I know some people may think “why would you bother’ making your own Custard Creams – just go buy a packet but isn’t that part of the point of baking? You can always go buy cakes & pastries, delicious brown breads and a savoury slice of quiche. And I do, especially to buy brown bread here in Ireland when time in my working week is often short and rushed – The Bakehouse sells delicious award winning brown soda bread that tastes as good as my mam’s recipe so I usually get mine there. But the similarity between bought custard creams (which I would NEVER buy – YUK!) and these beauties is about as broad as the distance from here to Pluto. You will need to find Custard Powder. Birds is the best, no doubt in my mind, a powder that made a thick custard which was poured in all its artificial yellow glory over all my 1970s & 80s ‘growing up in Ireland’ desserts. I think there’s a small part of nostalgia adding to the taste of these as I’m sat here on a rainy July morning with a steaming cup of tea and a custard cream. Simple pleasures!
I found these in one of my many Nigella books, Feast, which I spoke about before in an earlier post. I make mine quite small (you can eat two with your tea!) so I end up with about 20 biscuits. (I did mean to use the heart cutter – I totally forgot)
For the Biscuits
175 grams plain flour
3 Tablespoons custard powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
50 grams butter
50 grams vegetable shortening
3 Tablespoons caster sugar
1 Tablespoon milk
1 Tablespoon custard powder
100 grams icing sugar
50 grams butter
1 teaspoon boiling water
- Preheat oven to 180C / 350F
- Blitz the ingredients in a food processor or do it the old fashioned way. Cream the butter, vegetable shortening and sugar together.
- Beat in the egg. Sift the dry ingredients together and add them to the creamed mixture, stirring until all the flour has been incorporated. If the dough seems to dry, add the milk and mix well.
- Wrap the biscuit dough in plastic wrap and chill for about 20 minutes.
- When the dough is chilled, dust your work surface and rolling pin with flour and roll out the dough to about 4mm thick. Use a cookie cutter dipped in flour to cut the biscuits.
- Place the biscuits on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Leave some space between each biscuit. They expand as they bake. Bake for about 10-12 minutes. The biscuits should be firm but not brown. Cool the biscuits on a wire rack before filling with Custard Cream.
- Make a biscuit sandwich by spreading a biscuit with a spoonful of Custard Cream. I add a teaspoon of raspberry jam to its opposite ‘partner’. Gently squish the biscuits together to distribute the filling.
If you like these, you’ll probably love these Viennese Fingers also.
Or check the home page to see if anything else takes your fancy!