Rout Biscuits

Rout Biscuits with dried cherry on top

A very yummy , sweet, crispy, light and chewy all at once cookie! Well in England it’s known as a biscuit but all I know is it’s very easy and very special, perfect for tea time. Made simply from almond meal, sugar, egg whites and almond essence.

These clover shapes were made using a different plate.

I read that these were “popular accompaniments to a glass of wine or sherry at routs or fashionable gatherings in the 18th and 19th centuries.” It comes from Middlesex England. Your supposed to put a bit of glace cherry on top but I hate them, so I used dried cherries.

Crisp on the outside and chewy inside.

Now I didn’t know what a Rout was…did you? Well I looked it up and the only definitions I can find have to do with disorderly retreats (battle), a noisy rabble, to root or poke (like a pig!), a disorderly crowd of persons! Well I didn’t read anything about “fashionable gatherings”! Until I found an article on Huffinton Post that had a great article all about Nut Biscuits (cookies) from different countries. Reading about them gives me some ideas that might be creative to try out. (I’m sorry they took the link down so I removed it! Wish I had copied it)

I made some using a heart shaped plate.

You can easily try different shapes by just changing the round plate on the end of the press, no need to empty the it first. I made these heart shapes, depending on how much dough you squeeze out will make them fat or thin.

My old dough press, love it!

I bought this old press at the thrift store or a garage sale and I love it. It doesn’t have all the parts but I can still use many of the plates. Some are a bit spotty-old but that doesn’t hurt anything.

This is the press with the plate in it, and dough.

This is what the press looks like on the end the dough comes out, I have the ‘star’ plate in it.

Three plates and the cookies they make.

This shows the three plates and the cookies they make, a heart, star or blossom and what I’d call a clover. The blossom or star is great for putting a bit of jelly or fruit on top and I guess the clover is too.

Golden and hot from the oven!

Rout Biscuits

6 oz (3/4 c + 2 T + 1 tsp) castor sugar (or reg white sugar)
6 oz (1 3/4 c) ground almonds
2 egg whites (about 5 1/2 T)
1/8 tsp almond essence (extract)
A little beaten egg yolk to glaze (if you want, I didn’t bother)
small pieces of glace cherries (or dried cherries I used), angelica or flaked almond for decoration

1. Set oven to 350 F

2. Mix sugar and almonds, you can weigh them into the same bowl.

3. Beat the egg whites with a fork a bit to break them up. I made a small depression in the centre of the mix
and poured the egg whites in then added the almond essence to it and mixed it into the egg, before mixing
all up into the almond-sugar. If you’re using up egg whites from other recipes, just measure out the 5 1/2 T.

4. Mix it and cream it very well. Let it sit while you grease a cookie sheet and give it another mix when you’re
ready. Another recipe I found suggested letting it sit an hour, so go ahead and make these up and let them sit while you clean up the kitchen! Spoon into a pastry press or an icing bag with a star tip and pipe into stars or using the press try
different shapes. I liked the heart, 4 leaved clover and the big star; that one is nice for the cherry. You can add
a sprinkle of colored sugar if you like.  I didn’t glaze with egg but maybe I’ll try if I start with whole eggs next time.

5. Press or pipe directly onto greased sheets and press pieces of dried cherry or glace cherry into tops if you like. You can also sprinkle with colored sugar. Bake 8-10 min, until golden all around edges.

Some of the dough in the bowl.

Here’s some of the Rout Biscuit dough in the bowl, waiting for the press. A note from me, I have never had a ‘Rout Biscuit’ before so I wasn’t sure the consistency of the dough. I’m not sure if it should be stiffer, resulting in a less puffy biscuit? All I know is they tasted dandy!

Bob’s Red Mill almond meal flour.

I bought this at my local ‘Tops’ grocery store in the organic section, but it was EXPENSIVE!  More than $10, yikes!

Lots of Rout Biscuits waiting to be sampled.

These biscuits (or cookies) keep well in a tightly sealed container. Have you ever made Rout Biscuits or eaten them? If so please leave me a comment about them.

Below are links to glossy cards I made with the recipes on, you can keep them or send them!

