Sunday, 17 January 2010

It's a Plague!!

Regular readers may recall that in my post-award euphoria a week or so ago, I promised to do some baking, in order that I feel worthy of the aforementioned award.

Ms Humble is a cookery blogger, and does these awesome science-themed cookies, so I thought I'd follow that theme. I run student practicals every year in which we play with for me, locusts sprang immediately to mind....after the shennanigans of today I really do wish they hadn't.

But I promised them, and here they are!

It's a plague!! A PLAGUE I tell thee!

Well, does six constitute a plague? It does when they're in your kitchen, I guess it depends on how much you like locusts.

Let me give you a little blow by blow account, and the recipe incase anyone should desire it.

Ok, so, first you make the dough (no pictures of this exciting bit I'm afraid). This is actually a weight watchers recipe, though I fail to see how considering how much butter and sugar goes in. In fact, they seem to have taken just about the lowest fat ingredient barring flour (eggs) and replaced them with semolina.

Well done weight watchers.

Here's the recipe:

225 g butter
125 g caster sugar
275 g flour, plain
50 g dried semolina, or ground rice
50 g icing sugar

Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 4/180°C/fan oven 160°C/350°F.

Beat the butter until softened and gradually beat in the caster sugar. Add the flour and semolina, working it in with a wooden spoon. Gather the dough together with your hands, then knead for a few moments until smooth.

Roll out the dough thinly on a lightly floured surface.

Cut out shapes

Arrange on baking sheets.

Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until light golden brown. Cool on wire racks.

Mix the icing sugar with a little water to make a smooth glace icing, then use this to decorate the biscuits.

Now, the 'Cut out shapes' instruction is deceptively simple!! Normally one would use a cutter of some description...but funnily enough, try as I might, I couldn't find a locust-shaped cookie cutter. So I made my own template by tracing a picture off of google images!

When it comes to icing, I knew I needed more than the recipe says, so I used 250g of icing sugar and about 50ml of water, give or take (ish...please don't follow that to the letter, Ms Humble has a good guide on her blog). Then I split it and made some brown (by mixing equal amounts of red, yellow and green food colouring) and yellow icing.

So....after locusts had baked, I let them cool on wire racks, before I set about icing the outlines in brown. It took me a while to get into the flow, and I'm SURE that the icing was gloopier(scientific term) than it should have been, but hey! You can see what they're supposed to be right?


Then, once that icing had hardened (or not, I'm impatient and wanted a sit-down), I started filling in with yellow.

My back soon started screeching at me, and so I opted to finish at 6.

So here you have plague of 6. It's the first baking I've done in years, and I quite enjoyed it.

Now, please excuse me whilst I go and wash off these crusty bits of dough I keep finding all over my face!


  1. Your cookies look amazing dear. Most awesome. Well done. x

  2. Hee hee, thank you hun.

    I think I may have consumed my own bodyweight in some form of sugar today though.....can you get diabetes over the course of 24 hours?

  3. They look scrumptious! Very well done!

  4. Very cool post.
    America is waiting for the next Julia Childs.

  5. Cheers guys!

    Julia Childs eh?? Am I eccentric enough?

    I'm sure I can work on it :D

  6. WOO!

    I love, love, love these! Even if the real life insect makes me scream and flap my hands like a 14 year old girl.

    THis is definitely making it into the next science cookie round-up!

  7. Thank you very kindly Ms Humble!