Alison’s Malty Biscuits

9:00 pm on 24 May 2004

For about 60 thin biscuits 5 – 6 cm across.


  • 125g butter
  • ½ cup malt extract
  • ½ cup sugar
  • about 1½ cups standard (plain) flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda


Heat oven to 170°C (160°C fanbake), with oven rack just below the middle. Line a baking tray with baking paper or a Teflon liner.

In a pot or microwave bowl, heat the butter until liquid, then remove from the heat. Measure the malt using a quarter-cup measure (twice) which has been heated with boiling water. Tip the malt into the warm melted butter (without reheating it, since malt mixtures can be difficult to work with if they are too hot). Add the sugar and stir until no liquid butter is visible.

Shake 1 cup of the flour and the baking soda through a sieve into the malt mixture, then add the remaining flour. Stir in until no dry flour is visible. The dough should form soft balls which flatten a little on standing. Add extra flour if necessary.

Cook a few trial biscuits. Dampen your hands, and roll 4 - 6 balls of dough the size of large cherries or small strawberries and put them onto the prepared baking tray, leaving room for spreading. Flatten half the balls with your fingers or the heel of your hand until they are about 4 cm across, and leave the rest as they are.

Bake for about 8 minutes, until they darken a little and are evenly golden brown. The flattened biscuits should spread to about 5 – 6 cm. across. The others will spread less and be thicker. If you think the biscuits are too thin, add more flour until you get biscuits you like. Shape the remaining dough into balls, flatten if desired, and cook in batches. Leave the biscuits to cool and firm a little before lifting onto a cooling rack. To keep them crisp, store in an airtight container as soon as they are cold.

The thinness of these simply-made malty biscuits depends on the way you shape them and the amount of flour in them. Biscuits made with 1½ cups of flour do not spread as much as those made with a little less.

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