Homemade British Biscuits.

My name is Abbie and I am a self confessed biscuit addict. I LOOOOOVE them and in Britain we are blessed to have so many different types that I could easily put on an extra 3 stone just with a cup of tea and 47 packets of biscuits. Everyone has a different favourite from jammy ones, to chocolatey ones, to little ones with dried fruit your nan will always have in stock to the plain hobnobs that are pillars of the biscuit world. I could ramble on for hours about the little treats, SO much so I thought I’d save myself from growing another thigh and try my hand making some of my own. I found these biscuit cutters on Amazon here or you could get them direct through the Dexam website. I got these quite a while ago actually and may have forgotten about them a little bit until I rediscovered I had them lurking at the back of a cupboard. With these biscuit cutters you can make your very own homemade bourbon biscuits, custard creams, iced party rings and jammie dodger style treats. Perfect for being dead showy offy if you have pals over, if you want to impress at a tea party or if you just want to treat yourself, cos why ever not!?

biscuit flatlay

I was dead chuffed at how easy these all actually were to do and make. Not just making the biscuit dough but also the cookie cutters were so easy to use too. Something you could easily do with children I’d say as they could decorate, personalise and make their fav snack. I’ll share with you the recipe and ingredients beneath for each one so you if you want to replicate them this step-by-step guide will walk you through it.

party rings picture

Starting off with these iced ring biscuits as seen above look just like Party Rings and don’t taste too dissimilar to them either! This one makes a ton of biscuits; easily about 25 or so. For this you will need:

  • 100g of butter cut into cubes.
  • 100g caster sugar.
  • 1 egg.
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract.
  • 200g plain flour.

Start by putting the butter, flour and sugar into a bowl and rubbing it together until it resembles breadcrumb or wet sand looking consistency. I did this with my hands even though I really dislike how it feels in my hands and how it gets under my nails. You could also use a blender or a food processor and pulse it until it’s at the consistency you need.

Once you’ve reached that stage, mix in the egg and the vanilla extract and mix together until it starts to bind and forms a dough. If it doesn’t bind as well add in a small spoonful of milk until it all comes together. Wrap in clingfilm and let it rest in the fridge for about half an hour. Once chilled, roll it out until it’s about 5-6mm thick evenly all over and cut out as many as possible or you want. Bake in an oven (preheated at 180 degrees) for about 10 minutes until they are golden in colour.

Remove from the oven and let cool fully before icing. I used a mix of icing sugar and water for the topping mixing it into a few separate bowls and adding a few different pastel to colours. To make them more your own style you could add different flavourings to the icing too.

biscuit baby

Custard Creams. 

Ok so possibly one of my favourite teatime treats. These little bitesized snacks taste all the more better knowing it took me a decent amount of effort to get to the finished thing too.

You will need:

  • 175g plain white flour.
  • 3 tbsp custard powder.
  • 1 tsp baking powder.
  • 3 tbsp white caster sugar.
  • 100g butter cut into cubes.
  • 1 egg.
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract.

Similar to the iced ring biscuits, start this by sifting the flour, baking powder and custard powder into a bowl. Add in the sugar and the cubes of butter and rub it all together with your hands until you’ve got that breadcrumby/sand consistency. Add the egg and vanilla extract and mix together until to starts to form as one. If it doesn’t and is still crumby add in a splash of milk until it forms a ball. Wrap in some cling film and rest in the fridge for about 20-30 minutes.

Once set up roll out to about 1cm thickness all over use your cutter to stamp out an even number of biscuits. They have to be sandwiched together after all! Place in the oven at 180 degrees and bake off for about 8-12 minutes until golden and cooked through. Let cool thoroughly and then sandwich together with some custard powder flavoured buttercream.

Make the butter cream by mixing 100g of butter with 200g icing sugar and 3 or 4 heaped tbsp of custard powder. Mix through and then sandwich the biscuits together.

Bourbon Biscuits.

These are actually so delish I’m both equally as impressed with myself as I am with these little slices of heaven. To make these ultra gorgeous little treats you will need:

  • 50g butter.
  • 50g soft light brown sugar.
  • 1 tbsp golden syrup (if you can’t get hold of that corn syrup is very similar)
  • 110g plain flour.
  • 20g cocoa powder.
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda.

