Carrots belong to the Umbelliferae family, named after the umbrella like flower clusters that plants in this family produce. Carrots are related to other vegetables such as parsnips and fennel; and herbs such as caraway, cumin and dill. The carrot is a plant with a thick and fleshy root. It grows underground and has feathery fern like green leaves that emerge above ground making it easy for one to pull out with ease. There are over 100 different varieties of carrots that vary in size, flavour and colour. While we usually associate carrots with the colour orange, in fact, carrots grow in various colours including white, yellow, red and purple, the latter being the original colour. This year I have grown: Kuttiger; Autumn King; Baby; Chatenay, Rainbow, Yellowstone, Purple Haze and Resistafly.
Over the past few months I have eaten carrots in a variety of ways: simply shredded raw in salads, as a nutritious soup, as crudités and even in recipes such as mosaic carrot and green bean pie, courgette, baby carrot and mint flan, carrot and runner bean flan, and even a rainbow carrot cake, some of which I would encourage you to try. This time however, I decided to make some biscuits with a purple haze carrot (which was orange on the inside), as well as turn them into carrot shapes. Well how else was I going to get your attention?! I think even Bugs Bunny would approve!
I am submitting these to Weekend Herb Blogging#208 or WHB as it is fondly known by. The weekly event was originally founded by Kalyn of Kalyn's Kitchen and now coordinated by Haalo of Cook (almost) Anything. Haalo is also our host this week. This week there 's a bit of difference too as Weekend Herb Blogging celebrates its 4th birthday (Hip hip hooray) and with that it gets a brand new logo, which I will soon be showcasing in my sidebar. I am so grateful to WHB as it gives me the opportunity to showcase my food made with my home-grown produce. Thank you WHB.
So why carrot shapes, some of you may be asking or maybe not, but I am going to tell you anyway. I am not a tweeter, my life is pretty uneventful to sign up to that, plus I can barely text (really). But I do like reading other food blogs, bloggers comments and exchanging ideas. It was a comment by a fellow blogger on my lavender scones, that prompted me to make squash scones in the shape of pumpkins, which then made me think even more creatively when I came to make these carrot biscuits, hence the carrot shape (made without a cookie cutter). I do enjoy reading your comments, so please do continue share your thoughts and inspire.
Apple and Carrot Biscuits
Makes about 12 - 16
225g plain flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
a pinch of salt
150g unsalted butter
100g golden caster sugar
50g carrots, grated (I used purple haze)
25g eating apple, grated (I used British Spartan)
Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add in the grated carrot and apple into the flour mixture, then fold into the creamed butter. Knead to a soft dough. Rest for half an hour in the fridge. When you are ready to cook the biscuits, roll out into 1/2 thick and mark into wedges or use a cookie cutter. Fork over the dough and bake on a non-stick surface for about 15 minutes. Leave to cool before cutting.
I have seen various carrot and apple shortbread recipes recently, but I originally came across this culinary combination a few good years ago in Tamasin Day-Lewis (yes Daniel Day-Lewis’s sister) cook book Good Tempered Food on which my recipe is based. These were not so much as shortbread, but more biscuity and crumbly nonetheless.