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Semi-sweet biscuits: Process and recipes

Semi-sweet biscuits: Process and recipes

Examples of recipes and process for semi-sweet biscuits: Golden Maria, Rich Tea, Le Veritable Petit-Buerre, Petit Buerre, Tostada, Arrowroot, Harvest and Café Noir.

Leading image: Golden Maria biscuit

1.  Golden Maria

A semi-sweet biscuit, characterized by an attractive design and golden colour, crisp, slightly hard bite, light, open texture. 

Product specification

Dimensions: 59.0 – 60.0 mm diam.
Thickness:  6.2 mm
Weight:  7.2 g
Appearance:  Rich, golden, with distinctive design
Colour: Golden biscuit colour
Texture: Light and crispy, slightly hard bite
Flavour: Semi-sweet
Moisture: 1.0 - 1.5%


Formulation for Golden Maria


Flour 100.000
Sugar, granulated 24.200
Shortening 11.970
Glucose 6.740
Sodium bicarbonate 0.490
Ammonium bicarbonate 0.270
Salt 0.630
Lecithin 0.130
SMS 0.090
Water 17.300










2.  Rich Tea

Rich Tea biscuits

Figure 1: Rich Tea biscuits

Rich Tea: the most dunkable biscuit
A favourite biscuit in England, often “dunked” in a cup of tea. The leading brand is McVities.

Product specification

Rich Tea

Dimensions: 65 mm
Thickness: 6.4 mm
Weight: 8.3 g
Colour: Pale golden
Texture: Light
Moisture: 1.5%

Rich Tea Finger

Dimensions: 82 x 33 mm
Thickness: 4.6 mm
Weight: 4.9 g
Colour: Pale golden
Texture: Light
Moisture: 1.5%


Ingredient list:
Flour, vegetable oil, glucose-fructose syrup, barley malt extract, sodium bicarbonate, ammonium bicarbonate, salt.

Recipe 1

Flour 100.000
Corn starch 4.483
Sugar, granulated 11.196
Sugar, pulverised 11.196
Corn syrup 1.489
Shortening 18.657
Liquid eggs 2.986
Salt 1.119
Full cream milk 14.923
Sodium bicarbonate 0.510
Ammonium bicarbonate 0.461
Butter flavour 0.461
Water 3.735


Recipe 2

Flour 100.000
Sugar, pulverised 17.000
Margarine 20.000
Condensed milk 3.500
Invert syrup 2.000
Salt 1.000
Sodium bicarbonate 0.700
Ammonium bicarbonate 0.350
Cream powder 0.350
Egg colour 0.400
Butterbelle flavour 0.025
Oil of lemon 0.013
Vanila 0.025
Sodium metabisulphite 0.045
Water 16.000


Rich Tea packages

Figure 2: Rich Tea packages
Rich Tea Finger package
Figure 3: Rich Tea Finger package


3.  Le Veritable Petit-Buerre

Lu Petit-Buerre Nantes


Figure 4: Lu Petit-Buerre Nantes

Petit Beuree biscuit types.from Nantes is known throughout France and the Lu Petit-Buerre has become successful world-wide. It was invented by Louis Lefèvre in 1886 and later named Le Veritable Petit Buerre. The LU company is now part of the Mondelez Group.

Product Specification
Traditionally Petit Buerre is 65 mm x 54 mm and 6.5 mm thick with a  weight of 8.33 g. It has 4 “ears”, 14 “teeth” in length and 10 “teeth” in width, a total of   52. Our samples were as follows:

Dimensions: 62 x 53 mm
Thickness: 5.8 mm
Weight: 8.0 g
Appearance: Distinctive shape and emboss
Colour: Rich golden
Texture: Light, crisp
Moisture: 1.0 - 1.5%


Ingredient list:
Wheat flour 73.4%, sugar, butter 13.6%, skinned milk powder 1.3%, salt, ammonium carbonate sodium carbonate, citric acid, flavour.

LU Petit Buerre packaging

Figure 5: LU Petit Buerre packaging

4.  Petit Buerre

Petit Buerre
Figure 6: Petit Buerre

Various versions of Petit Buerre have been made and marketed internationally.


Flour 100.000
Sugar, granulated 17.860
Corn syrup 5.355
Shortening 14.284
Full cream condensed milk 5.000
Egg yolks 1.788
Salt 0.882
Butter flavour 0.087
Sodium bicarbonate 0.528
Ammonium bicarbonate 0.528
Cream of tartar 0.087
Water 16.000


5.  Tostada

Figure 7: Tostada

Semi-sweet biscuit similar to Petit Buerre produced in Spain and Portugal.

