Mrs. Graham's Chocolate Biscuits from Dragonfly in Amber in the Outlander series

Mrs. Graham's Chocolate Biscuits from Dragonfly in Amber

"Thought you might do with some tea, Mr. Wake -- I mean, Roger."  Fiona set down a small tray containing a cup and saucer and a plate of biscuits.

"Oh, thanks."  He was in fact hungry, and gave Fiona a friendly smile that sent the blood rushing into her round, fair cheeks.  Seemingly encouraged by this, she didn't go away, but perched on the corner of the desk, watching him raptly as he went about his job between bites of chocolate biscuit.

Feeling obscurely that he ought to acknowledge her presence in some way, Roger held up a half-eaten biscuit and mumbled, "Good."

"Are they?  I made them, ye know."  Fiona's flush grew deeper.  An attractive little girl, Fiona.  Small, rounded, with dark curly hair and wide brown eyes.  He found himself wondering suddenly whether Brianna Randall could cook, and shook his head to clear the image.

Apparently taking this as a gesture of disbelief, Fiona leaned closer.  "No, really," she insisted.  "A recipe of my gran's, it is.  She always said they were a favorite of the Reverend's."  The wide brown eyes grew a trifle misty.  "She left me all her cookbooks and things.  Me being the only granddaughter, ye see."

"I was sorry about your grandmother," Roger said sincerely.  "Quick, was it?"

Fiona nodded mournfully.  "Oh, aye.  Right as rain all day, then she said after supper as she felt a bit tired, and went up to her bed."  The girl lifted her shoulders and let them fall.  "She went to sleep, and never woke up."

"A good way to go," Roger said.  "I'm glad of it."  Mrs. Graham had been a fixture in the manse since before Roger himself had come, a frightened, newly orphaned five-year-old.  Middle-aged even then, and widowed with grown children, still she had provided an abundant supply of firm, no-nonsense maternal affection during school holidays when Roger came home to the manse.  She and the Reverend made an odd pair, and yet between them they had made the old house definitely a home.

Dragonfly in Amber, Chapter 2


Mrs. Graham's Chocolate Biscuits recipe (everyone knows that in this instance biscuit=cookie right?  A biscuit can also be a cracker -- but it's not in this case -- in this case it's a cookie) is a homemade version of a UK favourite that goes back to the mid-19th Century.  They acquired their somewhat strange name (at least if you're North American) because the baking soda in the original recipe was thought to have an antacid effect on the body, and thus aid in digestion.

Yeah, right.  A butter-rich cookie, even one not covered in chocolate, will help to move things along.

Ignorance is bliss, aye?

chocolate biscuits

Not that digestives are all bad.  If you have a look at the recipe, you can see it's a short list of pretty standard ingredients, most of which you already have in the cupboard.

And while a digestive's crunchy texture may come mostly from the butter and sugar, the whole-wheat flour lends a distinctive, addictive bite all its own.

It's hard to feel terrible about cookies made from whole wheat flour -- even ones with a healthy coating of chocolate on one side -- but if you want to feel extra virtuous, even while you're sneaking 2 or 3 during a midnight reconnaissance of the kitchen, then leave a few plain.

Who knows?  You may even feel better for them in the morning.

;)chocolate-brushed-digestives copy

(Click on the title below for a printable version of the recipe.)



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