Eye popping colours are great for creating a nice visual on the table - arrange in the shape of a Union Jack if you're in the mood.
Fun to make and the perfect activity for a rainy afternoon. Get the kids to cut out the biscuits and mix up the icing to give you a hand.
As they're so small this recipe makes a large quantity of biscuits, if you're not feeding a crowd then I'd recommend freezing half of the dough for another day.
Red, white and blue iced gems
Makes approx 100
For the biscuits
125g butter, softened
50g caster sugar
50g muscovado sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
225g plain flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
For the topping
500g packet of royal icing sugar
red and blue food colouring
To make the biscuits
1. Cream the softened butter, caster and muscovado sugar together until fluffy and pale in colour.
2. Gradually beat in the eggs and vanilla extract until well combined and then sift in the flour and baking powder.
3. Mix together well until a soft dough comes together, then bring together into a ball in your hands. Dust a work surface with a bit of flour and then lightly knead the biscuit dough.
4. Split into two balls of dough and then flatten disc shapes, wrap in cling film and then pop them in the fridge for an hour or more. If you're only using one then put the other one in the freezer for quick biscuits on a rainy day.
5. When you're ready to bake the biscuits, take the dough out of the fridge and roll out between two sheets of cling film to stop it sticking to the rolling pin. You're aiming for a thickness of just under half a centimetre.
6. Line some baking sheets with greaseproof paper. Using a small round cutter or the lid of a bottle, cut out your shapes and use a palette knife to neatly place on the baking sheet. Leave a gap of about 3cm between each biscuit. Work as quick as you can as the dough will get softer and softer and hard to work with.
7. Put the trays in the fridge to chill for 20 minutes so they firm up and keep their shape.
8. Meanwhile preheat the oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5 and bake the biscuits for around 10 mins until lightly golden. They won't take long as they're so tiny - so keep a close eye on them.
9. Let them cool on their trays for about 5 minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
To decorate the biscuits
1. Lay the biscuits out on a large chopping board lined with greaseproof paper so they're easy to work with.
2. Make the royal icing up according to packet instructions, make sure the consistency is stiff enough that it won't fall off the biscuit.
3. Divide between three bowls; colour one with red, one with blue using a cocktail stick dipped in the food colouring to build up the colour gradually, and leave the other plain white.
4. Using one colour of icing at a time, use a piping bag with star shaped nozzle pipe a pretty blob onto each biscuit, press down, squeeze and then quickly lift so it has a nice sharp point.
5. Leave to dry completely - this will take a few hours.
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