“Rout Biscuits” Glossy Post Card
“Rout Biscuits” Recipe Card with customizable text
It’d be fun to mail this to a friend who loves baking! Maybe a birthday or to drop a hint that you want cookies!
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Mini Party Tarts

Mini Party Tarts with strawberry filling

This is an easy one! Just whip up some homemade pie crust dough first. I hate store bought dough, it has too many weird ingredients in it! Then open a can of pie filling…I know, I know that should be homemade too! But I didn’t have time and I have a couple cans kicking around that need using up. You can use jam too, I did for a bunch too.

Oh yummy, a sea of tarts waiting to be eaten!

You roll out your dough, cut circles, push them into mini muffin tins and fill (not too full!) and bake! Easy! See my directions below with the photos. At the end I included pictures of tarts ‘not so mini’ made with regular size muffin tins too.

Big muffin size tarts!! Oh wow, more yummyness!

The picture above shows larger tarts you can make using a regular muffin tin. This makes nice big tarts that when you put a swirl of whipped cream on top they look really marvelous. Um…yes, I ate one warm from the oven…then later had some vanilla ice cream with one! haha…gotta enjoy what you do!

Mini Party Tarts

Easy Flaky Pastry (my usual pie crust recipe, enough for two crusts)
2 1/4 c flour (I don’t pre-sift, just fluff it up before you measure)
1 t salt
3/4 c shortening
5 T cold water

Filling = one can pie filling or some jam.

1. Mix flour and salt in bowl with whisk.

2. Cut in shortening with hand pastry blender.

3. Sprinkle very cold water on top quickly. Toss lightly with a fork before you start to push it together. Or you can use a bowl scraper and toss it then start to push it together to form dough.

4. Roll it into a ball then on counter cut in half. Pat each out into a disc and wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate.

5. When ready to use, roll out one half on floured counter, rolling a few strokes then take edge of dough and give it a twist to turn it…add flour to table and pull dough back onto it. Keep repeating and rolling always making sure you can move the dough on the table. You’ll know it’s about to stick when it doesn’t freely spread as you roll it. OR you can put some between two pieces of plastic wrap and roll it, I tried it when the scraps got smaller, it kept it from getting tough with too much flour.

6. Cut circles, mason jar lid was perfect size, and push into mini muffin pan cups. (ungreased) Pat sides to make even and it helps to use my wooden tart mold thingy to push bottom and sides to make it thinner and even.

7. Put a bit of jelly or canned pie filling in each, fill NO MORE THAN HALF WAY! Maybe even less, it will bubble up and over if too full. I also noticed that if you cut a small decorative piece of pastry to put on top, it seems to make it bubble up over edges worse. Nothing on top and they didn’t boil over, look at the pictures and see what I mean.

8. Bake 425 for 10 or more minutes. Watch them, I forget if it’s more. They won’t really get golden, the filling would get too hot if they do. I could try baking them at 375 and see how it goes too?

A few pictures of my steps and finished tarts.

Lay dough on top then gently push it down into tin with finger tips.

Large muffin tin with some filled and dough waiting to be pushed in.

Use your fingers to press sides and bottom, watch out for tears with your fingernails!

You can use your fingers and if you have a wooden dough press thingy…(I need a picture of mine!)…then that works great at smooshing the dough up the sides and into bottom.

We're getting there!

Experimenting with tops…Don’t overfill them, they bubble up over the edges.

Muffin cup sized tarts...I want one now.

When they were done I sprinkled them with confectioners sugar and they looked a real treat! Sorry no pics of that. I can’t wait to try more varieties.

  • To take with you, just put cooled, sugar dusted tarts on a jelly roll pan or any pan with sides. If sides are low use a sheet of waxed paper on them then cling wrap. They keep really well in the fridge a few days too, just not as crispy.

Old Fashioned Apple Cake

This is what I believe is an old traditional recipe, I adapted it from a blog post here.

Old Fashioned Apple Cake with my Cinnamon Sauce

I dropped some of the oil and used applesauce, I also topped it with my own cinnamon sauce creation, SCRUMPTIOUS!

