I love this gorgeous recipe from Tate & Lyle for a food-come-card idea for Mother's Day, the perfect gift for any mum or granny. I better get the girls on the case!
Whether you’re five or fifty and are a dab hand, or not, with a piping bag, this is such a lovely, personalised gift for your mother. The recipe makes more biscuits than you need but since they freeze so well you can either stamp them out and cook them straight from the freezer, or have them cooked and ready to warm through in the oven for another occasion. And there’s enough icing to decorate about 20 biscuits.
Makes: about 40
Prep time: 1½ hours
Cooking time: 7-9 minutes
For the biscuits:
110g (4oz) unsalted butter, softened
75g (3oz) Tate & Lyle Fairtrade Golden Caster Sugar
1 large egg yolk
200g (7oz) plain flour, plus extra for rolling
1 lemon, finely grated rind
1½ tbsp milk
For the decoration & icing – enough for about 20 biscuits:
500g (1lb2oz) Tate & Lyle Fairtrade Royal Icing Sugar
75ml (3floz) water
violet, mint green & rose paste food colours from www.squires-shop.com
Mother’s Day card
You will also need a small flower shaped biscuit cutter about 4.5-5cm (1¾-2”) in diameter available from www.squires-shop.com and 2 disposable piping bags.
Preheat the oven to 200°C/Fan180°, 400°F, Gas 6
Lightly grease 2 baking trays.
1. Cream the butter and Tate & Lyle Golden Caster Sugar together until light and fluffy, then beat in the egg yolk.
2. Next, sift in the flour, add the lemon rind and mix well. Add the milk to make a fairly soft dough.
3. Knead the mixture on a lightly floured surface and roll out to a thickness of 5mm (¼”). Using the flower cutter stamp out about 40 rounds and place on the baking trays, spaced apart.
4. Bake for 7-9 minutes until golden, swapping the trays round halfway through. Remove to a wire rack to cool.
5. To make the icing, put the water in a bowl, sift over the Tate & Lyle Royal Icing Sugar and mix with a wooden spoon until thick, smooth and the consistency of toothpaste.
6. You will need about one-third of the icing for piping and the rest for flooding the biscuits. Divide the icing between 3 small bowls and colour with your chosen colours, using a toothpick to add a tiny amount, then mix well to achieve the desired shade.
7. For the icing for flooding, add a few drops of water at a time to 1 of the bowls, stirring until the mixture is smooth and just pourable, just a bit thicker than double cream.
8. The 2 bowls of icing for piping should be thick enough to hold their shape. Check by dragging a flat-bladed knife through the surface of the icing and count to 10. If the icing surface becomes smooth in anywhere between 5-10 seconds it’s ready. If not, the icing is too thick, so add a splash of water. More sifted icing sugar can be added if it becomes too runny. Divide this icing between 2 piping bags. Cover any unused icing with cling film placed directly on the surface.
9. Snip a tiny piece off the tip of the piping bags with a pair of scissors. Pipe an outline border with your chosen colour 1cm (½”) above the biscuit, lifting the bag away from the biscuit so that the icing falls onto the surface. This makes it easier to control the piping. Let the icing dry for 10 minutes.
10. Next, fill in the middle of the biscuits with the flooding icing using a teaspoon and a zig-zag motion. Gently shake the biscuit to help settle the icing. Pop any air bubbles with a pin or toothpick right away otherwise it will pop on its own and leave a hole. Wait for 30 minutes or so until the icing has firmed up, then decorate the middle of the flower biscuit using a contrasting colour.
11. Place the decorated biscuits on a baking tray and dry out in the oven 140°C/Fan120°, 275°F, Gas 1 for about 15 minutes, slightly longer if you are making larger biscuits. Cool on a wire rack.
12. To attach the flower biscuit to the card, pipe a little icing over the outline of the back of the biscuit and lightly place it on the card to ‘glue’ it in position. Leave to dry flat for a few hours.
Make and decorate the biscuits up to 1 week before and store in an airtight container.