White beer biscuits

  • Preparation Time30 mins
  • Cooking Time20 mins
  • Serves24
  • DifficultyEasy

For the biscuits

2 bottles (250ml) Belgian-style white beer
5 tbsp honey
170g unsalted butter, at room temperature
160g icing sugar
1 large egg
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
1 medium orange, zested
2 tsp ground coriander
300g plain flour
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

For the icing (Optional)

1/2 tsp vanilla essence
125g icing sugar
1 tbsp orange juice
1 tbsp whole milk
1 orange zested using a bar grater, optional
1) Put the beer and honey into a medium saucepan and reduce over a medium heat until you have about 80ml of liquid. You will occasionally have to skim the foam off the top of the beer. You will know you have hit 80ml of liquid as the liquid will suddenly begin to aggressively foam due to the high concentration of sugar (This looks different from foaming due to carbon dioxide, the bubbles are much larger with the sugar foaming). Let this reduction cool to room temperature.

2) Cream the butter and sugar together. Add the egg and blend thoroughly. Then add the vanilla, orange zest, coriander and beer reduction and blend again. Mix the flour and bicarbonate of soda together then slowly add to the batter. Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas 4.

3) Using a uniform scoop, scoop mounds of dough onto an aluminium baking sheet lined with greaseproof paper. Make sure you do not overcrowd the biscuits; you should be able to fit about 12 biscuits on a half sheet pan. Bake for 20 minutes (depending on your oven it may take more or less time, for some ovens it could take 15 minutes for others it could take 25; 20 minutes is an average time).

4) Let the biscuits cool on the baking sheet until they are cool enough (about 10 minutes) to transfer to wire racks to cool completely. Add icing to the tops of the biscuits if desired.

Optional icing:
1) Whisk the vanilla into the sugar. Mix the orange juice and milk together. Add the milk and orange juice mixture to the sugar until you reach the consistency of a thick paste; you should only need to add 1 tbsp of the mixture (half of what you made).

2) Using a butter knife, put a dollop of icing on each cooled biscuit and spread it over the top. Use a small piece of orange zest from the bar grater as a garnish, if desired. Let the icing harden to desired hardness and consume or store.

Cook's Note: This recipe has no salt in it. I have found that, because of the beer, adding salt can make the biscuits way too salty. The biscuits should be a little crispy on the outside and cake-like on the inside.

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