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|The Biscuit Doctor
Dad's Cookies Review
As the Biscuit Doctor I feel it is high time that I contributed to your excellent and informative treaties on biscuits.
I would like to add to the information on the demised Dads Cookies. When in 1974, I was Technical Director at Chiltonian Biscuits in Lee, South London this company bought the rights from the Canadian company to make Dads Cookies in Britain. Formerly, they were being made at a company called Smiths in Corby. Smiths later closed.
There were four varieties, the ‘original’, which was the most popular, and also Coconut, Chocolate Chip and Candy. They were all basically the same recipe including oats, peanuts, raisin paste and a little cinnamon for flavouring but with additions of coconut, chocolate chips or Chellies (Chellies were flavoured pectin drops in various colours). Chiltonian introduced the use of raisin paste (from California) as previously the fruit was either Turkish sultanas or raisins that were mashed up by mincing. The fruit was the characteristic flavour of the cookies and can be greatly recommended.
So, Dads Cookies were made by Chiltonian until the early 1980’s when the factory was closed and many of the famous products such as Garibaldi and Lemon Puffs were transferred to Jacob’s Aintree factory. I believe Dads Cookie production was stopped after the closure of the Chiltonian factory.
|Nicey replies: Thank you for casting some light over so many issues. Not only have you helped reconcile the Dads cookies lineage questions, but also explained why Lemon Puffs in addition to Garibaldis took a turn for the worse back in the 1980s. All these biscuits were glorious under your stewardship and we salute your work.
I made the fruit cake from your recipe on Saturday morning last, and at the time of writing (Monday p.m.) there is but a thinnish slice left. Delicious. I like to eat it warmed in the microwave although the cherries can be pretty hot on emerging! I've made loads of cakes over the years but this one got my husband's seal of approval. Looking forward to the choccy one (!)
Margaret Broom (Ipswich in Suffolk)
|Nicey replies: It must have been the proximity of the cake to you as we sat on Ipswich station for two and a half hours due to a broken down freight train, sending out 'make me-make me' cake mind control messages. I wonder how many cakes were made in Ipswich that week?
Glad you both enjoyed it, and thanks for letting us know.
|Ruth and Mark
We saw his just arrived in Currys and we just have to know if the "near boiling point" output is actually good enough to make proper tea. Can you help? Are you willing to initiate some scientific (or otherwise) research?
Ruth and Mark
|Nicey replies: That looks interesting mainly due to its energy saving claims. It seems good for small offices maybe. Not sure that we feel brave enough to take one on though..|
||Hello Nicey and Wifey,|
I'm French, and I lived some seven years in England, I thoroughly enjoyed these years. But I still have my tea without milk nor sugar.. Which stops me from enjoying the strong brew I often get in most tea places, even if I ask for a very weak tea.
Only posher places allow you to remove the tea bag before the tea is undrinkable, or give you a jug of water to weaken the tea...
Are you all horrified out there???
Now for custard: yes I admit having enjoying some custards, school dinners ones, home made ones made from Bird's I suppose, but I love trifle, and I have an excellent English recipe that doesn't use jelly, but home made custard (from eggs and milk, but with a special tip which I will reveal on your site if anyone would like to hear it), and also using mostly fresh fruit. Of course in summer I use fresh strawberries, peaches, apricots, to the delight of my French guests who first say "What? Not an English dessert!!
Anybody interested in my recipe?
And to finish with, another addition to British shopping abroad: in the little town of Foix (Ariège) where I live, there is a litttle shop called "Simply British" where you can find all this delicious stuff, even Marmite among other things, that I used to have to bring back from England every time I went there on holiday. The shop is run by an English lady, and the adress is Rue des Chapeliers, should you wish to visit that lovely and peaceful part of France. (By the way, lots of British people have bought houses and are settling or plan to settle there at retirement.There is even a B and B place run by English people, and an English restaurant with a English chef, who makes delicious puddings with custard...The place is called Gaia and the 3 ^places are in the same street in Foix
Voilà tout, merci for your site, and I look fotward to any queries!
Keep up the good work
|Nicey replies: Apart from your dubious tea mangling ways you seem otherwise very well adjusted.
Actually the YMOS and I went fruit picking on Sunday at our local fruit farm which is literally the other side of the road from NCOTAASD HQ, even if it is half a mile away down that road. Having gone a bit mad on the raspberries, I juiced the excess added sugar and set it with some gelatine to make fresh raspberry jelly. Some trifle sponges and strawberry blancmange later and we had pudding. Yes I did briefly agonise over the custard vs blancmange issue, but I have a backlog of strawberry blancmange.
So far in our tea tours of France we have never made it down as far as the Pyrenees, but we would love to visit one day.
I would have to disagree most strongly with Katie Drummond's Dad on the eating of fruitcake in summer. A good fruitcake can and should be enjoyed all year round. He may be confusing it with Christmas Cake which is understandable but should not put you off a decent slice of fruitcake at any other time.
I thought you might like my recipe for Tea Loaf which combines tea and fruitcake in one glorious loaf. I make at least one of these a week and have found the recipe to be endlessly adaptable to all manner of different combinations of fruit and for practically any occasion. It is the perfect reason to make a pot of tea. It is a doddle to make and you can chuck it together in a matter of minutes while drinking the rest of the tea.
2 oz butter
4 oz caster sugar (or soft brown sugar)
8 oz self raising flour
5 fluid oz tea
8 oz dried fruit
1 tsp of mixed spice (or whatever you like)
soften butter in microwave or let it stand out until soft
add sugar and beat a bit then add egg, tea and everything else
Stir until well mixed then put into greased and lined loaf tin
bake at gas mark 4/5 for about 40 minutes until firm.
I have tried this with various additions of spices, honey, nuts etc.
I make a pot of tea to use in the cake and drink the rest of the pot to sustain me during the making of the loaf. Making it with still hot tea allows you to dissolve a spoonful of honey or treacle in the tea should you wish to add that to the loaf.
My most frequently used combinations are;
date and walnut - add 2 oz each of dried dates and chopped walnuts
cherry ; add bit of vanilla essence and as many cherries as you feel you need
cranberry ; (did this for christmas) - mixed spice, cloves, 2 oz dried cranberry, 2 oz mixed peel
ginger; 2tsp ground ginger, 2 oz chopped crystallised ginger, tbsp treacle in the tea
And I was also quite taken with the less usual combination of prunes and aniseed ( adapted from a recipe in the sunday paper) which made a really moist loaf. I'm off to have a crack at your recipe which looks great.
Thanks again for all the entertainment and information
|Nicey replies: Thank you for that I'm going to make some bread in a while so I may give that a whirl as we are in an alarming zero cake situation. Also your recipe is very light on eggs and butter which is interesting and handy if you are running low on both.|