Rich tea with a cuppa
Rich tea with a cuppa

For once my day wasn’t jam packed with chores so I thought I would continue the theme of making biscuits I didn’t really like in the hope of improving them with a home-made variety.  We have a concept of “emergency biscuits”.  A jar on the dresser in the kitchen is kept stocked just in case Himself needs a quick snack while he’s working hard.  It needed filling so I started thinking about my next challenge.

I was suddenly struck with the memory of Butter Osbornes that my late grandmother was very fond of.  I’m not sure I ever ate one and had no idea what they looked like but I thought a search on the internet would yield results.  However, I could find very little information on them.  It seems that Huntley and Palmers who used to produce them, have discontinued them.

Rich tea biscuits
Rich tea biscuits

There was no recipe to be had anywhere so I settled for Rich Tea biscuits which I’ve always found to be rather bland.  They are far from my favourite choice but I have to admit they are great for dunking in tea.

Even though to me they are an uninspiring biscuit, I discovered that they have quite a history.  A bit of research told me that they are a plain, round biscuit, developed in Yorkshire in the 17th century.  Originally called Tea Biscuits, they were designed as a light snack between meals for the Yorkshire upper-classes.

After that I was keen to find out if home-baked would improve the not-so-humble Rich Tea.

Makes approx 18 biscuits

  • 2 tbls golden syrup (I used 1tbls golden syrup & 1 tbls maple syrup)
  • 85g butter
  • 225g self raising flour
  • 1 egg
  • Pinch of salt
  1. Heat oven to 180C.
  2. Melt the butter and syrup in a pan then add to the dry ingredients in a food processor.
  3. Mix until it resembles breadcrumbs then add the egg to form a soft dough.
  4. Roll out to about 3mm thick onto a floured surface and cut out the rounds with a cookie cutter.
  5. Place on a non-stick baking tray and prick with a fork.
  6. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown in colour.
  7. Remove from the oven and leave to cool slightly then move to a wire rack and cool completely.
  8. Enjoy by dunking in a cup of tea – preferably Lady Grey.

And the verdict?  Overall – disappointing.  A pale, crisp biscuit with not a lot of taste.  I think they would have been better rolled out thinner and I also found that they didn’t stay crisp for long but started to soften after a very short time.

A great biscuit for dunking
A great biscuit for dunking