FB Cookies/Biscuits

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Average: 4.8 (4 votes)
Makes 20 biscuits

If you've ever been to Mombasa (Kenya) or have had relatives/friends live there or travel there, then it would be pretty much impossible not to know the famous HB Biscuits of Mombasa. HB stands for Husseini Bakery. The HB biscuits are known for being some of the most amazing cookies ever!! They are a buttery, crumbly type of nan khatais, each one measuring about 3.5" in diameter. Needless to say, they are huge! And AMAZING! They normally have the HB imprint on them.

So, here is my take on them, only instead of being HB cookies, mine are FB cookies...Fauzia's Bakery! ;)

These gorgeous cookies turned out pretty close to the real deal! They looked exactly the same in every way except for the FB instead of HB.

unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup
castor/grinded sugar
egg, lightly beaten, room temperature
1 1/2 tsp.
baking powder
4 tbsp.
custard powder
(plain/vanilla flavor)
few drops of yellow food colouring
2 cups
all-purpose flour
4 tbsp.
fine sooji/semolina
1 tsp.
vanilla essence
1/2 tsp.

First, mix the flour, custard powder, semolina, salt and baking powder together in a bowl and set it aside.

In a separate bowl, cream the butter and sugar, add the drops of color. Beat in the egg and vanilla until fluffy.

Now gradually add in the dry ingredients and mix until the dough comes together. Do not over-mix as that will ruin the crumbly consistency. Only mix enough for everything to get well-combined.

If you feel that the dough needs a bit more flour, add a tbsp. at a time. Do not over-knead the mixture. Keep in mind that the dough will be chilled before shaping and baking, so it will stiffen up some more later, so don't add more flour than you absolutely need to.

Transfer the dough into a piece of cling film and wrap it up tight. Refrigerate for about an hour.

Place some greaseproof paper on your baking sheets. Divide the dough into about 20-21 equal balls. Shape them into big circles of about 3" each, using the palms of your hand, like how we make burger patties. Place them on the tray and flatten/level them slightly and gently. Remember to leave enough room around them as they will expand slightly during baking. You can make imprints on them at this point, I used the blunt end of a skewer to press on the cookies the letters FB. :)

Once all are shaped, place the trays again into the refrigerator for another half an hour to chill.

In the meantime, pre-heat the oven at 160 C. These cookies are normally large, so we need a lower temperature in order to get them to crisp up properly without getting brown.

Bake for about 20-25 minutes. When they are half-way done, turn the trays around so that the cookies get evenly baked, and if at any time you feel they are starting to take too much color, lower the heat some more.

Once they are ready, remove them onto a wire-rack to cool completely. When they come out of the oven they will be slightly soft, but don't worry as they will crisp up as they cool.

After they've cooled COMPLETELY and if you feel they are still not quite crisp enough, just pop them back into the oven on low temperature of about 120-140 C and bake them for another 10 minutes until you are satisfied with the results.

Store them in an airtight container.

Enjoy! :)



Hi fauzia!!!
I m trying these fb biscuits... N I feel the dough is very dry!
The dough isn't binding up smoothly:( cud u plz advice
What shud I do! Shud I add lil egg or water?
Pls adv ASAP

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

Hi, add some milk and mix.

Thnx !!! I wud try them again IA...these were Gud in taste though very hard:(

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

Thank you. Could it be that you over-baked them? Try again and bake them only for the recommended time given.

Hi.Hope you are fine. Just a clarification . When you say "1 cup" - how many grams is it??

Thanks ..and thanks again for such a wonderful website. God Bless.

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

Hi and thank you! For measurement conversions, please refer to this note: My Measurements

Yuuuuummmmmy yummmmmyyyyy I just tried them 10/10 ....I forgot to add Bp but yet turned out amazing thnx dear keep it up.

mashaallah i tried for the first time,but they just turned to be superb!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!am grazy for your lovely recipes.May Allah reward you more elm

Can I use margarine for ur cookie recipes instead of butter?

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

Yes but it won't give exactly the same taste and results, butter is better.

Thank you Fauzia I alwalys like the HB cookies and I really want to try baking them but where do I get sooji/semolina and what is it

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

It is a type of course crushed wheat, you will find it at the supermarkets or in asian shops.

Well,I did preheat d oven.my oven is small electric oven.heat is from top n bottom

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

Ok, try and make sure the biscuits are evenly flattened so they get done at the same rate.

