It is a poorly kept secret that I am NOT a cook. Well it's not a secret at all as I shout it often enough, but as serendipity would allow, I do make a pretty good biscuit and even though I might dish up dinner that Steve frowns on from time to time, he has never knocked back one of my bickies. He does love 'em, and in deed prefers it if I manage to straddle that line between burnt a little on the bottom and charred to shit.
Anyway, a while ago a friend asked for a batch to take home to France and since they were a big hit there too, she has asked for the recipe, so Laurence this post is for you. For anyone else interested in Macadamia and cherry bickies, this is truly foolproof, I am evidence enough of that.
So here goes....please don't bother telling me my oven is filthy - I know!
Turn your oven to 180 degrees C
250 gms of butter - half a stick of the homebrand stuff is easy to measure.
1 and 3/4 cups of brown sugar. pack it in. If you put more in the bickies seem to be harder - sure there is a chemistry explanation for this.
Beat the shit out of the sugar and the butter. If you have a machine then it takes about as long as it take you to measure out the flour and the baking powder.
2 eggs - beat 'em in one at a time about 45 sec each in the machine.
Add 1 teaspoon ( this is not a precise science so oopies are OK )vanilla essence or paste and beat in with second egg.
Change the beater for a kneader. Laziness is a virtue in my kitchen.
3 cups of PLAIN Flour and 2 level teaspoons of baking power. Sometimes I remember to mix this up a bit sometimes I forget. I don't own a sifter so the flour is straight out of the bottle. Knead it in 2 lots til mixed in.
300 - 320 gm of Macadamia nuts. I chuck 'em in whole cos that's how we like 'em but by all means chop 'em up if you like. Knead a bit longer after you have put 'em in.
200 gm of cherries. I pop these in whole, last thing cos otherwise they get all smashed up. Again this is how we like 'em. Now that there is only Homebrand cherries available, be aware that there is a lot of syrup in the bag. I don't put this in.
This is what the mixture looks like when you are ready to go the scoop.
Mixture makes 36 bickies using a desert spoon as a scoop. This is really just trial and error for my oven trays. My oven is a 90cm one so it's pretty big. I use baking paper because firstly my oven trays are not be as clean as they might be and secondly because it's easier to clean up. I just drop the mixture in roughly. It is sort of like self levelling cement - somehow by magic they sort of even up.
I pop both trays in the centre part of the oven for 8 minutes, and then dance around the kitchen and wash up and generally phaff around cos a watched bickie never cooks.
AT 8 minutes I switch the trays top to bottom for another 8 minutes. Yep that means more dancing and singing and cleaning up while my nose goes into action waiting to tell me when things are cooking well.
Clean up is easy.
I pull out the top tray after about 8 minutes if they seem nice and brown on the top and then put the bottom tray back up to the top spot for as long as it takes me to flipper out the first batch onto the cooling tray. This is mostly because Steve likes 'em a bit dark on the bottom....Stop being rude!
The radio just keeps things ticking along
So that's it. All up it takes a bit more than an hour, if you have a machine. If you don't have a machine, there is no disgrace in going to the shops and buying a packet of any sort of bickies that float your boat, cos I sure as shit would not be advising you to mix this lot up by hand, cos in the kitchen I am as lazy as the days are long in the UK Summer.
Good Luck. Let me know if you are successful, and if not, well I told you first up, I am not a cook.