Well, it is all starting to get exciting isn’t it! This week on The Great British Bake Off it was biscuit week and the contestants were asked to make 24 identical iced biscuits. There was variation on technique and an interesting selection of flavour choices. The judges favourite were Tom’s chai frappacino biscuits in the shape of coffee cups.
I decided to have a go at making iced gems as my contribution this week. I used to love these little biscuits when I was a child, they were sweet and colourful and small enough to be the perfect accompaniment to a dollies tea party.
I love tiny food, I am not sure why but it just tastes better than normal sized food…. petit four, little cubes of cheese on sticks, amuse bouche….it is fact.
For the biscuit base I used a simple shortbread recipe which I used to make with my mother as a child. I am a bit of a traditionalist and I like to use ground rice in my shortbread as it has a much crumblier, gritty texture. It is such an easy recipe and as usual I had a little helper.
- 300g Butter
- 145g Caster Sugar
- 300g Plain Flour
- 130g ground rice or rice flour
Whisk together the sugar and butter until the mixture because lighter in colour approximately 8-10 minutes.
Fold in the flour and the ground rice until you have formed a dough.
You want to make sure your work surface is well floured whilst working with this dough as it can get sticky as it is rolled out. Roll it out to about 5mm thick.
I didn’t have a cutter small enough so I used a connector piece for a piping bag kit. Basically, use whatever you have to hand which is approximately 2-3cm in diameter.
Place the biscuits on a non stick baking tray, the dough has such a high butter content that greasing the tray isn’t necessary unless you aren’t using a non stick tray.
Bake in the oven on 180 Degrees for about 10-12 mins.
They should be just lightly golden and can over bake quickly especially when cooking shortbread this small.
The colourful star is made with royal icing. I added glycerine to stop it setting solid, otherwise it would be a bit hard on the kids teeth.
2 egg whites
2 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp glycerine
400g icing sugar
Whisk the egg whites until they are light and frothy, mix in the rest of the ingredients until you get a think white, shiny icing which peaks. At this stage you can add any colouring you wish.
Pipe the stars out onto greaseproof paper and leave them to dry, it can take about 24hours for them to dry which is why I did not pipe directly onto the biscuits as they would be soft if left out that long. I didn’t want to risk the possibility of a Paul Hollywood glare if my biscuit didn’t have a good snap.
Once they are dry I stuck them to the biscuits, which I stored in a biscuit tin to keep fresh over night, with a small drop of simple icing made from icing sugar and a drop of water.
They look so cute in my gorgeous Emma Ball puffin biscuit tin.
A perfect treat at snack time for the children or an added treat with a cup of tea for me!
As I am full of sugar and therefore in a glorious mood, what better way to end the post than with a great giveaway. I have a copy of Annabel Karmel’s ‘Mummy and Me Cookbook’ and a really fun ‘Let’s get monster messy’ Cooksmart apron for your little kitchen helpers.
Just comment below telling me what your little helper likes to cook with you or other family members, sweet or savoury, and don’t forget to subscribe to the blog as well to be included in the draw. If you need any help please let me know. As always Terms and Conditions apply.
Giveaway Terms and Conditions
Entries must be received by 11pm on 19th September 2016 (UK – GMT). One winner will receive the featured book and apron. This giveaway is open to those aged 18 or over, who are subscribed to this blog either via email or via WordPress and who have commented on this post as described above. The winners will be informed by email within 7 days of the closing date, and must respond within 7 days to claim their prize. The winners names will be published on the blog and social media related to the blog ‘Hooked’, The prize will be despatched by Royal Mail within ten working days of receiving the winner’s address details. No responsibility can be taken by myself for the prizes once they have been posted.