I came to know Grace for awhile now and I believe most of you known her from Kitchen Corner. She's a warm person with great baking talents. As we all know she had a baby boy a year back and Grace has been busy with him ever since. Recently she held a birthday party for her dear son and I had the honors to be part of this joyous occasion. She had requested me to bake some cookies for her guests. I thought long and hard and finally decided to make some butter biscuits with royal icing. Although I have done it a couple times before (for fun), but never on a large scale or for a special occasion. So I knew I had to do a good job and deliver. ;P
I confess, I love love love cookie cutters! I bought so many shapes and sizes while I was in States and have yet got a chance to use most of them. I even got the book "Biscuiteers Book of Iced Biscuits" by Nigella Lawson because I love iced cookies, they're so pretty! Seriously.
I have been browsing admiringly at the beautiful designs on that book for a year now and have yet had the opportunity (or time) to do it until now, lol! So thanks Grace!
Making the cookie dough, cutting them out and baking them was not at all difficult. The more tedious part was actually making the royal icing to the correct consistency and applying it on the cookie. BTW, check out my nice cake pan which a dear friend gave me last Xmas, heehee. ;D
Took me a whole day to get everything done...from morning to midnight! But don't get me wrong, I had fun making these cookies. I learn a lot too, and am confident that next time I will know how to get a better iced biscuit done.
I have opted to use meringue powder for the royal icing recipe even though the taste might be compromised. However to prevent any food issues, meringue powder seems a better choice.
Ingredients for Simple Butter Biscuits: (Makes about 30 to 40, depending on your biscuit size)
500g plain flour
180g caster sugar (I used 180g confectioner's sugar instead)
250g salted butter, diced
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
splash of milk, if required (I omitted this)
- Sift flour and sugar together into a mixing bowl and mix well.
- Add the butter. Using just your finger tips, rub together the ingredients until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
- When all the butter is evenly mixed in, mixed, make a well in the center and add the eggs and a splash of milk if required, to bring it all together into a smooth dough.
- Divide the dough into 2 equal portions, wrap with cling wrap and chill for at least 2 hours before use.
- Once chilled, remove from fridge, and roll the dough flat to about about 5mm thick over all between two sheets of plastic wrap. Then transfer the whole sheet of rolled dough still sandwiched between the plastic wrap to the fridge to chill for another 20 minutes before cutting.
- Repeat the same process for the other half of the dough.
- Preheat oven to 170C.
- Remove dough sheet from fridge, then start to cut. Lift each biscuit carefully and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment. Repeat till all the dough been used up.
- Bake the cookies for 14 to 18 minutes and rotate tray at mid point of the baking time if needed.
- Let biscuits cool completely on a rack and get working on the royal icing.
350g confectioner's sugar
10g meringue powder
- Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl, starting with the liquid first.
- Add the dry ingredients and whisk or beat for about 5 minutes. Whisk until the ingredients forma thick, smooth paste that is bright white in colour and has the consistency of s toothpaste.
- If you are not using the icing immediately, cover the surface with cling wrap to prevent it from drying up and refrigerate.
Since there is so much technique involve in the icing step, namely coloring, lining and flooding, I shan't go into detail today. You can try searching for videos in YouTube, they will show you all the basic techniques. :)
I was pretty contented with how the biscuits had turned out. The butter biscuits were sturdy enough and the taste was very buttery too! The biscuits itself wasn't sweet at all, so eating it with the royal icing was just nice. Plus I had made the cookies to the right thickness so that each bite will be well balanced. (^o^) *phew* Anyway, hope the guests like the biscuits like I did. :P
If you are trying this out, be sure to share your experience with me, I would love to hear from them!Okay all, got to run, have a good one! Cheers