• The Tenuous Purpose

    This Blog is built - not, as some might expect, on a flimsy whim but on a strong and single minded principle.

    That principle concerns Biscuits and their position in the world.

    We are really very keen on biscuits.
    As are many of you out there.
    We think.

    We wish to create an archive of Arrowroot, a backlog of Bourbons and a catalogue of Chocolate Fingers. Anybody can contribute an entry - or dispute somebody else's - provided they are not dull.
    Even Americans who perhaps don't really have the heritage of biscuitry that we are fortunate to have here.

    Or maybe they do and we are unaware of the full glory of the cookie.

    We realise that this whole subject is admirably and concisely dealt with by that excellent and unbeatable website A Nice Cup of Tea and a Sit Down. Our feeble efforts will be as the kicking of a gadfly in the face of their wisdom and experience but we hope that we may have a small contribution to make.

  • Biscuit Encounters on Twitter

  • The Synod of Biscuitry

    James Alexander-Sinclair of Blackpitts
    Gardener, Blogger, Journalist, Lecturer etc, etc. Much of his life is spent loafing around other people’s gardens issuing directives and generally cluttering up the place. However, like the great Mr Kipling, he does (occasionally) make exceptionally good gardens. (Although even Mr Kipling messed up a bit with the Carrot and Walnut Mini Classics.)

    Mark Diacono of Otter Farm
    He does sterling work growing many inappropriate plants in Devon. He dedicates a great deal of time and effort nurturing a plethora of plants that are (mostly) totally unsuited to our climate. His is a life of such extreme eccentric dedication that to start a Blog about Biscuits seems perfectly normal. He treads gently in the footsteps of people like the great William Buckland,a professor of Geology who claimed that he could tell location by tasting the local topsoil.

Another Fine Biscuit

Of a weekend my hubby is kind enough to take me to our local cafe/ice-cream parlour as a sort of perk me up before he forces me to work myself to the bone on our Lottie. Every time I have a German Biscuit with my coffee, always the iced one with the sweetie on top (I call it a jube-jube, I don’t know why, don’t question my mind – it is ‘special’). There are 2 types of German Biscuit available, the one I find far the superior i.e. the iced topped one and the jammy one with coconut (a poor ugly sister).

By the way if you have no idea what a German Biscuit is (I weep at the thought) I shall explain. They are 2 deliciously buttery shortbread (don’t mention the bread issue again, my brain is fried with this quandary) biscuits stuck together with confectioners’ jam. Then a liberal coating of icing on top and the afore mentioned jube-jube. On some more fancy ones the jube-jube is replaced by a glace cherry, I like this muchly.

So, every weekend I indulge in one of the greatest biscuits Carrickfergus has to offer. I linger over it, pick up every crumb with a slightly dampened finger and look out over the lough. Unfortunately I also has the disconcerting knowledge that I have NO idea why it is called a GERMAN Biscuit. I have visited Germany and not seen a single biscuit like this and how can 2 so different variations be sold right beside one another (oh, ugly and not half a nice – the jam and coconut ones should be banned).

On the bottom of the little packet – I bet not a lot of people have noticed this (or cared) they are sometimes called German Biscuits (correct terminology) and sometimes just Iced Biscuits (why?).

You cannot buy these in any old supermarket, they come from proper bakeries (or Marks and Spencer’s) and so far no one can tell me why they are called so. Anyway, long live the (iced) German Biscuit.

Dear god, just checked Wikipedia and was re-directed to ‘Empire Biscuits’ . Bless us all if I ever got one like their photo, that IS NOT iced enough! I’m stressed out writing this now and must go and drown in a nice glass of wine. Phew!

(Northern Ireland = German and jam and coconut topping, I think I shall explode).


Carrie Gault

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4 Responses

  1. Much as i want to, and i have tried, i just cant enjoy a biscuit with jam in it. these sound delicious, your sdescription makes me want to eat some, but i know i wouldnt like them. Jam and biscuits, it’s not right

  2. NOT RIGHT!!! I may faint. My dear Mark you must henceforth book a flight to Carrickfergus (who cares about Carbon footprints when there is a biscuit emergency at hand), via the George Best City Airport. You cannot say such things until you have tried a German Biscuit from Mauds. Once you have (and then realised how WRONG you were) I shall forgive you your statement above.
    As Mr T would say ‘I pity the fool’……

  3. Am I right to assume that confectioners jam is the same stuff that you find in the centre of a Jammy Dodger? all gluey and hard and not at all jammy (in the conventional sense?)
    If so then I’m with my learned colleague on this.
    Although I am prepared to go on a fact finding mission to Carrickfergus if necessary.
    I like the name Carrickfergus.
    Even more than Bodfari.

  4. well sheepishly I admit that confectioners jam is the hard stuff put in jammy dodgers, however, the german biscuit jams always seems to have a softer consistancy. I’m beginning to realise just how magnificant and complex the ‘right’ german biccie is (Mauds is the place to go). You are both very welcome to visit my humble home and I shall show you our fabulous castle and take you for a coffee and biscuit. How delightful.

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