Last night I was watching one of my favorite Pixar films, Brave. Being of Scottish descent and a ginger, that movie is basically a biography of my life. (Or my dreams).
Anyway, I was feeling inspired to try making the famous sweet biscuits Merida’s brothers keeping sneaking off with. After a couple of epic fails, I think I finally nailed it…
I’ll be honest, this endeavor proved more difficult than I anticipated. I wanted to be as authentic as possible with this recipe, so I bypassed my cookbooks and went online.
NOT ALWAYS THE BEST WAY. (Execept in this case. My recipe will not let you down).
I tried this recipe from Norm’s Farm first. I’m not saying this recipe isn’t delicious but it is not for the faint of heart. There were a lot of steps and by the time I realized I was in over my head, I had wasted a fair amount of flour, jam and time. This recipe is an intermediate level recipe for sure.
So, I tried again, looking for an easier recipe. That’s when I found this recipe from Allrecipes.com. This one failed miserably because the dough was just really wet. However, at this point, I was going to see this through, so I called my mom and begged for help. (Don’t tell her I said this, but moms really do know everything).
She recommended sticking the dough in the fridge for an hour to chill it. After which I added another cup of flour to finally achieve the right consistency. The final product came out alright, but it was way more effort than it was worth.
So, because I love you all, I have provided you with the best sugar cookie recipe I own. (Scottish biscuits = USA sugar cookie). The recipe below is my go to sugar cookie, especially around the holidays. From cookbook, The Joy of Cooking, this recipe has been tried, tested and proven tasty.
Rich Rolled Sugar Cookie Recipe:
(yields about 2 dozen cookies)
2 sticks unsalted, softened butter
2/3 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
2 1/3 cups flour
jar of candied (or maraschino) cherries
milk (or whipping cream)
Raspberry Jam (or any whatever flavor you prefer)
Preheat oven to 350°.
Beat the butter and sugar together on medium speed. Add and beat the egg, baking powder, salt and vanilla to the sugar mix until well combined. Stir in the flour until well blended and smooth.
I had to put my dough in the fridge for about an hour because it was too sticky to roll out. This should not happen to you with this recipe, but if you are having issues rolling the dough, wrap it in saran wrap and chill it for 30-60 minutes.
When you’re ready, roll it out. You may find it easier to roll out in small sections at a time, depending on your counter space. Using a cookie cutter, cut circles into the dough.
This amount of dough should give you about 24 biscuits, maybe more depending on the size of your cookie cutter.
This is where things start to get a bit trickier. Now that your biscuits are cut and ready to bake, you have to jam them first. Take half your biscuits and lay them on your greased baking sheets. Then spoon about a tablespoon of jam onto the biscuit. Lastly, take the other half of your biscuits and place them on top of the jammed biscuits, creating a sandwich. Pinch around the edges of each biscuit to close the edges. This will prevent jam from leaking out, burning and making a huge mess of your oven.
Because in my first attempt, the jam made a huge mess, I was more conservative with the jam in my second batch. Don’t be me. You can use a heaping spoonful of jam or less if you want. Just be sure the 2 biscuits are sealed off at the edges.
Now that the biscuits are baked, it’s time to add the sugar drizzle and cherries.
LET THE BISCUITS COOL FIRST!
(If you’re super impatient like me, stick the rack in the freezer for about 5 minutes).
If you were able to find candied cherries, great. If you’re me and your local grocery stores aren’t fancy schmancy, maraschino cherries work just as well. I used maraschinos and I drained them completely and let them sit in the sink to dry out a bit while I made the biscuits.
Ok, your biscuits are cool. In a small bowl, mix about a cup of confectionery sugar and just a splash of milk. (I used heavy cream because it’s what I had, but makes no real difference what you use. You could even use water, but ew).
How much confectionery sugar and milk you use is up to you. You only really need enough milk to create a thick, but drippy icing. I like a slightly thicker icing because it holds the cherry better and because, sugar. Yum.
You should be able to eyeball it and know what feels right to you.
When you ice them, I highly recommend using the setup above. This way the icing can drip down through the cooling rack, onto the baking sheet and not make a sticky mess of your counter.
Because I needed to take photos, I stuck the biscuits in the freezer for about 10 minutes so the icing could really set. You don’t have to do this but if you’re in a hurry, it helps.
Despite all the disasters…
The final biscuit was great in the end. I promise that if you use the above recipe instead of the recipes I used, your biscuits will be perfect the first time around. (Unless, you do something to totally mess it up). JUST KIDDING! You’ll be fine. That’s the great thing about baking and cooking, it’s science and science is all about experimenting. Sometimes experiments fail. But sometimes they work out and are totally delicious!