These simple Abernethy biscuits are a real old fashioned traditional Scottish tea time treat. But of course, something sweet to nibble on can be enjoyed at any time of day with any drink you fancy.
Contrary to popular belief, Abernethy Biscuits do not take their name from the town in Scotland. In fact they are named after Dr John Abernethy who regularly ate very plain biscuits at his local bakery.
He suggested that they should add sugar and caraway seeds to enhance the biscuits. These biscuits were such a hit with the locals that they took his name from that day forth.
Well, that’s the history lesson out of the way.
Tea and biscuits
Scotland is famed for its love of tea drinking and nibbling on biscuits, scones, and the like alongside it. In fact, Edinburgh was famous for its teashops where the fashionista would gather to chat and enjoy various sweet treats.
The rest of the folks would just bake at home whenever they could afford to do so.
These are crisp little biscuits that go perfectly with a good cup of tea. They are not too sweet and the caraway seeds add a distinctive flavour.
This recipe is from my book on Scottish baking
Ingredients for Abernethy biscuits
Plain flour and baking powder. Caster sugar, milk, unsalted butter, an egg, and caraway seeds.
How to make these cookies
This is a super simple recipe and really just a case of sifting your flour and baking soda into a large bowl and rubbing in the butter till you get a breadcrumb-like texture.
Then add the sugar and caraway seeds.
You then want to mix the milk and egg together in a cup and slowly add this to the other ingredients mixing well to form a dough.
Tip it out onto a lightly floured surface to about 1-3mm thickness and cut into rounds using a cookie cutter or a glass.
Place slightly apart on a lined baking sheet and bake for approximately 10-12 minutes till golden on top.
Cool on a wire rack and store in an airtight box or tin.
How long will these biscuits keep
They will keep in an airtight container for about four days. You can freeze the dough and bake later of course. A great way to always have cookies on hand when someone comes to call.
Looking for more Scottish baking ideas? Then check these out before you go;
Scottish Black Bun
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- 225 g/8 oz plain flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 90 g/3 oz unsalted butter
- 90 g/3 oz caster sugar
- 1/2 tsp caraway seeds
- 1 tbsp milk
- 1 egg
- Preheat oven to 190C/375F/Gas 5
- Grease and line a baking sheet
- Sift flour with baking powder into large bowl
- Rub in the butter to form crumb like mixture
- Mix in the sugar and caraway seeds
- Mix milk and egg in a cup and add to the mixture slowly to form a dough
- Tip out onto lightly floured surface and roll out to 2-3mm thick and cut into rounds
- Place slightly apart on baking sheet
- Bake for 10-12 minutes till golden
- Allow to cool on wire rack