Sunday, July 26, 2009

"Pusher" Biscuits

On Wednesday, Ruth asked me if I would bake again, so on Wednesday night, I decided to make what my mother refers to as "pusher" biscuits. These are just biscuits made using a cookie press.

Now, in theory, these biscuits are simple to make, but my experience tells me otherwise. The biscuit press is a fickle machine, as my friend Tammy recently mentioned, and you have to get the dough just right. If you don't, the whole exercise can range from a battle of wills to a downright failure.

From bitter experience, I have learned that I should not use reduced fat margarine when making these, as the dough does not reach the correct consistency to extrude properly. I know, I should cook with margarine, but my mother always did, and her recipe actually calls for margarine. In my cold-addled haze the other night, I forgot about the reduced fat margarine no-no, and used it in my biscuit dough. It made it quite a struggle to press the biscuits out, requiring me to aid the process by lifting the biscuits off the end of the presser with my hands (they should just fall off), and eventually to abandon the presser altogether and roll out the rest of the dough and cut it into star shapes. However, a selection of the cookies that I managed to press are featured at the top of this post, sandwiched together with water icing.

I recommend skipping the margarine and going for the butter for the best results. My mother's recipe for these biscuits is as follows:

120g butter
1/2 cup sugar

1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 3/4 cups self raising flour less 2 tablespoons
2 tablespoons cornflour
1 pinch salt

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

Beat the butter and sugar together with an electric mixer until light and creamy. Beat in the egg, followed by the vanilla essence.

Remove the bowl from the electric mixer, and sift in the flour and cornflour. Stir until well combined to form a relatively stiff dough. (Add more flour if the dough is still sticky.)

Put portions of the dough into the biscuit presser, press out onto biscuit trays lined with baking paper, and bake in the preheated oven. Remove the golden baked biscuits from the oven and allow to cool on the trays.

Once cool, sandwich the biscuits together with water icing, if desired.


Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

I hope you're feeling better! I didn't realise that about using reduced fat margaring. I suppose it could have something to do with the water content too? I haven't made cookies using my presses for ages but they look so cute!

Mary said...

These bisciuts look great something sweet to melt in your mouth!

Tammy said...

your cookies look great. I am going to keep persevering with making these until I get the technique right!

Megan@Feasting on Art said...

My batch of milanos look very similar to your first attempt. Good job to keep trying!

The Caked Crusader said...

Wow - these are so cute!
I don't make nearly enough biscuits - this recipe may well inspire me!

Anonymous said...

I'm going to have to try these. I never need an excuse to get a new kitchen toy. :P

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

What cute cookies! Delicious!



Cakelaw said...

Thanks Lorraine - feeling much better.

Thanks Mary, they are like little shortbread, so they do melt in the mouth.

Me too Tammy.

Thanks Megan - I don't think I will make them again, but was happy to have salvaged something, no matter how imperfect.

Hi Crusader, looing forward to seeing what you come up with.

Absolutely Wendy ;)

Thanks Rosa!