Friday, 11 May 2012

Lemon Drizzle Squares and Easy Peanut Biscuits

Here's my definitive recipe for lemon drizzle squares soaked in a sharp lemon syrup, and one for peanut biscuits. Both are easy to make, but while the biscuits are, as it were, a piece of cake, the squares may need a little effort if you are beating the ingredients by hand.

Lemon Drizzle Squares

I make these so that each square is about two bites, and this quantity of ingredients makes 20-24. They can be frozen if (by chance) there are any left over. The recipe fits a baking tin about 4cm deep and base 24x17cm; it should be fully lined with baking parchment.

150g butter (room temp), chopped into small pieces
150g caster sugar
2 free-range eggs
100ml milk
150g self-raising flour
1 heaped teaspoon baking powder
juice and finely grated rind of 2 large lemons
80g granulated sugar

The oven should be at 170C if fan type, otherwise slightly higher, and shelf in the middle.

1  In a large bowl, beat the butter and caster sugar until pale and fluffy, without lumps. 
        (Best with an electric mixer but can be done by hand with a wooden spoon.)
2  Beat the eggs into the mixture gradually. Don't worry if it looks slightly curdled.
3  Add the milk and beat again until well mixed.
4  Stir in the flour, baking powder and grated lemon rind.
5  Pour the mixture into the prepared baking tin and smooth over.
6  Bake for about 25 minutes until golden. (It's ready if a skewer inserted into the centre
        comes out clean.)
7  Meanwhile, in a bowl mix the lemon juice and granulated sugar. 
8  When the cake is ready, leave it in the pan and prick all over the top with the skewer,
        maybe 40-50 times. Give the juice/sugar mix a stir and drizzle it over slowly so that
        it seeps into the cake.
9  When cool, cut into squares of the size you want. They may be a little gooey!

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Peanut Biscuits

These are quicker and easier to make - the recipe is for about 16 biscuits. As long as they are completely cooled, they can be stored in a tin. A large baking tray, lined with baking parchment, is needed and maybe a smaller one too, as they have to be spaced apart so they can spread during cooking. 

75g demerara sugar
100g granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
50g soft butter or spread such as Flora
100g peanut butter (preferably crunchy type)
50ml milk
160g plain flour
50g chopped plain chocolate (optional but nice)

The oven should be at around 180C for fan type, otherwise 200C. Shelves not too near the top.

1  Place all the ingredients in a large bowl and mix them thoroughly (a wooden spoon 
        should be OK), making sure the butter is well distributed.
2  Mix in the chocolate pieces if used.
3  Take pieces of the dough about the size of a walnut shell and place on the baking tray,
        leaving maybe 6cm between them. Flatten slightly.
4  Bake until the biscuits are golden but don't allow them to darken or the chocolate
        pieces to burn - this may take 15 minutes but check after 13.
5  Slide the biscuits, still on the parchment, onto a wire rack to cool.

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I hope you enjoy reading about these treats and - especially - eating them!
Thanks for visiting.

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