Digestive Biscuits (named for their supposed health benefits when they were first developed back in the 1800's) are a plain, sublimely comforting cookie that I have loved since I was a little girl. My mother swore by Peek Freans, but McVities are also excellent. They can be hard to find in the U.S., but not to worry--they are surprisingly easy to make at home! Although the texture of these biscuits is somewhat more shortbread-like than the commercial variety, these delicious biscuits are definitely an acceptable substitute. My family likes them sweet, but you can cut the sugar back to one-half cup or less if you prefer a less-sweet or savory biscuit. If you are in the mood for a more decadent treat, try dipping the tops in melted chocolate—soooo good!
- 1-1/2 cups Graham Flour*
- 1/2 cup All-Purpose Flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt**
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 3/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup milk
- Decorative sugar crystals, optional
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a mixing bowl. Cut in butter (using a pastry blender or by rubbing between your fingertips) until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in the sugar. Add milk and mix until a stiff dough is formed. Knead into a smooth ball and roll out on a floured board to 1/8” or so thickness. Cut into rounds or other desired shapes and place on a greased cookie sheet (or use parchment paper). Prick cookies all over with the tines of a fork. Sprinkle with sugar crystals.
Bake 15-20 minutes, until a pale golden brown. Do not under bake or the biscuits will not be crisp.
*Can also use traditional whole wheat flour, but I like the sweeter, nuttier flavor and chewy texture of graham flour (sometimes known as “wholemeal” flour).
**Salt can be omitted depending on preference of if salted butter is used