Today is one of those days, I know it is Autumn, and the middle of October…. but really did winter need to come so quickly.
Although there was a bit of blue sky and sunshine this morning when I got up, it very quickly was over taken by a grey sky and of course the rain came, not a lot, that drizzly stuff that just makes it a miserable day all round.
So I needed to BAKE something to brighten the day….
Buttery Viennese Swirl Biscuits
I was searching for some recipes yesterday and found the Viennese Whirl biscuit recipe from the Hairy Bikers, and it took me back to the days when I use to pop out to M&S and buy a packet (6 biscuits) for my tea break, well ask you know that’s not possible here, so I just had to make some.
I was transported back to the delicious buttery biscuits, not the work load, I have managed to shut that out of my mind, but oh those buttery biscuits will just do the trick.
We have some friends who are in the process of moving house and it is all very stressful, I called her this morning to see how she was doing and ‘not good’ was the honest answer. I invited her to join me for a cuppa, so I thought I know what I will make to have with that cuppa…….. so here we go.
The recipe is so simple, the ingredients minimal, so I was a little skeptical to find out how they would turn out.
There is only 1 way to find out and that is to get on with the job and get them made……
So large bowl in hand, butter, flour, cornflour, icing sugar, vanilla essence (I have to use the ‘fake’ stuff as I am allergic to the ‘real’ stuff). This recipe is not for the faint hearted, lots of butter. But of course YOU don’t need to eat them all.
I chopped the butter and placed it in the microwave to soften it, it had a lot of dry ingredients to mix together. The recipe does say soft butter, I really does need to be soft, its the only way to make sure everything combines together.
Once you have a nice soft fluffy mixture, scoop it into a piping bag with a large start shaped tip and get you piping skills in action.
I found I needed to keep my hands around the bag to make sure the mixture was soft enough to come out of the tip. I did a couple of practice rounds and then just scooped them up off of the grease proof paper and put them back into the piping bag and continued with the rounds for the biscuits.
I set the oven to 200c but it really needed to be 180-190c you don’t want the bottom of the biscuits to cook too quickly as they will get too much colour and the top will remain very pale. It also changes the flavour and melt in the mouth sensation if they are over cooked.
I baked them for 14 minutes, and they were perfect. I did turn them around, half way through the cooking, just to make sure.
Once you are happy with the colour of your biscuits, remove them from the oven and allow them to cool before you add the butter icing and sandwich them together.
While the biscuits are baking, make the butter icing, it too is very easy, place the butter, icing sugar and vanilla essence into a bowl, I used the same one, and mix until nice and fluffy, I use a hand mixer to get the consistency, you can use a wooden spoon if you prefer. Place the filling into a piping bag, ready for when needed.
I made some with a dollop of jam and other with out.
Take a couple of biscuits that are similar sizes, pipe the butter icing around the outside of the biscuit and place a spoonful of jam in the centre and then top with another biscuit, sandwiching them together.
I have to be honest and those with the jam are better than those without, the jam helps to cut through the butter……
When I finally got the chance to eat one of these biscuits, well I have to say it did transport me all the way back to those days in the office and popping out to M&S to get a packet for tea break.
They were buttery, melt in the mouth ….OMG why has it taken me so long to make them, they are definitely on the ‘to-do again’ list.
I thought you might like to enjoy so here is the recipe for you to make.
Viennese Swirl Biscuits
Delicious buttery, melt in the mouth biscuits. A wonderful treat any time of the day.
Place the butter into a large bowl and place in the microwave until very soft.
Add the plain flour, corn flour, icing sugar and vanilla essence into the bowl and using a hand blender or stand mixer, whip everything until you have a stiff batter.
Place the biscuit batter into a piping bag with a large start tip.
Place a sheet of grease proof paper onto a baking tray and pipe swirls onto the paper. I started by piping the outside of the swirl and working into the centre. Keep going until you have used all the biscuit batter.
Place the baking sheets into the oven for 14 minutes until the are golden brown.
Remove the trays from the oven and allow the biscuits to cool before piping the filling.
While the biscuits are in the oven, make the butter icing.
Place the butter into the bowl and melt in the microwave until very soft.
Add the icing sugar and vanilla essence and whip until all combined and light and fluffy.
When the biscuits are cool, match them up to even pairs.
Pipe a ring of butter icing around the outside of the biscuit and spoon a small dollop of jam in the centre of the butter cream.
Take the partner of the biscuit place on top of the filling and gently push together into a sandwich.
Continue until you have filled all of the biscuits.
It is possible to cut the mixture in half, if you don't want so many, but really, just pop them into an airtight container and enjoy some tomorrow.
In Scotland we have a wonderful history of baking fantastic shortbread, they are light and buttery and very more..ish…. So you have been warned Scottish shortbread is a wonderful treat and quick and easy to make.
185 g Plain Flour
120 g softened salted butter
65 g soft light brown sugar 1 g salt (only used if using unsalted butter)
5 g of white caster sugar (for sprinkling on top of the shortbread)
Heat the oven to 190 degrees.
Take a large bowl and add the flour and softened butter, rub the flour and butter together until you have a breadcrumb texture. Add the sugar and mix well together. You will have a soft dough. (Note: be gentle with the mixture, if you mix/kneed too much it will result in a tough biscuit)
Flour the counter and pat the dough out to 3 mm (approx), at this stage run a rolling pin across the top of the dough to give a finished look.
Choose a cutter size and shape for your shortbread and cut the biscuits and place on a baking sheet covered with grease proof paper, leave a small space between each biscuit, the shortbread will only spread a little. Take any cuttings and bring back together and continue until you have used all the dough. Sprinkle the top of the shortbread with a little caster sugar.
Chill the shortbread for 10-15 mins to allow the butter to firm up again.
Put the shortbread in the oven, check on them at 5 min intervals to ensure they don’t brown too quickly, you are looking for a light brown finish.
Remove the Shortbread from the oven and leave to cool for 5 mins before serving.