The cooker’s on and the smell of molten butter is in the air. These are all good things.
Biscuits, the homemade sort, are hardly difficult. In fact, they’re one of the easiest things to cook. It’s funny, then, that so few people seem to ever have them in the house. Most biscuits can be made from a handful of ingredients usually sitting in the pantry. Most can be thrown together with a child or in the hour after they go to sleep. And homemade biscuits are full of the known and the familiar, rather than packet bickies, which are often full of the strange, the unfamiliar and the numbered. I don’t know what half the numbers mean on packets, but I probably wouldn’t consider them food.
We tend to use a few nuts in our biscuits. And plenty of butter. It’s all about flavour and texture. Nuts provide crunch and their own nuances. Butter is sweet, gloriously flavoured and far more likely than vegetable shortening to give you that sense of satisfaction. We tend to keep different sweeteners in the house for occasions such as these. Brown sugar, dark brown sugar, demerara sugar, honey, treacle, golden syrup – all of them bring their own unique flavour to baking and they don’t go off. Also, I often substitute sugars, sometimes creating a new recipe and a new family favourite.