Custard Cookies – A WordPress Recipe Challenge

Back on the Challenge Trail folks!

When I originally saw this recipe I couldn’t help but smile. Blimey custard powder, now there’s a blast from the past. And if it’s custard powder it HAS to be Bird’s Eye, as that was the brand EVERYONE used. The packaging is pretty much the same as I remember, aahhhhh a trip down memory lane…..

Memories of school dinners and pudding was ALWAYS served with custard – whether it was yellow, pink or brown (chocolate). Custard was de rigeur in terms of lunch menus. I never wanted the skin on mine, and would do anything to avoid it!

My other abiding memory of custard is that my mum, ostensibly a good cook, could never make custard. Basically she managed to regularly ruin it. Which is remarkable considering how little you need to do when making custard from instant powder. When it came time for puds with custard we never quite knew what to expect – would she remember sugar, would it be too thin, would it be so thick you could stand your spoon in it? I don’t know why but custard always seemed to defeat my mum. Maybe she was just bloody knackered by the time it came to dishing up dessert and custard was the least of her concerns.

Anyway Mandy over at the Complete Cookbook suggested I made these cookies, but to be honest I want to call them biscuits, you see I’m British and I just can’t say the word cookie, it doesn’t sound right. But Custard Cookies has alliteration where as Custard Biscuits, well it doesn’t have such poetical potential does it?

It’s a truly simple recipe, I’ll admit now that I reduced the amount of icing sugar, I knew these biccies would be too sweet for me otherwise. When making them I did get a bit worried as the mixture was not binding together, but I just kept the beater on and practised a bit of patience, and yes it all came together in the end. Oh and one last thing, when you get them out of the oven I found I had to extremely careful and gentle with them otherwise they all broke up. which obviously meant I got to eat the crumbs….

The taste test – well I took them round to have with tea at a friends house and a worldly-wise 7-year-old gave them the thumbs up. She was a bit dubious at first because she doesn’t like custard, but oh so bravely she pushed her fears aside and chomped into them. What a sacrifice to cookery she made! Needless to say the plate of biccies was demolished. Thoroughly enjoyed.

They reminded me a bit of shortbread, crumbly and buttery and oh so melt-in-your-mouth. And yes moreish. Thank you Mandy – I’d never have thought of making such a treat with good old custard powder, or as the French say “Creme Anglais” :)

A Post Script – a thoughtful commenter has pointed out that it shouldn’t be Bird’s Eye the company but Birds, a totally different company. Many thanks for helping me out there!

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58 thoughts on “Custard Cookies – A WordPress Recipe Challenge

  1. I see this custard powder every time I go to my local supermarket and walk down the International Groceries aisle. It is always sitting there with all the other British imports including cans of Spotted Dick and Lyles Syrup. I have not tried it, but am always drawn to the sweet packaging..very old-timey and charming. These cookies look the same. I may now have to buy a package and try the custard.

    • You know I’ve looked for the custard powder in the French supermarkets in the British section and have yet to see it. You are right about the packaging, it hasn’t really changed since I was a kid!

  2. I am thrilled you made the recipe, thank you and I am so pleased you enjoyed them. The main reason I called them Custard Cookies is simply because Custard Biscuits doesn’t sound quite right. ;-) I too am not a fan of anything too sweet but love these and find them far too moreish with a cup of tea.
    Have a super weekend and thank you for the linky. :-) Mandy

    • Hi Mandy, it was a pleasure to make your recipe, thank you for suggesting it in the first place. And judging by the comments your Custard Biccies are causing a bit of fun and wonder, I never knew Custard Powder could have that effect :)

  3. Clair, these do look good! That said, I find myself with an irresistible urge to incorporate a touch of real lemon flavor to the mix… However, I will follow my husband’s advice and try them the original way first before I start changing it up. ;)
    ~ Lynda

  4. When I lived in Ireland every dessert (oops — every “pudding”) was served with a dollop of this custard powder. I’ve never seen it in the U.S. and our pudding mixes don’t taste the same, otherwise I’d make the cookies, which I’m sure I’d like.

  5. We have this brand of custard here in HK. Biscuits, trousers, trainers, afternoon tea. We have it all going on here. These little buttery biscuits sound quite nice with a spot of afternoon tea.

  6. morning Claire .. this recipe looks like fun . .. the packaging does look familar, don’t know why .. perhaps my grandmother (English) had some in her cupboard. I’ll have to try that recipe! A.M.

  7. My mom was an excellent cook except for making bread. I think even the greats have their Achilles heels. These are lovely, homey looking biscuits err cookies.

  8. Uh, oh, Claire. It starts with cookies. It’s a slippery slope but soon you’ll be taking the “elevator”, going to the “bathroom”, pushing a “baby carriage”, and heaven forbid, drinking “coffee” all day long. Oh, yeah. Say good-bye to the Alps and hello to Telluride. :)

    • Ha ha John, too funny! I have to admit I’m a bit of a stickler for ENGLISH, so we better not get me started :) Mind you living in France in a ski resort I’ve been reminded how many English words there are in languages, I overheard 2 Dutch people the other day, this is how it went “incomprehinsible blah blah blah, home-remedies, incomprehensible blah blah”

      Hmmm, next winter in Telluride………?

  9. I have never made custard from powder… Actually I have never made crème anglaise ;-)
    Your biscuits look fantastic! (I would also call them biscuits: cookies have for me a less sophisticated look than these ;-) )

  10. I love custard – hot, cold, thin, thick and I´ll have your skin please! I remember seeing these when Mandy posted them….glad you´ve reminded me as I want to give them a whirl :)

  11. I think I can get this here. I want to check before saying for sure, but I at least know that we have other Bird’s Custard items. My grandmother used to serve this, but it’s been a long time! Thank you, Claire. I am going to track this down! Debra

  12. I’m very curious about this custard cookies. I make custard (flan) and the custard cake but haven’t tried my hand yet on the cookies version. I’ve got to try this. ;-)

  13. Your scrumptious custard biscuits remind of an archived recipe I recieved long along from a wondrous baker. Her recipe for Custard Cookies includes 2 (yes,2) boxes of “Jello” vanilla custard mix. After baking the Custard Cookes have a soft custard center with a wonderful crisp exterior. They are a wonderful little cookie!

  14. I started reading your post and noticed you said Bird’s Eye at the top. Bird’s Eye is the brand name for a range of frozen foods, and you’re actually thinking of Bird’s which was formed in the 1800′s in Birmingham, UK. Thanks, Simon

    • Simon, thank you very much – yes I did get myself confused there, it should be Birds, and not the frozen food company! And I had no idea the company was as old as that, thanks again

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