The Biscuiteers biscuits have always had a special place in my heart. I met the co-founder, Harriet Hastings, when I began writing this blog and a tour around their factory in Kennington had me hooked. I was given the book but have never got around to making anything. I bought some cookie cutters from Waitrose recently and decided to ice them, just like they do. I can’t say they’ll be giving me a job as master icer tomorrow, but I was pretty chuffed with the result.
I used the Super Chocolatey Biscuit Recipe from Biscuiteers Book of Iced Biscuits which made 24 biscuits.
275g plain flour
100g self-raising flour
125g granulated sugar
125g slated butter, diced
125g golden syrup
1 large egg, lightly beaten
Sift the flours and cocoa together into a mixing bowl, add the sugar and mix well.
Add the butter. Using the tips of your fingers, until the mix resembles fine breadcrumbs.
When all the butter is evenly mixed in, make a well in the centre and add the syrup and egg.
Mix well, drawing in any flour left at the sides of the bowl and stop as soon as a ball has formed.
Place the dough onto your clean work surface. Divide into two and squash the dough into two even-sized flat discs. Cover and chill until ready to roll out immediately.
I use a food mixer so added everything and let the paddle do the work. Once the mixture forms a ball, wrap in plastic and refrigerate. After about 20 minutes take two pieces of greaseproof paper and half the dough.
Roll out between the two sheets to about 5mm and cut your shapes.
Add to a greaseproof lined baking sheet and pop into an oven for about 12 minutes.
Remove and cool. You can’t pipe anything on a warm biscuit, they have to be cold.
Basic Royal Icing Recipe
I used the powdered egg-white recipe
1kg icing sugar
30g egg-white powder (Dr Oetker sachets)
For the icing, again I used the food mixer and added all the ingredients and mixed for 5 minutes until thick.
I then covered the bowl in cling wrap to prevent a skin and mixed the colours in small quantities.
Bat – black.
Pumpkin – orange and green
Ghost – white
I bought some brilliant squeezy plastic piping bottles which made the process easy and a lot cleaner than piping bags.
Pipe out an outline of the entire shape. For the ghost it was all white. After five minutes, I flooded it with white icing.
The flood icing is a little runnier than the line icing – you just need to add a bit of water slowly to the basic recipe to get the right consistency. Add water slowly and then shake and flood. If you’re using a piping bag this needs to be a lot thinner than the line icing BUT be careful not to put too much water in – if you do add some more Royal Icing. If you have got a squeezy bottle, be careful that everything’s mixed properly or you’ll get a gush of water on your biscuit. When totally dry, I piped orange eyes and an oval mouth.
For the bat, it was the same. Finishing touches were glitter and once dried, orange eyes.
The pumpkin was a little more difficult and I tried to be clever, although my piping skills aren’t quite up to it I had a go at a ‘carved mouth’. I piped the green stalk first and then flooded it. Then the orange part of the pumpkin. When dry, I added some pumpkin detail.
I left the biscuits overnight and they were dry in the morning. If you haven’t got time to wait, the Biscuiteers put theirs in an oven to dry for around 30 minutes. Set your oven to the lowest it can go to make sure the icing is totally dry. The biscuit won’t burn or dry out and the icing won’t melt. The heat sets the biscuits so they have that glossy and smooth effect on top.
I had icing left over which I bagged and put in the freezer for my next attempt.
Please do let me know how you get on with piping yours.