Need for Speed

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Driving any distance with a baby in the car makes you feel Keanu Reeves (from the Speed Film not like a 50 something hollywood star!) Everything is going swimmingly – as long as your speed doesn’t drop below 40pmh, then all hell breaks loose! Traffic lights and roadworks are not your friends.  I took a two hour road trip yesterday and it was epic!  We hit traffic at the horrendous Raith interchange and crawled along for ages – the baby wakes up and kicks off big style, the toddler decides this is the exact time he needs to pee (because of course he cannot possibly have emptied his tiny bladder on the 50 pitstops we have made so far!) I turned the radio up and sang along to everything until we got going again and calm was resumed.  I used to go places all the time but it is just such a faff and waste of a day to spend hours in the car, so now our road trips are saved for special occassions – so if we come far to visit, you should feel like royalty! 😜

I baked an incredible cheese bread this week it was carb-tastic! Decided my baking is definitely relfecting my moods, hormonal days result in bread, fruit loaves and scone type baking.  Stressed days are chocolate fuelled, brownies and gateaux galore.  But for more sedate days when I bake for want and not need, I use my east ‘go to’ recipes.

Sometimes you just need a biscuit and the slightly past their best Rockys that you find in the back of the cupboard won’t do.

Sugar hit – check

Always got ingredients in – check

Look spectacular – check

Empire biscuits are definitely a go-to recipe if you need to whip up something awesome that never dissappoints.

Note:not part of any diet

Ingredients to make about 16

450g well softened unsalted butter (just shy of two packs or use marg i always have stork in my fridge and have made it using Lurpak spreadable at a push!)

3 cups plain flour

1cup caster sugar

Jam-how much depends on how much you like

5tbsp icing sugar made up with a splash of water until its at a consistancy that is like thick gravy.

Topping – I used glacè cherries because iIhad them but you can use anything you like; maltesers, jelly tots whatever you’ve got in the cupboards that you haven’t eaten-sprinkles?

Turn oven to 180 degrees celcius, line a baking tray with baking paper.

Save about 50g butter in a cup and microwave it until melted set aside.  Beat the rest of the butter and the sugar well, dump all flour in (no need to sieve) and mix with a knife until it starts coming together, drizzle over the melted butter then get ur hands in to form it together. (This is totally not a delia/mary recommended method but my mixture is always way too crumbly and I find that the melted butter helps it form much better and doesn’t affect my biscuits)

Dust worktop and pour mix out, form together with hands then roll out to about 1cm thick, jab the whole thing with a fork – not stabbing it right through, don’t do this if you’re angry, the mix needs gentle attention and doesn’t cope well with a lot of aggression!

Cut out circles, you should get about 32, put on a baking tray, I got about 9 per tray so took a few bakes.

Oven for 14min, cool on a wire rack.

For perfect biscuits you should boil up the jam for 5minutes and then let it cool as it will thicken and stick biscuits together properly – in reality no one can be bothered with this stage very often! Turn over half your biscuits – save the best looking ones for the tops.  Put a teaspoon of jam on half the baicuits, sandwich the other bicuits on top.   Make your icing. Pour a teaspoon of icing onto each and smooth out to cover the top then decorate how you want- vòila you feel like Nigella – sexy talk and midnight snacking optional!

Not a particular winner with kids, mine will pull them apart, lick the jam and icing off and give me them back!  Definitely best saved for when you have people sropping by or are going to someones house for coffee – particularly orher mums in need of a sugar boost!!

Now that the Bake Off has come to an end I feel a bit deflated! What do you think of the result? I loved them all his year.  Don’t worry no spoilers! Interested to see what comes from the channel four show next year but without Mary Berry can it still be the same? The jury is out.

 

Pam xxx

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