Its Guy Fawkes night! Time to make an edible fireworks display. This recipe is also a great opportunity to practice my piping skills in time for Christmas! Although up close some of my piping is quite messy, I had so much fun and am really proud of the overall finished display. Use this method to make delicious iced biscuits throughout the year.
For the cookies:
- 100g Butter
- 80g Light Brown Sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 1 Large Egg
- 270g Plain Flour
For the Icing:
- 900g-1kg Icing Sugar
- 4 egg whites
- Natural food colouring (you can use beetroot juice, berry juices etc) or shop bought colours of your choice.
For the Cookies
1. In a large bowl beat together the butter and sugar until pale then beat in the vanilla and eggs followed by the flour. When everything starts to come together turn out onto a clean surface and knead gently until just combined. Wrap in cling film, flatten into a Tupperware box and refrigerate for a minimum of 20 minutes.
2. Preheat the oven to 180c and line a few baking sheets with greaseproof paper. Tear off large chunks of the dough at a time, ensuring to put the remaining back into the fridge to remain cool. If the dough is not completely cool the biscuits will spread, and you will lose definition when making intricate shapes.
3. Work quickly to roll and cut your shapes carefully transferring them to the baking sheets. I find the thickness of a magazine to be an excellent guide rather than rolling pin bands. Aiming for a little over half a cm, simply apply pressure to the end of the rolling pin which is balanced on a book. (This year’s John Lewis gift guide is an ideal thickness!).
4. Bake your cookies in batches for 12 minutes at a time until golden. Set aside to cool completely before icing.
For the icing: Make one large batch of white icing and divide into small bowls, mix in food colouring then transfer into piping bags. The white icing will be extremely stiff however this will loosen when colouring is added. You can also add splashes of water to reach your desired consistency.
1. In a large bowl whisk the egg whites and icing together until stiff and shiny
2. Set up your piping bags by taking a large scoop of white icing and mixing with your food colouring. Once it is the colour you want, and the consistency is correct (stiff enough to hold its shape when piped) transfer into a piping bag.
3. For the base colour firstly pipe the outline of the biscuit and work your way in, mixing the centre of the icing to even out the surface using your piping bag nozzle.
4. Once set, pipe on your detail such as stripes and lettering. They won’t all be perfect at first but remember to enjoy yourself and have fun making a great big mess!
Happy baking and getting creative! As always do let me know your thoughts and share your own designs.