There’s something so primitive about a double biscuit. Separating the sides. Savouring the filling, with or without the biscuit. It’s a childhood thing. A play food thing. I think you lose it with store bought biscuits. They are always so compact, with filling that is hard. You can dunk them in tea for Pete’s sake – that just isn’t right.
Home made double biscuits have that lovely, slightly soft, deliciously smooth homemade buttercream, which is such a gorgeous foil for the substantial crunch of a lovingly crafted cookie…
These biscuits are adapted from a recipe in one of the first recipe books I ever bought: an old SuperCookery book, called ‘Chocolate and Baking’. It’s like a doorstop: squat, thick and pretty darn heavy for its size. It has a recipe and a picture on every page and no matter how many bigger, slicker, more fashionable recipe books I buy, I can’t let go of it and I come back to it time after time. It looks a little sad now, faded and well smudged with baking ingredients going back nearly two decades but I love it still…
The key flavour in these biscuits is the sugar – dark muscovado is best. It has that deep treacly scent and taste that give the biscuits their character. I don’t know about you, but I find that when I open a new pack of muscovado sugar, it is soft and malleable and easy to work with, but if I put it back in the cupboard for any length of time, it goes hard and quite lumpy. With some recipes this might be a problem, but with this one, it’s an added bonus! Any little lumps of sugar that remain form a delicious little nugget in the biscuit, full of the rich, sweet taste of the sugar.
- 175g of butter or margarine (softened)
- 175g of dark muscovado sugar
- 225g of plain flour
- Half a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
- Half a teaspoon of ground mixed spice
- 50g of unsalted butter (softened)
- 4 tablespoons of icing sugar (add more to thicken to your preference)
- Cream together the butter and sugar in a bowl until the mixture looks fluffy and no significant lumps are visible.
- Sift the flour, bicarb and spice into the creamed mixture and mix in well.
- When the mixture has formed a thick paste-like consistency, spoon it out onto a greased or lined baking tray, ensuring there is room for the biscuits to spread in the oven. (A heaped teaspoonful of mixture makes a biscuit approximately 6cm in diameter.)
- Use the back of a fork to slightly flatten each biscuit.
- Bake at 180 degrees Celsius for 12 minutes until the biscuits are dark golden.
- Allow to cool fully before icing.
- Beat the icing sugar and butter together with a wooden spoon until smooth and of speading consistency. If it appears too loose, add more icing sugar, a spoonful at a time.