custard creams

Melt in the mouth custard creams perfect for any party... whether it be for a kids party or just a lazy saturday afternoon... 

Here’s my take on a classic British teatime biscuit. I like to press patterns into the top of each cookie – similar to the original storebought versions – you could use letter and number cutters, or something as simple as the fine side of a grater. Look around your kitchen and you’ll be surprised what you can use. I like to make my custard creams in very dainty little oval shapes – they look divinely elegant when packaged into little cellophane bags, tied up with pretty ribbons and given away as favours. If you like, you can also flavour the filling with a little melted milk chocolate.

Sift the flour, baking powder, custard powder, icing sugar and salt into the bowl of a food processor and whizz for 30 seconds to combine. Add the butter and pulse until completely incorporated into the dry ingredients and it resembles dry sand.

Tip the mixture into a mixing bowl and make a well in the middle. Add the milk and vanilla and mix using a round-bladed knife until the dough starts to clump together. Use your hands to squeeze the dough into a smooth-ish ball but don’t overwork it otherwise your cookies will shrink and toughen as they bake. Flatten into a disc, cover with clingfilm and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 170˚C (325˚F) Gas 3.

After 30 minutes, lightly flour the work surface and roll the dough out to a thickness of about 3 mm. Using the cookie cutters, stamp out cookies in rounds and ovals and arrange on the prepared baking sheets. Gather the dough scraps together, press into a smooth-ish ball, re-roll and stamp out more cookies.

Create decorative patterns on each cookie by pressing something textured onto it, for example, I like to use the lemon zesting side of a box grater. Bake the cookies on the middle shelf of the preheated oven for about 10–11 minutes or until firm and very pale golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the baking sheets for 3 minutes, then carefully transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool completely.

Meanwhile, prepare the filling. Melt the chocolate in a small heatproof bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water. Do not let the base of the bowl touch the water.

Extract taken from Baking for Baby, by Annie Rigg, £14.99, amazon.co.uk

Makes about 24

225 g plain flour

1⁄2 teaspoon baking powder

50 g custard powder

50 g icing sugar

a pinch of salt

175 g butter, chilled and diced

1–2 tablespoons milk

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

filling

50 g white chocolate, chopped

75 g butter, soft

50 g icing sugar

1 tablespoon custard powder

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

assorted 5–6-cm round or oval fluted cookie cutters

baking sheets, lined with parchment paper

These and more great recipes are featured in Baking for Baby by Annie Rigg

baking for babs

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