You will need:
1 batch of all-spice shaped biscuits
1 batch of Royal Icing, divided into line and flood consistencies
Granulated sugar (for the Christmas tree)
Christmas tree Line: brown / icy blue / white
1. Ice the trunk of the tree onto the biscuit in brown line icing.
2. Using icy blue line icing, pipe 3 layers of vertical zig-zag lines on the biscuit, for branches. Allow to dry for a few minutes.
3. Using white line icing in a back-and-forth motion, pipe 3 layers of snow, one at the bottom of each layer of the tree.
4. While the icing is still wet, sprinkle sugar over for a sparkly effect. Tap off any excess.
5. Using white line icing, pipe a series of dots all over the tree to look like snowflakes on the branches.
6. Finally, use white line icing to pipe a star on the top of the tree. Allow to fully dry.
Line: brown / white / red / icy blue
Flood: brown / white
1. Use brown line icing to pipe around the bottom outer edge of a circular biscuit. Pipe a scalloped line horizontally across the centre.
2. Use white line icing to pipe the top outer edge of the biscuit. Leave to dry for 10 minutes at room temperature.
3. Once dry, flood the bottom section with brown flood icing and the top section with white flood icing. 4. Place the biscuit onto a baking tray and into an oven set to the lowest temperature (50°C/gas mark ¼) for 40 minutes, or until the icing has set hard.
5. Pipe 2 rows of dots onto the brown section with red line icing.
6. At the top of the white section, pipe a cluster of 3 dots with red line icing. Then use icy blue line icing to pipe 2 holly leaves. Allow to fully dry.
Present Line: red / icy blue
Flood: red / white
1.Use red line icing to outline a square on your biscuit. Leave to dry for 10 minutes at room temperature.
2. Once dry, using red and white flood icings, pipe alternate thick stripes horizontally across the biscuit.
3. While the flood icing is still wet, drag a cocktail stick vertically through the wet icing in alternating directions, several times. Wipe the cocktail stick clean between each drag.
4. Place the biscuit onto a baking tray and into an oven set to the lowest temperature (50°C/gas mark ¼) for 40 minutes, or until the icing has set hard.
5. Finally, use icy blue line icing to pipe a bow onto the present. Allow to fully dry.
All-Spice Biscuit Dough
Makes approx. 24 biscuits
170g caster sugar
170g salted butter
170g golden syrup
1 large egg
520g plain flour
80g self-raising flour
1½ tsp mixed spice
1. Preheat oven to 150°C/130°C fan/gas mark
2. Line two baking trays with greaseproof paper.
2. Put the sugar, butter, golden syrup and egg into a large mixing bowl. Mix with an electric mixer on a low speed for 3 minutes, until there are only small lumps of butter visible, then turn the speed of the mixer up to medium for 1 minute to reduce the size of the butter lumps.
3. Sift both types of flour and the mixed spice into the bowl and mix on a low speed for 1 minute, or until combined, then turn the mixer up to medium speed for 30 seconds, or until the dough clings together and the sides of the bowl are clean.
4. Turn the dough out onto a clean work surface. Divide into two and squash into even, flat discs. Cover with cling film and chill or use immediately.
5. Roll out the dough to an even thickness between two sheets of greaseproof paper and cut out your biscuit shapes
6. Carefully pick up each biscuit with a palette knife and place onto the lined trays. Space the biscuits out evenly – they will spread a little when baking.
7. Place the trays into the preheated oven and bake for 20–30 minutes (check at 20 minutes).
8. When the biscuits are evenly cooked and just beginning to turn golden brown, remove from the oven and transfer the whole sheet of greaseproof paper to a cooling rack. Do this very carefully, as the biscuits will be fragile and hot! Allow to cool completely before icing.
4 fresh egg whites (medium)
900g icing sugar, sifted
Combine the ingredients in a mixing bowl, adding the liquids first – add most of the fresh egg whites to the bowl. Add the icing sugar and whisk for 5 minutes with an electric whisk, or for longer with a wooden spoon. Whisk slowly initially, to avoid clouds of icing sugar! Continue whisking, gradually adding water (or egg white), until you achieve the desired consistency – a smooth, bright white paste, which is the thickness of toothpaste (you may need to use less or more water than the recipe states – go slowly and judge when you’ve reached the correct point).
Creating ‘line’ and ‘flood’ icings
Line icing is the consistency of toothpaste and is used for outlining your biscuits and adding detail. Flood icing is the consistency of custard and used to fill larger areas or sections of the biscuit with a smooth, shiny surface. As a rule, we allocate two-thirds of the royal icing mixture to making flood icing; the otherthird is for line icing. If you are icing biscuits that require more of one type or another, adjust accordingly. Line icing You don’t need to change the consistency of the royal icing recipe for line icing. Simply look at how many colour variations you need and divide up the icing into clean, dry bowls. Flood icing Place the royal icing in a large bowl. Add water, a few drops at a time, stirring constantly, until you have a pourable mixture of the same consistency as custard. Check how many colour variations you need and divide up into clean, dry bowls. Drop a little of the liquid food colouring in at a time using a cocktail stick, stirring intermittently, until you reach the desired shade. You may need to mix in a little extra icing sugar if the liquid colour begins to thin down your line icing.
Recipe from Biscuiteers Book of Iced Gifts, available now from www.biscuiteers.com