You know the ones. I complain about them every year.
And then I make them with loving care anyway, just a few days before Christmas. A double batch, no less. And only because a triple batch won't fit into my favourite mixing bowl (from Mum's old 1970's Mix-Master).
And despite the fact that I read these ridiculous and charming measurements from a laminated, original hand written recipe of my Oma's, which clearly stipulates that I must bend said biscuits, I exercise my right not to do so with such a sense of joy and pride that I quite adore myself as I carefully place the lovely flat bastards into my lovely flat Tupperware container.
And why would I be such a belligerent cow?
Part of the reason I suspect, is that I am, after all, this woman's grand daughter. But that's a story for another day.
No, I'm misleading you.
Mostly I have a good reason for the things I do. And I will follow tradition to the letter if it suits me to do so.
The biggest word in the English language. ;O)
The true reason for my annual stubborn display of flat biscuits is the weather.
Actually, most people quickly figure out that meteorology is one topic which is able to make me so angry so quickly that my eyes spin around in my head and I'm unable to complete a sentence. And so, why wouldn't it affect my baking? Makes sense to me anyhow.
Lets' try and imagine the weather conditions, in particular, the relative humidity, around about December in, gee I dunno, how about Slovenia? Then lets' compare these to typical conditions in maybe Sydney, Australia.
Now, picture a bunch of biscuits which are kinda foamy and cakey -certainly not crisp or dry. Good. Now try to imagine what might happen if you lived in Australia, bent them all and stacked them on top of each other just like Pringles chips.
Yes, that's right, rather a delicious lump of Play Doh.
So, as it has been my responsibility and pleasure to make these biscuits each and every Christmas for almost 30 years now, I'm sure that you can get a pretty good feel for just how much I enjoyed being told (every year without fail) by atleast 1 uncle (who doesn't cook) that these fucking biscuits must be bent.
In fact, the last Christmas the Tischler family was gathered in it's entirety, my uncle held up perhaps his fourth or fifth biscuit and said for all to hear, " You know, if your grandmother was alive today...". Finally I could bear it no longer and interrupted him with, "... I could show her a thing or two by now".
Never had another word since, unless it was in thanks.
Anyway, here's the secret family recipe:
Anise Bogen (AKA Aniseed Bends hahaha pfffffft, not kidding)
- 4 egg weight sugar (yes, you heard right)
- 4 eggs
- 3 egg weight plain flour (sifted...the only time I ever do this)
- cream sugar and eggs until foamy
- fold in sifted flour
- drop spoonfuls on GLADBAKE covered trays, allowing plenty of room for spreading
- sprinkle with aniseeds (mostly in the middle of the biscuit)
- bake in a hot oven until pale golden brown
- move entire baking paper sheet onto a rack to cool
- best to remove the biscuits from the paper once cold
- do not bend each biscuit individually over a rolling pin, unless you are a belligerent psycho or Slovenian hausfrau (Gretchen, you're excused, Cleveland is plenty cold)