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2 November 2009

Cheap and easy biscuits

I love finding a recipe that I know I'll use in the years to come. I found such a recipe a couple of weeks ago and was delighted with the results. It came from the Down to Earth forum, submitted by Paula Hewitt and she calls them Easy and Cheap Biscuits (cookies).

The great thing abut this recipe is that it uses only four ingredients. Paula says the recipe makes 70 - 80 biscuits. I made up one lot of about 40, another batch of 25 a week later and I still have one batch frozen as a log in the freezer.

I had two rolls of dough to freeze.

Makes 7-8 dozen, cook 10 min at 180C

500 grams butter (approx 1.1 lb)
1 can condensed milk (390-400 gram)
1 cup sugar
5 cups wholemeal self raising flour (or plain flour and baking powder)
toppings like choc chips, smarties, jam, cinnamon and sugar

Cream butter and sugar, add condensed milk. stir in flour. roll into balls and flatten. top with choc chips etc, or thumbprint and add jam for jam drops.

Bake at 180C for approx 10 min until golden brown. cool on racks.

I topped some of mine with jam and marmalade. Others with chocolate sprinkles and choc chips. All of them were delicious and they kept well in a sealed container.

I turned some into jam drops.

I'm going to share this recipe with our fundraisers at work. I reckon a little tray of these biscuits would sell at our stall for about $4 which would make us just over $50 per batch. I estimate the cost of ingredient to be just under $10 if we buy condensed milk, and less if we make our own. Definitely a handy recipe for charity fundraising.

But here at home it's a good one to make up and have in the freezer for unexpected guests. You could defrost the dough and have them cooked in under an hour. I've written the recipe inside the cover of my Feast cookbook, I'm sure Nigella would approve. This is definitely a keeper.

You'll notice I've put up some Amazon ads for the USA, Canada and the UK. The UK Amazon is now offering free postage to UK buyers from now until January 1, 2010. There is no minimum purchase needed. I will use any money I make on these ads to finance the set up and ongoing costs of the forum.

The start of another week and I'm back to working Mondays and Tuesdays from today. Hasn't this year gone fast! I guess you're all working on your Christmas gifts. I have discovered a new favourite dishcloth pattern. I'll show it to you tomorrow. I hope you have a beautiful week.


  1. Hey - I'm famous now! :) thanks for showcasing the biscuit recipe - I'm surprised you didn't already know it - it is a great fete/cake stall recipe.paula

  2. My American brain is looking at the cut out "biscuits" and thinking I'd never thought of using cookie cutters on biscuits.

    Then I remember, "Oh, yes... she is talking about cookies!".

    I need more coffee. :)

  3. I love your cookies, they are "perfect" (in my eyes) for the coming season - so many ways to play around with them.

  4. I read your blog daily, but have not yet joined the forum. I did't need to be tempted to spend more time online by joining another forum. (I help run one.) But I need this recipe! So, I guess you got me. Was that your plan? To entice us with pictures of yummy cookies and tell us that we could only see the recipe on the forum? :)

    Love your blog. You're an inspiration as we start our homestead in the Pacific Northwest of USA while raising our family of (almost) 7. thanks!

  5. Good morning Rhonda, thanks to Paula for this recipe. I have Sunday or Monday available for baking so this will revolutionise things!

    I'm working on some little knitted lace gift bags in which I'll put some homemade soap) for Christmas.

  6. Oh, Rhonda Jean!
    I'm SUCH an American. I read the title and thought "oh, yum! I wonder how she fixes hers cheaply?" And then I looked at the picture and realized you were talking COOKIES and I was think "sausage and gravy". lol

    Don't you feel sorry for someone trying to learn English as a second language?

    If you're cold and you say you're putting on a jumper, we're wondering why, if you're cold, you're putting on a sleeveless dress instead of a sweater.
    And then there's the whole: Mouse goes to mice, but house goes to houses. Moose stays with moose, but goose goes to geese.

    The recipe looks yummy.

