German Biscuits

My Aunty Pam, BP's Granddaughter

Oh god! Can someone can help me next time I have to make biscuits (cookies)? I am SO bad with dough. We've already discussed how crap I am at pastry, well, buttery biscuit dough is also something I fight with. It is one area where I simply have no patience. I just want to throw the rolling pin at the wall. Show that dough!! If it wants to stick to everything, then it can stick to the wall!! haha!

I know it is probably my fault, perhaps I never listened to any cooking tutorials my Grandma, or Mum tried to give me (I mean, I know I never listened to the knitting, crocheting and sewing talks!). But how come I don't know all the little tricks by now? I think if I were a woman back in the day the other ladies would have talked about me behind my back. Sure, we would have been friends, but they would laugh at my baking (not my cooking, I am an ok cook!). They would come over for afternoon tea and wonder what the heck I was serving them. It would probably taste ok, but it would look terrible. They might politely spit it into their hankies when I wasn't looking. 

But, I am an optimist. I do think that by the time I am of Grandmother age (whether I am someone's real Grandma or not) I will be good. There will be people who, after I die, will remember my cooking. That will make me happy!! I always think of my life in its current state and see if it will be something that I will enjoy looking back on when I am in my rocking chair, knitting (??!!) and chatting with my husband, sister or girlfriends while an apple pie cools on the window sill. I know, when I am older I should be still out there and enjoying my life, and I hope I will be. But I do hope I get to rock on that chair and think back to when I couldn't roll out those damn German Biscuits (or Empire Biscuits, as they were re-named during the war - which I think is pretty funny!) and enjoy remembering Bessie Pearls' Ledger and how much fun it was.

Later - I re-made these biscuits today! They were so yummy, and I knew that I hadn't done them right the first time. I think they were probably a little too small this time, but I think they're much closer to what they are supposed to be - little buttery shortbread-esque biscuits that you sort of want to pop into your mouth all at once. Go on! Do it!

German Biscuits

4 oz flour (1/2 cup)
2 oz butter (4 TBS)
1 oz sugar (2 TBS)
1 tsp water

~ Mix together & roll into thin paste (it was so sticky!! I couldn't roll it. I had to roll it into little balls and flatten them. On the second take, I rolled the dough into a long 'snake' and then cut small pieces off. I then rolled them into balls again, but they were much smaller - I think more suited to this biscuit.)
~ I learned what I think is the method from a Swedish Sweets book. So these worked waaaay better the second time I tried them.  Cream the butter & sugar, then add the flour a little at a time. Some recipes said to rest the dough in the fridge for half an hour, others didn't. I didn't. Why? Because I am impatient!!
~ Cut size required (I think they should be small, there's not much dough)
~ Bake in moderate oven (350 f for 8 - 10 mins)
~ Put raspberry jam between two layers
~ Add icing on top if you like

these are the second batch - small and cute, sans icing which we found too sweet!


  1. you have a bit of your auntie's crooked smile!

    Biscuits are sticky to roll out -- the secret is to use a lot of flour on the surface you're rolling them out on, and on the rolling pin.

    My favorite biscuits (like my favorite pancakes) use buttermilk -- something like this recipe:

    It's interesting to me how extraordinarily simple your Bessie Pearl's Ledger recipes generally are. Maybe it's an Aussie thing. The pancakes (and I make a lot of pancakes) struck me as an odd take on the genre, but I'll be sure and try them sometime.

  2. @kent
    Hi Kent!,

    It's funny with a crooked smile I should end up with the surname Campbell, which means Crooked Mouth! (Hence my music company's name!)...

    I agree, everything is super simple! I don't know if it is an Australian thing or not, or whether it is just an old fashioned war-time thing? I guess being in Australia (not to mention nowhere near a major city and in the outback) it was difficult to get lots of things... perhaps that is it! I always feel like I am not adding enough, that the recipes are a little boring. But, it is sort of like getting back to basics, - learning how to make things on a base level. Things always turn out way yummier than what I think they will with all the simplicity!

    Definitely try the pancakes! No maple syrup though, go the lemon, sugar & honey!!