Boutique Biscuits – My 1st Attempt!!

I’ve always admired those delicious looking iced biscuits that you find in boutique bakeries or on a cakestand for afternoon tea in a trendy cafe or top hotel.  But unfortunately I didn’t have a clue how to recreate them in my own kitchen.  I tend to stick to buttercream when icing cakes as it’s easy, tasty and you generally can’t go wrong with it.

So when I saw a Boutique Biscuit course advertised locally, I jumped at the chance of signing my name on the dotted line to ensure I had a place.  The course ran over a couple of evenings last week.  On the first night we baked the biscuits and on the second night we iced them.

The key to these biscuits looking good is ensuring a good line is piped around the edge to contain the flooded icing – a skill that is hard to perfect – trying to turn the biscuit to ensure a continuous fine line is harder than it looks although a few wobbles here and there you can get away with.

I love the different effects you can create by dropping other colours into your flooded iced area whilst still wet such as polka dots or stripes.  And then once dry you can pipe further detail on top to make your iced biscuits look three dimensional.  I am now a master at making greaseproof icing bags after considerable practice from using them at various stages of the icing process, from piping to flooding and the various colours I chose to use in my designs.

I think these will make great gifts for friends and family and already used some of my first batch as part of my Mother’s Day gift, wrapped in a cellophane bag with some pretty ribbon.  I posted these 250 miles to my mum and they arrived safe and complete and were enjoyed by both of my parents.

I can’t wait to bake my next batch at home.  I’m going to go for a chocolately biscuit dough as I do like a bit of chocolate but I also think that the contrast of icing against a dark background will look fabulous.

Easter Baking ideas for children

We were challenged by izziwizzikids.co.uk to come up with an Easter activity video for children and decided we would love to do some baking as this is one of Miss M’s favourite pastimes.

I wanted to keep the recipes really simple so that Miss M could really feel like she was baking on her own without mummy interfering every 2 minutes.  So this is what we came up with:

Firstly we chose to make some Easter chocolate nests using Shredded Wheat:

6 Shredded Wheat
180g Milk Chocolate
60g butter
3 tbsp golden syrup
Mini eggs for decoration

Step 1: We crushed the Shredded Wheat into a bowl
Step 2: We melted the chocolate, butter & golden syrup over a low heat
Step 3: Add the liquid ingredients to the Shredded Wheat and combine
Step 4: Spoon the mixture into cake cases and add decoration – leave to set in a fridge for a couple of hours.

Next we made some Easter bunny and flower biscuits:

100g butter
100g castor sugar
1 egg
275g plain flour
1 tsp vanilla essence

Step 1: Cream the butter and sugar together
Step 2: Add the vanilla essence, a beaten egg and the flour to the creamed mixture and combine to form a ball of dough
Step 3: Roll out the dough and use cutters to create your biscuits
Step 4: Bake in the oven for 8-10 minutes at 190C
Step 5: Once the biscuits have cooled, decorate using royal icing or ready made icing tubes and a variety of sweets/decorations

These recipes are very quick and simple and are ideal for children to follow.  Miss M even cracked the egg perfectly herself without the numerous shards of eggshell mummy normally has to spoon out of the mixture!!  A fun element of baking for Miss M is that she loves to get her hands stuck into the mixing bowl which we achieved when crushing the Shredded Wheat and mixing/rolling out the biscuit dough.

Miss M’s favourite bit was when mummy let her loose with tubes of icing and a plate full of sweeties to decorate the Easter biscuits.  It kept her occupied (and quiet) for a considerable amount of time and she had great pleasure and pride in showing us her finished results.

I think baking is a great activity to do with the children, one that gives them a sense of achievement with the finished result and gains them valuable skills in the kitchen.  Baking for an occasion is always added fun and helps with creativity.  Any cakes and biscuits made for Easter make ideal gifts for the children to give to friends and family – particularly grandparents who are always proud to see their grandchildren’s homemade efforts.  We tested out these recipes on Grandad and Miss M proudly wrapped her handpicked selection of goodies for Nanny to take back for him after her visit to us last week.  His verdict – delicious!

Here is our video: