I love to bake and Christmas is a perfect excuse for me to do more of it. Homemade biscuits make great inexpensive gifts for those people you might not otherwise buy for or from the kids to their friends and family.
Now in preperation for the Christmas season I've been practising - because I need to be sure they still taste nice from that recipe I've always used...any excuse!!! So I thought I would share with you my technique for icing them.
You can use pretty much any biscuit recipe you like as long a it will produce a relativly flat surface to ice upon. I have included the recipe I used at the end of this post for you. I used a Christmas Tree, a Star and a Ginger bread man cutter but feel free to pick what ever you have in the cupboard.
For the icing you will need-
- Icing Sugar
- Warm Water
- Food Colouring - your choice of colours
- Piping Bag - I don't have a 'proper' piping bag so I used a freezer bag with a little hole cut in the corner instead
- Extras - Edible Glitter, Chocolate drops, Sprinkles or whatever you like.
Step 1. Once your biscuits are cool and ready to ice. Grab a small bowl and mix some icing sugar with some warm water and your food colouring to get a paste - you want it heavy enough that it will stick to the spoon but has a glossy shine to it. Spoon a little of this mixture into your piping bag.
NOTE: How much Icing you need depends on how many different colours you plan to use and how many biscuits you have to ice. I had 24 biscuits and three different colours so I guessed how much I thought I would need based on the packets instructions and then added a spoonful more - better to have too much than too little.
Step 2. Ice a thin line around the outside of your biscuit - this creates a barrier for the rest of the icing so it doesn't drip off the side.
Step 3. Once you have done the outlines of all your biscuits add a little more water to your icing so the mixture coats the back of the spoon but the excess runs off freely.
Step 4. Using a spoon dribble the icing onto the biscuit to fill it in. The mixture should want to fill most of the space on it's own, if it doesn't add a drop more water. TIP - I used a cocktail stick to spread it right to the edges and the corners it hadn't quite reached.
Step 5. Repeat these steps for all of the different coloured elements on your biscuits - for example I added a red bucket to my tree.
Step 6. Now is the time to add your final touches, sprinkles, buttons, drops whatever you like - go wild.
Step 7. Keep your biscuits flat and allow the icing dry before storing in an air tight container.
Just in case you were wondering they were delicious!!
Makes 10-12 Ginger Bread Men
350g (12oz) Plain White Flour
5ml (1 tsp) Bicarbonate of Soda
10ml (2 tsp) Ground Ginger
100g (4oz) Butter or Block Margarine
175g (6oz) Light Soft Brown Sugar
60ml (4 tbsp) Golden Syrup
1 egg, beaten
1. Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda and ginger into a bowl. Rub in the butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar. Beat the syrup with the egg, then stir in.
2. Mix to form a dough and knead until smooth. Roll out onto a lightly floured surface to a 5mm (1/4 inch) thickness.
3. Using suitable cutters, cut out your shapes and place them on lightly greased baking sheets. Bake at 190oC (375oF) mark 5 for 12-15 minutes, until golden. Cool slightly, then transfer to a wire rack to cool fully.