Simple Iced Biscuits
- 200 g butter
- 200 g white sugar (caster/superfine)
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 egg
- 325 g plain flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 500 g icing sugar
- 55 g meringue powder
- 1 tsp titanium dioxide (optional)
- liquid flavouring (to taste)
- a few drops food colouring
- 1 tbsp vodka
- Cream together the butter and sugar. Add the vanilla and egg, and mix again to combine.
- Sift the flour and baking powder together, and then add to the other ingredients. Mix again until just combined.
- Wrap in cling film and and rest in the fridge for at least 45 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F) / 180°C (350°F) fan
- Dust the work surface with plain flour. Roll out the dough to about 5mm thick. Cut our shapes as desired and transfer to a baking sheet with a palate knife.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes until the edges are just starting to brown.
- Cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Use a #2 icing tip, or cut a small hole in the end of a disposable piping bag, and pipe around the edges of the biscuit, forming a complete border. Leave to dry for 15 minutes, or until the surface has crusted over.
- Empty the icing back into a bowl, and use an electric whisk to beat it. The icing will stiffen. Add more water as you go. You want the final consistency to be '10 second icing', a little bit more flowing than the icing you used to pipe the borders.
- Using a #3 tip, or cutting a slightly larger hole in a disposable piping bag, generously flood the inside of each biscuit with the icing. Leave to set up completely before decorating – at least 8 hours.
- Put a small blob of gel food colouring on a plate, and mix with a little vodka. Use this to paint designs on your biscuits.
- You will find that the biscuits really pop when they have a black outline of royal icing. You will find it easier to achieve a true black colour if you add some sifted cocoa powder to your royal icing – you will need less black food colouring (which often doesn't taste nice) to achieve a good colour.