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Kisses biscuits

by Naomi Newton

Our first Mixing Bowl post from the 1913 recipe book Home Cookery for Australia coincides with Valentine's Day, so we're sharing one of the most popular recipes, as deemed by our colleagues. These biscuits were really quick and easy to make and really quick and easy to eat!

Colour photograph showing a plate of biscuits on a yellow tabletop.

The ingredients were easily obtained, so none were substituted. I sifted together the flours, lightly beat the eggs, and then mixed all of the ingredients together. I used two teaspoons to drop small amounts of batter on to a tray lined with baking paper. The oven was pre-heated to 180 degrees Celsius and I baked this batch for about 10 minutes, until golden brown.

I allowed the biscuits to cool on racks overnight, and placed raspberry jam between two halves the next morning. At a staff morning tea, quite a few taste testers thought they looked like Monte Carlo biscuits.

Photograph of a typed recipe for 'KISSES', listing 'Ingredients' and 'Mode'

Kisses biscuit recipe

Ingredients: 2 tablespoons butter, half a cup of cornflour, three quarters of a cup flour, 2 eggs, 1 teaspoon of cream of tartar, half a teaspoon of soda, half a cup of sugar, a few drops of lemon essence.

Mode: Put in teaspoonfuls on a buttered tin, and bake a light brown. Put a little raspberry jam on the bottom of one cake and put another on it.

Source: Home Cookery for Australia: All Tested Recipes, 1913, Arbuckle, Waddell & Fawckner, Melbourne, p127.

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14 Feb 2013 4:59pm

WOW! What a brilliant idea for valentine's day. I might give these a go tonight. 

15 Feb 2013 2:50pm

Hi Noellen, 'lemon essence'? Did you use lemon juice? Not sure I have ever seen lemon essence before. Recipe sounds great. I hope to make it on Sunday for kids' lunchboxes on Monday. 

Noellen - Mixing Bowl
18 Feb 2013 11:34am

Hello Anne-Marie, Naomi and I were pleasantly surprised to find that an Australian company has produced various essences for over a hundred years.The range is readily available in most supermarkets. These biscuits are great for lunchboxes. Enjoy! 

22 Feb 2013 2:41pm

I inherited the 'Advanced Commonsense Cookery Book',1948, Compiled by the Public Schools Cookery Teachers' Association of N.S.W. from my aunt.In it there is recipe for 'Kisses' with slightly different ingredients to the above and the following method: 1. Beat butter and sugar to a cream 2.Add well beaten eggs 3.Stir in lightly the sifted flour, cornflour & other dry ingredients 4. Place in teaspoonfuls on a greased tin 5.Bake in a moderate oven 6.When cold join with jam, cream or icing & sprinkle with icing sugar. 

Naomi - Mixing Bowl
22 Feb 2013 3:37pm

Hello Carol, That's wonderful! Thank you for sharing and isn't it interesting how cooking instructions were introduced more and more over time (I know I often rely on them!). Keep a look out for next week's Mixing Bowl recipe, we hope you enjoy that one too. 

28 Feb 2013 11:41am

Wow, my mother loved baking kisses. Mum who was born in 1915 made kisses right through to 1970's. One her favourite recipes for family baking. 

Glorious Days: Australia 1913 was on show at the National Museum of Australia from 7 March to 13 October 2013.

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