If you’re not familiar with the English classic cookie -the custard cream, you’re missing out. I spent a year in England, long ago, and I became a fan of the humble, store bought custard cream along side my cups of tea. I spotted this recipe in Nigella Lawson’s cookbook “Feast”. I love Nigella’s approach to food and cooking and eating. The pictures and meals she puts in the cookbook are lovely, but I confess that I’ve rarely actually tried any of her recipes, mostly because they’re in British measurements. These ones looked so good, I thought it was worth the extra effort, and I’ve converted the measurements to cups for you so it will be easy for you to try.
The recipe calls for the dough to be made in a food processor, and it’s more like a pastry dough, with the butter cut in, rather than creamed with sugar like a traditional cookie dough. It makes a nice, tender cookie, with a nice flaky texture, which goes so well with the buttery, sweet, cream filling. They’re not too sweet, just right with a cup of tea. Enjoy!
Custard Creams -adapted from Nigella Lawson’s “Feast”
For the Cookies
- 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons Bird’s custard powder
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 3 tablespoons cold butter
- 1/4 cup vegetable shortening
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon milk
For the Custard Cream Filling
- 1 tablespoon Bird’s custard powder
- 1/2 cup icing sugar
- 1/4 cup soft butter
- 1 teaspoon boiling water
1. To make the cookies, put the flour, custard powder, and baking powder into a food processor and pulse to mix. Add the butter, and vegetable shortening cut into small cubes and pulse until the mixture is crumbly.
2. Add the sugar and pulse again. Mix the egg and milk together, and add to food processor mixture, pulsing until it forms a dough ball. Be careful not to over mix. Wrap dough in plastic wrap, and let rest in the fridge for 20 min.
3. Roll dough out on lightly floured surface to a thickness of about 4 mm. Cut out with a small heart cookie cutter. Use a toothpick to prick the outside edge of the heart to create the small hole pattern for half of the cookies, to use as the tops of the sandwich cookies.
4. Bake at 350, for 10-14 min. until lightly browed at the edge. Cool.
5. To make the custard cream, put icing sugar, and custard cream in food processor and pulse to combine and remove and lumps. Add the butter and process until smooth. Add teaspoon of boiling water and pulse again until smooth.
6. Spread the plain cookie bottoms with custard cream, and sandwich with the top cookie.
As with most things in life, the homemade version is way better than the store bought ones, and worth the extra effort. Enjoy!