Product specification

Dimensions: 60 x 47 mm
Thickness: 5.2 mm
Weight: 5.6 g
Colour: Pale golden
Texture: Light
Moisture: 1.5%


Ingredient list:
Flour, sugar, glucose-fructose syrup, vegetable oils (high oleic sunflower and palm), colours, plain caramel and E150d (sulphites), salt, sodium bicarbonate, ammonium bicarbonate, lecithin, flavourings, sodium metabisulphite.


Flour 100.000
Shortening 11.000
Sugar, granulated 24.500
Glucose 5.750
Skimmed milk powder 1.125
Salt 0.750
Sodium bicarbonate 0.575
Ammonium bicarbonate 0.625
Caramel syrup 0.400
Sodium meta-bisulphite 0.050
Biscuit dust 7.500
Water 15.000


Tostada pack

Figure 8: Tostada pack

6.  Arrowroot



Figure 09: Arrowroot

Arrowroot biscuit a starch obtained from the rhizomes (rootstock) of several tropical plants, traditionally Maranta arundinacea, but also Florida arrowroot from Zamia integrifolia, and tapioca from cassava (Manihot esculenta).

Arrowroot has been used for thousands of years for its health properties such as healing wounds and bites.  It is now mainly used in food products as an alternative to corn starch.  It is gluten-free and a valuable ingredient in gluten-free baked products and infant foods. Arrowroot is rich in several B vitamins including thiamine, niacin, pyridoxine and in minerals including iron.

Product specification

Dimensions: 63 mm diam.
Thickness: 5.7 mm
Weight: 7.4 g
Colour: Pale
Texture: Light


Ingredient list:
Wheat flour, sugar, palm oil, arrowroot 2.5%, partially inverted sugar syrup, barley malt extract, salt, sodium bicarbonate, ammonium bicarbonate.


Flour 91.500
Corn flour 8.500
Sugar 21.250
Butter 9.490
Fat 9.490
Skimmed milk powder 2.060
Malt extract 2.060
Glucose 2.060
Lecithin 0.190
Ammonia bicarbonate 2.090
Salt 0.690
Natron (10%) 0.040
Vitamin powder 0.030
Flavour 0.020
Water 22.390


Arrowroot biscuit packaging

Figure 10: Arrowroot biscuit packaging

7.   Harvest

Harvest, tomato, sesame and green tea flavours

Figure 11: Harvest, tomato, sesame and green tea flavours

A thin, light crispy biscuit with an attractive range of flavours. 

Product specification

Dimensions: 60.0 mm diam.
Thickness:   2.8 mm
Weight: 9.0 g
Appearance: Even colour, glazed and with sugar sprinkled
Texture: Crisp and light
Moisture: 1.0 - 1.5%



Flour 100.000
Wheat germ 5.000
Sesame seeds 10.000
Desiccated coconut 3.000
Fat 10.000
Butter 13.000
Sugar, granulated 50.000
Salt 1.500
Sodium bicarbonate 0.200
Acid calcium phosphate 0.400
Ammonium bicarbonate 0.500
Condensed milk 2.000
Water 26.000
Milk wash  
Full cream milk powder 1.000
Water 4.000


Premix fats, sugar, salt, soda, condensed milk, ammonium (dissolved in water).
Mix at high speed 1.0 min.
Add the remaining ingredients, mix at low speed 1.0 min. and at high speed 4 min. Rest dough for 10 minutes

Biscuit cutting machine.
Final dough thickness 1.25mm
Light milk wash
Light sugar sprinkle

Oven band: Z47
Baking time 4 min. at up to 300oC
Oil spray top and bottom


Harvest packaging

Figure 12: Harvest packaging

8. Café Noir

Café Noir
Figure 13: Café Noir

Crisp, semi-sweet biscuit with coffee flavoured icing.

Ingredient list:
Wheat flour, sugar, coffee glaze (23%) [sugar, colour (E150c), coffee powder (0.3%), alpha-cyclodextrin, gum arabic, salt, flavourings] vegetable oils (palm, rapeseed), wheat starch, invert sugar syrup, salt, sodium bicarbonate, disodium diphosphate, coffee powder (0.3%), lactic acid, flavourings.

Product specification

Dimensions: 43 x 32 mm
Thickness: 6.25 mm
Weight: 5.0 g
Appearance: Even colour, dark icing
Texture: Crisp



Flour (weak) 100.000
Vegetable fat 25.000
Sugar, pulverised 21.429
Syrup 14.286
Salt 0.714
Sodium bicarbonate 0.268
Ginger, ground 0.223
Water 9.000
Icing sugar 100.000
Gelatine 0.500
Vanilla powder 0.250
Glycerine 4.000
Coffee essence 6.000
Caramel colour 0.125
Water 25.000


*Recipes and process details from the late Glyn Sykes

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