The problem with recipes that are handed down from generation to generation can often be the name. Auntie Mary Biscuits are a case in point. Auntie Mary wasn’t really an auntie to any immediate member of the family. She was in fact the sister of the children’s paternal great grandma. So she was grandma’s auntie, but the recipe was found in great grandma’s handwritten recipe book. There they were referred to as Mary’s chocolate slice, but hey we always referred to her as Auntie Mary, so a little latitude when creating a name that has meaning for future generations is absolutely fine. The other problem with this recipe is it really should be referred to as a slice. After all, biscuits are baked individually rather than in a pan and then sliced! But let’s not be pedantic.
These biscuits are great for a couple of reasons. One, the children can get in and bake them on their own. A little supervision may be required when melting the butter, but apart from that they are simple and only require the use of their hands and a spoon. Secondly, they use very basic ingredients: flour, brown sugar, butter, vanilla essence…and the main one – vitabrits (or weetbix or weetabix, or whatever rectangular 99% whole grain wheat breakfast cereal, with no added sugar, is available to you). Like the chocolate self-saucing pudding we make, this seems to be another post war recipe – minimal ingredients and no eggs required (the pudding recipe came from great grandma’s book too).
We have been making these biscuits since the recipe journal was found, and although they haven’t been made in a while, everyone was excited when they made a return to the kitchen this week. Enjoy!
- 5 vita brits, crushed
- 1 cup self raising flour
- 1 cup shredded coconut
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 100 gram unsalted butter, melted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup icing sugar, sifted
- ¼ cup cocoa powder, sifted
- ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
- 1 tablespoon milk
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius. Line a 22cm x 22 cm tin with baking paper (or whatever sized tin you have close to this size.)
- Place the crushed vita brits, brown sugar, flour and coconut in a bowl and mix together.
- Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Add the vanilla extract.
- Tip the butter over the dry ingredients and stir to combine thoroughly.
- Place the mixture in the tin, spread out and press down firmly with the palm of your hand.
- Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and cover with chocolate icing. Cut into square whilst still warm.
- Place all the ingredients in a small bowl and mix until the icing is a smooth consistency.