Still warm from the oven, I couldn't resist cutting it!

You don’t need any glaze really but you can make up a simple confectioners sugar, milk and vanilla glaze if you want.

Is that piece for me? I don't mind if I do!

It makes a nice big cake and is SUPER easy to make! A good one for beginner bakers.

A warm slice cut...filled with moist apples.

Old-Fashioned Apple Cake

3 apples peeled and chopped (2 ½ c or more, use tart apples)
2 1/2 cup sself rising flour (or plain flour plus 4 tsp of baking powder and 1 tsp salt)
2 cups sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
½ c oil (original recipe called for 1 c oil, I cut it and added the applesauce)
½ c applesauce
2 eggs
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)

I’ll add pictures here along with the directions:

Simple Ingredients

Gather your ingredients together; this cake is made with just a few.

1. Peel and chop about 3 apples, 1 1/2 c or more, using tart apples. Set aside. Grease and flour your pan now too so it’s ready.

2. Mix s.r. flour, sugar, cinnamon in a bowl with a whisk. Add nuts and or raisins now if using.

3. Measure oil into large glass measuring cup then add spoonfuls of applesauce to make the level rise to 1 c. Now add two eggs and carefully mix eggs in well. (Saves getting more cups dirty!) Add to dry ingredients and mix.

Oil and applesauce in measuring glass.

4. Add apples and finish mixing by hand; it’s a thick, heavy batter.

The Apple Cake batter is thick and heavy.

5. Spoon into well greased and floured bundt or angel food pan. I used an antique pan called “Re-Kul Pan O Cake”, I LOVE that, Pan O Cake! haha…More about that later.

My "Re-Kul Pan O Cake" pan.

6. Bake at 350 F 45 min – 1 hour. It comes out with a nice sort of crust on top, I think because of the sugar in it.

Apple cake finished!

Let cool 10 minutes in pan then remove to rack to cool by turning upside down. Or after removing, put on plate and drizzle with glaze made from confectioners sugar, milk and vanilla. Original recipe said to put it on cooled cake, but I liked putting it on warm, made it all melty.

Here it is unmolded and warm.

My Notes:

  • The original recipe called for 1 c oil, I cut it to 1/2 c and added 1/2 applesauce; it was great.
  • Try cutting the sugar back too if you like, I’ll try it next time and let you know how it goes.
  • Raisins are really nice in this!
  • Make sure ingredients are at room temperature, it helps.
  • I bet this would be really good baked in loaf pans too because the top came out with a lovely sort of crispiness.
  • I also baked this as a half recipe in a 9×9″ pan, plenty for one or two!
  • Gosh don’t you just love an easy recipe that comes out so great?!

So you’re wondering about that pan? Well I bought mine at a thrift store, must be ages ago, and never used it. When I was cleaning out my lower cupboards I pulled it out and thought it was interesting with the writing engraved on the sides. I guess a baker named Jackson M. Luker in Urbana, Illinois, was in competition with another bakery across the street. They started selling angel food cakes cheaper, this made him so mad he left ALL his cakes to sit and spoil. When they sat in the pan so long he thought they were ruined but actually, because of being made with egg whites they formed a sort of hard crust and it kept them quite fresh inside. He had the brilliant idea to offer them this way in the pan and was able to ship them all over the USA. You send the pan back in for a refill cheaper! You could buy one for $2.50 then the refill was $1.25.

Read the article here to learn more about this inventive baker: http://www.gourmet.com/magazine/1940s/1947/08/foodflashes . I saw a pan like mine for sale on EBay for $69!! No Way! Then I saw one on a site called “Proxibid” and it sold for $1, so hey, maybe you can find one?

Irish Soda Bread – my St. Patrick’s Day bread

Irish Soda Bread

This is the recipe I always used for St. Patrick’s Day. Usually I make one big round loaf using my largest pyrex bowl from the set of three.

I made two loaves with the full recipe.

This time though I decided to make two smaller loaves so I could share one with my friend Ann Marie, shh, it’s a surprise!

The two loaves cooling, gosh the house smelled wonderful!