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and line a baking tray. Cream the butter and sugar together until light and then add in a spoonful of golden syrup. Sift in the dry ingredients until it forms a ball. Rest it in the fridge for about 30 minutes then roll out and cut out biscuits. Bake in the oven for about 8-12 minutes or the edges have browned. Allow to cool on a wire rack.

To make the cream between them simply mix 75g of icing sugar, 50g of butter with 25g of cocoa powder. Once this has formed, spread an even amount across one biscuit and then sandwich another one on top. Et voila!

biscuit close ups

Jammie Dodgers.

These looked absolutely fab. I was well impressed with how these turned out. 10/10 would do again.

To make you will need to preheat your oven to 180 degrees and line a baking tray (or two depending on how much you’ve made)

  • 250g butter.
  • 140g icing sugar.
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract.
  • 1 egg yolk.
  • 375g plain flour.

Firstly, beat the sugar and butter together, careful not to choke in the icing sugar powder clouds, until creamed and fluffaaaaay. Mix in the vanilla and the egg yolk. Then sift in the flour and fold together until it forms a doughy ball. Set up in the fridge for 20-30 minutes and then when it’s fully chilled roll out into about 1cm thickness. Cut an even number of biscuits (cos sandwich biscuit after all) in every other one of the biscuits press the heart stamp through the centre ybake in the oven for about 10-12 minutes or until have that lush golden colour. Once cooled sandwich together with some jam, I used seedless raspberry jam mainly cos it’s red and it’s my favourite. And it’s the only one we had too.

I can’t even begin to brag about just how impressed I was with these. The stampers were super easy to use. some places said you needed to oil them, flour them or put them in the fridge to make them easier to stamp but I didn’t have ant problems with it whatsoever. I love how easy they were and they looked just like the real things. I think they’re perfect if you have allergens or intolerances so you could make your favourite teatime treat even if you’re dairy intolerant or gluten intolerant so you could use a speciality flour or a butter replacement.

You could even mix it up with the recipes and try different flavours. A couple years ago they did a Toffee dodger which I looooved so I might try doing that next with a salted caramel inside. Or you could use a different type of jam like plum or apricot. These really went down a treat with my family and my mum’s colleagues have already put in an order for some at her work. If you try these, I hope you enjoy making them as much as I did. I also drowned in washing up afterwards, what was I thinking making four different types of biscuits in one afternoon.

LOTS OF LOVE. X

Summery Courgette Salad.

Hello you! We are now entering into the month of May and that means Summer is just around the corner! In the summer months all I want to be doing is eating vibrant and fresh ingredients (ideally on a idyllic Greek island but you can’t win ’em all) I am lucky to have great parents who from a very young age instilled in me and my sister to have a big fat love of pretty much all fruits and vegetables. I could quite easily snack on cherry tomatoes or sugarsnap peas all day errrday.

I thought I’d share with you a very quick and very easy salad recipe; if you can even call it a salad or even call it a recipe for that matter this is so simply and easy.  This is refreshing, so easy and can transform any meal. Perfect as a side dish to a meal, incorporated into a gorgeous barbecue and looks great too if you fancy showing off a bit to friends and family. You could also add more greens like some washed kale and spinach, celery chopped into little pieces, cucumber and rocket to create a lovely and healthy green salad. Full of flavour and totally not boring! Who could say no to all these delicious greens?! To recreate this you will need:

  • 2 courgettes
  • Juice from half a lemon
  • Handful of mint leaves crushed and diced
  • A drizzle of olive oil
  • A pinch of salt.

This gave me a full bowl that I shared between my family of four on the side of a veggie lasagne I made. Of course chop and change the recipe and ingredients to suit you and your taste buds. Throwing a handful of flaked almonds or sesame seeds over the top would give the dish an extra texture and giving it a little source of protein too. Or you could even griddle the courgette ribbons lightly so it’s got those flecks of charred bits to it and that lovely smokey taste. If you don’t have a griddle pan (neither do I but I badly want one) In the summer you could lay them over a smoking barbecue and let them do their thang.

courgette salad x x

You could use a mandolin if you have one to create the courgette ribbons however I just used a vegetable peeler.If you’re knife skills are a lot better than mine you could also use a knife and an incredibly steady hand! Placing on a large tray I dabbed them with some kitchen towel. Courgettes can be kinda wet and I didn’t want to make this a super sloppy side so that took some of the extra wetness away. I served mine totally raw and it was delicious. I’m a big fan of eating veggies raw as a snack and as salads or sides go this is a bit different. As mentioned above you could also grill these perhaps also serve with some grilled peppers, tomatoes and red onions and you’ve got a wonderful grilled vegetable Mediterranean side dish.

