Random Recipes: Honey Biscuits

Whilst browsing blog-land the other night, I stumbled across the Random Recipe Challenge, hosted by Belleau Kitchen.

September's challenge is magazine cuttings and pull-outs. I have a LOT of hoarded recipes, so decided I had to give it a go.

The rules of the challenge were simple...

1. place all your magazines, clippings and pull-outs in a pile

2. close your eyes, or find a willing partner to close their eyes

3. randomly select an item from the pile and either flick through to select a recipe or if it's a clipping, cook that chosen recipe

So I did. And I have to confess, I had to apply this selection technique a couple of times, after the first two  recipes I pulled out I had literally none of the ingredients for, and given that it was already 9pm, and I wanted to bake there and then, they were out of the running.

Third time lucky I pulled out a recipe for Honey Biscuits, which I'm pretty sure came from a new-ish Tesco Food magazine.

I guess I only have myself to blame - I am always tempted to keep recipes that look from their ingredients list that they wont work. Mainly because I'm intrigued to see what kind of kitchen alchemy goes on to make them a publication worthy success. Turns out that sometimes actually it's most likely a just a typo...

So I present to you both the Honey Biscuits original recipe, and my fairly major emergency modification to turn them into something edible!

Honey Biscuits - original and completely culinarily impossible recipe...

  • 115g plain flour
  • 55g butter or margarine
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tbsp hot water
  • 55g raisins or sultanas
  • 250ml clear honey

Mix the flour and butter together. Dissolve the bicarb in the hot water, and add it to the butter and flour. Stir through the raisins, then add the honey slowly, stirring constantly until it forms a smooth dough. Roll out until about 1cm thick, then mark into squares and bake at 180C for 10-15 mins until golden.

Here's what they were supposed to look like.

So I set off...
The flour/butter instruction was a bit vague, so I decided to go with rubbing the margarine into the flour, because a) that's the only way I know to combine flour and margarine directly, and b) the finished picture looked vaguely scone-like, and that's what you do with scones. So far so good.
I mixed in the bicarb and water, and the raisins - all going well. I started to add the honey. I stopped at less than half, because it was looking like quite a lot, and quite runny. I gave it a good mix. Dough, it most definitely was not!!!!! (It had the consistency extra sticky double cream).

Hence my fairly major recipe modification... here it is :o)

Honey and Almond Biscuits (makes 20)

  • 115g plain flour
  • 55g butter or margarine (I used dairy free olive)
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1tbsp hot water
  • 55g raisins
  • 120ml clear honey (I used Spanish orange blossom)
  • 100g ground almonds

Sieve the flour into a large mixing bowl.
Rub in the butter/margarine.
Dissolve the bicarbonate of soda in the tablespoon of hot water, and add it to the flour and butter, along with the raisins, and runny honey.
Stir well, and then add the ground almonds and mix so that it forms a sticky, dollop-able mixture.

Add a little more ground almonds or flour if necessary - the wetness of the mixture will depend on how thick the honey you have used is.
Put heaped teaspoons of the mixture onto baking trays lined with baking parchment.

Bake at 180C (Fan 160C) for about 15 mins until golden brown on top.

These were lovely! A very pleasant surprise given the disaster halfway through. They were sweet but not too cloying because they are made with honey rather than sugar. The ground almonds made them chewy, and the raisins didn't do that whole burned raisin thing, because the cooking time was short, and the temperature not too high. They even kept well for a day or so, and will definitely be made again. Random Recipe win.

And as a side tangent to the random recipe baking, I had a sort out of my recipe stash. I was amazed how many of the recipes I had 'accidentally' made over the years, without having referred to the recipes.  Hehe - so turns out my original recipe inventions maybe aren't so original after all! It seemed kind of odd to be keeping recipes for things I had approximately made without recipe reference, so I sorted out a whole load of cuttings into piles that I thought might appeal to some friends and family, and passed them on - sharing the recipe stash love!!!

And in case you're wondering what's on the plate under the biscuits... it's Mini-M's first attempt with a paintbrush - preserved forever in ceramic paint.