Hello foodies :)
It's been an incredibly busy week, baking up all kinds of sweet treats. With Valentine's Day fast approaching, like many foodies, you're probably looking at all the sea of delicious chocolate hearts, cookies, flower piped cupcakes etc., but what about doing something a little special and making it yourselves.
With a bit of encouragement from the fantastic team at Biscuiteers, I spent last weekend piping little love inspired biscuits. What screams love more than homemade!
I took the biscuits into work and the feedback was heart-warming!
"Confession – I scoffed the last 3 of these this afternoon! Can you share the recipe please? Absolutely delicious, and for some reason they brought back a flood of really early memories, of home and infant school and Christmas and all sorts of nice things. Quite unexpected!"
This makes baking all the more worthwhile.
I adapted this biscuit recipe from the Biscuiteers Pistachio biscuit recipe, which is equally tasty!
These biscuits are soft and sweet, with a lovely golden crispness round the edges. As I used a smaller cutter, this recipe made absolutely loads of little biscuits, so you may want to buy a BIG box to fill with your lovely homemade treats.
167g Salted butter
167g Caster sugar
167g Maple syrup
2 Large eggs
470g Plain flour
127g Self raising flour
- Preheat the oven to 130°C
- In a large bowl combine the butter, sugar, maple syrup, eggs and using a hand held mixer or stand mixer, mix at a slow speed until all the ingredients are combined. When the ingredients are mixed together, increase the speed so that all the lumps disappear.
- Sift in both the flours and mix together until the mixture forms a smooth dough. Wrap the dough in cling film and place in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- Place the dough on a sheet of parchment and begin by gently squashing the dough down with a rolling pin or your hands. Cover with a second sheet of parchment and then use the rolling pin to roll out properly. The top sheet of paper may crinkle from time to time, just peel it off and smooth it down gently before starting to roll again.
- You can use any shaped cutter, but as it's the month of love I used a small heart shaped cutter and a round cutter, to cut the dough. If you can't find a cutter, you can always try free hand by using a sharp knife. This technique looks a little more rustic and homemade. Place on a parchment paper lined baking tray, ready for the oven.
- Bake in the middle of the oven for 26 minutes or until the biscuits are slightly golden in colour. my biscuits took less time, due to being slightly smaller, so bare that in mind when you're walking out of the kitchen!
- When the biscuits are evenly cooked remove the trays from the oven and transfer the whole sheet of parchment to a cooling rack. Do this carefully as the biscuits will be quite fragile and hot!
- Make sure the biscuits are completely cool before starting to ice.
The Biscuiteers suggest one of three royal icing recipes, which can be found on their blog. I chose to use their egg white recipe, but be wary because it makes a lot! In fact, I refrigerated mine to use on other baking projects the following day.
4 Egg whites
900g Icing sugar
Royal icing is incredibly simple to make and so satisfying to watch the bright white ribbons as it whisks.
- Place the egg whites into a large mixing bowl. If using a stand mixer, make sure the bowl is compatible.
- Add the icing sugar and whisk or for about 5 minutes using an electric whisk or stand mixer. If you want to do this by hand, use a wooden spoon and you may need to beat it for longer. Make sure you start whisking quite slowly, to avoid clouds of icing sugar coating you and your kitchen!
- Continue whisking until the ingredients form a thick, smooth paste that is bright white in colour and has the consistency of toothpaste.
Note: At this stage you can whisk in your favourite colours! I recommend gel colours, which interfere less with the consistency. Also, it you're not using the icing straight away, make sure you cover the bowl and refrigerate, to avoid the icing drying out.
Let the Piping Begin...
- Fill your reusable piping bag with a few spoonfuls of your chosen colour and cut the tip of the piping bag to create a small opening for the icing to flow through. Alternatively, you can place a small writing tip in the piping bag. I would recommend Wilton nozzles 1 or 2.
- You need to pipe an outline on each of the biscuits, so that the smooth flood icing remains contained. Make sure there are no gaps in the outline!
- Leave the biscuits for around 5 minutes to dry, before using the flood icing.
- Flood icing is a little looser than the royal icing used to create the outline. You can loosen the icing by gradually whisking in water. I was extremely cautious here and ended up not loosening my icing enough, which made the flooding more difficult. It is good to be cautious, but you want it to be runny enough to move fluidly when poured.
- Once the flood icing is sufficiently loose, place it in a squeeze bottle or reusable piping bag and flood each biscuit, following the outline of the shape inwards. Make sure to use a cocktail stick to carefully remove any air bubbles or gaps and give the biscuit a tap against a hard surface, to even out the coating.
- Once evenly coated, place the biscuits back onto the baking tray and into the oven at 50C or the lowest setting your oven will go. Leave them to set in the oven for around 30 minutes and serve them once cooled.
Check out the Biscuiteers online tutorial.
If you're up for a bit more of a challenge, why not try the Biscuiteers polka dot biscuit, with white spots of royal icing piped onto the base, whilst wet. You can also pipe over the dry designs with writing, like seen in my pictures. SweetAmbs has some other Valentine's inspired designs too!
If you're not up for handmade treats this year or you haven't got the time, why not check out the Biscuiteers online shop for a quick valentines biscuit delivery!
Keep calm and spread the love <3