I was browsing the Guardian Life and Style homepage recently, and happened to see a link in the margin of the page to a column Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall had written recently on biscuit recipes. He has a column every Saturday and this was from just the weekend before last. I vaguely remember J mentioning the jam thumbprint biscuits to me and thinking that they sounded like a good idea (I have lakes of jam round here - I love making it more than I love eating it. Well, that's not quite true - I love eating it too, but just eat at a slower rate than I make it....)
Anyway, I reckon I don't make biscuits often enough, so I happily clicked on the link to see what was in store for me. Well, all of the biscuits recipes look pretty delicious to me, so I decided to start with the easiest (and the one that doesn't call for eggs or separating eggs), making a mental note to go back for the others later. I'm also extremely happy to find that I can eat all of these - it's so rare for biscuit recipes not to contain nuts in some form (and yes, I'm aware that there's a peanut butter biscuit recipe there - and although peanut allergy can be extremely severe and I would never, ever give any nut to someone nut allergic without finding out directly from them what exactly they are allergic to, peanuts are part of the legume family, not the nut family and I'm not allergic to them :-))
These were easy to make - just up my street, and they smelled so delicious whilst they were baking - warm and buttery and spicy. I'm glad that the instructions said to take them out after ten minutes - to bang them and get them to spread and crackle, because I found that mine were completely cooked after ten minutes! I would have been very upset to have burnt them all, so the timings didn't work for my oven at all. As you can see though, mine have spread and crackled beautifully without needing to be banged halfway through cooking.
I was a little concerned when making them as the dough seemed very buttery and oily - some of the melted butter escaped from the biscuits as I was making them, but luckily this doesn't seem to have affected the final outcome at all. I made 21 biscuits from the mixture, using my 1tsp measuring spoon as a scoop, and gettting rounded scoops with it. The biscuits are buttery and slightly spicy and utterly delicious. The texture is both crisp and still slightly chewy in the middle - in the way that all the best homemade biscuits are, and something that shop bought biscuits just cannot do.
I would definitely make these again.... but perhaps I should make some of those other recipes first and see what I'm missing out on there first...