On the first day of Christmas (well, the first day of the Christmas holidays anyway !), I asked Pierre if he wanted to do crafts or baking and he answered BOTH ! Well, luckily, I had a recipe for some fun festive iced biscuits up my sleeve (from the last Bake Box - click through to see my review) that would answer both counts !
I always used to look at people's beautifully presented biscuits and think that I'd never manage to recreate them, but I've since learned that it's all in the tools - if you have a cookie cutter that imprints the design on your cookies and/or icing, it's a piece of cake making them look pretty with a few packs of coloured sugar paste.
Santa & Snowman Biscuits
For the dough :
100g butter, softened
100g golden caster sugar
1 egg, beaten
275g plain flour
1/2tsp vanilla extract
For decorating :
white and red sugarpaste
black sugarpaste or icing gel pen
small amounts of yellow, orange or gold sugarpaste or icing gel pen
food colouring powder or gel pens
edible glue (I use the icing gel pens)
Cream together the butter and sugar. Stir in the egg and vanilla extract and mix in the flour to make a dough. Wrap in cling film and chill for 30 minutes.
Roll out the dough between two sheets of baking parchment.
Use the cookie cutters to cut out the snowmen shapes ...
... and the Santas. Chill in the fridge while the oven preheats then bake at 180° for 15 minutes. Cool on a rack.
You can ice them as soon as they are cool or make the biscuits the day (or even a couple of days) before. Roll out golfball-sized pieces of the different colours of sugarpaste and use the cookie embossers to imprint the design on the icing.
We always start off following the pattern from the original recipe, then give free reign to our creative juices.
You have to let go off your perfectionist streak and just let the kids have fun - they'll be the ones eating most of them anyway !
And they're always so proud of their finished creations.
I think we may have to leave a couple of these out for Father Christmas on Christmas Eve, along with a carrot for the reindeer. Another idea is making a hole in the uncooked biscuits then threading a ribbon through so you can hang them on the tree once they're cooked and iced. It wouldn't work in our house though - the dogs would jump up and eat them, knocking over the tree in the process !
Adding to this month's #KitchenClearout linky, because as well as being lots of fun, it cleared out all the odds and ends of sugarpaste and icing gel pens that were cluttering up the baking cupboard.