It is well-known that when friends give birth, the appropriate gift (in addition to cute teeny tiny clothes) is home-baked goods. (Sleepless parents need the sugar.) I was reminded of this fact unashamedly by my lovely friend Hannah, when she saw this photo of some recent baking exploits:

London themed bakingIn honour of a Matryoshka Haus community meal at our place, which included a Texan visitation, I felt the need to bake London-themed treats…

This particular baking exploit occurred at the start of what felt like a week of non-stop baking. For the same gathering, I baked my second loaf of bread (better than the first and last week’s third was better again – I’m loving this bread baking lark). Next, I baked 20 cupcakes for a Bring & Share lunch at church. Then, Hannah and I confirmed a day for me to meet their lovely new daughter, and I got to work again – making my classic ginger flapjack and the Clutterbuck family favourite, Be-Ro lemon biscuits.

I’ve blogged about these biscuits before, but now they have an official name. Hannah’s husband Dan loved them so much that he decreed that they would henceforth be known as “Clutterbiscuits”, which I’m totally ok with. They are fabulously simple, yummy and versatile, which are three excellent characteristics in a baked good.

The recipe is as follows…

200g SR Flour
100g Caster Sugar
100g Margarine
1 egg (beaten)
Grated rind & juice of half a lemon

Mix flour and sugar together. Rub in fat [till it looks like fine breadcrumbs].
Add in lemon and enough egg to make a stiff dough.
[Do this gradually, sticky dough’s a nightmare. You won’t need all the egg.]
Roll out thinly and cut. [Obviously, use a floured surface & rolling pin.]
Place on a greased baking tray and place in oven at 180c for 15 minutes.

Egg hunting biscuitsEgg shaped biscuits baked & decorated for our Egg Hunting day out in 2012 – I even went to the trouble of making initialled ones for everyone there. (It must have been a study day…)

Decoration is optional. If I’m making them for an activity where they may get bashed around, I probably wouldn’t bother. In the case of the Big Bens above [yes, I know that’s the bell inside, but for simplicity’s sake!] I went with a simple lemon water icing outline of its features. Hannah & Dan’s biscuits were a little more lurid as I learnt it’s a bad idea to try and make delicate blue icing after 11pm.

Jo's birthday biscuitsPretty teapots for a 30th birthday outing to see Matilda. Again, it must have been a study day for this level of decoration…

Obviously, an interesting set of cookie cutters is an added bonus. In case you’re wondering, the Big Ben cutter is from a set of ‘world landmark’ cutters which also includes the Sydney Opera House, Pyramids, Leaning Tower of Pisa, Statue of Liberty and the Eiffel Tower. (Mine were from Lakeland but they no longer stock them. I’m sure Google could help…)

Happy baking!

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