Get your children in the kitchen this Easter with these delightful iced spring biscuits, in chick and lamb shaped designs. They are ideal for giving as a gift or favour, and are a perfect excuse to practice your icing skills!
Preparation time: 15 mins Baking time: 8 mins Decorate time: Up to 1 hour Makes 24 biscuits For the biscuits: 125g butter, softened 160g caster sugar 1 egg, large 1 tsp vanilla extract 50g soft cream cheese 380g plain flour ½ tsp baking powder ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda ¼ tsp salt For the icing: 500g icing sugar, sifted 4 tbsp glucose 60ml water Gel paste icing colours Black edible icing pen 1. Preheat your oven to 180˚C/160˚C fan/ gas mark 4. To make the biscuits, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the cream cheese, vanilla extract and egg, beat well to combine evenly. 2. Sift in the plain flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt and work together to form a dough. Roll out half of the dough at a time on your worksurface, lightly dusted with flour to prevent it from sticking, to a depth of 4-5mm. 3. Cut out lamb and chick biscuits using a cutter and transfer to a well greased or lined baking tray. Bake in the oven for 8 mins until just lightly golden around the edges. Allow to cool on the trays for 5 mins before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. 4. To make the icing, combine the icing sugar, glucose and water and whisk together well until even. Consistency of the icing is very important when decorating using the flooding method. To test, lift the icing up with a spatula or spoon, the ribbon or trail created should disappear at 10 seconds. If it is still visible at 10 seconds then the icing needs to be a little thinner, add a drop of water a tiny bit at a time. If the icing trail disappears before the count of 10 seconds it will need thickening, adding just a spoonful of icing sugar at a time. 5. Divide the icing into smaller individual bowls for colouring. For the lambs you will need mostly white and a small portion of pale pink. For chicks you will need yellow and orange. Stir through gel paste colouring in the relevant colours until the icing is evenly coloured. 6. To ice the lambs, fill a piping bag fitted with a no.3 piping tip with white icing. Pipe the outline of the lamb biscuits, making sure the icing is completely joined. Using the same icing, fill in the outlines working from one side of the biscuit to the other. Set to one side and allow the icing to dry completely. 7. Once the icing has set, pipe on the curly lamb wool to the body and the top of the head using the piping bag. Fill a piping bag fitted with a no.1.5 tip with pale pink icing and pipe on a small bulb for the lamb’s nose. Add two black eyes with an edible icing pen. Allow the detail icing to dry and then serve. 8. To ice the chicks, fill a piping bag fitted with a no.3 piping tip with yellow icing. Pipe the outline of the chick’s body, making sure that the icing is completely joined. Using the same icing, fill in the outline of the body working from the top of the biscuit to the bottom. Set to one side and allow the icing to dry a little (30 mins) before adding the beak and feet as this will prevent the colours from bleeding into each other. 9. Add some orange icing to a piping bag fitted with a no.1.5 tip, pipe outlines for the beak and feet and then flood with the same icing. Set the biscuits to one side to dry completely before adding a black beady eye with an edible black icing pen. Serve. TIP:
- Spend some time getting the consistency of the icing just right before starting, this will mean that the piping and flooding will give you much better results.
- Alternatives: You can, of course, use regular royal icing for the piping and flooding. In which case the icing should be mixed fairly stiffly and used for piping the outlines. To flood, the icing will need to be let down slightly with a little water so that it flows correctly for flooding.