You can tell the summer's over because here at The Madhouse, we're getting out and about less and cooking more ! After the success of our Teddy Bear Cake, we turned to another recipe from the Teddy Bear's Picnic-themed Bake Box for Woodland Biscuits.
This required the owl and toadstool shaped cookie cutter and embosser sets from the Bake Box. I'm starting to build up quite a collection of these now (I have fashionista dresses and New York symbols, including the Statue of Liberty and a yellow taxi, which I can't wait to use) but it was my first time using them and I was very impressed with how well they worked.
We started off following the decorating suggestions from the recipe card then the kids went freestyle and got very creative. I think they did a fabulous job !
The less said about the state of the table afterwards, the better though. Yeah, I know, it's not mess, it's creativity at work ! *Ahem*
The kids wanted to use the embossers on the uncooked cookie dough, which wasn't really necessary because we were going to be icing them with sugar dough, but the "nude" biscuits looked great too, so I'll be playing around with the cookie cutters and embossers without bothering with icing next time too.
Here's the recipe we used, but head over to the Bake Box website to see the original recipe with tutorials and extra advice.
FOR THE BISCUIT DOUGH
275g (10oz) plain flour
100g (3½oz) self-raising flour
75g (3oz) cocoa powder
125g (4oz) caster sugar
125g (4oz) unsalted butter, diced
125g (4oz) golden syrup, warmed
1 egg, lightly beaten
TO DECORATE THE TOADSTOOL BISCUITS
165g (5½oz) red sugarpaste
Icing sugar, for rolling out
175g (6oz) white sugarpaste
TO DECORATE THE OWL BISCUITS
200g (7oz) green sugarpaste
Icing sugar, for rolling out
50g (2oz) grey sugarpaste
Small pieces of white and black sugarpaste
Brown edible ink pen
Powdered green food colouring
Sieve the flours and cocoa powder together into a mixing bowl and stir in the sugar. Rub in the butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
Make a well in the centre and add the syrup and egg. Mix everything together to make a dough.
Divide the dough in half; one half is to make the toadstool biscuits and the other the owl biscuits.
Roll out one half of the dough between two sheets of baking parchment. Repeat with the other half and chill both for 30 minutes.
Cut out the shapes with the cookie cutters (and use the embossers, if you like) and lay them on baking sheets lined with baking parchment. Chill for 15 minutes in the fridge.
Preheat the oven to 170°C and bake both batches of biscuits for 15 minutes. Cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
Roll out the red sugardough and cut out the toadstool shape with the cutter and embosser. Pull off small pieces of white sugardough, roll into a ball and squash flat with your finger for the toadstool spots. Use edible glue (we used icing gel pens) to stick them to the biscuits.
We used black sugar dough for the owls, with small bits of white and yellow for the beak, feet and eyes. The Madhouse kids also discovered my stash of edible coloured dust and used and abused it just about everywhere ! The dining room table looked like a Holi run had been doing laps around it all afternoon when they'd finished !
Seeing the big smiles on their faces afterwards made all the clearing up worth it though ! The biscuits were very nice too - I thought they might be a bit sickly with all that icing but they're lovely.
Disclosure : I received a free Bake Box subscription in order to share my attempts at recreating the recipes. Bake Box delivers a new package of goodies every two months and each box costs £14.99 + £2.99 postage. For more information and to see the recipes :http://the-bake-box.com/