Assalamualaikum ...Hws u? Well I tryd these nankhatai's....bt thy dnt turn out as expected....I dnt knw where I went wrong...first mistake was,my dough was too light,so could nt mould them in shape...so I added extra flour.thn after baking,sides were crispy n d middle ws soft....wat would b d reason??? Plz help.thnx

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

W/Salaam, did you measure out the ingredients accurately? Did you preheat the oven? How does your oven work? Gas or electric and does it heat equally all around or just from the bottom or top?

Ok....wl try agen n gv u results

Aa fauzia.. wea i stay cnt find semonila or sooji... is it a must ingredient?

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

W/Salaam, it adds a good texture. You can leave it out if you don't have it.

This is a great website, May Allah bless you for the good work you are doing in keeping us happy, by teaching us the woderful recipes and making our family happy everytime there is a surprise dish from Fauzias Kitchen Fun !

Wanted to ask abt all purpose flour can we use plain flour to which we can add baking powder
Thanks Plz do reply as make dor Eid

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

W/Salaam, All purpose flour is the same as plain flour.

Assalamwalaikum. Eid Mubarak to u! Want to make these fb biscuits, I feel its very big prosiger to make. Is it must to refrgt?

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

W/Salaam, for best results you will need to follow the recipe exactly.

Hi fauzia I would like some help from you.if you have the recipe of roundd toast which are sold in husseini bakery mombasa.they are yellow inside very tasty and has fennel seeds inside.if you have the recipe can you post the recipe on your website. Thank you

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

Hi, at the moment I don't have that recipe but will try my best to post it soon inshaAllah.

i tried thw fb recipe. it turned out well alhamdulillah. jazakallah

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

W/Salaam, straight from the fridge.

A.a do we bake dem straight from da fridge or we have 2 let dem b at room temp 1st?txx fo da gr8 work dia

Hi Fauzia,

what is sooji?

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

Hi, it is known as semolina in english.

Hi dear...hope u r duin great with perfect health...
Wanted to ask you,
That after beating butter n all this stuff...when it's time
To add at last flour,we beat little by hand mixture
Or hv to fold with wood spoon ..or etc..

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

Hi, you can use a hand mixer but do not overmix as that will result in a hard cake. Or just mix with a wooden spoon to avoid overmixing.

How are you?
Wow I made this fb cookies it was soo delicious
Just amazing.
But it made me one mistake which I don't recognize it
Can u please find me out
It baked very yumm but it Tuk almost 45mins.
When ready I Tuk them out from oven,but were little soft it was coming the text of the uncooked mixture from
Downside..then I upside down n kept it more tho other were ready but other left the same uncooked mix taste
What went wrong here from my side can u please help me out

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

Hi, thanks for the lovely feedback. Did you preheat the oven before baking the cookies?

Yep I did preheat the oven when taking out from the freezer the dough after an hour

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

Ok then it could be that they needed more time. It depends on the thickness of the cookies and also the heating of your oven, some ovens take a while to heat up. :)

Hmmm.... I wil try it back hopefully...thanks for ur support

aslm.alkm. can i use salted butter instead of unsalted
.thts KCC butter

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

W/Salaam, yes that is fine. Just omit the salt used in the recipe ingredients.

Hi Fauzia
Recently registered into the account.
Yesterday tried these FBs and they turned out superb..... thanks!!!
Have also tried your Chicken Bread which turned out fantastic as well......

my first question is how long can I store these HB cookies for? and my second question is can I use regular butter or margarine instead of unsalted butter or margarine?

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

They keep well in an airtight container for up to a month. And yes you can use salted butter, just make sure to reduce the salt in the recipe itself.

What is unsalted butter.

If u don't mind will u name some company brand so I could get an idea. Coz I stay in Malawi. Coz we probably get stuffs from southAfrica and Kenya

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

It is butter that has no salt added to it. You can as well use salted butter if you like, just omit the salt used in the recipe. 2 of the Kenyan brands I like are KCC butter and Brookside butter. Anchor is also a great brand that is available in many countries.

hi Fozia my hb biscuits turned our tasty but got a bit burnt from the bottom and they break very easily .Please advice what I can do to improve this.please advise the rack should be top or middle or bottom.

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

Hi, try to reduce the heat if your oven runs too hot from the bottom. That should help with the burning. Always use the middle rack during baking.