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Threadneedle Street Biscuits


Paste of flour, butter and sugar, 1/3ins thick, cut square and slowly baked until crisp (Acton 1845)

Original Receipt from 'Modern Cookery for Private Families' by Eliza Acton (Acton 1845);

Mix with two pounds of sifted flour of the very best quality three ounces of good butter, and work it into the smallest possible crumbs; add four ounces of fine, dry, sifted sugar, and make them into a firm paste with new milk; beat this forcibly for some time with a rolling- pin, and when it is extremely smooth roll it the third of an inch thick, cut it with a small square cutter, and bake the biscuits in a very slow oven until they are crisp to the centre: no part of them should remain soft. Half a teaspoonful of carbonate of soda is said to improve them, but we have not put it to the test. Carraway-seeds can be added when they are liked.

Flour, 2 Ibs.; butter, 3 oz.; sugar, 4 oz; new milk, 1 pint or more; biscuits slowly baked until crisp.

The origin of the name is not clear. Threadneedle Street in London is the site of the Bank of England, the institution known as 'The Old Lady of Threadneedle Street' at least since the 1797 cartoon by James Gilray which satirised the nationalisation of the bank as an old lady with a chest of gold being ravished by Prime Minister William Pitt the Younger.

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