Another day closer to the Jubilee, another yummy recipe for the weekend celebrations. Biscuits are always a good addition to any food-based gathering, as they can be made quite casual, or very formal and delicate. These biscuits are from a BBC Good Food recipe (June edition), which seemed perfect for the occasion (however I do have to claim the decorating ideas/mistakes for myself!)
350g plain flour (sifted)
100g cold butter (cubed)
1tsp bicarbonate of soda
140g light soft brown sugar
1 egg (medium)
75g golden syrup
2tsp vanilla extract
Pack of ready-to-roll
Different food colourings (I used red, blue and pink)
Icing sugar (for rolling)
Put the flour, butter, bicarbonate of soda and sugar in a bowl, and rub together with your (clean) fingers until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Whisk together the egg, golden syrup and vanilla in a separate bowl. If like myself you only stock medium eggs, beat together two eggs and add roughly 70-75g of this egg mixture instead (saving the rest for an omelette for dinner). Add this mixture to the ‘breadcrumbs’ and use your hands to bring the mixture into a dough – kneading slightly.
Preheat the oven to 200C and grease a large baking tray. Lightly flour the surface and a rolling-pin, and roll out the dough to the thickness of a £1 coin. Use a circle cutter (or any cutter shapes that you have) to cut out circles. Re-roll the dough and keep cutting out as many circles as possible.
Place on the baking tray and bake for roughly 8-10 minutes or until they are golden brown. However, keep your eyes on them as an extra few minutes in the oven and they will overcook. Leave to cool completely before icing (the biscuits can be put in the freezer at this point if you want to eat/decorate at a later date).
Now for the fun part! My aim was to make some pink stars, crowns and union jacks. However, you will see from the photos that this idea was not wholly completed – the union jacks that is! Due to lack of time and icing (as it took much longer that I thought), I did not manage the last part of the union jacks so they turned into nice red crosses with a blue background instead – semi union jacks! So for those brave enough to dare these, please do finish them off in my honour (however in this recipe, I am just going to follow my own take on our great flag!)Separate the icing into as many colours as required and knead a few drops of each colour into a piece of icing until fully combined (leaving one chunk plain for the white icing). Word of warning – wear an apron! Roll out each colour on a surface lightly dusted with icing sugar.
For the union jacks, roll about the chunk of white icing and cut out circles slightly smaller than the biscuits, sticking them on by brushing a bit of water on the back.
For the red strips, cut out thin strips and stick onto the white cross on the biscuit (a bit fiddley, but worth it in the end!) For the crowns, use any colour for the background – same method as the white circles. Use a crown cutter on a different colour and carefully stick on. If you do not have a crown cutter, just shape your own carefully with a knife like I did.