After 10 minutes cooling, you can take the bread out of the bowls to finish.

Oh deliciousness!

If you can resist, it tastes best the day after you make it. Let it cool totally, wrap up tightly the RESIST! Well I usually can’t do that…resist that is, so I have a nice slice after dinner with coffee. Well you do have to test it to make sure it’s good enough for everyone right?

Irish Soda Bread – Makes one big loaf or two smaller ones.  Directions also follow for mixing it up for jar mixes.
Preheat oven 375 F and grease your bowl(s).
4 c flour
1/4 c sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 T caraway seeds
1/4 c butter, (1/2 stick) softened
1 c raisins
1 1/3 c buttermilk (or 1 1/3 c milk with 1 T + 1 tsp of vinegar or lemon juice added to the measuring glass first. )
1 egg

1. Put your sifter into or over a bowl then put in it- flour, sugar, salt and baking powder, baking soda, then sift into bowl.

2. Cut in butter with pastry blender until like course crumbs, rub in with fingers if you need to also.

3. Mix in caraway seeds and raisins.

4. Combine the milk, egg and baking soda and mix well. I measure the milk into a large liquid measuring cup then add the other things to it.

5. Stir into the flour mixture, mix with fork first then use bowl scraper or big rubber spatula.

6. Turn dough onto floured surface, I do it right on my counter top. Knead lightly until smooth, really hardly at all, just to form a ball shape, dough will be soft.  Shape into a ball then spray a pyrex bowl (the large one of a set of three) with spray vegetable oil. OR divide dough in two and put each in medium sized bowl.

7. Put dough in and cut a deep cross or X into it with a knife, (to release the fairies!) gently push it apart so it’s slightly open. Take one egg yolk and brush (or use fingers) on top and into cracks.

8. Bake one hour, (for two smaller loaves bake 50 minutes) cool in bowl 10 min. then remove to finish cooling.

This tastes best the next day, if you can resist! Wrap well and store in ziplock bag as you use it up.

Irish Soda Bread Recipe Post Card postcard
Click the picture above to see a glossy recipe post card you can order for your self or send to a friend. (Or put your own favorite recipe and photo on it using my template!)

Full sized loaf of whole wheat soda bread I made another time using this recipe.

** Another version: 1/2 golden raisins, 1/2 regular raisins,  no caraway seeds, 1 1/2 c white whole wheat flour, 2 c regular flour, 1/2 c oatmeal.

** Another version I tried: leave out the raisins and seeds, cut sugar to 1/8 c, use 2 c whole wheat flour, 2 c white whole wheat flour, add a bit more of the baking soda, I added a LOT of Italian seasoning and parsley, some basil this was good, but I also added dried cut up tomato and this was ok, wouldn’t add next time, but mine were quite dry.

** The original recipe has you add the baking soda with the milk and egg, then add it all at once to the dry mixture. I found no difference really by adding it with the dry ingredients, the mix the egg and milk and add. Just have your oven ready because with soda breads and scones you want to get them into the oven right away.

** For putting into jars to mix small loaf when you want it. I love doing this with recipes because I’m only baking for one or two and this way I can make smaller amounts and have it ready quicker!

1. Mix in a big bowl:
4 c flour
1/4 c sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda

Write out instructions on a small paper, tape to the jar.

2. Divide between two (2 c) mason jars, about 2 c + 3-4T each or divide putting some in a jar and some into a bowl to make into bread right away.
3. Put these instructions on the jar (cover the paper with wide clear tape totally and it will last longer): To make put contents into bowl.
4. Cut in 2 T (1/4 stick) softened butter, then rub in till like crumbs.
5. Add 1/2 c raisins + 1 1/2 tsp caraway seeds (if adding these things)
6. Mix 1/2 an egg with 5 1/2 oz OR 1/2c + 3 1/2 T of Buttermilk (or add 2 tsp. vinegar or lemon juice to milk) Mix in with flour with fork then use bowl scraper to get into a dough. Put on floured cupboard and lightly knead into a ball. Put in greased Med. Bowl cut X in top and brush with remaining egg. Bake 375 for 50 min.