  7. Bummer - I was thinking Biscuits...

  8. Brenda, cookie cutters are great on what Americans call biscuits.

    That said, Rhonda, I just can't deal with your forum. My fault for forgetting my user name. (Which was my own name, oh dear.) I think you do so much good with your blog and many people must enjoy the forums, but somehow there is a level of paranoia about all this security. It's hard for me to believe it is necessary. Maybe it is, but am older than you are and too old to deal with it. Sorry.

    I can't imagine why you could not simply cut and paste the recipe into your blog.

  9. Thanks for sharing this! I do have a question: What is whole meal flour? Thanks for your help. Andrea

  10. hello there lovely Rhonda - your bickies look delicious! I love a good jam drop too. I have a confession to make - I have dropped the brandywines this year for black krims and black russians! can you forgive me? lots of love duckie xxxxxx

  11. I do love simple biscuits like this. I wish I could munch on one of those jam drops now. Perfect for so many occasions!

  12. I am online too much already and so for now not on the forum, though it has to be great fun!! I too hope you will be kind and post the recipe for what we in the usa call cookies!!

  13. Having recently done a stocktake and reorganised the pantry, (inspired by the blog) I was wondering what to do with the 3 cans of condensed milk I found! It's great that the dough can be frozen too. We go through many many biscuits at my house....

  14. Thanks for sorting out Amazon UK. I'll go through your link in future....

  15. I do not have access to this recipe and was wondering if someone could send it to me - and the pics look good and I am always after cheap recipes

  16. I was not able to get to the recipe. I would love to have it. Could you post it?


  17. Rhonda Jean, looks yummy. Can you share how to make our own condensed milk or sweetened condensed milk? I haven' been on the forum since the change. I will see if I can get over there. Thank you for all that you share.....Emily

  18. Hi Again. I found your post for the sweetened Condensed Milk.

    So (I think) in Paula's biscuit recipe that "sweetened condensed milk" is the same as "condensed milk" and evaporated milk is something completely different all together.

    thanks again for all that you share

  19. Also hoping you will post the recipe here. I, too, must be quite American. I was thinking bisuits, too, but was thinking they looked so rich! :) And, wow, I thought I'd never seen someone so creative with biscuits! I love the idea of a 4 ingredient cookie.

  20. Thanks for sharing this recipe Rhonda... I have a standard biccie recipe very similar to this but t only makes 40... Great idea to freeze some of your dough for later, I must try that!!!

    Take Care
    Jodie :)

  21. Biscuits -

    When I visited London years ago, I followed a sigh that said subway. I kept circling up and down looking for a train until I realized it meant an underground passage.

    Wiki says what the US calls biscuits are called scones in Australia, but I don't think that's quite right. At least, a scone in the U.S. is not exactly a biscuit. My head is starting to hurt :-)

  22. Actually, you can drool over a photo of a US biscuit and honey at

  23. Ah, my American brain also tripped up for a minute there. I don't know if my biscuits are your scones, but I make "biscuits" and then I make "scones" and they are two separate things.
    Now to check out those lovely "cookie" recipes... :) Thank you for posting these!

  24. I found what sounds to be a similar recipe in one of my recipe books recently.

    I too have a log in the freezer - when I do bake them the family scoffs them down so quickly it's scary. The only ones they didn't really like were the ones I put marmalade on, but even that didn't stop them I went back for a marmalade one and they were all gone.

  25. These look delicious! I'm always on the lookout for cheap and yummy recipes- biscuits being a favorite of mine. Love jam prints. Thank you for the recipe!
    The Girl in the Pink Dress

  26. Hey Rhonda! I have a question concerning the dishrag pattern. I cast on 31 stitches and worked my way thru row 5. When I am done with row 5, I only have 30 stitches. I took it apart once, thinking I slipped up somewhere. But, after working the row again, I still find I have only 30 stitches. Any idea what i am doing wrong?


  27. I was going to google a biscuit recipe you can cut shapes from (like playdough) for my little boys,today !
    Awesome,thank you so much for sharing.

  28. Found this on another of Rhonda's posts...

    Makes 7-8 dozen, cook for 10 minutes in a preheated oven at 180C

    500 grams butter (approx 1.1 lb)
    1 can condensed milk (390-400 gram) - my homemade condensed milk recipe is here.
    1 cup sugar
    5 cups self raising flour (or all purpose flour and baking powder)


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