Well over a year ago, Morrisons (aka my home) left me heart-broken after they removed their sprinkle biscuits from sale. In case you missed the finest delicacy the cake shop had to offer, sprinkle biscuits were Morrisons own label, 5-pack sugar cookies, made with colourful hundreds-and-thousands mixed with angel’s tears. They were ambrosia; biscuits that would have had a place at the dinner tables on Mount Olympus.
At first, I wondered if it was only my local store that had cast the sprinkle biscuit aside, so I searched in every nearby branch. It was like a labour of Heracles as I made a frantic dash to the cake shop and rifled through the display only to have my dreams shattered, and I would have to leave the shop, empty handed and holding back tears. Still today if I find myself in a foreign store, I cannot help but gaze amongst the biscuits with the desperate hope that I might find one stray packet nestled between the triple chocolate chunk cookies.
There is hardly a trace of them online save for a passing mention on a far-flung internet page. No pictures exist on google (believe me, I’ve looked), no online petition to reinstate them (seriously why not?!). I was beginning to wonder if the sprinkle biscuit had ever existed at all, or had they just been an elaborate dream I’d somehow woven into the narrative of my life? A speck of light in a dark sky.
Desperate times call for desperate measures, and my sprinkle biscuit craving had to be sated. Basic biscuit recipes mixed with nonpareils didn’t seem to cut it, nor did the various ‘fun-fetti party cookies!’ recipes I found online, but with a bit of tinkering, I found a recipe for success (HAHAHA not sorry for this pun).
This is as close as I can get it. It would be almost perfect, if only I could get past the bitter taste of heartbreak that’s mixed in with the sugar strands.
(Biscuit fetish aside, this recipe gives a mighty yield, but at this point it had been several months since my last sprinkle biscuit fix and I was ready to bake catering quantities if needs be. I’d recommend making the whole amount of dough, as it’s difficult to half an egg, but cooking just half of the biscuits, and freezing the rest for a later date.)
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MAKES about 30 biscuits
PREP 20 mins, plus 25 mins chilling time
COOK 15 mins
▪ Will keep in an airtight container for five days (if they last that long!)
375g self-raising flour
3 tbsp sugar strands
225g softened butter
200g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 Preheat the oven to 180°c/350°f/gas mark 4. Line three baking trays with greaseproof paper.
2 Sieve the flour into a large bowl and mix in the sugar strands. Set aside.
3 Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy and the mix is no longer grainy. Add the egg and vanilla and beat. Slowly add the flour, mixing until the dough starts to come together- it will be quite a sticky mixture!
4 Using a wooden spoon, press the dough together, then cover the bowl with clingfilm and place into the fridge for about 25 minutes.
5 Using a ½ tablespoon measure, scoop out spoonfuls of the dough and place onto the lined baking trays. Leave a little space between each mound of dough to give the biscuits room to spread once in the oven.
6 Cook in the preheated oven for about 15 minutes or until the biscuits are golden in colour and crisp. Cool on the tray slightly before transferring onto a wire rack.
** If you want to freeze some of the mixture, scoop out spoonfuls of the dough as above. Place onto a baking tray lined with a sheet of geaseproof paper, but you won’t need to leave space between them as they won’t be cooked. Cover with clingfilm, then put them into the freezer for about 30 minutes. Once they have frozen slightly, remove them from the paper and place them all into a freezer bag, and return them to the freezer. They will keep for about three months, and will take about 20 minutes at 180°c to cook from frozen. ▪