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Garibaldi Biscuits

I would say that these take me back to my childhood in England, but I didn’t grow up in England. So perhaps they take me back to Sam‘s childhood in England. After all, I found the recipe for these delightfully simple shortbreadish cookies on her post here.
The recipe is somewhat problematic because it gives measurements in both grams and ounces, but the measurements are not equivalent. For example, 1 ounce of butter is not 25 grams. It’s more like 50 grams – a difference of about a tablespoon! This actually caused problems for me since I started to measure out ingredients according to principles I am familiar with and ended up going back and measuring everything in grams. Not a big deal, but it was rather annoying. Fortunately, the garibaldis turned out very well and tasted like crunchy little scones. I added 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla to the milk and rubbed the butter into the dry ingredients with my fingers before adding the milk, rather like making pie crust.
The recipe can be found here. Measure your ingredients in grams if you can!

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  • Sam
    April 12, 2005

    Hi Nic
    I probably made this in ounces. i grew up with ounces so they are what I would naturally migrate to. I have an electronic weighing machine so i don’t have any problem converting, but i would only ever use one type of measurement in a recipe as you suggest its not good to mix.
    Your cookies look great. The only thing I would say is that Garibaldis are ususally rolled out thinner, so the currants are almost breaking through the pastry.
    I don’t like garibaldis myself. I don’t like currants, but I was really into baking as a kid so i would make them for my mum and sister who are both mad for currants. I used to make them bread pudding (chester cake) – a dried-fruit cake – not to be confused with bread and butter pudding – with the left over bread as well.

  • Steven C. Karoly
    April 12, 2005

    I thought 1 ounce equaled 28 grams. When I was in college, we rounded up to 30 grams per ounce for quick calculations during diet therapy lab.

  • Nic
    April 12, 2005

    Thanks, Sam. I thought that they should be thinner, since I have always eaten them very thin. Next time I’ll get aggressive with my rolling pin!

    Steven – you’re right that an ounce is typically 28 grams, however this doesn’t change the fact that my 25 grams of butter was no more than a tablespoon (1/2 ounce). Very strange. Perhaps this is a sign I need a new scale!

  • ejm
    April 13, 2005

    Because Sam said that they should be thinner with the currants almost breaking through, it makes me wonder if garibaldis are sometimes made with golden raisins? (Are these “squashed fly biscuits”? Those were our favourite packaged biscuits on long car journeys and it would be such a kick to be able to make them!) Never mind, I just read the post in Sam’s blog and see that they are squashed fly biscuits! Whoohoo!

    Isn’t the 1/2 ounce marking on the Tablespoon a fluid ounce rather than an ounce of weight? I believe that 2Tbsp (1 fl.oz) of butter would work out to about 28gm. Maybe your scale does need recalibrating, Nic! That hookerycookery recipe is rather confusing!

    Here is a very handy page:


  • Nic
    April 13, 2005

    Elizabeth – Traditionally, these are only hade with currants, though I have seen them with raisin/sultanas in US and Australian markets on occasion.
    And it never even crossed my mind that the half ounce measure could be volume and not weight!
    *sigh* Embarassed, I am now going to pay more attention to my measuring, recalibrate my scale and memorize those equivalencies! Thanks, Elizabeth.

  • ejm
    April 13, 2005

    As far as I know, the squashed fly biscuits my mom bought (we live in Canada) were always made with golden raisins. I haven’t seen the biscuits in years though. I don’t even know the brandname – my guess is “Christie”. But then, I haven’t really looked for them. I tend not to even go into the cookie aisle at the supermarket. And besides, being the rule-bound person that I am, I would only eat store-bought squashed flies if I were on a long car journey. (Mom never bought them for us to have at home.)

    No need to be embarrassed, Nic. The ounce thing is very confusing. Lots of people leave off the “fluid” part when talking about ounces. And then there is the whole issue about the UK fl.oz having a different volume than the US fl.oz. (All the more reason to abolish that sort of measuring and move to metric… don’t get me started on this touchy subject. ;^))


    P.S. I just can’t resist making one comment though… Which other countries, besides the U.S., do not use the metric system?

  • Nic
    April 14, 2005

    Elizabeth – Thanks for the reassurance. I can’t believe that only two other countries use non-metric systems! I’m sticking with grams, where I know I’m safe.

  • Anonymous
    July 24, 2006

    The Vermont Country Store carries Garibaldis. You can Google the store.


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