I believe food traditions are important but fear they endangered in today’s globalized, homogenous world. Our unique differences need to be fiercely upheld and for this reason I never make cookies – but I do make biscuits, or even more correctly, bikkies.
‘Cookies’ is absolutely correct if you are in America, or are in fact American. ‘Cookie’ comes from the Dutch ‘koeke’, meaning cake. This term was adopted by Americans in opposition to the English, who used the French term ‘biscuit’ meaning twice cooked, around the time of the War of Independence.
Australia and Canada followed the English lead and adopted the term ‘biscuit’. But because we are Aussies, we have bikkies. Long may it continue.
By Lesley Russell
Orange Regional Cooking School
One recipe, endless variations
125g caster sugar
250g self-raising flour, sieved
Heat the oven to 170C.
Grease a flat biscuit tray.
- Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy – the more thorough you are with this step the lighter the biscuits will be.
- Mix in the egg and then the flour, working the mixture together to create a stiff dough.
- Form small balls of the dough with your hands. Place them on the greased biscuit tray allowing room for spreading.
- Flatten the balls slightly with the heel of your hand or a fork.
- Bake for 10 – 15 minutes or until a nice golden colour.
- Allow the biscuits to cool slightly, then carefully remove to a wire cooling rack.
- Once completely cold, store in an airtight container.
Makes approximately 35 biscuits
These are four of my favourites, I’m sure you can create your own. Note: These measurements apply to half the basic mixture, so once you have a batch divide the mix in two and make two different types.
Cinnamon & Currant
Add ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon to the flour and work in 2 tablespoons currants to the finished dough – this ensures that flour doesn’t get stuck in the crevices of the currants. Once the biscuits are baked, scatter immediately with a generous amount of caster sugar and allow to cool completely.
Almond & Lemon
Add 100g flaked almonds and the grated zest of a lemon to the mixture. Form the mixture into crescent shapes. Once baked and while still hot, very carefully toss in plenty of icing sugar and then allow to cool.
Add ½ cup cornflakes and 2 tablespoons sultanas (optional) to the finished dough. Roughly crush 1 cup extra cornflakes and press these onto the outside of the balls of mixture.
Orange & Coconut
Add 1 tablespoon desiccated coconut and the grated zest of one orange to the mixture. Toss the balls of dough in extra coconut before baking.