Fiction-Food Café

March 16, 2018

Shamrock Biscuits | The Little White Horse

"...She sipped the milk, and it was warm and sweet, just as she liked it. And the sugar biscuit that she ate with it, a long-shaped one decorated with a green shamrock, was delicious too."
The Little White Horse by Elizabeth Goudge

          As small of a mention as these biscuits (cookies) are in the story, they stuck in my mind because of the imagery of a shamrock decoration (I wonder why shamrock? so specific! There were also round ones with pink sugar roses). Another reason they stood out to me was because I wanted the opportunity to interpret them in simple food painting. ;) The recipe below is basically the same as my dainty biscuits with sugar flowers that I made previously for this book (minus the edible sugar flowers). :)  I was prompted to make these for an episode of Fiction Kitchen Podcast in which we discussed all of the foods in The Little White Horse. You can listen to the episode here.

Shamrock Biscuits

1/3 Cup Butter, room temperature
1/2 Cup Sugar
1 Egg, room temperature
1/2 tsp. Vanilla
1 1/4 Cup All Purpose Flour
1 1/4 tsp. Baking Powder
1/4 tsp. Salt
1/4 Cup Powdered Sugar
2 tsp. Milk
1/2 tsp. Lemon Juice
Green Gel Food Coloring
Clear Flavoring Extract (like almond or lemon extract)

Biscuits/cookies: Cream together the butter & sugar until light & fluffy. Add in the egg & vanilla & mix well. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, & salt. With the mixer on low speed pour in the flour mixture & then raise the speed & mix until everything is thoroughly combined. Put plastic wrap over the bowl & chill for 1 hour.

Heat your oven to 400ºF. On a lightly floured work surface roll the dough to a rectangle of about 1/8" thickness. Cut into little rectangles (I used a pastry cutter to get the bumpy-edged pattern) about 2 1/2" x 1 1/4" or so & place on a parchment paper-lined tray about an inch apart. Bake for about 5 minutes, or until very, very lightly browned (watch closely! Mine are a bit over-done). Gently transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Icing: In a small bowl, thoroughly whisk the powdered sugar with the lemon juice & 1 tsp. of milk. Add the 2nd tsp. of milk as needed to make it just pourable but not too thin. Spoon into a sandwich baggie & snip a corner to pipe the icing onto the cooled biscuits. Use a toothpick to even out the icing if needed. Let the icing dry completely, overnight, so that it is no longer soft for the next step.

In a little bowl, combine a few drops of clear extract with a tiny amount of green gel food coloring until you get a nice deep green. Using a fine, clean paintbrush, gently paint a shamrock onto each iced biscuit. Let dry completely before serving. Serve with warm milk & honey (bring 1 1/2 cups milk to a low simmer & stir in honey to taste until it dissolves. Optionally sprinkle in a pinch of cinnamon or nutmeg).

*For more food from The Little White Horse

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