Seasoning it with a generous pinch of seasalt (totally did the salt bae action too, you can’t not can ya?!) I rolled and chopped the fresh mint leaves finely, squeezed over some lemon juice and a little drizzle of olive oil too. You could use some spoons to mix it all together and coat it all but I just chucked my hands in (washed i’ll have you know) and mixed it all round. Making sure every strand was coated. Because the courgette has a high water content I’d say it might be more preferable to make this closer to the time as you don’t want a soggy salad and serve as soon as you can.

courgette salad x

This went down a treat in my household and I’m really looking forward to creating more healthy, summer dishes. If the warm weather wants to stick around pls England or I’ll have no choice but to up sticks and move to France. OK.

Frome Independent Market.

bumble and wildHello again and HAPPY EASTER! I hope you all had a lovely day whatever you got up to and ate, drank and got merry with your loved ones celebrating all things Easter, Spring and chocolate. My family and I went to Frome Independent market today which is a town about 30 minutes away from where I live. Frome is a town in lovely Somerset which has a lovely mix of both highstreet retailers and a lot of cute independent shops. I’m a big fan of any town or high street that isn’t like no other and quite often in the UK you could walk down any high street or shopping town centre and be greeted with the exact same shops, the exact same closed down shops and end up in the same chain coffee shop drinking the same skinny vanilla latte. Eurgh. Not for me. Don’t get me wrong I do shop in these places and photograph the life out of my seasonal hot chocolates on the ‘Gram but I do like to support local and support smaller businesses more. See pic above of the very pretty florist’s shop Bramble and Wild. Their window display’s truly are wonderful. Continue reading

Chocolate & Coffee Battenberg cake.

HEY HUNS it ya gurl abfab here hitting you up with an absolute belter of a cake recipe. I am posting this later than it was due to go up because I’m a little bit of an unprepared/unorganised fairy. Recently in the UK it was Mothering Sunday or Mother’s Day as it is more often named. For this special mummy day this year, me and my little big sis decided to treat our lovely Mumsy by making and baking some of her favourite delectable treats.  We made a little afternoon tea for her to put her feet up with a glass of prosecco and enjoy with. And I only went and baked a special cake for her too. I actually baked two cakes but I’ll just tell you about this one for now. Star baker and star daughter award goes to me I think????

Cake is my favourite and it is a family favourite in my household too. There’s nothing a bit of carbs don’t make better in my book. Having pretty much always made classic Victoria sponge cakes or something like a carrot cake I wanted to try something a little bit different for a change. Continue reading

100 Truths About What Abbie Says.

Hello my dearest internet pals/readers. It’s been a little while since I wrote something and actually pushed that shiny ‘Publish’ button on here but when the lovely Gareth from 16-Bit Dad tagged me ACTUALLY AGES AGO  in the 100 Truths tag I thought well what better time to get back into the swing of things. I apologise about my inactivity on here, and also for not posting this for roughly 3000 years, life has been a little bit topsy turvy for me of late with job interviews, job offers, bad job interviews and no job offers and life getting a bit crazy as it seems to usually do. I’ve got about 9 or so blog posts in my drafts some half written, some ready to publish and some of them you can tell I wrote them on a whim at about quarter to midnight on a mad stream of ideas. For some reason I haven’t had it in me to post them and let the world see, some of them are quite personal and cover topics I’m not sure I’m ready to put out there, I’m not sure whether I’ve conveyed the feelings and emotions I want to correctly put across and not going to lie, some of them reading them back, are just plain garbage. I rambled on about comfy shoes for a paragraph or two then read it back and cringed  a hell of a lot. Little Carrie Bradshaw over here; I think not.

