Nan’s Custard Biscuits


The word biscuit is derived from the Latin words bis cotus, meaning twice baked. The idea of making biscuits goes back to the Romans. However, biscuits, as we know them, were developed in the Middle Ages.

The earliest recipe for crumpets dates from the beginning of the 18th century (although they may have existed before then). Bath Oliver biscuits were invented by William Oliver in the mid-18th century. Eccles cakes also date from the 18th century. Several new biscuits were invented in the 19th century. Nice biscuits were invented in about 1860. Other new biscuits included the Garibaldi (1861) and the Cream cracker (1885). The Digestive was invented in 1892 by Alexander Grant. In the 20th century, new biscuits were introduced. Custard creams were invented in 1908 and Bourbons were invented in 1910. Ruth Wakefield invented chocolate chip cookies in 1938. HobNobs were introduced in 1985. A chocolate variety was introduced in 1987.

Ireland was no exception to this love of biscuits, but many people could not afford to buy biscuits on a regular basis, so they developed recipes to allow for biscuits to be cooked at home.


  • 150g Butter
  • 50g Icing Sugar
  • 150g Self Raising Flour
  • 50g Custard Powder


  • Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
  • Cream the butter and the sugar together. Add the sieved flour and custard powder to make a soft dough.
  • Rub into small balls ( about 30cm round) and coat in castor sugar.
  • Place baking parchment on tray and spread out evenly.
  • Cook at 180 degrees Celsius for 10 minutes.


If you cannot find custard powder, use another flavouring. These can be made using vanilla flavouring in the butter cream instead of coffee.

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