Rosewater Biscuits

Biscuits for the Boudoir 

 

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Now if ever there was a biscuit for the “Boudoir”  (Larousse: “a woman’s private sitting room” and derived from the French verb “bouder” to sulk…go figure) this is it. This is what you want at hand to energise and inspire you as you leaf through something Cartlandesque or maybe even Marquis de Sadesque. Handily bite size as who wants crumbs in her boudoir? 

These delicately flavoured nibbles are perfect served with black tea ( in porcelain cups and saucers p-lease) and also add a satisfying crunch and hint of perfume served with to ice creams and sorbets. I luckily have some cochineal essence   which I purchased in Paris some years ago. Cochineal is made from ground up beetles from Mexico & South America and was invented by the Aztecs and used in their food and dying industries.  It has been used since the 17th century in those other famous pink biscuits “Biscuits rose de Reims”. Luckily because it is all natural and nobody is yet concerned with beetle rights, cochineal is becoming  fashionable again. Find in specialist patisserie and baking supply shops.

Gadgets & Gizmos

A hand held mixer or a bowl and a wooden spoon or a food mixer with a “K” attachment.  A rolling pin and a cookie cutter.  If you do not have a cookie cutter roll into small balls and flatten the dough with two fingers. Baking trays lined with baking paper. A palette knife helps for lifting the biscuits off the service onto the baking tray.

You Are What You Eat

These are made with fructose which has a Glycemic Index of 19 (Table sugar 65) and because it is sweeter than table sugar you need less of it. 

Ingredients

  • 100g  softened butter (often I don’t have time to let the butter soften so cut into cubes and let your mixer do the work)
  • 75g of regular sugar or 50g fructose
  • 1 egg
  • 200g plain flour plus extra for dusting
  • 2 tbsp rosewater (you can use rose essence but it is easy to over pour and end up with biscuits that atste like soap so I prefer to use the milder but safer rose water…also give yourself a facial spritz with it if its hot in the kitchen) 
  • a touch of cochineal essence until you have the colour that you like

How To

Cream the butter and fructose. Mix together vigorously until the butter changes its appearance into something light and fluffy and the grains of fructose appear to disappear. 

Add the egg and rose water. Mix gently to incorporate the egg and rosewater

Add the flour.  I would be lying if I said I sieved it.  At this point add the cochineal essence before you work in the flour because you do not want to overwork the dough – that will result in tough leathery biscuits.  Only work the dough until the flour is incorporated.  

Add as much essence until you are happy with the colour. Maybe its a hot pink day? maybe its a palest pastel pink day. So many shades of pink in a lifetime. 

The dough should be pliable and similar to shortcrust pastry in texture.

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Chill the dough as this will help cutting out the biscuits. 

Roll out to 3-4mm thick – similar to pastry thickness for tarts

Transfer to the baking tray lined with baking paper. If you have not chilled the dough it is worth chilling the trays before you bake them – this reduces the chances of the biscuits deforming during cooking. 

Bake at 180C if using sugar and 170C if using fructose as it burns more easily.  Cook for 10-12 minutes until pale and done. Do not allow to go brown as this ruins their looks.

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Rosewater Biscuits
Yields 30
Biscuits for the Boudoir
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Prep Time
45 min
Cook Time
12 min
Total Time
1 hr
Prep Time
45 min
Cook Time
12 min
Total Time
1 hr
Ingredients
  1. 100g softened butter (often I don't have time to let the butter soften so cut into cubes and let your mixer do the work)
  2. 75g of regular sugar or 50g fructose
  3. 1 egg
  4. 200g plain flour plus extra for dusting
  5. 2 tbsp rosewater (you can use rose essence but it is easy to over pour and end up with biscuits that atste like soap so I prefer to use the milder but safer rose water...also give yourself a facial spritz with it if its hot in the kitchen)
  6. a touch of cochineal essence until you have the colour that you like
Instructions
  1. Cream the butter and fructose. Mix together vigorously until the butter changes its appearance into something light and fluffy and the grains of fructose appear to disappear.
  2. Add the egg and rose water. Mix gently to incorporate the egg and rosewater
  3. Add the flour. I would be lying if I said I sieved it. At this point add the cochineal essence before you work in the flour because you do not want to overwork the dough - that will result in tough leathery biscuits. Only work the dough until the flour is incorporated.
  4. The dough should be pliable and similar to shortcrust pastry in texture.
  5. Chill the dough as this will help cutting out the biscuits.
  6. Roll out to 3-4mm thick - similar to pastry thickness for tarts
  7. Transfer to the baking tray lined with baking paper. If you have not chilled the dough it is worth chilling the trays before you bake them - this reduces the chances of the biscuits deforming during cooking.
  8. Bake at 180C if using sugar and 170C if using fructose as it burns more easily. Cook for 10-12 minutes until pale and done. Do not allow to go brown as this ruins their looks.
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