Maybe some day soon, I’ll pluck up the courage or not give a damn about what others may think of it but for now I give to you, The 100 Truths Tag. I started writing on here some time ago now, and I realised you don’t really know that much about me yet. Some of you may follow me on various different social media platforms and usually what you see is what you get with me. I don’t take anything too seriously which can be a good and a bad thing…and that I want to eat practically everything in my path. Everyone piles on the pounds for winter though, it’s bulking season still right?!?  This tag will give you a little insight into what it’s like to spend 10 minutes in the wonderful or not so wonderful brain of Miss What Abbie Says. Continue reading

Sea Salt & Dark Chocolate Torte.

I know, I know. Last time I posted on here I said I was going to be posting more regularly once on a Wednesday and once on a Sunday. Well me and scheduling/any form of organisation is like Donald Trump to rational thinking and not being a total div. Sorry team I really do wish I was one of those super organised, elegant gals that arrive at events 10 minutes early with immaculate hair and makeup and always know what’s what. But that’s not me. I’m trying me best at scheduling and drafts and what not so gimme some time for this to actually start. Thanks for being all so wondrous, so supportive and so damn fit. LY mean it. Anywho, I have a foodie post to whet your metaphorical and internetty appetite with today, so sit back (or however you want to sit idm) relax and have a read of this little gem. This was super easy and dead showy offy to make as well, so enjoy!

When I get sad I bake. When I bake I eat more. When I eat more I get fat. When I get fat I get sad. YA SEE HOW THIS CYCLE GOES ON. Everything in moderation is something I should live my life by more often but the sad truth is a slice of chocolate cake and a large vino tastes infinitely better than a wheatgrass shot and some bulgar wheat grains. I’ve been feeling a little bit rubbish, a bit low and not quite myself for a few weeks now, with me putting it down to hormones or just feeling a bit lost in life. I’ve made some changes in my personal life and am starting to put me first a lot more from now on, I’ll talk more about this in my lifey post which’ll put up in the next few days. So after a bit of a grotty week I decided to traipse into town and do some food shopping yesterday and to get a few ingredients. Cue all the adulty adults having a good old chuckle as I ATTEMPTED to food shop on a Saturday. At Midday. uGH. This is going to be much more of a chatty recipe post so I hope you’re not expecting a fine cuisine recipe for this one, I kinda just made it up as I went along and it happened to turn out pretty yum. It’s a torte not a tart as the dictionary definition is that a tart contains flour and a torte has more of a crumbly/no floury base. So not only are you making something delish it also sounds dead fancy!? So if you want to emulate me and this recipe you’ll need to put on your comfiest clothes, scrunch up your hair into an incredibly messy high bun and follow de rulez.

pie3

So to make this little babe you will need:

  • A loose bottom tart/flan tin. (I used a 9.5 x 1.4’inch one).
  • 200g of shortbread biscuits.
  • 100g melted unsalted butter.
  • 400g dark chocolate.
  • 300ml double cream or whipping cream.
  • 100g caster sugar.
  • 50g unsalted butter.
  • Sea salt flakes.
  • 1tsp vanilla extract

It starts off with a cheesecake buttery biscuit base whereas normally digestive biscuits are used I fancied using some shortbread. I don’t know why I thought it would bind together a bit better and a sweeter over flavour to it. Which it did. After this I did think you could blend two different types of biscuits together to make it a bit different, maybe add some oats or maybe some chopped nuts to give it a crunchier more interesting texture. So smash up the biscuits to a fine crumb, picture that ex, that crap friend, that manager that made you work overtime on a Friday. Bash that pack of biscuits til it’s all the same fine sand consistency or ’til you’ve stopped being angry. Either way! Pour in the melted butter until the the biscuits have bound together and you can press it into the tart tin. Pressing it up the sides and across the base with about an inch thickness I left to chill for about 20 minutes. The torte that is. Not me.

pie2

To make the ganache filling put the cream, sugar and vanilla extract into a pan and brought it to a slow, gentle boil. Whilst the cream is coming to a boil break the dark chocolate into small squares in a bowl and put the butter in with it too. Pour the boiling cream over the chocolate and leave to rest for about 30 seconds to a minute. Stirring the two together til the chocolate melts into the cream and thickens, forming that gorgeously glossy ganache. The added butter might seem a little bit odd but it give the ganache that lovely sheen to it. I sprinkled some sea salt over the top and then placed in the fridge for 2+hours. Once it’s set serve with a dollop of creme fraiche, some fresh berries or maybe some crushed hazelnuts. YUMMMMM.

pie

I don’t know how many kcals this contains and frankly I don’t care as it tasted blimmin’ well great. If you try this please do let me know what you think, I found it so easy I don’t even think I can call it baking?!

