What is Operation Jam Jar?

Operation Jam Jar is all about getting back to basics in the kitchen.

Check out my efforts at cooking from scratch - cakes, soups, biscuits

Learn how to make things that you would normally buy at the supermarket - wraps, ice cream, pizza bases

Try to live a more 'country' lifestyle in the city - making your own jams or relish

Get the skills to enjoy cooking in a thrifty way, and have a bit of fun while you do it

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Easy Vanilla Biscuits

I’ve never been much of a biscuit baking person.  It was only when I looked through an old book and found a recipe with the most basic of ingredients – flour, butter, sugar and vanilla – that I thought maybe I could do this. 

When it comes to cooking and especially baking I think it’s important not to let yourself get nervous about giving it a try.  You never know, biscuits could be your hidden talent!  Recently I tried to make bagels and found that these are NOT my hidden talent, but I am going to re-work the recipe later on and try them again.

Like most things, home made biscuits taste so much better than store bought ones. These biscuits are great for afternoon tea or for a gift wrapped in cellophane and tied with a ribbon.  Mine only lasted 1 day as I have a biscuit-loving husband who ate them for breakfast (no judgment)

Ingredients (makes 12)
225g plain flour
150g butter, straight from the fridge, cut up into small squares
125g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence

Preheat the oven to 180°C.  Place baking paper onto your trays. 

Sift the flour into a large bowl.  Add the butter and use your fingertips to blend the butter and flour until it resembles breadcrumbs.  If like me you have hot hands (what a curse!) it may be hard to do this so add the sugar to the mix if you find it’s not working. 

Then just add the vanilla and roll it into a firm dough.

On a floured surface carefully roll out the dough to about 1cm thickness.  Using a biscuit cutter (or an upturned glass) stamp out your biscuits and place them onto the tray.  Re-roll the rest of the dough and keep going until you’ve used up all the dough.  Depending on the size of your cutter you should get about a dozen biscuits.

Bake in the oven for 15-20 mins or until just coloured.  Place on a wire rack to cool.  Dust with a little caster sugar before serving.   Store in an airtight container.  

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