30 August 2007


{KIP’S GARIBALDI BISCUITS} What’s in a name ….. While my uncles birth certificate reads ‘Nicholas Alliston’, very few people know this, and even fewer call him anything but Kip. A nickname he was given by my grandfather – a true gourmand, who had a weakness for Kippers (a smoked fish of either salmon or herring)

As the story goes, my grandfather was at home in bed with the flu. Impatient as he was when it came to food, he couldn’t wait for his breakfast, so he shouted downstairs ‘where’s my Kipper?’ At which point my uncle jumped out from behind the door and shouted ‘here I am!’ – and the name has stuck ever since. As a child he couldn’t pronounce nor spell ‘Kipper’, and so, as children do, he changed it to Kippa, which turned into Kip –  but the route is there as is his love for food and cooking.

When visiting his house in the country your nose is invigorated by delicious smells that come wafting from the kitchen…. pork pie, roasted balsamic tomatoes, soufflé, homemade bread…. However, I have generally been a passive observer, an eager taster but rarely his sou-chef in such creations. That was until this summer when I was indoctrinated into the ‘Alliston Garibaldi kitchen of fame’.

The following is the recipe my uncle taught me, one that he had perfected over time, in a quest to keep up with my Aunts love of biscuits and cups of tea. They originate from England and are named after the Italian general Giuseppe Garibaldi (1807-1882), who enjoyed eating these biscuits when he visited the UK. The small personal touch I added, was to use only currents (no raisins) and to reduce the quantity from 400g to 300g.

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  • 200g plain white flour
  • 200g icing sugar
  • 140g unsalted butter
  • 3 egg whites
  • 300g currents
  • egg wash for biscuits = 1 egg yolk + 1 whole egg
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).
  2. First separate the eggs : 1 bowl with 3 egg whites and a 2nd bowl for the egg wash = 1 egg yolk +  1 whole egg whisked together – set the bowls aside.
  3. Now in a large mixing bowl, sift the flour and the icing sugar and mix well. Next melt the butter, then combine with the sugar/flour mixture until what looks like little breadcrumbs.
  4. Next add the 3 egg whites (no need to beat them in advance) and mix until you have a very smooth batter. Finally fold in the currents. This is a very wet dough that must now be chilled for at least 1 hour.
  5. Place half the dough on a large piece of baking paper. Flour the surface of the dough and the rolling pin well, and roll out until approximately 0.5cm thick. Place on a baking sheet.
  6. Using a pastry brush, cover the entire surface of the dough with a thick lager of egg wash.
  7. Cook for 20-22 minutes.
  8. Remove from the oven and using a large sharp knife immediately cut into rectangles. Leave the cookies to harden for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

NOTE: as the dough is VERY wet, please do not reduce the chilling time or it will be difficult to roll out.

15 Responses to “GARIBALDI BISCUITS”

  1. Olivier Says:

    So addictive with or without cup of tea at anytime of the day… breakfast, lunch,4 o’clock, tea time, before dinner, after dinner, before bed (I could go on!) So when are you planning to make them again????

  2. I have seen these once before on the web and I have to say yours look fantastic, Erika!

  3. Erika (SWEET PEA) Says:

    OLIVIER : oooh I know, they go so quickly! I will have to hide them or make a double batch next time 🙂

    PATRICIA: thanks for your note! I used to buy them when I lived in London. Unfortunately I couldn’t find them in Geneva. So was very pleased when my uncle showed me this recipe …. the homemade ones put the mass produced variety to shame (no surprise there 🙂

  4. ovenhaven Says:

    Beautiful biscuits, and a lovely story. I’ve never heard of such biscuits before; what’s the texture like? Are they crunchy throughout, or have a buttery shortbread texture?

  5. Erika (SWEET PEA) Says:

    OVENHAVEN – love the name! Thanks for your note. The texture is somewhere between a light shortbread (though not as buttery) and a cake. They can be a little crunchy if cooked them for longer than 22 minutes, just depends on how you like them 🙂

  6. Katiez Says:

    Love the ‘naming’ story! What an interesting biscuit recipe – almost like a biscotti without the second baking! And they look lovely…

  7. Erika (SWEET PEA) Says:

    Katiez, hi, thanks for your sweet note! My uncle has tried many variations of these biscuits and this is the recipes he prefers. What is nice is that they are not too sweet or overly buttery (naturally my excuse to eat just 1 more!). And as for the ‘naming’ story… well this trend seems to have become a trend as my uncle has a nickname for everyone – I don’t think he has ever called me by name real name ha ha 🙂

  8. Noni Says:

    I love your blog inserts..they are so fun to read..I will have to try Kip’s biscuits …would I ruin them if I used raisens?

  9. Erika (SWEET PEA) Says:

    Hi Noni,
    so pleased you like the stories, I try to make them personal but not too long! As for your question re the raisins – no you would not ruin them 🙂 Quite the contrary – they should turn out great! I just personally prefer currents and find that you can make flatter biscuits with them (as raisins tend to be slightly larger).
    Please let me know how they turn out.

  10. MA Says:

    I made the biscuits for my MahJong ladies and they had never heard of them before. All I heard was ooh’s and aah’s and “oh I just have to try one more even though I have had several already”! I was asked if you had your own bakery and how did you become such a great cook. Also made up little cards with your blog site and gave them to many of the ladies so………….. wait for the comments. They truly were delighted and since I brought some back home, we can continue to enjoy! Really delicious and difficult to have just one! Incredibly easy to make as well.

  11. Erika (SWEET PEA) Says:

    thanks you for your lovely compilments! I am so pleased the ladies liked the biscuits and look forward to hearing from them. What a great idea to make cards with my blog details on them – I will do this in the future 🙂

  12. Jam Says:

    Hi Erika, I know it’s been a while since you left your comment on my blog! I’ve been rather busy but I’ve finally visited you! Your blog is lovely, especially the photography. And when I saw this recipe, I knew I will have to try it out coz I love (what it’s called locally) sultana biscuits I buy from the store.

  13. ann veale Says:

    The Garibaldi biscuits I remember as a girl in England were also made with currants. My two pesky brothers were always trying to say they were made with squashed flies, hence we always call them fly biscuits.
    Your website is beautiful.

  14. Erika (SWEET PEA) Says:

    ANN: Hi, so pleased you came to visit the blog, and thanks for leaving a comment 🙂 I cannot believe your brothers tried to torture you like this…. that’s little boys for you!! I bet that didn’t stop you from eating the biscuits ha ha. Please keep in touch, I will be posting some new recipes this week. Hope you are well. xxx

  15. Sprachschule Says:

    Garibaldi biscuits are very tasty and thanks for giving recipe.

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