recipe!

We ended up with over 20, but ours are slightly random in size!
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These don’t take long to bake and do smell rather good! We had made these before starting our dinner so had to try hard to refrain from eating them straight from the oven.

Once cooled these are quite crunchy and taste brilliant! I’ve made cookies plenty of times before and often add chocolate chips or raisins but have never made cookies with walnuts, they were a really great combination. We had a few of these after dinner and loved them!
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Ginger Nut Biscuits

I made these today for a twitter bake club, check out the Sunday Bake Club blog

The recipe does come from the book and have been really looking forward to making these.

Ingredients

6oz plain flour
Pinch salt
1 tbsp ground ginger
1 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 oz butter or marg
4 oz Demerara sugar
2-3 tbsps golden syrup warmed

Sift the flour with the salt, ginger, mixed spice and cinnamon. Cream the butter and sugar and stir in the dry ingredients with enough syrup to make a stiff dough. Roll into balls the size of a walnut, place on a baking sheet and flatten lightly. Bake for 15-20 minutes until lightly browned and crisp

I love ginger biscuits and my gran gave me her recipe which is amazing, so these had a lot to live up to. I also remember somebody once telling me you can’t beat a shop bought ginger nut so don’t bother trying. Well I disagree, I think you can’t beat a homemade biscuit.

I had to use the full quantity of syrup to make these. The smell was amazing as these were cooking.

One of the problems when making biscuits is I end up eating loads fresh from the oven when they are still warm!

Taste wise these are great. They are quite heavy in the ginger but I love that. As they cool they get crisper. They are just brilliant dunked in a cup of tea. My grans ginger biscuits are slightly chewier than these so equally brilliant in their own way.

Would I make these again? Yes, nearly finished this batch so need to make more
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Shrewsbury Biscuit

According to the book there is such a dazzling array of really good commercially made biscuits that the home cook usually finds it better not to compete! I have to disagree, you can’t beat some homemade biscuits or cookies! These are a classic English biscuit which, as the name suggests, originates from Shrewsbury in Shropshire.
These are almost like a basic dough and there are a further 16 variations using this as a base. So for starters I thought I should try these

Ingredients

4oz butter or margarine
4oz caster sugar
1 egg
8oz plain flour
2 tsps lemon rind

Cream the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add the egg a little at a time, beating after each addition. Stir in the flour and lemon rind and mix to a fairly firm dough. Knead lightly and roll out to roughly a quarter inch thick on a floured board. Cut into rounds with a 2.5 inch fluted cutter and put onto trays. Bake at 180 for 15-20 minutes until firm and very lightly browned.

These are so easy to make, and pretty quick. I have a multitude of cutters, but for this I stuck to the suggested fluted shape. I quite often make a basic biscuit dough from another cook book I have and make almost a zoo out of all the animal shapes I have!

I had to try these almost immediately, they were delicious just warm from the oven. Once they had cooled they were still tasty, a pretty basic biscuit but still a really great one. Am looking forward to trying some of the suggested variations, which includes pinwheels, traffic lights and chocolate marzipan walnuts!

Would I make these again? Yes
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