This idea popped into my head over the weekend and once I thought about it I had to do it! My first idea was to make sugar cookies (I think that’s what they are called?) so I had a look in my Tanya Bakes Cooking Book for any similar recipes, or anything like I had imagined and I found a biscuit recipe, however it was originally for halloween themed Skeleton Biscuits. If you have got her book and also want to find the recipe then it is at the back and is on page 225. The good things about these biscuits is that you can really get decorative with the icing and decoration, they don’t even have to be Valentines related, and you can show off your icing skills… which as you can see mine are very minimal! They are also good sweet snacks because you can make them small or big which is a nice size bit if you get a bit peckish!
This recipe said it made 18 biscuits but Tanya used a gingerbread man cutter which is bigger than the one I used and mine actually made 40! I am now experiencing biscuit overload! I think the cutter I used was 4 cm wide, so I would probably half the recipe next time however can you really have too many cookies? I think not!
Prep time: 20 mintues
Chilling time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 15 mintues
What you will need is:
- 200g of unsalted butter (I recommend stalk because its good for baking! Tested and tried)
- 200g of light soft brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 3 tablespoons of golden syrup
- 400g of plain flour, plus extra for rolling out the dough
- 60g of cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon of baking powder
- A circular cookie cutter…. or any shape you want!
- A piping bag with a fine nozzle
- 200g of icing sugar
First you want to grab a big bowl and cream together your butter and sugar until you get that typical light and fluffy consistency. Then add in the egg and golden syrup, and fold in the flour, baking powder and cocoa powder until it forms a dough. And yes you will have to get your hands messy for this.
You want to shape this into a ball, wrap clingfilm over it (FYI I have a huge disliking for clingfilm, I thought I would share that with you) and pop it into the fridge to chill for thirty minutes.
Whilst you are waiting for that thirty minutes to pass, preheat the oven to 170°C / 325°F / GM3. It says to line three trays with baking paper, however I actually used four so I would do that when you are cutting your cookies out to really see how many you need.
Once that 30 minutes have passed, flour your work top and start rolling out your dough to roughly ½cm thick. Cut your cookies out with your cutter and repeat until you have used all the dough. Top tip – add flour to your cookie cutter to stop the dough sticking to it as I found that happened a lot!
When you have cut them out and placed them onto your baking tray you can put them in the oven for 15 minutes. I found it easiest to cook them in two batches but it depends how many trays you use.
Before you ice them you want to put them onto a wire rack to cool completely or else the icing will just melt off your biscuits and make a right mess!
With the icing, I found out the hard way that there is a fine line between it being to thick and too runny. Start by mixing in 1 tablespoon of warm water into the icing sugar and then slowly add a few more drops of water until the icing is at a thick dropping consistency. this should be not too thick but not too runny. I added 2 tablespoons of water and it went way too runny but I managed to make it thicker with more icing sugar.
Transfer the icing to an icing bag and pipe hearts (for Valentine’s) or anything you like onto the cookies. On left over biscuits I did initials for my friends and I also did some other funky designs!
I love baking new things, so if there is anything you would like me to try or anything from Tanya’s Book you want me to try let me know in the comments!