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Take the biscuits; Hurrah, Bake Off is back, and the first challenge the bakers faced was Biscuit Week. NISHA MAL finds some recipes for you to try at home DOUBLE-DECKER RASPBERRY COOKIES.


INGREDIENTS (MAKES 20) 250g plain flour; 100g icing sugar; 200g salted butter, at room temperature; 2 medium egg yolks; 1 tsp vanilla essence; 100g raspberry jam; 50g fresh raspberries; 6/7cm biscuit cutter; a little extra flour METHOD: 1. Pre-heat the oven to 170degC/325degF/Gas Mark 3. 2. Put the flour and icing sugar together in a bowl and whisk with a balloon whisk.

3. Cut the butter up and add to the mix. With your fingertips, rub in until you have a crumble consistency. 4. Add the egg yolks and vanilla essence and mix to a soft dough.

5. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured board to the thickness of a pound coin.

6. Stamp out 40 shapes with your cutter, then cut a design - such as a heart out of 20 of these, to create a frame.

7. Bake all the biscuits on lightly greased baking sheets (leave some room around them as they will spread a little) for about 10 minutes, until just lightly browned. 8. Allow to cool.

9. Put jam and raspberries in a bowl and mash them together. 10. Put a small teaspoon of the jam on the whole biscuits and then top them with the biscuits with a hole in them and gently sandwich.

CHOCOLATE BISCUITS WITH CHOCOLATE ICING INGREDIENTS: (SERVES 6) 200g Choceur dark chocolate; 120g salted butter softened; 120g caster sugar; 300g plain flour; 2 medium eggs; 1tsp vanilla essence; 15g cocoa powder For the Icing: 150g icing sugar; 35ml boiling water METHOD: 1. Pre-heat the oven to 190degC/375degF/Gas Mark 5. 2. Half fill a pan with water. 3. Check the water is at the right level by placing the heat-proof bowl in and check it just touches the water, if not, add more or less and then place the bowl to one side. 4. Heat the water up until it begins to simmer and leave it on a low heat.

5. Place the heat proof bowl on the water.

6. Break the chocolate into small chunks and place in the bowl. Stir through until all has melted. 7. Cut the softened butter into small chunks.

8. Put the butter, caster sugar and vanilla essence into a mixing bowl and beat until pale and creamy, using an electric whisk.

9. Add the eggs one at a time, whisking well in between. 10. Fold in the melted chocolate until thoroughly mixed. 11. Sift the flour and add to the mix - stir well to form a soft dough. 12. Leave on the side to cool for 10 minutes and then place in the fridge to cool for an additional 20 minutes.

13. Line 2 baking sheets with non-stick paper.

14. Place 1 tablespoon of mixture into the centre of your hand and roll into balls.

15. Put the balls on the paper, dampen the edges with water using a pastry brush.

16. Flatten the balls so the circumference meets 8cm. 17. Bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes. After 10 minutes check they are golden brown, then remove and place on a wire tray to cool. (If you want to turn them into chocolate biscuit popsicles, simply push a lollipop stick in the biscuit as soon as it comes out of the oven).

18. For the Icing: Once the biscuits are cooled, sieve the icing sugar and cocoa together, add the water slowly, mixing at the same time, until a firm icing forms.

With a knife, spread some icing over each biscuit, then grate over the remaining chocolate and add a dusting of icing sugar.

STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKES THESE delicious biscuits are quick and easy to make - and they are such a treat. Perfect for afternoon tea.

INGREDIENTS: Makes 20 A little Trex, for greasing 1 medium egg 75g caster sugar 100g Trex, at room temperature 200g plain flour Pinch of salt 50g polenta or semolina to decorate 227g pot clotted cream 10 strawberries, halved Icing sugar, for sprinkling METHOD 1. Position the oven shelves towards the top of the oven. Preheat the oven to 200degC/fan oven 180degC/Gas Mark 6. Lightly grease two baking trays with a little Trex. 2. Beat the egg and sugar together using a wooden spoon.

3. Put the Trex into a mixing bowl with 150g (6oz) flour and the salt. Beat together with a wooden spoon until smooth and creamy.

Gradually beat in the egg and sugar mixture. Add the remaining flour and polenta or semolina and mix together to make a smooth dough.

4. Turn out onto a lightly floured work top and roll out with a floured rolling pin until 5mm (1/4 in) thick. 5. Stamp into rounds with a 6cm (21/2 in) cutter and transfer to the prepared baking trays.

6. Bake for 16-18 minutes until light golden brown. Cool for a few minutes on the trays, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. 7. When ready to serve, top the shortcakes with spoonfuls of clotted cream and strawberries, then sprinkle with icing sugar.


Ruby Bhogal works on a biscuit selfie portrait for the show stopper on this week's Bake Off opener
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England)
Article Type:Recipe
Date:Sep 2, 2018
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