A RECIPE: Cheats biscuits

I’m ashamed. This recipe is really such a con. Oh, I know that’s probably not the best way to introduce a recipe that I think everyone should try but it really is a recipe for cheaters. And there I was condemning Delia Smith for discarding her reputation as the woman who made everything perfectly from scratch by publishing her latest book. It’s not that I’m against cutting corners- I love simple recipes, I love taking the easy route but you’ll never find me serving a tart from the freezer aisle. Häagen Dazs ice cream, maybe.

A recipe calling for a boxed cake mix or store bought cake ordinarily makes me cringe. I am a girl who makes her own trail mix for crying out loud! Having said that, I now believe that having spent over a year living with a New York sized kitchen and now entirely without, cheating is allowed. Life is too short to overly stress when it comes to cooking, or pairing matching socks; for that matter. I confess, I poached an egg in the microwave only last week- is that cheating or just cooking for survival?

But still I was bothered by this recipe and yet when I made them I was so excited to photograph their glossy chocolate coatings and even more thrilled to find them to be perfectly delicious straight out of the freezer. Don was less enthused to begin with-“peanut butter and apricot? This kitchen thing is really getting to you.” Yes, yes it is heaven knows I’ve been whining on about it for weeks now- and it’s been a long few weeks for me too, I’ll have you know. But, this combination works! Don came around to the idea and I had to hide the rest of the batch in the freezer ready for my next sugar craving attack.

Still, I debated long and hard about whether or not I should risk my integrity by publishing it. But sometimes the trashiest recipes are the best and if I do ever get around to writing The Kitchen Renovation Cookbook- Living Without, this will ultimately be amongst the other stove-free recipes. This one is the result of scouring through boxes of ingredients on my living room floor in desperation for something sweet. A simple square of chocolate was just not going to cut it. Who says living without a oven means you can’t have, dare I say it- semi-homemade biscuits? Apparently, cheaters do win. Sometimes.

Cheats Biscuits or chocolate, apricot and peanut butter biscuits

Squidgy apricots, sticky peanut butter and a buttery crisp biscuit encased in chocolate- now does that really sound so trashy? If you have feel like being more involved then make the biscuits yourself following a shortbread recipe and turn the chocolate into a ganache. Bring 4 fl oz double cream just up to a gentle boil (scalding point) then pour it over the broken up chocolate and stir until melted and smooth. Allow it to cool and slightly thicken for an hour before using it at room temperature. There will be extra to pour over ice cream.

Makes: 12, easily more, easily less

Diet Facts: Gluten-free if you use gluten-free biscuits

100g/4 oz bar green & blacks dark or milk chocolate (or other good quality chocolate), broken into pieces

12 shortbread biscuits (round ones) slightly larger than a dried apricot

12 tsp peanut butter (don’t waste your time measuring this out now)

12 dried apricots (squidgy ones)

1/ Melt your chocolate in the microwave on 50% power for one minute. Stir and then carry on melting in 30 second increments. Allow to sit for 10 minutes. Lay your biscuits out on a wire rack positioned over a baking tray. Spread each biscuit with 1 tsp of peanut butter, top with a squidgy apricot.

2/ Spoon the melted chocolate or ganache over each biscuit to coat and allow to the chocolate to firm up. These store wonderfully in the freezer.

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