Monday, 5 October 2009

Why Dinosaurs Became Extinct

Because I ate them all!

And you know what? They were fucking delicious!

I've been achin' to do some bakin' the last couple of weeks, and finally got down to it on Saturday night, churning out a batch of Russian tea cakes. They're also known as Mexican wedding cookies, but I think I much prefer the other name, as I'm not much a fan of weddings.

Anyway, these shortbread-like biscuits are so simple to make, and so simple to scoff down too! They're pleasantly crumbly (or 'friable', if you prefer wanky foodblog terminology), and are a heartstoppingly delightful combination of butter and sugar. I looked around for a few recipes, but as usual, just decided to go by instinct, and do it my own way. It takes hardly any time to mix together, and you'll have a satisfying large batch of them in about an hour or less.

250 gm butter
100 gm white sugar
10 ml vanilla/almond extract (optional)
10 ml water
250 gm plain flour
100gm ground almonds/ pecans
icing sugar (for dusting)

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

Cream the butter and sugar together till smooth. I found it easier just to rub the butter and sugar together with my hands, but you can use whichever method suits you best.

Mix in the vanilla or almond extract - I left this out as both the supermarkets near me had completely sold out of vanilla extract and I didn't want to use almond extract as it might've got too 'almondy'. All I can say is, someone somewhere better be making the world's largest vanilla sponge cake, with all that vanilla!

Add flour, and water, then rub the mixture together till they look like giant crumbs. Add ground almonds, and work everything together till the dough is just smooth. There's no need to work it too much.

Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper. Pinch off bite-sized pieces (about 1 inch wide) and roll them into balls, then, just before you put them on the baking tray, flatten them slightly with your thumb. If you're using cutters, make sure your shapes aren't too thin, as they tend to burn at the edges.

Pop them into the oven for 10 - 12 mins, they're done when they're slightly browned on the edges and pale gold on top.

The biscuits can be eaten like that, or you can dust them with icing sugar for more sweetness. They'll make great bites for a Christmas party - you can simply cut them out with tree-shaped cutters, and dust some sugar on top to look like snow!

I'd love to hear from you if you make these biscuits.


  1. Tsk Tsk, how could you eat all the dinosaurs. Now i'm very sad. Boo hoo!

  2. LOL! so much better than them boring round cookies. I always get confused. Us Indians call them biscuits, but for americans biscuits are comething else..and what I call biscuits are nothing like cookies. This is where you say shut up and EAT!

  3. Po-taY-toe/po-TA-toe, cookie/biscuit, who cares, as long as they're tasty, right?

    I think what Americans call biscuits are actually more like scones here in the UK