Food

Earl Grey Butter Biscuits

This last weekend, GodzillaPin was craving something sweet to go with his afternoon cup of tea, so in continuing with the baking theme of last week, the Ninja Turtle decided to try out a cookie recipe that’s been sitting in her To-Do folder. To be honest, her cookie repertoire has thus been limited to mostly drop cookies – think oatmeal raisin and choc chip varieties. It’s the standard mix, scoop and plop on the tray with minimum fuss, but not terribly adventurous.

So this time, she decided to push the boundaries a little bit and try a slightly more complicated baking experiment. These butter biscuits started life as any other recipe does:

Dough. It's so good, you're tempted to eat it raw.

Dough. It’s so good, you’re tempted to eat it raw.

There was a slight hiccup in the process; the duo had run out of eggs as the Ninja Turtle decided it was a great idea to eat three boiled eggs for lunch the previous day. Not to fear, there are some egg-substitutes in baking for those with egg allergies, and here was the shiny golden opportunity presenting itself to the Turtle to TRY SOMETHING NEW!

Apparently, people have used things like bananas, silken tofu and ground flaxseeds in place of egg while baking. The Turtle didn’t have the first two, and after ten minutes of trying to grind flaxseeds in her pepper grinder and getting nowhere, she had a sudden brainwave. What else in her pantry turns gelatinous? Chia seeds!

She used 1 tablespoon of chia seeds soaked in 3 tablespoons of water, in place of one egg, and quickly got a consistency which promised to bind the heck out of all the other ingredients.

And since she was on a roll with the whole experimenting thing, she figured, why stop there? Sure, the Earl Grey tea lends a beautifully delicate flavor to the cookies, but why not add something else to give it another dimension?

Enter stage left: Maggie Beer Burnt Fig Jam, a little delight from the Barossa Valley, South Australia.

Enter stage left: Maggie Beer Burnt Fig Jam, a little delight from the Barossa Valley, South Australia.

Butter biscuits tend to be a little dry, so the addition of jam can lend a little moisture, depending on how much you add. They didn’t want theirs to be anything more than flavoured, so it was only a tiny smidge of jam that was added on the cookies.

Earl Grey Butter Biscuits
Ingredients
200g flour
100g brown sugar
100g butter, softened
5 Earl Grey teabags, snipped
1 tablespoon chia seeds, soaked in 3 tablespoons of water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
Jam (optional)
Instructions
Cream butter and sugar together.
Add in Earl Grey tea from the teabags, soaked chia seeds and vanilla essence. Stir.
In another bowl, mix the flour and salt. Add in increments to the wet mixture, stirring constantly.
The dough should be stiff. Roll into a log and put it in the freezer for half an hour.
Preheat the oven to 180 Celsius (350 Fahrenheit).
Take the frozen log of dough out and slice with a bread knife to a thickness of 1cm (just under half an inch).
Top with desired quantity of jam, or skip this step.
Bake for 12 minutes.

The smell was to die for. 12 minutes was too long to wait.

The smell was to die for. 12 minutes was too long to wait.

Of course, any jam would work, but the Ninja Turtle and GodzillaPin wish to rave a little bit about this burnt fig jam. It’s got that caramelized flavor with a bitter edge characteristic of any “burnt” sugar. Although it’s not been tried yet, one could assume that normal jam flavors could technically develop the same burnt flavor from the baking process anyway.

The chia seeds also worked as a perfect substitute for eggs, since they didn’t have any particular flavor of their own (as opposed to bananas). This batch only produced 24 cookies, so we’ll see how long it lasts, but we promise you, it’s definitely a keeper to repeat.

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