I’ve used “Cookies” in my title, for the simple reason that if you happen to be searching for some ideas on how to ice your biscuits that just happen to be shaped as shoes, I thought you might have a great chance of finding it on my humble blog. Because it seems that more Americans ice biscuits/cookies then the rest of us… The truth of the matter is that it I hate calling biscuits “Cookies”. It’s so un-Australian, yet more and more people are doing it these days. Since why? I have no problem with a Yankee Doodle calling them cookies, that’s what they call them over there. But here, with our British history, we’d always refered to them as ‘biscuits’ and I see no reason to change.
Ahem. A little ‘hobby horse’ of mine. Surely one is allowed to vent on one’s own blog?
Maybe not? OK, moving right along.
These are my darling creations.
Last year I did a surprise Tea Party for my friend Liz.
|Liz’s 2010 Birthday
Because she has a small shoe
fetish love affair, I had wanted to make some biscuits in the shape of shoes for her, but I couldn’t find any cookie cutters in the right shape. Shortly afterwards I had found a large array of cutters in an impressive selection of various shapes at Sweet Themes. I was looking for cookie cutters for my son’s dedication (christening) at the time. (I got some gorgeous old fashioned pram cutters and cute tiny bibs, as well as cute cross shaped cutters, although by the time I cut white icing out and placed them on cupcakes, it looked like a cupcake gravesite. But maybe I’ll share that disaster on another day!) Anyway, since I had searched so hard, I couldn’t resist throwing the shoe cutter into the order.
So this year when I was thinking of what to bake for Liz’s 30th, I decided it was time to use the delightful shoe cutters!
Sweet Themes included a Basic ‘cookie’ recipe with the order. I use their recipe all the time for a basic biscuit now. It’s a very yummy sweet bikkie.
Basic Cookie Recipe
175g butter, softened
175g soft brown sugar
2 tsps vanilla essence
275 g flour
2 tsp baking powder. (Teaspoons that is, I once put in tablespoons! Not recomended!)
Cream butter, sugar and vanilla essence together until light and fluffy. Add egg, beating well. Sift flour and baking powder into creamed mixutre. Divide into 2 portions. Let the dough rest in the fridge for 30 mins. turn out onto a lightly floured board. Knead lightly. Roll dough out to a 5mm thickness. Cut out shapes using your cookie cutter. Place on a greased oven tray. Bake at 180C for 10-15 mins or until pale golden. Makes about 30-35
I normally start really enthusiastically and make double the mixture. But rolling cutting bikkies can be a time sapper, so I normally run out of time. But the dough will keep for ages in your fridge after it has been kneaded and wrapped in plastic.
I was really nervous about doing the icing. For some reason I’ve been scared of royal icing. Maybe because I remember my Mum using it when she used to make wedding cakes so I always associated it with complexity. It’s not though, it’s really quite easy. You want to use royal icing because it pipes well, and you will be able to stack the biscuits as it sets hard.
I used a royal icing recipe I found here at the Woman’s Weekly site.
My piping skills do need improving, but when you put all the components together I thought it didn’t look too bad. I opted out of using ‘real’ piping bags, I’d borrowed Mum’s, but her nozzles were too fine. In the end I used disposable piping bags, but not the included nozzles, because they were too thick. I simply cut the corner of the bag and it worked brilliantly. And I didn’t need to fiddle around cleaning it afterwards, I just dumped it in the bin! Bonus!
I will admit that it was a time consuming project with all the making, rolling, cutting, baking, cooling, icing, (in different stages for the various colours). It did take hours. But I found it enjoyable, and I’m already looking forward to finding the time to make some other iced biscuits.