Games Night Biscuits

gamesnightbiscuitsthumb.JPGI'm trying to start a new tradition in the Atomic Shrimp household - Saturday night is going to be family games night.

To add to our enjoyment tonight, I've made these special biscuits with a games theme.

The Recipe


  • For The Biscuits
  • 250g Plain flour
  • 200g Butter (really, only butter will do for these)
  • 100g Ground rice (or rice flour)
  • 100g Caster Sugar
  • Pinch of salt (omit this if the butter is salted)
  • 1 Teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Cold water, to mix
  • For the filling
  • Your choice of jams, jellies, etc


gamesnightbiscuits1.JPGSift the flour, ground rice, sugar and (optional) salt into a large bowl.

Cut the butter into small cubes and add it to the bowl.

Using a table knife, mix and cut the butter into the dry ingredients as much as possible

gamesnightbiscuits2.JPGUsing a rubbing in tool (like the one pictured here), or fingertips, rub the butter and dry ingredients together until mixed until they resemble fine breadcrumbs.

gamesnightbiscuits3.JPGAdd the vanilla and just enough cold water, mixing by vigourously cutting through with the table knife - to make the crumbs come together into larger chunks.

You'll only need a few tablespoons of water - don't add too much, or it will make the dough soft and unworkable.

Bring the dough together by squeezing with your hands. Try to knead it as little as possible, to keep the biscuits crumbly. 

gamesnightbiscuits4.JPGTo make the shapes of the biscuit, I used a variety of tools - a ready-made heart shaped cutter, a card template and for the smaller cutouts, just a piece of card wrapped around my fingertip.

gamesnightbiscuits5.JPGRoll some of the dough out to about 3 or 4mm thick on a well-floured surface, then start cutting out the shapes.

It's quite soft, so cutting around a template with the tip of a sharp knife is quite easy.

Now is a good time to preheat the oven - 150C.

gamesnightbiscuits6.JPGLift the shapes carefully using a spatula or other flat implement. They will be too soft to be moved intact by hand.

This is also why the surface needed to be well-floured - or else they'll break or bend when you try to peel them off.

If it all goes wrong here, just form the dough back into a ball and roll out again.

Place the cut shapes on parchment or silicone paper on a cookie sheet.

gamesnightbiscuits7.JPGCut a second set of rectangles, this time with cutouts in the in the shape of card suits.

Brush the bottom layer pieces lightly with water before placing the top ones on - this will make the two pieces stick together properly.

When all of the pieces have two layers, bake in the oven for ten minutes only.

gamesnightbiscuits8.JPGRemove from the oven and allow to cool a bit (although, if any of the biscuits have puffed up at all, it should be possible to press them back down if you catch them when they're still piping hot).

Add the jam into the holes on the top of each biscuit. Don't overfill, or it will bubble over and make a terrible mess.

Return to the oven and bake for a further 10 minutes, or until the edges of the biscuits are just beginning to turn golden brown.

Allow them to cool for five minutes on the tray before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Don't be tempted to eat one straight after baking - the jam will be like fruity napalm - it will stick to you and burn.


Playing The Joker

There's a joker in every pack - so they say - and this is no exception...

gamesnightbiscuits10.JPGThis joker is filled with my red chilli jelly. Not a prank - I'm intending to eat that one myself.


I wanted to approximate the colours of real playing cards, so I used mulberry jam and some of my apple and whitebeam jelly - but any kind of jam or jelly should work.

gamesnightbiscuits11.JPGAlternatively, the biscuits could be baked for the full time empty, then cooled and the holes could be topped up with melted chocolate or filled with sugar icing.

Of course, you can make them any shape you like - here are some I made using fluted circular and star-shaped cutters:

gamesnightbiscuits12.JPGIf you don't have any cutters, you can use other objects - the rim of a glass and a bottle top, for example.

About The Recipe

This is based on a rich Scots shortbread recipe. As mentioned in the ingredients list - butter is a key ingredient here, so as mentioned in the ingredients list - it needs to be the real thing.