Friday, August 21, 2009

Today: Biscuits

Millionaire shortbread.

I never used to like this. I found the shortbread bit too dry and the caramel too sweet. So I didn't even look in its direction for years. But recently I discovered M&S do a version and it's one of the best things I've ever had. I'm a fan.

I'm not a massive biscuit person, though if they're knocking around at work, which they inevitably are, then I might dip in. But at home we never eat them.

So let's turn our attentions today to biscuits.

I used to like Gypsy Creams a lot as a child, even though I can't actually rememember what they tasted like. Didn't they become Romany Creams, and then die of PCness? I only really liked them and Bourbons as a child. Take off one of the biscuits then scrape your teeth on the chocolate cream. Then eat the biscuits. Did we all do that.

There were horrors in the cookie jar, however. Mum always used to buy things like Malted Milk or Sport biscuits as well, and they never got eaten (by me), they just went stale. My gran always used to bring over packets of those pink wafers that cost about 1p for 100, or chocolate-topped coconut biscuits, which I wasn't much keen on either. I only liked the jam bit of Jammie Dodgers and the honey bit of honey creams (though these were rare outside of a large variety tin of Rover or Victoria). I did like the half-dipped Dutch shortcake, however, but these were not for consumption by children, hence I feel a sense of victory if I buy them now.

But my real pet hate was Lincoln. That horrible, dusty, nobbly surface. A dry, tasteless bit of hatefulness that gives plain biscuits a bad name. And that goes for you too, Marie. I don't mind Thin Arrowroot and Abbey Crunch, and Boudoir are welcome in mine anytime. But you can keep your custard creams, coconut creams, lemon puffs, Penguins, Taxis, Viscounts (with their fake fatty mint filling) and Blue Ribands and anything made by Fox's, Britain's dullest biscuit manufacturer.

And Rich Tea. So boring. Who actually buys these? I know they're famed as the dunking biscuit, but they just fall apart. I like a nice Digestive though.

Phew! What about you?


Dan W said...

Three leap to mind:

1) ginger hob knobs. Something earthy and wholesome about them. I think Kings of old would have eaten them. Verily.

2) chocolate digestive. can't be beat.

3) fruit shortbread. a wild card, but a tasty one.

you must have seen this F-C?

Clair said...

I still yearn for a Royal Scot or, in a savoury moment, a Huntley and Palmers Breakfast Biscuit.

Five-Centres said...

I've never had a breakfast biscuit, but I like the sound of it. I liked Royal Scots. I didn't realise they'd bitten the dust.

I do know that website Dan, it's great.

Clair said...

Ooh, they were LOVELY. Thick and crispy, a bit like a harder one of those circular Dutch Crispbakes thingys. Like a cross between a rusk and a biccy.

Matthew Rudd said...

Romany biscuits were fantastic. I actually don't mind Rich Tea as they have a nice aftertaste which you lose if you dunk it.

Give me a chocolate chip cookie these days, Maryland will do...

Clair said...

Ugh, Matt, they're RUBBISH! May I commend you the rhubarb and ginger cookies from Marks? Just fab.

Five-Centres said...

The pear and ginger chocolate ones from Marks are not to be missed too.

Matthew Rudd said...

Rhubarb is the shrub of the devil, irrespective of whether it comes in biscuit, crumble or fool form. Clair, you disappoint me...!

Planet Mondo said...

My faves were Barmouth - delicous and no fussy topping either. The sort of thing you'd get stuck in an ice cream now.

Lemon Puffs were always fun. Sticky to the touch, dry inside.

And some baked coconut thing, with chocolate on top, which came with two in a pack. Can remember the ads, but not the name

I've got a badge in my collection 'I'm a Franzipan Crumbler' but can't remember what they were.

Best place for Millionare/Caramel Shortcake is a deli in Digbeth St Stow on the Wold. Unreal.

Ishouldbeworking said...

Tunnock's Caramel Wafers can still be relied on to bring instant comfort to the troubled soul.

Clair said...

Your Franzipan Crumble problems sorted, PM:

What a fab site!

Bright Ambassador said...

My dad used to buy Rich Teas because he was from Yorkshire and you got more for your money. In fact you could tell when Dad had helped with the shopping because it was always Rich Teas or Digestives. When Mum went on her own it was those ones like jammy dodgers but with 'cream' in all the way. I used to like biting round the outside and leaving a small shirt button-sized bit of jam to the end.

I buy whatever's on offer. Like Maryland Cookies the other week.

Planet Mondo said...

Amazing ta for the tip Clair. Explains why I had a badge too. My dad worked at Lyons for a while and would sometimes 'dep' driving the cake and biscuit van. He'd stop in for lunch and I was allowed to have my pick from the goodies.

The Lyons Bakewells were a real treat.