Michelle Darmody's tricks for perfect home made biscuits

Michelle Darmody's tricks for perfect home made biscuits

Tea dunking is not just for cosy winter evenings. Biscuits are handy in the summer months for picnics or to keep you going on long hikes. There is nothing like the satisfaction of opening a flask of tea and a tin of biscuits on the top of a steep, hard won, hilltop.

A batch of any of these biscuits lasts well in a tin for a few days. You can add a little more salt to the digestives if you wish. Shop bought ones are quite salty and if you are mimicking these you may need a little more than stated.

I sometimes half dip these into some melted dark chocolate and they are delicious. I really like the flavour of fennel. It is put to great use in Spanish and Italian sweet baking. You can easily replace it with caraway seeds if you prefer. Fennel has a slight anise, liquorice-like flavour that is said to aid digestion.

I grow fennel plants and use their soft fronds in salads and slice up the stalk in cooking. I usually buy the dried out seeds in my local, specialised Middle Eastern shop. I try to buy them in small amounts, as they are best used when still slightly green and fresh.

When making the chocolate and sesame biscuits you can use either black or white sesame seeds. I tend to use whichever nut butter I have in the house. It is most likely to be peanut butter but I have also made them with almond butter.

Both turned out well.

Michelle Darmody's tricks for perfect home made biscuits

Homemade digestive biscuits

125g of porridge oats

125g of brown flour

1 tsp of baking powder, sieved

125g of cold butter, cubed

50g of golden caster sugar

A pinch of fine sea salt

50 mls of milk

Line two flat baking trays with parchment. Blitz the oats until they form a rough flour, add the brown flour, baking powder, butter, sugar and salt. Blitz again until everything is

combined.

Add in the milk and blitz until a dough is formed. Add a little extra if needed. The dough should come together easily but not be sticky. Wrap the dough in cling film and place into your fridge for about an hour. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees.

On a lightly floured surface roll the dough to about three millimetres in thickness. Cut the biscuits with a round cutter. Place onto the baking tray. Bake for about 15

minutes until golden. Once cool enough to handle place onto a wire rack.

Chocolate and sesame biscuits

110g of butter

50g of tahini

60g of nut butter

190g of muscovado sugar

1 egg, lightly beaten

110g of flour

1 tsp of baking powder

50g of chocolate chips

50g of sesame seeds

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees and line two flat baking trays with parchment. Beat the butter, tahini, nut butter, and sugar until combined. Slowly beat in the egg.

Sift the dry ingredients and beat them in too. Stir in the chocolate chips and seeds. Roll the dough into balls the size of a walnut and place apart on lined baking tray. Press each one with a fork.

Bake for 12 to 15 minutes until golden. Once cool enough to handle place onto a wire rack.

Michelle Darmody's tricks for perfect home made biscuits

Fennel butter biscuits

100g of cold butter, cubed

95g of caster sugar

1 egg, lightly beaten —divided into two

1 tsp of lemon juice

The zest of 1 lemon

3 tsp of fennel seeds

250g of plain flour

½ tsp of baking powder, sieved

Line two flat baking trays with parchment. Beat the butter and sugar in the machine until fluffy.

Then mix in half the lightly beaten egg, the lemon juice and zest, and the fennel seeds. Finally beat in the flour that has been mixed with the baking powder. When the dough is coming together, take it out of the machine, knead lightly into a ball, wrap it in cling film, and leave in the fridge for an hour.

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees. Roll the dough until it is 3mm in thickness, then cut with your chosen cutter. Brush the top of the cookies with the rest of the beaten egg. Bake the biscuits for 7-8 minutes, or until they are nicely brown.

Once cool enough to handle place onto a wire rack.

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