The World According to She.

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Now this is a story all about how my life got flipped-turned upside down and I’d like to take a minute and just sit right there and I’ll tell you how I became the princess of a town called Bel-Air. In West Philadelphia, born and raised, on the playground was where I spent most of my days, chillin’ out maxin’ relaxin’ all cool and eatin’ some push-pops outside of the school when a couple of guys who were up to no good started making trouble in my neighborhood, I got in one little fight and my mum got scared she said, “You’re movin’ with your auntie and uncle in Bel-Air”.

I have a super active imagination if you couldn’t already tell…But when I was a kid and even now if I watched a tv show or film religiously my brain would get it confused with my reality and the made up show. So much so one time I had a dream I was in Egypt then a few weeks later in a geography lesson at school the teacher asked if anyone had ever been to Egypt and for some weird-out-of-body-experience and reason my arm flung up into the air as if I was the one that discovered Tutankhamen’s tomb. OBVIOUSLY no one else in my class had been to Egypt in real life or in a dream as it turns out so I had to very quickly think about what I loved about the holiday. If in doubt say it was lovely weather and the Cornetto selection was much better. BUT UNLESS YOU COULDN’T ALREADY TELL and if you didn’t know well soz beauts but you’re in for a shocker, I am not Will Smith (sorry to disappoint) nor am I cool and my aunt and uncle live in a quiet village outside of the social hub of the south west of England otherwise known as Southampton. Sadly sarcasm doesn’t convert well in written word but unless you like skinny chavlads or girls that are more lip filler than woman and would start a fight with you for a tenner, spitfires or the Titanic then maybs just maybs Southampton isn’t the place for you. Soz Southampton normal people if you’re reading this.

I digress again. See, I’ve always had this problem in life, I get distracted and go off on tangents both in conversation and in my head. I’ll be doing something or talking to someone about something fairly serious and the next thing I know a random thought bubble has crash landed through my brain and we’re discussing the rising cost prices of sausage rolls in Greggs or why just WHY no one says croopy down north of the A303. For you educated folk the term “Croopy Down” is the act of squatting down but in the most ladylike fashion I believe. I remember my Nan used to say it to us when we were small little babes. Now we’re big babes we still croopy now and then. I’m hitting you up with a more thoughts and feelsy post again today, think of this like our virtual coffee date, so grab a cuppa, maybe a few biscuits, because what’s a tea without a few hobnobs and we can have a good old chinwag on here and in the comment section.

SO where do I start I hear you cry?! I think with work. Everyone always asks that question when you see a friend or neighbour it’s always “hey how are you? You look tired? how’s work?”. Since we last had a little chit chat I am now working two and a bit jobs. Which is tough. I start work at five in the morning and finish at two in the afternoon. I am suffering with all of the typical toddler symptoms of tiredness, constantly hungry just that if I throw myself on the floor in the middle of the biscuit aisle in Asda no one will pick me up and tell me it’ll be alright as they rub my back (maybs they know it won’t??? oh gosh let’s not open that can of worms.) The people I work with all tend to be really nice (there’s always one though and you get that anywhere I guess) In the daytime officey role I have, I work next to a gent from Indonesia with the thickest Indonesian accent so when he’s dictating an email or an invoice for me to send over to someone we can often get fairly lost in translation. He’s lovely but he must think I’m stupid or like a telly presenter on time delay as I have to really listen to what he’s saying. Equally doing telesales with an important client can be a bit of a challenge when he’s yelling down the phone to his wife in loud Indonesian (she’s Indonesian too I should, he’s not like a sociopath shouting at the poor love in a language she can’t even understand. Can you imagine tho?) Anyway. It’s not all bad, without sounding like a complete pretentious twonk. It’s character building and teaching me mad skillz and the more I work the less time I’m either out shopping or sat at home buying things online I don’t need (Insert frog shape jelly mould heeerrreee yeah I don’t know what I was thinking either tbh) But I am still looking and keeping my eye out for something that doesn’t have me up even before the crack of dawn and something that makes me happy. I shall keep ya updated babes.

