Sepia Saturday: Eighty Years of Baking with Be-Ro – Melting Moments (Biscuits/Cookies)

Melting Moments (Biscuits/Cookies)

Melting Moments (Biscuits/Cookies)

~ Sepia Saturday ~

Eighty Years of Baking with Be-Ro

Melting Moments (Biscuits/Cookies) Recipe

Baking with Be-Ro

Baking with Be-Ro

I have had this idea for several months, but I decided to launch my Sepia Saturday after entering Dom’s Random Recipes last month – we all had to “show and tell” about our cookbooks and I duly complied with my post here: A Library, Be-Ro, Some Wine Boxes and My Cook Book Collection……and, it was my much-loved and treasured Be-Ro cookbook collection that got me thinking; I use any one of them almost weekly, and even though I suspect I know many of the recipes of by heart, I still take immense pleasure from opening their old, worn covers and choosing what I will bake or cook……the memories flood back of happy carefree days in the kitchen with my grandmother and mum - flour on our chins and a table groaning under the weight of freshly baked cakes, scones, biscuits and bread. Just one look at some of the older copies, makes me go all misty eyed, with a longing for a slice of “milk fadge” or a couple of “girdle scones”, or maybe a slice of “Granny Loaf” or even a “sponge Drop”.

Doris from the 6th Edition Be-Ro Cookbook

Doris from the 6th Edition Be-Ro Cookbook

I LOVE the very non-pc snippets in the books, housewives are extolled for their baking prowess, whilst little girls want to play house and cook with their mummy. My favourite quote comes from the oldest of my Be-Ro cookbooks, and quite simply states that……” The woman who can cook well and bake well has every reason and every right to be proud of her cooking…….In ninety nine cases out of a hundred she has a happy home, because good cooking means good food, and good food means good health…….There’s no more pleasing sight than that of a happy family around a well-stocked tea-table, all enjoying their food; and the mother who is responsible for the good cooking, and who has prepared it with her own hands, have every right to survey the results of her culinary skill with pride and satisfaction”…..now, I am NOT suggesting we all turn back the clock and lose the emancipation that we have fought to hard to achieve, as women, but sometimes there’s a niggling little thought at the back of my mind that tells me that for all we have gained, we have lost so much too…..and the delight of eating together as a family is just one of our losses.

Be-Ro 6th Edition Front and Back Cover

Be-Ro 6th Edition Front and Back Cover

Another quote from my 1930 edition (my oldest Be-Ro cookbook) informs us that we should…..“Teach your daughters to bake at home”…….well we could add sons to that statement as well, but I see NOTHING wrong with teaching our children to cook and bake at home, and indeed my daughter was brought up with a wooden spoon in one hand and Tala measuring cup of flour in the other! In fact, visit any Italian or French home, and the children will be found helping out in the kitchen from an early age and it’s not so much a privilege, but the foundation of life skills for the future. But, I digress! This is my own weekly challenge to bake a recipe from one of my numerous Be-Ro cookbooks every week, and to share the recipe here, so if anyone fancies joining me, they can make the same recipe as me and add their blog post link (or comments) to the appropriate weekly post – a casual sort of Bake and Share session, with no weekly commitment needed. 

Be-Ro Melting Moments

Be-Ro Melting Moments

And my first recipe? With a big drum roll, I am sharing my FIRST Be-Ro bake, and it’s an all time favourite of mine, it’s the rather humble and yet TOTALLY delectable Melting Moments! This recipe is not in my oldest 1930 Be-Ro cookbook, but appears in the next one I have in my collection, the 18th edition – which I guesstimate to be about 1942, although I believe there was war-time edition, so it may even be pre-war 1939 or post-war 1945……if anyone has the exact date or formula for working the dates out, I would love to hear from you! I have amended the recipe slightly, they suggest lard, but I don’t “do” lard, although I could have used “trex” I suppose.

Melting Moments

Just baked – Melting Moments

Melting Moments are wonderful little “light as a feather” and meltingly crisp biscuits (cookies),  and they ALWAYS made an appearance on my grandmother and mum’s afternoon tea-table, and we also had them popped into our lunch boxes for school. The recipe is SO easy to rustle up and they stay crisp and fresh for up to 5 days in an airtight tin. You can roll them in coconut or oats, I prefer coconut – but I am sure they would be just as nice with oats, which is a suggested alternative. Children and “big children” love these, and they really are melting moments, great with a cuppa English tea.

Ready to bake - Melting Moments

Ready to bake – Melting Moments

I hope you will enjoy my weekly Sepia Saturday and Bake with Be-Ro, if you fancy making any of the recipes I have shared, I will post a linky at the end of my post, and then we can all come to visit your blog for a Be-Ro tea too! One last word, I am on a diet, actually I am always on a diet, but one thing that will become apparent as I bake my way through eighty years of Be-Ro books, is just how “frugal” some of the recipes were - the ingredient weights were less than we are used to today, and a cake or a batch of biscuits were supposed to last a FULL week, maybe we can learn from that rather thrifty attitude! I plan to share what I bake, but, there will be many recipes that are surprisingly LOW on calories, so no need to worry too much if you DO join in! I DID work out the calories if these little treats, and they came in at only 70 calories a biscuit, so NOT bad! That’s it for now, I am off to put the kettle on and have a Melting Moment! See you tomorrow, Karen

A Plate of Melting Moments

A Plate of Melting Moments

Melting Moments – Biscuits/Cookies

Serves 24 small biscuits/cookies
Prep time 5 minutes
Cook time 15 minutes
Total time 20 minutes
Allergy Egg, Tree Nuts, Wheat
Dietary Vegetarian
Meal type Dessert, Side Dish, Snack
Misc Child Friendly, Freezable, Serve Cold
Occasion Birthday Party, Casual Party, Christmas, Easter
Region British
From book Be-Ro
My Melting Moments (adapted from a Be-Ro recipe), enough to melt a man’s heart and bring a smile to any child’s face ~ although not too many for me as they don’t agree with my waistband! Enjoy these with a cup of tea or coffee and they also make great offerings for charity coffee mornings etc.

