A couple of years ago I had the honor to have lunch with Russell at London Eats here in Brooklyn. It felt like we had known each other for years. Like me, he is very much into baking. And he does it pretty well. In December he has the wonderful tradition of baking 12 cakes and cookies, which he share on his blog. As Russell lived in Sweden for a while, you can also find some Scandinavian pastries on his site as well.
The other day I baked Cardamom Biscuits based on one of Russell’s recipes. But don’t confuse this kind of biscuit with a typical American biscuit. In UK a biscuit is a sweet or savory small cracker (or cookie) while in US a biscuit is like a small soft scone. In Sweden you call it kex.
The recipe is based on Russell’s recipe for Abernethy biscuits. Instead of using Caraway seeds, which is the tradition for this kind of biscuit, I used cardamom as the flavor. The result was fantastic. It really is a perfect snappy biscuit that works beautifully together with a strong cup of tea, coffee or a glass of milk.
Adapted from Russell’s (London Eats’) Abernethy biscuits
240 grams (little more than 1 2/3 cup) all purpose flour + extra for dusting
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
85 grams (3 ounces) butter
85 grams (3 ounces, little more than 1/3 cup) caster sugar
2 teaspoons whole cardamom, crushed
one tablespoon milk
Mix together flour and baking powder in a bowl. With your fingertips rub in the butter until it resembles a coarse meal (a little like breadcrumbs as Russell describes it). Mix in the sugar and the crushed cardamom.
Beat the egg in a small bowl and add it together with the milk to the flour mixture. Work the dough together with your hands until you can shape it into soft ball. If the dough feel too sticky or too dry, add more flour or milk. Wrap the ball in plastic wrap. Let rest in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 180ºC (355ºF). Line a baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper.
On a floured flat surface roll half the dough thinly (less than 1/2 cm thick, about 1/8 inch). Cut out rounds with a small glass. Place them on the prepared cookie sheet and make neat patterns with a wood skewer. Repeat until all dough is all used up.
Bake the biscuits for about 10 – 15 minutes. The should have a nice color. Watch them carefully so they don’t get too dark. You may need to turn the baking sheet once to get an even color.
also check out my other fika related recipes here.