Stand and Deliver

I can’t seem to get away from the television lately, I’m addicted to NBC’s expanded coverage of the London 2012 Summer Olympics.  In fact, all of this swimming, diving, gymnastics, track, beach volleyball, rowing, and track competition makes me hungry―and my mind tends to drift to potential snacks―especially United Kingdom vintage treats.  A spot of tea and a crisp cookie for dipping is a divine idea―especially one of those classic digestive biscuits.  With the television in viewing distance, I’m tempted to take a crack at whipping up my own homemade batch.    

Two familiar options, Carrand McVities Digestives are notable stand outs with wholemeal flavor, but I’m leaning toward a cookie with a nutty oat influence.  Thanks to fellow blogger over at Obsessive Gardener,  Sylvana painstakingly took McVities listed ingredients apart and came up with her own copy-cat version.  Except for a few minor tweaks, the results are an addictive, tasty tea treat.   

I begin with my personal muesli blend of oats and wheat and use the food processor to break it down into a textured flour, ready for cutting in butter and remaining ingredients.  A quick chill in the fridge brings the dough together for easy rolling.   The results:  a well-balanced blend of sweet and salty crunch, a worthy accompaniment to tea, an aged cheese, ripe fruit, or even ice cream.   This classic buttery biscuit stands and delivers. 


Digestive Tea Biscuits
Reminiscent of McVitie’s Biscuits from Scotland.  Inspired by Obsessive Gardener blog.
1/3 cup oat bran – or Muesli without fruit
¾ cup whole wheat flour
¼ cup all purpose flour
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
4 tbsp brown sugar, packed well
4 tbsp chilled butter, cut up
½ tsp vanilla
3 tbsp milk, approx.
In a food processor, break down the oats, add the flours and dry ingredients through the salt and combine well.  Add brown sugar and combine. 
Cut in the butter and process until crumbly and uniform.  Add the vanilla and enough milk to form a soft firm dough.  Chill the dough 20 minutes or longer.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a cookie sheet with parchment or spray it with oil.
On a lightly floured board, roll the dough out evenly, to 1/8” thickness.  Cut into approx 2 ½” rounds and place on cookie sheet about 1” apart, they will expand slightly.  Prick evenly with a fork.
Bake about 15 minutes turning baking sheet about half way through – until the cookies are firm to touch and edges begin to brown slightly.  Watch carefully, they will brown quickly.   
Yield:  approximately 16 cookies.  
Serve with tea, as part of a cheese board, or as an accompaniment to other desserts. 

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