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Monday 3 October 2011

Baking for Beginners: Shrewsbury Biscuits

Shrewsbury biscuits apparently used to be the Midlands' answer to shortbread. They're very tasty biscuits and I know this because growing up in Shrewsbury (pronounced Shrew, never Shrow), I had to make them every single cooking class in junior school. Teachers could throw in a bit of history with the lemon zest and we got to take treats home with us. Luckily for our teacher, these are the easiest biscuits in the world. And they use cheap ingredients that you'll find in your kitchen right now. Go on, go check.

I made the batch in the photo on Friday afternoon and they took less than 30 minutes from start to finish. Even the smell of zesting a lemon reminds me of baking at school when I was little. They even taste of school. In a good way.

Credit for this recipe should probably go to my very cool junior school teacher Mrs. Pinches. She was ace.

You'll need:
  • 125g butter
  • 150g caster sugar (I'm using some that's been infused with a vanilla pod, so I'm accidentally making well posh biscuits)
  • 2 egg yolks (oooh handy, my eggs need using today - see, this recipe is brilliant)
  • 220g plain flour, sifted
  • zest of 1 lemon
Make it!
  • Cream the butter and sugar together until it's all light and fluffy.
  • Add the egg yolks and beat well, then add the flour and lemon zest.
  • Mix everything together into a dough, adding a little water if it's a bit too crumbly.
  • Roll out until it's about 1/3 of an inch thick and cut biscuits with a cutter of your choice. Bake at 140 degrees/ gas mark 4 until lightly browned.
  • What should you have these with? Probably a cup of tea, but as I'm going right back to my childhood days, some cheap cherryade will do nicely.
Did anyone else make these at school, or was it just a Shrewsbury thing? What else did you bake at school?


  1. I remember a recipe that was gorgeous called Hungarian Coffee Cake - it was named cos you eat it with coffee, not because coffee is in the recipe. It was a ring mould filled with litt, sugar and spices and baked, then had glace icing drizzled on top. It was lovely and sticky and I would love to rediscover a recipe for it now! Maybe the Sluts can wo

  2. Things I made at school:
    1) Fairy cakes. Accidentally grilled them.
    2) Panckes, which the teacher made us fry in an inch of oil while she had a crafty fag in the stock cupboard.
    3) Salad, which I put in the over. Not sure why.

    They were unhappy times.

  3. Your school would think food writer was a curious career choice for you...

  4. I'm constantly surprised by it.

  5. i checked my cupboards and the ingredients aren't there... darn!

  6. Really, Veronica? Then just pop to the shop and buy some Bourbons. Sorted.

  7. I grew up in Shrewsbury and I don't think I've ever eaten one let alone cooked one. Did see some on holiday in Menorca though...

  8. Ha! Well done, Menorca. You never made them in junior school? What did you cook instead? For us it was either this or fairy cakes.


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