"Is a biscuit a cookie?"
Two years later and here I am ready to kick Sugarbase off into its third year with my own blog! I'm still in awe by how far I've managed to come and how quickly it has gone by, and by the insane amount of love and support I've received from my followers. So what better way to say thank you than by starting off this blogging journey to share my recipes and tips with you all after being asked countless amounts of times, so thank you for being patient and still hanging around!
My first post is inspired by the many people who don't realise that I'm a British baker, so one of the most common questions I've been asked is, "Is a biscuit a cookie?" since I call my 'cookies' biscuits. Yes, a biscuit is basically a cookie but technically, I use a shortbread recipe which is traditionally Scottish so I like to stick to calling them biscuits rather than using the widespread term 'cookie'.
Shortbread biscuits are made from one part white sugar, two parts butter, and three parts plain flour. They're typically sprinkled with sugar and served just like that but I like to use them how most other people would use sugar cookies which is a recipe that uses eggs. Though to be honest, I've never even tried making sugar cookies so I can't really compare the two! I've made shortbread from the beginning because I love the combination of the soft biscuit and royal icing (my most common feedback to these biscuits is that they "melt in your mouth") plus they're super easy to make.
So here it is, my shortbread biscuit recipe and some tips to go alongside it that I've managed to master over the past two years! Also, please bare in mind that as simple as shortbread usually is to make, the only reason I have a few more steps to it is because this recipe is for shortbread that will be decorated with icing.
250g caster sugar
750g plain flour
(makes approx 30 rolled out 4" biscuits)
1. Beat the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy.
2. Mix in the flour using a dough hook if using a mixer, or use fingertips to form breadcrumbs before kneading until combined.
Tip: The key to perfect shortbread biscuits is to try and use as little physical contact as the heat from our hands causes the dough to soften quickly, so using a mixer is usually better but not necessary!
3. Wrap the dough in cling film and chill for 20 minutes minimum or overnight if you want to make the dough beforehand.
4. Roll cold dough out and cut into shapes, place on a baking tray covered in greaseproof paper.
Tip: You can add any toppings at this point if you want to, or even stuff with Nutella for a cheeky treat.
5. Place baking tray in the fridge for 20 minutes so the biscuits keep their shape, before baking at 180C/150C fan for 15 minutes until they're a pale golden brown.
6. Let the biscuits cool on the baking tray as they'll carry on cooking a little bit before placing them on a cooling rack to cool completely.
Tip: If any of the biscuits have little air bubbles, you can gently press them down while they're still warm.
7. Store in an airtight container in a cool place until they need to be decorated! Can last up to a month.
So there you have it! If you don't want to make them to decorate, you can sprinkle them with sugar and eat them warm with a glass of milk. Or try stuffing them with Nutella or peanut butter before baking (what diet, right?) You can add chocolate chips to your dough, flavoured essences, sprinkles, drizzle with chocolate after baking etc etc. Since its such a simple dough the combinations are endless.
I hope this post helps out anyone that has been wanting to try a biscuit recipe or wondered which one I use. Let me know what you think by sending me a message/email and feel free to tell me what you'd like me to post next, all feedback is appreciated! And don't forget to tag @sugarbase_ on Instagram to show me your bakes.