These sugar biscuits are based on an old Amish recipe.
These sugar biscuits are based on an old Amish recipe. 123rf

Sugar biscuits to be enjoyed - you can burn it off later

I'm celebrating the installation of my brand spanking new double oven by baking up a culinary storm; specifically, little boxes of biscuits to thank all my friends who helped me out during my recent kitchen renovation.

Everyone loves a handmade gift.

I have a stock of jams, pickles and chutneys in my (new) pantry but I thought I'd test the new toy.

These appropriately named sugar biscuits are based on an old Amish recipe I acquired while travelling in the eastern states of the US many years ago.

Like most of the recipes I have collected in a large lever-arch folder, the creased and stained sheet of paper has things crossed out and scribbles in the margins as I have experimented over the years.

They are a light and chewy biscuit, not crisp.

There is nothing healthy about these at all - so eat in moderation and go for a walk afterwards, but please, enjoy, otherwise there's no point eating them.


Makes: 50


250g unsalted butter, softened; 1 cup rice bran oil; 1 cup sugar; 1 cup icing sugar; 1 tsp lemon essence; 2 large free-range eggs; 4 1/2 cups plain flour; 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda; 1 tsp cream of tartar; pinch of salt; zest of a lemon


Preheat oven to 190C. Cream together the butter, oil and sugar in a large bowl.

Add essence and eggs and beat until well combined. Mix flour, bicarb soda, cream of tartar and salt together and gradually beat into butter mixture. Fold through lemon zest.

Drop teaspoonfuls on to ungreased biscuit sheets, leaving room for spreading. Bake until golden, about 8-10 minutes. Cool on wire racks. Store in an airtight container.

VARIATION: Try flavouring with almond essence and chopped blanched almonds, or vanilla essence and chopped pecans.