Iced Vanilla Biscuits for Valentine’s Day or any day

I have just spent a gorgeously indulgent afternoon making and icing biscuits for a very good friends birthday and Valentine’s Day. They do take a long time to do and the icing got a little wobbly towards the end but all in all I think they look good enough to eat ( funny that!! ) and fairly simple to do. I have The Great British Book of Baking to thank for this recipe. For anyone that watched the first series of The Great British Bake off, these biscuits are Miranda’s decorated vanilla biscuits. ImageThey were shoes and teacups and cakes and all utterly divine. Mine are not as pretty but they taste good so alls well that ends well. Right enough waffle, here now follows the recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 200g unsalted butter, softened
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 1 vanilla pod, I used vanilla bean paste, 1 tbsp of.
  • 1 medium free range egg
  • 400g plain flour
  • 500g icing sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • food colouring paste

Tools:

  • cookie cutters in whatever shape amuses you
  • greaseproof paper
  • 2 or 3 baking trays
  • icing bags, nozzles optional

Method:

  1. Put the butter and sugar into a bowl along with the vanilla ( either scraped seeds or a tbsp of paste). Beat until light and fluffy.
  2. Then add the beaten egg to the mixture slowly.
  3. Then add the flour slowly, bit by bit. This will make a soft dough.
  4. Once you have your dough pop it into a freezer bag or wrap it in cling film and pop it in to the fridge for at least half an hour.
  5. Heat up your oven to 180 degrees C.
  6. Once your dough is chilled it is time to roll out and cut your shapes. Roll the dough to a thickness of 5mm and cut out your shapes, place them on greaseproof paper that is cut to fit your baking trays.
  7. Re chill your biscuits for at least 5 minutes before placing in the oven for between 9 and 12 minutes.
  8. Take the biscuits out of the oven once they are just starting to go golden on the edges. Leave them on the tray for a minute to harden off slightly and then remove them to a cooling rack.
  9. Once your biscuits are cool you can decorate. I used a stiff glace icing mixed with a little water and lemon juice to pipe the outlines on the biscuits and then used a slightly runnier glace icing to fill them. Be as creative as you like and be prepared to get sticky!
  10. Serve

 

Enjoy

 

Lx

P.S Normally I would ask my offspring to take a photo of whatever yummies I have made but they have decided that it is time I learned how to work the groovy camera so the following pics are my best offerings!! Enjoy! Lx

 

Image

 

 

Lemon Curd – made with fruit sugar

Well long time no blog. Apologies to my 2 followers!!!

I have been cooking, just failing at blogging about it!

This afternoon I decided to make some lemon curd. I haven’t made it for ages ( because I tend to eat it all straight from the jar ) , but having caught the back end of a Hairy Bikers ( not literally! ) cookery programme the other day and saw their Lemon curd and Blueberry muffins I felt inspired.

Well fairly early on in this afternoons endeavors I stumbled across a problem. No caster sugar. I seem to have every other type of sugar in fact except caster sugar. So as it is still snowy outside I decide to improvise with the fruit sugar that I have for my tea. Apparently you only need two thirds of your usual amount and as long as you use a lower temperature you can cook with it. Check out the Tate and Lyle website for recipe ideas http://www.tasteandsmile.co.uk/recipe/cakes-and-biscuits/victoria-sandwich-made-fruit-sugar .

Right here is the recipe for Yummy Lemon Curd.

Ingredients:

4 lemons

100g butter

4 eggs – the best you can find – I like Burford Browns for this recipe as they have a really rich colour yolk.

350g caster sugar.

Method:

In a double boiler ( a bowl that you can place over a saucepan of simmering water ) place the juice and zest of all the lemons. Cut the butter into small cubes and add that and the eggs and sugar to the bowl. So far so simple.

Place over your ready simmering water and stir until the sugar disolves. Heat gently without boiling for 20 minutes. You can give it the occasional stir. Keep an eye on it as you don’t want to boil the mixture. Once you have your mixture ready strain it into jars. You will have around 700g of curd so one large or two small jars should be enough. The curd can then be stored in the fridge for two weeks.

This curd is lovely on white bread and butter, spooned liberally from the jar. It is also adorable served in an espresso cup and saucer! Om nom nom.

This recipe came from a revised and updated Good Housekeeping Step by Step Cook Book I recently purchased. I still own and use the one my Mum gave me when I left home (1957 edition). It is looking decidedly dog eared so when I spotted the new and shiny copy in a sale I had to have it.

Enjoy

Lx