Feeling inspired by The Great British Bake Off’s biscuit week to go and find that perfect snap or melt in your mouth crumble? We sure are.
This year’s Great British Bake Off has hit our screens at the perfect time. After a scorching summer, the evenings are beginning to get a little cosier (ie. colder and darker) and we’re finding that all we want to do is curl up on the sofa, cup of tea in hand and indulge in a freshly baked sweet treat, for which GBBO is the perfect accompaniment.
There’s something so inviting about watching the gaggle of strangers bake for an hour. It always leaves us craving whatever deliciousness they created, whether that’s diving into the kitchen and trying to recreate that showstopper (as if) or just rummaging around in the cupboard for something similarly sugary.
Last night saw the newbie bakers tackle Biscuit Week and amongst the icing, piping and chocolate topping, it was hard not to feel inspired to try it out for ourselves. That said, we don’t all pride ourselves on our baking abilities and for those who can’t cook and won’t cook, we’ve thought of some pretty delicious ways to bring biscuits into your lives, too.
From the most beautiful of biscuit shops to a cookie-making course, we’ve found five different ways to feed your biscuit craving, whether you’re a budding Bake Off contestant or most decidedly not.
Try the best of the biscuits at Betty’s iconic tearooms
If you’re from the North of England, Betty’s is a name you’ll instantly associate with the traditional tea rooms in York and Harrogate. Established in 1919 by a Swiss confectioner who got on the wrong train and ended up in York, this quaint string of cafes are a longstanding and well-loved name in the area, maintaining their charm for nearly a century.
Everything in Betty’s has an antique feel to reference the brand’s heritage. From the silverware cake trolleys to the Victorian-style white collared outfits the waitresses wear, each one embellished with a smart, gold pin that indicates their time of service.
The cakes, afternoon teas and most importantly, the biscuits, are famed for their elegance and considered by locals as a special treat or the ultimate gift. If you want to satisfy your biscuit craving with the best of the best, use it as an excuse to venture to York on a little staycation to experience the magic of these historic tea rooms. Or, if you simply can’t wait, you can order their biscuits online too – we recommend investing in one of the vintage-looking tins.
Make a reservation at one of the cafes or explore the online shop here.
Take a biscuit icing class at The Biscuiteers café
Was there ever a biscuit more Instagrammable than a Biscuiteers biscuit? Dear reader, we think not. And it’s no coincidence – in fact, since the inception of the brand, co-founder Harriet Hastings says that the presentation of the biscuits has always been a huge focus. From the start she intended for them to be “beautiful and witty” and released new creations as “collections” like a fashion house, to reflect the changing seasons, trends and holidays.
It worked. Biscuiteers is now famous for detailed decoration and imaginative designs, so who better to teach you to ice a biscuit like a pro than one of these experts?
There are two London cafes to choose from, one in Notting Hill and the other in Battersea. Both offer a wide range of classes and experiences including icing lessons, icing lates, hen parties and DIY icing.
We recommend booking into an icing late class, which is held on the last Thursday of each month from 7-8.30pm. The class starts off with a glass of Prosecco, before the expert icers guide you through the techniques used in the Biscuiteer’s grand icing hall. At the end of the evening, you’ll leave with a box of five biscuits you’ve iced yourself and a cute apron, all for £45.
Book yourself onto a class here.
Learn how to bake the perfect biscuit with Cookie Girl
If learning how to ice a biscuit would be somewhat jumping in at the deep end, then get to grips with actually baking a biscuit with the help of Cookie Girl.
Cookie Girl aka Xanthe Milton is a professional baker, author, YouTuber and teacher and offers a range of classes at her fully equipped teaching studio in London’s Notting Hill .
Go along with some biscuit-loving pals for a half day of lessons and learn to bake cookies and biscuits like a pro. Over the course of three hours, Milton will teach you a fail-safe ‘American cookie’ recipe so that you can achieve a mouth-wateringly doughy middle in all of your bakes. She will also teach you a Viennese biscuit recipe and the correct way to weigh and measure, as well as adapt recipes for a variety of flavours.
Classes are held generally once a month and cost £160 per person with the next one taking place on the 8 September. Book yourself a space here.
Buy a fun biscuit set and bake your own at home
If you already know your way around the kitchen but feel newly inspired by Bake Off’s selfie biscuit challenge, you could just need a little refresh in the equipment department to help ease you back into that apron.
British kitchenware institution Lakeland has an adorable selection of biscuit cutters, from fairy, unicorn and mermaid shapes to letters, animals and even emojis.
Each shape has been crafted to be as detailed as possible and is made from durable stainless steel. They’re also very reasonably priced with most ranging from £1-3.
Although there’s a large selection online, there’s even more in store. Find your local branch here.
Don’t leave the comfort of your sofa and subscribe to your own biscuit box
Honeywell Bakes is an online biscuit service created by two sisters, Rebecca and Rosie. The pair dreamed of a world where biscuits could be creative, funny and stylish enough that they could be sent as messages of greetings instead of a typical card.
They absolutely succeeded and the business now sends handmade biscuits to thousands of customers across the UK. The key to their success? The beauty of their biscuits. Think adorable, cartoon style ice cream shapes with tiny, smiling faces or biscuits adorned with chic monochrome marble patterns and gold foiling.
For £18, you can sign up to Honeywell Bakes monthly rolling treat tribe and have a selection of on-trend, exclusive biscuits delivered to your door every month. Or if you fancy giving the gift of biscuits to a friend or family, there are three, six and 12 monthly subscriptions available, too.
Images: Jennifer Pallian / Joanna Kosinska / Alison Marras / Jade Wulfraat / Courtesy of brands