I also add the dry ingredients list to make new batches on the back side.

I also put the dry ingredients list on the jar so I can easily make new batches and refill. Try all kinds of variations with your soda bread. Decrease sugar if making a savoury bread for dinner.

Enjoy baking and let me know if you try this bread!

Don’t forget to check out my shop on Zazzle, lots of spring cards and gifts and glossy recipe cards you can send. GO HERE

Blueberry-Raspberry Muffins

Fruit filled muffins! This is using the basic muffin recipe from my mom’s (Grandma McAndrew) old black book.

A dozen fruit filled muffins...not for long!

This is an old black binder that she put together when first married, my sister said some of the recipes were written in her mother’s hand (my Grandma Judge). I just love that and am so happy that I inherited it. Many of the recipes I share here are old favorites of our family and I hope my own boys or nieces and nephews will find the instructions and recipes here helpful. My mom and grandma would like knowing there recipes were being passed down as it were.

ahmm...need I say more? Let me at it!

This recipe is an old favorite but I added the fruit, which was great!

Cooling cinnamon + sugar topped muffins

You can sprinkle the tops with cinnamon and sugar.

Split fruit filled muffin, waiting to be eaten.

Mom’s Plain Muffins                     400 F    20-25 minutes

2c Flour
1/2 c sugar
3 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1/3 c shortening
1 large egg
1c milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 c frozen or fresh blueberries, raspberries

1. Sift dry ingredients into a bowl then give it a good mix with a whisk to make sure it’s blended. You can store it in a jar at this point for when you need it.

2. Cut the shortening into the dry ingredients using a pastry blender, till it’s all crumbly looking.

3. Measure out 1 c milk and  into a glass measuring cup, then add egg and vanilla and mix well. (TIP: I take a wire whisk and stand it up in the glass; by holding the handle between your hands (like your praying) rub your hands back and forth and the whisk will twirl without splashing, like a mini mixer!)

4. Add wet to dry and mix only a little, DON’T mix lumps out, you want it lumpyish. Now fold in the fruit gently. If your fruit has icy frost chunks on them put in a small bowl and run some water on them and drain quickly, repeat until the ice is gone. Now pat them relatively dry before adding to batter. (I had to do this, I guess I have neglected my frozen fruit stash! But they all tasted just fine.)

5. Have oven pre-heated and spray or grease a 12 muffin pan. Fill cups dividing batter up between them. If you want add a sprinkle of cinnamon and sugar to the top before baking, I did on half to see if I liked it; I liked both ways. Bake 20-25 minutes, mine took 23. When done and after cooling a bit, take a knife and gently go around each muffin while they’re warm. Then gently turn each one a bit in the pan to make sure they’re loose. Remove from pan while a bit warm to finish cooling on a rack.

Here’s some pictures of the muffins being prepared for baking and after.

Batter in the cups and ready for baking.

The batter fills the cups right up when there’s fruit in it. The ones on the right have the cinnamon and sugar on top.

Blueberry - Raspberry muffins hot from the oven!

Oh the house smelled wonderful when these came out!

Blueberry - Raspberry Muffins without cinnamon and sugar.

Loosen muffins with a knife while they are warm.

Take a knife and gently go around each muffin while they’re warm. Then gently turn each one a bit in the pan to make sure they’re loose. Remove from pan while a bit warm to finish cooling on a rack.

Here’s some old notes I had on the recipe:

Take peeled, chopped apple and put some batter in a cup, then liberal amount of apple topped with more batter. Put liberal sprinkling of cinnamon on top and sugar on top. YUM.

Try other add in ideas:
raspberry or strawberry jelly -1 tsp on top before baking.
maybe coconut (try combining with raspberry jelly?)
1 1/2 c frozen or fresh blueberries, raspberries
1 T cinnamon + 1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 c (or more?) chopped apples and more sugar
1 c shredded cheese
1 T savory spices or herbs of your choice.

“Spice is Nice Apple Cake”

Now here’s a nice little something you could serve for tea. It has yummy apples, a crunchy spiced crumb topping and a cake like bottom that has a hint of fresh lemon.

