Hi everyone, Lindsay here. As you may have noticed, I’ve been, uh, a bit busy lately (understatement), and haven’t had as much time to post as I’d like. So, to keep your sweet tooth satisfied in the interim, I’ve arranged for some fabulous guest posts by some blogging buddies! Today we head across the pond for a tasty treat from Kathryn of London Bakes. Enjoy!
Hi, my name is Kathryn and I have recently started taking tentative steps into the world of foodblogging over at London Bakes. As the name suggests, I live in London, England and my blog chronicles my culinary adventures in this fair city.
When Lindsay tweeted that she was looking for volunteers to write a guest post on her blog, I leapt at the opportunity. Love & Olive Oil has always been one of my favourite blogs and I am honoured today to bring you a recipe for a classic British cookie – the custard cream.
First of all, let’s get one thing straight. In the UK, the custard cream is called a biscuit. Cookies are some new-fangled American invention and goodness only knows what the British equivalent of an American “biscuit” is. Don’t get me wrong, I like a good soft, chewy cookie but you can’t really dunk one in your tea can you? The custard cream with its winning combination of crisp, buttery vanilla biscuit and creamy fondant filling is an excellent candidate for dunking. For this reason, it is often voted Britain’s favourite biscuit – quite an accolade in our biscuit-obsessed nation!
Part of the charm of a custard cream is its simplicity. These biscuits are so easy and quick to make and don’t require any fancy ingredients – perfect for when you want to whip up a batch of something sweet in a hurry. The recipe does call for custard powder which is not always widely available outside the UK. An American friend informs me that vanilla pudding mix would be an acceptable substitute but you can also use a mixture of corn starch and vanilla which is all that custard powder really is.
But be warned, serious scientific research has found that they are also Britain’s most dangerous biscuit. So if you’re feeling brave, reach for the flour, grab some custard powder and take a walk on the wild side of British baking…
For the biscuits:
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
1/3 cup superfine sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
8 tbsps custard powder (or 8 tbsps corn starch and 1 tsp vanilla extract)
A few drops of vanilla extract
2/3 stick (1/3 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
A few drops of vanilla extract
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tbsps custard powder (or 2 tbsps corn starch and ½ tsp vanilla extract)
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Cream together the sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Fold in the flour, custard powder and vanilla essence until you have a dough that you can roll out. This might involve you getting stuck in with your hands!
Flour the surface and roll out your dough to a thickness of ¼ inch. Cut the dough into whatever shapes you want ensuring that you have an even number of each shape. Custard creams are traditionally square but I used a glass to cut my dough into small circles.
Place your biscuits on a baking tray lined with parchment paper and bake for 10 minutes until golden brown. Leave to cool for a couple of minutes before transferring to a wire rack.
To make the filling, cream the butter and vanilla together and gradually add the sugar and custard powder until you have something with the consistency of buttercream. When the biscuits are cool, gently sandwich them together with a heaped teaspoon of the filling.