Sorry for the late posting. I never seem to have enough time in the day to do more than one thing at the moment. So I bought ingredients on Saturday, baked on Sunday, and intended to write on Monday until the Migraine of Mental Maleficence arrived and made such things impossible.

So this weekend I wanted to try being low-key. Enough with berry-strewn cakes and party puddings. What do you bake when you feel like baking but can’t be bothered to be fancy? The answer comes swimming back to me from my childhood: biscuits, of course. Biscuits don’t take effort, unless you make those wafer-thin ones that need dusting and dipping in chocolate. The ones I had in mind I’d seen in an article by Hugh Fernley-Wittingstall: the deliciously knobbly and amateur-looking jam thumbprints. (I should say that anything involving jam – really, anything at all – can win me over in an instant. I’ve been living off digestive-biscuit-and-jam-sandwiches the past few days. Food of the gods.)

Well, what went wrong with this exercise? I’ve no idea. I followed the recipe exactly. It’s just butter, sugar, flour, egg yolks, vanilla essence and lemon zest, which makes a sticky dough you then roll into little balls and fill with jam.

We're jammin'


When we put our first batch in the oven, they slid into flat, doughy pools almost instantly, and stayed there. Where were the knobbles I was looking for? Right, I thought: be messier. So I made huge dough balls and stuffed them with so much jam they could barely stand up. And in the oven, they liquefied in just the same way, only this time there wasn’t any space between the biscuits. I wanted yummy-looking rock-cake biscuits with jam smeared chaotically and beautifully all over the surface. And instead…look at the photo. I hesitate to say it. But – well – I got…breast biscuits. I am sorry, delicate readers. But that is what they look like.


Also: lemony. Ew. I only like lemon when it’s paired with something tooth-hurtingly sweet, like meringue pie. Lemon biscuits are not cool. Disappointment.

Deliciousness: So-so. I wasn’t a big fan of the lemon, and generally there was an unfortunate ratio of biscuit to jam.

Complexity: The method wasn’t hard, but the end result didn’t work properly. More flour next time?

Washing-up pile: I’m sorry, I was so put-out I forgot to count.

Casualties: I’m afraid my composure was irretrievably lost once I realised I’d made Female Anatomy Biscuits. Ooh-er.