Monday, 28 February 2011

Icing For Joy**

DSCF2002I put on my pretty new apron and felt inspired to do something domestic. So I looked again at the library book I’d picked up last week. I suspect the library of acquiring some new cookbooks – this one had only been borrowed twice before, and the Mary Berry I got in January was brand new too.

biscuiteers book

biscuiteers Harriet-Hastings

The author, Harriet Hastings, left her PR/Marketing career, after an epiphany whilst in New York, [!!] to start a biscuit company – figuring that they offered more scope than cupcakes or cookies.

And since 2007 her business has really taken off – Harrods, Fortnum's, Liberty, John Lewis…and stores in Paris and Dubai all stock her treats.

And now she has produced a book giving away all her recipes and many of her designs. They are truly amazing!

Full instructions on preparing the dough, cutting, baking and icing

biscuiteers book4

Loads of styles and ideas – here is a set of 24 ‘Advent Calendar’ biscuits…

biscuiteers book3

She recommends that you roll out the dough between sheets of cooking parchment, and use ‘rolling guides’ to get an even thickness. I used two chopping boards, which worked really well. [‘rolling guides’ are bits of square-section dowelling, although they do sound like inebriated members of a girls’ club!]


I cut various random shapes with my cutters, and baked them


And here, dear reader, is where things went pear-shaped. I made white royal icing for outlining, and pink thinner ‘flood’ icing for filling in the outlines. But I am afraid that I do not have a very steady hand for this sort of thing.

Maybe if I had just left them as un-iced butterflies in a tin like these…

butterfly bics

[these are from Little Pong’s Blog. Little Pong says the instruction in the book about ‘keeps in tin for 4 months’ is only true if you do not open the tin in that time. If you do, they go stale]

I used the ‘Almond’ recipe from the book – but will do the ‘basic’ one next time I think – we couldn’t really taste the almond flavour.

Plain biscuits [24]

350g plain flour

100g self raising flour

125g granulated sugar

125g salted butter, diced

125g golden syrup

1 large egg, lightly beaten

· Sift flours, add sugars

· Add butter, rub in till breadcrumb consistency

· Make well in centre, mix in egg and syrup

· Mix till ball of dough forms

· Squash into two even discs, chill

· Roll between parchment 5mm

· Preheat to 170°C, bake 14-18 minutes

· Cool completely before icing

[for the ‘almond’ variation, replace self raising flour with 100g ground almonds]

But mine looked rather less professional than Ms Hastings efforts


Fortunately they tasted good!

Bob generously said that I should not worry, and there are many other things I can do, so it doesn’t matter if my icing is wobbly.

Other people will have to produce masterpieces like these

royal wedding

**the title is from line 5 of the chorus of ‘My Jesus, my Saviour’


  1. I'm sipping tea on a little break from Monday cleaning, thinking about toast with bought rhubarb and ginger jam, wishing for some of these ived biscuits- yours, obviously, as I don't believe this last picture could possibly be edible! Struggling to believe the title provenance also, but trust you infinitely more than sleek food photographers!

  2. Hoping today is less stressful.
    Jane x

  3. The wobbly icing biscuits look much more tempting.

  4. I'm wobbly, too, but they still taste good! ~Liz
    PS A church has called us to come preach in view of a call. They were ready to start moving us in before the church even got to vote! Been praying for this for a while, then when it happens it's still over-whelming.

  5. When biscuits and cookies look too too perfect they are for a variety of reasons somewhat harder to eat...I love the picture of yours in the oven...too bad there was not another photographer snapping a shot of you bending into the warm oven to take that picture.

    Thanks for recipe!

  6. Thanks for the recipe your biscuits are so colourful bet they are tasty too.


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