I have fond memories of cooking with my Mum in the kitchen, out would come the Be-Ro cookbook – a dog eared pocket-sized A5 pamphlet which held the secret to a good bake in the scone and sausage roll department. The bit I remember best of all was licking the bowl and fighting with my younger brother over who’d get the majority of the spoils. I mercifully have my own copy of this little gem of a book now and whilst I do have shelves containing books from some of the world’s most esteemed chefs, there will always be a place for my Be-Ro classic tried and trusted recipes.
The lovely PR’s at Lakeland know that if they send me ANYTHING from their catalogue I just can’t help myself from trying it out and so I knew the perfect recipe to follow for these delightful Christmas decoration cutters.
A simple stained glass window biscuit would be the perfect partner. A dead-easy recipe, with store-cupboard ingredients, save for a few boiled fruit sweets (I use Fox’s fruits) is just what’s needed to turn a humble treat into a masterpiece even Louis Comfort Tiffany would be proud. If you don’t want the boiled sweet effect because it’s quite crunchy, try strawberry jam or jelly tots. Or just cut out simple shapes and pipe or flood ice and cover with sprinkles and stud with coloured balls. There are so many options now available in supermarkets, even more online and in specialist shops.
I bought the 5m of thin red ribbon from John Lewis, I still had loads left over after I had threaded about 25 decorations.
Stained Glass Window and Animal Biscuits
100g (4oz) caster sugar
100g (40z) butter
1/2 lemon grated rind and juice
1 medium egg, beaten
14 boiled sweets
Heat oven to 180 degrees c, 350 degrees F. Grease 4 baking trays
Mix flour and sugar and rub in fat
Add the lemon rind and juice and enough egg to make a stiff dough
Roll out half the dough thinly and cut out your shapes. You’ll need to use the smaller cutters to make shapes within the shapes but don’t cut too close to the edge. Don’t forget to use the smallest circle to puncture a hole for your ribbon.
Bake for 7 minutes. Then place your unwrapped coloured boiled sweet in the centre where you’ve cut the shape and bake for a further 4 minutes – it may take a couple of minutes longer – basically until your sweet has melted. Leave to stand for 1 minute, don’t touch with bare skin, the melted sweet is incredibly hot and will stick to you like glue and burn. Wait until it’s hardened, then carefully remove from tray and leave to cool on a wire rack. Hang by a window or on the tree.
Recipe: courtesy of Be-Ro.
Lakeland Tree Trinket Cookie Cutters – £9.99