Vanilla Sugar Biscuits

While there are always lots of sugary treats going ’round at Easter time, there is always room for more. This recipe for vanilla sugar biscuits from Roxanne Floquet, dear friend and brilliant cake designer, bring back those childlike wiles.

Ingredients:

800g cake flour

200g cornflour

500g salted butter, chilled and cut into cubes

300g castor sugar

200g icing sugar

3 eggs

1tsp vanilla extract / seeds

Method:

1.)   Mix the butter, castor sugar, icing sugar & vanilla together until just combined.

2.)   Gradually add the eggs.

3.)   Add the flour and bring the mix together until just combined. Don’t overwork the mix, wrap it in clingfilm and chill for at least an hour.

4.)   Roll the cookies to 4mm thickness & cut out your desired shapes, chill for at least half an hour and bake at 175ºC for 10-14 minutes until the edges have just browned.

Royal Icing

Ingredients:

40g egg white powder or 9 egg whites (skip step one of the method)

250ml water

1.7 kg – 2kg icing sugar

1 teaspoon lemon juice

Drop of lemon juice

Method:

1.)   Mix the water slowly into the sifted egg white powder with a whisk making sure that there are no lumps.

2.)   Place 1.7kg of the icing sugar into a clean dry mixing bowl and add all of the egg white mixture through a sieve.

3.)   Mix on the lowest speed for 3-4 minutes.

4.)   Check the consistency. Add more icing sugar if the mixture looks too soft.

5.)   Mix for another 2 minutes until the icing reaches stiff-peak consistency.

6.)   Place into a grease-free container, cover with a damp cloth and an airtight lid or cling film.

7.)   Store in the fridge for up to two weeks. Remember to defrost before using.

Biscuit Decorating Method

- Start piping the outline of the biscuit with a semi-stiff consistency icing lifting the nozzle & letting the icing fall out of the bag in the direction you guide it. To end, release the pressure so that the icing stops flowing out of the bag before you reach your end point and then place the nozzle or tip of the bag down again, otherwise you’ll end up with a big blob of icing at the end of the line.

- For the outline of the biscuits you will need a semi-stiff consistency icing. Spoon out a small amount of icing onto a flat sheet and adjust the consistency of the icing by dipping a small palette knife into a measuring jug of water, adding a few drops at a time to the icing. Add your desired food colour at this point and paddle the icing back and forth so that it is thoroughly mixed. Using the palette knife, gather up the icing and place it into your piping bag on the opposite side of the bag to where the seam of the bag is, otherwise you will unravel your bag.

- Snip the tip off your piping bag using sharp scissors creating a small hole, being sure not to cut it skew or the icing will come out skew. The line of icing that you pipe out of the bag should measure about 2mm in order to create a good border around the edge of the biscuit. If your line is too thin then the runnier icing you use to fill the space inside will flood over the edge of the biscuit.

- Once the border is dry you are able to fill in the biscuit using a runnier consistency of royal icing, simply by adding more water to your icing. You can use piping bags or plastic bottles to store the “flooding” icing.

- Allow the flooding icing to dry completely (at least half a day) before piping detail with a stiffer consistency on top.