"Spice is Nice Apple Cake" is great with whipped cream!

I got the recipe from my favorite all time food blog “The English Kitchen” where Marie made it but with plums. I changed a few things, I wanted to try apples instead of plums, didn’t have Cardamom so I just used mixed spice, and I didn’t have sour cream on hand so I used vanilla yoghurt. It came out fine and dandy, I think I’ll add more apples next time though!

Oh Yeeaaaah...where's my fork?

Isn’t everything better with whipped cream?

I loved the spiced crumb topping

Here’s the recipe as Marie presented it and my notes of what I substituted in case you want to try it either way.

4 ounces butter, softened (1 stick in the US)
1/3 cup caster sugar (regular white sugar)
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 large egg
1 TBS sour cream (or thick yoghurt)
pinch of salt
the grated zest of one lemon
1 3/4 cups plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 cups plums, pitted and sliced into wedges (or 2 – 2 1/2 c peeled, sliced apples. See my notes at end)

for the streusel:
6 TBS cold butter, cut into bits
3/4 cup flour
1/3 cup caster sugar (plain white sugar)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cardamom (or mixed spice is what I used and a dash of nutmeg)
1/4 tsp freshly ground nutmeg

To serve:
Spooning cream, Clotted cream, vanilla ice cream, or whipped cream!

Pre-heat the oven to 375F/180 C. Butter the bottom of a 10 inch cake tin with a removable bottom. Cut a circle of parchment or baking paper to fit bottom and stick it on, then grease over it again. Grease the sides of the pan with butter now; the cake won’t rise much so don’t go crazy with greasing up the sides high. (as I found out).

This is my wonderful lemon zester

This is my lemon zester, the recipe calls for grated zest but I used mine which makes shreds of peel. It was fine but I am guessing grated zest would be better.

Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg, lemon zest, vanilla, sour cream and salt. You can use a mixer for this step. Whisk the flour and baking powder together and then add it to the creamed mixture, the dough does get really stiff when you add the flour, you may need to go by hand at some point! It’ll be stiff like cookie dough, plop it into your pan and pat it out with your hands, if it sticks to you just rub a bit of butter on your hands and try it.

Pat the dough evenly into the pan.

Liberally spread the apples over top of the batter to within 1/2 inch of the edges, keeping the slices flat on the dough.

2 cups of sliced apples

To make the streusel, whisk together the sugar, flour and spices. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender then use your fingers until the mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle the crumbs evenly over top of the apples.

Sprinkle the spiced streusel crumbs on top

Bake in the pre-heated oven on a middle rack for approximately 45 minutes to one hour, until the topping is nicely golden brown and the cake tests done. Remove from the oven and allow to sit for about 15 minutes on a wire rack, before you remove the sides of the pan and the paper.

Baked golden brown and crispy on top!

The house was filled with the great smell of apples and spice! It was actually bubbling a bit from the juices.

You can see it's a short cake, 'cake/tart/crumble' !

Delicious on it's own too, you can even pick it up to eat in your hand.

Serve warm, cut into wedges with some whipped cream or ice cream. I’m’ thinking it’d be good even with an apple cinnamon sauce around on the plate!

**My Notes:

  • I made this using apples, 2 cups peeled and sliced which was two regular good sized apples, Cortland + Macintosh. I think Granny Smith for one would have been tastier. Next time I’ll try more apples, like 2 ½ c?
  • It was excellent but the cake I found a bit dry….I did bake it 59min., maybe it was too long? Top was perfect and crust perfect…so I don’t know. Is it because I didn’t use the plums? Anyways, after covering it and trying a piece later on it was better! I am a fuss pot.
  • I didn’t have sour cream so I substituted vanilla yoghurt.
  • I also didn’t have Cardamom so I used ½ tsp of mixed spice and grated a bit of fresh nutmeg in.
  • I also used a hand mixer which I hardly ever do now…the base dough is REALLY stiff, like cookie dough, might not use it again.

"Spice is Nice Apple Cake"

“Spice is Nice Apple Cake”, I hope you try it, let me know how you’re comes out if you do!

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