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Guest Recipe: Empire Biscuts

It all started innocently enough; we were contacted by one of the editors at She magazine in London. That surprised us a little. However, She Magazine were trying to source a supplier of empire biscuits for a photoshoot – and the biscuits were required in London as quickly as possible to meet the photographer’s deadline. So, we duly despatched the empire bisuits and continued with our daily routine.
Empire Biscuits Margaret MacGillivray

Fast forward a couple of months and my sister, Mary, visited us. She lives in Germany now and has been taking advantage of the great deals to fly home to Scotland. Mary and I were shopping and, as we walked round the stores, I said to her “What a shame, I forgot that She were going to publish an article about tea time treats in last month’s edition. Hmm, maybe we should buy the current issue, just in case!”

When we got the July edition home, lo and behold there was the article and the photographer had placed our empire biscuits in the centre of the shot. We were ecstatic. It quickly became a talking point in the coffee shop and, for a few days, there was a buzz in the air in Helensburgh about empire biscuits.

You would have thought that the story would end there, but what happened next was that one of our customers took a copy of the magazine in to the local paper and sang our praises. So, the Helensburgh Advertiser ran an article entitled “The Empire Bites Back” – and this has been picked up by one of the Scottish national newspapers as well!

…. the consequence of all this free publicity has been marvellous; I would never have guessed that the simple act of posting some biscuits to London would generate such a reaction. Many thanks to Charlotte and Monisha at She Magazine for all their help and encouragement.

The recipe:

Empire Biscuits

12 oz plain flour
8 oz butter
4 oz castor sugar
1 egg

Place all ingredients into a food processor and whiz to form pastry. Place pastry on lightly floured surface, roll out thinly, cut with sharp biscuit cutter and place on baking sheet. Cook in a pre-heated oven at 180C – keep an eye on them as they don’t take long to cook, a few minutes at most. Place on cooling rack. When cold, jam together with a nice raspberry jam, ice the top with glace icing and decorate with a 1/2 glace cherry. These will keep ok for a few days – except they usually disappear like snow off a dyke!


Margaret MacGillivray runs a small gift and coffee shop in Helensburgh, on the north shore of the River Clyde.  Renowned for supporting Scottish craftsmen and women, MacGillivray’s selection of Celtic Jewelry features some very traditional as well as some very contemporary Scottish jewelry.