25 July 2019 Sophie Hanson


Makes about 30

200g unsalted butter, softened
1 cup caster sugar
2 tablespoons golden syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
2 cups plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt


Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease and line two baking trays with baking paper.

Using an electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or a wooden spoon and a strong arm), cream the butter, sugar, golden syrup and vanilla until pale and fluffy.
Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together. Add to the butter mixture. 

Tip the mixture out onto a work surface and bring together until just combined.

Split the dough into six balls. Roll and squeeze each ball into a sausage shape, about a thumb’s width and around 16cm long. Place on the baking trays and bake for 15 minutes or until golden and slightly risen. 

They will flatten and spread out quite a bit – don’t worry! Remove from the oven and cool for a few minutes before cutting into biscuits about 4cm wide.

Sophie says…

There’s a particularly beautiful Bob Dylan song (also covered by Adele) called ‘Make You Feel My Love’, which starts: When the rain is blowing in your face/And the whole world is on your case/I could offer you a warm embrace/To make you feel my love.

I’ll take a warm embrace any day of the week. But sometimes you can’t be there in person to deliver it, and that’s where showing your love through food comes in.

Cooking special things for the people in your life is one of the nicest (and most helpful) things you can do for them. It’s also the best way to make them feel your love, because when you cook for someone, not only are you nourishing them with homemade goodness but you are also telling them: you are worth an afternoon or an hour or a day of my time as I make your favourite biscuits, pie, cake, soup, whatever.

These golden syrup biscuits feel just like home to me. Like comfort and hugs and warm kitchens that smell of butter and sugar. So I make them often, not only for my own family, but also for friends who might need a taste of home, too.

They are a simple biscuit. No icing, no trickery, no holding your breath when you draw them out of the oven in case they’ve collapsed or burned. No. These biscuits are easy and homely and ask for only a few ingredients that I bet you already have to hand.

They last for ages in an airtight container; they are excellent dipped in tea or warm honey milk and are also wonderful when bashed up a bit and sprinkled over poached or roasted fruit as a quick crumble.

But the best part about them is how they make my house smell when they’re baking – exactly like my grandmother’s house in the Blue Mountains when we’d visit as kids.

In my memory it’s always winter as we’d pile into the kitchen to find Gran in her cosy domain with all kinds of good things coming out of the oven – these biscuits and our favourite dinner of chicken pancakes and, if we were lucky, brandy snaps for dessert.

This was a recipe Mum often made too and I remember hugging her after school – the sweet smell of biscuits in her hair and on her clothes. And so now, when my own children get off the bus after a big day, they find these biscuits waiting – still warm – on the bench to make them feel like they are home. And, of course, my warm embrace.

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