Digestives

Kind of an odd thing to call a biscuit, no?

I think of “digestives” and I think of the cookies your mom used to buy you when you weren’t feeling well. Or maybe I’m getting them confused with saltines.

But digestives were never the “treat” cookie. Digestives were a very poor man’s chocolate chip cookie. They were the cookie (sorry, “biscuit”) that you settled for.

But alas, here they are in this recipe book, filled with wholemeal flour, oatmeal and bran.

I’m not even sure how these are supposed to turn out. My friend says they’re supposed to snap and apparently her Scottish mom enjoys them with tea. So let’s hope this works! These may be a classic I’m about a butcher.

There are already a few ways I can see that I’m going to butcher these biscuits:

Firstly, I don’t know what “medium oatmeal” is so I’m just using my Quaker Quick Oats. (If the good people at Quaker want to reward me for this product placement, they can feel free to contact me directly for an address so they can send me a lifetime supply of oats.)

Secondly, I’m not really supposed to have dairy (which I assume doesn’t mean cheese), so I don’t have regular milk, I only have coconut milk. If it all goes wrong, you can blame that.

Thirdly, I’m very tired. This is happening after a full day of work and quickly before an appointment, which means things are going to be a tad rushed. But alas, I soldier on because that’s what my new tea says to do:

I’m also hoping “wheat bran” is “bran” and that there’s not some huge difference between the inclusion of the word “wheat.” This is yet another ingredient purchased at that little hole-in-the-wall specialty foods store that makes me feel like I’m buying illegal substances:

And this time I’m going to go ahead and add all the sugar the recipe calls for. I feel like if there’s bran and oats and wholemeal flour in this thing, it could use a little extra brown sugar.

Does this look like it’s “thoroughly combined”? I sure hope so because flour was puffing out the top of my food processor as I pulsed it:

And does this look like fine crumbs? It looks like crumbs, it looks crumby, but is it fine enough? Or is it perhaps too fine? Too-fine crumbs is not what Mary and Paul asked for. Fine crumbs is what they asked for. Or rather “are” what they asked for. They asked for fine crumbs. Fine crumbs are what they asked for. Like I said, I’m very tired:

And now I wait for this thing to chill in the fridge for half an hour. The thing about that is I may go ahead and ignore that time suggestion. The last time Mar-Bear and Paulo told me to chill something, they did not tell me to chill it for long enough. That tart was very nearly ruined by an under-chilling.

I’m also very concerned about this dough. It did not come together nicely. It was a little crumby even with the inclusion of milk (albeit coconut milk), and what if I end up over-chilling it? Is that a thing? I think it is. I think it’s called “freezing” but I’m not using the freezer. Perhaps it’s called “fridging” but no, no it’s not.

I digress.

I’m very tired. I think I mentioned that.

Time to roll this thing out! I let it chill for more than 30 minutes which may have been a wrong choice because this thing is kind of hard to roll. Also getting it 4 mm is really difficult when the metal bit at the end of my tape measure is a full cm. So I’m guessing these thicknesses will be a little inconsistent.

Also what do you do when you don’t have a round cookie cutter (or any cookie cutter for that matter)? You use a cup, obviously. That’s what I do when I have to make round things. It’s so much easier. Except when the cookie get stuck inside the cup and you have to try to coax it out without breaking it.

Okay I can see why people get cookie cutters.

But this works perfectly fine for the most part!

Also, can I ask a stupid question, what does the pricking with a fork really do? Does it keep air out? Or put air in? Does it keep it from exploding? Or from imploding? I’m curious. There is probably a long scientific explanation that both Mary and Paul (and probably even Mel and Sue) would know, but I do not. For now I’ll just follow the recipe and hope for the best.

On your marks, get set, BAKE!

I know I’ve already been baking this whole time, but this is really the baking part of the bake when the cookies (sorry, biscuits) go into the oven and you wait to see if everything is great or if everything is terrible.

These first ones are going to be a smidge too thick, I think. The last ones ended up rolling out really nicely. But I’d rather have too-chilled dough that still sticks together (coconut milk seems to have had no adverse effects) than under-chilled dough that falls apart.

I was a little concerned, the varying thickness had me worried about varying degrees of snappy doneness. But I think it’s turned out!

I’m taking into account the criticism I received last time and wanted to let you know that I have tried one!

I’ve taken a cue from my friend’s Scottish mom and made a cup of tea to enjoy with the digestive and everything seems to be digesting just fine. Get it? But for real, it’s a suitable snappiness and tastes good with tea and I may understand the appeal of this poor poor man’s chocolate chip cookie.

(Oh except I got distracted and slightly burned the last batch.)

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