Thursday, 21 October 2010

Bretton Butter Cookies

IMG_6916 edit
Possibly the most beautiful thing in the world? Apart from my face, obviously.

Okay, seriously, they look nice, and it’s pretty simple to make! You can’t go wrong really, AND you can eat the dough. It’s a win win situation.

The Green and Black’s cookbook that I got this recipe from says it was supposed to “rival the traditional English chocolate digestive with this ultra indulgent biscuit”. I don’t really think it does – digestives are pretty boring; these cookies are the Sienna’s of the world, not the Susan and Sarahs.

In my haste to make them as quick as I could (bake as much as possible at the given endowments subject to a finite time constraint – ok, now putting that in makes me feel less guilty about not doing work – not that this even makes sense) I didn’t get to take many photos.


The only ones I got were the use of a wine bottle for a rolling pin (standard) and the cookies going into the oven (notice that there are significantly more cookies coming out of the oven than final ones decorated… I have to admit that, yet again, there were some cookies that came out not quite perfect, so I was forced to eat the evidence). The chocolate melting also didn’t quite go as planned, as I decided to add some cold milk to melted chocolate. It ‘seized’, and all of the fat ran out of it, and it ended up as a clump of brown goo. But I guess then this is technically ‘healthy chocolate’ as it’s less in fat. But we all know that healthy = tasteless.


And so that’s the end of those pictures…

Therefore, I will fill the rest of this blog post with Very Useful Information! Like how, today, I discovered how to boil an egg on a budget. It’s amazing! All you need is a kettle, some water, and some eggs (you’d be surprised who’d forget to add this to their shopping list). No washing up, no pots and pans, no hobs and no timer needed!


All you need to do is:
- Put desired amount of eggs into a kettle
- Fill it up to the top with cold water
- Boil the water, then pour out the water and fill to the top with cold water
- Boil once more for runny eggs, twice more for soft eggs, three times for set eggs, and more if you like it when the egg yolk goes grey and powdery.
- Eat (there’s not really much else you can do, throwing a boiled egg at someone doesn't quite have the same effect as a runny egg. But I still just want to clarify now though, Laurence, that no, a boiled egg will not bounce off the floor when you throw it).

Lesson learned today: how to boil an egg student style (especially if you live in one of those obscure colleges that doesn’t let you use hobs ;)

IMG_6923 editI want you. Yes you, I’m going to eat you.
Breton Butter Biscuits

from the Green & Black’s cookbook

Makes 50 biscuits (or 30, if you like to snack-whilst-you-bake)

Preparation time:
10 minutes
Chilling time:
15 minutes
Cooking time:
15-20 minutes
5 cm (2½ in) fluted biscuit cutter


375g (13oz) plain flour
Large pinch of salt
150g (5oz) caster sugar
200g (7oz) unsalted butter, chilled and diced
1 large egg, lightly beaten
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
200g (7oz) milk chocolate or 50g (2oz) each of milk, dark, Maya Gold (or good-quality dark orange chocolate) and white chocolate, broken into pieces for dipping

Preheat the oven to 160°C/325°F/gas mark 3. Butter a large baking sheet.

Sift together the flour and the salt. Add the sugar and butter and process in a food-processor or rub between your fingertips until the mixture resembles bread-crumbs. Add the egg and the vanilla extract and process again or mix together with your hands until the mixture comes together as a firm dough. Wrap in clingfilm and chill for at least 15 minutes. Roll out on a lightly floured board to a thickness of about 3 mm (1/8 in). Cut out the biscuits using the fluted cutter.

Place on the baking sheet and bake for 15–20 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.

Once the biscuits have cooled, melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl suspended over a saucepan of barely simmering water. If using one flavour of chocolate, select a bowl that will allow you to fit your hand into it so that you can dip the biscuits. Be very careful when melting the white chocolate and ensure that the bowl does not touch the water as it will seize easily. If you are using different flavours of chocolate, once melted, pour the chocolate on to a small plate and dip the surface of each biscuit in the chocolate before returning them to the wire rack to set.

The biscuits can simply have one surface dipped in the chocolate or you could decorate by drizzling white chocolate over a biscuit previously dipped in dark or white chocolate. You can also dip only half the biscuit with chocolate.

HINT: The most effective way of melting chocolate is to microwave it very slowly on medium in short bursts. To melt 50g (2oz), microwave for 30 seconds, then continue in 10-second bursts, stirring in between each one.


  1. i think i shall have to steal that idea for boiling eggs.. and more biscuits! :) xxx

  2. a++ for the first line alone.


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