Okay. You’ve promised to make cakes or cookies or something with the smallest humans in your domicile. And then you realise you have no eggs or icing sugar and you’re out of pink sprinkles. And it’s starting to rain.
FEAR NOT. I have a recipe that you can make with stuff that any sort-of-kinda pantry cupboard can scrape together. 3 things. That’s all.
Now, I’m not going to lie to you Marge. There are fancier biscuits to be made then this. But where the activity is as important as the outcome, these are fail proof. And like I said, 3 ingredients.
100g butter (margarine like Stork at a push), softened (30 secs in the microwave usually does it)
50g sugar (caster/superfine is great, but granulated is okay too)
150g self-raising flour.
Step 1) break the news that, for today at least, pink sprinkles are off the menu BUT you can make some easy biscuits and EVEN BETTER junior is going to be head chef and do most of the work.
Step 2) Put the oven on to 180 degrees celsius, or 160 for a fan oven. Err on the side of a lower temperature than higher. Find two baking trays and either grease, or (TOP TIP!) use some silicone baking sheets over them (sooooo much easier and less messy).
Step 3) put the butter in a bowl and get junior to give it a good stir round with a wooden spoon to make sure it’s really soft. And the sugar and mix the two together. I tend to cheat and use my mixer but then my kids have the attention spans of gnats.
Optional step: 3.5) At this point you can add a tsp of vanilla extract, or limoncello, and/or the grated zest of a small orange or lemon. Alternatively, add 25g of cocoa powder and reduce the flour volume to 125g.
Step 4) Add in the flour a large spoonful or so at a time and stir in. Then stick your hands in that bowl and get the clumps to form a lump of dough. You don’t need to overwork it, just check for lumps and dry patches.
Step 5) use a dessertspoon to scoop out the dough onto the trays. Aim for about 8 blobs on a tray, with lots of space to spread out.
Step 6) dip a fork into water, and press down ontop of each biscuit. This will create an interesting indentation. Be careful of over enthusiastic pastry chefs, who might enjoy the sensation of squeezing the dough through the fork prongs a bit too much – like the spaghetti hair playdough machine – as this will make the biscuits cooks a little unevenly.
Step 7) Bake for around 15 minutes until very pale golden, more if you think they need it. Allow to cool on the tray and then transfer to a wire rack. Or mouths open like small birds, as they so often are in my kitchen.