Wednesday, 27 May 2009

German biscuits

These have always been known as german biscuits in my house, but it seems that apart from a few others, the rest of the world knows them as empire biscuits. They hail from Scotland and remind me of home bakeries. You can get them from supermarkets but they're always too dry and when I can nab them from a proper bakey I do.

What is basically two layers of shortbread jammed together with a bit of icing is more than the sum of its parts. Yum yum. The picture unfortunately isn't mine, I shamefully didn't have any glace cherries.

The recipe is slightly adapted from a few sites and makes a great moist but not sticky dough. It makes around 6 complete biscuits or 12 rounds.

6oz plain flour
4oz butter or margarine
2oz caster sugar
Icing to decorate

1) Rub the butter into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs
use a food processor like I did.
2) Stir in sugar
3) Work into a dough and roll out. Use a fluted cutter around 2in/3in wide and place onto a greased baking tray.
4) Bake for around 10 minutes at 180 C

When cool, jam together with the 'bottom' of the biscuits together. I didn't put the amount of jam because that would involved getting everything sticky measuring it and because if I did you'd all think I have a problem! Add icing and a glace cheery and enjoy!


deepa said...
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Elle said...

I'm from Scotland and I too know them as German Biscuits and draw vacant looks from others when I call them that. Seems like it's a regional thing further north call them Empire Biscuits. Doesn't really matter as they all taste the same :)

Cath said...

ahh Bless you Sio..wonderful girl! I've been looking for a recipe for German biscuits for ages now..)my mum used to make them as a treat and we always called them German biscuits too) so this was a splendid surprise on your blog! And you're right aswell about the bought ones..they're usually hideous things. Nothing beats these home made darlings and they're also great at christmas cut into tree and star shapes and decorated for the kids. Thanks so much! Cath

Stuart said...


These biscuits were when introduced to this country known by everyone as “German Biscuits”.
However, the name was changed, as these things often are, during the Great War to “Empire Biscuits”.

It just seems that in some parts of Scotland we are more forgiving than others and reverted back to the original name after the war.

aliqot said...

Last night we were discussing these biscuits. I am English and in spite of living in Corby, where there are many people of Scottish origin, I had never heard of them. (I was briefly convinced that it was a corruption of 'jam-on-biscuits'!)

Will certainly make a note of the recipe.