Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Butter bought, softening nicely.

In Erdington, we have two wonderful shops which often have bargain food in. One of them has butter at 99p a packet, so tonight is biscuit night, yummy.

We don't regularly have biscuits in the house because of my tendency to gorge myself if we do! So once in a while it's nice to have a treat and I've been working hard on the allotments today.

Shortbread is nice, New Zealand Biscuits have an element of "healthy" being rich in oats. Oh, well, I shall have to make both :)

New Zealand biscuits; (recipe is old, so only available in imperial but most scales still show both)

2oz. golden syrup
(the easiest way to weigh this is to weigh the tin of syrup and take out teaspoonfuls into your saucepan until you reach the required amount)
5oz. butter
4oz. caster sugar
4oz. rolled (porridge) oats
2oz. desiccated coconut
4 1/2oz self raising flour

Light oven and set to gas 3  (335 F)

Grease 2 baking trays. Put the syrup, butter and sugar into a LARGE heavy bottomed saucepan and leave to melt over a low heat on the top of the cooker. When melted add all the other ingredients all at once and mix well with a wooden spoon.

Leave the pan to cool for about 5 minutes, or until you can put your hand into the mix comfortably.

Roll teaspoonfuls of the mix in your hands and place on the baking trays, with plenty of room between each.
You should get about 15 on each tray.

Bake for 15-20 minutes until the biscuits have spread out and are a nice shade of brown. (Brown is done, black is burnt!!! Pale sandy colour will not harden.)

Leave the biscuits on the trays for several minutes to harden slightly, then put onto wire cooling trays to finish hardening. When completely cool, store in a tin.

If you can leave them alone, they will keep for about a week in the biscuit tin.

Now for the shortbread ...... back soon.

Because I wanted to bake tonight, our tea is a freezer affair - no, not a supermarket ready meal, a prepared-and-cooked-in-quantity-and-half-quantity-frozen-for-another-time meal. Tonight's offering is lamb shank in red wine gravy with sprouting broccoli (fresh from the allotment) steamed over the lamb whilst it heats through, saving gas and flavour in one.

The lamb was on special offer a month ago at £3.50/kg :o so it was rude to leave it. Both shanks came to £2.47. I had a bottle of red opened, so a glass for the pan and a glass for the cook!

Keith has had a hard day, so I put a handful of frozen strawberries into the blender with a scoop of Lidl's best vanilla ice cream and a glass of full cream milk and whizzed them - result - strawberry milkshake in a trice and a happy Keith.

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