Ingredients

  • 100g (4ozs) Butter or margarine
  • 75g (3ozs) caster sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 150g (5ozs) Self Raising flour
  • oats or dessicated coconut
  • glacé cherries, quartered

Note

To help shape “ball” type biscuits, slightly dampen the hands before shaping.

Directions

Step 1 Heat oven to 180ºC, 350ºF, Gas Mark 4. Grease two baking trays.
Step 2 Cream the butter or margarine and the sugar until very light and fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla extract. Stir in the flour and mix well.
Step 3 Roll walnut sized pieces of the mixture into balls and toss in rolled oats or desiccated coconut.
Place on baking trays, flatten slightly and place a small piece of cherry on each biscuit.
Step 4 Bake for 10-15 minutes.
A Plate of Melting Moments

A Plate of Melting Moments

If you fancy joining in, just add your recipe/post link to the Linky below, or if you don’t have a blog, please just leave a comment and let me know that you baked along with Be-Ro! Happy baking, Karen

Comments

  1. says

    I was pretty much brought up on Melting Moments! Love all your books and what a lot of fun to bake along, no time this weekend but will try and get to this next week.

    • says

      Me too Janice, brought up on all Be-Ro bakes! NO pressure with the baking along, just a casual bake as and when you can sort of thing! Karen

  2. says

    I so missed out on the whole Be Ro thing, but some of the recipes sound rather similar to my mothers 1960s aga cookbook . I haven’t made melting moment for a very long time, but I used to make them from the recipe in that book – yum!

    I’ve probably missed something really stupid here Karen, but I’m not quite sure what you want us to do with this and what the linky is for?

    • says

      I just added the linky in case anyone wants to make the melting moments and then blogs about it, so they can add their link, but it’s a CASUAL thing and I probably won’t get many links, if any at all – it’s just there if anyone wants to bake my Sepia Saturday of the week, which, is melting moments this week! NO commitment, just fun! Karen

  3. says

    Wonderful , I frequently made melting moments from my Mother’s good housekeeping book from the 60s, (in the 70s though!) Love the idea of joining in, but will have to wait a few weeks, as I don’t often bake here.

    • says

      NO rush, this is a casual recipe blog hop and those who have time can join in, if not, I am quite happy baking every Saturated! My sister arrives today, so LOTS of cooking and baking going on! Karen

  4. says

    I grew up in a family where both my mother and my father were in charge of the kitchen: my sister and I could only watch. My parents love to cook but do not like baking. So I have no melting moment memories… I ‘enjoyed reading your post. I’m looking forward to reading more melting moments/sepia recipes like these biscuits.

    • says

      Thanks Rita, I always assumed, as I have many Italian friends, that children were encouraged to cook as early as possible….I know in France, they help at a very early age, but that is interesting that you were only allowed to watch! Karen

  5. says

    I was taught to bake using the Be-Ro cookbooks; it’s what we relied on pre-Delia. My mum always had a copy and made sure I had my own when I had my first home. Melting Moments were a favourite, as were Eccles Cakes and Coffee Kisses! I still bake, just not that often, but may make some of these for nostalgia’s sake. I’m glad you rounded up the 1/2 egg from the original recipe – I wasn’t too sure how I would manage that!

    • says

      I just could not make mine with half an egg, but I suppose in those days that was the norm maybe….I LOVE my Be-Ro books and I always turn to them for the simple classics…..as you say, Pre-Delia days! Thanks Caro! Karen

  6. says

    My mother used that very recipe…I think baking was cheap filling food once? Certainly she baked every week and there were always things like melting moments around.

    Which also meant we didn’t ‘scoff’ them – we just had one at tea time. (main meal of the day)

    • says

      My mum still does a bake day Anne and she is in her late 70′s, and I do remember her baking days when I was younger, the table full of home-made bread, and pies, biscuits and cakes, to last the WHOLE week though! Yes, our main meal of the day was also Tea Time too!

  7. says

    Hi Karen
    I’ve never tried a plain Melting Moment I recently found an old recipe for Chocolate ones I’d been given by my college cafeteria (story on my blog)! Their’s didn’t use any egg so I wonder what difference this makes to the texture? Anyway I might just do a half and half batch next time and add vanilla to one portion and cocoa to the other I think that would be the best of both worlds! I wouldn’t use dessicated coconut though (it’s my version of peanut butter!)

  8. Fiona Matters says

    Found another first in the series today! These look lovely. I’m into making biscuits at the moment. My boyfriend is not so keen on coconut so will have to try these with oats. Shared on twitter.

  9. Maya Russell says

    It is a shame we don’t have family meals as much. I think I need to declutter our dining room table used as a dumping ground and use it for what it is intended for!

  10. Myr says

    These sound amazing! I love coconut! They remind me of a German recipe, Coconut Macaroons (Kokosmakronen), are they anything like those?

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