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Old Fashioned Custard Cream Cookies

August 12, 2013

Comfort food. A lot of foods fall into this category for me…..steaming soups, stick meat on your ribs stews and casseroles, a bowl of delicious pasta, risotto, a roast leg of lamb or pork or whole chicken with all the yummy trimmings……and cookies, or biscuits as they are better known to me. Especially the biscuits that take me back to my childhood and these custard creams sure do that. The custard creams were one of my favourites out of all the biscuits that my Mom baked. She used to bake a lot….partly to make a living and partly for us 5 children.  I can close my eyes now and smell the aromas that greeted us kids as we neared our home after the long walk home from school. I can see the colourful row of biscuit tins (some with such pretty animal pictures on the lids) on the top pantry shelf  where we were not supposed to be able to reach, each one filled to the top with a different flavour and shape of cookie. I can see the old cast iron Welcome Dover wood stove in the kitchen, fire crackling in the grate and my Mom slaving away pulling batch after batch of perfect biscuits from that oven. And cakes….and Christmas cakes! Oh my! Only in later years, as a baker myself with a wonderful electric oven and an accurate oven thermometer, can I really appreciate how difficult it must have been to create such magnificent cakes and baked goodies using that old stove. But my Mom had it waxed….must have taken years of practice surely.

With the miserable weather in Cape Town lately I have had a sudden yearning to bake biscuits. I had been paging through my recipe book with some of my favourite of my Moms recipes in it and wondering which biscuits to bake. During one of my brief blog reading sojourns I came across a blog post about custard biscuits and I suddenly knew I had to bake my Moms custard creams. I used to bake them regularly when my children were young but I suddenly realized I had not baked them in years…certainly not in the last 15 years or so! It was time to remedy that! Delicious nostalgia!

Makes about 44 single cookies (depending how big you roll the balls of cookie dough)

180g Butter at room temperature
180g All Purpose Flour
60g Custard Powder
60g Icing Sugar
Pinch Salt
Knife tip of Vanilla Seeds

Preheat the oven to 170o Celcius and make sure the rack is in the middle of the oven
Line a cookie sheet with parchment
Place the butter and vanilla seeds into the bowl of an electric mixer, sieve the icing sugar over the butter then whisk until very light and fluffy
Sieve the flour, salt and custard powder into over the mixture then mix in until incorporated using a dough hook or k-blade.
Pinch off small balls (mine weigh 10g each) and roll the balls between your palms, placing them a little bit apart onto the lined baking sheet

Use a fork to gently press each dough ball flat

Place in the preheated oven and bake for 10-12 minutes
Remove when lightly golden and place onto a wire rack to cool completely
These biscuits must not really darken, I left mine in the oven slightly too long
When cool match like sized and shaped cookies and frost them together with a bit of icing dolloped onto the middle of one half then pressing two cookies together


125ml sifted Icing Sugar

10ml Soft Butter

Lemon Juice

Mix the butter and sugar together with enough lemon juice to form a soft spreadable frosting. Dollop a small amount in the middle of one biscuit and spread to the edges by gently pressing the matching biscuits together. Allow to set before enjoying! They are also delicious iced together with a bit of chocolate ganache 🙂


This is kind of what I remember our old wood stove looking like. I found this photograph on the internet here

Imagine baking all those perfect cakes and biscuits in that oven?

These are wonderful cookies to make as a project with your young children or grandchildren. They have a lovely texture and are fun to roll between your palms and then press with a fork. The dough is also highly addictive 😉


browniegirl xx

6 Comments leave one →
  1. August 13, 2013 8:24 PM

    Great memories and a lovely story. It’s amazing that she managed to bake so well in that stove! I used to be a mother who kept biscuit and rusk tins full, but haven’t been keeping up with it lately – will have to try these with my kids.

    • Colleen permalink*
      August 13, 2013 9:15 PM

      Thank you Kit, yes, it is amazing how something just sparks off a whole string of memories. And my Moms cakes and biscuits were really perfectly baked. I admire her so much now for that. I hope you try them and let me know how they turn out xx

  2. August 14, 2013 5:19 PM

    Those look lovely! I also remember friends of my dad who had an old stove like this. There nearly always was a kitten curled up in front of it..

    • Colleen permalink*
      August 19, 2013 1:37 PM

      That paints a beautiful picture….I can see the kitten now too 🙂 Thank you so much xx

  3. August 16, 2013 11:38 AM

    Hooray! Thanks so much for helping me out. I’ve just liked your FB page. Fabulous cookies – I love these; they’re always so melt-in-the-mouth xx

    • Colleen permalink*
      August 19, 2013 1:35 PM

      🙂 Thank you so much Charlie, full marks for coming back and trying again! Really appreciate it. These are just fabulous cookies….I even prefer them to shortbread and I love shortbread! xx

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