Can the old trick of putting biscuits (cookies or crackers to Americans) in a plastic bag and hitting them with a rolling pin be improved upon?
Generally, I've only heard of the plastic bag or the food processor.
I have seen people who just bash the packet of biscuits on the kitchen top. Jamie Oliver likes to do that with slabs of chocolate!
Otherwise use a heavy duty snack-lock bag or else wrap the plastic bag in a tea towel.
It helps to have a small hole for the air to escape.
If neither a rolling pin or food processor are available substitute a wine bottle or large can of juice.
Can the old trick of putting them in a plastic bag and hitting them with a rolling pin be improved upon?
Why? It's quick, easy, and effective. If you're looking to avoid wasting a bag, then the food processor works well enough... But then you have a food processor to clean!
One suggestion: use a heavy rolling pin. I have a marble pin that's too awkward for most pastries, but works great for this: I don't really have to "beat" so much as just drop lightly and then roll...
I put the biscuits in a bowl, and mash them with a potato masher. It works well.
I prefer to put them in the food processor and pulse until I get the desired consistency.
I think the method can be improved the following ways but I don't have much call for crushed cookies myself, so if any of them don't work please let us know. Anyway, seems that what you need to cruch cookies/biscuits is some sort of crusher, something to prevent crumbs from flying all over your kitchen, and an easy way to transport the results around your work area.
In the original the plastic bag serves the purpose of the crumb catcher. You could use cheesecloth or a clean tea towel as a crumb catcher but those options don't seal and they pose a problem for the transportaion issue so I would say the plastic stays as the best of that part of the equation.
As the crusher, I find a rolling pin to be a poor one. Low curved surface area on your crusher just isn't what your looking for. I would suggest reaching for the best thing for pounding in your kitchen - your cast iron pan. It's heavy and nice and flat with a huge surface area, perfect for all you crushing needs.
Of course, we may not need even that, if your cookies are safely in a bag. You could just slam the bag into the counter top until you're left with the proper consistency. That seems labor intensive though, but maybe theraputic as well.
Also, a food processor like everyone else said is a great option.
I was making some lemon slice recently, and broke up my Marie biscuits by hand into small pieces and then whizzed them up in a foot processor for a bit. If you don't have a food processor -- maybe try gently breaking them up in a mortar and pestle?
I just put them in an air-tight bag and instead of being such a drama queen and bashing the bag, I roll over them with the rolling pin. Quicker, cleaner and much quieter :)
Other suggestions (mentioned here):
- Use a potato masher
- Put them in a bag, then drive over the bag a few times with your car
I have used a mortar and pestle before when I had no food processor. It worked fine.
Another option is to just get a big knife and chop like you might with vegetables.