Photo credit: ©Mark Capitallan
225g (1 cup) butter, softened
110g (½ cups) caster sugar
275g (1¾ cup) plain flour
Ground spices or finely grated zest
Preheat oven to 180C/350F.
Cream the butter in a large bowl or in a food mixer until soft. Add the sugar and beat until the mixture is light and fluffy.
Sift in the flour and spices or zest and bring the mixture together to form a dough.
Roll out the dough, cut out shapes, place on a baking tray and bake for 13 to 15 minutes or until light golden brown.
Carefully transfer to a wire rack to cool.
To ice the biscuits (once they're totally cooled):
Make a batch of royal icing (below), divide into batches and colour accordingly. Fill piping bags fitted with small, plain nozzles with the icing. You are now ready to unleash your creative side!
If flooding cookies (below) – pipe around the outline and leave to dry completely. Add some water to the remaining royal icing so it is runny, then fill a piping bag. Fill in the outline and then leave to dry.
Give these biscuits as a present to friends and family or simply revel in your fabulousness while enjoying the finished products. Or take them to the beach for a post-surf snack...
Royal icing made simple
3 tablespoons meringue powder
450g (4 cups) icing sugar
5-6 tablespoons warm water
Beat all ingredients in a mixer until the icing forms peaks (7 to 10 minutes at a low speed with a heavy duty mixer, 10 to 12 minutes at high speed with a hand-held mixer).
Keep all utensils completely grease-free for proper icing consistency.
Flooding cookies means that you pipe a continuous outline on the cookies then leave it to dry. When it’s dried you then fill in the space with a runnier icing and ideally leave to dry overnight. You can create all different types of patterns this way and it’s easy and effective.
For flooding cookies, thin a small portion of the royal icing by adding ½ teaspoon of water and mixing with a spatula until you reach a runny honey consistency. If you add too much water then don’t worry just add some of the thicker royal icing to it!
Colouring royal icing is easy. I find the colour gels and pastes far easier to use and you only need a tiny amount. I always use a cocktail stick dipped into the paste and then transfer to the royal icing a little at a time. Mix well to achieve the desired colour.
Keep all of your royal icing covered so it doesn’t dry out. If this happens then you will have to re-beat the mixture to get rid of any lumps.
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