I can’t remember if I’ve wrote on here since my birthday & day of birth but I turned 23 at the end of January. Yayhoo! I went to London for a fancy pants lunch at The Ritz with my mum and sister as my stepdad was struck down with the flu. I didn’t do anything young or fun like getting more smashed than your avo on toast this Saturday at brunch which was a bit of a bummer. I really wanted to go out and let my hair down and celebrate an important year but unfortunately my pals either didn’t want to or didn’t have the funds so I had a quiet family time instead. I’m hoping I’ll be able to plan something fun for my 24th next year and well hell if everyone bails I’m just going to head to ‘Spoons and cry into my fishbowls (yes plural, I plan on a maaaaad old night on my jack. Well as mad as you can get in Salisbury Wetherspoons…on your own as well.)

In more exciting news, I BECAME AN AMBASSADOR FOR SOMETHING SUPER COOL AND IMPORTANT!!! YES you read them caps locked letters correctly. So this fabulous, wonderful, brilliant (all the good and shiny adjectives ever) charity organisation want my face, alongside many beautiful others, representing them so to speak. It is for a wonderful mental health charity called Exhale, whom I am SUPER DUPER excited to be working with. Can ya tell by all the inappropriate big letters and excessive exclamation marks?!? Find out more info about them here as I’ll be posting on there, like things about my experiences with my mental health, stress and anxiety. How I’ve coped and tips and tricks on how I’ve learnt about managing my stresses and/or triggers. Mental health in general is a topic which is really important to me because of my experiences and also me suffering with it. A lot of those close to me do as well,  and I would love to be able to help share my experiences and if that helped someone else that would mean so much to me.

salad

I can’t remember if I wrote much about it on here but I went vegetarian back in November. As you may have seen in my last post I have a very gorgeous and adorable little pooch who I think the absolute world of and he basically inspired my decision. To cement all your thoughts that I’m easily swayed, I did fall victim to watching certain documentaries beforehand on Netflix and looked out of the corner of my eye to see my loyal little pal beaming up at me. The thought of anyone eating him or suchlike really broke my heart and I got a bit deep thinking about what the difference between him and a cow,fish,chicken, lamb was in my mind. Literally overnight I cut meat and fish out and have been living a vegetarian diet ever since. I’ve found it a lot easier and a lot tastier than I actually thought I would. I’ve dabbled with it in the past and only lasted a week or so but this was when I was about 13/14. I am now absolutely hooooooked on Linda McCartney sausages, other than I’ve Just Seen a Face I’d say it’s the second best thing to come out of The Beatles. I am also super impressed with how lush Quorn or any meat free meat style products actually taste. They don’t taste exactly the same but they are actually so delicious I can’t really believe I didn’t try some of it sooner.

I’ve also hit a bit of a slump in terms of the way I look and feel about myself at the moment. I’m a bit bigger than the size I wish to be and want to focus my body and my mind on healthy eating and more regular exercise (there is a blog post soon to come) This pic was a totally gorgeous and a totally healthy salad I had at the cool and quirky chain Bills in Salisbury on a summery day last year. Inevitably I do want to get back to the healthier size I was a few years ago where I felt a lot more comfortable in my own skin and in my body. Cos I can’t really change into someone elses?! Way to go Abfab making it weird. But you get what I mean? I want to be able to wear nice dresses, or skinny jeans without feeling like an overly stuffed sausage. That is my go-to feeling chub analogy at the minute.

I’ve been thinking about posting more regularly on here too. So little miss Downton Abbie can get herself into a routine with you all and vice versa. I’m thinking about posting a lifestyle/misc/random wordsy (thoughts and feelsy if you want) on Wednesdays and a more foodie related topic on a Sunday. I haven’t done anything in terms of cooking or baking that has been very exciting or pretty (unless you want to see my cheesey beans on toast on a weekday?) but I’m hoping to get back into it soon. But enough about me now, what about you babes? What have you all been up to?