I decided to move on from cake to biscuits to give myself an excuse for some decorating 🙂
This is the first time I’ve used royal icing to decorate biscuits and I hope to get better with practice!
Here are the ingredients for the basic biscuit mix I used. This will make about 30 biscuits. We got 31 out of it!
- 75 g/2.25 oz butter/marg
- 75 g/2.25 oz caster sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp milk (I used whole milk, but I don’t see why you couldn’t use skimmed or semi-skimmed)
- 225 g/8 oz plain flour
- 1-2 tsp of vanilla essence
Mix the butter and sugar together until smooth. Then add the milk, vanilla essence and eggs and mix again. Finally, add the flour and beat until you have a smooth, soft dough. I wrapped the dough in clingfilm and chilled it for a couple of hours, but just half an hour would do. I only left it so long because I was waiting for my toddler to wake up from his nap so he could help me roll the dough and cut out the biscuits.
The dough rolls and cuts easily, just make sure you flour your board and rolling pin. We rolled out the dough until it was about 0.5 cm thick, but you can go thinner or thicker if you like. We used fairly basic cutter shapes which were easy for my son to use (he’s only 2 and a half): hearts, circles and stars.
We put the biscuits onto baking trays lined with greaseproof paper and then I put them in an oven at 180 degrees for about 12 minutes. I didn’t want them to be very brown and because they were still blond when I took them out they stayed quite soft.
A word of warning. I was short about 75 g of plain flour so substituted with self-raising. Obviously this meant the biscuits rose slightly in the middle. This didn’t help later when it came to icing them! So if you’re planning fancy decorations, stick to the plain flour.
I used royal icing for the decoration, adding a little water to the powder until it was very thick. I then piped a white border around each of the biscuits. I left this to harden while I made runnier “flood” icing by adding a little more water to my icing mix. I split this into two bowls and used different amounts of pink and blue gel food colouring to get the different colours you see here. Using a teaspoon, I put a blob of icing in the centre of each of the biscuits and then used a chopstick (apparently a toothpick is a good idea, but I didn’t have one to hand!) to spread the icing out to the edges.
I had planned to add further decorations (sugar stars and whatnot), but everything I tried just ruined the look. In the end, I left them plain.
I’m quite pleased with how they turned out given it was my first go at this sort of decoration. I’m not sure my hands are steady enough for anything more complicated. 🙂