midtown, try this french butter cookie recipe that fellow hound sarah galvin linked over on my current "COOKIE-palooza" thread:
Looks like 'le petit burre' is the original LU cookie, and the base for all their 'little school boy' chocolate topped ones. LU also lists a digestive. Curiously this web site does not list the Marie.
Here's a review of different brands of Marias, along with a bit of history (which notes it is almost the national cookie of Spain).
wiki on the digestive
attributing it to McVitie aroung 1800. The way that article describes it, the digestive is more like the American graham cracker, with more of a whole wheat, semisweet character than a tea biscuit or Maria. But that doesn't sound like the buttery texture and 'sweet puff' that midtownDiner123 wants.
By the way, the name 'digestive' apparently comes from the used of baking soda, commonly viewed as a digestive aid.
do you like mcvitie's digestive biscuits?: http://www.bigoven.com/160598-Close-to-McVitie's-Digestive-Biscuits-recipe.html
this looks good, too: http://www.recipezaar.com/24744
uncle phaedrus (whom i believe is a chowhound) has several recipes here: http://www.hungrybrowser.com/phaedrus...
mcvities are good, but unfortunately they're nothing like Lu's. the recipes on phaedrus' site might not be what you're seeking either, at least the ones that have oatmeal will not be right. not sure about the other two that don't have oatmeal. you're not really looking for a digestive biscuit. Lu's are not a biscuit, but closer to a sweetened cracker. doubt you need much if any leavening.
these aren't quite it, but they might be a start. Lu's are definitely butter heavy.
1 c Butter
4 c Whole wheat flour
1 c Dark brown sugar
1 ts Baking soda
1 ts Cream of tartar
1 Egg, lightly beaten
1/2 c hot water
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Cut butter into flour until mixture resembles coarse meal.
Add sugar, baking soda, cream of tartar, egg, and enough water to make dough into pastry-type consistency.
Roll dough out on a floured surface until very thin
Cut into whatever sizes and shapes you prefer.
Bake on ungreased cookie sheets about 15 minutes or until golden brown.
Cool crackers on wire rack.
In British use, biscuit is what Americans call a cookie.
Lu makes a number of different cookies, though I suspect you have their Marie Lu in mind. That style is made in a number of countries, for example Gamesa brand from Mexico, and various Asian versions. I'm not sure how a digestive differs from a Marie.
The ultimate resource for British biscuits is the Nice Cup of Tea and a Sit Down site:
Check their biscuit review archive.
Here's their 2002 review of McVities digestive
I'm more of a Hobnob fan
Their Marie review:
im british, so im quite aware that english biscuit = american cookie, but Lu's are not a digestive biscuit. they're not like mcvities or like hobnobs, though both are fond memories of *my* childhood.
personally, i'd just continue to purchase the Lu's... i've never seen a homemade recipe that approximates the texture of these storebought biscuits.