challenge · Great Grandma's recipes

Picking up my game (Fairy Cakes or Biscuits)

These look easy. That’s what I said. Aloud. To more than one person.

And they are. Once you know what you’re doing. Probably. Batch one proved that the standard 20ml Australian tablespoon is bigger than what Grandma used. And I should know – I ‘ve seen the tablespoons. It also proved that in  baking it’s important to be exact.

Batch two was better. I used 2 tablespoons of milk and got my interpretation of a dry paste – something you can roll, and also pick up the biscuits you’ve cut without them pouring themselves back onto the bench.

It’s an interesting recipe because other than what’s in the egg, there is no fat, like butter, or even lard, in the mix. Could I advertise them as low fat? Iguess in the Depression years it would have been good to have recipes that could do without an ingredient.

You will also notice that I have upped my game when it comes to the proofreading. An interstate friend, who is just a little bit famous for liking things just so has noticed that I’m a bit (OK a lot) slap happy when it comes to tablespoons and tbsp, not to mention the mixing of volume and weight measurements. So this time I’ve stuck to tbsp, although perhaps to be consistent I should have use C, not cups. Don’t worry. He’ll soon let me know. This one’s for you, my friend.

So here is this very quick and “easy” recipe. It took about 7 minutes to get them in the oven. Judge these bikkies (USA reader, that’s cookies to you!) for yourself. They’re not my favourite. The fact that they have no butter means that they are a different texture, so see what you think and let me know.

1 cup flour

2 tbsp cornflour

1 tsp baking powder

pinch salt

1/2 cup castor sugar

1 egg

about 2tbsp milk, added slowly

Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F). Sift the dry ingredients into a medium bowl, and the egg and mix, slowly adding milk until you have a rollable dough. (Or as Grandma Ethel called it “a dry paste”) Roll about 5mm thick, and cut out bikkies. Bake for about 15 minutes. Cool on a rack.


2 thoughts on “Picking up my game (Fairy Cakes or Biscuits)

  1. Lucky you, to have a family heirloom cookbook! We are working on creating such a volume with our Blog. It’s fun looking at old family recipes, sometimes more fun in the reading and preparation than the eating! Australian food has evolved significantly in my lifetime, so extravagant! Love the images of the old recipes.

    1. Our food certainly has changed. I’ve been blessed to have a Mum who likes to cook, so she has moved with the times. These days we’re likely to get a Thai curry or something when we eat there. Yum. I’m enjoying your blog too.

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