Friends are Olympic Gold

I was sent a comfort parcel by Julia not so long ago which included a tin of her golden homebaked walnut shortbread biscuits.

I  consumed the whole lot in the space of a couple of days, so I have begged the recipe from her. My past attempts at shortbread biscuits haven’t always been that good, so she has shared her recipe with me and they work perfectly, even if, like me, you overcook the first lot slightly because you are so bad at judging when biscuits are cooked.

So here are my Olympic biscuits to see us through to the end of the Games.

So part of my problem (and I have a few at the moment),  according to everyone who knows me, is that I put myself down, and the problem with putting yourself down, is that when people say nice things you don’t believe them and would prefer it if they didn’t. Neat isn’t it? So just make the biscuits, no credit to me please, it’s all Julia’s  work, who has tweaked the original BBC Good Food recipe to perfection.

But we are on safe ground with biscuits, and these are the business, buttery and crisp and melt in your mouth and go perfectly with the British antidote to all of life’s troubles: a great cup of tea!

Here is Julia’s recipe which she says I can share with you.

I wrote the recipe out exactly as she sent it to me. See below. I was trying out the  Noteshelf app for iPad which had exciting hearts and little pictures and you can write on it with your finger as well. The photo shows the wisely labelled tin they came in.

And what did I do with the spare egg whites? I made Financiers (friands) aux Pépites de Chocolat from a French Baking book that another wonderful friend gave me!

Edit : Lovely Phil who chefs at The Loaf in Crich (we met in Yorkshire at Joe and Martin’s Baking Weekend a couple of years ago)  has had a go at the biscuits too – as he had a new biscuit tin which needed filling. I cheekily asked him if he would take a pic if he made them, here they are, complete with mug of tea, I hope he doesn’t mind me showing you his photo. Julia  – your biscuits are a hit with everyone!

and here are Carla’s (made in Rome)

she has titled this photo ‘The Biscuit Diet started this afternoon…. ‘ She never does things by halves either  “I did twice the recipe so had 4 logs..walnuts hazelnuts raisins cranberries ( and lots lemon zest)”


31 thoughts on “Friends are Olympic Gold

  1. Julia

    Thank you so much Joanna for this lovely way of presenting the recipe, which evolved from a BBC Good Food recipe in 2008. Every batch I have made has turned out well and they are very popular! Julia x

  2. Jeannette

    They look lovely Joanna, shortbreads are my favourite biscuits so I will be giving this recipe a try out very soon. I usually make mine plain or with ginger flavouring but walnuts would make a nice change!
    Funnily enough I made Friands on Sunday, I used the recipe from Celia’s blog, I have made them many times and they are always very well received by everyone who tries them.

    1. Joanna Post author

      I love ginger biscuits, I might make them again with some stem ginger in. The little cakes are great aren’t they? I think there’s something distinctively European about them, with the almonds and vanilla. Good made with summer fruits in too, raspberries, peaches etc.

  3. Cas

    Having looked them up I think they will very easily translate into wheatfree versions as there is very little flour in, I’m guessing that I should reduce flour to 20g and add 1/4 tsp of xanthum gum.

    1. Joanna Post author

      I think it’s the egg yolks that make them different from other recipes I have tried in the past. Hope you like them Heidi! I used pecans in one roll as I ran out of walnuts.

  4. timethief

    I adore shortbread and I like walnuts. I can’t wait to eat these mouth watering morsels. Thanks for passing the recipe along and thanks to Julia, too.

  5. ceciliag

    I love shortbread and have not made it for years! My son who lives in canada is coming next week and I am sure he will love a taste of home. I will make these for him.. Morning joanna!! c

    1. Joanna Post author

      Morning C! This is the first time I have ever used the food processor thingy that goes on top of the Kenwood to mix a biscuit dough. I felt like I was cheating, but it was quick and they came out beautifully. Lovely to have a visit from your son, have a great time :)

  6. Tutak

    Yum…two favourite things combined, shortbread and walnuts….can’t wait to try….xx

  7. hotlyspiced

    Your shortbread biscuits look so perfect and delicious. I love shortbread, especially with nuts and these would be perfect to enjoy while watching the Olympics – or even, just anytime! xx

  8. bakecakecrumbs

    What a lovely, lovely gesture. I don’t take enough care with friends, and you are right, they are gold. Beautiful looking biscuits – there is something special about shortbread – even with so few ingredients they are delicious.

    1. Joanna Post author

      I made loads and mysteriously they have almost all gone… might have to make more and think what else to put in them :)

  9. Jan

    Lovely post Joanna. I also love friands so this made my greedy creative juices flow. I too have the same tendency as your good self and am very adept at putting myself down; so much so that I once thought to myself that if I was my friend I wouldn’t be my friend! My husband often says “don’t talk about my wife like that” and compliments make me curl into an embarrassed ball and i shut up for ages:)

    1. Joanna Post author

      I am going to make both these again, the biscuits are less faff than the little cakes with their browned butter etc, but they are good. I don’t know why not more popular in England. Am reading a fabulous book (well the first chapter was good) called The Voice that Thunders by Alan Garner. Full of good tight insightful writing. It is terrible when people tell you not to put yourself down though, one gets even more miserable, a lose lose situation.

      1. Jan

        I’ll look for that book. I have a tea towel and a little book of quotations given to me by a friend with the same Slogan/advice as that on your little gifted tin of biscuits. One of the quotations in the little book is “There is no trouble so great or grave that cannot be diminished by a nice cup of tea” :) that makes me smile.

        1. Joanna Post author

          If you know his childrens’ books or novels it may be more interesting, this is an autobiography. He has written a final story to go with two he wrote (and I read as a child) many years ago, which is published next month. He too is part of the Keep Calm generation, though I am not, sometimes wish I were 🌾

    1. Joanna Post author

      Hi Tandy! I imagine it is the sort of biscuit tin M has on her desk in MI6 headquarters as the world explodes all around her. (I’ve been watching the trailer for the new Bond film). Though I did see this the other day in a charity shop window ….

  10. stitchinscience

    Thanks, I made a batch of these and they were really delicious. Several more batches in the planning this weekend for my husband to take as a gift for family freinds in Germany.

    1. Joanna Post author

      That’s lovely to hear – they are proving very popular :) I hope they go down well in Germany too !

  11. Julia

    I am so glad these wonderful biscuits are so popular, we really should thank BBC Good Food or Olive magazine as it was an excellent easy recipe from one or other of those that I made some years ago and then “tweaked”. I can only take credit for making them and passing them on. Thanks to Joanna for spreading the word so effectively, Bristol Derbyshire, Rome, Germany – where next ….By the way, friends in our village call them “Julia biscuits ” xxx

    1. Joanna Post author

      I just had a googly look for the original and found a BBC Good Food recipe for rosemary and walnut shortbread, does that ring a bell? I hope they don’t mind – googling walnut shortbread threw up dozens of recipes, from Delia to Hairy Bikers to bloggers galore. I like your version of this recipe because it is short and easy and makes scrumptious biscuits that don’t spread and have nice smart edges and you sent them to me in the post when I needed biscuit comfort xxx

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