Saturday, March 6, 2021

Shrewsbury Biscuits #Recipe @PegCochran


Working on my Open Book series, which is set in the make-believe town of Upper Chumley-on-Stoke, England, I learned a lot about England and the English.  For instance, the British call our cookies, biscuits.  They are most often served with afternoon tea.  And they call our French fries, chips.  So if you order fish and chips, you’ll be getting battered fried fish and French fries.  And if the menu says your sandwich comes with crisps, you’ll find you’re actually getting potato chips.  It’s been a lot of fun learning the terminology—almost like taking a vicarious trip to England.  If you’d like to do some armchair traveling as well—Murder in the Margins (written as Margaret Loudon) is out now and a Fatal Footnote is coming in July.  And there is a cover reveal below!

I found numerous recipes for buttery Shrewsbury cookies—all slightly different.  One recipe called for mace and caraway seeds.  Alas, while I had mace, I didn’t have caraway seeds so I stuck with a recipe that didn’t require them.    

Shrewsbury Biscuits can be traced back to England in the 1600s.  They were first included in a recipe book in 1658. They are just the sort of biscuit my protagonist in my Open Book Series, Penelope "Pen" Parish" would have with her afternoon tea.

Note: Castor sugar is the British term for superfine sugar.  If you can’t find it in your supermarket, whirl the same amount of sugar in the food processor a few times.

This recipe comes from the blog The Monday Box.


½ cup butter room temperature
¾ cup caster ultra-fine sugar or granulated sugar
2 egg yolks
zest of 1 lemon
1 cup plus ½ cup all-purpose flour



Preheat the oven to 350° and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Mix in the egg yolks and the lemon zest.


Gradually add the 1 cup of flour. Then slowly add as much of the ½ cup of flour, using just enough to make the pliable dough come together. You may not need all the flour.

Between two sheets of parchment paper, roll out half of the dough to ¼ inch thickness.


Use a 2-inch round cookie cutter or other shape to cut the dough into circles.

If desired, decorate the cookies using a comb to create crisscrossed dotted lines. Use the tip of a chopstick or skewer to make a small dot at the center of each square.


Arrange cookies on the prepared baking sheets about 2 inches apart.

Repeat with the other half of the dough. The dough scraps can be rerolled.

Bake the cookies for about 10 minutes until just beginning to brown on the edges.

Remove from the oven and cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.



Writer-in-residence Penelope Parish will need to use every trick in her quaint British bookshop to unravel a murderous plot that threatens to ruin a ducal wedding.

The wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Upper Chumley-on Stoke has all the makings of a fairy tale, complete with a glowing bride and horse-drawn carriage. But it wouldn't be much of a story without a villain, and as American Gothic novelist Penelope Parish is coming to learn, happy-ever-afters are as fraught in this charming British town as they are in her books.

When the Duke's former girlfriend is found murdered at the reception it's up to Penelope and her newfound family at the Open Book bookshop to catch the killer before they strike again.


Murder in the Margins has everything: England * Charming town * Book shop * Writer-in-residence * Royalty * Cute detective * Murder!



The plot thickens for American gothic writer Penelope Parish when a murder near her quaint British bookshop reveals a novel's worth of killer characters.


Barnes & Noble 




  1. These look classic and I think even I could bake them. I love the decorating tip (a comb! a chopstick!).

    1. They're quite delicious, too! A light lemon flavor and lots of butter.

  2. Kind of a modified shortbread. Always a winner.
    I agree with Amy that the design is a visual treat.

  3. Yum! This is my kind of cookie!

  4. Looks as delicious as your latest series sounds!

  5. I’m a quilter. I make quilts for our local veterans. So when I saw your biscuits I immediately thought about a quilt block. They are so darn cute 😊.

  6. Those cookies look amazing! I'm excited for the new book!